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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

"I am defending myself, an accused Communist"

In Honour of the Anniversary of the Birth of Georgi Dimitrov.

Today is the anniversary of the birth of the great Bulgarian Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov (June 18, 1882 to July 2, 1949).

A major figure in the Communist International prior to WWII, Dimitrov is perhaps most famous for his exceptionally courageous and inspiring defense of himself and other Communists against entirely bogus charges of having been behind the Reichstag fire in the early days of Nazi Germany, 1933. His defense was so effective that the court was forced to acquit him and his co-defendants though he remained in a Gestapo prison for some time afterwards.

His words in his summation remain stirring and an abridged version of it, published in a Soviet English language magazine in honour of the centenary of his birth, is presented in the scans below.

I am defending myself, an accused Communist.

I am defending my political honour, my honour as a revolutionary.

I am defending my communist ideology, my ideals.

I am defending the content and significance of my whole life.


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