Possible Communist Revolution?

German Freikorps, Reichsheer and Reichsmarine 1919-1934.

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Possible Communist Revolution?

Postby Freiritter » Tue Feb 10, 2004 1:31 pm

I've read that the Weimar Republic had suffered from bad internal troubles due to the Communists and economic damage from WWI. Was there ever a chance that the Communists could have succeeded in establishing a Soviet style government? How did the Reichswehr and/or the Freikorps prevent this from occuring?
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Postby Edelweiss. » Wed Feb 18, 2004 9:49 am

Not when Defence Minister Gustav Noske called upon the Freikorps to quash the Spartacist uprising in Berlin. The government was always going to have the support of the army, and the recruitment of the Friekorps to the anti-Bolshevist cause effectively sealed the fate of the Spatacists. I doubt that they had much support anyway -- it seemed as though they were just a group of dissaffected/dedicated radicals.

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Postby sid guttridge » Fri Feb 20, 2004 4:47 am

Hi Edelweiss,

The popular base for the Sparatcists may have been limited, but the Communists were a major force in elections up to 1933. However, they were always behind right-of-centre parties and their paramilitary organisation was always a bit weaker than those of the Right, who could always count on the support of the army if it was forced to choose.

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Postby Edelweiss. » Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:08 pm

That's true, but it seems that the Communists were pretty much alone even on the far left of the spectrum. One thing that united the parties on the right (apart from anti-Versailles sentiment), whether moderate and radical, was a fear and distrust of Communism, and the parties of the right were far more likely to unite than the parties of the left -- even the Social Democrats remained steadfastly opposed to Communism.

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Postby sid guttridge » Mon Feb 23, 2004 2:41 am

Hi Edelweiss,

Everyone was right to be suspicious of the Communists, because they were affiliated to the Comintern in Moscow, which preached international revolution. Revolution in Germany may never have become fully practicable, but it was certainly on the agenda.

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Postby Freiritter » Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:44 am

Well, I remember reading that the Kiel Mutiny of 1918 was primarily by Communist sailors' councils. Also, I heard that the Imperial Army also had some Communist soldiers' councils. Was the Freikorps the primary anti-Communist element to put these Red uprisings down? Did the Reichsheer, upon formation, kept the Communists from the ranks? Also, did the Reichswehr conduct any surveillance/covert operations against the Spartacists or other Left wing groups?
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Postby Edelweiss. » Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:54 am

The Freikorps were primarily groupings of ex-soldiers and anti-Communists who formed a paramilitary unit to combat any potential Red uprising in Germany. I believe their first success (and don't take my word for this) was their toppling of the Raeterepublik (sp?) in Bavaria. The Reds under Kurt Eisner had attempted to form an independent republic, but Bavarians appeared to have little enthusiasm for breaking away from the Reich. To my knowledge the Raeterepublik was highly unstable and commanded the support of only it's most loyal cohorts.

When the Reds were toppled, Munich was under effective Freikorps administration until the first Weimar Government could consolidate it's power.

As for the Reichswehr, I highly doubt that they would have included any Communists or Communist-sympathizers in their ranks. The army may have been recued heavily in size, but it still remained true to it's Prussian, conservative traditions (officer such as Hindenburg were held in high esteem), and I'd be prepared to bet that every effort was made to curb the influence of the left in the military.

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Re: Possible Communist Revolution?

Postby Helmut Von Moltke » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:33 pm

Freiritter wrote:I've read that the Weimar Republic had suffered from bad internal troubles due to the Communists and economic damage from WWI. Was there ever a chance that the Communists could have succeeded in establishing a Soviet style government? How did the Reichswehr and/or the Freikorps prevent this from occuring?


hi, there was already a communist government instaled in Munich in 1919, bit it was crushed a few months later by the Freikorps.
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Postby phylo_roadking » Mon May 22, 2006 1:18 pm

All, coming to this late. In 1918-19 there were SEVENTEEN revolutions, Soviets established, or service mutinies in Germany, of which the three emntioned above were just the longest lasting or most well-known. As for why the Freikorps formed - the German Army had NO authority to do anything except eat and breathe until the formal signing of the Treay of Versailles in 1919, a bit like the Fleet sitting "interned" not truly prisoners in Scapa Flow. So the government of Germany had no unified military or even paramilitary force to call upon during that period. But wht you DID have were hundreds of thousands of German citizens VERY recently under arms, trained in the use of arms....and the majority of army personnell took the position that it was communist agitation at home in 1917 -18 that lost them the war. So of course they were naturally, the majority of veterans, anti-communist or anti-socialist.

As for communists in the Reichswehr? A bit like ANY army retrenching after a major conflict to peacetime levels - or in the chase of the Reichwehr vastly smaller - it would have been the officer cadre that selected what veterans under arms would remain in the new 100,000 strong army, and i'm willing to bet that THEY ensured no communists, or actually any agitators of ANY kind - remained in the the ranks. Knowing the German Junkers class that made up the army officer class, THEY were the agitators as the Army ALWAYS dabbled in right wing politics in Germany.

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Postby derGespenst » Mon May 22, 2006 1:44 pm

Karl Marx had always expected the revolution to occur in Germany, certainly not Russia. Had it done so, it is quite possible (IMHO) that communism would be the dominant politico-economic philosophy today, because the Germans would have made it work.
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Postby phylo_roadking » Mon May 22, 2006 2:50 pm

Read the comments on another thread - then it wudnt have been Communism, because Marx envisaged it as a natural evolution not managed or made to work lol

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Postby Kitsune » Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:51 pm

There is a quote attributed to Lenin:
"There will be never a revolution in Germany. Because for it one would have to step on the lawn." :?
"Tell my mother I died for my country. I did what I thought was best."


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Postby M.H. » Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:06 pm

Kitsune wrote:There is a quote attributed to Lenin:
"There will be never a revolution in Germany. Because for it one would have to step on the lawn." :?


*snicker*
You HAVE to love my Germans! :D :D :D
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Postby phylo_roadking » Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:04 pm

Which is why there were no lawns in Communist Russia. By the time half a dozen worker's collectives had fought it out with a similar number of block commitees as to who would cut the grass.....the local Lesbian Tarmackers and tractor repair sisters would have paved it over!

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Postby dduff442 » Sat Jun 17, 2006 4:42 pm

I recall another Lenin gag, though I don't have the exact wording: "There will never be a revolution in Germany. Germans wouldn't occupy a railway station without first buying tickets."

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