November 16, 1933
Dear Mr. President:
In connexion with the political aspect of the Reichstag fire trial, I propose to have the President of the German Communist Party, Ernst Thaelmann1), questioned as a witness. He should especially be questioned about the following:
Whether it is true that the German Communist Party as early as 1932 was subjected to intensified persecutions, assaults and systematic restrictions of its possibilities to continue its activity and struggle?
Whether it is true that the persecutions of the German Communist Party were accompanied by a series of assaults upon Communist meetings and demonstrations, upon Communist premises and individual Communist workers and activists on the part of the armed detachments of the National Socialist Party, whether as a result of these assaults the Communists suffered numerous casualties and the Party was thereby obliged to resist by means of mass struggle?
Whether it is true that these persecutions and assaults, carried out jointly by state officials and National Socialist detachments, turned, after January 30, 1933, into an extermination campaign against the German Communist Party and the workers' organizations through all-sided use of the state power?
Whether it is true that early in 1933 and at the time of the Reichstag fire the whole activitv of the Party, in accordance with the decisions of the Communist International, was turned towards the political mobilization of the masses, the establishment of a united front of the proletariat and the defence of the workers' movement and its vanguard - the German Communist Party, and in no way towards an immediate armed struggle for power?
Whether it is true that, in connexion with these main problems and this political orientation, the Party resolutely and with all its power fought against terrorist deviation, against every terrorist degeneration, for persistent and systematic mass work and mass struggle of an economic and political nature?
>Whether it is true that as early as 1932 the Party resolutely came out against any terrorist interpretation of the slogan 'beat the fascists' and later on, in order to avoid all misunderstanding, repealed this slogan altogether.
Whether it is true that the Party, in the course of its long years of development, carried out a series of purges and expelled from its ranks all alien, adventurous and , undisciplined elements (the groups of Ivan Katz, Ruth Fisher - Maslow 2), the Trotskyites and so on) and that many of these elements found their place in the National Socialist Party and its SA and SS detachments?
1) The Nazis launched a monstrous campaign against the Communist Party. Dimitrov's proposal that Thaelemann, whom the Nazis had arrested and imprisoned, as well as other communist functionaries, be summoned, aimed at turning the court into a public tribune to refute the slanderous concotions of the Nazis and to expond the true line of the German Communist Party. It was overruled by the court.
2)The ultra-left group of Katz-Ruth Fischer - Maslow was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party at the Frankfurt Congress (1924) after the rightist opportunist group of Brandler and Talheimer had proved a failure. Late in 1925 Ruth Fischer, Maslow and their adherents were removed from their posts for anti-party activity, and in 1926 they were expelled from the Party as agents of the class enemy. Ernst Thaelmann then assumed the leadership of the Party.