EAST GERMAN COMMUNITARISM AND EUROPEAN COMMUNITARISM: THE NATIONAL-COMMUNIST VISION OF ”THE OTHER SOCIALIST AND PRUSSIAN GERMANY”

Luc Michel

As is common within the national-communist movement, nostalgia for East-Germany is not concealed within the PCN, which sees in it the aborted implementation of an authentic ”Prussian National-Communism.”


THE NOSTALGIA OF THE PCN FOR THE ”GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

The communitarian Hebdo of the PCN’s Central Committee celebrated the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of EAST GERMANY in Une with an article titled ”In memory of the other socialist and Prussian Germany”.

”(It has been) Ten years since the end of the German Democratic Republic. Ten years of capitalistic and liberal propaganda against the other socialist and Prussian Germany. Ten years of misery for the East Germans who were delivered to the colonialism of the west…” as the editorial of ”COMMUNITARIAN EUROPE” comments. It denounces ”the treason of EAST GERMANY” and details that ”Erich Honecker, chief of state of EAST GERMANY, leader of the Communist Party of EAST GERMANY (SED), after eighteen years of heading the other socialist and Prussian Germany, was dismissed October 18, 1989 by the opportunists of his own party who were inspired and armed by Gorbachev’s revisionism (…) As their Gorbachev model, the opportunists opened the way of misfortune for their people.”

The editorial also honours ”HONECKER’s last fight”: ”As for Erich Honecker, he died in May, 1994 in Chile from the reprisals of cancer in the liver. Before that, he was imprisoned by the liberal regime of the FRG and prosecuted in an attempt to retrospectively apply the laws of Federal Germany over him. (This was also the case of) the hundreds of leaders, civil servants and military (personnel) of EAST GERMANY, a sovereign and internationally recognized state since 1947! The prosecution claims also included accusations against them for the KPD struggle against the Nazis prior to 1933! Thanks to the continuation of an international support campaign, marked by the creation of the ”Honecker Committee”, to which the PCN trust contributed, the old leader who was seriously sick, was freed.”

The ”Honecker’s International Solidarity Committees” united national-revolutionaries and national- communist in the same fight.

”What followed is sadly known. It was the ”official reunification”, (or) in fact the colonising operation of the East by the West, where the ex-East Germany was delivered to wild capitalism” adds “COMMUNITARIST EUROPE”, which also denounces the PDS’ imposture in the succession of the SED: ”the irony of history, the neo-Communists of the PDS, heirs of the opportunist liquidators of 1989 and their party carrier of the shameful acronym that they had chosen in 1989, capitalize the voices of those nostalgic of EAST GERMANY, which are more and more numerous, after having obtained the goods and holdings of the former Communist Party of EAST GERMANY… Treason is not always punished by history… »


THE PCN AND ITS COMMUNIST NATIONAL VISION

OF THE ”GERMAN ”DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

The PCN has also précised its national-Bolshevik vision of EAST GERMANY and its ”aborted destiny”: ”For many militants everywhere in Europe, EAST GERMANY with its austere socialism and its cult of Luther, Marx and Engels, will remain the symbol of Prussia restored a last and ultimate time. A socialist State that was raised from the ruins of Potsdam and the statues of Frédéric the Great. Who among us can forget the relief of the Guard before the ”Monument to the victims of Fascism” facing the equestrian statue of the ”old Fritz”, with its Volksgrenadierses from the National VolksArmee, who embodied the glorious tradition of the old Prussian army incontestably? This Prussia that stood against Hitler on July 20, 1944 and that inspired the heroic fight of our national-Bolshevik friends against Nazism. For the European national-Bolsheviks, the nostalgia of the national-communist EAST GERMANY and its ”National Volksarmee” with its worker’s militias is incontestable. (Together with) the cult rendered to the East in our SCHULZE-BOYSEN comrades and ARNACK, and to their ”Red Orchestra”, a moving memory. In particular for the cadres of our Organization that don’t forget their youthful engagement between Berlin and Leipzig and the enthusiasm of their 20 years dedicated to Prussian Socialism. History will yield to justice in the other Germany; the look of the historians (will) change. Facing the capitalistic and neo-colonial vomissure of the liberal order of Bonn, EAST GERMANY embodies the aborted hope for another Germany and another destiny for the homeland of Marx, Engels and Luther! .”


