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Ch.4 Second World War: Hitler’s rise to power could have been prevented

posted 30 Mar 2011, 09:47 by Admin uk   [ updated 30 Mar 2011, 09:49 ]

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

English proverb

 Faced with the deadly threat of Nazism, the Labour Movement had to decide how to proceed. Would it be best to seek to unite all, including the bourgeois parties, who were critical of Hitler – at the expense of the Movement’s own policies?

Or would it be better to pursue independent policies that above all united the working class against capitalism and its representatives?

The Social Democratic leaders chose the first alternative – and gave way to the bourgeois parties in all respects. The outcome was a disastrous defeat and eventually the Second World War and the Holocaust.

The seeds are sown

Nazism’s road to power began in the early 1920’s, in the midst of the chaos that followed the First World War and the defeat of the German working class in the Revolution of 1918-23.

The First World War had been a miscalculation on the part of the Ger­man ruling class. They had counted on strengthening their influence in the world and acquiring further colonies. Instead, they were forced to hand over extensive territories. The biggest winner was their greatest rival, France, who took back Alsace and Lorraine, and also assumed ad­ministrative control of the Saar region for 15 years. The Saar coalmines were taken over by French companies.

Under the terms of the peace treaty at Versailles, Germany had to admit full responsibility for the war and pay reparations totalling 132 billion gold marks, a huge sum of money at the time. In 1922, when the government of the Weimar Republic1 declared that it was unable to meet the payments, France also occupied the country’s industrial centre, the Ruhr region. In response, the government instructed its citizens to offer passive resistance. To compensate striking workers and company owners who closed down their factories, the government printed banknotes. The presses hummed night and day. When a currency reform was finally introduced in November 1923, the exchange rate was one new mark for a trillion (1 000 000 000 000) old ones.2 Inflation wiped out the savings of small depositors. The rich had fixed assets such as real estate, but those who had kept their money in the bank, above all the middle class, were ruined.

The extreme right was still smarting over the ‘ignominy’ of Versailles and the illusion that Germany had lost the war because it had been betrayed by a fifth column. United in its hatred of all working-class organisations, they made a number of attempts to seize power. As yet there was little popular support for fascism.

Following the currency reform, the economy stabilised for a few years, but at the end of the twenties a new crisis developed. Unemployment began to soar. In January 1929, almost 3 million Germans were out of work. By January 1932 the figure had risen to over 6 million. Poverty and desperation wracked the country.

Politics became deeply polarised. The Communist Party (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD), which had been set up in 1919, attracted many new supporters in the late 1920s. On the right, Hitler’s Nazi Party (National­sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP) suddenly emerged as the leading force. Its growth was spectacular. From having won only 2.5% of the vote at the 1928 elections, it became the second largest party in the Reichstag in 1930, after polling more than 18%.

Leading industrialists invest in Hitler

After some hesitation, many of the leading German capitalists – especially the owners of heavy industry – decided to back Hitler’s party. Their aim was to break up all working-class organisations, notably the Communist Party and the trade unions. Hitler had the ground troops for such a project. In the early 1920s, he had begun to build up a private army of Storm Troop­ers (Sturm Abteilung, SA), helped by a German army major, Ernst Röhm. These troops were largely drawn from the ranks of the Freikorps. Röhm also contributed money from a political fund available to the Germany army.3 In 1925, the storm troopers were joined by the SS (Schutzstaffel), Hitler’s personal bodyguards.

The principal task of the SA and the SS was to use force to attack meetings and demonstrations organised by political opponents. Many of the SA and SS lived in barracks and wore uniforms. The SA wore grey jackets, brown shirts (a whole consignment had been purchased from the German army, which had originally planned to use them in Africa), armbands with a swas­tika, peaked caps and marching boots.

