World War II

Anarchists in court, England, April 1945

Cartoon from War Commentary

This article describes the British state's efforts to suppress the anti-militarist views expressed by the anarchist paper War Commentary and the Freedom Press group during World War II, and the subsequent popular campaign that sprung up in defense of the paper in particular, and freedom of the press in general.

World war as class war - James Heartfield

Looking through the mists of obligatory sentimentalism that enveloped the 70th aniversary of the outbreak of WWII, James Heartfield remembers the pitiless subordination of people to production on all sides of that crisis, and argues against the idea that the war tipped the scales in the favour of the working class.

Which Side To Take? Otto Rühle

Otto Ruhle on which side socialists should support during World War II.

Wildcat! The wartime strike wave in the auto industry - Ed Jennings

Patriotic?  Auto workers supporting World War II

Ed Jennings' account of the widespread movement of wildcat strikes in the United States auto industry during the period of the union-agreed no strike pledge.

The World War II and post-war strike wave - Jeremy Brecher

US oil workers strike in 1945

Jeremy Brecher on the huge, often unofficial, strikes which swept the US during and after World War II, despite the existence of union-enforced no strike deals.

Street politics in Hamburg, 1932-3

Nazi brownshirts in 1932

Anthony McElligott examines the street fighting and battle for control of territory between fascists and the working class in the run-up to the Nazi seizure of power.

Workers' Struggles And The Capitalist Counter-Offensive Under National Socialism

Workers at a Nazi engineering labour camp

Elisabeth Behrens writes on the Nazis' use of force and racial and national stratifications amongst workers to divide up and crush the working class.

The Schlurfs - youth against Nazism

A short account of the Schlurfs, working class Austrian youth who rejected the values of Nazism

Constructive policy versus destructive war - Marie Louise Berneri

These two excerpts appeared originally in the anarchist paper War Commentary, and have been republished in the posthumous collection of Berneri's articles, Neither East Nor West (Freedom Press, 1952) and more recently in Robert Graham's Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas Vol. 2 (Black Rose Books, 2009). Berneri puts forth a scathing criticism of the hypocrisy of "left wing" parliamentary politics and of the capitalist war machine.