e-Article No. 6

Empire of Reason

e-Article No. 6

February 25, 2021

From:  Connecticut Committee of Correspondence

(Committees of Correspondence were early revolutionary cells, specifically organized for revolutionary reeducation, for the manipulation of opinion, so as to lay the groundwork of resistance to the globe’s greatest imperialist power, the British Empire.  “Sam Adams was the promoter of the first local committees on November 12, 1772, and within three months, Governor Hutchinson reported that there were more than eighty such committees in Massachusetts.”  Committees of Correspondence formed the basis for the soon to follow Committees of Public Safety, as the road to revolution unfolded.  See page 217, “Committees of Correspondence,” Concise Dictionary of American History, Editor, Wayne Andrews.)

* * * * *

Armies of the Uprooted and Disinherited:

The German Model, A Warning from History.

By Mark Albertson

* * * * *

November 1918.  The Fatherland is in the throes of uncontrollable tumult:  The Kaiser had abdicated.  The Ludendorff/Hindenburg dictatorship had collapsed.  The German Social Democratic Party (SPD) remained loyal to the fledgling Teutonic experiment in representative government, later known as the Weimar Republic; as opposed to more radical elements, such as the Independent German Socialist Party (USPD), with its alternative platform of peace, political reforms, social programs . . .

          . . . naval crews had mutinied, as Red Flags shot up the yardarms of German men-of-war; an extreme leftward party, the Spartacists, pursued a Communist Revolutionary agenda, led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.

          In the east, a prostrate Germany had to fend off vengeful, greedy Poles and Czechs, competing nationalisms champing at the bit as they sought to devour land at the expense of the German carcass; while within this postwar pandemonium, the vaunted German Army had shriveled and collapsed into Soldiers’ Councils, with soldiers remaining, in many cases, in their barracks, even defying their officers. . .

          Many soldiers, though, still wedded to the Fatherland by ardent Nationalism, or money, or a square meal, or for whatever reason fostered by their rapidly declining political, social or economic fortunes, gathered in groups or units ready, willing and able to subvert the newly minted Republic; while at the same time, combat Communists and other leftist elements considered a threat to the Fatherland.  These units were comprised of officers, NCOs and soldiers.  Included, too, were nationalists, the unemployed, opportunists, students, rightist activists, all comprising a variety of luckless elements which, in the end, were too numerous to mention.

         Yet these para-militaries led by remnants of the Officer Class of the Imperial German State, formed the core defense of a government it was working to subvert, the Weimar Republic, Germany’s ill-fated experiment in Representative Government.  Political moderates, leftists and Communists were their foes in a “low-intensity civil war.”[1]  While at the same time, these formations of ardent nationalist “patriots” preserved the frontiers of the Fatherland, by doing battle against new nations seeking to expand their borders at Germany’s expense.  Germany was one of many conflicts going on following Armistice Day (November 11, 1918) and the Versailles Treaty (June 28, 1919).[2]

* * * * *

Prior to Armistice Day, Germany’s political structure was fracturing on its way to crumbling by early 1917.  Indeed, the Spartacist League, an extreme-left persuasion, formed in 1916, demanded that the war be brought to an immediate termination.  The German Socialist Party or SPD continued to support the government; but in April 1917, elements broke off from the SPD to form the Independent German Socialist Party or USPD.  This new party not only wanted an immediate end of the war, but wholesale economic, social and political reforms.

          But by August of 1918, the German Army was melting on the Western Front.  Five great spring and summer offensives failed in asserting German initiative in changing the direction of the war.  American troops were now in France in large numbers, providing those sorely needed reinforcements, men who were fresh but green to the horrors of the trenches; yet these Doughboys and Leathernecks would soon prove able to bolster the worn and tired Poilus and Tommies.  This would lead to the collapse of the German government.  Kaiser Wilhelm II will abdicate, fleeing to Holland.  The military dictatorship in the guise of Generals Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff will dissolve.[3]

          A fledgling Republic is what will carry a floundering Germany through defeat in 1918, and then into the tumultuous period of 1919 through 1923.  The German General Staff will foster the Big Lie, that the German Army did not lose the war; but, was stabbed in the back on the home front, by such defeatists as the Socialists, Democrats, Communists and, the inveterate Jews.  The last named despite the fact that tens of thousands of patriotic German Jewish men fought the losing cause with their Christian counterparts for Fatherland and Kaiser.  Again, another episode in the history of the Christian epic, where Jewish people have to play that tired role of the scapegoat for Christian inadequacies.

