Paul Fröhlich

The White Terror

Delivered over to the Hangman!

(18 February 1922)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. II No. 16, 28 February 1922, pp. 119–120.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2019). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Fort and Concepcion, the supposed murderers of Dato, have been extradited by the German government into the hands if the Spanish hangmen. By the German Government? By the German Social Democrats! It is Radbruch, the Social Democratic Minister of “Justice” of Germany who is responsible for this betrayal.

No matter what the German Social Democrats do they cannot help but reveal their true miserable color, their malice and brutality.

A few days ago the Communist members of the Prussian Diet sounded the alarm with the report that the two Spanish comrades were after all to be extradited The Government declared that negotiations were still in progress and that no decision had as yet been reached. Now it is established that at that time the fates of Fort and Concepcion had already been sealed. The bourgeois-Social Democratic government crowned its breach of the right of asylum with a dishonorable cowardly lie.

The right of asylum is a thing “holy” to the German Social Democrats. The Social Democratic Minister of Justice said so himself in his solemn declaration in the Reichstag. But how could the Social Democrats who respond to every wink of the counter-revolution, who turned traitor and spy to their own working-class, who offered Gallifets out of their own ranks to the bourgeoisie, and who tolerated and sanctioned death penalties and their execution against revolutionary workers – indeed how could they resist a demand of the international counter-revolution! The right of asylum is “holy” to them. That is why they hand over political “criminals” to the Spanish rack!

Why need indeed a Social Democratic Minister of Justice be a Social Democrat and a lawyer if not for the purpose of finding words of justification for its service to the counter-revolution? He points to the German-Spanish extradition treaty which expressly provides that:

“The provisions of the present agreement (extradition of common criminals) shall not apply to such persons who have committed any political crime or misdeed.”

How clear, how unambiguous and precise! The Social Democrat Radbruch also admits that in this case it is likewise a question of a deed “motivated by political revenge”. But he cannot see the political purpose. Why had not the accused committed high-treason against the political criminal Dato? Herr Radbruch would then have saved them! But as it is, there remains nothing for him to do but to wail that the extradition “is a very unfortunate thing, not only on humanitarian, but also on judical grounds”. Such is the hypocritical sympathy which the Social Democrats never fail to offer to the victims of its counter-revolutionary deeds of shame. The same hypocrisy marks the protests which the General Trade Union Federation and the General Independent Federation of Employees have now issued against the extradition. The Spanish comrades are already in the hands of the hangman. The Social Democrats have delivered them to him. Now they scowl and proclaim their innocence. They are like the jackals cowardly, vicious and cruel.

Yes, the Social Democratic trade unionists are indeed protesting just as they once protested against the torture in the dungeons of Barcelona, against the judicial murder the Spanish Anarchist Ferrer. Today a Social Democratic Minister of Justice offers new sacrifices to the Spanish torturers, and all he does is stammer out that the German government expresses its wish that the victims be not sentenced to death.

Translated from the Social Democratic jargon this means: “We the lackeys of the counter-revolution have done our duty. Great Inquisitor, do yours!”

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Last updated on 3 May 2019