© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2009 DOI: 10.1163/156920609X460381 Historical Materialism 17 (2009) 101–110 brill.nl/hima Editorial Introduction to Paul Levi, Our Path and What Is the Crime? David Fernbach firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract Th ese two key texts of German Communism appear in English for the ﬁ rst time. Paul Levi’s Our Path and What Is the Crime? were the response of the KPD leader to the disastrous ‘March Action’ of 1921. Over two years, Levi had succeeded in building a mass revolutionary party that drew on the traditions of both Luxemburg and Lenin; this was now over-ridden by a stereotyped Bolshevism enforced by the Comintern’s emissaries. In the ﬁ rst text, subtitled ‘Against Putschism’ and written within days of the attempted coup, Levi criticised the attempt to seize power without the majority-backing of the working class, which had decimated the Party’s membership. Its publication led to Levi’s exclusion from the Party for breach of discipline, even though his critique of the March Action was shared by Lenin. Th e second text was delivered verbally to the Central Committee, as an unsuccessful appeal against his expulsion, and the transcript gives a unique ﬂ avour of the atmosphere in the KPD leadership
Historical Materialism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2009
Keywords: COMINTERN; GERMANY; REVOLUTION; COMMUNISM; TACTICS
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