[I S K (Militant Socialist International)
W.G. Eichler]

[12, Brunswick Square,
London W.C. 1]

G e r m a n y     s p e a k s

[Heft 2,
4th May, 1940]

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The enclosed reports of events, of the attitude and feeling of the German people and the German press are intended to help in the struggle against the Hitler Regime. The "Sozialistische Warte"1, from which they are taken, has carried on this struggle for many years and with increasing success. For the broadening of this successful action, the Editors have decided to publish an English edition of these reports from Germany under the title "Germany Speaks". It appears twice monthly. We hope that the reports will be reprinted. In this case will you please mention the source "Germany Speaks" and send a copy to

W. Eichler, 12, Brunswick Square, London W.C. 1.

* * *

Gestapo tells us how to overthrow Hitler

The chief of the Gestapo unwittingly gives us a course of instruction as to the best way of harming the Third Reich. Week after week Himmler's journal "The Black corps"[2] throws light on some interesting aspects of the struggle against Hitler. The opponents of Hitler in Germany need only study the "Black Corps" to learn something about the best methods of opposing Hitler; for these methods are most furiously denounced in the paper. For instance, it is stated that contrary to their patriotic duty many people are investing their money in buying up commodities - a hint to the opposition: Increase the fear of inflation! Invest as much money as possible in commodities! In another issue, cases of people struggling against the bureaucracy occupy a prominent place. What does this imply? State officials no longer find their way through the ever increasing pile of regulations, and, from fear of severe punishment in case they should violate any of them, they carry them out with such pedantic exactness that the public who have to wait hours on end lose their temper. This is a hint to the opposition (especially the state officials amongst them) to carry out all regulations to the last letter - in other words, to apply a form of passive resistance.

In the "Black Corps" of March 28th, 1940, we read how interesting rumours can be manufactured and spread, and also - a specially encouraging hint - how they are really believed by many people. This makes clear the importance for the opposition to use the weapon of the "Flüster-Parole" (whispering propaganda). The whispering propaganda represents a kind of illegal newspaper. No one can be found with it; no one can confiscate it; no one knows its authors, its editors or its printers. The police who try to fight against it, are simply tilting at a windmill. No one can abolish it by any other means than granting freedom for decent legal papers!

Of course, the "Black Corps" is incapable of visualising such a decent course of action. Denunciation, intimidation and slander are the only methods of which it can think. What kind of rumours does the "Black Corps" attack? The "Winter Aid", so it is whispered, sells real good coffee. "Five marks regular price plus twenty marks extra for the Winter Aid" - that is "what the sparrows chirp from the roofs". Of course, all this is pure invention, says the "Black Corps". Anybody with a little bit of gumption must know that the "Winter Aid" - a body for voluntary service - could not possibly act in such a way as to secure advantages for a small section of the well-to-do! The opposite is nearer the truth, and this comment will hardly carry conviction. For, as anyone with gumption knows only too well, Nazis have in many cases accumulated fortunes by their "voluntary" service for the "Winter Aid" and other Nazi organisations. Is the rumour of coffee offered at 25 marks a pound incredible? Not at all. The lady from Dessau who ordered a pound from her local "Winter Aid" at once and even paid the money in advance, certainly did not lack gumption. She calculated simply that to drink real coffee once more was

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better than having the money extracted by the Nazis at some time or other without getting anything at all for it in exchange.

The "Black Corps" wants to persuade its readers, to believe such rumours betrays lack of gumption. It thus tries to persuade those who really have very little gumption that they possess a lot. One must admit that this method is not quite silly, especially in view of the opinion the "Black Corps" has of the general public: "How few people have gumption at all!"

For once we agree with the "Black corps". There are only few, especially in the Third Reich, because there successful efforts are being made to prevent the people from using their brains. But we want to remedy this. We advise those, who want to be more enlightened, to study Himmler's paper with care. It contains much enlightening material. Read the "Black Corps", but read it with gumption! - is a good slogan for the Third Reich.

