Die Verfassung der RSFSR (1918)

title: Die Verfassung der Russischen Sozialistischen Föderativen Sowjetrepublik [The Constitution of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic]
published: Berlin-Wilmersdorf : Verlag der Wochenschrift “Die Aktion”
year: 1918
pages: 24
language: German
scan: pdf, 24 pages, full colour, OCR, 7.5 mb
download link: here

info: A German publication of Soviet Russia’s first constitution in 1918. So far, so dull. There are two details, however, that make this brochure truly fascinating. 1) It was published by the “Die Aktion”, a radical publishing house ran by Franz Pfemfert. His journal by the same name was probably the most exciting Expressionist publication before the War, and became a mouthpiece of radical anti-militarism in the years after 1914. Pfemfert, a close friend of Karl Liebknecht, was a founding member of the KPD, but became disappointed with Bolshevism very soon and became one of the most prominent figures of the German council communist movement. Pfemfert’s wife, Alexandra Ramm, translated most of Trotsky’s exile works into German. 2) On page 3 of the scan you can see a rubber stamp print on the upper margins of the page. It’s overprinted by blue ink, however it’s still readable: “Dublette IML”. IML stands for the Institute of Marxism-Leninism at the Central Committee of the SED, the GDR’s ruling party. An old Soviet constitution printed by a council communist (and taboo figure in the East Bloc), separated out as a duplicate in the IML’s library and presumably traded through a German-German library exchange to a Western university library – this makes for a quite fascinating route that this particular book has taken.

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