EUROPEAN COMMUNITARISM AND THE DDR

The PCN also appears besides it (DDR?) in the current European communitarian tradition which it embodies. In 1966, one could already read in ”THE EUROPEAN NATION” a praise of EAST GERMANY under the title ”Without the Marshal Plan, the real German miracle”.

Three decades later the PCN, (and) ”THE EUROPEAN NATION”, continue not concealing their sympathy for ”the other Germany.” Its French and Italian editions published a number that carried a cover titled ”National Communism Tomorrow” and the photo of a military parade of the DDR’s workers’ militias.

THIRIART himself, an optician by profession who frequently went to EAST GERMANY in the setting of his professional and union activities, didn’t conceal his sympathy for ”the other Germany” and its ”tonic ambiance.” During the 70’s he organized a centre of the world optics in Leipzig, one of the conventions of his trans-national union, the ”European Society of Optometry” (SOE).


THE NATIONAL-BOLSHEVIK ORIGINS OF THE DDR:

THE ”NATIONALKOMITEE FREIES DEUTSCHLAND”

The sympathies of the European Communitarians for the DDR even go back to the ”first German workers and peasants’ State” and the national-Bolshevik and national-communist origins of ”the other Germany”: the ”NATIONALKOMIETE FREIES DEUTSCHLAND”, which draws its ideological foundations in the KPD’s ”Declaration of the national and social Liberation of Germany”, published in 1930. ”In 1943, the surviving old German Communist leaders: Anton Ackermann, Johannes Bêcher, Hermann Matern, Wilhlem Pieck, Walter Ulbricht organized the National Committee of Free Germany (Nationalkomitee Deutschland freies) under the narrow control of the soviet authorities. This national Committee, which specially had to coordinate the resistance to Hitler, was constituted of a German elite faithful to Stalin, susceptible to take the power upon liberation”.

Anton ACKERMANN is one of the ideologists of the KPD, notably at the time of the ”Declaration of national and social Liberation of Germany”, who wanted to pull the nationalistic masses away from Nazism. Presented by historians as the theoretician behind ”national-Communism”, from 1945 to 1953, he would be the DDR’s ideologist.

One of the foundations KOMINTERN politics in Europe, since 1919, was the desire to bring about a junction between the German Revolution and Soviet Russia. Hitler’s decision to wage war on Russia didn’t put an end to these much older views. Since October 1941, the veteran Communist Walter Ulbricht directed the formation of a Communist league among the German prisoners of war. In a speech pronounced in a Moscow Soviet in November 6, 1942, Stalin affirmed: ”Our goal is not to destroy Germany, because to destroy Germany is impossible… our goal is not to destroy the whole military strength of Germany, because all educated people will understand that it is not only impossible in regards to Germany but also undesirable in a futuristic point of view.” July 12-13 I943, the National Committee of Free Germany was founded in Moscow under the nominal presidency of the general Junker Walther Seydlitz von, imprisoned in Stalingrad, and under the real direction of Wilhelm Pieck, a German communist and former Chief Secretary of the Communist International.”

The goal of the operation was two fold: to prepare for the birth of a new antifascist German liberation army and to prepare the settings that would take control of a new democratic Germany after victory.

The reaction of the Anglo-Americans was violently hostile. ”These theses provoked reactions of distrust and suspicion from the western Allies. The creation, in Moscow, of the National Committee of Free Germany was considered a first step towards a government’s constitution for a post-war Germany, and as a preparation of a separate agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union.”

The influential conservative theoretician James BURNHAM sets the tone in an article published in the Magazine ”The COMMONWEALTH” titled ”Stalin and the Junkers.” BURNHAM perfectly seized STALIN’S gait: ”the Committee of free Germany opened some offices in the whole world under Communist direction.
It attracted the adherence, abroad, of the mass of German speaking refugees and residents: socialist, Liberals and plain German patriots but (all) anti-hitlériens. Inside the Soviet Union, the Committee and its subsidiaries undertook the conversion of Nazi German prisoners to Communism and the formation of special agents for the army battalions of a future ”free Germany.” In August 1944, when Friederich Paulus von, the German commander in Stalingrad, announced that he adhered to the Committee, close to a hundred imprisoned generals and officers became members. England and the United States became alarmed so of this Committee of Free Germany that in Yalta they obtained Stalin’s signature, at the low end of a paragraph, by which he gave up establishing the Committee as a new German government. As always with the Communists, such a renunciation was only of pure shape and didn’t prevent them from anything. The Committee of free Germany is the expression of the Communist projects for Germany. Its program (…) offers Germans a role as secondary associates to the Soviet Eurasians and in the future world Empire.”

