Translation of document received from Sweden.
STATEMENT ON THE QUESTION OF WAR-GUILT AND THE RESPONSIBILITY
FOR FASCIST TERROR.
Through the National Conference of the German Trade Unionists in Sweden and through every one of its organs, the German working class rejects any admission of guilt for the war or for fascist terror.
The German working class was the first victim of fascist terror. In the prisons and concentration camps, hundred of thousands of German workers were victims of fascist terror in the defensive struggle against fascism. Many were tortured to death and shot, hanged and decapitated. They offered their life in the struggle against fascism.
Heroically and in a desperate position, the German working class led its war against fascism in practically complete isolation and without any support from the Western democracies or from Russia. On the contrary, the destruction of the German working class movement was considered and hailed by powerful circles in England, in France and in America, as a security measure for the existence of capitalism. During the war of the German working class against fascism, the Western democracies and Russia entertained friendly relations with the fascist government of the Third Reich. At the outbreak of war, the German working class no longer possessed the strength and will to intervene and disrupt fascism's war machine. They had stood alone against fascism, and already before the outbreak of the war they had been beaten and slain. As for the Allied democracies, they did not in their war policies offer the slightest possibility for an alliance with the German working class. And when the German workers were forced into the army and were replaced by foreign workers numbering 12 to 14 million - i.e. as many as the total number of persons employed in Germany in peace-time - these foreign workers also failed to find any possibility of weakening appreciably the war potential of German facism. The foreign workers can obviously not be held responsible for the war or for fascism's war-strength, but neither can the burden of such a culpability be imposed upon the German workers.
In reply to tendencies which have appeared on the Allied side, according to which "the occupation must be hard in order to rouse the sense of guilt of the German population", the German Trade Unionists declare that the German working class is not objectively guilty of the war or the terror of fascism, that they have no actual cause to consider themselves guilty and that the harshness and injustices of the occupation can only be considered as the expression of imperialist tendencies. Far from developing a sense of guilt which is not justified by facts, the German Trade Unionists will be concerned in the development, and strengthening of the workers' class consciousness.
Moreover, the principle of the sense of guilt and the arousing of the sense of guilt, cannot, according to all historical and psychological experience, be considered as a constructive, but solely as a destructive force. This principle is borrowed from the ideological arsenal of the reactionary, medieval church and reached its zenith at the time of the Inquisition and the witchcraft trials. Historically, the last master in the method of domination through the sense of guilt was the fascist Himmler. By attempting to load the guilt of fascism upon the entire German people, he was to ensure his domination over the German people up to the last and create the basis for the werewolves' partisan war. The German workers cannot believe that the people went to war against fascism, only to take over and develop fas-