Ernst Thälmann

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Ernst Thälmann (1932)

Ernst Thälmann or Thaelmann (16 April 1886 – 18 August 1944) was a German politician, the leader of the Communist Party of Germany KPD during much of the Weimar Republic. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1933 and held in solitary confinement for eleven years, before being shot in Buchenwald on Adolf Hitler's orders in 1944.


  • There were sometimes in our own ranks comrades who thought themselves cleverer and more capable of judging various questions than was done in the definite decisions of our World Party. Here I stress with the greatest emphasis: our relations with the Comintern, this close, indestructible, firm confidence between the C.P.G. and the C.I. and its Executive—this is one of our Party, the inner-political struggles and disputes in the past and of the higher political maturity of our Party generally.


  • Nach Hitler kommen Wir.
    • Translated After Hitler, our turn.
      • Ernst Thälmann (1931), cited in: Michelle Goldberg. "After Trump, Our Turn!" at, March 29, 2016.
      • Quote is about Thälmann's refusal to oppose the Nazis in the 1932 German election helped bring them to power. It was quoted by Goldberg (2016) as historical precedent for leftists refusing to oppose Donald Trump as US President.
      • The English quote is mentioned in over 30 publications, mostly as a communist slogan around 1930, yet only 4 publications actually attributed the quote to Ernst Thälmann. The original quote is mentioned in numerous publications.
      • The phrase was used - after Hitler's appointment as Chancellor on January 30, 1933 - by SPD members Karl Hoeltermann on February 18, 1933 [1] with reference to the idea that the SPD would have to 'clean up the mess' of the Nazis, and Kurt Schumacher prior to the March 5, 1933 election [2] when professing his belief that the SPD would win the elections and replace Hitler.

Quotes about Ernst Thälmann

  • Ernest Thalmann was a devoted revolutionary, a good orator with a fine instinct for the worker's temper, he was an excellent medium for expounding theories and ideas laid down by others. He was a poor thinker, and not given to abstract study, even lacking enough self-discipline to reach the cultural and theoretical level of an average Party member.
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