Keeping tens of thousands of men in food and clothing was a costly affair. Factory owners had the money. The leading capitalists of the day had ini­tially viewed Hitler with scepticism. His rhetoric was primarily nationalistic, but was also directed against big business. The party called, among other things, for a redistribution of wealth, and put up posters showing a Nazi worker about to crush ‘international high finance’. In 1927, the prominent industrial magnate Emil Kirdorf, had a meeting with Hitler and outlined his misgivings. 4 Hitler assured him that the anti-capitalist messages were only intended as a means of gaining working-class support, and would not lead to any action. Kirdorf then proposed that Hitler write a pamphlet which could be privately distributed among the leaders of industry, describing the Nazis’ actual plans for the economy. The result was The Road to Resurgence, in which Hitler gave assurances that he supported private enterprise and was opposed to any real transformation of Germany’s economic and social structure. Kirdoff circulated the pamphlet among his powerful friends. As a result, they were delighted. Huge sums of money were pumped into the Nazi Party, the SA and the SS. Hitler spoke later of the astoudingly success­ful campaign of 1930, and asked his listeners to consider “what it means when thousands of speakers each have a car at their disposal and can hold 100 000 meetings a year”.5

Among those who contributed funds were Krupp (Germany’s largest arms industry), United Steelworks, the chemicals giant IG Farben, the head of the Bavarian Industrial Federation, the piano-manufacturer Bechstein, the Flick steel trust, the head of the German Employers’ Federation, von Borsig, and the head of the Ruhr coal syndicate, Kirdorf. The latter, inci­dentally, decided that all businesses affiliated to the syndicate were to pay 5 pfennig to the Nazi Party treasury for every ton of coal they sold. The coal and steel magnate Fritz Thyssen later admitted that he had personally given Hitler a million marks. He had also brought together Hitler and the captains of industry in the Rhein-Westphalen region. Thyssen was one of the very few leaders of German big business to oppose Hitler later on, and he fled the country in 1939.6

Media magnate Alfred Hugenberg was head of the Deutschnationale Volk­spartei, the DNVP, another conservative nationalist party. This party had traditionally represented big business. In 1928 he decided to throw in his lot with Hitler, to give the bourgeoisie greater strength. His support was a tremendous asset. Hugenberg owned three publishing houses, controlled 500-600 newspapers and magazines, and also had a controlling share in a news agency that supplied half of the country’s press with news and fea­tures. Seven banks and a number of paper manufacturers were also under his control.7

The business leaders who invested in Hitler got excellent returns. When he became Chancellor (Prime Minister), independent trade unions were forbidden. Wages were settled at company level. Workers’ collective sick­ness and unemployment benefit funds were abolished, and the money transferred to private insurance companies. Company profits soared from 6.6 billion marks in 1933, the year before Hitler took power, to 15 billion marks in 1938.8 There was indeed a redistribution of wealth in the country – but from the poor to the rich. The capitalists’ share of the gross national product increased over the same period from 17.4 to 26.6 per cent.9 A com­mon misconception is that Hitler brought the economy under state control. On the contrary, even in 1942, in the middle of the war, the Flick group was allowed to buy one of the army’s factories, Machinenfabrik Donauwörth GmbH, for a pittance.10

Failure of the Social Democratic leadership

Germany did not pass from a fully-fledged democracy to a Nazi dictator­ship overnight. There was an extended process over several years whereby the Nazis pushed the country’s bourgeois politicians into stifling democracy – and the leaders of the Social Democratic Party helped smoothe the tran­sition to dictatorship. The Weimar Republic was never a model bourgeois democracy, born as it was on the ashes of the German revolution of 1918-1919. Under the new constitution, signed by the social democratic Presi­dent Ebert in August 1919, the President was elected for seven years and had extensive powers. He could dissolve the Reichstag whenever he wished and issue emergency decrees suspending the constitution. This meant that if he considered the republic was threatened, he could declare a national emergency and pass laws without parliamentary approval. The Social Dem­ocratic leadership helped draw up this constitution.

