History

The Bretton Woods Agreement 75 years on

By Nick Beams, 22 July 2019

The participants at the conference were acutely conscious of the fact that what was at stake in their deliberations to establish a new world economic order was nothing less than the survival of their rule.

This week in history: July 22-28

22 July 2019

25 years ago: Strikes break out in South AfricaOn July 26, 1994, a strike wave of over 100,000 workers broke out in South Africa. Mining, steel, telecommunications and postal unions declared official disputes with employers, giving effective strike notice. The Council of Mining Unions, representing white workers, followed the lead of the National Union of Mineworkers, representing black workers, in declaring a dispute with the main diamond and gold mining companies. About 300,000 autoworkers in the region scheduled to take a strike ballot by the end of the month.

Fifty years since the first Moon landing

By Patrick Martin, 20 July 2019

The first Moon landing remains an epoch-making scientific, technical and organizational achievement.

This week in history: July 15-21

15 July 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Charité at War: A chilling portrayal of Nazism and its crimes

By Joanne Laurier, 11 July 2019

Charité at War  is a German television drama, set in the years 1943 to 1945 at Berlin’s Charité hospital, one of the most prominent in Europe. The series depicts life under Nazi rule.

Britain: Gang convicted of running “extensive and prolific” modern slavery network

By Richard Tyler, 9 July 2019

According to the International Labour Office, there are 40.3 million people in conditions of modern slavery across the world, including 10 million children .

Paul Hanebrink’s A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism

Part 2: Stalinism, communism and anti-Semitism

By Clara Weiss, 9 July 2019

Hanebrink’s false equation of Stalinism with communism leads to a significant and misleading omission in his discussion of the reemergence of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe after World War II and internationally today.

Part 1: Counter-revolution and anti-Semitism

Paul Hanebrink’s A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism

By Clara Weiss, 8 July 2019

Hanebrink’s book focuses on examining the relationship between the fear of the “specter of communism” haunting Europe—to which Marx and Engels famously alluded in their Communist Manifesto of 1847—and of anti-Semitism.

This week in history: July 8-14

8 July 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

American Independence Day 2019: From the “asylum for mankind” to the land of concentration camps

By Tom Mackaman, 4 July 2019

The principles of 1776 of open immigration and birthright citizenship are under attack.

This week in history: July 1-7

1 July 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Ten years since the US-backed coup in Honduras

By Bill Van Auken, 28 June 2019

While Democrats posture as defenders of immigrants, Obama, the “deporter-in-chief” presided over a coup that devastated Honduras, driving its people from the country.

San Francisco School Board votes to destroy left-wing murals they claim are “racist” and “white supremacist”

By Toby Reese, 28 June 2019

On Tuesday evening, the San Francisco Unified School Board voted unanimously to destroy or cover over the historic 1936 “Life of George Washington Murals” at a district high school. The vote is a reactionary decision that marks a new stage in the censorship drive that began last December.

”We can’t erase history to suit people’s feelings”

San Francisco residents voice opposition to censorship of George Washington High School murals

By Evan Blake and Alex Gonzalez, 28 June 2019

Numerous residents spoke out against the destruction of art and the need to contextualize the murals for a younger audience.

Destroyed 1923 pamphlet on Red Army, commissioned by Trotsky, reprinted in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 27 June 2019

The reprint makes available, after almost 100 years, an important historical document, the fate of which reflects the violent repression by Stalinism of genuine Marxist thought and politics, represented within the Soviet Union by Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition.

Destroyed 1923 pamphlet on Red Army, commissioned by Trotsky, reprinted in Russia

By Clara Weiss, 26 June 2019

The reprint makes available, after almost 100 years, an important historical document whose fate reflects the violent repression by Stalinism of genuine Marxist thought and politics, represented within the Soviet Union by Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition.

“The Short Films of Raymundo Gleyzer”: Works by left-wing filmmaker murdered by Argentine military junta

By Kevin Martinez, 26 June 2019

Abducted and murdered by the Argentine junta in 1976, the documentarian made numerous films about the working class that have sadly been forgotten. Their strengths and weaknesses deserve to be considered.

