Why is England considered a socialist country

No. 24 - 1941

end of March

Socialist communications

News for German Socialists in England

This newsletter is published for the information of Social Democratic
refugees from Germany who are opposing dictatorship of any kind.

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Union of German Socialist Organizations in Great Britain

The representatives of the German socialist organizations in Great Britain unanimously adopted the following declaration in joint consultation:

"The German socialists in Great Britain are unanimous in the conviction that the military defeat and the overthrow of the Hitler system, the final overthrow of German militarism and the abolition of the social foundations of the Hitler dictatorship are indispensable prerequisites for a lasting peace, the reconstruction of Europe and a democratic one and socialist future of Germany.

In view of the special tasks that emerged for the German socialists living in Great Britain during the war, the undersigned organizations declare their determination to fight for the defeat of Hitler and his allies with all of them, while preserving their political independence as German socialists Available means and in alliance with all opponents of the totalitarian forces. "

Head of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), head of the Socialist Workers' Party in England (SAP), head of the International Socialist Fighting League (ISK), foreign office "New Beginnings".

For the purposes of this declaration, the formation of the

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"Union of German Socialist Organizations in Great Britain", to which the above-mentioned organizations belong.

By sending a permanent representative to the "Union of German Socialist Organizations in Great Britain", the National Group of German Trade Unionists in Great Britain will express the close cooperation between Germany's free trade unionists and the Union of German Socialist Organizations in Great Britain.

The Union of German Socialist Organizations in Great Britain is led by a working committee in which all organizations involved in the "Union" are represented. The chairman of the working committee is

Hans Vogel, 33, Fernside Avenue, London NW7.

The organizations involved see the establishment of the "Union of German Socialist Organizations in Great Britain" as an essential step towards the joint work of German socialists in Great Britain for the tasks of the present war. At the same time, you will endeavor to help prepare a democratic peace that will give a new Germany the opportunity to make its contribution to the reconstruction of Europe as a free member of the European international community.

London, March 27, 1941.

Contribution to the SPD

Numerous party members, especially those who have received work or are in the Pionier Corps, have asked how they can pay their party contribution. We also receive inquiries about the possibility of accepting new members into the SPD. All these questions will soon be settled and announced in the "Socialist Communications".

For the time being we ask our readers in other countries, especially in the USA and other overseas countries, to send voluntary contributions for the publication and further development of the "Socialist Messages". For the time being, the SM are the only link between our German Social Democrats, who are scattered all over the world.

All amounts of money should be addressed to: Wilhelm Sander, 33 Fernside Avenue, London NW7.

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Sign of decision

The "Ides of March", which are historically considered to be the fate of history, have once again confirmed their reputation: In mid-March, the American Congress passed the "Lease and Lend Bill", the law that Roosevelt enables the states to lie in the fight against fascism, that is, to supply Great Britain, Greece and China with weapons and food and raw materials. The impressive speech in which Roosevelt told the press in the White House that England and its allies will receive everything they need, the speech of thanks that Churchill gave in the British House of Commons and in which he gave the "Lease and Lend Bill" as the new Magna Charter, and the numerous press voices around the world calling the law "Hitler's death sentence" have indicated that the adoption of the law was one of the most important decisions of this war. With this law the United States has irrevocably given up its neutrality in the struggle between dictatorship and democracy, practically placed itself on the side of the British resistance, and made itself the armory and storeroom of the fighting democracy.

Roosevelt's emergency program calls for $ 7 billion in shipments, and England can expect 10,000 planes and 400 ships from [the] US over the next few months, not to mention food and raw materials. Even Hitler will not believe that the Americans will be indifferent to the attacks on the transport of these supplies. He must reckon with the fact that he will either have to tolerate the transports or provoke America's entry into the war.

That he has sent battleships into the Atlantic Ocean, that his air force has concentrated its attacks on the English ports, which are seen as the arrival points of the American transports, that his submarines and bombers try everything to disrupt shipping between England and America , suggests he will feel compelled to risk war with the United States - which would only be evidence of how much he values ​​America's material aid.

But just as Hitler responded to the American damn

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His opponents can take it as the greatest encouragement they have received recently, as a promise that victory over the dictatorships may come. What is more, the United States' cooperation with Great Britain makes promises not only for the outcome of the war, but also for the peace that will follow.

It has not escaped the attention of Roosevelt's friends and opponents that he will meet the former chairman of the International Labor Office, Mr. Winant[1], a prominent advocate of Roosevelt's social reform, has sent ambassador to London, thus taking a step that, after Citrine's visit to America, is to be seen as the second omen of a coming American-British union based on social progress and with decisive participation of the working class is. Roosevelt has not only raised awareness of what the struggle is against, but also awareness of what is being fought for.

