Δευτέρα, 16 Δεκεμβρίου 2013

The Confession

Georgi Dimitrov, Leipzig 16.12.1933

Reichstag in flames. February 27, 1933

On the evening of February 27, 1933, the Reichstag was set on fire. The alleged arsonist was Marinus van der Lubbe (1909-1934), a young Dutch, proclaiming himself as left-wing radical. Van der Lubbe was arrested on the spot and immediately claimed sole responsibility for the crime. But the Nazi leadership planned to make use of the case for its own ends. Contrary to all evidence, the Nazi press stated that the Reichstag fire had been meant as the signal for a "Bolshevist revolution" – one that the Nazi leadership had fortunately managed to thwart at the last moment. A large-scale show trial was supposed to prove that the German Communist Party (KPD) was behind the affair...
The Reichstag building on the morning after the fire, Berlin, February 28, 1933.

In July 1933, the German communist Ernst Torgler together with the Bulgarian communists Georgi Dimitrov, Blagoi Popov and Vasil Tanev were indicted on charges of arson and attempt to overthrow the German government (NSPD had won the elections few months ago in March 1933). The trial took place in the city of Leipzig from September 21 to December 23, 1933 and stayed in history mainly because of the stance of  Dimitrov in front of his judges. He had previously gave up his right to a court-appointed lawyer and defended himself successfully. During the trial Dimitrov not only denied and stood against all the accusations but managed to reverse the roles and prove that the arson of Reichstag was a well organised provocation by the Nazi government. The outcome of the trial was the collapse of all the accusations towards the four communists... 
The Leipzig Trial 21.9 - 23.12 / 1933

On that day, 80 years ago, Georgi Dimitrov made his famous final confession
 in front of the Reich's highest court.

 ... President (interrupting Dimitrov): It is none of your business to criticize us here.
Dimitrov: I admit that my tone is hard and grim. The struggle of my life has always been hard and grim. My tone is frank and open. I am used to calling a spade a spade. I am no lawyer appearing before this Court in the mere way of his profession

I am defending myself, an accused Communist.
I am defending my political honour, my honour as a revolutionary.
I am defending my Communist ideology, my ideals.
I am defending the content and significance of my whole life ...

Front cover of the Greek newspaper "Rizospastis", 22.12.1933
... Dimitrov: A time will come when such proposals will have to be settled, with interest. The elucidation of the Reichstag fire and the identification of the real incendiaries is a task which will fall to the People's Court of the future proletarian dictatorship.
In the 17th century the founder of scientific physics, Galileo, was arraigned before the stern Court of the Inquisition which had to condemn him to death as a heretic. With profound conviction and determination lie exclaimed:

"Eppur si muove!"

This scientific law later became known to all mankind.

President (curtly interrupts Dimitrov, rises, collects his papers and prepares to leave)
Dimitrov (continues): No less determined than old Galileo we, Communists, declare today:

"Eppur si muove!"

The wheel of history moves on towards Soviet Europe, towards a World Union of Soviet Republics.
And neither any measures of extermination, nor prisons or death sentences will be able to stop this wheel, driven by the proletariat under the leadership of the Communist International. It moves and moves towards the final victory of Communism...

(The police seizes Dimitrov and forcefully compels him to sit down in the dock of the defendants
The President and the Court retire to deliberate on whether Dimitrov should be permitted to continue his speech. After deliberation, the Court returns and announces that Dimitrov is forbidden to speak further).

Front cover of the Greek newspaper "Rizospastis", 24.12.1933
Georgi Dimitrov 1882 - 1949





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