          Known as the Freikorps (Free Corps), these trained/ill-trained para-militaries rose to the occasion.[4]  The first such units rose up in Kiel.  Gustav Noske organized a group of “patriotic” officers and sailors, a unit known as the Eiserne Brigade (Iron Brigade).  Noske was an SPD mayor of Kiel.  However it was General Ludwig Maercker, commander of the 214th Infantry Division, who fashioned the first real Freikorps.  Maercker combed his division for volunteers, succeeding in organizing some 3,000 men, ready to make war on anyone and anybody in defense of the government.

          Unlike the Army, badges and other forms of rank were abolished, creating a semblance of cohesion and camaraderie.  Discipline was strict.  But these groups of irregulars created within them a sense of community against a backdrop of economic chaos, a fractured society and political uncertainty.

          Other groups sprouted, from among areas round Berlin.  Major von Stephani and his Freikorps Potsdam; General von Hoffman’s Gorde Kavallerie Schutzen Division; the Deutsche Schutz Division of General von Wissel. . .

          By the end of December 1918, the revolutionary situation in Berlin was effervescing towards violence.  On the 23rd, the Spartacists rose up, laying siege to the Reich Chancellery.  The Government called out the Army to quell the upheaval; the Army, in turn, relinquished its responsibility to the Freikorps.

          Upwards of 700,000 turned out on January 5, 1919, waving Red Flags, marching in defiance of the Republic.  The Communists soon exacted control of the center of Berlin . . . a Soviet Government in Germany was proclaimed, the very threat Britain and France feared, which could prove a jump off point for a Workers’ Revolution in Europe. . .

          On January 9, 1919, the German Communist Party (KPD) called for armed insurrection.  The following day, eight Freikorps assaulted the center of the German capital.  Storming battalions wielding machine guns, field pieces and flame throwers, many supplied by the Army, spared little in the way of brutality towards the Workers’ battalions.  Many of these assault groups were manned by ex-Stormtroopers, shock troops who had served in German assault units on the Western Front in the brutal fighting of the summer of 1918.

          By January 12, the Freikorps was in control, mopping up armed Communist remnants.  On the 15th, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were apprehended; and at the hands of the Freikorps, brutally murdered.

          On January 19, 1919, a new National Assembly was voted in, assuring the Social Democratic Party a clear majority.  But the German experiment in Representative Government was in name only.  For the Weimar Republic showed that a lack of civilian control of the Army was hardly a prerequisite for a bona fide system of representative government; that is, government of the people, by the people, for the people.  And the Army, in defiance of that government, saw fit to tender its obligation to the State by employing, instead, Soldiers of the Uprooted and Disinherited to bring the People in line.  Indeed, the long-term prospects for the success of Representative Government in Germany seemed doubtful as early as 1919.[5]

* * * * *

The Spread of the Freikorps Movement

Decisive defeat of the Communists in Berlin inflated the ranks of the Freikorps.  From all over Germany, men who had been sitting the sidelines, many of them veterans of the trenches, sought the camaraderie of the uniform and barracks.  Many joined Freikorps commanded by popular or noted officers; such as General Ernst von Oven, General Ludwig Maercker, Lieutenant Colonel Franz Ritter von Epp, just to name a few.

          In Bavaria, April 1919, the Bavarian Red Army, at its height, had a host of 60,000 Red Guardsmen.  On April 7, the Bavarian Councils Republic was proclaimed, reminiscent of a Soviet style of Republic in Russia.  The Bavarian German Socialist Party divorced itself from the Independent German Socialist Party, and convened a government-in-exile in Bamberg, under the leadership of Adolf Hoffman.  The SPD militia, the Republikansiche Shutztruppe attacked the Bavarian Red Army at Munich . . . and failed to evict same.  In turn, the Reds conducted a reign of terror, shooting hostages.

