Campaigns against “Negationism”: Anti-Fascism Justifies Barbarity

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In a number of countries, and particularly in France, the bourgeoisie is using the theme of “Negationism” against the development of working class struggle and consciousness (“Negationism” being the term used to describe the calling into question by certain writers, of the existence of the gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps). We will return to this question in greater detail in a forthcoming issue of the International Review. Here, we will limit ourselves to describing a few elements of this campaign, by way of introducing the article which our comrades of the Gauche Communiste de France (GCF) published on the same subject, in the June 1945 issue of L’Etincelle.

The idea that the gas-chambers never existed, and therefore that the Nazi régime did not try to exterminate certain European populations, and in particular the Jews, was publicised in particular by La Vieille Taupe, which saw itself as part of the “ultra-left” (not to be confused with the communist left, whence the former current borrowed some ideas and positions). For Vieille Taupe, and other groups of the same current, the existence of the gas chambers was a pure lie on the part of the Allied bourgeoisies, designed to reinforce their anti-fascist campaigns following World War II. By denouncing what they thought was a lie, these groups intended to unmask the anti-working class role of anti-fascist ideology. However, some elements amongst them were carried away by their “negationist” passion (or by other forces?) to the point where they collaborated with parts of the anti-semitic extreme right. These latter also considered the gas-chambers to be a mere invention - an invention of the “international Jewish lobby”. This was clearly a god-send for the “democratic” and “anti-fascist” fractions of the bourgeoisie, who gave a wide publicity to the “negationist” theses, in order to strengthen their own campaigns by condemning this attempt to “rehabilitate the Nazi régime”. But they did not stop there. The reference by the “left negationists” to the positions of the Communist Left denouncing anti-fascist ideology, and especially to the completely valid text published in the early 1960s by the International Communist Party on “Auschwitz, or the Great Alibi”, have recently served as a pretext for the supporters of bourgeois democracy (including some Trotskyists) to unleash a campaign denouncing the Communist Left, along the lines: “Far left, far right, same fight!”, or “As ever, the extremes meet”.

Like all the true groups of the Communist Left, the ICC has always refused to have anything to do with the meanderings of the “negationists”. Understating the barbarity of the Nazi régime, even under the pretext of denouncing the anti-fascist mystification, comes down in the end to diminishing the barbarism of the decadent capitalist system, of which Nazism was merely one expression. This fact allows us to denounce all the more firmly today’s campaigns, which aim to discredit in the eyes of the working class the only current which really defends its interests and its revolutionary perspective: the Communist Left. It allows us to combat energetically the anti-fascist mystifications, which use the barbarity of Nazism the better to chain the workers to the system which produced it, and which will continue to engender barbarism without end: capitalism. The article below, published by our comrades of the GCF, is part of the same fight. When the article was written, in June 1945, the Allied bourgeoisie had not yet had the opportunity to deploy fully its propaganda based on the “death camps”. The Auschwitz camp in particular, which lay within the zone under Russian control, had not yet acquired the sinister fame that it has today. Nor had the “democratic” A-Bombs yet flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the service of “civilisation”. This did not hinder our comrades from denouncing the Allied criminals’ ideological use of Nazi crimes against the proletariat.


L’Etincelle no.6, June 1945

Buchenwald, Maidaneck: Macabre Demagogy

The role of the SS, the Nazis, and their camp of industrialised death, was to exterminate in general all the opponents of the fascist régime, and above all the revolutionary militants who have always been in the forefront of the combat against the capitalist bourgeoisie, in whatever form: autocratic, monarchical, or “democratic”, whether led by Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Leopold III, George V, Victor-Emmanuel, Churchill, Roosevelt, Daladier or De Gaulle.

When the Russian Revolution broke out in October 1917, the international bourgeoisie tried every possible and imaginable means to crush it; in 1919, they broke the German revolution with an unprecedentedly savage repression; they drowned in blood the insurrection of the Chinese proletariat. The same bourgeoisie financed fascist propaganda in Italy, then that of Hitler in Germany; the same bourgeoisie put into power in Germany the man they had appointed as the gendarme of Europe. And today, the vary same bourgeoisie is spending millions “to finance the creation of an exhibition on Hitler’s crimes”, with photos, and the public projection of films on “German atrocities”, while the victims of these atrocities continue to die, often without any medical attention, and those who escaped are returning home without the means to live.
It is the same bourgeoisie that paid for Germany’s rearmament, and then dragged the proletariat into the war with the anti-fascist ideology; that helped Hitler to power, and then used him to crush the German proletariat and then hurl it into the bloodiest war, the vilest butchery imaginable.
It is the very same bourgeoisie that today sends its representatives to kneel hypocritically, with their floral bouquets, on the tombs of the dead that they themselves caused, because it is incapable of running society, and because war is its only way of life.

We accuse the bourgeoisie!

We accuse it for the millions of deaths that it has caused and which are, alas, no more than an addition to an already too long list of the martyrs of “civilisation”, of a decomposing capitalist society.

It is not the Germans who are responsible for Hitler’s crimes. They were the first, in 1934, to pay for Hitler’s bourgeois repression with 450,000 deaths, and who continued to suffer this merciless repression even when it was exported abroad. Neither are the French, the British, the Americans, the Russians or the Chinese responsible for the horrors of a war they did not want, but which their rulers forced on them.
Millions of men and women died slowly in the Nazi concentration camps; they were savagely tortured and now their bodies are rotting somewhere. Millions died fighting in the war, or were struck down by a “liberating” bombardment. These millions of corpses, mutilated, amputated, torn apart, disfigured, buried in the ground or rotting in the open, these millions of dead, soldiers, women, old people, children, all cry out for vengeance. And they cry for vengeance, not against the German people, who are still paying, but against this infamous, hypocritical, and unscrupulous bourgeoisie, which did not pay for the war, but on the contrary profited from it. Today, their pigs’ faces stuffed with the fat of the land, they are teasing their still hungry slaves.

The only position for the proletariat, is not to respond to the demagogues’ calls to continue and heighten chauvinism through anti-fascist committees, but the class struggle in direct defence of their interests, their right to life: the struggle every day, every instant, until the destruction of this monstrous régime, capitalism.

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