STALIN knew the value of national myths. According to his political needs, he glorified some Czars, such as Ivan the Terrible or Peter the Great and former Russian military chiefs as Koutousov, Napoleon’s conqueror. At the time of international tension before the Second World War, STALIN sought the support of the population. He had well understood that one day the Red Army would be engaged militarily-and soldiers without a national ideal fight badly. This is why and in the line with ”red patriotism”, during the years of the civil war he re-established the honour of the ideals of former Russia: hence the red army received uniforms fashioned after czarist times. The war that had to be waged, STALIN called the ”big patriotic war.”

In the beginning of 1943, after the battle of Stalingrad for the first time a number of high ranking German officers, who rightly felt betrayed and sold by Hitler, capitulated. STALIN, together with the cadres of the KPD harboured in the USSR and Anglo-Saxon countries, decided to win these officers over to soviet objectives and with them the rest of the German prisoners of war. They didn’t do so with the red flag of the Communist world revolution, but with the traditional colours of Germany: black-white-red, while evoking the memory of the German-Russian coalition against Napoleon in 1812 and the German-Russian political alliance with Bismarck around 1880. This is how in Krasnogorsk July 12, 1943 in the model prisoners camp n° 27 close to Moscow, the ”NATIONAL COMMITTEE of FREE GERMANY” was born under the united portraits of LENIN and the German imperial flag. The Committee immediately published a MANIFESTO co-signed by the KPD’s leaders and the German soldiers. The signatures of eleven Communist leaders – amongst whom were PIECK and ULBRICHT- stood by those of 16 soldiers and non-commissioned officers, as well as those of 11 officers- three of them high ranking officials. The Committee was presided by a Communist militant, Erich WEINERT, former fighter in Spain and author of the famous poem ”Song of the international Brigades.”

Hitler’s adversaries in the officers’ corps, whose adherence was sought after, followed in September 1943 when ”the German Officers UNION” was founded. Then Marshal VON PAULUS, loser at Stalingrad, general VON SEYDLITZS, VON DANIEL, KORFES, LATTMENN and other hundreds of general officers joined the National Committee.

Hitler’s old adversaries were found there again, such as Ottomar PECH, future general of the NVA, who belonged to the Berliner network of the ”RED ORCHESTRA” controlled by the national ARNACK Bolsheviks and SCHULZE-BOYSEN. Or General Otto KORFES, member of the national-revolutionary group of STAUFFENBERG (his brother-in-law was executed for having participated in the heroic uprising of July 20, 1944).

The propaganda campaign of the ”National Committee”, with its millions of newspaper tracts and the daily calls in Radio Moscow ”to the German people and in the German Wehrmacht”, contributed to the disintegration of the Nazi war machine.

Working internationally within the emigration area of anti-Nazi Germans, the Committee also had some activities in occupied France, where the ”COMMITTEE OF FREE GERMANY FOR THE WEST” (CMVO) was established: ”From August 1943 on, an important part of the political resistance work will concentrate on contact with members of the Wehrmacht, Social democratic emigrants or other German political emigrants, especially dispersed in the South of France; in view of the massive distribution of the manifesto of the national Committee of free Germany created in summer 1943 in Moscow and in order to constitute a Committee of free Germany (Nationalkomitee Freies Deutschland) in France representing Social democrats and other anti-Nazis groups, members of the Wehrmacht, soldier committees, etc (…) The CALPO declares itself open to the combat objectives and to the program of the national Committee of free Germany based in Moscow, to know ”the unification of all antifascist forces, to create a democratic Germany” (…) In the propaganda documents, the CALPO exhorted German officers and soldiers: ”Stop the fight […] Return France its liberty […] you don’t have anything to do in foreign countries […] don’t pick on the French. Don’t participate in the arrests, or in the denunciations! We must save Germany and must bring peace back while provoking Hitler’s fall! […] If you are sent to the East, join the red army!” From August 1943 until the liberation of Paris in August 1944, the CALPO clandestinely published the following documents: 63 numbers of Volk Vaterland und, 25 numbers of Unser Vaterland, 109 tracts and 5 booklets of propaganda. These publications were made possible thanks to the material and financial help of the CP and the ME.”


