Dimitrov vs. Göbbels


I will have to emphazise that the German newspapers, especially Völkischer Beobachter and even more Leipziger Neuesten Nachrichten actually caught my tactics better than our foreign communist press. That's a fact. These people understood very well who I am, what I do, what I want and what my aims are.

My starting point and my entire defence was the principal stand that the Reichstag fire must be considered a national socialist provocation, the prelude to the destruction of the revolutionary movement, and its avant garde, the German Communist Party, against communism, against the Communist International and against the Soviet Union, and as a preparation of breaking the diplomatic bonds between Germany and the Soviet Union. The process itself is a provocation, a continuation of these politics from German fascism, to serve as a juridical and legal justification of further persecution of the German communist movement. This is one part of the story. On the other hand, this process takes place in a situation where German fascism with all its force directs a brutal attack against the communist party, against the revolutionary working class, against all oppositional elements. It is though understandable that in such a situation confusion arises in the revolutionary movement. One can expect vacillation on different issues, and it manifests in a tendency of missing faith in own powers. I could notice this on my fellow communist prisoners during my incarciration in Moabit, on the walks I spent with about 100 people who I learned to know by talking to them and observing them - and I already then noticed such a confusion.

The government wanted to make use of this process to cause even stronger confusion, to an ideological disarmment of our party and our revolutionary movement through this kind of happenings and provocations etc. I had to assume, and I was even compelled, that in these concentration camps an prisons people were tortured - something one could also observe in the police station itself. It was obvious to me that a mood of faint-heartedness ruled. And it was in this mood, or this confusion, these tendencies to lose the prespectives out of sight, I saw the greatest danger to our communist party.

During this period the nazis every night for months held their demonstrations in the streets around Moabit, not far away from my cell. Also in the prison one could notice this growing confidence of sucsess among the nazis. Hence I was convinced one had to counteract the efforts of the national socialist government to exploit this process to sow even more confusion, demoralization and lack of confidence by turning it into a scene of encouragment and to get rid of this confusion.