Norway: Eternal honor to Henry W. Kristiansen!

We publish an unofficial translation of a statement published on Tjen Folket Media.

Henry Willhelm Kristiansen was the editor of Arbeideren [The Worker], the central organ of the Communist Party of Norway from 1934 until the newspaper was banned during the German occupation. He died in the Neuengamme concentration camp on the 16th of January, 1942.

Henry W. Kristiansen was a member of the politburo of the central committee of the Party from 1925, he was in the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1931, and in the period 1931-1934 he was the Chairman of the Party. After this, he was editor of the Party newspaper Arbeideren until its publication was stopped by the German fascist occupiers in 1940.

A memorial text about Kristiansen states: “What characterized Henry W. Kristiansen in his long political work in the labor movement was first and foremost his unwavering firmness, his perseverance and devotion to the Communist Party of Norway. He was not more than almost 40 years old when he fell at his post. But despite this, he had already participated in the revolutionary movement for 25 years.”

Each communist can and must temper themselves in precisely these traits: unwavering firmness, perseverance and devotion to the Party.

On June 22, 1941, the Nazi “Operation Barbarossa” – the attack on the socialist Soviet Union – began. Early in the morning of that day, the Gestapo came to Kristiansen’s home and arrested him and his wife Mira. He sent notes from prison urging his comrades outside to intensify the struggle to develop the national front against the fascist occupation and to activate the working class in this. He died shortly afterwards in Neuengamme concentration camp.

Kristiansen’s wife Miriam “Mira” Rathaus Kristiansen was a Russian immigrant to Norway, and worked for the Soviet legation in Oslo. She also attended the Comintern Executive Committee’s conference on women’s organization in 1926, and the Comintern’s women’s conference in 1927. She married Kristiansen in 1928, was arrested at the same time as him and died in the Auschwitz concentration camp on the 1st of May, 1942.

Kristiansen was persecuted by the bourgeois state long before the Nazis took over Norway in 1940. He was put on trial in 1924 together with other young communists. In this trial, he gave a fiery speech in which he said, among other things:

“Our cause is so sacred to the working class that we will and we are allowed to use all means at our disposal. It is therefore clear that we are not saved from a few months’ imprisonment even if hundreds of courts of law should condemn us, even if we must constantly wander in prison; we never ‘improve’ ourselves, but will continue our revolutionary work. All over Europe today thousands of working-class youths are languishing in prisons. In Germany alone, 7,000 young communists are in the penitentiaries today because they have carried out revolutionary work among the working masses and soldiers. Neither in our country, the communist youth will shy away from even the greatest sacrifices and suffering.

If the Court thinks that they will break the communist youth movement by imprisoning some of us, they are mistaken. Around the country there are thousands of workers and soldiers who understand us and who will take up the work that we impose on them to free themselves from capitalism.

We do not want to be acquitted. Condemn us. The Communist Movement will prevail in the end – after all.”

This attitude is exemplary and should serve as an inspiration for all revolutionaries and communists. It expresses revolutionary optimism, which is a moral and political expression of the dialectical materialism that states that the victory of the proletariat, socialism and communism are historical necessities, and not a matter of mere “possibility”, “faith” or “will”. Similarly, the efforts of the martyrs, their concrete contributions and their heroic sacrifices are events that have left their mark forever in the development of matter in general and especially in the revolutionary movement.

The martyrs of the Party and the class never die – whoever dies for the Party and the revolution lives on in our struggle, in the heart of the international proletariat, and still fights shoulder to shoulder with the revolutionaries and communists to this day.

Eternal honor to the martyrs of the Party!

Eternal honor to Henry Wilhelm Kristiansen!

Reconstitute the Communist Party of Norway!

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