THE ABORTED BIRTH

OF ”THE GERMAN NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY”

Farsighted STALIN had declared in November 6, 1942 that: ”Our goal is not to destroy all of Germany’s organized military strength. Because all somewhat cultivated men will understand that this is not only impossible, in regards to Germany and Russia, but inopportune in the point of view of the winner.”

In STALIN’S entourage as in the KPD’s leadership, or the ”NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF GERMANY”, there were the people who thought that it was necessary to constitute, with German prisoners of war, a liberation army against Hitler. In General VON SEYDLITZ’s entourage there was also a project to form a German police force that, entering Germany following the Red army, was to assure tranquillity and order. But, following the violent pressure exerted by the Anglo-Americans, STALIN had to abandon the project. Therefore, there was never an ”armed Seydlitz” or an ”armed Paulus” whose recruitment the Soviets encouraged among their German prisoners of war.

Nevertheless, these projects would have a fundamental influence over the birth of the NVA, the popular army of the DDR.

It is necessary to remember, however, that many German soldiers served in the auxiliary staff of the soviet army. This was also the case of the German Communist who had joined the red army after 1941, or the old ”INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES” sheltered in USSR after 1939 that fought alongside the Soviets, notably in the armies of partisans. Heinz ZORN, the first Chief of Staff of the DDR’s air forces, was, after having switched from the enemy to antifascism, a soviet partisan. This was also the case with Rudolf BARBARINO, former second lieutenant of the Wehrmacht and delegate to the front of the ”National Committee.” It is a proven fact that a lot of Communist emigrants and Communists of old fought during the Second World War as soviet partisans against the Hitler’s forces. In the first years of the DDR’s ”National Popular army”, one would often find these Soviet partisans in positions of authority.

In France, the ”Committee” would hold military activities in the underground ? and in the Resistance: ”From September 1943, the CALPO formed an organization of autonomous German resistance in France, recognized by the other groups and movements of the French Resistance. It is only in June 1944 when a convention concluded between the general delegate of the CALPO, the heads of the former Southern Zone and the leaders of the other Resistance groups in the region of Toulouse was officially ratified by the supreme command of Algiers represented by the general Bourdelait. This recognition was very important to participate in the operations in many FTP undergrounds ? that had welcomed anti-Nazi refugees, about 250 Germans and former volunteers of the international Brigades (…) After the liberation of Paris in which more than 100 German refugees participated in the FFI cadres, the CALPO began a new stage of work which in January 1945 regrouped more than 300 anti-hitlerien refugees and a few score Wehrmacht soldiers and officers.” The regional head of the national Movement of prisoners and deportees, C. STRICKLER, prefaced his report on the activity of the CALPO (Toulouse) December 28, 1944 as follows: ”In manner of a preface […], I would like to simply write my admiration for the work executed by our friends whose loyalty didn’t demit for one instant. It is certain that, pursued by the Gestapo and the agents of the Vichy, they fought in unusually difficult conditions, (and) in a particularly unfavourable climate. In the fraternity of the resistance struggle, we have valuably appreciated the courage and heart of these men whose hate for Nazism brought closer to us. We have perfectly understood these fighters who excluded themselves voluntarily from their homeland and difficultly found a secure asylum in ours. We have worked in common perilous circumstances and no indiscretion was ever committed. However, they did a difficult job: the diffusion of newspapers and tracts in the German barracks, a job that no executions or abominable tortures ever prevented.”


THE BIRTH OF THE DDR

It’s the ”National Committee”, conceived like a cadre factory and to which the ”ANTIFAS SCHOOL” was attached, that was to take up the task of renewal within the KPD in East Germany and who, before the failure of STALIN’S plans who we often forget was a germanophile, aimed at a unified, democratic, neutral and socialist Germany, the birth of the DDR: ”The members of the Committee of free Germany, formed abroad by the Communists, were recalled from Mexico, New-York, Latin America, London, Stockholm, and Moscow. For the first time since the war, in Paris June 1946, Molotov rose against federalism and dismemberment, recommending a ”united Germany”. He believed then that the assured result was that a united Germany would be a Communist Germany.”

In November 2, 1945, when the Soviets had already solidly established their power over the zone of Germany which they occupied, the ”National Committee of Free Germany” and the “Union of German Officers” were officially dissolved to calm the Anglo-Americans. But a part of their members – amongst which were officers- went back to Germany in 1945 to participate in the ”democratic organization” of the Soviet occupation zone, under the direction of ULBRICHT. Most officers of the ”National Committee” were then put on reserve while waiting, until 1948, to serve on the armed forces of the future DDR.

