People's Issues


Outrageous attempt to ban Ernst Thalmann memorial event

German ML Party calls for letters of protest                     30 July 2019

According to Comrade Monika Gartner-Engel, CC member of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD), authorities representing the board of the foundation managing the memorial site for murdered German Communist leader Ernst Thalmann (1866-1944), located within the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, have withdrawn permission for a commemorative event to marks the 75th anniversary of his execution by the Nazis.

Approval had been given for the event which had been organised by the Internationalist Alliance, a formation of 38 organizations in which the MLPD also works. 

“In the attempt of the foundation to give a reason for the ban,” said Gartner-Engel, “false allegations are being made, as for example the allegation that the Internationalist Alliance, in which also Palestinian groups cooperate, are supposedly antisemitic - because of their completely justifiable criticism of the policies of the Israeli government. This is all in line with the rightward development of the government in Germany and the anti-communist defamation campaign, which is steered by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and the paradigm change of bourgeois anti-fascism it initiated. More and more, the great number of victims and sacrifices of the Soviet Union, the Red Army and the communists are being completely ignored and only the Jewish victims and sacrifices being honoured.”

Buchenwald is a symbol of the most brutal terror of the Hitlerite fascists in the service of German monopoly capital. In the Buchenwald concentration camp were especially political prisoners, communists, social-democrats, trade-unionists and other antifascists of many nationalities. Thalmann was transferred there from the Bautzen concentration camp in August 1944 and executed days later.

Thalmann became a leader of the German Communist Party after participating in and helping to organise the Hamburg Uprising of 1923. From May 1924, he was a member of the German parliament, the Reichstag. In October 1925 he became chairman of the German Communist Party and was a candidate for the German Presidency. In 1932, he again contested the Presidency against the incumbent Paul von Hindenburg and the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. When the latter came to power, his Gestapo arrested Thalmann. From the time of his arrest (1933) until his execution, a period of eleven years, Thalmann was held in solitary confinement and tortured. He was a role model for the unbroken resistance of anti-fascists, even under the most brutal conditions.

During the Spanish Civil War the German brigade was called the Thalmann Brigade in his honour. Freiheit (freedom), a classic song of the anti-Franco struggle was written in 1936 to honour him.

It is outrageous that flimsy pretexts are being used to disrespect the memory of this great anti-fascist fighter and to prevent commemorative activities at Buchenwald.

Already, many letters of protest are being sent to the board of the foundation from a broad spectrum of people, among them descendants of former Buchenwald inmates, and also Jewish prisoners. They express their consternation and declare their solidarity!

Our Party will send a strongly-worded protest.

Any organisation or individual wanting to send a letter of protest can do so by emailing the foundation at or by emailing the MLPD ( ).


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