Translator’s Note: Wilhelm Münzenberg was a very wealthy and well-educated ethnic German and Citizen of the German Reich. He lived a life of opulence and luxury – but was willing to use his education and wealth in the service of Marxist-Leninism and the Soviet State. To this end, as a prominent activist within the Communist International he was responsible for the composing and publishing of the 1933 book entitled ‘Adolf Hitler’s Brown Book of Terror and the Burning of the Reichstag,’. This book is considered one of the greatest productions of the Comintern which was translated into over twenty different languages! In the UK it received the direct support of Labour MP – Lord Marly. Written as a narrative history – its content carefully and precisely records the extensive crimes of Adolf Hitler’s regime which began to unfold quickly – as soon as he came to power in early 1933. (German-language sources describe its content as part fact, part speculation and part fabrication without going into detail). The pace is relentless as is the historical detail of just how Adolf Hitler and his cronies developed National Socialism from its inception in 1919 until its empowerment in 1933. What is important to note is that the leaders (and populations) of Western Europe) knew of the barbarism of the Nazi regime and yet tolerated it until the start of WWII in 1939! Unfortunately, as time proceeded into the mid to late 1930s, Wilhelm Münzenberg became ever more influenced by the reactionary opinions of Leon Trotsky – which eventually turned his opinion against Joseph Stalin and the Bolshevik regime. As the usual US disinformation abounds within bourgeois historical accounts, I have accessed Russian-language narratives for a more balanced and nuanced history. In 1937, the NKVD (Protection of Revolution Police) uncovered a widespread plot within the USSR inspired by Trotsky and his followers. This included academics as well as certain high-ranking military personnel. Arrests were made, confessions were offered and trials were held in accordance with Soviet Law. These were no more ‘show trials’ than average trials in the capitalist West. Some suspects were cleared of all wrong-doing, a number were found guilty and imprisoned or sentenced to death – as the law allowed. Outraged at his planned revolt had been uncovered, Trotsky convened what he termed the ‘Fourth International’ in 1938 – and it is here that he aligned his movement with the forces of International Fascism (and the Catholic Church). Trotsky called upon his followers to openly support any potential ‘invasion’ of the USSR by the fascist countries – and for Soviet Citizens to carry-out acts of sabotage and terrorism against the infrastructure of the Soviet State (to weaken it from within). A prevailing myth repeating ad nauseum within Western academia is that Stalin’s so-called ‘purges’ deprived the Red Army of its best generals, etc. This is untrue. As certain frontline Soviet Commanders surrendered their well-armed men in the hundreds of thousands in mid-1941 – it would seem that the NKVD did not arrest enough of these Trotskyite sympathizers and it is a lack of ‘purging’ that led to the Soviet troubles at the beginning of the Hitlerite aggression! Although Western fantasy tries to blame Stalin for his death – evidence suggests that Wilhelm Münzenberg took his own life in 1940 by way of ‘hanging’. He probably realised just what a mistake he had made by betraying the USSR as the Hitlerite troops closed-in! ACW (12.1.2021)
Born into the family of an innkeeper, in his youth he joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany. In 1914, he joined the radical minority of the SPD, which opposed the war and formed the NSDP. In April 1915, at the Berne International Socialist Youth Conference, he was elected Secretary General of the International Youth Secretariat. During the war, he often met with Lenin in Switzerland. In early 1920, he organized the International Fund for Aid to the Workers, which officially raised money to help the starving people in the Volga region, but also carried out major commercial activities. Wilhelm Münzenberg owned his own film studios, including the largest Soviet film studio Mezhrabpom-Rus, as well as dozens of magazines and newspapers around. The Münzenberg Trust was well managed and made good profit. Münzenberg himself was called “the red millionaire” and noted that he was used to living in style. In 1924, Münzenberg was elected to the Reichstag representing the German Communist Party. In 1927, Münzenberg became one of the founders of the Anti-Imperialist League in Brussels. After Hitler came to power in 1933, Münzenberg emigrated to France with Babette Gross. Here, he published The Brown Book of Hitler’s Terror and the Burning of the Reichstag, which was translated into more than 20 languages and became an important element of anti-fascist propaganda. It is considered one of the greatest propaganda successes in the entire history of the Comintern.
In France, Munzenberg organized the World Society for Aid to the Victims of German Fascism, and held an international anti-fascist congress of cultural figures in Paris in 1935. In 1936 he participated in the organization of international brigades to participate in the Spanish Civil War . In the same year he criticized Stalinism, in connection with which in 1937 Münzenberg was removed from the Central Committee of the KKE at the request of Walter Ulbricht. On August 22, 1939, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was signed in Moscow. Willie Munzenberg strongly opposed it. “Stalin, you are a traitor!” He writes boldly. Then published a long article in the anti-Nazi magazine Zukunftand in 1939 he was expelled from the Communist Party. In 1939-1940 he worked for French radio, organizing broadcasting to Germany. In June 1940, he fled from Paris to escape the advancing Nazi Germans. On October 21, 1940, hunters found him hanged from a forest. Suicide was strongly suggested.
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