It is indeed Walter ULBRICHT, ”former member of the Political Office of the German Communist Party, important member of this Committee and completely faithful to the ”big soviet brother” who was the first, in April 30 1945, to regain Berlin. The group that carried his name, the ”Ulbricht group”, was placed under the direct control of the soviet military administration (Sowjetische Militaradministration, SMAD) and worked in close collaboration with it. The Communists were the first to benefit from the second order of the SMAD on June 10th, which allowed for the reconstitution of ”democratic parties.” On June 11 1945, the German Communist Party reconstituted itself under the direction of the old exiles of Moscow, they elaborated its political program in direct link with the soviet authorities (…) from October 1945 on, Walter Ulbricht propagated the idea of the ”particular German road to socialism.” »

In April 22, 1946, the ”United Socialist Party (”Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands”, SED) was created. It resulted from the fusion of the East-German ”German Social Democratic Party” (”Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands”, SPD) and the Communist Party (”Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands”, KPD). In the western zone, the Social democrats, under American control, rejected the fusion.

The cold war arrived quickly. The soviet and western zones were in fact separated. In the west, the three occupying powers begun to form the idea of a West German entity. In July 1st 1948, the allies presented the ”Frankfurt documents” to the Länderses delegates of the 3 zones. They contained some proposals about the territorial future of the Länderses, a draft of the occupation statute, and a project constitution. It is on these bases that 65 deputies elaborated a constitutional charter in cooperation with the occupying powers. On May 8, 1949, 5 years after the defeat of the Nazi Reich, a German state reappeared after the approval of the definitive text of the fundamental Law (Grundgesetz) with 53 votes for and 12 against it. The law officially came to force in May 23, 1949: the Federal Republic of Germany, the BundesRepublik Deutschland (BDR) in German, was created officially with Bonn as its capital.

Before the definitive refusal by the western powers of a unified Germany, as proposed by STALIN, a socialist state was constituted alongside the FRG. The Communist party (SED) became more and more controlled by the hardliners of the movement and was stalinised. In June 1948, the ”titiste deviation (?)” was condemned by all the East German leaders. In October 22, 1948, the ”people’s Council” (Volksrat) presented a project constitution for a democratic and indivisible Republic. This project was approved in May 30, 1949 and, in October 7, the ”people’s Council” temporarily occupied a legislative post in order to officialise the birth of the ”German ”Democratic Republic (”Deutsche Demokratische Republik”, DDR) and to elect Wilhelm PIECK, first president of the ”first German workers’ and peasants’ state”.


ERNST NIEKISCH AND THE DDR

In 1945, the national-Bolshevik leader Ernst NIEKISCH emerged half blind and overcome from the Nazi prison-camps, where he had languished since 1937. The old fighter did not abdicate and got immediately involved in politics. He adhered to the KPD and then to the SED of Berlin and actively participated in the birth of the DDR, a struggle through which he recovered the ideals of the WIDERSTAND.

His friend Ernst JUNGER, who protected NIEKISCH’s family since 1937, had written, not without irony, that “he was definitely oriented towards the East.”

In 1948, he became a deputy in the Volksrat and later also in the Volkskamer.

He also occupied posts of authority in the Humbold University of East Berlin and in the SED’s ”Institute of anti-imperialist studies”.

The road followed by EAST GERMANY at its beginning was the road of Anton ACKERMANN’s “national-communism” and ULBRICHT’s ”special German road to socialism”, the enthusiasm (?). All was ruptured with the western and the Prussian discipline of the new ”National Volksarmee.” (?) Author of ”HITLER, A German Fatality”, the most radical of the anti-hitlerian pamphlets; he also identified himself with the antifascist ideology of the DDR.

The events of June 1953, following STALIN’S death, drove NIEKISCH, opposed to the politics of ULBRICHT, to resign from the SED. He died in Berlin in 1967.


A RETURN TO NATIONAL-COMMUNISM

AND TO PRUSSIAN ETHICS

After June 1953, Anton ACKERMANN separated. It was the abandonment of the “national-communist” line.