In 1928, the Social Democrats and several bourgeois parties (including Hugenberg’s DNVP ) formed a coalition government, but it collapsed in 1930. The new constitution was then used against the Social Democrats and the parliamentary majority. President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Heinrich Brüning, a conservative from the Catholic Centre Party, as the new Chancellor. When Brüning failed to secure parliamentary approval for his tough austerity policies, von Hindenburg approved emergency decrees to bypass the Reichstag majority. However, in the end Brüning was forced to call fresh elections.

At this poll, in September 1930, the Nazis became the second largest party in the Reichstag, while the Communist vote increased from 3.5 million (in 1928) to 4.6 million. Faced with this situation, and despite the fact that they were the largest party in the country, the Social Democratic leadership de­cided to tolerate a new minority government, led by the man they had just thrown out of office, Heinrich Brüning. As under the previous coalition government, people who had voted for the SPD’s policies had to put up with conservative policies instead. The SPD representatives in the Reichstag now opposed all calls for a vote of no confidence against Brüning.11 They thereby ensured that he was able to continue as Chancellor and rule the country despite having only a third of the Reichstag behind him. In 1931, the Social Democratic party executive expelled all MPs who had opposed the Brüning regime.12

As the Nazis’ influence increased, the SPD leadership moved further to the right. At the presidential election of March 1932, the SPD did not enter a candidate of its own. Instead, it supported the president in office, the former imperial field-marshal von Hindenburg. This was the same man who, in 1916-18, had headed the Third Supreme Command, a belligerent cabal that in effect ran Germany as a military-industrial dictatorship.13 Von Hindenburg (18.1 million votes in the first round) won over Hitler (11.3 million) and the KPD candidate Thälmann (5 million). He failed, however, to live up to the expectations of the SPD leadership.

It had long been known that the Nazis were making plans to seize power. After the presidential election of 1932, several regional governments urged the Brüning government to ban the SA and the SS. He in fact did so, by emergency decree. In May of this year, however, Brüning angered von Hindenburg when he sought to cancel government subsidies to the big landowners (the Junkers) and introduce a limited land reform programme. Brüning was forced to resign. Von Hindenburg appointed a new govern­ment – dubbed the ‘Cabinet of Barons’ – and made Franz von Papen Chancellor. The new regime immediately revoked the ban on the SA and the SS. These grew rapidly. Within one year they increased from 100 000 to 300 000 members. Under the Treaty of Versailles the official German army was limited to 100 000 men.

In the summer of 1932, the streets became a battlefield. In Prussia alone, more than 200 people were killed in June and July. When parliamentary elec­tions were held on 31 July 1932, the Nazis won almost 40% of the vote and became the largest party in the country. Von Papen offered Hitler the post of Vice Chancellor, but he declined. He had his sights set on higher things.

Hitler becomes Chancellor

A number of government crises ensued. Von Papen was forced to resign, following a vote of no confidence in the Reichstag, and fresh elections were scheduled for 6 November. This time round, Hitler’s steady rise to power was checked. The Nazis were still the largest party, but they lost two million votes and fell back to 33%. The Communists, meanwhile, rose to a record 17%, while the Social Democrats polled just over 20%. Thus, in 1932, the KPD and the SPD together still had more electoral support than the Nazis. Hitler never won a majority.

Despite this setback for the Nazi Party, in January 1933, von Hindenburg – the president whose candidacy had the support of the Social Democrats – appointed Hitler Chancellor of the Reich. He did so reluctantly, at the urg­ing of his closest advisers. A petition from leading industrialists concerned at the growth of the Communist Party also urged him to appoint Hitler as Chancellor.14 In the end he agreed that Hitler should head a bourgeois coalition cabinet.

Thus Hitler was legally commissioned to form an administration. In Febru­ary 1933, someone burnt down the Reichstag. (Most people believe it was the Nazis themselves.) Hitler immediately blamed the outrage on the Com­munists. The following day, he drew up a new emergency decree that was promptly signed by von Hindenburg. It revoked the constitutional laws guaranteeing freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of as­sembly and other democratic rights. The same evening, thousands of Social Democratic and Communist supporters were arrested. Some were physi­cally assaulted, some were beaten to death on the spot. During the days that followed, provisional facilities were built to accommodate all the detainees: the first concentration camps.