This week in history: June 24-30

24 June 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Whitewashing Canadian capitalism’s crimes:

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s inquiry issues final report

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 21 June 2019

The MMIW report shifts the blame for the oppression of the native people from Canadian capitalism and its state to a racist “colonialist” mindset and “white society.”

This week in history: June 10-16

10 June 2019

25 years ago: Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman murderedOn June 13, 1994, the wife of former professional football player and movie actor OJ Simpson, Nicole Brown Simpson, was found brutally murdered outside her Brentwood, Los Angeles, home, along with her friend Ron Goldman. The pair had been stabbed to death the night before.

The Tiananmen Square massacre, 30 years on

By Peter Symonds, 8 June 2019

What was lacking in the 1989 protests was not determination, audacity and courage, nor numbers, but revolutionary leadership—the essential problem facing the international working class in the 20th century.

The 75th anniversary of D-Day and the rising threat of imperialist war

By Bill Van Auken, 7 June 2019

Behind the speeches delivered Thursday—as with D-Day itself—lay the calculations of politicians seeking to further the imperialist interests of their respective countries.

From the archives

Ten years since the Tiananmen Square massacre

Political lessons for the working class

By James Cogan, 7 June 2019

The article confirms the essential analysis of the ICFI in 1989 that the terror unleashed by the Stalinist bureaucracy was above all directed against the working class that had risen in revolt against its policies of capitalist restoration.

From the archives:

Trotskyism and the Chinese Revolution

By Editorial of the Fourth International magazine, 6 June 2019

The following editorial in the January-June 1989 edition of the Fourth International magazine on the Tiananmen Square massacre is an indictment of Stalinism and its opportunist apologists from the standpoint of orthodox Trotskyism.

From the archives:

Stop Stalinist Terror Against Chinese Workers

Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International, 5 June 2019

The ICFI statement entitled “Stop Stalinist Terror Against Chinese Workers” was issued on June 22, 1989, as the scope of the police dragnet and repression against workers and students expanded following the Tiananmen Square massacre.

WSWS republishes ICFI statements on Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989

4 June 2019

Thirty years after the brutal military crackdown on unarmed workers and students in Beijing, these documents contain the essential political lessons for the revolutionary struggles ahead.

This week in history: June 3-9

3 June 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: May 27-June 2

27 May 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: May 20-26

20 May 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: May 13–19

13 May 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

One hundred years since the May 4 movement in China—Part Two

By Peter Symonds, 6 May 2019

The Chinese Communist Party today distorts the significance of the events of May 4, 1919. It has long ago repudiated the democratic principles of the New Culture movement and the socialist internationalism upon which the party was founded.

This week in history: May 6-12

6 May 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

One hundred years since the May 4 movement in China—Part One

By Peter Symonds, 4 May 2019

The May 4 movement which erupted in 1919 was part of a broader intellectual ferment, profoundly influenced by the Russian Revolution, that led to the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921.

New York Times column falsifies legacy of Eugene Debs

By Tom Mackaman, 30 April 2019

Isserman portrays the early American socialist as a moralistic reformer.

This week in history: April 29-May 5

29 April 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

The burning of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 17 April 2019

The inferno was caused by a horrific breakdown of fire safety in restoration work, for which the French government and ruling elite bear the responsibility.

An assembly of political bankrupts: Historical Materialism and Jacobin host “Socialism in Our Time” conference

By Joseph Kishore, 16 April 2019

A more accurate title for the event would have been, “Democratic Party Politics in Our Time,” or, perhaps, “Socialism not now, not ever.”

This week in history: April 15-21

15 April 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: April 8-14

8 April 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: April 1-7

1 April 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Two hundred attend meeting on the struggle against fascism at Leipzig Book Fair

By our reporters, 26 March 2019

David North and Christoph Vandreier addressed a Saturday public meeting on “The lessons of the 1930s and the struggle against the far right today,” organised by Mehring Verlag at the Leipzig Book Fair.

This week in history: March 25-31

25 March 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

One hundred years since the formation of the Communist International

By Peter Schwarz, 20 March 2019

One hundred years ago this month, from March 2 to March 6, the founding congress of the Third, Communist International took place in Moscow.

Mehring Books launches English-language edition of Why Are They Back? in London

By our reporter, 19 March 2019

Why Are They Back? by Christoph Vandreier documents the promotion of the extreme right in Germany and the ICFI’s struggle against it.

