By Oskar Hippe
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Originally released as '... und unsere Fahn' ist rot' through Junius Verlag GmbH, Hamburg, 1979
Review by means of Martin Empson wrote:
The lifetime of Oskar Hippe is an interesting one for Marxists and progressive socialists this day. As a tender employee in German in the course of international struggle One, he grew to become a socialist, changing into concerned with anti-war protests as early as 1916. Later he could subscribe to the Spartakist League, the agency setup via Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, yet no longer being established in Berlin for a lot of the interval, following his conscription within the latter levels of the struggle, he neglected a number of the key debates and battles of the early German Revolution. still his eyewitness bills are unique,
On the eve of one might 1916, my brother-in-law instructed me that we'd now not set to work day after today, because the crew may all be becoming a member of an anti-war demonstration at the Potsdamer Platz. We went there on the detailed time. 10000 staff had accumulated within the sq., and Karl Liebknecht spoke to them from the platform of the Potsdam neighborhood station. i don't understand how lengthy Liebknecht have been conversing while the police arrived. they can now not do something initially; the gang avoided them from getting as much as the platform. a growing number of detachments have been despatched in, together with fastened police who rode into the group with huge, immense brutality. For a time, the demonstrators publish resistance, and lots of policemen have been knocked off their horses.
Along along with his unit, Oskar Hippe successfully mutinied and went domestic have been he turned centrally concerned with the progressive events in his domestic zone of Halle. The booklet describes the size of the revolution and the impression of the deaths of Luxemburg and Liebknecht, in addition to the fast emergence of the counter-revolutionary troops of the Freikorps.
As the Twenties constructed, Hippe turned a tremendous activist within the German Communist get together (KPD). He used to be usually exact through the ideal and the gurus. usually blacklisted for alternate union task, the interval turns into ruled via the struggles in the Russian corporation. Hippe describes the failure of the 1923 circulate while revolution used to be might be at the playing cards, however the green Communist get together sounded the retreat on orders from Moscow. From then on his narrative turns into more and more formed through the conflict with the Stalinist wing of the KPD.
The post-revolutionary interval can also be marked by means of the expansion of the fascist stream. something that struck me examining the autobiography was once that violence, or the specter of violence, was once an everyday truth for socialists. The socialists answered by means of arming themselves and being ready to struggle again, however it is outstanding that this violence was once greatly approximately protecting and preserving the service provider, it's activists and permitting their deliberate job to proceed. This wasn't struggling with for the sake of scuffling with, yet within the pursuits of creating socialist employer. on the finish of the Nineteen Twenties Hippe breaks with the Stalinist KPD, and with many others works to construct a brand new "Trotskyist" occasion. For a few readers this can appear like part of the booklet ruled by way of arguments one of the left, yet Hippe explains that this was once approximately attempting to preserve the progressive culture alive in a interval the place the increase of fascism is a true prospect, yet with an important and strong German operating type nonetheless unbroken.
With Hitler's victory, Hippe's staff is compelled underground and at last he's imprisoned, serving a long time of brutality and violence. finally he's let loose and works at the northern coast of Germany, attempting to make a number of contacts with employees and discussing politics with captured prisoners of battle. Hippe and his comrades bravery is phenomenal during this interval of inauspicious, harmful underground paintings. this is often no guide for this job, yet you get a feeling of the hazards and problems, in addition to the frustrations. curiously Hippe and his comrades believed that Fascism couldn't be over-thrown through German staff, who have been now to susceptible, yet will be over-thrown via defeat in an international conflict. It used to be a correct, if pessimistic outlook.
Hippe then confronted renewed persecution less than the Stalinists. preliminary hopes new mass socialist employer can be outfitted after the top of the struggle bring about one other interval of splits, inner arguments and at last underground paintings. Hippe as soon as spent years imprisoned for being a "Trotskyist counter-revolutionary", and needed to watch as others, together with collaborators with the Nazi regime grew to become senior figures within the East Germany state.
At the top of the booklet, Hippe's wish for the innovative over-throw of capitalism stay undiminished. It leads to 1979, notwithstanding Hippe lived lengthy sufficient to work out the autumn of the Berlin Wall. Hippe used to be an activist during the Nineteen Sixties and early Nineteen Seventies, observed the start of a brand new flow and the emergence of a brand new left. all through he remained unswerving to the vital tenets of Marxism, and the information of Lenin and Trotsky, believing that the overthrow of capitalism needed to be the act of the full operating class.
For these attracted to the heritage of the left, in addition to the German Revolution and the foreign Communist move it is a attention-grabbing e-book, maybe marred by way of what sounds like a clunky translation. Hippe's account could be distinct and its worthy looking for this booklet.
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Extra info for . . . and Red is the Colour of our Flag: Memories of Sixty Years in the Workers' Movement
Instead of that black band you are wearing blue stripes on your arm. I think, sir, it would have been more appropriate for you to wear red stripes! The officers broke into applause, but Goering held up his hand for silence and went on speaking. We officers did our duty for four long years . . and we risked our bodies for the Fatherland. Now we come home—and how do they treat us? They spit on us and deprive us of what we gloried in wearing. And this I can tell you, that the people are not to blame for such conduct.
When he decided to settle, it was Dr. Thirring who found him the castle of Mauterndorf in Austria, not far from the border with Bavaria. Epenstein spent a great deal of money on the restoration and furnishing of this castle, re-creating in it the heavy and pompous atmosphere of German medievalism that so stirred the young imagination of his godchild Hermann. After Heinrich Goering had returned to Germany Epenstein bought a second and smaller castle called Veldenstein, fifteen miles from Nuremberg; he offered this new property, which was a house built onto the ruins of an ancient Franconian fortress of the eleventh century, to the Goering family as a home.
Later Goering was not only to inherit Veldenstein from Epenstein’s widow but to own a mansion that far outshone in splendor the provincial grandeurs of his youth. These, and certain other facts, began to make the unique character of Goering more credible; the violence of his motives and the extravagance and opportunism of his behavior could now be understood more clearly. The excesses of his vanity were at any rate to some extent the product of his bodily condition. ” “No one,” wrote Lord Birkett in his private notes, “appears to have been quite prepared for his immense ability and knowledge, and his thorough mastery and understanding of every detail of the captured documents.