“I admit that my tone is hard and grim. The struggle of my life has always been hard and grim. I am defending my Communist ideology, my ideals. I am defending the content and significance of my whole life.”
Dimitroff, Speech before the Court
2019 is the 70 anniversary of the death of the great communist and workers leader, the General Secretary of the Communist International, the chairman and smith of the Bulgarian Communist Party, the chairman of the Communist Party of Austria: Georgi Dimitroff. As communists from Bulgaria and Austria we have met and commemorated this great communist with dignity and full of class pride. In this joint declaration our stance is expressed. We want to use the occasion of this 70 anniversary emphasize the greatness of Dimitroff‘s work, the importance of his teachings and his significance for the world proletariat and especially for the proletariat and the peoples in our countries in history and today.
Georgi Dimitroff was born as son of a workers- and handcraft family in the year of 1882. Already his early years of life were closely connected to the life and struggle of the working class, which is why he was bound up to it since childhood. Already very early he took up responsibility within the local revolutionary workers movement and in 1898 he organized, hardly 16 years of age, the march of the printers on 1st of May in Sofia. With this example Comrade Dimitroff teaches young comrades today the fact, that taking responsibility is not so much a question of age, but first of all a question how firmly and decisively the class standpoint is internalized and grasped.
Comrade Dimitroff moved on in the pursued path, although that meant also a lot of sacrifices and travails for him. His path led him to become member of the Socialdemocratic Workers Party in 1902, at a time when there was already led a fierce struggle for its course. One year of party membership was absolutely enough for Comrade Dimitroff, to gain a good overview about the struggling positions and as a result he stood firmly on the side of that core of leaders of the party, which represented the proletarian and revolutionary line at that moment: Dimitar Balgojeff, Georgi Kirkoff and Georgi ff. Comrade Dimitroff was forged within the struggle for the course of the party, he started to take up more tasks and thus his first articles were published. All of those articles were part of the struggle for the path of the Bulgarian workers movement and deal with the questions of the struggle against opportunism within unions. Step by step, Comrade Dimitroff not only became an important organizer, but more and more he also answered theoretically the essential questions of the Party‘s struggle. Greater tasks were set on him, which he never refused, but tried to solve them with dedication to his class and his party and all his strength. Thus, the first mine workers strike in Bulgaria, where the workers participated in masses, was organized and pushed through under the leadership of Dimitroff, with what he finally became an accepted and respected leader of his class. Within the left Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers’ Party (Narrow Socialists) he was elected to the Central Committee, because of his struggle, his foresight and his deep understanding of the questions of Marxism, just at the age of 27. There he fulfilled his work in the high leadership of the Bulgarian proletariat and never became tired of struggling against the „left“ and right infantile disorders within the party. It was to a huge extent the merit of Georgi Dimitroff, that the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers’ Party (Narrow Socialists), later Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP), could unleash many activities and firm agitation against the first imperialist world war, who prepared together with his closest comrades the party for these great tasks through persistent and implacable ideological struggle.
It was Comrade Georgi Dimitroff himself, who directed in September 1923 the leading party committee of the great uprising against the monarchic-fascist rule. The uprising failed, because within the party there was opposition against the correct leadership and old forces in the rows of the cadres did not correct their views. But there are defeats, which are victories and it was Comrade Dimitroff, who unleashed the struggle against mass-hostility and sectarianism under the conditions of persecution and illegality, after the defeat of the heroic insurgency of the 23rd of September in 1923. Such turning points in class struggle and in the life of a communist party, and the following stages, always let emerge liquidationist elements, „left“ and right opportunists, enemies of the party and the masses and thereby become ordeals by fire of the communists, who struggle firmly against these elements. Comrade Dimitroff took up this struggle and led it victoriously and so he could state later: „The antifascist people‘s uprising in September of 1923, which was led and organized by the Bulgarian Communist Party, is the turning point in the development of the party from Narrow Socialists to Bolshevism.“ Here Comrade Dimitroff is teaching us the law of proletarian class struggle, that the communists don‘t give up, but in the middle of the masses oppose greater repression with even more firm, more decisive struggle. Hence Comrade Dimitroff understood to forge the Communists of Bulgaria to become outstanding combatants in the struggle for the dictatorship of proletariat.
At the same time the class struggles started to intensify in Austria and the necessity of a truly Communist Party as leader of the masses became more and more clear. But the Communist Party of Austria (KPÖ) could not yet take up this role, because of its inner fractionism and sectarianism. Comrade Dimitroff, who was brought to Austria by the Red Aid because of persecution in Bulgaria, became due to an order of the Communist International chairman of the Communist Party of Austria in 1924. His task was to forge leading cadres, who should be capable of overcoming the fraction struggles within the KPÖ and to connect the party with the masses. How outstandingly he fulfilled this task and how correct he guided the party towards that target, was shown at the latest in 1927, the last year of Comrade Dimitroff‘s work as chairman of the KPÖ, because in the July uprising of 1927 the party played an excellent role, which could never have been taken up without the prior work of Comrade Dimitroff. The historical significance of that uprising and the role of the KPÖ within it, which was pointed out by the Communist International, shows the significance of the work of Comrade Dimitroff. That the KPÖ learned through the work of Comrade Dimitroff to turn towards the masses, to anchor within them and to base its work firmly on them, was the prerequisite for the Communist Party of Austria to be able to lead the armed antifascist struggle of the Austrian working class in February 1934, to develop further and become a mass-party during the time of Austrian fascism and later, in the darkest years of the occupation of Austria by German fascism, to become the leader and organizer of the partisans and the antifascist resistance struggle. The work of Comrade Dimitroff was to educate those cadres, which were able to lead and guide all that, under the banner of Stalin. Comrade Dimitroff teaches the communists the necessity of education and careful selection of the cadres, which he masterly summarized later in his writing „On the cadres“.
