Dimitrov vs. Göbbels


Statement to the Police Inquiring Magistrates


In connexion with my arrest, I have to state the following:

1. I, Georgi Dimitrov, former Bulgarian national representative, former secretary of the General Workers' Trade Union in Bulgaria, and a member of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party ever since 1910, have been a political emigrant since the month of October 1923, sentenced in Bulgaria by default in connexion with the events of June - September, 1923. Persecuted by my political opponents with attempts at my life abroad, I was unable to live in Europe under my real name and was compelled to use other names, such as the name of Dr Rudolf Hediger, under which I was arrested.

2. When in the spring of 1932, the question of granting an amnesty to the remaining persons convicted in connexion with the events of 1923 was again brought up in Bulgaria, and a great political struggle flared up on this question, I decided to leave the Soviet Union, where I was at that lime, and to return to Central Europe, to take an immediate part from abroad in the campaign for a general political amnesty. At the end of June 1932, I arrived in Berlin, and from here I made trips to Vienna, Prague, Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels where I endeavoured to get prominent personalities interested in the matter, such as Zweig and others in Austria, Prof. Nevedly and others in Czechoslovakia, Babusse, Romain Rolland and others in France, the editorial offices of various newspapers and magazines as well as different organizations - cultural, scientific, etc. - and to secure their moral and political support in favour of the demanded amnesty. For the purpose, I compiled information on the question of the amnesty, published letters addressed to prominent personalities, editorial offices and organizations, and wrote a series of articles on Bulgaria's economic and political situation, on its foreign and home policy, etc., for the foreign press, as well as for the International Press Correspondence magazine, published in French in Paris, in English in London and in German in Berlin. For this purpose I followed the Bulgarian press and literature, all that appeared about Bulgaria in the foreign press, collected statistical and other data in the Prussian Library and other institutions, as can be seen from the Bulgarian and other papers, magazines and books, newspaper clippings and other publications found at my lodgings.

3. I defrayed my personal maintenance as well as the expenses for my trips with the fees I got for my articles and for translations from the Russian and the German. The sum of 350 Marks and 10 dollars, found on me at my arrest, is all I possess as an emigrant over a period of 10 years.

4. During my stay in Germany I have not interfered in German home affairs. I have not taken any part, direct or indirect, in this country's political struggles. I was completely dedicated to my own task, which for me, as a Bulgarian political worker, was a vital question - to help promote, to the best of my abilities, an early and general political amnesty in Bulgaria, so as to be able, after a period of 10 years of emigration, to return freely to my country and there to serve my people according to my own convictions and ideal. The documents found on me: the united front appeal of the Communist International, and the appeal for convening an international anti-fascist congress, were used by me only as information. They were published by the whole world Communist press aiid are not illegal documents. In general, I have neither composed nor distributed in Germany any document on the German situation or problems.

5. I learned about the Reichstag fire from the papers in the morning on February 28, in the train from Munich to Berlin, like all other passengers in this train. I saw the name and the photograph of the 'incendiary' for the first time in the German papers after they were published. I have never seen or met him personally in my life. As a Communist, as a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the Communist International, I am in principle against all individual terror, against all senseless fires, because these actions are incompatible with the Communist principles and methods of mass work and with the economic and mass political struggle, and because they can only be harmful to the liberation movement of the proletariat, to the Communist cause. The programmes and constitutions of all Communist Parties and of the Communist International forbid individual terror under the threat of expulsion from the Party of any member who may resort to methods of individual terror. All terrorist actions perpetrated in Bulgaria, including the blowing up of the Sofia Cathedral in April 1925, were publicly and categorically condemned both personally by myself and by the Party to which I belong, as well as by the Communist International. We are Communists and not anarchists. According to my deepest conviction, the Reichstag fire can be the work only of madmen or of the worst enemies of Communism, who through this act intended to create an atmosphere conducive to the crushing of the workers' movement and the Communist Party in Germany. I am, however, neither mad, nor an enemy of Communism.

6. Moreover, at the time when the fire took place, I was not even in Berlin, but in Munich, where I arrived on February 26 in the morning and from where I returned to Berlin on February 27 in the evening by the through train, sleeping car, 3rd class.

7. I reject with the deepest indignation all suspicion of having taken a direct or indirect part in this anti-Communist act, in this crime reprehensible from every point of view, and resolutely protest against the unprecedented injustice committed against me by my arrest on the pretext of and in connexion with this crime.

My sole offense against the laws of Germany is that, as a political emigrant threatened with murder, i have lived underground in Germany.

8. I also protest against being kept in the position of a war prisoner, to whom not a single cent out of his own money, was left to meet my most immediate needs, and that I am deprived even of the most elementary legal defence.

Berlin, March 20, 1933
G. Dimitrov

P. S. As regards the papers found at my lodgings, I acknowledge as indisputably my own only those among them which were proved to be such at the perquisition. My lodgings were searched in my absence.