December 2000


Brief Introduction To This Issue

1) The Cover Picture

Kathe Kollowitz is perhaps the best known artist, to be directly associated with the Marxist-Leninist movement. We have used her work before, on our covers. This piece on our present cover, is the famous work entitled "Gedankenblatt fur Karl Liebnicht" – a wood-cut completed in 1919/20.
Of course the death of Karl Liebnicht and Rosa Luxemburg – murdered by German militarists who viciously aborted the German revolution – affected Kathe Kollowitz enormously. We do not here intend to claim that either Jack or Rex were of the stature of Karl Liebnicht. But both worked selflessly for the same goals as did Liebnicht. In time - both Jack & Rex will be remembered, for having been, in their own ways - leaders of the class of proletarians and all the toilers, of their own countries.
For our further notes on Kathe Kollowit, Go to: Kollowitz.

2) The Relationship of Alliance to the Dead Comrades

    It is fitting that these two comrades are remembered in the same issue of Alliance. For they both shared the conviction that Albania had established socialism under the leadership of Enver Hoxha, and they both fought revisionism in their countries. Both had formed around themselves, in their own countries, the vanguard of pro-Albanian Marxist-Leninists.

    Moreover, both have an intimate connection to the foundation of this organisation – Alliance Marxist-Leninist (North America). It was in 1991 that Alliance Marxist-Leninist formally began to publish. Issue Number One, was prompted by the recognition that the last remaining bastion of Socialism in the world – The Peoples’ Republic of Socialist Albanian – had been subverted into capitalism. In the setting up of Alliance, an express stated aim was to assist in the re-grouping of the movement in both USA and Canada – along non-sectarian lines. This was mandated due to the crumbling of the movement all over the continent.
    That first issue had a direct link to both comrades Jack and to Rex. We would to like here to explain this link.
    Comrade JACK SHULMAN (1914-1999) was a founding member of Alliance, which used his pre-eminent stature in the USA movement to begin, and develop its building. From then on till his death in November 1999, Comrade Shulman was closely linked to all the developments in the Alliance movement and was a close supporter of the International Struggle Marxist-Leninist initiative. Indeed he was sorely tempted by the prospect of coming to the Paris conference, but his health did not permit him to attend. His death occurred during that meeting, and the Paris meeting carried a resolution to his memory. He died having endured a considerable degree of pain over the last years of his life. However, we were fortunate to have had his encouragement and practical advice.
    We were about to embark on a series of rather detailed interviews with him, to which he had finally overcome his modesty to agree to - when he died. Fortunately, a very close personal friend of his, had already partly interviewed him. We are extremely grateful to that friend, for these details that are contained in the interview herein.
    Comrade REX HOLLISS (1926-2000) was a leading member of the Communist Party New Zealand Marxist-Leninists. He was the editor of the People’s Voice. Comrades the world over, know that it was under his guidance that the CPNZ first systematically exposed to the world – Ramiz Alia’s treachery. The Marxist-Leninists of the world owe to the CPNZ a great fraternal regard, for their clarion call. It is true that other organizations and parties the world over sooner or later came to the same vantage point, as did the CPNZ. But the CPNZ took the vanguard in that struggle. Some of that credit goes to Comrade Holliss. That first issue of Alliance carried three main pieces. One was on the health services of Canada; one was an article on the USSR war-time history and Stalin’s role in that struggle; and the other was an expose from the CPNZ of the revisionist polices of Alia.
    That last piece represented the opening shots in the re-groupment of the international movement. Rex Holliss led the Central Committee that fired that salvo. After that time, in consistency with their message the CPNZ adhered to the platform of the International Struggle Marxist-Leninist, and the continuing non-sectarian battles internationally.
                We will miss these two comrades.
                But as Jack used to cite another American, so must we:
                "Don’t mourn, organize!" said Joe Hill on the eve of his death.
Jack Shulman and Rex Hollis live on in the deeds and writings they left their parties. 

