INTERVIEW WITH KARL RADEK

Moscow, August 25th, 1931

 Interview notes sent to Mr Ivy Lee (the leading New York PR consultant at the time) with Karl Radek, formerly Secretary to the Communist Secretariat in the presence of Jack Heinz II.

On Tuesday, August 25th 1931, Karl Radek received me in the offices of the Izvestia and expressed the following views:

“For the next twenty years, we in the Soviet Union will be absolutely occupied with internal developments. In the next twenty years Russia will develop her internal market. The masses need so much. The peasants want better clothing and objects they never dreamed of."

"The situation of dumping is false. If we could receive a higher price for our goods we should be very glad."

"It is nonsense to say that Russia will be independent and self-sufficient. The more a country develops, the greater will its trade be."

"Thus we have every reason for peaceful and better relations with other countries. Relations will, I believe improve. There is now an argument fore a more quiet policy. We are getting stronger in Russia. Every year more peasants realise that a tractor is better than a horse."

Revolution in Germany

"We can wait and see. What a feeble revolution in Germany be for us? It could be a great setback. We should be obliged to help them. I do not think that a German revolution is a concrete possibility present. Beside, we have no reason from an internal point of view to force developments in other countries. Every people must be its own saviour. The German workers know, moreover, that if there were a revolution, they would have to fight from the first day against intervention. Because of Germany’s situation between imperialistic France and Poland, a revolution there would be a difficult question. Moreover, a revolution in and industrial country like Germany would be difficult because Germany depends on raw materials from other countries."

Danger of Intervention.

By gestures, although not in words, Radek imlied that he did not take the danger of intervention seriously. He said, “as long as the two worlds exist, there is always a danger of intervention. If Poland and Roumania attacked, they would have the support of the capitalistic countries. The sharpening of the crisis in Poland gives an opportunity of adventures. But on the other hand, war with Soviet Russia would be very difficult."

Relations with France

"Before the War, France made Russia a tool against Germany. Now the situation is different. We can do without loans and we cannot be a tool of the policy of others."

“The Treaty of Versailles will not be a basis of the world’s relations. It would be in the interest of France to revise what cannot last in the Treaty."

Exports

"Lumbar will be a growing export from the Soviet Union. Oil, however, we shall need so urgently internally."

The Crisis

"It is not the last crisis of capitalism. It will end. America and France have great resources. Ford will produce more at the expense of Great Britain and Germany. The capitalistic world will never again have a period of general prosperity but the greatest powers will be stronger in relation to the others."

“I do not think that you in America can prepare a revolution, but the workers will be stronger after the crisis. “The deep farming depression will last. It is the crisis of the change from grain to meat and from little farms to great grain production.”

“The greatest danger for England is not the English Communism but American capitalism.  Mr Montagu Norman hates Mr. Straus more than Pollitt.” 

Propaganda

“America. We are weak abroad, because our papers are suppressed. I do not know of any evidence that we make propaganda in your country.”

The Third International

"Why should we not give the Third International the possibility to live here? If the British Government would allow the executive of the International to have its headquarters in London."

"I am absolutely convinced that the Comintern would be in London. In the Eleventh Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern in April, no new questions were raised. In the meeting you could find no member of the Government. "

"The Comintern is like the Daughters of the American Revolution. The meeting was held in the Comintern Building."

Relations with America

“You ask how could relations improve between the United States and the Soviet Union: “First, end embargoes and troublesome crusades. Secondly, development is not possible without political recognition. Thirdly, you should end the ‘America for the Americans’ attitude. You are not more realistic than some of our Komsomoltai who think we shall have the whole world in our hands in five years time.“We are a country like America. Without your help, development would be slower, but there is no power which can check us.“Intervention in Russia would end with the destruction of Germany and Poland. We shall not intervene in other countries. History will decide which system is better. We are absolutely convinced that the Socialist system will win.” 

Gareth Jones

October 14, 1931


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