          German Defense Minister, Gustav Noske offered assistance to Adolf Hoffman.  Hoffman refused.  Noting what had happened in Berlin in January, he did not want same to be repeated in Munich.  But Middle Classes, the Catholic Church, and peasantry, too, were fearful of the Red Working Class militia.  So in when the Freikorps.

           Veteran Freikorps units, numbering 30,000 men, under the overall command of General Haas, marched into Bavaria, bound for Munich.  As in Berlin in January, the Communist Red Guards outnumbered the Freikorps.  As the Freikorps units began to encircle Munich, the Bavarian Red Army began to execute all the “counterrevolutionary” enemies it could unearth, real or otherwise.  For instance, on April 29, Starnberg, which is southwest of Munich, the Freikorps defeated 350 Red Guards to take the town.  Some 21 Red Guard medical orderlies were taken prisoner, then shot of out hand.[6]

          Then General Haas was to attack on May 2, 1919.  But news of the executions saw the Freikorps start its attack on the 1st.  In some districts of Munich, some Red units gave up without firing a shot.  Others bitterly took on their rightist opponents.  But as in Berlin, even with inferior numbers, the Freikorps carried the day.  And almost at once, a ruthless suppression of the Left began.

          Victory in Munich was the Freikorps’ outstanding success thus far.  And other triumphs quickly ensued.  Separatist threats in Saxony and Brunswick were summarily dealt with by the Freikorps.  The north German ports were kept in line by Freikorps zeal.

          On Germany’s eastern frontiers, Freikorps units battled savagely against the Poles and even the Latvians.  Freikorps units actually defeated elements of Trotsky’s Red Army.  Yet this Right Wing military formation was soon viewed as a double-edged sword.

          Germany, according to the Versailles Treaty, was restricted to an army of 100,000 men; and, a Navy of 15,000 men.  In May 1919, Defense Minister, Gustav Noske, stated that he had some 250,000 men in the holdover Imperial Army, with another 150,000 Freikorps irregulars.  And it was these Right Wing freebooters who were holding Germany together, maintaining the unity of the Fatherland in the face of threats both foreign and domestic.  An administration of Representative Government, the Weimar Republic, was being preserved by a fighting force led by officers who had no regard for any Democratic style of rule.  Such an armed force could prove a distinct embarrassment.  The Allies could begin to urge the disbandment of such ungovernable militaries like the Freikorps units or, Germany could face an invasion by Allied armies and face total occupation.

          On January 1, 1920, General Hans von Seeckt, became the new commander of the German General Staff.[7]  Von Seeckt saw the Freikorps as perhaps prompting the Allies to send troops into Germany for violating the manpower limits set by the Versailles Treaty, of a ceiling of 100,000 men in the German Army, now renamed the Reichswehr.[8]

          Von Seeckt did not trust the Freikorps from the political perspective, seeing it as a threat to whatever government the Reichswehr would support in Berlin.  For he understood the extremist threat from the far Right.  And despite the fact von Seeckt was opposed to the Communists, a counter threat from the extreme Right could prove just as problematic.  And so, General von Seeckt ordered the Freikorps dissolved.

          The unpredictability of some of the Freikorps became apparent with the attempted Kapp-Luttwitz Putsch, March 13, 1920.  The putschists took control of the political center of Berlin.  Von Seeckt, not wanting to see German soldiers shooting other German soldiers, ordered the Reichswehr to stand down.  Except for General Rudiger von der Goltz, all other Freikorps generals refused to join the uprising.  By March 18, the German Government was in firm control.  And by August 1920, the Weimar Government followed von Seeckt’s lead in urging the disbandment of the Freikorps.  This was further bolstered by the Allied Military Control Commission in Germany, ordering the disbandment of these rightist paramilitaries.