The "neutrality" of the Soviet Union also appears in a truly dim light. And if it is a twilight that gives rise to the most contradicting expectations, it is because Moscow's policy is placing the Soviet Union itself in an increasingly dangerous position.

After the occupation of Romania and Bulgaria, Hitler's army stands on the Black Sea,[2]- But Moscow was only able to provide the Platonic declaration for the occupation of Bulgaria that the war would spread. It saw how, after a week-long war of nerves, two Yugoslav ministers were brought to Vienna to sign the Axis Pact using all means of blackmail and disintegration[3]With which Hitler - if he did not keep Ribbentrop's promise not to let an army march through Yugoslavia, and if he mastered the indignation of the Serbian people - would find a new deployment base against the heroically defending Greece. Moscow assured Turkey late that Russia would at least not stab the Turks in the back (as it once did the Poles) if they defended themselves against an attack by Hitler. Much depends on whether Turkey, trusting this promise, will support the Greek resistance and oppose a front on the Dardanelles

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Hitler's invasion of Asia Minor and his advance against the oil wells of Iraq will bring about.

After all that has happened, an offensive by Hitler on his newly created Eastern Front is to be expected.

The heavy defeats of the Italian axis partner urge him to act. The position of the Italians in East Africa seems to be irredeemably lost, where Abyssinia has been overrun from all sides, Somaliland is almost completely lost and Eritrea can hardly be held after the fall of Kerens. And only in Libya can Mussolini hope to hold at least the western part of the colony with the help of German troops.

The Axis hopes for Japan to intervene. Matsuoka[4] made the trip to see Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini, and we will have to wait for the result. The Japanese will be tempted to prey on China, India and the Dutch colonies. But greed is greater than the strength to satisfy it, and Japan has to fear the same opponent who pronounced Hitler's death sentence: America.

Registration for duty to work

The British Labor Secretary Ernest Bevin has ordered the registration of all men who have worked in shipbuilding and has further ordered that women between the ages of 20 and 30 have to register with the labor offices over the next few weeks, with the aim of determining whether they are more useful than can be employed so far. The compulsory registration for shipbuilding work also applies to foreigners.

Unemployment benefit for foreigners

A new government ordinance stipulates that foreigners over the age of 16 who did not have their normal residence in Great Britain before the outbreak of war would work after the outbreak of war, but not long enough to qualify for "Unemployment Assistance" and then lose their job Unemployment Assistance if they have been working elsewhere in the UK and are subject to compulsory insurance and are in distress as a result of the war.

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Refugees help England

Lord Lytton, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Advisory Committee at the State Department, spoke on the radio some time ago on a program intended for America and Canada about the foreign refugees in Britain. He said, among other things: "We have now created a position where most of these foreigners who want our victory in this war are given an opportunity they so desire, an opportunity to help out. They serve in the British Engineer Corps Army The first companies of foreign pioneers served with honors in France last spring.

Men of science and skilled craftsmen who have been driven from Germany and Italy by a system that does not allow freedom for either the scientist in his laboratory or the worker in his union are now making their greatest possible contribution to the destruction of that system in Britain's war industry.

Simple people among the refugees do agricultural work and with them members of learned professions, e.g. lawyers, who have no opportunity to use their special knowledge here and who are not too proud to dig and sow with the rest.

The doctors - and there are many excellent doctors among them - are now working in our hospitals. The traditional arts and crafts of Germany, Austria and Italy are now practiced in Britain by men and women who take pride in the culture of their own nations but believe that the future of all that is good about their traditions is from depends on our victory, not on that of the gangsters who now rule those nations, but on the victory of Britain and the freedom that Britain is fighting for. "


Manufacturing costs and postage
a copy of these "Socialist Communications" amounts to 3 shillings per year. We ask our readers to send us voluntary contributions so that the SM can find further dissemination and can be better designed.

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Union of German Socialist organizations in Great Britain

The representatives of the German Socialist organizations in Great Britain agreed after common consultations to the following declaration:

"The German Socialists in Great Britain are united in the conviction that the military defeat and the overthrow of the Hitler regime, the extinction of German militarism, and the destruction of the social basis of Hitler's dictatorship are indispensable conditions for a permanent peace, for the reconstruction of Europe and for a democratic and Socialist Germany. With regard to the special tasks confronting German Socialists in Great Britain during the war, the undersigned organizations reaffirm - preserving their political independence as German Socialists - their common resolution to carry on the struggle for the defeat of Hitler and his allies with all the means at their disposal and as allies of all opponents of the totalitarian forces. "

Board of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
Head of the Socialist Labor Party in England (SAP)
Board of the International Socialist Combat League (ISK)
Foreign office "New beginnings".