Soon the workers parties’ officials, premises and newspaper offices were attacked. It was in this atmosphere that what would prove to be the last parliamentary election campaign of the Weimar Republic was held. Only the Nazis and their allies were allowed to distribute political propaganda. Hitler’s future minister of propaganda, Goebbels, wrote in his diary:

“To carry on the fight … we can call on all the resources of the state. Radio and press are at our disposal. We shall stage a mas­terpiece of propaganda. And this time, naturally, there is no lack of money.” 15

On election day, the men of the ‘police auxiliary’, a police force formed by the Nazi leader Hermann Goering and drawn from the SS and SA, stood outside most of the polling stations and urged people to vote for the Nazis. Nevertheless, Hitler only managed to win 43.9% of the overall vote on 5 March 1933. A majority of the electorate still preferred other parties. But what did that matter when all the bourgeois party leaders were backing Hitler? On 23 March, Hitler asked the Reichstag to grant him dictatorial powers. The MPs consented, by an overwhelming majority of 441 to 84. All the bourgeois parties, including those with whom the SPD had allied it­self to block Hitler, voted in favour. Only the SPD voted against (the KPD members were either in prison or had fled). Nevertheless, the party agreed to support Hitler’s foreign policy16 and the reorganisation of the trade un­ions along the lines of the ‘Italian model’.17 In Italy, the existing unions had been banned and replaced by ‘trade corporations’ that were supposed to represent both the workers and the employers. In reality, this was a system designed to give the state and the employers control over the country’s wage-earners. Not surprisingly, wages were cut following this reorganisa­tion.18 The Social Democratic Party leaders’ willingness to compromise had turned into capitulation before the Nazis.

There was an inherent logic in the behaviour of the SPD leaders. They saw themselves as honest brokers, rather than leaders of a struggle. When workers demanded higher wages or political reforms, the SPD leadership thought that their role was to sit down with capitalists or their political representatives and negotiate a compromise. In exchange for social peace, some of the workers’ demands were conceded. When the economy was go­ing ahead, that strategy brought some beneficial results for workers, at least when it was backed up with a real threat of strikes and protests. However, when economic development was slow or negative, the capitalists took the initiative and broke the truce themselves. They demanded larger and larger cutbacks, so the whole social democratic strategy backfired. The SPD lead­ership had no idea of how to organise an outright struggle against the dete­rioration of workers’ conditions. Instead, they thought that through nego­tiations, they could prevent the capitalists getting everything they wanted.

The further to the right the bourgeois parties moved, the further the So­cial Democratic leadership moved with them. Having brought down the conservative anti-democratic Brüning government, the SPD parliamentary group proceeded to guarantee Brüning’s survival as the head of a minority regime. And when the Nazis finally sought to abolish all democratic rights – the SPD agreed to restrictions, as long as they were less draconian.

What could the Labour Movement have done instead?

The Labour Movement should have confronted the SA and the SS. The Movement had many more people at their disposal than the Nazis had. They should have arranged for armed guards to protect the meetings, the demonstrations and the people who were threatened. The Labour Move­ment could have struck back when the SA and the SS began terrorising workers and Jews. If the SA and the SS had met determined and unified resistance before 1933, they would have been weakened and demoralised. The course chosen by the leadership of the SPD made such an outcome impossible.

The SPD leadership was unpardonably passive in its attitude to the SA and the SS. A network of ex-servicemen (Reichsbanner Schwarz Rot Gold) was created specifically to defend the republic and the constitution against right-wing extremists, and could call on 3 million members. Four-fifths of its members were Social Democrats.19 Also, following the 1930 elections, a more militant force was set up within the defence system, known as the Schufo (Schutzformation). It comprised 400 000 members, many of whom had been soldiers in the First World War.20 At this time the Schufo easily out­numbered the SA and SS, and also had greater military experience. The SA troopers recruited in the late 1920s largely comprised unemployed young men without any experience of war. But the SPD leadership declined to make use of this force.