          A Black Reichswehr ensued.  Some Freikorps units were absorbed into the Reichswehr, where they would be under direct German Army control.  But Black Freikorps units also existed, maintaining the fight against the Poles on the eastern frontier.  Indeed, these “Underground Freikorps” units formed brotherhoods, sports and/or shooting clubs, youth groups, joined rural working communities and even political parties.  All in spreading the extreme rightist agenda and ardent German nationalism.

* * * * *

Sturmabteilung

Adolf Hitler, upon taking control of the German Workers Party, renamed same the National Socialist German Workers Party.  And its popularity among the Right began to rise.  Secret funds from the Army began to find its way into Nazi coffers.  In December 1920, Hitler bought an independent newspaper, the Volkischer Beobachter or the People’s Daily.  By January 29, 1922, Hitler was named Chairman of the NSDAP.

          Hitler understood, too, that he needed a protective squad for party meetings and street speeches.  A Sports and Gymnastics section was organized from among the toughest young men of the party.  They were led and organized by a tough young captain from the German Army and World War I veteran, Ernst Rohm.

          Many “graduates” of the Freikorps wound up in the ranks of Hitler’s SA and later the SS.  Again one of those was that aforementioned prized pupil, Ernst Rohm.  Heinrich Himmler, too, emerged from the Freikorps ranks, later to become Reichsfuhrer of Hitler’s Black Guard or, Der Schwarze Corps, the SS.  Sepp Dietrich was another, later to command the Waffen-SS formation, the Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler.

          But what the Freikorps really gave to Hitler’s SA and SS were the fighting qualities inherent in formations imbued with an offensive spirit which at times seemed to display a touch of the fanatic.  A fighting spirit exemplified by SS units in Berlin in 1945, hopelessly surrounded by a vengeful Red Army, until finally meeting their Alamo in the smoke filled corridors of Hitler’s Reich Chancellery.

          The SA, though, was that next step beyond the Sports and Gymnastics section.  Under Rohm’s leadership, the Sturmabteilung[9] not only accepted many recruits, but was organized and imbued with National Socialist principles and discipline.  Interesting that Rohm desired to have Korettenkapitan Hermann Ehrhardt, commander of the Freikorps Ehrhardt Brigade, join him in the SA.  Ehrhardt refused, since the former naval officer scorned the Austrian corporal.  Yet Ehrhardt regarded Rohm as a comrade and offered, Johann Ulrich Klintzsch, to help organize and run the SA.”[10]

         Hitler, though, understood an underlying aspect of the Freikorps.  Many of those filling the units of his Storm Troops had come from the ranks of the Freikorps.  And that in the Freikorps, personal unit loyalty among the ranks was to their unit commander, and was to be exhibited by every man.  Hitler, though, desired loyalty to himself.  When Hitler attempted to organize a personal bodyguard from among the ranks, called the Stabswache (Headquarters Guard),  Korvettenkapitan Ehrhardt recalled those from his Freikorps who had joined the SA.  Hitler understood, too, that Rohm, a Freikorps graduate, would generate that loyalty from the National Socialist Storm Troopers; therefore, the possibility of Rohm able to control the SA as his own private army had to be countered.  So Hermann Goering was placed in command of the SA.

          Goering failed to ameliorate growing frustrations between the Hitler’s Working Class militia and Nazi Party leadership.  Hitler knew, too, that the man who could best control his Storm Troopers was the dynamic Captain Rohm.  So Hitler moved to form a personal bodyguard, led by a pair of close comrades, Joseph Berchtold and Julius Schreck.  This bodyguard was known as Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler or Adolf Hitler Shock Troop.  Familiar names emerge here, Ulrich Graf, Rudolf Hess and Sepp Dietrich.

          But November 9, 1923, Hitler failed in his attempted putsch in Munich.  The little corporal wound up being sentenced to five years, serving only nine months in Landsberg Prison, 1924, together with Rudolf Hess.  Goering, who had been wounded, escaped to Sweden.  Ernst Rohm, Otto and Gregor Strasser, were among those who tried to maintain the Nazi Party and the SA.  But the Weimar Government banned the Nazi Party and SA.  Rohm was able to change the name of the SA to the Frontbann, to perpetuate the fiction of a new movement.

