Ernst Meyer

The German Majority Socialists
and the Right of Political Asylum

(23 May 1922)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 2 No. 41, 23 May 1922, p. 311.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2020). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The Second and 2½ Internationals are greatly agitated over the fact that those members of the Social Revolutionary party who attempted to overthrow the Soviet Republic and made attempts on the lives of the leading Communists in Russia are to appear before the revolutionary tribunal in Moscow. They demand that the Social Revolutionary assassins be set at liberty and be allowed to carry on their counter-revolutionary activities. The Social Democrats in particular cover Soviet Russia with abuse because it will not allow itself to be left weaponless against the attacks of its counter-revolutionary assailants. The hypocrisy of the Social Democrats becomes apparent when one recollects with what impudent self-assurance and cynicism the German Social Democrats defended the sentences of imprisonment at hard labor against the revolutionary fighters in the March Action. No Social Democratic paper at that time demanded the liberation of the political prisoners. Even now the Social Democratic fractions in Parliament still vote down the Communist motions for amnesty. The Social Democratic Ministers refuse to liberate these imprisoned revolutionary workers. They even allow themselves to be the instruments of the class law of foreign countries, allowing foreign revolutionary refugees to be thrown into prison and to be delivered over to the bloodthirsty justice of the counter-revolutionary foreign nations.

Some time ago the alleged murderers of the Spanish Premier Dato were arrested in Germany. In spite of the fact that the workers demanded their release and although there was no legal obligation to hand them over to Spain, the two Syndicalist comrades, Fort and Concepcion, were handed over to the persecutors of the Spanish working class. The Majority Socialist Minister of Justice, Dr. Radbruch, and the Majority Socialist Police Minister. Severing, employed the most flimsy pretexts in order to throw two Spanish workers into the hands of the Spanish hangmen. The Communists protested in Parliament against this. The Majority Socialist Ministers declared shortly before the extradition that the question was not yet decided, in order by this lie to avoid an answer to the Communist interpellation. In the last few days an Italian Comrade Boldrini, has been extradited. In spite of the fact that the Italian Government did not make the demand for extradition within the time stipulated by the German-Italian Extradition Treaty, this time also the Majority Socialist Minister of Justice Radbruch and the Majority Socialist Minister of the Interior Köster hastened to comply with the wishes of the Italian authorities. At the moment there are two other Italians, Vacchi and Ghezzi, under arrest. These too will certainly be handed over by the Majority Socialist Ministers to the bloodthirsty judges of Italy in total disregard of the right of political asylum.

These Ministers in all these cases have recourse to the fiction that these foreign revolutionary refugees have not committed political but “ordinary" crimes. The assassins in Russia, who attempted to kill Lenin by means of bombs and poisoned bullets, who with the aid of foreign capital blew up and set fire to railway bridges and food stores in Russia, are, according to the opinion of the Socialist Party of Germany (S.P.D.) political idealists and recognized Socialists who should be set at liberty. The revolutionary workers of Spain and Italy who defended themselves by acts of terror against assassination, torture and the destruction of workers’ papers and trade union headquarters by the Spanish reaction and the Italian Fascisti are, in the opinion of the S.P.D., but common criminals and anti-Socialist terrorists whom the “freest republic in the world” and its Social Democratic ministers are in duty bound to hand over!

By this conduct the S.P.D. again proves that it only seeks to deliver Soviet Russia over to its enemies and to calumniate it under all circumstances. Where Right Socialists are in possession of the machinery of state they never think of using the state power for the protection of Socialists and revolutionaries. They make themselves the agents of the monarchist and counter-revolutionary enemies of the working class. If the Social Democrats raise a cry for the liberation of the Social Revolutionaries, we will with a thousand times greater right demand of them:

Last updated on 5 May 2020