"A Communist doesn’t whine - he shows his teeth"
October 18, 2019 9:32 AM   Subscribe

An interview with Theodor Bergmann, "the last participant and eyewitness to the German labor movement of the Weimar era."
posted by clawsoon (6 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
A great read.
posted by No Robots at 10:04 AM on October 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


Fascinating historical perspective. Wonderful detial.

I often think that historians underestimate the extent to which fear of Communism helped fuel the rise of Nazism. After all, only 800 miles or so away from Berlin, Russian Communists were "showing their teeth" in a most unsettling fashion.
posted by Modest House at 11:10 AM on October 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


is this where we observe that rich western liberals cozied up to fascists out of fear of losing their unjust privileges, and thereby open up the old spd/kpd fight again? cause i’ll do that. my body is ready.

i am also available for fights about kronstadt
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 11:19 AM on October 18, 2019 [17 favorites]


Modest House: I often think that historians underestimate the extent to which fear of Communism helped fuel the rise of Nazism.

Fear of Communism also helped fuel the rise of the welfare state and convinced capitalist elites to let social democrats have much of the society they were working toward.
To hell with its practical importance: but may God at least preserve it for us as a never-ending menace to those people who own big estates and who, in order to hang on to them, are prepared to despatch humanity into battle, to abandon it to starvation for the sake of patriotic honour.

May God preserve Communism so that the evil brood of its enemies may be prevented from becoming more bare-faced still, so that the gang of profiteers...shall have their sleep disturbed by a few pangs of anxiety.
posted by clawsoon at 11:43 AM on October 18, 2019 [8 favorites]


I often think that historians underestimate the extent to which fear of Communism helped fuel the rise of Nazism.
I think it's more people who don't know anything much about history. Though I haven't read up on the history of the Third Reich in recent decades, my recollection is that fear of Communism as a driver for Naziism was common knowledge in the '70s-'80s, if you had any interest in history at all. I also recall that internecine fighting on the Left was an issue, though this was in part fomented by the Communists for reasons of their own.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 12:08 PM on October 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


Fear of Communism also helped fuel the rise of the welfare state and convinced capitalist elites to let social democrats have much of the society they were working toward.
I am fond of saying "Capitalism never worked so well at improving the lives of so many as when it was constantly looking over its shoulder at Soviet Communism." I grew up thinking that Snidely Whiplash was dead, and I think the fall of the Wall was when he sat up and declared he'd just been resting.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 12:19 PM on October 18, 2019 [14 favorites]


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