The Schufo took some part in the street fighting, but never offered organised resistance on a nationwide basis. To the last, the SPD leaders vainly hoped that the state administration, which had for the most part protected and supported the Nazis armed units, would disarm them. On 5 March 1933, leaders of the Reichbanner divisions in the major cities travelled to Berlin requesting orders to go into action. They were told by the SPD leadership: Keep calm! Above all, no bloodshed! 21

Nor did the Social Democratic leadership offer a political way out of the crisis. They collaborated with bourgeois parties both in the government and in presidential elections. Hence, when unemployment rose to 44% and countless farmers and members of the petite bourgeoisie were left desti­tute, they felt that the SPD was partly to blame. The Nazis, on the other hand, could present themselves as a genuine alternative. Hitler claimed he opposed big business, and because he never accepted any government post until he was able to take power himself, he was never seen as being part of the establishment.

The Nazis were able to gather support among peasants, the ruined middle class and the unemployed. These sections of the population had originally looked to the Labour Movement to represent them, but had been let down. The Labour Movement should have set out to win them back. The only way to do that would have been for the social democratic leadership to have decisively broken with bourgeois parties and presented a clear alternative to capitalist disaster. Time after time the leadership had shown that they were not prepared to do that.

The unions were disabled by their Social Democratic leaders, who instruct­ed them to stay out of politics. They were supposed to limit themselves to defending the immediate economic interests of the workers, whatever the regime. Incredibly, on 1 May 1933, after Hitler had become Chancellor, most of the Social Democratic union leaders decided to cancel the demon­strations they had planned. Instead, they urged their members to take part in the national worker rallies that Hitler and his regime organised on that day. They had thereby sent out a clear message to their supporters: We do not intend to fight these people with every means at our disposal. If you want to fight them, you’ll have to do it without us.

On the following day, 2 May 1933, the Nazis attacked the unprepared un­ions. Premises were occupied, funds were seized, organisations dissolved and their leaders arrested. Many were taken to the newly-established con­centration camps.22

The Communist Party splits the movement

While the Social Democratic Party had lost ground from 1928 onwards, the German Communist Party (KPD) grew in strength. At the elections in November 1932, there was not much between the two parties. The KPD received almost 6 million votes, compared to 7.2 million for the SPD. The KPD was part of the Third International, the Comintern, which had been founded after the Russian revolution, and the party attracted many workers who were hoping to build a better society. But the KPD made the insane mistake of branding social democracy as the twin of fascism, and thus split the Labour Movement. This was another important factor in Hitler’s success.

To understand why the KPD behaved as it did, we must look at what hap­pened in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s.

When the revolution triumphed in Russia, the country was the most under-developed in Europe. The great majority of the population were peasants, and most could neither read nor write. A civil war broke out in which the anti-government forces were backed by many foreign armies, including British, French, American, Canadian, Australian, Japanese, Italian, Roma­nian, Greek, Serbian, Polish, Chinese, and other troops. A blockade was imposed and everything possible was done to bring down the new regime. They failed, as the vast majority of Russians approved of the land distribu­tion programme and the new government’s other reforms. The capitalists and the big landowners were unable to regain control of the economy, but the Soviet Union degenerated in political terms.

The Bolsheviks, who dominated the new government, held that the success of socialism in Russia was dependent on the revolution spreading to the in­dustrialised countries, so that help could be enlisted in that quarter. But the German revolution fell through. This, together with scarcity and poverty, war and exhaustion, meant that a bureaucracy was able to wrest political power from the working class in Russia. To a great extent, this bureaucracy was comprised of people who had never been socialists, among them many who had worked in the old Czarist administration. They now joined the Communist Party and set out to reclaim their privileged positions, this time under a new regime. These officials and careerists were headed by Joseph Stalin. In return for their loyalty, Stalin offered people nice homes, better goods in their own shops and holidays by the Black Sea. Socialist democ­racy was replaced by a monstrous dictatorship.

