Page THE MILITANT January 15, 1929.
Malkin and Franklin Go to Prison HE American FramerUp System claimed two more victims when the New York Court of Appeals confirmed the conviction of comrades Maurice L, Malkin and Leo Franklin in the famous Mineola furriers case. These two fur workers entered Sing Sing prison on Monday January 14, 1929, to begin serving their sentences of two and one half to five years, Both of these new class war prisoners are rank and file fighters who have done valiant work on the picket line in the great battles of the Furriers Union. Comrade Franklin is a noanarty worker.
Comrade Malkin is one of the pioneer American Communists who has been with the Party since its formation. Prior to that he was active in the and the Left Wing of the Socialist Party.
The imprisonment of Comrade Malkin is a heavy blow to the forces of the Opposition He was the first Party member to enlist in the struggle for the cause of the Opposition when the Three Gen!
erals Without an Army. standing alone, unfurled the banner of Trotsky and the Russian Opposition on October 27. Malkin was not a shame faced sympathizerpbut a soldier who fought in the open for his convictions. He was the first to distribute our statement to the Party members and the first to take a bundle of our Militant to sell before the Workers Center. From the beginning of this his toric struggle till the day of his departure for pri son he was in the forefront, one of the most active, most tireless, most devoted and courageous wore kers for our cause. The group of Opposition Com; munists which grew and became hardened into an iron solidarity under a drumfire of slander was in spired not a little by his infectious enthusiasm and unwavering confidence.
The tragic aspect of his imprisonment for the Communist movement is heightened by the fact that this loyal Communist and fighter for the labor movement was expelled from the Party by the clique of bureaucrats a few weeks before.
Since then they have been very busy defaming his character. They hated this upstanding milir tant, who told them to their faces what he thought of them and they tried in every way to discredit him. Renegade. counterrrevolutionist and sim»
ilar epithets were showered upon him till the very hour the prison doors closed behind him.
The Daily Worker covered itself with infamy by its deliberate sabotage of the publicity. They could not bring themselves to mention his name in the issue of January 7, which announced a pro, test meeting on the case, speaking only of two fur workers who were sentenced to serve from two and a half to five years in prison. His speech at the convention of the Amalgamated Fur, Dress and Cloak Makers, the speech of a true revolution»
ist, and the great ovation given him by the aS sembled workers, was omitted entirely from the Daily Worker reports of the convention.
Those who have recently become the leaders of the International Labor Defense as a result of facr tional machinations have also made a shameful record in this case. They announced a protest meeting on the case for January 7, but refused to put comrade Malkin on the speakers list, and like wise refused his request that comrade Cannon, a member of the National Executive Committee of the and its National Secretary from its foundation in 1925 until October of 1928, should also speak at the protest meeting. When pressed for reasons to justify such an unprecedented pro cedure, comrade Wagenknecht said: The Party has decided you cannot speak. Rose Baron, New York Local Secretary of the D, said: Neither Malkin nor Cannon can speak because of their political views.
When confronted with the declaration that come rade Malkin would attend the protest meeting called in his name and ask for the floor, they called the meeting off. period of ten days went by, from the confirmation of the sentence on December 31, till comrades Malkin and Franklin entered Nassau County Jail on January 10, prior to trans fer; to Sing Sing, without a protest meeting by the D, in their behalf.
Fortunately, comrade Malkin was still free when the first public meeting of the Opposition was held at the Labor Temple on Tuesday, January He spoke there and the ovation given him by the as sembled workers was a warning to the factional upstarts who trifle with the great principle and tradition of solidarity with all class war prisoners.
After the mass meeting a farewell party was given to comrade Malkin by the Opposition group, which lasted till a late hour.
We will not forget comrade Malkin. His dauntI less courage in the darkest hours and the Comr munist spirit with which he faced the prison or deal will remain with us as an example and an in!
spiration to weld our ranks more closely together and battle onward for the victory of the proletarian cause. FAREWlELL NOTE FROM COMRADE MALKIN Jan. 9, 1929.
