Mehring Books and the Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit—PSG) are holding two important meetings at the Leipzig Book Fair, the second largest in Germany, on Saturday, March 15.
At 1 p.m., Mehring Books will showcase Leon Trotsky’s work, Europe at War [Europa im Krieg]. Later in the afternoon, at 4:30 p.m., Mehring Books and the PSG are sponsoring a meeting on the relevance of Trotsky’s work to the danger of war and the crisis in Ukraine. Peter Schwarz, member of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, will give the main report at both meetings.
Written in 1914-15, Trotsky’s reports and analyses collected in Europe at War throw a penetrating light on the early stage of the First World War. Trotsky closely followed the conflict and its development in both its military and political dimensions, in Germany, France, Russia, the US and the Balkans. In his writings he examined the role of the various political tendencies and parties, as well as the sentiments of the masses, with unsurpassed depth and precision.
The volume contains Trotsky’s major study “War and the International”, which analyses the war and the collapse of the Second International from a Marxist standpoint. Alongside Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, Trotsky belonged to the minority in the socialist movement that remained loyal to their internationalist convictions at the outbreak of the world war.
In contrast to those recent studies of the First World War—such as Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914—that argue the war was the result of a series of coincidences and mistakes, Trotsky insisted it was a product of objective, law-governed processes. “The War of 1914 is the most colossal breakdown in history of an economic system destroyed by its own inherent contradictions”, he wrote.
The relevance of Trotsky’s analysis is urgent and compelling in light of the recent events in Ukraine. The offensive led by German and US imperialism, in alliance with fascist organizations such as Svoboda and the Right Sector, which produced “regime change” in Kiev, has brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
Mehring Books stand:
Hall 5 / Stand D 305
Leon Trotsky’s: Europe at War
Saturday, March 15, 1:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Literature Forum Hall 3 / Stand E401
“The relevance of Trotsky’s Europe at War and the danger of war in Ukraine”
Saturday, March 15, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Congress Center Leipzig, multi-purpose area 4, Level 0