This week in history: March 18-24

18 March 2019

Daniel Yock, aboriginal, workers inquiry, Socialist Labor League, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Britain, Hungary, World War II, Budapest, Hitler, Horthy, USSR, Bela Kun, Austro-Hungarian empire, Hungarian Soviet Republic

This week in history: March 11-17

11 March 2019

G7, jobs summit, Detroit

From Lordstown to Vietnam and Back

By David North, 7 March 2019

In the wake of the iconic plant’s final day of production Tuesday the WSWS is posting an interview with a GM Lordstown worker published February 12, 1973 in the Bulletin, the weekly organ of the Workers League, forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party.

This week in history: March 4-10

4 March 2019

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Whitewater, scientists, MIT, antiwar, Vietnam, UCS

This week in history: February 25-March 3

25 February 2019

Hebron massacre, Baruch Goldstein, West Bank, Gaza, Israel, Palestine

How the ruling elite sought to suppress revolution

Renewal: Life after the First World War in Photographs

By Paul Mitchell, 22 February 2019

As one progresses around the exhibition it becomes clear that the main concern of British imperialism in the post-war period was to overturn the real “renewal” represented by the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the “better world” beginning in Russia (none of which, incidentally, is shown in the exhibition).

The Last Survivors: A testament to the Holocaust

A documentary film by Arthur Cary, first shown on BBC Two

By Margot Miller, 15 February 2019

Cary has captured the testimony of some of the last generation who were children in the camps, most of whom saw the genocide of their parents, siblings, relatives and friends.

The Iranian Revolution—Forty Years On

By Keith Jones, 13 February 2019

It is the Stalinist Tudeh Party and the politics of Stalinism that were principally responsible for the tragic derailing of the Iranian Revolution.

100 years since the Seattle General Strike—Part 2

By Kayla Costa, 12 February 2019

One hundred years ago, over 60,000 workers brought the city of Seattle to a standstill in a strike that holds important strategic lessons for today’s struggles

From the arsenal of Trotskyism

The Political Report by David North to the International Committee of the Fourth International—February 11, 1984

12 February 2019

Thirty-five years ago this week, David North, then the national secretary of the Workers League (predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party), presented at a meeting of the International Committee of the Fourth International a critique of the British Workers Revolutionary Party’s abandonment of key theoretical conceptions and programmatic principles of Trotskyism.

100 years since the Seattle General Strike—Part 2

By Kayla Costa, 12 February 2019

One hundred years ago, over 60,000 workers brought the city of Seattle to a standstill in a strike that holds important strategic lessons for today’s struggles.

One hundred years since the Seattle General Strike

By Kayla Costa, 11 February 2019

One hundred years ago, over 60,000 workers brought the city of Seattle to a standstill in a strike that holds important strategic lessons for today’s struggles.

This week in history: February 11-17

11 February 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Eighty-two years since the victory of the Flint sit-down strike

By Jerry White, 11 February 2019

With General Motors threatening to shut five factories in the US and Canada, it is valuable for autoworkers to study the heroic 1936-37 sit down strike against GM’s operations in Flint, Michigan.

One hundred years since the death of Franz Mehring

By Peter Schwarz, 6 February 2019

Mehring was one of the leading Marxist theoreticians of his time. Unlike other leading Social Democrats, who shifted to the right, he joined the Spartacus League during World War I.

Fire in my mouth: New York Philharmonic premieres oratorio on the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

By Fred Mazelis, 6 February 2019

The hour-long work probes an infamous example—in New York City in 1911—of capitalist exploitation and the sacrifice of workers’ lives on the altar of private profit.

This week in history: February 4-10

4 February 2019

<em>This Week in History</em> provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: January 28-February 3

28 January 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

100 years since the founding of the Bauhaus

Including an interview with Bauhaus student Wilf Franks

By Barbara Slaughter and Stefan Steinberg, 25 January 2019

This year marks the 100 anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus movement in Germany, which played a key role in the development of progressive art and culture in the twentieth century.

Who Will Write Our History: Emanuel Ringelblum and the Warsaw Ghetto archive on the screen

By Clara Weiss, 24 January 2019

Roberta Grossman’s film is an important contribution to a wider discussion about the significance of historical truth in the struggle against fascism.