This dictatorship was not a logical consequence of the revolution but a ter­rible defeat for it. Hundreds of thousands of revolutionaries were purged, sent to labour camps and murdered. The reign of terror that developed in the 1930s, involving the widespread use of informers, show trials, concen­ tration camps and mass killings, was indescribable. All leading Bolsheviks that Stalin considered a threat to his position were ousted and subsequently forfeited their lives.

Lenin had become seriously ill as early as May 1922 and left the political arena after suffering a second stroke in March 1923. Before he died in Janu­ary 1924, he warned people about Stalin. Leon Trotsky – who had been head of the key Petrograd Soviet in both 1905 and 1917, a minister of the first socialist government and the architect of the Red Army’s defeat of the counter-revolutionary forces – was the person who took up the ideological battle against Stalin. He was thrown out of the party, banished from the country and finally murdered by a supporter of Stalin in Mexico in 1940.

In order to subdue the working class, and begin to exterminate almost the entire generation of Bolsheviks that had participated in the October Revolution, Stalin enlisted the support of the peasants, above all of the rich peasants (known as kulaks), and of the petite bourgeoisie. In return, he saw to it that their conditions improved. After a few years, however, they had become strong enough to pose a threat to Stalin himself. The situation came to a head in 1928 when the peasants refused to deliver their crops to the cities. Industrial development had been neglected, so the peasants had nothing to buy for the money they earned from their produce.

At a stroke, Stalin changed course. Industrialisation was now to proceed with all haste, while the kulaks’ land was taken from them and they were forced to work in collectives. Stalin rediscovered the rhetoric of the revolu­tion, and used it as part of the campaign against the kulaks. This rhetoric also had an international dimension. Stalin decided that the workers’ strug­gle worldwide had entered a ‘third period’. The first had been the wave of revolutionary struggle that had occurred in the wake of the First World War; the second had been the period of stabilisation that followed; and a new phase had now started during which the workers should immediately fight for power, regardless of whether they were ready or not.

The policies of the KPD, like those of other Communist parties, were con­trolled by Moscow, so the German Communists prepared to do battle. On the direct orders of Stalin and those around him, they singled out the Social Democrats – or the Social Fascists, as they called them – as the chief enemy. It was, after all, the SPD and not the Nazis who held government office in Germany until 1933.

Like the SPD, the KPD had a military force at its disposal. It was called the Red Front (Rotfront), and numbered around 100 000 men. On occasion, these Communist militia attacked Social Democratic workers (sometimes together with Nazis). Incredibly, in 1931 the KPD came out in support of a regional referendum called by the Nazis. The referendum was directed against the Social Democratic regional government in Prussia. The KPD’s handling of the situation was disastrous, and totally at odds with the policy advocated by the Comintern during the early years of its existence. Under the Comintern’s original policy, the fledgling Communist parties were to seek a united front with the Social Democratic parties on specific issues where they could work together. The actions of the KPD in 1931 destroyed any possibility of a united front against the Nazis.

The working class did not support Hitler

The leaders of both the SPD and the KPD thought Nazism was only a temporary phenomenon that would fade away before long. The Commu­nist leadership argued that the victory of Nazism would expose the true character of capitalism and lead to a proletarian revolution. They failed to realise that a total ban on all freedom of organisation, of expression and of the press would leave the working class completely defenceless. It made collective resistance impossible for years to come. The Social Democratic leadership, like many among the liberal bourgeoisie, believed that the Na­zis could be persuaded to settle down and pursue a more normal political course after a period in power.