The Trade Union Center for German Workers in Great Britain will demonstrate the close co-operation of the free German Trade Unionists with the "Union of German Socialist organization in Great Britain" by delegating a permanent representative into this Union. A Working Committee will direct the affairs to the Union. All organizations which take part in the Union will be represented in this committee. The chairman of the Working Committee is:

Hans Vogel, 3, Fernside Avenue, London, NW 7

(The full report is published on p.1 of this issue).

Communist "history"

"Even after Hitler came to power, the German Social Democratic leaders vowed their loyalty to Hitler. German Social Democracy joined in the unanimous vote of confidence in the Hitler Government's resolution in the Reichstag in May, 1933."

That is stated in the Communist journal "Labor Monthly"[5] of March, 1941. It is just another Communist slander, one of their favorite denounciations of Anti-Nazis.

The truth is: that the Social Democratic members of the Reichstag were the only members of the German Parliament

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who dared to vote against Hitler in May [!], 1933, that Otto Wels, the Social Democratic leader, made a speech to which Hitler had to listen and in which Wels used those famous words: "You can take our liberty and life but not our honor." Neither can the Communists.

Socialist refugees study American Labor

During the recent months a great number of socialist refugees from the European Continent arrived in USA. Many of them were leading members of the Socialist parties or of the Trade Unions of their respective countries: Austria, Germany, Czechoslovakia, France, Poland, Norway etc. But in spite of their experience in Socialist policy they often feel that American Labor is in many ways different from the workers' movements of Europe. We may add that a similar feeling with regard to British Labor is frequently confessed by Socialist refugees from the Continent who came over to Great Britain. It is for this reason too that we like to mention the efforts of the "American Labor Education Service", a big educational institution with headquarters at New York, which established a class for foreign Socialists in order to enable them to discuss Socialism in general and to study American Labor in particular. - Once a week, for about three months, some hundred European Socialists now in USA, have been attending this class. Mrs. Toni Sender, for 13 years Social Democratic member of the Reichstag, is their teacher.

She is well qualified for this job, since she was editor of an instructive paper for German metal-workers who acted as works council (Betriebsräte), and then editor of the "Frauenwelt"[6], the leading women's journal of the German Social Democratic party until 1933, and she has been in USA for many years. The lessons and discussions are held in English, and some prominent American Trade Unionists were prepared to act as instructors and as leaders of discussions. - The American Labor weekly "PM"[7] published an illustrated report on this class. The conclusion of this report was as follows:

"These men and women, avidly probing American labor history, anxious to stem Fascism here as well as await its fall abroad ... don't believe in 'Coming to terms' with Hitler, still cling to the faith that a free labor movement will return to Europe, hitch their wagons to the star of Britain. "

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The SPD and the war against Hitler

When war broke out

"The war began with a criminal attack by Hitler. At this historical moment, the executive committee of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) addresses the German people and the whole world. It is the last body that still belongs to the social democratic mass organization in Germany itself - The whole guilt for the monstrous crime against peace and humanity rests on Hitler and his system.The annihilation of freedom and the destruction of world peace were the content of National Socialist policy from the start. The overthrow of Hitler is therefore the goal for which we will fight together with all democratic forces in Europe. Hitler and the new German militarism are one. Defeat and the ultimate overcoming of this militarism are the prerequisites for peace and the reorganization of Europe. As an allied force on the side of all opponents of Hitler who fight for freedom and the culture of Europe, we will work in this spirit in the war. - A peace that redresses Hitler's acts of violence, puts an end to the totalitarian system and restores justice and freedom to the German people and all raped peoples is the goal of our policy. "

(Call of the executive committee of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) drawn by Otto Wels and Hans Vogel, Paris, September 1, 1939)

Poland and Czechoslovakia

"Today our eyes are turned to the Polish and Czech people. The acts of violence of the Nazi regime against these peoples scream to heaven. We cannot believe that the German people know these crimes and accept them in silence or even approve of them ... Both peoples , Poles and Czechs are being robbed and looted, and Hitler's aim is to deal the fatal blow through mass murders, the physical destruction of their cultural leaders and the suppression of their entire intellectual life, in order to resolve the Polish and Czech issues that he can say: "There are no more Czech people."

