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The Communists and the Nazis

This is a guest post by Mikey

I have been having a long discussion with Tony Greenstein over at Socialist Unity. I have also copied my comments onto a simultaneously running thread about this discussion on Tony Greenstein’s own web site. I made a long comment discussing many of the distortions and omissions in a previous comment by Greenstein and I added some new information about him and some of the not so tasteful history of communism.

The version that appeared on his blog was substantially edited for what Greenstein has determined to be “libellous and historical revisionist comments,” all of which were deleted. I am somewhat perplexed by this as I did not know that it was libellous to mention that Tony Greenstein admitted to once chatting to a leading member of the National Front , or that it was libellous to mention that Greenstein gave support to Asghar Bukhari after it was disclosed that he had funded David Irving, or that it was libellous to mention that he gave support to Jenna Delich after it was disclosed that she had linked to the web site of David Duke to try and make a political point. All of this was a prelude to a historical matter about communists I wished to bring up. I copy the relevant section and the associated footnotes of my contribution below:

The Real Collaborators with Nazis – The Communists

Tony Greenstein is a Marxist and Marxists have a long and not so glorious history of collaborating with Nazis. There was for example, Hermann Remmele, a speaker from the German Communist Party, the KPD who went along to a debate by the Nazi Party. He said, “At the very beginning, I wish to make one thing clear. The National Socialist Party, like all other socialist organisations, has within its ranks a number of convinced and honest people.” He went on to say, “This courage and bravery we honour and respect.” [36] Or there was a different Communist speaker at a political rally in Germany in 1924 who said, “The time is not far off when Völkische and Communists will be able to unite.” [37] Or we can look to Heinz Neumann a young KPD party leader who said, “Young Socialists! Brave fighters for the nation: the Communists do not want to engage in fraternal strife with the National Socialists.” [38] The actions of the KPD were completely shameful. As Conan Fischer points out, In 1932 the KPD proposed United Action and posters appeared in Germany “showing Communist, Nazi and Socialist workers standing shoulder to shoulder in class solidarity against the bourgeoisie.” In fact, the term United Action was used because the Communists did not want to use the term Anti-Fascist Action as it would alienate the Nazis! [39] The KPD backed by Russia ensured that Hitler could finally take power. One former German Communist commented that Zinoviev said to him in 1933, “Apart from the German Social Democrats, Stalin bears the main responsibility to history for Hitler’s victory.” [40]

Of course, in August 1939, the Russian Communists and the German Nazis cemented their friendship with the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Communists such as Sean O’Casey who was on the editorial board of the Daily Worker demanded peace with Hitler. [41]

And it was not just those Communists who supported Stalin that were making pacts with Hitler – those Communists who supported Trotsky did not want “Imperialist” countries such as Britain or America to fight Hitler either. In America, the Trotskyist Labor Action took the position that World War II, like World War I, is “a war between two great imperialist camps … to decide … which … shall dominate the world.” It is “a war of finance capital … a war for stocks and bonds and profits … a war conceived and bred by world capitalism.” Labor Action went so far as to attack the trade unions who supported Roosevelt’s decision to go to war. Max Shachtman used the paper to launch an assault on another socialist for jumping “into the War Camp.” [42]

The conclusion of all this is clear: The Stalinists made a pact with the Nazis and the Trotskyists did not want America or Britain fighting the Nazis. None of this was obviously any help to the Jews, Zionist, non-Zionist or anti-Zionist, in Nazi occupied Europe.

[36]Abraham Ascher and Guenter Lewy, “National Bolshevism in Weimer Germany: Alliance of Political Extremes Against Democracy,” Social Research 23:1/4 (1956) p. 468
[37] Ibid.
[38] Ibid. pp. 477-478
[39] Conan Fischer, “Class Enemies or Class Brothers? Communist Nazi Relations in Germany 1929-33,” European History Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 3, July 1985 p. 271
[40] Robert C. Tucker, “The Emergence of Stalin’s Foreign Policy,” Slavic Review Vol. 36. No. 4. (December 1977) p.584
[41] George Watson, “The Eye-Opener of 1939 or How the World Saw the Nazi-Soviet Pact,” History Today Vol 54. No. 8. August 2004, pp. 48-53
[42] Edward Alexander, Irving Howe: Socialist, Critic, Jew (Indiana University Press, 1998) p. 13

Instead of this section of my post appearing on Tony Greenstein’s web site – it was replaced by the following

“Libellous comments deleted.”

Comments anyone?