The Nazis never won the endorsement of the working class, although some workers in small businesses in rural areas supported them. In his book on the 1933 election, Stefan Svensson comments: “The Labour Movement is largely immune to Nazi propaganda. The opposite is the case among the bourgeois parties.”23 The attempts by the Nazis to set up their own union organisations with the aid of both threats and financial backing from Ger­man industry did not bear fruit until long after Hitler’s rise to power. In the union elections to factory committees in 1933, the Nazi union organisa­tion, the NSBO, won only 3% of the votes, despite the fact that Hitler was already Chancellor.24

Among the workers, there was a solid potential for anti-fascist struggle. A report from the International Left Opposition (a group of Communists, in­cluding Trotsky, that opposed Stalin) in Germany in September 1932 noted: “In many places, actual united fronts are to be found. In the street fighting the Communists now run to the aid of the embattled Reichsbanner troops and Socialists, and vice versa. Through the formation of these united fronts in the streets, the Nazis have been repulsed. Indeed, the street fighting has shown that the Nazis are at a disadvantage as their uniform gives them away and they are young people unused to military tactics, while the Socialists and Communists can fire from under cover and their ranks contain multi­tudes of trained and tested soldiers.”25

The leaders of the German Labour Movement – both the KPD and the SPD – could have acted to stop Hitler, but they refused to join forces to fight Nazism, and were passive. The SPD leadership had made the mistake of trusting the state to deal with the Nazis, while the KPD leadership com­plied with Stalin’s directives and did not view the Nazis as a genuine threat. The leaders of the German Labour Movement were not prepared to let the working class wage an independent struggle, with its own methods and policies, against Hitler. And so the working class had to capitulate without having had the possibility of offering any substantial resistance. This is the worst kind of defeat. If one fights and loses, one can at least learn from one’s mistakes and move on. If one fails to engage the enemy, there is noth­ing one can learn and no way forward.

Labour Movement leaders internationally made exactly the same mistakes when they fought against the Nazis invading armies as their German col­leagues had done when they had faced Nazi thugs in Germany. They bowed down to the bourgeoisie and to Stalin. They accepted their own bourgeoi­ sie’s or Stalin’s goals and methods for fighting Hitler. This was to prove as disastrous for the working class internationally, as it had been for the work­ing class in Germany.

1 The republic that replaced the German empire took its name from the town where the members of the Reichstag assembled – Weimar,.

2 Catalogue of the Stockholm exhibition Deutschland, Deutschland, 1979

3 www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERroehm.htm

4 www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERkirdorf.htm

5 Daniel Guerin: Fascism and Big Business, 1973

6 Frank Hirschfeldt: Catalogue of the Stockholm exhibition, Deutschland, Deutschland, 1979

7 ibid

8 Charles Bettelheim: L’Economie allemande sous le nazisme, 1946

9 Franz Neumann: Behemoth: The structure and practice of national socialism, 1963

10 Klaus Drobisch: Monopole und Staat in Deutschland, 1966

11 Stefan Svensson: Tyskland – en spegling av Europa, 1992

12 Foreword by Lars Lundström to the 1983 Swedish edition of Leo Trotsky’s The Struggle

Against Fascism in Germany

13 http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/F/firstworldwar/index_glossary.html

14 www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERnazi.htm

15 Daniel Guerin: Fascism and Big Business, 1973

16 Catalogue of the Stockholm exhibition, Deutschland, Deutschland, part 1,1979,

17 Foreword by Lars Lundström to the 1983 Swedish edition of Leo Trotsky’s The Struggle

Against Fascism in Germany

18 Karl-Olof Andersson: Europa i 1900-talets spegel, 2003

19 http://www.zum.de/psm/ns/haupt_wider.php

20 www.weltchronik.de/kalenderblatt/all/0224SHRT.HTM

21 Fascism and Big Business, 1973

22 Frank Hirschfeldt: Catalogue of the Stockholm exhibition, Deutschland, Deutschland, 1979

23 Stefan Svensson: Germany: A Reflection of Europe

24 Daniel Guerin: Fascism and Big Business, 1973

25 www.weisbord.org/TwoEight.htm