      Jack was the fifth son of Jewish refugees from Czarist Russia who came to North America in 1902 via Canada. His mother and father met in Canada, and made their way to the area around Rochester New York. Here his father became a house painter, and his mother worked as a washerwoman to make ends meet for the 7 children – six boys and one girl. Jack was number 5. He went to college, having won scholarship, but in the interim the depression struck and the family could not keep him there. He drifted into politics from an early age, and by 1930 was a member of the Young Communist League.
    In 1936 he volunteered for the Spanish Republicans, and was asked to recruit for the party. He did so and organized some 18 men and youths to go to Spain – including himself. After surviving Spain, Comrade Shulman returned to the USA. There he became a full member of the CPUSA. His record was known , and he joined the army. After the war, following Browderite revisionist dissolution of the party, he helped build it again.
    Briefly he and his second wife, worked in the South of the USA trying to organize.
    After this brief episode, he worked as Foster’s secretary. In this period, he assisted a rearguard battle against Khruschevite revisionism. It was during this period, that Comrade Shulman began a long and lonely struggle against revisionism.
    He went as Foster’s eyes and ears to Cuba. After Foster was – in all likelihood – murdered in the then revisionist Soviet Union – Jack went to Albania.
    He was at this stage reviled by the CPUSA revisionist leaders, and gradually insulated from contact with the rank-and-file. He turned to China and went as an English editor to the Peking Press. There he saw China from the inside for a period of some years, overlapping with the "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution".
    He left China of the mind that in some way revisionism had taken a hold there. He came even closer to the country of Albania. His wife’s ashes are in Albanian soil. He started the Albania USA Friendship society in the USA, loosely modeled on that of the United Kingdom. He came early on in touch with W.B.Bland.
    He had by the end of his life, seen at least a focus of international Marxists-Leninists had begun, in the shape of "International Struggle Marxist-Leninist" (ISML). He especially appreciated the positions of its’ constituent parts during the Bosnia and Kosova crises, during which periods he saw many other Marxist-Leninist groupings degenerate into opportunist positions.

    Rex was born in Christchurch and attended school and university there. He studied theology for a short time before the authorities decided he was an unsuitable candidate! He then studied journalism and his experiences as a working journalist had a profound effect on his thinking and outlook. He became disillusioned and disgusted with the capitalist press, largely due to his observations and experiences during the 1951 waterfront lockout. He became interested in class conflicts, and joined the Communist Party in Christchurch in the early 1950's and became an enthusiastic student of Marxism-Leninism, convinced of its logic, practical significance and relevance for New Zealand (NZ) working people. He gained further experience of life as a crane driver and car assembly worker.
    He was invited to work for the People's Voice (PV) newspaper (organ of the CPNZ) and over the years assumed increasing responsibilities both in the leadership of the party and the editorial of the PV. He visited the Soviet Union, China, Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and in recent years Albania. As a result of his visit to Vietnam in 1965 he wrote a booklet entitled "Vietnam Eyewitness" - this booklet reflects his humanity, his love of people, his concern for the suffering of the Vietnamese people and his admiration for their heroism and above all his scathing indignation of the barbarism of US imperialism. He toured NZ for many months assisting in the building of the local movement against NZ participation in this filthy war.
    Rex was active in many fields as well as the CPNZ - the local ratepayers Association, anti-Vietnam, and anti-nuclear and anti-apartheid struggles and thus expressed his outlook of serving the people as the makers of history. In 1991 Rex's long association with the CP ended when it was hi-jacked by a neo-Trotyskyist group who turned their backs on Marxism- Leninism. He was instrumental in the formation of the Marxist-Leninist Collective for the Reconstruction of the Communist Party of New Zealand.
    Despite health problems he mastered modern technology and kept abreast of international developments through the Internet and was very disappointed when his disabilities ended his participation in the international discussions on Marxism-Leninism. He had a ready wit and sense of humour and set an example by striving to study problems in depth and from all sides to find correct solutions and avoid errors. While he had great respect for people he always defended his principles and beliefs. For most of his adult life he worked selflessly in the interests of the working class and their revolutionary party.

            BH On Comrade Rex

The Spanish Civil War; On W.Z.Foster & his Struggle in the CPUSA; and On China and Albania Interview.


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