A big campaign has been started under the heading: "Idling is indecent". Women who have not enlisted in the general "service of the women for the nation" are singled out for attack. The working class woman is praised as "exemplary". In other words, the well-to-do are once more under fire. On the whole they have been fairly well respected in the Third Reich. But the remarks of the "Black Corps" against the well-to-do are calculated to make people believe that it is a kind of oppositional paper fighting in its own way against the upper classes. Housewives with one child who keep a servant, a charwoman and ladies companion are strongly criticized, and also the daughters of certain middle-class families who "close their ears to call of their patriotic duty." "Who goes regularly to Four o'clock Teas, matinees, and fashion shows?" Answer: "Not the working women, but the idlers!" The working women might feel flattered and pleased to read this. Unfortunately they have not time and no strong interest to read the whole paper. Otherwise they would be surprised at the kind of restaurant and place of amusement which is recommended. None of them would be frequented by workers. All are the type that attracts the "middle-class daughters" who "shirk their patriotic duty" and prefer four o'clock teas and dances to the hard life of the "exemplary" working woman. The "Black Corps" stresses the importance of supporting "our advertisers". "Orders are orders." Thus the SS must visit these places and dance with the idlers. - This has its good points. The more the SS are engaged in dancing and flirting the less they have time for their gangster campaigns.

To The Workers in the Third Reich!

(This call to action was transmitted to Germany through a number of propaganda channels.)

Workers of Germany!

The war has been carried by Hitler to Denmark and Norway.

It is his intention to oppress the free workers of these Northern countries; he hopes to trample on them exactly as he has trampled on us workers of Germany and Austria, and as he has trampled on the Czechs and the Poles.

The workers of the North are defending their right to live against the Nazi oppressors!

German workers! You who wear uniform and you who stand at the factory bench! Women no less than men! Do your duty!

Hitler is war, and we all want peace.

The Freedom Association of German Trade Unionists summons you to action: make use of every suitable means against Hitler's war!

But do not allow yourselves to be hustled into precipitate and premature action!

The time is not yet ripe for open struggle against the brown-shirted enemies of the working class. The time for open struggle against the Nazis money-grabbers will come soon.

But even now you have a weapon ready to your hands of which no scoundrel of a Gestapo agent can rob you!

You can work in common with us, we who are working in our tens of thousands to win freedom for the German workers!

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Sabotage the Hitler war-machine by doing your job as slowly as ever you can!

Do not allow yourselves to be driven!

Take full advantage of the regulations for preventing accidents!

Railwaymen! You can cause delay by scrupulously observing the rules and regulations!

Fight shy of over-time!

Make things difficult for the warmongers wherever and whenever you can!

The tens of thousands of unknown men in the outposts of the German workers' front against Nazi oppression send you this message:

PASSIVE RESISTANCE TO HITLER'S WAR! - is the watchword of the hour!

Workers in soldier's uniform! Sailors!

Do not allow yourselves to be used against the workers of the Northern States!

Workers of Germany, do your duty!

Against Hitler's war! Against working-class suppression!

Stand together for peace and freedom for the workers!

The Freedom Association of German Trade Unionists
against Hitlerism

April 9th, 1940.

Russian Aid for Germany.

Some time ago the "Berliner Börsen-Zeitung"[3] felt it necessary to cry down Russian industry as far as the provision of transport facilities is concerned. It seems that this newspaper is still concerned to shed amongst its readers a somewhat more realistic light on the possibilities of Russian assistance. In giving further information about the facts of the situation, it says for example, dealing with a conference held by the Russian People's Commissariat for the manufacture of heavy machines:

"It was stated that the fact that production plans had not been fulfilled was to be ascribed to unsatisfactory work in the manufacture of locomotives. The results obtained in the production of locomotives during the past year not only lagged behind those of 1938, but also behind those obtained in 1937."

In a supplement devoted to the question of Russo-German trade relations, the paper states when dealing with the matter of Russian oil that the borings that were undertaken with a view to opening up the reserves of oil available "taking the oil industry as a whole have not been on anything like the scale intended."

And the writer continues: "In this connection it should be remembered that the late Professor Gubkin[4], a Russian who did much valuable work in the sphere of geological research in the region of the Volga and the Urals, once said that borings were the Achilles' heel of the Russian oil industry. ... For example, only 89% of the production planned for the year 1938 actually came to fruition. While it is true that figures are not available for the production attained in 1939, it is certain that it was less than the amount planned. ... The essential difficulty is the lack of technical equipment and of experts, especially of workers qualified to work the complicated machinery."

It is a well-known fact that Dr. Goebbels[5] has at his disposal an ample supply of skilled workers and modern technical equipment capable of conferring invulnerability on this Achilles' heel, so that with the vociferous if somewhat nebulous help of the Propaganda Ministry the trade in Russian oil will soon be in full swing.