But since 1961 it re-emerged through the will of the DDR, the ”socialist nation” (which was also the name of the national-Bolshevik group of PAETEL, decimated by Nazis for the resistance of 1933-34) as defined by the SED, found its identity in its historical roots. These were its Lutheran past, the popular traditions of the peasant wars of the Middle Ages, the 1812-1813 liberation war against NAPOLÉON, antifascism, the real ideological foundation of the DDR and slowly but surely, the past of Prussia, this other ideological state. ”The socialist Nation”, was in search of its history and, next to Martin Luther and Frédéric II, it incorporated in its gallery of forefathers the same conspirators of July 20th (…) Under Honecker, as opposed to Ulbricht, the representatives of the German interior Resistance were granted a more important place in the collective conscience.” The democratic Republic then represented the events of July 20, 1944 as a ”revolution from the top” under the word of order: ”Colonel Graf Stauffenberg von is ours.” This was incontestably more legitimate than the recuperation of STAUFFENBERG by the liberal republic of Bonn, since the colonel, disciple of the national-revolutionary ideas, vomited at liberalism and became a partisan for an understanding with the USSR.


THE BIRTH AND IDEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS

OF THE ”NATIONAL VOLKSARMEE

The values that founded the DDR can be specially seen in the ”NATIONAL VOLKSARMEE, the army of ”the other Germany”, which also reflected the national-Bolshevik foundations of the ”NATIONALKOMIETE FREIES DEUTSCHLAND” from which much of its organization derived (the remaining coming from the ”INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES” or the units of soviet partisans).

In August 1946, ”The Soviet Military Administration in Germany” (SMAD) centralized the police force of the entire eastern zone into the ”German Interior Administration” and placed the responsibility of the surveillance of the zone’s border to an organization called the ”German ”Border Police”. Both of these were constituted by officers from the ”National Committee”. The following stage was the creation of a ”based (?) popular police” (KVP) from which the ”NATIONAL VOLKSARMEE” (NVA) emerged directly. Contrary to the FRG’s army who wore American helmets and uniform (and Nazi decorations), the NVA adopted the feldgrau stance, the ”stalhelm”, and the parade steps of German and Prussian tradition.

The proclamation of the ”People’s National Army” (NVA) took place in January 18, 1956. The DDR then affirmed insistently that the NVA, a political army that stood on ideological foundations, didn’t serve solely for ”the edification of the workers’ and peasants’ socialist state”, but also ”for national objectives.”

The NVA rested upon a body of politicized officers. ”The officer schools must become socialist centers of education and instruction for soldiers”, where an ideal officer would be trained, as explained one of the first chiefs of the NVA, brigade general Siegfried WEISS (p.147, in the magazine political and military ”Militärwesen”, 6th fascicle, year 1959). WEISS begins from the idea that ”the working class confides to an officer the honourable task of making his subordinates enthusiastic about the triumph of socialism and to instil in them the requisite political, military and technical knowledge and faculties for the military defence of the DDR. Weiss, the general politician, sees these conditions fulfilled in an officer who ”is a first rate political civil servant, that bound intimately with the working class, accomplishes his work according to the working class party’s order and who is ready to protect the socialist homeland against enemies alongside armies fraternally allied.”

The NVA is rooted in German popular, national, workers’ and communist traditions.

The officers of the NVA must, as political civil servants of the ”first German workers’ and peasants’ State”, maintain and personify the ”military traditions of the German working class”. The army Museum, inaugurated in the ”day of the people’s army”, March 1st 1961, (and which is installed in the ”Marble Palace” a castle built close to Potsdam by Frederic-William II, a whole symbol,) demonstrates through German history that the history of war, her war as well, cannot but be ”appreciated in the mind of class struggle” and that ”the good will to defend our DDR must be strengthened.” The peasant wars of 1526, the wars of independence of 1813-15, internal German struggles, the Communist insurrections following to World War I, the involvement of Communists in the Spanish civil war in 1936/38 and the ”antifascist struggle”, especially that of the ”National Committee of Germany” are specially shed a light on in the Army Museum.

