The following extract was translated by Mike Jones from Gegen den Strom, Vol 2, No 29, 20 July 1929, p 13. It forms a part of Cde Jones's continuing study of the range of oppositional positions within German communism. The writer expresses a criticism widely held among the German communist oppositionists, that the Trotskyist organisation showed all the characteristics of a cult, from the time of its birth.

The Master and the Pupils

The Editorial Board of the soon to appear "International Revue", 'Opposition', ie L. Trotsky, sends its German adherents an article "What Does the 1st of August Offer Us ?", that is dutifully published in "Fahne des Kommunismus", number 25, and in which the master gives the pupils the following advice regarding the 1st of August.
"One must get the demonstration called off. The opposition must apply all its forces in order to achieve this. One must call on all party organisations. The demonstration was announced behind their backs."
This purely negative attitude is too much even for Urbahns, all the more so, since before he has read "Gegen den Strom", Urbahns comes to precisely the opposite conclusion as the master, and on behalf of the Leninbund declares (in the same "Fahne des Kommunismus") that :

"We are therefore in favour of the organisation of an anti - war demonstration on the 1st of August"

Just how the demonstration should be linked to the present struggle tasks of the working class Urbahns - exactly like the CC - does not say.

Though on the one hand such a relationship is shown between master Trotsky and his pupils, that the master, from his high chair, hands down instructions that, with the best will, cannot be put into practice by the pupils, yet on the other hand, a letter from A. Treint to Leon Trotsky (in the same issue of "FdK"), gives a plainly alarming picture of how awfully a pure sect-like relationship between master and pupils influences the pupils.

A few sentences from Treint's letter as proof :
"It is time that a labour of clarification under the control of your authority puts an end to a situation," etc

"It is thus impossible to maintain this contradiction any longer, the whole support of your great authority to sanction a group, that ...."

"But then our group must ... receive without reservation the support of your political authority ..."

"Comrade Trotsky, one also lies to you !"

"Comrade Trotsky, we have spoken to you clearly and openly. Tell us our faults and errors."

That must surely be enough !

Return to top level
Return to unpublished articles list Rev 06 November 1997