          Upon Hitler’s release from prison, he found that Rohm had gathered much power with the beer hall brawlers, and relieved him.  Rohm then went to Bolivia.  Here he was to train army and police units in crowd control and security police tactics.  Yet, back in Germany, in 1925, the Nazis would try to make a comeback.

* * * * *

Night of the Long Knives

With Rohm in South America, Hitler appointed Franz Pfeffer von Solomon to command the SA.  Von Solomon was ordered to rebuild and restructure the Storm Troopers in the wake of the Munich debacle.  At the same time, Hitler saw fit to restructure his bodyguard.  And so was born the SS or Schutz Staffel, which when translated literally means Protection Squads[11]

          Hitler’s new bodyguard would be sprinkled all over Germany.  In each district, there was an SS squad of ten men and one officer.  In Berlin it was 20 men and an officer.  These men were accorded special status, in that they were loyal to Hitler personally before the Nazi Party.  Recruits were specially selected.  Men of “proper” habits, 25-35 years old, and in good health and excellent physical condition.

          But the SS was overseen by the SA.  And many in the SA resented the newly-minted “elite” SS.  The first two commanders of the SS, Joseph Berchtold and Erhardt Heiden, were hardly up to the task of leading the SS while under the umbrella of Hitler’s Working Class militia.  But that was going to change with the third and final commander of the Black Guard, Heinrich Himmler.

          Membership in the SA grew rapidly, especially when the Depression struck.  But besides resentment of the SS, the beer hall brawlers began to resent Hitler’s growing affinity for the comradeship of Bankers, Businessmen and the Army.  This resentment was inflamed by the growing criminal element entering the SA, as a result of the Depression.  Discipline among the ranks became an issue, together with corruption. 

          With the September 1930 elections in the offing, Walter Stennes, deputy commander of the SA, sought audience with Hitler, demanding less interference in SA affairs by party officials and Gauleiters[12] be agreed to; or else perhaps the Storm Troopers who be less visible during the election season.  Hitler refused to meet with Stennes.  SA thugs, then, broke into the Berlin Gau headquarters, damaged much of the building and beat up SS men from Hitler’s bodyguard.  State police intervened and arrested twenty-five SA men.

          Hitler, in the end, met with Stennes.  He agreed to most of the SA demands.  But Hitler’s acquiescence was a blind.  For he was growing ever closer to the SS, because of the Black Guard’s loyalty and devotion.  At the same time, he needed to bring his Storm Troopers to heel.  And since von Solomon and Stennes seemed to unable to accomplish this, Hitler reached out to the only man he knew who could . . . Ernest Rohm.

          Meanwhile, the SA continued its independent course by reoccupying Gau headquarters in Berlin and, took control of the offices of the National Socialist newspaper, Der Angriff.  Throughout Germany, elements of the SA declared allegiance to Stennes in lieu of Hitler.  Goering was brought in to restore order.  Unruly SA members were evicted from the party, and therefore, lost their paychecks.  Lack of money caused many to rethink the error of their ways.

          Captain Rohm hustled back from Bolivia to reassume control of the brawling Brown Shirts.  Order was restored.  And as the virulent effects of the Depression savaged the German economy, Rohm’s brown shirted militia did battle with the Rotfrontkampfverbund or Red Fighting Front or Red Fighting League.[13]

          With the Weimar Constitution in tatters and one-third of German workers on the streets, President Paul von Hindenburg called the man to the Chancellorship he was loath to bring into the government, Adolf Hitler.  And on January 30, 1933, the vulgar little corporal from Austria became Chancellor.[14] 

          Himmler continued to nurture his Black Guard.  By 1933, some 50,000 were in black uniforms.  The SA, boasting some 500,000 men in January 1933, had a 3,000,000-man host by January 1934.

          Unlike Stennes and von Solomon, Rohm saw the Storm Troopers as a German People’s Army:  That National Socialist host which would spread Nazism cross borders and throughout Europe.  This was outlined in his pamphlet, The Nationalist Socialist Revolution and the S.A.  Question was, who would lead such an effort, Hitler or Rohm?  Such an effort would certainly lead Europe into another internecine conflict. 

