The humanities and social science

2022 Issue №3

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. The Trotskyists in East Prussia: “history in shards”



Based on little-known and unpublished sources from the “Trotsky Archive” at the Harvard University’s Hogton Library, the German Federal Archives (Berlin) and the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History (Moscow), the article for the first time reconstructs the history of the United Left Opposition groups of the German Communist Party (Bolshevik-Leninists) in East Prussia in 1930-1933. The research highlights the figures of the Königsberg group, some of whom (e. g. Gustav Plep and Oskar Seipold) were active not only regionally, but also at the all-German level. The author describes the political activities of the leftist opposition (holding discussion evenings, sending circular letters to small towns in East Prussia, distributing leaflets at workers’ gatherings, etc.), and shows how local Trotskyists were influenced by conflicts between the leaders of the United Left Opposition - Roman Well, Anton Grylewicz, Kurt Landau and Oskar Seipold. The article considers some cross-border links of Trotskyists with groups in Poland. The study of this topic makes it possible to broaden the understanding of the development of the German Trotskyist movement in its regional perspective and to look differently at the political landscape of East Prussia, in which various opposition groups existed alongside the official parties.