The Message of the Tudeh Party of Iran to the German Communist Party (DKP) on the occasion of 16 April; the birthday of Comrade Ernst Thälmann

Dear comrades of the leadership of the German Communist Party (DKP)!

[Sunday] 16 April marks the birthday of Comrade Ernst Thälmann, the great anti-fascist fighter and militant leader of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).  From 1 September 1925 until his arrest by the Nazis on 3 March 1933, Comrade Thälmann led the KPD for almost eight years, during one of the most critical periods in [the contemporary history of] Germany, until the fascists came to power.  He was one of the comrades and personalities whose names were at the top of the list drawn-up by fascist manhunters to be tracked down and eliminated.  Thus, he was kidnapped at the first opportunity and soon subjected to interrogation and torture.

The fascist henchmen of the Gestapo shot and killed Comrade Thälmann on Hitler’s direct orders in the huge and gruesome Buchenwald concentration camp on 18 August 1944 after he had endured eleven years of captivity in prisons and death camps.  Later, it was cowardly announced [by the Nazis] that Comrade Thälmann had been killed during the bombings carried out by Allied Forces aircraft during the war.  The Nazis cremated the Comrade Thälmann’s body in secret so that no physical trace of him could ever be found…  Never knowing that today, after almost 80 years, his name, resistance, and steadfastness against the bloodthirsty enemies of freedom [and progress] continue to provide shining inspiration to the German communists, their fraternal comrades in the Tudeh Party of Iran, as well as all other communists around the world.

Indeed, the German labour movement has passed through many complex, bloody, and treacherous paths and has only been able to continue its way owing to the costly struggle, dedication, and selflessness of the German communists.  The cowardly and vicious murders of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in 1919 by warmongers and right-wing extremists and the execution of Ernst Thälmann in 1944 by the fascists undoubtedly count among the greatest tragedies suffered by the German labour movement.

Reactionary, regressive, and anti-freedom forces [continue to pitch] against freedom fighters, peace campaigners, and those who struggle in the workers movements all over the world.  Likewise, the methods used by the forces of reaction and the enemies of freedom in dealing with the activists in the labour movement are similar and homogeneous in all parts of the world.  Comrades will remember that exactly 40 years ago, the second wave of attack by the security forces of the Islamist regime in Iran against the Tudeh Party of Iran, the party of the Iranian working class, as well as a number of other leftist and progressive forces, was well underway.  This culminated, on 27 April 1983, in the nascent “Islamic Revolution Guards Corps” (IRGC) and the security institutions of the Islamic Republic launching an all-out nationwide attack on our Party, its members and supporters.  [This was undertaken] in coordination and cooperation with the security agencies of the imperialist countries – especially the CIA, MI6 of Britain, Mossad of Israel as well as the security forces of Pakistan and Turkey.  During this purge, thousands of our comrades were arrested and sent to prisons and torture centres, where many of them were executed or killed under torture.  Prior to this, the security forces of the Islamist regime had attacked our Party on 6 February 1983 [in the first wave] and arrested and imprisoned a large swathe of our Party’s leadership.  [It is known that during the approximately three-month period between the two waves of the attack, the leaders and prominent cadres of the Party were being savagely worked on (tortured) in preparation for their televised “recantations” and “repudiations” of their beliefs and ideology, and to gain the information needed – along with that readily supplied by several Western intelligence agencies – to move on the Party’s rank and file and mass membership right around the country.]

The main reason for this anti-communist onslaught by the reactionary Islamists was to destroy once and for all the Tudeh Party of Iran and the leftist, progressive, and peace-loving ideals in Iran which had been especially and widely welcomed by the young generation in the years immediately after the 1979 Revolution.  The attack on our Party took place at a time that, following the pushing back of the Iraqi invading forces from the sovereign territory of Iran, we accordingly demanded an end to the devastating fratricidal war – a war that the reactionaries ruling Iran would go on to [unnecessarily] prolong for a further six bloody years.  The brutal onslaught against our Party and the ensuing repression and consequent political and organisational difficulties were unprecedented not only in the history of our Party, but also in the history of the world’s labour and communist movement.

However, just as the execution of Comrade Ernst Thälmann could not stop the German labour and progressive movement from going forward, the Islamist regime in Iran cannot stand in the way of the struggle of the working class, Tudeh Party of Iran, and the freedom fighters of Iran.  This has been underlined by the protest uprising of the Iranian people of recent months under the banner of “Women, Life, Freedom”, showing the great impetus and zeal that the movement for freedom and justice enjoys in our country.

On the eve of his 137th birthday, we honour the memory of Comrade Ernst Thälmann…

  • Long live the solidarity of labour movement fighters around the world!
  • Long live the fraternal solidarity between the Communist Party of Germany and the Tudeh Party of Iran!


With our warmest regards,

The Tudeh Party of Iran

Tuesday 11 April 2023

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