This week in history: January 21-27

21 January 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

German SPD politician justifies murder of Rosa Luxemburg

By Peter Schwarz, 18 January 2019

Although the SPD continues to officially deny its complicity in the murder of Luxemburg and Liebknecht, Wolfgang Thierse, former president of the federal parliament, has now declared: We would do it again.

Video: Christoph Vandreier on “One hundred years since the assassination of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht”

By Christoph Vandreier, 16 January 2019

In this video, Christoph Vandreier, the deputy chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (SGP) in Germany, speaks on the 100th anniversary of the murder of the two great revolutionaries.

New study finds up to 15,000 Jews killed each day at peak of Holocaust

By Clara Weiss, 16 January 2019

At least 1.47 million Jews, more than a quarter of all victims of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry, were murdered within 92 days from mid-August to early November 1942.

One hundred years since the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht

By Peter Schwarz, 15 January 2019

The ruling class had to kill Luxemburg and Liebknecht to prevent the revolution, which spread like wildfire throughout Germany during November 1918, from overthrowing capitalism as it had done in Russia.

This week in history: January 14-20

14 January 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

This week in history: January 7-13

7 January 2019

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

Remembering the Kindertransport: 80 years since 10,000 mainly Jewish children were allowed in to Britain

Until February 10, 2019 at the Jewish Museum London

By Paul Mitchell, 28 December 2018

The testimony of the Kindertransport children are invaluable because most of the archives about their lives in Germany and Britain were destroyed during and after World War II.

The bicentenary of Frederick Douglass

A leading figure of the anti-slavery struggle

By Fred Mazelis, 20 December 2018

The foremost black Abolitionist escaped slavery as a young man and went on to advise Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War.

Russian television’s Trotsky serial: A degraded spectacle of historical falsification and anti-Semitism

By Fred Williams and David North, 19 December 2018

The eight-part mini-series, now available on Netflix, is an exhibition of the political, intellectual and cultural depravity of all those involved in its production. This comment was originally posted in November 2017.

This week in history: December 17-23

17 December 2018

This Week in History provides brief synopses of important historical events whose anniversaries fall this week.

SEP (Sri Lanka) to hold lecture on “Lessons of History and the Fight for Socialism Today”

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 21 November 2018

The lecture in Jaffna will focus on the political lessons of key strategic experiences of the 20th century for the working class and their contemporary relevance.

The centenary of the “Spanish Flu”—Lessons for today

Part two

By Benjamin Mateus, 20 November 2018

This is the second part of a two-part series. The first part was posted on November 19.

The centenary of the “Spanish Flu”—Lessons for today

Part one of a two-part series

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 November 2018

The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 was the deadliest outbreak of disease in human history, killing as many as 100 million people.

The armistice of November 11, 1918 and the lessons for today

By Nick Beams, 12 November 2018

The silencing of the guns 100 years ago was not the end of the bloodshed and carnage but was simply the conclusion of the first phase of what was to become a thirty-year international war between the major capitalist powers.

“100 years of social partnership”—a sinister celebration of trade unions, employers’ associations and the state in Germany

By Wolfgang Weber, 10 November 2018

On October 16, the German Trade Unions and Employer Associations celebrated the centenary of the Stinnes-Legien-Agreement, which laid the foundation for the suppression of the German Revolution of 1918/19.

One hundred years since the November Revolution in Germany

By Ulrich Rippert and Peter Schwarz, 9 November 2018

On November 9, 1918, the revolutionary uprising of the German working class against war and monarchy reached its peak and shook the capitalist system to its foundations.

David North in conversation with Nick Beams

Book launch of The Heritage We Defend in Sydney, Australia

9 November 2018

Meetings in Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

19 October 2018

The meetings will take place in Sydney on Sunday, December 2, in Melbourne on Thursday, December 6, and in Wellington, New Zealand on Sunday, December 9.

Large Colombo audience hears David North’s lecture on the history of the Fourth International

By our reporters, 9 October 2018

David North concluded his Sri Lankan tour with a powerful lecture in Colombo, delivered to a large, enthusiastic audience.

