Within this year the communists, revolutionaries and the proletariat of Austria are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of Austria – the KPÖ. It marks an important year for the revolutionary development, for the reconstitution of the communist party in Austria, which based on that previous once revolutionary proletarian party.
To hold up the powerful achievements of the great KPÖ, from the time before revisionism undermined and destroyed the party, communists and revolutionaries of Austria are developing a campaign within this year, to encourage the reconstitution of the Communist Party, to bring up and to organize the masses and to struggle against revisionism and opportunism.
In the following we want to document the text of the main leaflet of that campaign. More information, pictures, articles and reports you can find on the following page: www.100jahrekpoe.com
Proletarians of all countries, unite!
100 years Communist Party in Austria
One hundred years ago, in November of 1918, the Communist Party of Austria was founded under the deep impression of the Great Socialist October Revolution in Russia, and amidst the revolutionary storms in Austria at that time, which brought liberation to the suppressed nations and sealed the end of the monarchy, which helped ending World War One. The working class was put before great tasks within these storms and had to pass many hard tests of struggle. Karl Marx, whose 200. birthday is this year, and Lenin, showed in their teachings that the working class needs the Communist Party to have leadership in class struggle and to be provided with a combat staff. As Marx and Lenin said, without leadership, without a revolutionary party, the revolution will end in a defeat for the working class. In November of 1918, the revolutionary workers, soldiers, and intellectuals who had realized this, took this responsibility of giving the much needed leadership and founded the Communist Party to be the leader in the struggles of the working class and the oppressed.
100 years after its founding, the KPÖ (Communist Party of Austria) is no Communist Party anymore. But before it became the adapted liberal party it is today, it had a glorious history, it gave an example of what the working class and the oppressed need today too: A party which is their own, which stands ahead, leads them, teaches them and learns from them.
The party of proletarian Internationalism.
The working class couldn‘t take political power in Austria, but it was victorious in Hungary and within the revolution of 1919 built up the dictatorship of the proletariat, the unlimited power of the working class. The bourgeois states, the exploiters, the warmongers were determined to prevent this and started a war against the Hungarian workers. The Communist Party of Austria rushed to help their Hungarian brothers and sisters with more than 1000 voluntary fighters, who defended the dictatorship of the proletariat with weapons in their hands and big casualties. Leo Rothziegel, one of the founders of the KPÖ, died in this fight against the enemies. In the same year, the KPÖ became one of the founders of the Communist International, animated by the strong belief that the international proletariat needs an international party. When the fascists bloody took the power in Spain in 1936, around 1400 volunteers from Austria, mostly organized through the KPÖ, went to Spain to fight against fascism with weapons in their hands. Other thousands joined the Red Army shortly after and fought against Nazi-Fascism, together with Yugoslav and French Partisans, or fought in the ranks of the Chinese revolution. A shining internationalism was a firm part of the Austrian communists worldview, which is why they never hesitated before defending the revolution shoulder on shoulder with the workers, in different countries, too.
The party of armed uprising.
The KPÖ had been forged by the great revolutionary storms in the time of 1918/1919. In the following years, they adhered, that the working class can only conquer political power, if they shatter the old state apparatus through a socialist revolution. So, they weren‘t only forged in the storms of 1918/1919, but also in the July revolt of 1927, that was directed against the capitalist exploitation regime and, intertwined with it, the Social Democracy. Seven years later, in 1934 the Communist Party stood in the first rows of the uprise of February, in which the proletariat stood up against Austrian fascism. Those three great storms strengthened the party under Lenins parole: “Everything is deception, except for the power!“ and made it into a recognized leader of the proletariat since 1934, when amidst deepest illegality and under hard persecution, it developed into a strong mass party.
The party of struggle against Nazi-Fascism.
After the occupation of Austria trough Nazi-Germany, the Communist Party was the one who organized the struggle against Nazi-Fascism in the first place. Lead by the illegal Central Committee in Austria and the foreign leadership in Moscow, the party organized the armed struggle of the Partisans, sabotaging acts in factories and assaults on representatives of the Nazi regime and secret resistance groups in cities and in the countryside. They called for the masses „peoples war against Hitler“. Thousands of communists gave their life for the liberation of Austria and for Socialism. Stalin stood on the forefront of the international struggle against fascism. In this struggle the Communist party originated our 12 heroes of the Central Committee, eleven male and one female comrades, under the leadership of the great Erwin Puschmann, who heroically reorganized the party after the enemy had attenuated it with hard hits, and by this again gave the working class leadership and orientation. All 12 heroes were tortured and bestially murdered by the Nazis. But they stayed loyal to the international proletariat and its party until the end. Hedy Urach wrote in her last letter before her execution: “My whole love for the party, my whole life for it, this is my last greeting to it. I think that it can be proud of me, that I haven‘t disappointed it, because i gave everything I was able to for it’s life!”
The party today.
What the reaction, social democracy and fascism weren’t able to do, revisionism, the bourgeois ideology disguised as „Marxism“, was able to do. Revisionism took hold of the KPÖ in the 1950s and 1960s. This way it went from a truly Communist Party, that was the vanguard of the proletariat and the masses, to a revisionist party, that is communist just in its words, but in reality has nothing in common with the matter of the proletariat. Todays KPÖ is a liberal party of the establishment, it‘s no longer a leader of the proletariat, it no longer gives orientation in the struggle against capitalism/imperialism. But the achievements for the proletariat trough the party, just like its heroes, are immortal! It was a historically necessary step that the KPÖ founded itself in November of 1918. Today also, the working class needs its own party, it needs leadership and orientation in the struggle against exploitation, to smash capitalism/imperialism, against the danger of imperialist war, against the worsening of the quality of life and work. The working class can only get to the victorious revolution, to socialism, if it builds up its own revolutionary Party: the Communist Party. Let us fight on the basis of the unutterably instructive and glorious history of the International Communist Movement and our Party, for its reconstruction! Let us, united under the banner of Maoism, raise the great red flag, that has been raised 100 years ago at the founding of the party! Let us forge the Communist Party in Austria, that we need so urgently, with all our might!
Comittee Red Flag,