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The extermination campaign against these two peoples is one of the greatest crimes known in world history. The executive committee of the Social Democratic Party of Germany has repeatedly raised its voice against it. He has declared that one of his goals in the struggle for freedom is to redress the injustices of these two countries. Hitler's crimes pose a terrible threat to the German people themselves. The boundaries set by Hitler are not final; his conquests will pass; this war cannot end before Hitler is defeated and his regime is overthrown. - When the German people are freed from foreign weapons without their own help and fraternally stretch out their hands, the cry can be heard back to them: You too are to blame! And then there can be the danger that the desire for reparation, the feeling of hatred against the oppressors and murderers of the tormented peoples will be stronger than all forces of reconciliation. - Show the Polish and Czech people that you do not regard yourselves as their enemies, but as their allies in the struggle for the freedom of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Germany. "

(Call of the SPD executive committee from the end of January 1940)[8]

Germany's future

At the last meeting of the executive branch of the Socialist Workers' International, Hans Vogel, chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, spoke and pointed out that the German social democracy was on the side of the western in this war that was being waged to overthrow the Hitler dictatorship in Germany Democracies. The German social democracy is ready in the sense of its previous political activity to use all available forces to cooperate in the victory over the Hitler system. On the other hand, Comrade Vogel pointed out the need to strengthen the conviction of the 'other Germany' that the aim of this war, which Hitler was responsible for, is not the division of Germany by the Western powers, but that it is their aim, a free one

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and incorporate trustworthy Germany into the society of free peoples. We German Social Democrats never wanted to free the German people from oppression with the help of foreign weapons. But now that Hitler's aggressive policy has led to war, it must be the goal of all honest democracies and socialists to pursue a policy of war and peace goals that prevents Hitler from isolating his opponents at home and resisting his regime through the To cripple allegations of alleged plans to exterminate his military opponents. The existence of a viable Germany is one of the most important prerequisites for a lasting European peace. "

(Report of the "Sozialistische Mitteilungen", April 4, 1940).

Denmark and Norway

"We raise our voices against the new crimes of Hitler. Again two peoples are suffering from a criminal attack by the military power of the Hitler government. Denmark had to capitulate to Hitler's threats of annihilation. Norway heroically defends its freedom against the invaders.

In both countries, governments led by social democrats have worked on the peaceful promotion of the prosperity of their peoples, they have loudly committed themselves to pacifist principles and conducted their policies accordingly. Nothing was further from them than the thought of violence. If ever governments have stubbornly pursued a policy of absolute will for peace and the absolute will to neutrality, it is the governments of these two countries. Nevertheless, Hitler invaded these two countries.

We are outraged to see how these acts of violence destroy what free peoples have created in peaceful construction. We are horrified to see that these new crimes are further desecrating the names of the German people. Our sympathy goes out to all peoples who suffer from the crimes of Hitler.

We say to the German people: The attack on Denmark and Norway is an infamous act of violence. The blood sacrifices that Germany brings fall for a shameful cause.

German people! The well-being and the future of Germany demand disobedience, resistance and indignation against them

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ruling gang of criminals. Rise up to fight for freedom! "

(Appeal by the SPD executive committee, Paris, April 20, 1940).[9]

Raid in the west

"Hitler invaded Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. His planes bombed open cities in Holland, Belgium and France. Civilians were killed, Hitler started an all-out war. The invaded countries called on the Allies for help. The Allies are determined to to fight with all your might to the final victory and to return every blow. What is to come is Hitler's work, the fault of the criminal to whose rule you have been subject for seven long years. You have been deceived and misled. You will You are given reasons to justify this crime by Hitler, but these reasons are false. Hitler tells you that the struggle that begins now will decide the fate of the German people for the next 1000 years If you take part in this fight for Hitler, if you are complicit in his crime, then: woe to Germany! That is why we say to all of you: to the S. Soldiers at the front and in the stage, to the men and women in the ammunition factories, to the peasants and farm workers, to those who do forced labor and build fortifications and roads, to the railroad workers, seamen and everyone who has to work for Hitler's war : Do not make yourselves complicit, neither in your actions nor in your obedience, in your silence, your toleration or even consent. Do not give the impression that Hitler's will is Germany's will. - We German Social Democrats appeal to the German people: overthrow Hitler and save Germany from the terrible consequences of total war! Use every means to resist this criminal war of Hitler.

Participate in the fight against him, each in his place, each according to his possibilities! Germany's fate is at stake.

Hitler must die for Germany to live! "

(Call of the executive committee of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from May 1940)

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Government money for refugee aid

At the conference of the refugee committees held in Leicester in Great Britain a new funding plan was presented to the government, which will be of great importance for further refugee work and which has since been adopted by the General Council, on which the refugee committees are represented.

