The Lessons of the “March Action”

Herman Gorter

The Lessons of the “March Action”-Gorter’s Last Letter to Lenin

Dear Comrade Lenin:

When we last parted in November of 1920, your last words on our quite divergent ideas concerning revolutionary tactics in Western Europe were to the effect that neither your opinions nor mine had been sufficiently tested: that experience would soon prove which of the two is correct.

We were in complete agreement on that.

Programme of the Communist Workers Party of Germany (KAPD), 1920

Plakat der KPD zur Reichstagswahl vom 6. Juni 1920.

May 1920 programme of the party, with appended background and information notes


Preliminaries on councils and councilist organization - René Riesel

René Riesel, left, with Daniel Cohn-Bendit.

A look at workers' councils and the historical contexts in which they were created. A useful analysis - which challenges some aspects of the standard anarchist analysis of the events in Spain during the 1936 Revolution.

Bernard Reichenbach:The KAPD in retrospect - An interview with a member of the Communist Workers Party of Germany

A former member of the anti-parliamentary, councilist KAPD describes his experiences of the German Revolution, his time spent in Moscow amongst the Bolsheviks and the difficulties faced in a revolutionary situation.

Published in Revolutionary History, Vol. 5, No. 2 Spring 1994.

We have omitted the footnotes from this text as they are mainly short biographies of people in the text. This interview first appeared in Solidarity Vol. 6 no.2 when Reichanbach was a militant in the anti-parliamentary Left in Germany. He was interviewed by Rudi Dutschke (RH)

Anti-Bolshevist Communism in Germany - Paul Mattick

Rosa Luxemburg

The council-communist Paul Mattick looks back at the German revolution he participated in.

He describes the conflicts and tensions between the various political factions; between communist revolutionaries and social democracy, between German revolutionaries and Russian Bolshevism. He discusses reasons for the failure of the revolution in the context of the wider international situation and the development trends of capitalism.

Hoelz, Max, 1889-1933

Max Hoelz

A short biography of German communist Max Hoelz, known as the Red Robin Hood for his daring acts expropriating from the rich to distribute to workers and the unemployed.

Max Hoelz, The Red Robin Hood
Born 14 October 1889 - Moritz bei Riesa, Germany, died 15 September 1933 - Gorky, Russia

Appel, Jan, 1890-1985

A short autobiography of Jan Appel, aka Jan Arndt, a German libertarian communist and shipyard worker who most famously hijacked a steam ship to Russia after the German Revolution of 1918.

Appel's experiences during the 1918 Revolution drove him out of the Communist Party, and he subsequently helped found the more radical Communist Workers Party (KAPD).

Meetings in the Kremlin in Moscow 1921 - interview with Bernhard Reichenbach

Lenin addresses the third congress of the Comintern, June 28, July 1 or 5 1921

An interview conducted in 1964 with former KAPD (Communist Workers Party of Germany) member Bernhard Reichenbach about the 1921 Communist International Congress in Moscow, after which the KAPD withdrew from the Comintern.

Moscow 1921 - Meetings in the Kremlin
(Interview with Bernhard Reichenbach - 1964)

L.K. Do you remember your visit to Moscow in 1921 clearly? What were your first impressions?

On the Founding of the KAPD

Detailed information, including first hand reports on the founding in 1920 of the KAPD (Kommunistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands - Communist Workers Party of Germany), written by the Communist Workers Organisation in 1998-2000, with notes.

On the Founding of the KAPD

The Kapp Putsch(1)

In March 1920 the German right attempted to seize power and install a military dictatorship.

Appeal to the Proletariat of Germany!

Appeal to German workers from the Kommunistische Arbeiter-Partei Deutschlands (KAPD - Communist Workers Party of Germany) on the 4th August 1920, with added notes