The 'Official' German Social Democrats and the Paris Congress

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We have received a letter from our comrade H. Rackow, which is unfortunately too long to insert in full, protesting against our recent notes with reference to the action of the German Social-Democratic party in the matter of the coming International Congress. Rackow declares that his countrymen are anything rather than Chauvinist or clannish; that they are thoroughly international; and that all they ask is to have a fair share in the management of the coming Congress. He objects to the organisation of that Congress by the French alone. So far comrade Rackow.

In reply we can only say that we observe that German Social-Democrats, not only in Great Britain but also in America, hamper the propaganda of our cause by printing their newspapers in a language which not one in ten thousand of their neighbours can understand. This, though they themselves, in the United States at any rate, are obliged to learn English. Not only so but they strictly confine themselves to their own national clubs. If English, American, or French, Social-Democrats pursued such a course in Germany Germans would condemn it, of that we feel sure. Now, as to the coming Congress. The Possibilist Party were unanimously appointed at the Paris Congress in 1886, when the Germans were represented, and at the London Congress of 1888, to organise the Congress in 1889, No objection, whatever, was made at the time. Comrade Rackow himself certainly made none, so far as we know. At the most friendly gathering held at 49, Tottenham Street, the evening after the Congress last year, nothing could have been better in tone or more cordial in expression than Lavy's reply on the part of the French Possibilist Party to Rackow's own excellent speech. It was reasonable to hope, therefore, that all the miserable personal bitterness of the last few years had passed away. From that time to this, however, the official organ of the German Social-Democrats has persistently sneered at and vilified the Possibilists, and the attacks wound up with a caucus held at the office of the Recht Voor Allen, on February 28th, which calls to mind the wretched intrigues that broke up the old "International." This week the Sozial-Democrat is at it again, and quotes from Der Sozialist, of New York, an attack on our French comrades — a case of "pig upon bacon" indeed. Surely, our comrade Rackow and all independent German Social-Democrats should join with us in an honest endeavour to put a stop to this petty and malignant bickering and wirepulling.