Dear Jim: am wry sorry that did not find you Izome. wanted to my Good bye to you, Marty and Max, but hope or. will see sac other man. am going in tonmrrorw gt I. rs tell the bunch thai they should excuye me at It.
Well, Good bye, and alway tount on me in our fig 1t.
Ynu will hear from me from my hotel, Sing Sing. MALKIN. Maurice Malfin Malkin Statement Regarding the decision of the Court of Appeals confirming the sentence of 2V2 to years in prison for activity in the Furriers tri ee of 1926.
Comrades and Fellow Workers. The decision of the Court of Appeals confirmr ing the sentence of two and a half to years in prison against comrade Leo Franklin and myself is another act of the judicial system proving its class character and its role as an instrument of the capitalists in their war against the workers organir zations. So our union must regard it and point it out to all workers as another proof that justice for the workers can come only from their own organr ized power. Our sentence, intended to terrorize the workers, can thus be turned into a means of overcoming illusions about class courts and class justice. Our conviction and sentence is a result of the operation of the FrameIup System by means of which many fighters for the working class have been victimized in the mad campaign of the fill: ing class and its governmental agencies to smash the labor movement. Mooney and Billings are serving a life sentence through the frame up sys tem. Our glorious martyrs, Sacco and Vanzetti, were done to death by it. The Centralia prison!
ers, the prisoners of the Passaic strike, the Ziegler miners, the previously convicted members of our own left wing in the needle trades (Furrier Samuel Kurland. all these and many others have fallen victim to the American Frame up System. Now it is our turn. We are rank and file fighters, but we will hold our heads up under this blow and serve our cause in prison by conduct worthy of revolutionary labor militants. This frameIup against us is the joint work of the employers, the State government and judicial system, the of machine, the right wing leaders in the needle trades and the Socialist Party.
We go to prison! as a direct result of this conspirr acy. Every needle trades worker must be made to understand the part of the right wing leaders and the Socialist Party in this infamfius Frame up. The workers must be shown that these elements have acted in this case, as they always do, as the direct agents of the exploiters. Every worker who sup ports them is supporting this class enemy. We put our hope and confidence in the new Amalgamated Union. We call upon all needle trades workers to rally to it and build it into a mighty power for the workers in the daily strugv gle and an instrument for the final liberation from the slavery of Capitalism. In this parting statement want to make the following personal remark. stood up in the court at Mineola as an avowed Communist and in all my activity as a. rank and file fighter for the Union have been animated by my allegiance to the prinv ciples of Communism and to the Communist Party which is the only party of the workers. On the eve of my departure for prison reaffirm that stand. It is in the nature of things that Commun ists should be among the first to pay the price of prison, for the Communist Party fights at the head of militant workers not only in words but in deeds and this must be doubly true of those Communists. who belong to the ranks of the Opposition as do. firmly believe that the Russian Opposition and International Opposition under the lead ership of Comrade Trotsky is defending to»
day on an International scale the true ptin ciples of Leninism, of the Russian Pro1 letarian Revolution. consider my adherence to the cause of the Party Opposition to be an or!
ganic part of all my revolutionary and labor activi»
ty and reaffirm my allegiance to the Opposition now. It is very sad that this support of the Opp0r sition has brought about the temporary expulsion of myself and other comrades from the party, and that we have been branded as renegades and countervrevolutionists by people who have little right to speak about us, In spite of all this con; sider myself a member of the party and will act as such. In this, as in all other questions, am in full solidarity with all expelled comrades of the Op position. We are and remain Communists just the same, Our expulsion can only be temporary and the slander hurled against us will be refuted by our deeds. Comrades, keep up the struggle! Down with the exploiters and their Right Wing Agents! Long live the new Amalgamated Union. Long Live Communism! Maurice Malkin O ARREST PHILLY COMRADES As we go to press, we are informed by Comrade Sol Lankin of Philadelphia that comrades Morgenstern, Leon Goodman. Kravetz and another sympathizer of the 0p position in Philadelphia were arrested for selling The Militant at the Daily Vorker Anniversary affair on Jan.
lith. Only Opposition comrades were arrested.
