Revolutionary socialists of Germany

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The Revolutionary Socialists of Germany (RSD) were after the takeover by the Nazis alongside New Beginning 1933, the most influential opposition group within the SPD . While Neu Beginnen was not personally linked to SoPaDe , the exile executive committee of the SPD in Prague , the Revolutionary Socialists Siegfried Aufhäuser and Karl Böchel belonged to the Prague executive committee until January 1935.

The Revolutionary Socialists of Germany had particular support in the traditionally left party districts of Saxony and Thuringia . They had adjusted to the resistance against fascism at an early stage and built their own network of couriers. Due to their financial independence, they were able to maintain their own border secretariats, especially the Karlovy Vary secretariat , which is also important for the SoPaDe .

The illegal network, the independence and the strong internal party criticism of the group prompted the SoPaDe not only to make concessions in terms of personnel, but also to make programmatic concessions. In particular, the content of the Prague Manifesto , with which the SoPaDe called for a revolutionary overthrow of the Nazi regime in spring 1934 , was largely due to pressure from the group. Together with the (New) Red Shock Troop ( Robert Keller ) and the foreign mission of Neu Beginnen ( Karl Frank ), the Revolutionary Socialists of Germany tried to forge a so-called "Secret Cartel" against the SoPaDe between 1934 and 1936. The aim of the three groups was to challenge the exiled party leadership of the SPD in Prague for its claim to sole representation for German social democracy and control over the party's assets, some of which had been rescued abroad.

Reluctantly and after a long delay, the SoPaDe published a platform of the Revolutionary Socialists of Germany in autumn 1934, eight months after the Prague Manifesto, which, compared to the Prague Manifesto, contained a much clearer departure from reformism and a clear return to the Marxist tradition of the Social Democrats.

The title of the platform was:

“The way to socialist Germany; a platform for the united front. Presented for discussion by a working group of revolutionary socialists. "

The concept of organized capitalism developed by Rudolf Hilferding , which theoretically founded the reformism of the SPD in the Weimar Republic , was sharply criticized and made responsible for the crisis in society; reformism gambled away democracy .


  • Jutta von Freyberg: Social Democrats and Communists. The revolutionary socialists of Germany before the problem of the unity of action 1934-1937 , Cologne 1973. ISBN 3-7609-0060-7

Individual evidence

  1. Dennis Egginger-Gonzalez: The Red Assault Troop. An early left-wing socialist resistance group against National Socialism. Lukas Verlag, Berlin 2018, especially pp. 205 to 259.
  2. ^ The platform of the Revolutionary Socialists of Germany was printed in: Zeitschrift für Sozialismus , Volume I, September / October 1934, No. 12-13, pp. 375-409.