Haushofer's[6] "Co-operative Acquisition of Living-Space"

There has already been occasion recently to refer to the ideological arguments, couched in Leninist[7] phraseology, that have been given currency in the Soviet Union to justify Moscow in initiating action, in common with Herr Hitler, against India. The role played by Radek[8] in drawing up manifestos containing proposals for carrying the revaluation to the East, has also been referred to.

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And now at the other end of the Berlin-Moscow axis, Professor Haushofer, the exponent of Nazis `living-space' philosophy, has been good enough to supply his fellow-countrymen with an ideological justification for Russo-German "co-operation in the acquisition of living-space."

In a leading article of his journal "Geo-politics", Haushofer, whose influence on Hitler is well-known - the Fuehrers deputy, Rudolf Hess[9], was at one time an assistant of Haushofer's - has examined the perspectives opened by the proposal of joint action in the East by Germany and Russia, which he says "is of great importance for the development of German living-space towards the "South-East."

He goes on to say that "a Eurasian policy adopted by a Central Europe at long last geo-politically unified and its axis powers on the one hand, and a re-formed Russian bloc on the other", would have to concentrate first and foremost on the re-shaping of Oriental living-space between India and Suez.

While Italy's participation in this "co-operative opening up of living space" is hinted at, on not one single occasion in the course of the article is it expressly mentioned; he contents himself with the circumlocution "Germany's axis power".

Clearly the emphasis is transferred to the Russo-German alliance. The possibility of altering the distribution of power in the Orient has only existed since "the recognition by Germans and Russians of the fact that their two countries have had to bear the burden and that by bitter opposition to each other they have done nothing but pick the chestnuts out of the fire for the imperialist aims of the Western powers, burning their fingers in the process and doing untold harm to their inmost being."

In this connection Haushofer announces the re-appearance of Radek who played once before a part in the Soviet Union's Eastern policy; and he reminds us of Radek's efforts to make contacts that would help the nationalist aims of the Bolshevists:

"We must concede that a clever servant of the Soviet, Radek, was one of the first to enlighten the Germans as well as the Russians about these common interests; and it need occasion no surprise that the Russians have found employment for him once more, under watchful supervision, in their task of re-shaping the Western portion of their territory, in Minsk or in Lemberg. He is dangerous, certainly, like all clever, intellectual minds trained in dialectics; but we must not be guilty of narrow-mindedness, we must have the far-seeing vision which alone can bring success to the struggle to give a new geo-political form to the East which will be of advantage to all the countries concerned."

The Professor goes on to tell the Germans that they "must not cling obstinately to ideological prejudices"; on the contrary, it is quite possible to work for the re-distribution of territory in the East alongside those who "have an understanding for the work of Lenin", for thus will advantage accrue to Germany no less than to the Soviet.

Above all, Russia would have to begin the work in the Eastern portions of Asia Minor and in India:

"There and in India, Russia pursuing a policy of seeking to extend her living-space, would have at her disposal means little dreamt of by many in Central Europe ... Jawaharlal Nehru[10] and S.Bose[11] would take as gospel ideas coming from Moscow which would fail to win any response from them if they were expressed by the thinkers of Germany."

In other words, the policy of Nazism coincides with that of Bolshevism, but recognition of the fact has not yet penetrated to the East, and they hope both of them to take full advantage of the situation.

Germany and Russia, according to Haushofer, are in no way interested to maintain existing sovereignties; on the contrary. Nevertheless, the "co-operative opening up of living space is to be effected without resort to force, by means of the natural pressure for space; it is true that armed force will be behind that pressure", if for example Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey proved to be deficient in sympathy for Haushofer's "natural pressure for space"!

4th May, 1940

Editorische Anmerkungen

1 - ,,Sozialistische Warte", in direkter Fortsetzung des Parteiorgans ,,isk" in Paris mit dem Untertitel ,,Blätter für kritisch-aktiven Sozialismus" von Willi Eichler im Auftrag des ,,Internationalen Sozialistischen Kampfbunds" herausgegebene Zeitschrift (Mai 1934 bis Mai 1940), erschien zeitweise monatlich, zeitweise alle 14 Tage und zeitweise alle 8 Tage, zum Teil auf Dünndruckpapier gedruckt und illegal im Reich vertrieben. Von der Deutschen Bibliothek, Frankfurt, wurde die ,,Sozialistische Warte" im Internet veröffentlicht: >http://deposit.ddb.de/online/exil/exil.htm.

