My paper explores the entanglements between German Socialists and Indish Nationalists in 1920s Berlin by analysing how international left-wing journalism provided a platform for encounter, propaganda and political action in Europe and Asia. I will focus on the German-Jewish journalist Hermann Budzislawski (1901-1978) who became a key figure in international journalism as the editor-in-chief of the anti-Fascist weekly Die neue Weltbühne between 1934 and1939. At the beginning of his journalistic career in 1925/26, Budzislawski was the responsible editor for the semi-monthly The Industrial and Trade Review for India, later renamed The Industrial and Trade Review for Asia, which was produced by Indian national revolutionaries and German-Jewish socialists in Berlin with the aim to support Indian national liberation from British colonial rule. The founding of this journal related to the League Against Colonial Oppression (later League Against Imperialism), launched at about the same time by Willi Münzenberg. The League’s main goal was to advance the proletarian revolution globally by supporting anti-colonial liberation movements in Asia and Africa. In line with this agenda, The Industrial and Trade Review advocated raising the political consciousness of ‘workers and peasants’ in Asia against the ‘imperialist enemy’, but it also promoted new socialist trade alliances that were to reduce India’s dependence on the British Empire.
Daniel Siemens is Professor of European History at Newcastle University and has published widely on European and transnational history of the 19th and 20th century. After having studied history, literature and law in Potsdam, Montpellier and Berlin, Daniel received his doctorate in modern history from Humboldt University of Berlin in 2006 and the venia legendi from Bielefeld University in early 2017. From 2011 to 2014 he served as the DAAD Francis L. Carsten Lecturer in Modern German History at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies (UCL-SSEES). Recent publications include Hinter der Weltbühne. Hermann Budzislawski und das 20. Jahrhundert (Berlin 2022); Entbehrung und Erfüllung: Praktiken von Arbeit, Körper und Konsum in der Geschichte moderner Gesellschaften. Für Thomas Welskopp (Bonn 2021), co-edited with Gleb J. Albert and Frank Wolff.
In 2023, Daniel will be research fellow (fellowship from the Leibniz Research Alliance Value of the Past) at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space and do research on „Communist Anti-Imperialism and The Industrial and Trade Review for India/Asia: Times and Places of Transnational Entanglements between German-Jewish Socialists and Indian Nationalists in 1920s Berlin“. During his research stay, he will give a talk on “Anti-Imperialism and The Industrial and Trade Review for India/Asia: Times and Places of Transnational Entanglements in 1920s Berlin”.