In the beginning of the 1930s, Comrade Georgi Dimitroff was sent to Berlin by the Communist International. He should take up the leadership of the Communist International’s Bureau for Western Europe, conduct the work against „left“ and right deviations and prepare the parties for great struggles. Under the leadership of Stalin and the Communist International, Georgi Dimitroff conducted that work with constantly personal concern. During this time the Antiimperialist League was founded, the first Western European Peasant Congress was held (which was led by him personally) and in 1931 the „Conference on the work of the Communist Parties within the unemployed workers“ convened. Dimitroff‘s contributions to the development of the Communist Parties in Western Europe are enormous and the name of Comrade Dimitroff obviously will be eternally connected with the task, that communists have to turn towards the deepest and broadest masses. In 1933, still in Germany, the Nazis accuse him and put him to trial. The wretch Göring himself was an important spokesman of the prosecution. But again Comrade Dimitroff stayed steadfast. In front of the court he defended his principles, which were nothing else than the principles of the International Communist Movement under the leadership of Stalin. Comrade Dimitroff was so steadfast, that he became an example of struggle in the whole wold. His attitude in front of court and the unleashed force of the masses in an international campaign, led to his release. The Nazis were not able to break him and Comrade Dimitroff became popular worldwide, being named „Hero of Leipzig“! In that situation a group of workers of the “Karl-Marx-Hof” in Vienna wrote a letter to Georgi Dimitroff. It says: „Dear Comrade Dimitroff! In the name of many we send you our warmest greetings. Millions are listening to your brave words, to millions you thereby give new strength. Your struggle will not be for nothing, it is our struggle as well. The great army of the conscious proletariat is unitedly supporting you!“ Until today he is an example to the proletarians of all countries in the struggle against fascism and reaction.
After this worldwide known trial Comrade Dimitroff moves to the Soviet Union, the heart and leadership of the Proletarian World Revolution. In 1935 he becomes General Secretary of the Communist International and within this position he hold the main presentation at the VII. World Congress of the ComIntern, which contains the struggle of the working class against fascism. Thereby he defines the conditions and prerequisites of the People‘s Front and created an understanding and clarity of the question, how the proletariat in its struggle can become the leader of the peoples and to lead the struggle against the fascist bourgeoisie. With the VII. World Congress the onrush of the communists against the bourgeoisie reaches new scales and the path to completely change the face of the world is being prepared: also the Communist Party of China stated, that the presentation made by Georgi Dimitroff under the leadership of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, positively changed the course of the Communist Party of China in the revolution, became a turning point, in conclusion it meant, that the great Chinese people could pursue the path towards the victory of revolution. The Chinese people took the path of People‘s Democracy, as well as Bulgaria after 1945. After the victory over fascism, which was initiated in Bulgaria with the uprising on the 9th of September in 1944, Comrade Dimitroff returned after around 20 years of struggle in the rows of the International Communist Movement, back to his home country and led the struggle for the construction of the People‘s Democracy. Thereby he always stayed faithfully connected to the international proletariat and as soon as he was needed, he was there immediately. Personally he took an important position in the struggle against the revisionism of Tito, a struggle which teaches important lessons to the ICM and which deserves also today, as well as the whole exemplary life of Comrade Dimitroff, a lot of attention.
Comrade Dimitroff truly had a long path and struggled on many fronts. He always stayed modest and humble, because he knew about those forces, without he wouldn‘t have been forged himself, without he couldn‘t have done his work: the leadership of the Communist International Movement, in the time of Dimitroff Lenin and Stalin, and the Communist Party. In a funeral speech on his death, which was held 70 years ago by the Central Committee of the KPÖ, it therefore says about Dimitroff: „He loved the party above all, and when he only pronounced the word ‚party‘, it contained his whole life, his whole adherence, his unlimited dedication.“
As communists from Bulgaria and Austria we uphold the great heritage of Comrade Dimitroff and we are firmly determined to eagerly learn from it! To act in his spirit means first of all to lead the struggle to return into the hands of the proletariat in our countries what it is missing so much since it was taken from it through revisionism: the communist parties. As well under the conditions of the present, new epoch the work of Dimitroff is a great, indispensable weapon, which we are never allowed to put aside.
Long live the red heritage of Georgi Dimitroff, excellent son of the international proletariat and the Bulgarian people!
Learn from Comrade Dimitroff, the hero of Leipzig!
Struggle to give the Communist Party back to the proletariat!
Down with imperialism, fascism and reaction – Long live proletarian internationalism!
Long live Proletarian World Revolution!