The Shop Stewards’ Congress of Germany
Source: The Communist, December 23 1922.
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Proofreader: David Tate
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
COMRADES! The forced peace of Versailles ban been pressing, heavily on us and on you for years. The German workers are perishing on their starvation wages and the high prices. You are afflicted with mass unemployment, high prices, and reaction.
Up to the present time the reparations paid by Germany consist in extracting the last pfennigs from the pockets of the German workers, and placing them in the pockets of your capitalists.
During the last half-year the impoverishment of the working class in Germany has made gigantic strides. We have not even bread, potatoes, or coal; our children and infants have no milk, sugar, nor clothing. Mass unemployment also stands at our door.
The working class has taken up the fight against this impoverishment all over the country, by means of the Shop Stewards Movement. We demand the security of our daily existence, we demand that all burdens should be removed from the shoulders of the propertyless, and be placed on the shoulders of the bourgeoisie. We demand as our fighting organ a Workers’ Government in Germany, supported by the shop stewards.
We are aware of your struggles and sufferings. We know that the failure of the reformists enables reaction to triumph over the corpses of workers in Italy at the present time.
We know of the brutal actions of the Czecho-Slovakian employers against the unemployed of their efforts to banish them from the country.
We know of the mighty mass strikes in France, of the growing enlightenment of the masses of French workers, by which Poincare’s dominance is being more and more undermined.
We welcome the election victory of the Labour Party in England, and hope that the English workers will compel their leaders to fully and ruthlessly utilise the victory in the interests of the English and the international proletariat, against the English bourgeoisie and English Imperialism.
We know that the position of the working class throughout Central and Western Europe is becoming worse from day to day.
It is high time, comrades, that we all unitedly take up the fight against our own and against the international bourgeoisie.
The victorious Russian Revolution, the revolutionary war of the Turkish peasant masses, these show to us all that the rapacious peace treaties, which are in reality a continuation of the world war, and which entail fresh wares, can only be done away with by international solidarity, by the masses of workers fighting together.
We have begun the fight against the German bourgeoisie against the will of our bourgeois leaders, and shall continue it until we win the victory—cost what it may.
We expect from you, working brothers and sisters of England, France, Italy, Belgium and Czecho-Slovakia, that you also take up the fight, as we are doing, for the security of your living wage, the struggle against the burden of taxation, the struggle for the control of production, and that you prepare the way for the rule of the working class in your countries.
Down with the imperialist peace treaties of Versailles and Sevres!
Down with the rule of the bourgeoisie and reaction in Western Europe!
Long live the victorious Russian Revolution!
Long live the victory of the Western European proletariat, which will complete the Russian Revolution.