While selling the Militant, they were attacked by party members who proposed to search them (l) Naturally, cur comrades declined to be searched a custom employed against us ordinarily only by Dicks. of men, etc. scuffle developed. Comrade Morgernstem, who wears glasses was struck in the eye, and the broken pieces of glass entered his eye. He was rushed to the hospital, His eye is seriously damaged, and it is not known yet whether he will be blinded in that eye.
The two sympathizers of the Opposition were bailed out by the But the D, took no action on our comrades so far as we have been able to find, and our comrade had to devise ways of bailing Goodman and Morgenstern out. This was finally done.
Comrade Morgenstem had been held as a material wit»
ness. In police court on Saturday Jan. 12, our comrades naturally, would not press any charges against anyone.
All four were discharged. The comrades report increas ing sales of the Militant and interest in the Opposition program.
THE MILITAiiT Published twice a month by the Opposition Group in the Workers (Communist) Party of America Address all mail to: Box 120, Madison Square Station, New York, Publishers address at 340 East 19th Street, New York, Y, Telephone: Gramercy 3411.
Subscription rate; 00 per year. Foreign, 70 5c per copy Bundle rates, 3c per copy.
Editor Associate Editors Martin Abern Max Shachtman Maurice Spectg JANUARY 15. 1929 No.
James Cannon VOL. II.
Entered as second class mail matter November 28. 1928, a! the post office at New York, under the act of March 3, 1879.
January 17, 1929.
THE MILITANT Page ARDLY had the ink dried on the resolutions of the Sixth Congress of the Comintern which noted the growth of internal consolidation in all the sections, than the racking fever of factional struggle rose to a more menacing degree than has been experienced in the Comintern for some time.
The elements of a devastating crisis are at hand in their full, diseased bloom in the most important parties of the International: the German, Russian, CZCChO SlOVak, Polish, French and American sec tions.
In the German Party the crisis is proceeding with unabated rapidity, and it is there that it has found its sharpest expression. For the yesmen in the various Party committees throughout the Internal tional it is the simplest thing to put their seal to the resolutions approving the official line which are sent out by the apparatus, in the hope that this. will serve to dismiss the issues of the struggle and solve the problems raised by them. flourish of the pen, a few slanderous denunciations in the press, as many expulsions and removals as are nec essary to behead the minorityeiand a new Victory for Bolshevization a la Stalin is chalked up, ale though the principle questions involved remain un settled.
The crisisin the German Party was brought to a head in the notorious Wittorf Thalmann case, Wittorf, the secretary of the Hamburg Party dis trict, was finally expelled from the Party after the Left (Urbahns) press had for months published stories that accused Wittorf of mishandling and stealing Party funds. But we had here no ordi nary case of individual corruption. Standing behind Wittorf was his factional colleague Thalman, the chairman and leader of the Party, who, alt though he was fully aware of the criminal guilt of Wittorf, kept the information from the Party committee, denied his own knowledge of the facts and protected Wittorf until the overwhelming evir dence finally permitted of no further concealment.
The proved complicity of Thalmann in the corr ruption scandal compelled the Central Committee under pressure of the right wing (Brandler group)
and the conciliators (Ewert group. to remove him from his post as chairman of the Party, if for no other reason than to safeguard the moral and political prestige of the Party before the proletarian masses. Before Thalmann removal by the Central Committee had propertly taken effect, the Execur tive Committee of the Comintern ordered the Far ty to reinstate Thalmann to his position and at tempted to force the entire attention of the Party away from his record in the scandal by raising a hue and cry against those who had exposed him, the rights and conciliators, The Comintern magi nanimously excused Thalmann by saying that his silence had been in the interests of the Party, that he had tried to prevent the crippling of the cruiser campaign that would follow the Wittorf expos ure.
But the facts entirely reject such an apology for this German agent of Stalin faction. Thalmann not only knew of Wittorf peculations prior to the beginning of the Cruiser campaign but, armed with this very knowledge of VVittorf guilt he had proposed him, in the Spring of 1928, as Part ty candidate for the Reichstag. Moreover, Thalr man not only continued to maintain factional con)
nections, and hold meetings with Wittorf after the latter expulsion, but he had himself partaken of the orgiastic fruits of Wittorf thieving.