Under this new plan, the government declares its willingness to pay 100% of their expenses to the refugee organizations, which are considered "voluntary organizations" and are involved in welfare work for Austrian and German refugees (the Czech Trust Fund is therefore not covered by the plan) Assistance to reimburse 75% of the expenses for emigration and also 75% of their expenses for administration, provided that the assistance does not exceed the rates set by the "Assistance Board" (the English public welfare assistance). - If a refugee committee refuses to adhere to the rates of the Assistance Board, the government will only reimburse them for 50% of the expenses for assistance, but also 75% of the costs for emigration.

The refugee committees should each appoint an officer responsible for working with the Assistance Board in setting the support rates and reviewing expenses. The new arrangement applies retrospectively from October 1, 1940 and is to apply until the end of 1941, although the government has reserved the right to review the situation on March 31, 1941.

Changes in the Czech Refugee Trust Fund

On March 18, the previous Head of the Tribunal Department of the Trust Fund, Miss Elisabeth A. Allen, resigned from her post. As a reason for the resignation, she cited misunderstandings with the group leaders and a new reorganization in the Trust Fund, which in her opinion does not guarantee adequate help for the interned refugees. The previous head of the London Office of the Czech Trust Fund, Dr. Betty Morgan[10], is retiring from the Trust Fund and assuming a senior position on [the] BBC. The London Office should be closed by the end of June. The disbursements of the support for refugees living in London should already from next week on

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by post from the central office of the Czech Refugee Trust Fund in Windsor.

While the Czech Trust Fund opposed evacuation requests from refugees living in London last autumn, the trustees have now decided that all those refugees who have no work or no job prospects in London should leave London as soon as possible and to be housed in hostels in the countryside.

Another decision of the trustees is that the work of the groups should be significantly restricted and separated from that of the trust fund. Conditions are set for the groups to continue working, and negotiations are currently in progress about their acceptance or rejection by the groups.

The work of the Socialist Tribunal Committee

The advisory committee set up to support applications for the release of interned German socialists and trade unionists has been working for six months now, and its formation, in agreement with the Labor Party, was reported in the "Socialist Communications" of October 1, 1940. The weekly meetings of the committee were regularly attended by: Otto Kahn-Freund[11] as chairman, Wilhelm Sander as representative of the SPD, Willi Eichler[12] as representative of the "Socialist Working Group", Willi Derkow[13] and later Hans Gottfurcht as representative of the free trade unions and Gerhard Gleissberg as secretary. In many individual cases, members of the further expert advisory board (panel) were either interviewed personally, asked for written reports or consulted. The committee has so far been asked for information in 105 cases by the "Interned Enemy Aliens Tribunal" (which has discussed around 500 applications for release under Category 19 of the White Paper). In the majority of cases positive information has been given and in almost all of these cases they have already been released. In numerous other cases, other sources of information or references could be shown to the tribunal. The information from the committee was usually given in writing within a few days, but in some cases queries or discussions were found

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the chairman of the tribunal as necessary.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Sir Cecil Hurst, Miss Mary Sutherland in her capacity as Member of the Tribunal, and Mr. Douglas Lowe[14], the secretary of the tribunal, through personal contact, willing information and interventions in the home office (in the event of delays or misunderstandings), thankfully encouraged the cooperation with the committee.

The "Interned Enemy Aliens Tribunal" is now also dealing with applications for release under category 23 of the white paper and sometimes asks the committee in these cases, which has therefore decided to continue its work as long as there is a need to do so.

Released from internment

up to the last week of March 84% of the interned German socialists and trade unionists, including the first "war refugees", i. H. those who came to England from Belgium, Holland and Norway during the war and were interned here.

Of the 47 interned members of the Sander group in the Czech Refugee Trust Fund, 35 have now been released. Of the remaining 12, 7 are still in overseas and 2 with the new repatriation of internees from Canada, which arrived in England at the beginning of March and numbered more than 200 men. The largest number of returnees are currently still on the Isle of Man, but their early release is expected.

A number of internment camps, including Huyton Camp near Liverpool, Lingfield Camp near London and Central Camp on the Isle of Man, were disbanded in early March. Those who were still interned there were mostly taken to Hutchinson Camp and Onchan Camp near Douglas, Isle of Man.

The government has proposed that Parliament pass a law to enable Sir Oswald Mosley and the other interned British Fascists to be transferred to camps on the Isle of Man that have been released.


Think of the internees!
Those who have not yet made a contribution to the interned socialists can do so and request a collection list in Room 62, Bloomsbury House.

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Breitscheid and Hilferding in Berlin

The fear expressed in No. 23 of our SM that Gen. Breitscheid and Hilferding arrested by the French police in southern France were extradited to the Nazis has unfortunately been confirmed.

According to the last certified reports we received, the two are now in Berlin.