Among the historic events forming the ”military traditions of the German working class” the peasant war already more than 400 years past comes to light. It was one of the biggest tragedies of German history, but here it was examined in the lines of Marxist-Leninist doctrine, which sees popular national armies in the peasant troops of Florian Geyer, Gotz Berlichingen von and Thomas Münzer. The ”national revolutionary wars of 1813/15, by which the Germans freed themselves from the yoke of Napoleonic domination, put on an ideal character for the DDR since they serve as an example of the ”germano-russian anti-western arms brotherhood”. During the first years of the DDR, these were particularly effective in winning over some recruits previously submerged in German nationalist surroundings, given that the wars of the independence occupied a privileged place in German historiography up to then. The traditions of the Weimar’s civil wars, of the Spanish civil war and- with a different nuance- the ”antifascist struggles” of the ”NATIONAL COMMITTEE OF GERMANY LIBRE” were made more alive outside (the museum).

The Spanish War holds an important role here. Many NVA heads took part in the anti-franquiste side in the Spanish civil war during 1936-1938. With volunteers from all over the world, they formed the five ”INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES”. The history of the XIth and XIIIth international brigades, where more than 9000 Germans fought, were specially exposed.

Many of the founding cadres of the NVA were pulled to militarism in the national-Communist line of the ”declaration-program for the national and social liberation of Germany”, launched by the KPD in 1930 and which the” NATIONALKOMIETE FREIES DEUTSCHLAND” perpetuated. ”There must certainly be some officers in the People’s National Army who belonged to the dejected Wehrmacht. But they don’t look like those who head the federal army of NATO. They recognize without reserve the controlling role of the working class party and subordinate themselves without restriction to the historic necessity of working class direction of the state and army. They recognized, through their own and bitter experience, the really undemocratic character of German militarism. They separated from it, they declared themselves for the German homeland and the socialist state and proved the sincerity of their attitude as members of the “National Committee of Germany” and in other antifascist organizations. They studied the doctrines of Marxism-Leninism and made theirs this working class ideology ”.


EAST GERMAN COMMUNITARISM

DDR historians, like Sandrine KOTT, declare that ”East German communitarism” descended from the ”construction of the people’s community” (Menschen-gemeinschaft), dear to ULBRICHT, to define the social ideology of the regime: a societal project that also explains the sympathy of European Communitarism for ”the other Germany ”.

“”Communitarism” is only one dimension in East German social organization (…) which permits us to describe the East-German society and do so specifically (?). The political dictatorship didn’t “kill” the society but “delivered” it to a specific atomized and communal, divided and bound world, a world different and similar at once to that dreamt by the Communists who took power in 1945. One must not forget that the dictatorship of the party doesn’t constitute an end in itself, it is carried by a desire to change the world and the regime founds its legitimacy on the values that take, with the promise to reach socialism, the pressing dimension of a terrestrial eschatology. These values are rooted in the history of the German working movement and soviet socialism; they can claim the incontestable utopian dimension of Marxism and can easily nourish or substitute themselves from a religious representation of the world. East German communists have used these utopian dimensions many times for political or religious purposes. They have mobilized Christian symbols such as sacrifice, redemption, acquisition, love and charity rhetoric. So that the religious invades the politician’s field progressively, but also the civil society as a whole, and contributes to the ”re-charming of the world” (?). It is certainly difficult to know to what degree this “belief” penetrates even the party itself. Measured by the tepidness of enthusiasm displayed and by the difficulty of a complete collective mobilization, one would conclude on the weakness and even uselessness of this penetration. Yet some signs allow me to write this first report. If certain rituals of the defunct regime remained as artificial creations whose appliance was a matter above all of constraint, others really contributed to a people’s formation, even about a socialist topic. The attachment to a gesture of contribution that is illustrated in particular occasions, such as symbols and dates in the socialist calendar, can be seen like a form of the regime’s ”success” which, during the forty years of its existence, created shared values, an expression of a real process of ”civilization ”.

Sandrine KOTT continues that “ten years after the East-Germans affirmed in their majority, that the German leaders really looked to achieve a just society” and that ”in spite of the reality of political domination, the teleological message seems to have reached the German population extensively since ten years after the fall of the wall, they (still) believe that the SED really wanted to establish a just society”. ?

Luc MICHEL

Kommentera

Fyll i dina uppgifter nedan eller klicka på en ikon för att logga in:

WordPress.com Logo

Du kommenterar med ditt WordPress.com-konto. Logga ut / Ändra )

Twitter-bild

Du kommenterar med ditt Twitter-konto. Logga ut / Ändra )

Facebook-foto

Du kommenterar med ditt Facebook-konto. Logga ut / Ändra )

Google+ photo

Du kommenterar med ditt Google+-konto. Logga ut / Ändra )

Ansluter till %s