Pluto Press Logo




On the Blog

Martin Monath

Martin Monath

A Jewish Resistance Fighter Among Nazi Soldiers

Nathaniel Flakin

Series: Revolutionary Lives

The fascinating story of a young Jewish socialist who risked everything to foment revolution amongst German soldiers in occupied France.

A dramatisation of Martin Monath's short life (1913-1944) would need little artistic embellishment; his identity shrouded in mystery, and executed by the Gestapo - twice - the historical record reads like a detective novel.

Pieced together for the first time by Wladek Flakin, this biography tells the story of the Jewish socialist and editor of Arbeiter und Soldat ('Worker and Soldier'), and his efforts to turn German rank-and-file soldiers against their Nazi officers in occupied France. Born in Berlin in 1913, Martin Monath was a child of war and revolution. In the 1930s he became a leader of the socialist Zionist youth organisation Hashomer Hatzair in Germany. Fleeing from Berlin to Brussels in 1939, he joined the underground Trotskyist party led by Abraham Leon, and soon became a leading member of the Fourth International in Europe. His relocation to Paris in 1943 saw the birth of Arbeiter und Soldat and his work organising illegal cells of German soldiers for a revolutionary struggle against the Nazis.

Drawing on extensive archival research, Flakin uses letters, testimonies and unpublished documents to bring Monath's story to life - weaving a tale rich with conviction and betrayal, ideology and espionage.

Nathaniel Flakin is a freelance journalist and historian based in New York and Berlin. He is Editor of the news sites 'Klasse Gegen Klasse' and 'Left Voice'.

'Highly readable and admirably informed, this is a beautiful portrait of Martin Monath, the Marxist revolutionary who remains little known, even among the left' - Enzo Traverso, author of 'The End of Jewish Modernity' (Pluto, 2016)

'Meticulously researched and written with an evident love and admiration' - Marcus Barnett, Tribune

'Highly absorbing ... an indispensable life is restored to the landscape of anti-fascist history' - Alan Wald, author of 'Exiles from a Future Time: The Forging of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Literary Left'

'This incredibly brave, remarkably vibrant young militant has much to teach through his resistance to racism and fascist violence, and his struggle for a socialist future worthy of human beings' - Paul Le Blanc, author of 'Revolutionary Studies: Theory, History, People'

'A lively, readable and often moving narrative. Monath was a genuine internationalist and his life has many lessons for activists in our own day' - Ian Birchall

Part I: Martin Monath
1. Introduction
2. A Jewish Boy from Berlin
3. Letters from Berlin and Brussels
4. Underground
5. The End
6. Conclusion
Part II: Worker and Soldier
Worker and Soldier: Notes on Translation
No. 1, July 1943
No. 2, August 1943
No. 3, September 1943
[No. 4, April - May 1944]
[No. 5] Special Issue - June 1944
[No. 6] July 1944
Newspaper for Soldier and Worker in the West
No. 2 [Summer 1943]
Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2019
Paperback ISBN: 9780745339955
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745339962
eBook ISBN: 9781786805126

208 pages

129mm x 198mm