Open letter to co-leader of Germany’s Left Party Janine Wissler

Dear Ms. Wissler,

I am writing to you because the Left Party maintains close ties with the Democratic Socialists of America. The network Marx21, to which you officially belonged prior to your election as Left Party co-leader, also cooperates closely with the DSA. For example, at Marx21’s Marxism Congress organised last year, where you also delivered a speech, leading DSA member Eric Blanc spoke. According to the text announcing the event, he spoke, among other things, about “how the left in the United States react[s] to the current threat of a global economic crisis and to growing political tensions.”

Janine Wissler (Foto: Sven Teschke / CC-BY-SA 3.0)

I do not know what Blanc said at the congress and what his personal attitude towards Leon Trotsky is. But over the course of recent weeks, members of the DSA have launched a despicable hate campaign against the leading Russian revolutionary and founder of the Fourth International. Leading DSA members have posted tweets celebrating Trotsky’s murder and paying tribute to Stalinist assassin Ramon Mercader. Several posts contain memes with icepicks, the weapon with which Trotsky was murdered, and praise the deed as a heroic act.

The World Socialist Web Site showed in a detailed analysis how those behind the hate campaign are experienced political operatives. They have close ties to the capitalist and pro-imperialist Democratic Party.

In an open letter to DSA National Director Maria Svart, the chairman of the WSWS International Editorial Board and national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (US), David North, summed up the essential political purposes of the anti-Trotsky campaign:

“1) to poison the political environment within the DSA with reactionary anti-Marxist filth appropriated from Stalinism, and 2) to attract to the DSA socially backward people who are drawn to the anti-communist, chauvinistic and—let’s not beat around the bush—anti-Semitic subtext of denunciations of Leon Trotsky.”

The revival of Stalinist lies has wide-ranging historical and political implications and cannot be accepted under any circumstances. Trotsky’s murder was the culmination of the Stalinist terror in the 1930s, which took the lives of hundreds of thousands of Marxists. It was directed against the socialist strivings of workers and young people in the Soviet Union and around the world.

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei and the WSWS call on you to condemn, in the name of your party, the Twitter posts and other statements in the media by leading DSA members celebrating Trotsky’s assassination. A party that calls itself “left” and claims in its programme to have broken with Stalinism must reject this despicable witch-hunting of its left-wing opponents.

In this context, I would like to point out that the SGP and WSWS have, despite our fundamental political differences, defended Left Party representatives against attacks from the far right. Last year, SGP Chairman Ulrich Rippert condemned in a statement published prominently on the WSWS the threat issued against you by NSU 2.0.

In expectation of a clear response on your part, I remain,


Johannes Stern

Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the German edition of the WSWS