A report about the history of their arrest shows that Breitscheid and Hilferding had been in Marseille since July 1940 and received special USA visas there at the end of August, whereupon they attempted to leave France by ship via Oran-Casablanca. Shortly before the ship left, however, they were expelled from Marseille and a hotel in Arles was assigned to them as a forced residency. Her French papers were confiscated on that occasion. After long efforts by influential friends in America and France to obtain exit visas for Breitscheid and Hilferding, they finally received the exit visas on January 27, 1941 in the prefecture in Marseille, with the ban on crossing the Spanish border, but with the advice Take ship to Martinique. Even before the next ship left (on February 4th), the exit visas were revoked on January 31st. Breitscheid and Hilferding had to return to Arles and were there under police surveillance for a few days. Despite the police assurances that they had nothing to fear, they were visited on February 9th by police officers specially dispatched from Vichy and asked to come to the "Surete Nationale" in Vichy, as they were threatened with arrest by the Nazis in Arles .

They were told that the transport to Vichy was for their safety and promised to enable them to escape to Spain. When they arrived in Vichy, Breitscheid and Hilferding were locked up in the "Surete Nationale" and treated as convicts. The next day they learned of their impending extradition. They were informed that the German government would leave on December 17th (a few days after the Petain government's conflict with Laval[15]) had requested their extradition and had meanwhile repeated this request three times. Ms. Breitscheid's efforts[16]to get the US embassy in Vichy to intervene failed because Breitscheid and Hilferding are not American citizens.

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On February 10th, Breitscheid and Hilferding were brought into the occupied area by car and handed over to the Nazi authorities. - The extradition demand of the Nazi government was presumably based on the armistice agreement, the extradition of German citizens by the Vichy government[17] provides.

According to a report that we received, a list of around 300 emigrants whose extradition is requested by the Nazi government of Vichy has since been submitted.

The Manchester Guardian dedicated an editorial to the extradition of our two comrades on March 21st. The weekly "New Statesman und Nation" wrote on March 22nd: "These two men were the most capable intellectuals who played leading roles in the German Social Democratic Party. Breitscheid is a remarkable speaker and Hilferding an economist who did excellent independent work. With these two exiles the last shred of honor went from Vichy across the border and into the German Versatzamt. "

Eight years ago - March days 1933 in Berlin

Despite the terror of the SA and SS, the Reichstag elections under Hitler produced over 7 million votes for Social Democracy. Reichtag meets on March 23rd in the Kroll Opera House. The SPD parliamentary group decides on a statement that Otto Wels makes - for the last time as a member of the elected tribune. Wels is warned. 20 Social Democratic MPs are already counted as victims of the brown terror. A center man implored Wels: "If you make your declaration, you will not get through it alive!" At this hour Otto Wels was like his friend Matteotti, who gave his opposition speech against Mussolini in Rome in 1924, although he knew it would cost him his life.

With a firm voice Otto Wels read out in front of parliament - while outside the choruses of the agitated Nazis threatened death to every opposition - the memorable declaration that professed against the dictatorship and began with the words: "Freedom and life can be stolen from us, our honor Not ...". And Hitler, Goebbels and Göring had to hear Otto Wels calling out to them in the Kroll Opera House:

"No enabling law gives you the power to destroy ideas that are eternal and indestructible. ...
We salute the persecuted and oppressed! "

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German speaking radio from BBC from London

is broadcast 9 times a day via shortwave 25, 41 and 49 and via medium wave 373 at the following times during British summer time: early 5 a.m. and 5.30 a.m., p.m. 1, 2, 3, 5 a.m. and 7, 9 and 10 a.m.

The following can be heard on special programs:

Workers' broadcast: Monday and Thursday, before. 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., 7 a.m. in the evening
Farmer's show: daily before 5 and 5.30 a.m.
Wehrmacht broadcast: daily afternoon 5 o'clock
Advance of Freedom: 7 o'clock on Saturday evening
Musical entertainment and news daily at 1 and 3 a.m.

The Austrians in the Pioneer Corps

should be segregated for some time and combined into separate companies. The March issue of "London Information" draws attention to the fears - also expressed in English papers - that the formation of an Austrian legion under monarchist leadership is intended, and explains: "The Austrians who have volunteered for the pioneer corps want serve in the English army. "[18]

A Czechoslovak Employment Exchange

was recently formed following the process of the French and Polish employment agencies in London, chaired by the Czech social democrat Jos. Belina was appointed. (Address: 18, Devonshire Street, WC1). (Negotiations are still ongoing about the formation of a Labor Exchange for German and Austrian refugees.)[19]

We will provide information about the celebrations of May 1st, 1941 in the next SM. We hope that on this day on the BBC and [at] a joint event with our Gen. of the British labor movement, representatives of the socialists from the continent will also speak.

