| SWIMMING AGAINST THE TIDE|
Trotskyists in German Occupied France
by Yvan Craipeau
Translated by David Broder
With an appendix of the surviving collection of Arbeiter und Soldat and a fragment of Der Arbeiter in English translation
This book tells the history of Trotskyists from 1938 to 1945, focusing on their activities aimed at subverting the German army of occupation.
It considers the history of the French Left, the coming of war, the independent line taken by Trotskyists in opposition to the French CP, work aimed at influencing German soldiers, the potential for solidarity between and the potential for radical change at the end of the war. It reproduces the text of publications that survived Gestapo aimed at influencing occupying German soldier. The author writes: What matters to us is to understand: what were people's aims and motivations?
'deserves a wider audience.... a record of the courage and improvisation of young people ...' Labour Briefing.
Much has been written on the French Resistance but far less is known of the small courageous minority who rejected nationalism and based their activity on the international unity of the working class. Craipeau's book gives a fascinating account of these revolutionaries, based on his own first-hand experience of the movement. David Broder has done us a service in making this important book available to English readers. Ian Birchall, former senior lecturer, Middlesex University.
A train full of SS returning from Russia derailed. Terrorism, or an accident? That hardly mattered to the SS officer. He needed revenge, so put the French train drivers in charge up against the wall, sent troops to arrest all the men who could be found in the village, and had them shot. But he had not counted on the fact that despite five years of war the German workers haven't lost their good sense and still have some idea of solidarity. The German train drivers helped many Frenchmen to escape, thus saving their lives. When an inquest later found that the accident was not caused by sabotage but rather the poor condition of rolling stock, revolt took hold of the French and German train drivers. They declared a one hour strike to protest against the murder of innocent workers. The trains stopped for an hour on this line, with the German train crews supporting the French workers and their protest strike.
the German train drivers showed that workers do not feel national hatred and that their sense of solidarity knows no national boundaries.
Published in association with Socialist Platform Ltd