2 - ,,The Black corps" = ,,Das Schwarze Korps", Wochenzeitung der Schutzstaffeln der NSDAP, Organ der Reichsführung der SS, erschien 1935-1945.

3 - ,,Berliner Börsenzeitung", zwischen 1855 und 1944 in Berlin erschienene deutsche Börsenzeitung.

4 - Iwan Gubkin (1882-1945), russischer Geologe, Professor, nach ihm sind die russische Stadt Gubkin und die ,,Gubkin State University of Oil and Gas" in Moskau benannt.

5 - Paul Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945), NS-Politiker, Reichsminister für Propaganda und Volksaufklärung (1933-1945) und ,,Generalbevollmächtigter für den totalen Kriegseinsatz" (1944-1945), federführende Beteiligung an der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft, Selbstmord (1945).

6 - Karl Haushofer (1869-1946), Geograph, Professor der Geographie in München (1921-1939), Hauptvertreter der Geopolitik in Deutschland, dessen Lehren von den Nationalsozialisten aufgegriffen wurden, Selbstmord 1946.

7 - Lenin, Wladimir Iljitsch, Deckname für W.I. Uljanow (1870-1924), russischer Revolutionär und Politiker, Organisator des ,,Kampfbundes zur Befreiung der Arbeiterklasse" (1895), Verhaftung (1895), Verbannung (1897-1900) und Exil, u.a. in Deutschland, der Schweiz, Großbritannien und Frankreich (1900-1905, 1907-1917), dort Entwicklung des Konzepts einer revolutionären Kaderpartei, was die Spaltung von der russischen Sozialdemokratie zur Folge hatte (1903), Entwicklung der kommunistischen Staatsdoktrin (,,Diktatur des Proletariats", 1917), nach der Oktoberrevolution Vorsitzender des Rates der Volkskommissare, d.h. Chef der Regierung Sowjetrusslands bzw. ab 1922 der UdSSR (1917 bis 1924), Gründung der Komintern (1919).

8 - Karl Bernhardowitsch Rạdek (1885-1939?), sowjetischer Politiker, ursprünglich Mitglied der polnischen und deutschen Sozialdemokratie, ab dem Ersten Weltkrieg Anhänger Lenins und Bolschewik (1917), Volkskommissar des Äußeren (1918), ZK-Mitglied (1919), Aufbau der KPD in Deutschland (1918-1919), Mitglied des Exekutivkomitees der Komintern (1920-1924), als Anhänger Trotzkijs aus dem ZK der KPdSU (1924) und der Partei (1927) ausgeschlossen, später Unterwerfung unter die Linie Stalins und Wiederaufnahme in die Partei, im Rahmen der Großen Tschịstka verhaftet und zu 10 Jahren Gefängnis verurteilt (1937).

9 - Rudolf Heß (1894-1987), NS-Politiker, Privatsekretär Hitlers (1925-1932), Stellvertreter des Führers (in der Parteiführung) und zugleich Reichsminister o.G. (1933-1941), federführende Beteiligung an der nationalsozialistischen Gewaltherrschaft, Flug nach Großbritannien, angeblich zur Friedensvermittlung (1941), dort Internierung (1941-1945), vom Internationalen Militärtribunal in Nürnberg zu lebenslänglichem Gefängnis verurteilt (1946).

10 - Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), indischer Politiker (Ind. Nationalkongress), Mitarbeiter Gandhis, Generalsekretär des Indischen Nationalkongresses (ab 1923) sowie gleichzeitig dessen Präsident (1929 und 1936), Widerstand gegen die britische Kolonialmacht, Bildung einer Interimsregierung (1946), nach der Teilung Indiens Premierminister der Indischen Union (1947-1964)

11 - Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945), indischer Politiker (Ind. Nationalkongress), im Gegensatz zu Gandhi Vertreter einer militanten Kampfweise gegen die britische Kolonialherrschaft, nach seiner Flucht aus britischer Haft (1941) Aufstellung einer ,,Indischen Nationalarmee" aus indischen Kriegsgefangenen in Deutschland (1941-1943) und Japan (1943-1945).

Zu den Inhaltsverzeichnissen