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The national group of German trade unionists in England

was established on February 28th at Transport House, London, in the presence of representatives from the ITUC and the TUC. The working committee appointed by the IGB, the H. Gottfurcht (chairman), W. Derkow, K. Doberer[20], W. Eichler, Herta Gotthelf[21], W. Sander, E. Schoettle[22], P. Walter[23] and C. Weckel[24] belonged, has created guidelines for the national group in negotiations with the organizations mentioned and based closely on the English trade union statutes.

According to an agreement with the British trade unions, every German worker who is a member of a British trade union belongs to the German national group. This means that the German national group will become increasingly important in the coming months.

On March 15, the first issue of the monthly trade union newspaper "Die Arbeit" appeared with a length of 22 pages and with an advantageous layout.[25] It contains organizational, trade union and economic policy messages and essays and letters of welcome from the Secretary General of the British Trade Unions Sir Walter Citrine and the Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation G. Stolz.

Sir Walter Citrine writes to the German trade unionists:

"Our German comrades will not need words from me to assure them of our solidarity with them, but we have given them to them in deeds and will pass them on to them ...

We will and must win, and I look forward to the day when delegates from the restored trade union movement will attend the trade union international's first peace congress. It is your task in our country to weld yourselves together into a solid link which, when the test comes, will pass it.

We hope you will find the methods used by the UK trade union movement useful in your work. A heavy responsibility rests on you, but I know you will gladly bear it in memory of the millions of your German compatriots who are waiting to be freed from their chains. "

All correspondence for the German national group should be sent to: Hans Gottfurcht, 26, Exeter Road, London, NW2. Tel: Gladstone 4929

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Unions transcend racial boundaries

The two country centers of the trade unions in South Africa, one of which only organized European workers, the other European and colored workers, joined the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) with a total of 50,000 members. The "Bulletin" of the IGB rightly writes: "This union these days is all the more important as it is not only the expression of workers' solidarity, the expression of a feeling of togetherness and a contribution of the workers to the fight against fascism, but also at the same time symbolically means overcoming the racial idea ... "

Readers of the "Sozialistische Mitteilungen" _ [and other references]

are not only the German Social Democrats and socialist friends of various groups and refugees in the various hostels of the various committees in London and Windsor, but also those Social Democrats who have emigrated to the various overseas countries with the help of the "Social Democratic Refugee Aid" in Prague or from London. Our comrades who have traveled from France to the USA are now also being sent the SM. In [the] USA and Canada, Bolivia, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and other South American countries, in Africa, British India, Australia, New Zealand and Palestine there are social democrats who (often only after 4-8 weeks) the " Socialist communications "and ask for further deliveries in all their letters, so that the connection with the movement in London is preserved. - In terms of voluntary contributions to the reimbursement of postage and expenses, the following were also received: Gu. sh - / 6; R., London, sh 10 / -; TUF 7/9; Mrs. S. 2 / -; E.L. 2/6; Tr.L. 2 / -; Mrs. W. 2 / -; G.R., Bristol, 5 / -; H.M., York, 2 / -; Se. 1/-; W.L. 2/6; E.L. 2/6; B., Bedford, 10 / -; E.Gr. 2 / -; Mrs. Si. 5 / -; Br. L. 50 / -; Bi. 1 / -; D., North Wales, 5 / -; Montague Str., 6/3; W.S. 1/-. Thanks!

The International Solidarity Fund (German Dept.) was able to deliver 5 shillings to 28 internees last month including 13 women and those from Canada [returned].

Issued by the London Representative of the German Social
Democratic Party, 33, Fernside Avenue, London NW7.

Editorial notes

1 - John Gilbert Winant (1889-1947), 1939-1941 Director of the International Labor Office (IAA), US Ambassador to Great Britain from 1941 onwards.

2 - The German invasion of Bulgaria allegedly took place at the beginning of March 1941 with the consent of Bulgaria, which had acceded to the Tripartite Pact in September 1940.

3 - It was signed on March 25, 1941.

4 - Yosuke Matsuoka (1880-1946), Japanese Foreign Minister 1940-1941.

5 - "Labor Monthly", published since 1921. Regarding the facts themselves: There is an error on both sides. The communist magazine alludes to the approval of the - no longer complete - SPD parliamentary group in the Reichstag for the so-called peace resolution of the Reichstag in May 1933, which the SPD viewed as a vote for a German peace policy, but not as a vote of confidence in the Hitler government. The SM response, on the other hand, confuses the above. May vote with the vote on the so-called Enabling Act (March 1933), which had been resolutely rejected by the Social Democratic parliamentary group (SPD speaker at the time: Otto Wels).
But also the correct representation in SM 31, Nov. 1, 1941, p. 7f.