Mexico: Fifty years since the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre

By Don Knowland, 6 October 2018

For five decades the Mexican state has engaged in violence in order to crush political and social opposition, regardless of the political party in power.

SEP and IYSSE win broad support for Peradeniya university meeting on the struggle for Trotskyism

By our correspondents, 29 September 2018

SEP campaigners have spoken with scores of students, workers and academics at the campus, explaining the historical record and political importance of the struggle for Trotskyism in Sri Lanka and internationally.

The neo-Nazi offensive in Germany and the role of historians

By Christoph Vandreier, 27 September 2018

The 52nd Historikertag (Historians’ Conference) September 25-28 in Münster takes place under conditions where historical questions have assumed immense significance.

Vadim Rogovin and the sociology of Stalinism

By Andrea Peters, 25 September 2018

September 18 marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Soviet Marxist historian and sociologist Vadim Rogovin, the author of a seven-volume series on Stalinism and the Marxist opposition to the Soviet bureaucracy.

Twenty years since the death of Marxist historian and sociologist Vadim Rogovin

By David North, 18 September 2018

On the twentieth anniversary of the death of Vadim Rogovin, we republish two tributes to the greatest Soviet and Russian Marxist sociologist and historian of the second half of the twentieth century.

Ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2018

September 15, 2008 marked a milestone in the eruption of the most far-reaching and devastating crisis of the capitalist system since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Bisbee ’17: The deportation of Arizona copper miners is a “still-polarizing event”

By Joanne Laurier, 10 September 2018

In July 1917, 1,200 striking copper miners in Bisbee, Arizona were illegally kidnapped, loaded in cattle cars and dumped in the southwest New Mexico desert. This episode is the subject of Bisbee ’17.

On the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International

By David North, 3 September 2018

The founding of the Fourth International on September 3, 1938, was an event of great historical significance and contemporary relevance.

Fifty years since the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia: Part four

The split with the OCI and the degeneration of the WRP

By Clara Weiss, 31 August 2018

The intervention by the Pabloite International Secretariat in Eastern Europe in 1968-1985 was facilitated by the degeneration of the British Workers Revolutionary Party.

Arsène Tchakarian (1916-2018): the Manouchian Group’s resistance struggle

Part 2: Who betrayed the Manouchian Group?

By Francis Dubois and Alex Lantier, 31 August 2018

There is no doubt that the Stalinists’ decision to sacrifice the Manouchian Group was bound up with their genocidal onslaught against Trotskyism and the Left Opposition.

Fifty years since the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia: Part three

The intervention of the Pabloites

By Clara Weiss, 30 August 2018

The Pabloite International Secretariat intervened aggressively in Eastern Europe and especially Czechoslovakia in 1968 in order to disorient the opposition to Stalinism within the working class and intelligentsia.

Arsène Tchakarian (1916–2018): The Manouchian Group’s resistance struggle

Part 1: The political origins and military record of the resistance fighters

By Francis Dubois and Alex Lantier, 30 August 2018

Arsène Tchakarian, the last remaining survivor of the famed Manouchian Group of the French Resistance, died on August 4, 2018, at the age of 101.

Hostiles: A US soldier accompanies a Native American chief home in 1892 …

… and homelessness in Seattle in The Road to Nickelsville

By Joanne Laurier, 30 August 2018

Scott Cooper’s Hostiles opens in 1892 in Fort Berringer, New Mexico, as the mass destruction of the Native Americans population is winding down.

Fifty years since the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia: Part two

The Prague Spring

By Clara Weiss, 29 August 2018

On August 20-21, 1968, tens of thousands of troops of the Warsaw Pact states invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring” and stifle a nascent movement of the working class. This is the second part of a four-part series.

Fifty years since the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia: Part one

Establishment of a deformed workers’ state in Czechoslovakia

By Clara Weiss, 28 August 2018

On August 20-21, 1968, tens of thousands of troops of the Warsaw Pact states invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague Spring” and stifle a nascent movement of the working class. This is the first part of a four-part series.

Seventy-eight years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky

By Eric London and David North, 21 August 2018

On August 21, 1940, Leon Trotsky, the founder of the Fourth International and the co-leader of the Russian Revolution, died from wounds inflicted the day before by an assassin, the Stalinist GPU agent Ramon Mercader.