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In her essay "Gestern Morgen", Bini Adamczak tells a story from Manes Sperbers "Wie eine Träne im Ozean." I'll paraphrase:

In 1935, a member of the German Communist Party (KPD) finds himself doubting the strategy and analysis of the party in its dealing with the Nazis. He starts meeting and talking to dissident communists and even members of the SPD. Because a formal exclusion from the party is difficult to achieve, as the KPD is already illegal, his seniors in the party find a 'pragmatic' solution and rat him to the Gestapo. The party member gets imprisoned in a concentration camp, where he is treated as a traitor by his fellow communists.

Now, this is taken from a novel. I understand that Sperber wanted to expose a certain modes of thinking within the party, such as obedience and compliance, that certainly existed. And we know that Stalin delivered German communists into the hand of the Nazis.

But are there any accounts of the German KPD actually ratting out its comrades to the Nazis as a way of dealing with dissidents?

  • Can you cite specific cases when Stalin delivered German communists into the hand of the Nazis? (I can easily believe he would do it, but a source is required nevertheless). – Felix Goldberg Jul 31 '13 at 9:50
  • germans including communists were deported tino germany during the Hitler-Stalin pact, the essay mentioned also cites sources for this (I'll look later today), I'm not sure I can provide specific instances. – mart Jul 31 '13 at 9:57
  • Herbert Wehner, a leading social democrat politician after the war, was a communist during the Nazi years. There is documented evidence that he delivered up several comrades to the NKVD to be sentenced to death or sent off to Gulag. In addition, one high-ranking official in East Germany's ruling party has claimed that he also betrayed comrades to the Gestapo, see this article in Welt Online last month. – Eugene Seidel Jul 31 '13 at 10:13
  • Any way to make this question answerable? – mart Apr 7 '15 at 8:14
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I could not find any positive references, which does not, of course, prove that this has never happened.

However, I think this is not very likely because ratting a party member would expose his cell members to the risk of arrest (if the ratted member rats them).

  • and the inevitable and very difficult to answer question "how do you know he's a communist", iow the ratter would expose himself as a possible communist which wouldn't end well for him. – jwenting Jul 12 '17 at 11:59
  • @jwenting: one could rat someone to gestapo/kgb anonymously. – sds Jul 12 '17 at 13:18

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