Through her long involvement in the German Communist party, Ruth Fischer amassed valuable material on its changing fortunes, the transformation of the Bolshevik party into a totalitarian dictatorship, and the degeneration of the Comintern. Drawing on this material and on her own vivid recollections, Fischer reconstructs the history of the German Communist party from 1918 to 1929. First published in 1948, this fundamental work opened up the study of the inner organizational life of a major revolutionary movement. In his introduction to the Social Science Classics edition, John Leggett reviews and summarizes the social, political, and economic issues and events that precipitated the revolution and those factors that contributed to its failure.

part 1|2 pages

The Origins of German Communism

chapter 1|27 pages

Resistance to the First World War

chapter 2|24 pages


chapter 3|36 pages

Germany, 1918

chapter 4|29 pages

Years of Civil War, 1919-1920

chapter 5|31 pages

The Kapp-Lüttwîtz Putsch

chapter 6|23 pages

The Road to the New Economic Policy

chapter 7|16 pages

The United Communist Party

part 2|2 pages

National Bolshevism

chapter 8|14 pages

The Reparations Crisis

chapter 9|18 pages

Karl Radele

chapter 10|14 pages

Communist Convention at Leipzig

chapter 11|19 pages

Struggle for Succession in the Russian Party

chapter 12|15 pages

Occupation of the Ruhr

chapter 13|24 pages

The Schlageter Policy

part 3|2 pages

The Communist Uprising of 1923

chapter 14|16 pages

The Cuno Strike

chapter 15|24 pages

Preparation for the Uprising

chapter 16|19 pages

Dresden, Hamburg, Munich •

part 4|2 pages

The Period of Transformation

chapter 18|27 pages

Left Communism and the Dawes Plan

chapter 19|20 pages

The Hindenburg Election

chapter 22

• Socialism in One Country

part 5|2 pages

The State Party is Installed

chapter 23|18 pages

Stabilization of the German Party

chapter 24|22 pages

• The Reichswehr and the Red Army

chapter 25|36 pages

Trotsky and Zinoviev Form a Bloc

chapter 26|33 pages

The Defeat of the Bloc

chapter 27|21 pages

Agit-Prop: Agitation and Propaganda

part 6|2 pages

Summary and Conclusion

chapter 28|38 pages

Summary and Conclusion