[Marxism] How the German Communist Party adapted to nationalism in the early 1920s | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Aug 6 10:37:47 MDT 2019
In my follow-up commentary on the El Paso killer’s manifesto, someone
took issue to my pointing out that the German Communist Party adapted to
fascist ideology in the early 1920s. I had called attention to Karl
Radek’s eulogy to Albert Schlageter, a member of the Freikorps—the
rightwing militia that killed Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht.
Additionally, I referred to a speech by Ruth Fischer that contained
anti-Semitic rhetoric, designed to appeal to fascists in a mass meeting.
In comment #7 at
Radek was never a “National Bolshevik”. In the early 20’s his views
reflected the official policy of the Communist International, which he
represented in Germany.
When I responded that his comment omitted any reference to Ruth
Fischer’s anti-Semitic demagogy, he dismissed her as having nothing to
do with Radek in another comment: “Ruth Fischer was always a ultra-left
The problem, however, is that Karl Radek and Ruth Fischer had a history
together. As Comintern emissary, Radek endorsed the policies of the
ultraleft leadership that had been responsible for the 1921 March Action
that was an ultraleft fiasco. Two years later, a new leadership had
replaced Fischer but a new tendency had developed that was just as
misguided as the earlier ultraleft adventurism—an adaptation to German
nationalism that historian Werner Angress calls the “Schlageter Line” in
chapter 11 of “Stillborn Revolution: the Communist Bid for Power in
Germany, 1921-1923”. Developed during the United Front period, a
correction of the earlier ultraleft strategy, it hoped to exploit the
nationalism that was gestating in Germany during the 1920s as a result
of the Allies punishing treaty.
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