The Call

German Spartacists’ Call for Russia

Source: The Call, November 6, 1919, p. 2 (1,186 words)
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
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.

[The following manifesto, apparently drawn up on a definite mandate from Moscow, has been issued by the German Communist Party (Spartacists)]


Proletarians! Workers!
On November 7th it will be two years since the Russian workmen, peasants, and soldiers took over power. They overthrew the capitalist class which for many years had led them into war and famine; they broke the yoke of capitalist slavery. For the first time in history it was possible to establish in a great State the rule of the oppressed. As a magnificent island suddenly emerging from the waters, so did the Russian proletariat rise, suddenly and alone, from the sea of blood and destruction; and, with the voice of a giant, it called to those who were still oppressed, who still continued to kill one another. "Workers of all countries, unite!"

Workers! Proletarians!
At first the appeal found no echo. German imperialism treated proletarian Russia, which only asked for peace, as a welcome prey, Piece by piece were torn the morsels from its bleeding body. With hypocritical phrases about "Peace without annexations and indemnities" it cloaked the disgraceful work of Brest-Litovsk. The German Social-Democrats, with treacherous gesture, watched and assisted German imperialism in its brigandage. The German working-class had no will of its own; it vacantly allowed itself to be used to offer up its own brothers, in Russia as a sacrifice to the German Junkers. It was only gradually that it realised how it was being duped. When its own armies were beaten and dreams of a German victory had disappeared, the German proletariat began to understand. Violence recoiled on the head of German imperialism for its acts towards the Russian proletariat by festering in its armies the seed which the Russian Revolution had sown. The German workers and soldiers pulled themselves together and drove out those who until then had been driving them ever deeper into the sea of blood.

But German capitalism was not destroyed by this; it raised its head again. It turned for mercy to its enemies of the day before. And lo, the capitalists of all countries who yesterday were making their workers butcher one another by millions, remembered themselves.

The capitalists of all counties are uniting, they are uniting in a common hatred of the Russian proletariat.

German capitalism, to-day the most servile lackey of the Entente capitalists, maintained its bands in the Baltic Provinces until it pleased the Entente to order their withdrawal. These inhuman bands have behaved on Russian soil more terribly than the Tartars 500 years ago. At Riga and Mitau, at Shavli and Kovno, tens of thousands of people were shot, the prisons were filled to overflowing, the country was laid bare and desolate. This was done in the name of the German Social-Democratic Government. At Berlin, the chiefs of the Russian counter-revolution are, in high spirits; at Berlin, they seek to recruit the cannon fodder they consider they require in order to annihilate the Russian Revolution. "Revolutionary" Germany is doing all it can to destroy the strongest fortress of the universal revolution—namely, proletarian Russia.

Is it surprising to find the bourgeoisie of the whole world engaged in the same pursuit?

English bands occupy the northern coasts of Russia. English gold assists the Russian counterrevolutionaries, Koltchak and Denikin, to gather troops; they are armed with English guns, rifles, and munitions. France sends her bands to southern Russia, while French money and French blood join in Poland to maintain the iron ring round Russia. And in addition to the military ring, the cordon of economic isolation is to crush proletarian Russia. For years already all bonds which tied Russia to world-economy have been broken. Proletarian Russia must be deprived of its commerce and prime necessities in order that it should succumb to economic weakness.

The proletarians of all countries are tramping the streets by millions without work. They demand work, they demand bread. In reality, they could do nothing better than to work for their Russian brothers; but the capitalist class prevents them; they must not work before proletariat in Russia has collapsed. All countries, friends and foes of yesterday, Germans and France. England and Italy, America and Japan, have met in the common task of extinguishing the hearth of the world-revolution

Workers! Proletarians!
The International of world reaction has been reconstituted; it is on the march against the temple of the world-revolution, against Soviet Russia. At long last, it is necessary also to reconstitute the International of world-revolution.

It is not the International of those who yesterday were still pressing you to murder your own brothers. II is not international of the Social-patriots, the politicians of “the fight to a finish,” who are now trembling in anticipation of the verdict which will be brought in by the People’s Tribunal, to be set up by the workers, against all those who betrayed them during the terrible period of the world-war. It is the International of those who have undergone all the suffering of that war, who have suffered in their property and in their lives, who have suffered hunger, and who have now to suffer all the miseries of peace—a peace of unemployment, of new famine, of increasing misery, of new slavery and new subjection.

Workers! Proletarian!
At every moment, to-day, you are discovering that, victors or vanquished, the war and its close are bringing you only one thing—chains. Every day you are sinking deeper and deeper into misery. Recognise that there is only one road that leads to freedom: the road that Russia took.

Do not allow your capitalists to crush that outpost of the world-revolution.

Celebrate worthily the second anniversary of the Russian Revolution,

Your Russian comrades, who for two years have resisted the pressure of the whole world, place all their hopes in you. Do not deceive their expectations. Arise and awake! On November 7th, the anniversary of the Russian Revolution, arise. Stop working. Unite in great demonstrations: and so help your Russian comrades.

Demand of your bourgeoisie:
The immediate suppression of the blockade against Russia. Do not allow the revolution of so great a people to be destroyed for the benefit of your capitalists:

The breaking-off of relations with the White Guards and the counter-revolutionary governments. Do not allow your exploiters to supply them with powder, lead, arms and money in order to destroy four Russian brothers with your own blood and sweat;

The immediate resumption of relations with Russia. The murderers of this war have no right to avoid contact with the Russian Workers’ Government, the only Government in the world which is not stained with blood.

The world-proletariat, joined in celebration of the Russian Revolution, will in this way make the first step toward, its own liberation. This celebration will be the first step towards the world-revolution.

Workers of the whole world, gather together in all countries, and unite in this single cry: “Long live Soviet Russia! Long live the world-revolution!”

On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Communist international,

October. 1919