The Negro Worker comments on terror in Germany (1933)

The Negro Worker was a communist periodical that ran from 1931 until 1937. It was the official organ of the International Trade Union Committee for Black Workers, an organization of Black diasporic workers from parts of the Caribbean, Africa, and the United States that met in Hamburg in 1930 for the first time.

Jeff Bowersox and Phillip Khabo Koepsell



Fascist Terror Against Negroes in Germany

Most Negroes in Europe and America as well as in the colonies do not yet fully realise that fascism is the greatest danger which confronts not only the white workers, but is the most hostile movement against the Negro race.

The most glaring manifestation of this anti-Negro felling is to be seen in the attitude of Hitler movement in Germany. Even before the fascists came into power in Germany, they carried on the most violent agitation against Negroes, Jews, and all so-called non-Nordics. But since Hitler has become Chancellor, this Nazi agitation has taken on the form of open physical violence against all coloured peoples.

The extent to which the fascists in Germany are preaching race hatred and advocating lynch law can be easily understood when one reads such quotations as the following which appeared in the fascist organ: “Nationalsozialistische Monatsheft“:

“In each Negro, even in one of the kindest disposition, is the latent brute and primitive man who can be tamed neither by centuries of slavery, nor by an external varnish of civilization. All assimilation, all slavery, all education is bound to fail on account of the racial inborn features of the blood. One can therefore understand why in the Southern States of America, sheer necessity compels the white race to act in an abhorent and perhaps even cruel manner against the Negroes. And, of course, most of the Negroes that are lynched do not merit any regret.”

This is the sum total of the philosophy of the new “saviours” of Germany. Therefore, it is not to be wondered at that on the occasion of Mrs. Ada Wright’s (the Scottsboro mother) tour through Germany in 1932, the “Angriff“, the leading paper of the Nazi Party in Berlin, demanded her arrest and expulsion from Germany. The editors of the “Angriff” openly expressed solidarity with the lynchocrats of Alabama and said that the only way to keep Negroes in their place is to lynch them. However, the most recent attacks of fascists upon Negroes in Germany occurred a few weeks ago. Shortly after the infamous Captain Goering, the right hand man of Hitler and dictator of Prussia assumed office, he ordered his men to round up all Negroes and deport them from Germany. Among the first ones to be arrested was comrade Padmore, the militant Negro leader and Secretary of the International Trade Union Committee of Negro workers of Hamburg. Padmore was dragged out of his bed by Nazi police and imprisonned for about two weeks, during which time the Nazi raided the offices of the Negro workers’ Union and destroyed all their property. Padmore was afterwards deported.

The Nazis are demanding the return of Cameroon, Togoland, Tanganyika and other African colonies to Germany. And in order to prove to the other imperialists that they can be depended upon to exploit the Negro masses, they are carrying on the most brutal attacks upon those Negroes who now happen to be living in Germany.

Today Negroes like Jews are the daily victims of fascist terrorism. Students are not only thrown out of the universities by fascists but are often beaten up if they attend class. A few days ago British Negro students were deported to England and instead of receiving protection from the British authorities in Germany they were subsequently turned over to the C.I.D. agents on their arrival in England. This shows that the National Government which is starving millions of white workers in England are actually supporting Hitler and his murder gangsters in their campaign of terror against Negro colonials.

These students who have been fortunate enough to escape with their lives declare that fascist storm troop men armed as auxiliary police openly assaulted Negroes, especially if they are seen in the company of German women. The same treatment is meted out to Indians. According to a recent despatch of the “Times” correspondent from Berlin, Hitler has forbidden the broadcasting of Jazz music over the radio, which this Austro-German upstart and demagogue describes as “Nigger” music.

Negro musicians and theatrical artists will not be permitted to perform in Germany. Negro students and intellectuals are to be excluded from all German Institutions of learning.

The present regime of terror and bloodshed against the German working class, Jews and Negroes – most of whom are natives from the former German colonies – Cameroons and Togoland, should serve as a warning not only to Negroes in England and America but to all coloured peoples throughout the world.

The fascist leaders realizing that they have no constructive programme to solve the acute economic problems, specially the ever increasing unemployment, are trying to divert the attention of the German people, especially the ruined middle classes by calling for pogroms against all Marxist and Jews. This is an old trick of the capitalist class, borrowed from Tsarist Russia where the former capitalist and landlords used to preach and organise Jewish massacres whenever the masses were in open revolt against their system of cruel exploitation. Hitler will no more succeed with his Klu Klux Klan methods than Nicolas II. The German people will soon realise that demagogy is not bread. That the only salvation for the German workers is to follow the example of the Russian workers. As the crises deepens in America, the ruling class will more and more demand a Yankee Hitler. Already the way is being paved for Roosevelt to play his role. The days of the so-called democracy are over. Even the most backward workers are realising this. It is therefore the duty of the Negro masses to join in the united front struggles of the working class and all oppressed and persecuted national minorities against the brutal forces of fascist reaction which threaten the whole world today.

Source: “Editorial: Fascist Terror Against Negroes in Germany,” The Negro Worker vol. 3, no. 4-5 (Apr-May 1933): 1-3.

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