Resolution on the POUM Trial (1938)

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At the conference held in Brussels of the lnternational Workers’ Front Against War the following resolution was unanimously adopted.
At the Conference held at Brussels the 30th of October 1938 the undermentioned parties and organizations examined all the circumstances in which the POUM trial at Barcelona had been held. They also examined the character and the object of this tiral and after having rendered homage to the firm and courageous attitude of the accused comrades at the tribunal, declared the following:

1) In principle the trial was strictly political and in consequence of this the condemnation can only be considered from a political point of view.

2) The trial was carried out in order to give satisfaction to Stalinism in Spain (the Spanish Communist Party, the P.S.U.C. of Catalonia, the Youth Section) as well as to the bourgeois parties which desired to destroy the P.O.U.M. as the vanguard of the proletarian revolution in Spain.

3) This trial is today the culminating point of the revolutionary defeat commenced during the May days 1937.

4) All the parties which collaborate in the Government must be held responsible for the political and other consequences of the trial.

The Conference registered with satisfaction the abandonment of the accusation of espionage and noted the fact that the accused comrades were only condemned on account of their participation in the May Days and this, in spite of the unceasing attacks of the Stalinists and the so-called proofs of the prosecuting counsel.

Nevertheless this sentence clearly shows the political character of the trial as only the militants of the P.O.U.M. were charged because of their attitude in taking their stand on the side of the workers of Barcelona during the May Days.

The Conference denounces the fact that such a trial which has resulted in condemnations of imprisonment to the leaders of the P.O.U.M. and the dissolution of the P.O.U.M. and the P.O.U.M. Youth Section (J.C.I.), could have been carried out by a Government of which the majority is composed of representatives of working class parties. Particularly the Conference expresses its surprise at the attitude of the C.N.T. which, being represented in the Government, tolerates the accusations and condemnations of working class militants because of their revolutionary policy and thus allows a working class party to be placed in an illegal position because of its unswerving loyalty to the defence of the proletariat.

It is for this reason that the Coference decided to communicate with the leadership of the Spanish working class organisations and in the first place the C.N.T., seeing that it was side by side with the militants of the C.N.T. that the comrades of the P.O.U.M. struggled during the May Days, in calling upon them to express publicly their protestation against this iniquitous judgment and also to act in consequence vis-a-vis the Government under whose auspices the trial was held.

Finally the parties united in the Conference proclaim that the trial against the leaders of the P.O.U.M. could only be terminated by a verdict of acquitment, purely and simply. They will use all their efforts in the struggle to quash the trial, to educate and agitate the public opinion against other trials in preparation of the militants of the P.O.U.M. and the J.C.I. and to carry on an unceasing fight for the liberation of all revolutionary workers imprisoned in Republican Spain because of their revolutionary activity and to demand the cancellation of the legal suppression of the P.O.U.M. and the J.C.I.

It is thus only that we can assist in the complete victory against Franco and against his allies in fascism and in « democratic » Capitalism at the exterior.

Signed by the

  • P.S.O.P., France.
  • I.L.P., England.
  • I.S.P., Italy.
  • Der Funke, Austria.
  • C.P.O., Germany.
  • Archio-Marxist Party, Greece.
  • P.U.P., France.
  • International Bureau of Revolutionary Socialist Youth
  • The « Struggle », lndo-China.
  • The Bund, Holland.
  • R.S.A.P., Holland.
  • Revolutionary Group, Belgium.
  • Palestine Workers’ Party.
  • Hashomer Hatzair, Palestine.
  • Czechoslovakian Delegation.

Bulletin en anglais sur le procès du POUM réalisé à Paris par Lucien Weitz (1938)


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