6 - The "Frauenwelt" appeared as a social democratic bi-monthly magazine from 1924-1933 in Berlin; it was the successor organ of "Die Gleichheit" (Stuttgart).

7 - "PM" [Post Meridian], renamed to "Star" in 1948 = left New York evening newspaper (not "weekly" as above); appeared from 1940 to 1949.

8 - See the corresponding text of the appeal from the end of January 1940, which was published in the "Neue Vorwärts" (Paris) of February 4, 1940. The call reproduced here in the SM corresponds - apart from not entirely unimportant omissions - to the text of the "New Forward" in a sense, but not literally. It appears as if this is a German back translation from a foreign language translation.

9 - See "Neuer Vorwärts" (Paris) of April 28, 1940.

10 - No biographical information could be determined for Betty Morgan.

11 - Otto Kahn-Freund (1900 - 1979), before 1933 district judge or district judge at the Berlin Labor Court, author, 1933 exile in Great Britain, expatriated in 1939, employee of the BBC, supporter of new beginnings, in the post-war period professor of law, among others. in Oxford, ennobled.

12 - Willi Eichler (1896-1971), politician and journalist, 1923-1927 secretary to ISK founder Leonard Nelson, after his death chairman of the ISK, exile in France from 1933, Luxembourg 1938, Great Britain 1939, expatriated in 1942. 1945 return to Germany, 1946-1968 in the party executive of the SPD, 1949-1953 MP, one of the authors of the Godesberg basic program of the SPD from 1959.

13 - Willi Derkow (born 1906), German social democrat and trade unionist, exile in Great Britain in 1939, member of the working committee of the national group of German trade unionists in Great Britain 1941-1945; did not return to Germany.

14 - No biographical information could be found on Douglas Lowe.

15 - Pétain relieved Laval of his position on December 14, 1940. Reason: the closer ties between France and Nazi Germany sought by Laval.

16 - Tony Breitscheid, née Drevermann (born 1878), member of the USPD / SPD, active in the women's movement, exile in France since 1933, expatriated in 1937, 1943-1944 with her husband in Buchenwald concentration camp; in the post-war period in Denmark.

17 - According to Article 19 of the Armistice Treaty of June 1940, the French government had undertaken to extradite German refugees to Germany "on request". See Varian Fry, op. a. O.

18 - There were indeed plans by the Austrian monarchists in exile, in particular Otto von Habsburg and his brother Robert von Habsburg, to set up an Austrian legion of "Legitimists". The Foreign Office, on the other hand, relied on the formation of a battalion to bring together Austrian pioneers from all political directions.

19 - See H. Maimann, op. a. Cit., P. 97 ff.

20 - Kurt Karl Doberer (born 1904), journalist and writer from Nuremberg, member of the SPD and trade union from 1927/1928. Exile: 1933 Prague, 1936 expatriated, 1938 London, 1949 return to Germany.

21 - Herta Gotthelf (1902-1963), German social democrat and journalist ("Frauenwelt", "Die Comossin"), 1934 emigration to Great Britain, expatriated in 1938, 1943-1946 employee of the BBC. 1946 return to Germany, 1947-1958 member of the executive committee of the SPD.

22 - Erwin Schoettle (1899 - 1976), member of the SPD since 1919, 1931 SPD party secretary in Stuttgart, in 1933 as a person who was persecuted on the record, escaped to Switzerland, between 1933 and 1938 temporarily in Prague and Paris, from 1939 exile in Great Britain; had joined the Neu Beginnen group in 1934 and worked on English radio broadcasts. Return to Germany in 1946, 1946 SPD-MdL Württemberg-Baden, 1947-1949 member of the Frankfurt Economic Council (MdWR), 1947-1962 SPD state chairman of Baden-Württemberg, 1948-1968 member of the SPD party executive, 1949-1972 SPD-MdB .

23 - Paul Walter (1897 - 1955), employee, member of the SPD since 1919, transferred to SAP in 1931, imprisonment and concentration camp from 1933-1935, then escaped to the CSR, exile in Great Britain from 1938. 1945 return to Germany, functionary of the DAG.

24 - Curt Weckel (1877-1956), educator, 1917 USPD member, 1920-1933 USPD or SPD member of Saxony, 1933 exile in the CSR, expatriated in 1937, 1939 Great Britain. 1948 return to Germany, worked as a teacher in the Soviet Zone / GDR until his release (1952), then moved to the Federal Republic of Germany. In the rest of the SM text, the first name is also written with a K.

25 - "Die Arbeit" (London) was only published from March to November 1941.

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