Claim: Willi Munzenberg said that ''We must make Western Civilisation stink''

One common quote that I have seen peddled around right-wing circles is the assertion that Willi Munzenberg, a German Communist, said the following:

“We must organize the intellectuals and use them to make Western civilization stink. Only then, after they have corrupted all its values and made life impossible, can we impose the dictatorship of the proletariat”

Though many sources such as this one claim that Munzenberg said it, they never provide a primary source for the claim. I thus think it is likely that it is either fabricated, or distorted in some form. Hope you guys can help!


Senior Member.
I'm not seeing anything online before year 2000 in German or English, even snippets of the quote.

The earliest book i see so far is 1995, but no source is given to the quote

Bernard Connolly, "The Rotten Heart of Europe: Dirty War for Europe's Money" (London: Faber & Faber, 1997), Kindle edition, location 113–118.
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n0te: book originally published in 1995, no source for quote given. see attached photo for book page below.

Other weird websites, might be leading me down a rabbit hole of people just repeating other people's misinformation. But so far all im getting as a source is allegedly a meeting in 1922 that Lenin organized. Where this info came from i have no idea.

I know nothing about German National Archives and whether such meetings would have taken notes, or if members discussed the meetings to the press or in personal letters. German not being a language i can read, i'm going to end my search with this and let others continue on if they want.

In 1922, on Lenin’s initiative, European communists organised a meeting at the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow. Present at the meeting among others were Marxist theoretician, Georg Lukács, and German political activist, Willi Münzenberg.

kinda repeated in a 2009 book (again may be just regurgitating false information)
Britannia Radio 22 May 2013 quotes Christopher Dawson ́s Enquiries into Religion and Culture, p. 259 [published 2009]. Since the Bolshevik Revolution did not spread, a meeting was organized at the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow on Lenin's initiative. The aim of the meeting was a Marxist cultural revolution. Among those present was Georg Lukacs – a Hungarian aristocrat, the son of a Jewish banker, a good Marxist theorist who developed the idea of "revolution and eros" – the sex drive as an instrument of destruction. Willi Münzenbergs (right) proposed solution was to "theintellectuals to organize and use to make western civilization stink. Only then, after they have all corrupted their values and made life impossible, can we impose the dictatorship of the proletariat'.
Ralph de Toledano (1916-2007) : "It was a meeting that was perhaps more damaging to Western civilization than the Bolshevik Revolution itself". Lukacs moved to Germany, where he was present at the meeting that led to the Foundation of the Frankfurt School - officially in 1923.


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I've been looking for the same thing and couldn't find anything predating 1995 either. All sources I could find online (including books) point back to Ralph de Toledano, but the guy was only a young kid when the meeting took place, so he wasn't there and must have heard about it much later from someone else. Or the whole thing is fabricated, who knows?