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Carl Davis

Who Will Be the Builders of the New Germany?

(November 1943)

From Labor Action, Vol. 7 No. 49 (should be 48), 29 November 1943, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Allied victories, plus the increasing military strength of the “democratic” powers, which has apparently doomed Germany, have given rise to all sorts of plans for that country in the post-war period. Although no decisions were reported, there is no doubt that the recent Moscow conference spent many hours discussing this problem and trying to resolve a united policy, if that is at all possible.

There is the proposal of the Englishman, Vansittart, who wants to chop up Germany into a number of small states. Other proposals call for re-educating the German youth and children by trained instructors from the Allied countries; still others for sterilizing large sections of the male population.

Fear of “Disorders”

What really worries the leaders of the Allied powers is how to “reorganize” Germany and prevent “disorder.” By disorder, of course, they mean the actions of millions of workers and poor peasants, who would rise up and change the whole bloody system of imperialist capitalism in that country. They are the real sufferers from fascism – not German big business, which has so many friends in the big business world of the Allied countries.

Raymond Moley, in a recent issue of Newsweek, has looked around and discovered the forces in Germany who could reconstruct the country. What did the Honorable Mr. Moley find? Only what he was looking for.

Moley writes in the logical style of a professor. After Germany’s inevitable military defeat, who will be left to rule the country? asks Moley. There is no King and no Badoglio. We don’t know whether Moley is saddened by this fact. He discovers “forces” just as bad, but they are obviously to the liking of the associate editor of Newsweek.

Moley lists six groups which are in a position to come out openly after Germany’s defeat. They are: the Catholic Church, the Protestant Church, the German farm bloc, the “Economic Council of the Reich” (organized in 1919), the anti-Hitler army leaders and, finally, lumped into one group, the political and union organizations of the working class.

Moley’s Six Groupings

Excluding the political and union organizations of the workers, all the other five groupings which are counted upon to reorganize German society are precisely those forces which did little or nothing to prevent Hitler’s victory. Where the Catholics did not support Hitler into power, they were pretty silent about his movement. Their fight against Hitler began only when Hitler decided to exercise control over the church and to take over the “education” of German youth.

The some is true of the Protestant church. Its fight with Hitler began several years after he took power.

In the beginning both churches were rather silent over the persecution of the Jews, the destruction of the labor movement and persecution of the workers. It was only when the interests of the church were threatened that their fight against Hitler began. Their fight with Hitler, however, is not a fight against fascism, but rather a struggle for church rights.

Moley’s next group, the farm bloc, is a notoriously reactionary and backward element in German society. They, too, were supporters of Hitlerism, in the hope that Hitler seriously meant his propaganda about dividing the landlords’ big estates and giving land to the peasants.

The “Economic Council of the Reich” is an organization of German industrialists counted among Hitler’s best friends and really one of the forces that helped him into power. It was a source of financial support to the Brown Shirts. The army, too, even the so-called “anti-Hitler” elements, went along with the fascists because they too wanted war and a German Empire.

Here Is the Real Force

The one element which could reorganize German society on a solid foundation, that is, on a socialist basis – the German working class and the poor and exploited peasants – these are a minor element in the thinking and planning of the “democratic” capitalists in whose interests Moley speaks.

This element, the overwhelming majority of the German population, is the one that the powers fear. They want a reorganized Germany based on groups of the old ruling class because they fear the workers. And they fear the workers because they are afraid that the workers may rise to overthrow the capitalists in Germany, establish a workers’ government and reorganize the country to build socialism.

The Allies are not alone in their fear of this kind of prospect. Stalin, too, fears a socialist Germany.

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