What it's all about

Social Democrats and Communists

- Yg. 1933, No. 8 -

All Pöstchenjäger and Bönzchenaspiranten now throng into the ranks of Hitler. Here they believe to find satisfaction first and foremost for their private wishes. Which means numerically, the appendix Hugenberg, Seldte or even Papen opposite the Brown Army the Duce? The attraction of the largest block will prove itself once again. Who has, is given.

Already in today Government coalition [from 30.1.1933] Hitler is by far the strongest man. Not because of his personal strength, but because of the masses standing behind him and blindly following him. In the new governing coalition after the 5. In March he will be more unconditional auss.

This is the great danger that threatens the German people in the elections. Already it is hard to imagine that Hitler should voluntarily give up his place if the 5. March [1933] the Cabinet of so-called national concentration no majority. This is even less conceivable if the elections significantly strengthen Hitler at the expense of his allies.

Obvious conflict possibilities appear threateningly on the horizon.

It does not need to be a slogan in a left wing paper that everything depends on strengthening the Republican parties in the elections. Of course you should not pronounce that. The big question is what practical ways to take in order to strengthen the anti-reactionary front.

The supreme principle of all republicans must be: to avoid any waste of power on the left! However, wasting of power means that the forces that are to turn exclusively against the rights are paralyzed to a significant degree by internal struggles within the left.

Some idealists propagate a list connection between SPD and KPD. A newsletter in this sense is from two sympathetic members of the Nelson group, Maria Hodann and Willi Eichler, has been disseminated in socialist circles. It has been determined by accurate calculation at that time that in earlier elections such a list connection the "Marxist Front" would have cost a seat. This is due to the nature of our electoral law. This electoral law obliges all small parties to list connection imperatively, because otherwise, as the am 6. November [1932] of the company State party happened, hundreds of thousands of votes just fall under the table. But for big parties, the list connection they make with each other does not help. It can even lead to a small loss of mandate.

It is not enough that proposals of idealism are born and well-intentioned. They also have to be practical. Therefore, even if the list connection SPD-KPD mood would be possible, it would be pointless. Why should one put his good power to a purposeless cause?

What would perhaps be possible and definitely sensible would be to avoid the fratricidal struggle which in all previous elections has uselessly consumed such a considerable part of the forces of the two largest workers' parties. Or did not countless of their election meetings have to give the objective third party the impression that the election battle was mainly about the KPD stealing as many voters as possible from the SPD, and vice versa? Many a worker, disgusted by this spectacle, was thereby driven to abstain from voting, if not to vote for Hitler's “workers' party”.

Must what has been so far always have to be the same again this time? Should only at the funerals of victims of the fascist terror KPD and SPD renounce the discharge of their opposites?

Today it is important to lead the election campaign in such a way that the voters of the major socialist left-wing parties do not receive the sins of the other party in their main election sessions. No matter how great the sins of the SPD and the KPD may be, any other aspect must be overshadowed by the danger that lies ahead in the near future, the danger of fascist rule. Once it's here, it's like Italy's: Social Democrats and Communists are swept away from the scene.

Blind ideology would be to deny the profound differences between the SPD and the KPD. But both have to realize today: there is a constant risk to their lives.

In the masses of the working class, nothing would seem more liberating and stimulating than if the common leitmotiv emerged from all election speeches of the SPD and the KPD: the enemy is on the right!

1933, 8 Hellmut von Gerlach