Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line: Revolutionary History, Vol. 5 No. 2
THIS issue of our journal completes our projected two-part study of Germany during the inter-war years, the second part having already appeared as Eyewitness to Disaster: The German Labour Movement and the Rise of Hitler, 1929-33. Ideally, this instalment should have come first, but the general political situation coinciding with the sixtieth anniversary of Hitler’s accession to power induced us to transpose the two issues of the journal. If this has created confusion amongst our readers, we can only offer our apologies.
Controversy continues to rage over the dramatic events surrounding the birth of the Weimar Republic. Was this series of events a failed revolutionary opportunity? Was the upsurge aborted into a bourgeois republic by the treachery of Social Democracy and the failure of the revolutionary left? Was a liberal bourgeois republic a possibility? Were the glaring mistakes of the Communists a result of their own ineptitude, or due to the meddling of the Communist International? How far were the policies of the German Communist Party swayed by the Soviet preference for an alliance with right-wing German militarists, a coalition of the two outsiders excluded from the Versailles system? Could more have been gained out of the situation than what finally emerged? Was the later triumph of Hitler made inevitable by the events of this time? If the German Communist Party had not been established, and the working class had maintained its organisational unity, could Hitler’s victory have been prevented?
It would be unpardonable presumption on our part to suggest that all these questions could be answered by our presentation here, but they are certainly posed if it is read sufficiently carefully.
Updated by ETOL: 20.9.2011