Hitler Is Consolidating the Power of Fascism in Germany!

Whoever Blocks the Workers’ United Front Is a Traitor!

(February 1933)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 8, 15 February 1933, p. 1.
Abridged version copied with thanks from the 4 Articles on the Rise of Fascism in Germany, The Fate of the Russian Revolution: Lost Texts of Critical Marxism, vol. 1.
Additional transcription by Einde O’Callaghan.
Marked up by A. Forse & Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Hitler has taken another big step in the consolidation of exclusive Fascist domination of Germany. The social democrats whose policy of toleration to Bruening and von Schleicher and outright support for Hindenburg paved the way to the triumph of Hitler are being repaid by the latter with a brutal kick in the face. The Fascist Minister of the Interior for Prussia, Captain Goering, has just removed more than a score of offlcials, the majority of them social democrats. Among those who were dismissed are to be found three provincial government presidents, three vice-presidents and more than ten police chiefs. All of them have been replaced by members of the Fascist party.

Symbolic and significantly characteristic is the removal of the notorious social democrat Carl Zoergiebel, who became so odious to the working class of Berlin while police chief of that city; he has now been removed from office as police chief of Dortmund to which he was shifted from Berlin when the von Papen cabinet was established last year. Several days ago, it will be remembered, the social democratic blood hound, Gustav Noske, was removed as the administrative head of Hanover. Such key cities of Prussia as Cologne, Aix-la-Chapelle, Wiesbaden, Bochum, Halle, Hanovef, Dortmund, Cassel and Frankfurt-am-Main were included in the sweeping Fascist clean-up. The social democrats now have not a single supreme government president or police chief in any part of Prussia. The Berlin correspondent of the New York Sun (2-14-1933) points out with an acumen which the Stalinists would do well to emulate that “Just as the Fascist party in Italy gradually took over the civil service and became undistinguishable from the Government itself, so the Nazis here hope slowly to undermine and eventually take over the entire government structure ... The Nazi move is especially notable in police circles.”

A two-year old child should be able to understand Hitler’s tactics. Contrary to the infinitely stupid assertions of the Stalinists concerning the Fascist essence of social-democracy—which do not improve by repetition in the face of obvious facts—there is a sharp antagonism between the social democracy and Fascism. Hitler is trying every single day to prove to the Stalinist blockheads that while the social democrats are the principal prop of the “democratic” form of bourgeois rule, it becomes not merely superfluous but a direct hindrance to the bourgeoisie when it seeks to abolish all democratic forms and institutions and to rule by naked force, by the sword and the torch, in a word, by Fascist dictatorship.

This is why the Fascists attack not only the revolutionary wing of the labor movement, the Communists, but also seek to annihilate the points of support of the social democracy. If the eloquent experiences of Italian Fascism were not sufficient to make this clear, the first couple of weeks of Hitler as Chancellor should serve to enlighten even the most backward. But the Stalinist leaders of the Communist party continue with incredible obstinacy to prattle about “social Fascism” and the “united front from below”. In its leading editorial on Tuesday, the Daily Worker still advances the fantastic theory that Hitler is still weakening and that the Communist party is advancing all along the line ... because of its parliamentary successes. The parliamentary successes of the party do indeed show the willingness of the workers to fight Fascism; the spontaneous united actions of socialist and Communist workers show it still more clearly. But now less than ever are purely parliamentary successes a sound guage. The crucial hour demands the extra-parliamentary mobilization of the whole German proletariat to crush Fascism before it entrenches itself too solidly. And this is just where the impotence of the official party and its leadership shows itself so strikingly. Where is the movement for the assembling of the factory councils and the unemployed on a national scale to prepare for the general strike of all the workers? Where is the organized movement of the workers to defend themselves against the growing encroachments of the brown-shirted bandits? To content oneself with the empty boasts about election victories of yesterday, is simply lighthearted bureaucratic self-satisfaction or treachery!

The only road for the German working class at the present moment is the united front of all the working class organizations. The party bureaucracy stands in the way of the united front. It is sacrificing the interests of the German working class, of the world revolution, of the Communist International for the sake of preserving the theory of infallibility of the Stalinist leadership, of preserving the bureaucratic, ultimatist formula of the “united front from below” which divides socialist from Communist workers instead of uniting them.

The Stalinist leaders write about Germany in the Daily Worker as if there were years of preparation ahead of them. To read their contributions, one would imagine that the Communist party is going to continue winning over ten socialist workers here and ten there until the social democracy is dissolved, after which it will be the turn of the Fascists to feel the fist of the proletariat. What better service could be done to Fascism? It is not wasting a moment. It is taking advantage of the passivity of the Stalinists and the craven capitulation of the social democratic leaders, to strengthen its own position. It is laying hands upon every strategical post, especially upon those which control the armed forces.

We say openly: The refusal to mobilize the genuine united front of all the workers’ organizations IMMEDIATELY, is downright treason to the German proletariat!

The revolting chatter of the Stalinists about their election successes and the “united front from below” will not help them to conceal this terrible fact. Now is the time! The Stalinists are playing with the situation! Tomorrow the individual workers who have been cut down by the Fascist thugs will be multiplied a thousand times, and under conditions not half so favorable to the workers of Germany as are the conditions of struggle at the present time. The failure to organize the united front is only another way of capitulating to Fascism without a serious struggle. Hitler is well aware of this. Hitler knows his road and he follows it relentlessly. The working class must understand its own position and act resolutely too. It is all-powerful and invincible if it only unites its arms and strikes with determination. Those who stand in the way of this unity will bear a horrible responsibility for the impending catastrophe! Let the Communist workers reflect—and act speedily. Let them demand an immediate reckoning from the self-satisfied bureaucrats who remain passive while the enemy prepares its death-blow!

Tues., Feb. 28, 1933

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