Above all, the Comintern failed to explain since when it is proper for any individual to take upon himself the responsibility of protecting the Party or its campaign without consulting with or informing the proper committee of his self«sacri»
ficing and heroic intentions.
The demoralizing effect of the rehabilitation (by decree only. of Thalmann was accompanied by a violent campaign of denunciation and atr tack upon the Brandler Thalheimer group and the Ewert«Gerhard group of conciliators, in short, by the spurious and hypocritical campaign against the right danger whose existence was only yes te rday so vigorously denied by the spokesmen of the International.
This campaign could not hide the bitter facts of the alarming state of affairs in the German Party. Not only in Hamburg, but in other sections on the Party also similar cases were dis, covered cases of material corruption which were the expression of the political corruption, which, under the Stalin Bucharin regime; is eating the The Crisis in the German Party heart out of the Communist Parties everywhere.
What the Stalin leadership of the Comintern fear fully refused to recognize is that material corrupr tion flows from a condition where the Party func tionaries, appointed in one way or another from above, easily and lightrmindeclly succumb to ma: terial temptations because they realize that there is no control from below, from the ranks. Because they realize that the worker in the ranks has less and less to say about the policies or leadership of his Party, Because they realize that an uncomr plaining and unquestioning readiness on their part to beat the drums for the faction in control; the easyrgoing levity with which they undersign such crimes as the decapitation, imprisonmentgand exile of the Russian Opposition, the Chinese and Bria tish policies of Stalin and Bucharinithat all this guarantees them protection from the delinquenc ies or crimes they may themselves commit. Because they realize that the condition for the continuation of Stalin opportunist domination is the installment in power everywhere not of tested fighters, not of revolutionists capable of objective, independent.
thoughtibut of willing martinets with no past (or worse, a malodorous one) and no future in the movement, creatures like the Thalmanns, Neur manus, Stocckers, Smerals, Cachins, Petrovskys, Martinovs, Lovestones and Peppers.
Brandler, who had returned to Germany after an exile of five years in Moscow, together with Thalheimer, and their group of the right, coma menced a sharp struggle against bureaucracy and corruption, gaining wide support from the party membership. To a certain extent they were cove ered by the Ewert group. Ewert, it will be re; membered, was Comintern representative to the American Party before its 1927 convention where carrying out instructions of Stalin and Bucharin, he turned the Party over to Lovestone once more, after having helped him gerrymander one district convention after another. Incidentally, he was one of the fathers of the Menshevik Panken policy of the Party, together with Lovestone and Weinstone)
The criticisms of the Right group were immediately answered by the Comintern and the Thalmann Central Committee with wholesale expulsions.
And it does not bode well for the German revolur tionary movement when men like Brandler, Thal heimer, Frolich, Walcher and their colleagues, who are not only the last of the leaders of the old Spartakusbund of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Lieb knecht, but highly qualified mass leaders and poliv ticians, are summarily expelled from the Party, despite the errors they may have made in 1923 and today. Such a procedure is all the more reckr less and portentous when we see that they do not stand alone but that large sections, whole Party districts, stand behind them, and have suffered their fate by the hundreds.
The line of the BrandlerrThalheimer right is not yet clear. Their platform is limited and vague in many respects. They have not said a syllable about the tremendous, burning issues raised by the Trotsky Opposition, or their attitude towards them.
