Hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Germany this week to demonstrate against the reactionary Alternative for Germany (AfD). This was provoked by a recent revelation by the liberal media outlet CORRECTIV, that AfD politicians, right-wing extremists and leading businessmen had met in secret in a hotel near Potsdam to discuss the mass deportation of migrants from Germany.

Once hailed as Europe’s bulwark of stability, Germany is entering a period of deep turmoil. The era of economic growth and class peace is at an end. Now, Germany is experiencing an intense crisis, as all the pillars of its former ‘success model’ are crumbling, causing profound divisions in the ruling class and a ferment among the masses.

In stormy times, correct orientation is necessary. This is exactly the function that the annual national congress of Der Funke, the German section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), serves for the local groups of the IMT all over Germany. More than 100 comrades took part in the highest body of the German section of the IMT in Berlin from 24 to 26 March. The focus was on two documents that were discussed and adopted: “German Perspectives”, our analysis of the forthcoming convulsions and class struggles in Germany; and “Building the Organisation”, i.e. the concrete tasks arising from the perspectives for our tendency.

Not a wheel turned in Germany on Monday, as the country was shaken by its largest strike in 30 years. This ‘mega-strike’, organised by two of the country’s biggest unions, brought the German transport system to a complete standstill. The current strike wave in Germany has been building for several months now, with workers winning significant concessions as a result. Monday’s strike represented a turning point that could pave the way for an intensification of the class struggle in what, for many years, was a pillar of stability for European capitalism.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been more strikes in Germany than for a long time. First the postal workers, then the public sector workers, and now the rail workers have taken action. The reasons for this are obvious: economic crisis, massively increased prices and the real wage losses of the last few years. On 27 March, a major strike is taking place, organised by ver.di (Germany’s second largest union) and the railway and transport union (EVG). This will involve bus and train drivers, as well as motorway and airport workers. Note:...

The plot thickens! A month after acclaimed American journalist Seymour Hersh released a bombshell report, accusing the CIA of masterminding the bombing of the Nord Stream gas pipelines between Russia and Germany last year, two articles simultaneously appeared in major US and German news publications linking Ukraine to the attack. Not only that, but they claim western secret services knew all along! What are we to make of this?

Today marks one hundred years since French troops invaded the Ruhr. This occupation, combined with hyperinflation, sparked revolutionary convulsions across Germany. With crisis once again haunting Europe, Rob Sewell examines the lessons of 1923.

This year’s New Year edition of Der Spiegel features an interesting piece titled, “Was Marx right after all?” Full of astute observations about the state of capitalism, it’s a piece symptomatic of the anxiety of the ruling class. But the ‘solutions’ it proposes – reactionary and utopian ideas based on keeping capitalism intact, like ‘degrowth’ and Keynesianism – are really no solutions at all.

On 28 October, German president and member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) Frank-Walter Steinmeier addressed an array of distinguished guests at Bellevue Palace, his official residence. In his ‘State of the Nation’ address, he noted that the world was “heading into a period of confrontation” and that the “struggle for dominance” was coming to the fore.

12-13 November saw a whole weekend of discussions on Marxist theory and revolutionary strategy, involving more than 120 school and university students, apprentices, and workers from all over Germany, as well as Austria, Switzerland and Great Britain. This was a great success for the German Marxists!

The German government is being forced to ration hot water; street lights are being dimmed; and special heated halls are being set up for those who can’t afford central heating – in a country where winter temperatures regularly drop well below freezing. Many Germans are stocking up on wood to burn for warmth, as many predict that gas supplies will completely or nearly run out by early 2023. These are the grim prospects faced by the working class in the economic powerhouse of Europe.

This year, the national congress of Der Funke (the German section of the International Marxist Tendency) was once again able to take place in person from 26-28 May. As last year’s congress took place online due to the coronavirus pandemic, comrades were all the more motivated and excited to meet in Berlin for a lively discussion after such a long wait. The congress was a great success and marks an important step in the building of the forces of revolutionary Marxism in Germany.

The German capitalist class and its government are using Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine as an opportunity to advance their own militarist and imperialist agenda. The German Marxists of Der Funke expose the repulsive hypocrisy and warmongering of their ruling class, and make an appeal to combat the scourge of war with international solidarity. As the dominant power in the EU and a willing henchman in the service of the interests of US imperialism through NATO, the German ruling class has played a central role in the formation and escalation of this long-running conflict in Ukraine.

In a referendum on 26 September, a million people in Berlin voted for the expropriation of the major landlords. In the so-called “Deutsche Wohnen & co enteigen” (DWE) referendum (which in English translates as “Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and co.”), 56 percent of voters voted to expropriate 240,000 apartments owned by the biggest profiteering landlords, including Deutsche Wohnen, with 39 percent voting against. This is the biggest breakthrough in the class struggle in Germany for decades. It gives a flavour of the militant mood building among workers and youth.

The results of the 20th German federal election on 26 September show a continuing process of polarisation in Germany. Public opinion has never been so volatile, voters have never been so undecided, and parliament has never been so fragmented. The bourgeois-democratic political system of Germany is in crisis, but no class-struggle alternative was to be found in this election.

Heavy rain has caused severe flooding in several regions of Central Europe. Scores of people have died, many have been injured, and even more have lost their belongings. It will take years to repair the damage. Climate change has made extreme weather events like this more likely, which in turn expose the mismanagement of society. The bosses and bourgeois politicians – who failed to prepare for this disaster, despite the warnings; and who undermined emergency services through austerity – are squarely to blame.

For a long time, the CDU/CSU was considered the most stable conservative party in Europe. But the battle now raging in public for candidacy for the chancellorship between Armin Laschet (CDU) and Markus Söder (CSU) has shown that this central pillar of German capitalism is riven with deep cracks. Laschet has prevailed, but stability is gone.

The German federal constitutional court has ruled the rent cap in Berlin as unconstitutional, bringing to an end the Berlin rent cap experiment. This means that Berlin tenants will have to dig deeper into their pockets to be able to afford a roof over their heads. The German left-wing party DIE LINKE and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) with its eight member unions now have to go on the offensive!

Over the weekend of 9-11 April 2021, Der Funke, the German section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), held its national congress. We intently discussed the perspectives for the class struggle, and the tasks facing our revolutionary organisation. Although circumstances meant the congress had to take place online, the mood was militant and enthusiastic.