PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL. 31st May, 1935.
TRADES UNION CONGRESS GENERAL COUNCIL.
GERMAN SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
STATEMENT MADE BY HERR. F. STAMPFER.
Possibly it would be asked why the German Social Democratic Party accepted defeat without a violent struggle. He had given much thought to this matter, and he was of the opinion that the German working class did not fight because they realised, that while they might have one broken gun, the Military had ten good guns. That was the position in Germany at that time.
But there were ways of fighting apart from the military way; there was the spiritual way, the moral way - the way of the socialist. When the Social Democrats realised their defeat, they thought of nothing but how to prepare the working class to fight, and their first steps were towards this moral resistance. Future history would show quite clearly all those attempts to begin a new moral fight against the Nazi system. In some parts of Germany the moral resistance had broken down, but in other parts it was still being carried on. The German Social Democratic Party had negotiated with the Czechoslovakian Party in 1933 for the purpose of securing illegal literature for distribution in Germany.
Then there was Otto Wels' statement in the Reichstag in 1933, against the Emergency Laws of Hitler. That was the last declaration given in the German Parliament by the Party. Just before Wels made his statement, one of the leaders in the Catholic Centre Party implored him not to make his statement, because he knew that if Wels carried out his intention there would be a massacre.
A month later, the Party Committee held a meeting, and Wels spoke very vigorously against the attitude of certain trade union leaders, who had already began to take