On the contrary, there are indications that they are being supported by the right wing (Rykov Tomskvaucharin) in the Russian Party. But it is clear that thousands of the proletarians who are supporting them now do so because that is their. sole legal means of expressing their antagonism and resentment of the bureaucratic and corrupt re!
gime. To have supported the expelled Urbahns group, which is the best representative in Germany of the line of the Leninist Opposition, would have meant forthwith expulsion for any Party worv ker. In the Brandler Thalheimer fight they thought to find this legal or semirlegal means which the bureaucratic lid had suppressed, But hundreds of these workers are now being expelled for this also. What hysterical fear of the worker masses in the Party must impel the bureaucrats when they are obliged to take such drastic and fatal steps to halt criticism! The German Party can ill af ford these luxuries of expulsion, particularly in view of the catastrophic collapse of its cruiser campaign, so rich in revolutionary possibilities; of its loss of votes in the recent municipal elections; of its loss of prestige following the Wittorf Thalr mann disgrace; of its loss in Party membership (the Berlin organization fell from 18, 000 to 12, 000 members in six months. of its loss, by expulsion, of the revolutionary fighters who have rallied around our comrade Urbahns in their fight against opportunism and for Leninism.
The warning of Trotsky that the victory of Stalin over the Opposition merely foreran Stalin shipwreck has been realized. The policy of bureau»
cratic order, of telegraphed command from Mos, cow, as a substitute for ideological clarity and lead ership. has had its black clay in the Comintern. Its fruits are evil ones. They have blossomed in crises that rend the leading and most important Parties of the International, The blows are heavy, and the wounds are already gaping wide. For the dilletantes and ad!
venturers everything is halcyon and as it should be.
Th; serious Communist fighter, however, pauses to think, There is yet time to heal the wounds and restore the militant health of the body. That task belongs to the stubborn fighters. Muddler on an American Scale. by Lozovsky (These remarks on American trade union questions by the General Secretary of the Red International of Labor Unions are reprinted from the Official Organ of printed in English for October. Editor. Things, however, are different in the United States, Here the Central Committee instigated an opposition against the Fourth Congress decisions on the American question. Even previous to the Congress there was much dissatisfaction in the Central Committee of the American Party with my sharp criticism of the erroneous attitude of the Party leadership to the Trade Union Educational League, its passivity on the question of organising unorganised workers, its incorrect attitude to the Negro workers( its incorrect attitude to the Negro workers, and the way it regarded the reactionary American Federation of Labour, This dissatisfao tion was expressed in the protest of the American Communist Party against the ap»
peal to the T, U, Conference, held in Decemr ber, 1927, because in this appeal the necessity of organising the unorganised in the trade unions was stressed. This was further expressed in several arr ticles, among which comrade Pepper articles 00 cupy a special place.
In The Communist comrade Pepper published an article to prove that American capitalism is ex tremely strong, that the American working, class is very poorly organised, that the Party is weak, and that there are many difficulties in general in America. This is what he said also at the Congress.
Comrade Pepper sees nothing but the power of American capitalism, and discovering America anew, although this discovery was made long ago, completely passed over those vital problems raised in my articles on the eve of the Fourth I, L, Congress in the order of self criticism. To befudr die the question still more, comrade Pepper launchr ed the theory of the possible growth of the American Federation of Labour. Why did he do this? This was done in order to divert the attenr tion of the Party from the immediate problem that faces us today, of organising the unorganised, to the future problems that will rise if the American Federation of Labour begins to grow again. All this teacup guessing had only one political mean ing instead of concentrating attention on the most urgent task to dispel the attention of the Party. do no intend now to take up in detail Pepper theory as outlined in his nine points, but will merely say that whereas comrade Pepper previous ly frequently lost his hearings in European affairs, today he is all at sea in American affairs. He could be truly named: the muddler of the two hemispheres.
Let us leave comrade Pepper and take up the CC. of the American Party. The American Com; munist Party declared itself to be against the Fourth Congress resolution on the American question. Why did they come out against this resolution? This the CC. is concealing, When the members of the CC. arrived in Moscow and saw that to oppose the decisions of the Fourth U, Congress would not be very expedient, they declared in Moscow that they had long ago expressed support for the Fourth Congress decir sions. It was certainly comic to find at several meetings that whereas the majority of the CC. had expressed support for the decisions, comrades Foster, Bittleman, Cannon and John!
stone, CC. members, declared that there was not a word on the subject to be found in the minutes of the AJ. tirmy Jmuwl Emthwwrdmmwwmw