This issue of Revolutionary History has been produced to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the defeat of the German working class at the hands of Hitler, whose victory was a catastrophe for the working class movement, not merely in Germany, but throughout Europe and beyond.
The main article in this issue is Hippolyte Etchebehere's vivid eyewitness account of the last months of the Weimar Republic, 'The Tragedy of the German Proletariat', which appears here in its first ever English translation. Etchebehere, an Argentine Marxist, arrived in Berlin in November 1932. He describes the terrible plight of the German workers, and how their fighting spirit was dulled by the timidity of the Socialist Party and trade union leaders, and diverted by the sectarianism of the Communist Party. He shows how the workers' organisations underestimated the Fascist threat, and, despite their great strength, proved incapable of resisting the Nazi rabble.
To give additional background to Etchebehere's account, we reproduce four reports written in Germany in 1929-30 by the US Trotskyist Sam Gordon, and which were published in The Militant in the USA. Both Etchebehere's and Gordon's accounts are introduced by brief biographical essays by their widows, which give personal and political reminiscences of these militants. The Editorial Board of Revolutionary History has provided an introductory essay and explanatory notes for all the major personalities and events mentioned by Etchebehere and Gordon.
- From back cover