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Submitted by Mark on Mon, 30/08/2010 - 11:05

The article argues that the German communists allowed Hitler to come to power because Stalin had decided Hitler would “keep them busy in the West”.
But that idea is not uncontested. Among others it is contested by Trotsky.
CLR James 1937 book Word Revolution contains a version of the argument. James is not very coherent. He argues both that after the Red Referendum, “Moscow… threw all pretence aside and came openly out for letting Hitler in.” And also, a few pages later, that, “Stalin… had no idea what Fascism meant, of what it would do in Germany. Stalin and the Stalinists really and honestly thought that Hitler was just another Schleicher or Papen.” In other words, they also sincerely believed in their policy.
Later, in April 1939 James discusses Germany with Trotsky (History of the Left Opposition). Trotsky comments, “Stalin hoped that the German CP would win a victory and to think he had a ‘plan’ to allow fascism to come to power is absurd. It is a deification of Stalin…’After Hitler our turn’ was a boast. You pay too much attention to it…” Similarly, “keep them busy in the West”, was an after-the-event, cynical justification, for a failed policy.

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