'At all events, under all conceivable circumstances, if the German revolution does not come, we are doomed.' So said Lenin in February 1918. The Bolsheviks considered that without a successful proletarian revolution in Germany, the Soviet Union could not survive as a revolutionary factor. The failure of the German Communists to lead a succesful seizure of power was undoubtedly the key factor which led to the degeneration of the Russian Revolution, and to the rise of Stalinism.
This issue of Revolutionary History contains a wide range of material relating to the revolutionary upheavals in Germany during 1918-23. Some articles appear in English translation for the first time: an account of the establishment of the Communist International by one of its key operatives, Jakob Reich; an account by the leading German Communist August Thalheimer of how his party succesfully used the united front tactic in the early 1920s to forge working class unity; some striking vignettes by Victor Serge of Germany 1923; the preface to Trotsky's Lessons of October by the dissident German Communist Paul Levi; and a political appraisal of Paul Levi.
This issue also brings to a wider public material that has previously been available only in a duplicated form: the trasncript of a discussion between Trotsky and the prominent German left winger Jacob Walcher; and an interview by Rudi Dutschke with a former activist of the Communist Workers Party of Germany, who was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Communist International. This issue also includes a lengthy analysis by Mike Jones of the relationship between the Communist Party of Germany and the Communist International during the crisis period of 1923. Each article has been fully annotated by the Editorial Board of Revolutionary History.
- From the back cover