          On April 11, 1934, the armored ship Deutschland sailed with Hitler, Goering, Himmler, Goebbels and other Nazi leaders.  They were joined by representatives of the armed forces, . . . If Hitler wanted their continued support, then Rohm had to go.  Heinrich Himmler and his SS went to work in planning what will be an effort in, . . . Discipline by Revolver.[15]

          On June 30 through July 1, 1934, SA leadership was rounded up.  Throughout Germany, SS squads either took suspects into custody or shot those subject to the purge.  Rohm was arrested and taken to Stadelheim.  Theodor Eicke[16] and another SS officer, Michael Lippert, went into Rohm’s cell, left a pistol on the table and walked out.  Rohm’s voice followed them out, “If I am to be shot, have Adolf do it!”

          Eicke waited ten minutes.  Then he and Lippert reentered Rohm’s cell.  The scarfaced captain refused to shoot himself.  Eicke and Lippert drew their pistols and shot Rohm.

          The leadership of Hitler’s Working Class militia had been purged by the Fuhrer himself; while the ultimate heir to the Kaiser’s rise to power had been on the backs of Working Class.  A Working Class that, after July 1, 1934, had been sold out to the new German Corporate Fascist State.

* * * * *

Discipline by Revolver

In 2016, among those active in the political backlash against Establishment Democrats and Establishment Republicans was the White Working Class; at one time that foundational constituency of the Democrats that lent to that moniker, Party of the Working Man.  Democrats abandoned that constituency decades ago, opting instead, like Republicans, for that Touch of Mink as they became political indentured servants of their corporate paymasters.

          In the wake of the Civil Rights movement, the—at times—uproarious Antiwar movement, the questioning by college academics and students of America’s state religion, Capitalism, the seemingly monolithic structure of the major victor of Man’s greatest industrialized, corporatized, commercialized conflict in 1945, was developing chips, cracks and fissures during the 1960s; a Pandora’s Box of dissent during the Second Indochina War, a struggle waged in direct opposition to the precepts inherent in the Nation’s blueprint for government, the Constitution.  In response, the high priests of Industrial/Finance Capitalism sought a new path with a Manifesto of American Capitalism known to history as, “Confidential Memorandum:  Attack on the American Free Enterprise System.”  This interesting literary effort was penned by Lewis F. Powell, Jr., August 1971, and was addressed to Mr. Eugene P. Sydnor, Chairman, Education Committee, Chamber of Commerce.  Powell himself would later serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, nominated as he was by Richard Nixon.  Powell urged that the Business Sector should galvanize itself to forge a greater role in the Media, Education and Politics.  Ralph Nader was highlighted for particular scathing as anti-Free Market.

          The result will be a creeping corporate control of the United States.  Political PACS; Conservative Think Tanks; more money for the military; greater financial control of the Nation by Wall Street; more and more money directed towards the interests of the Few at the expense of the Many.  As a Republican at the time I witnessed this transfer of power.  Indeed, witnessed, too—during the Reagan years—the influx starting with ultra-Rightists; ardent Nationalists and those who could only be seen as being of questionable religious character entering the party.

          These emigres from the “Silent Majority” did have the right to be heard.  But whenever they put forth candidates to represent their views, Huckabee and Rick Santorum as examples, the party always came up with candidates that would be more acceptable to a more expansive voting public; like a Reagan, Bush, Sr., Bob Dole, Bush, Jr., John McCain, Mitt Romney. . .   But in 2016 it did not work.  Years of ignoring the masses for a corporate agenda rose up in the guise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.  Candidates such as corporate low brows like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush were consigned to the political graveyard of presidential history. 

          The anti-Establishment rant would be taken up by the Right, which is better organized, more militant and more revolutionary than the Left.  Extremist groupings such as Oath Keepers, Patriot Front, Proud Boys, Three Percenters, Atomwaffen, Daily Stormer are among a variety of malcontents seeking to chart a new course, as evidenced in Charlottesville in 2017.  Many feel emboldened by Trump, that brash, in-your-face opponent of the East and West Coast elites who control the masses for the few.

          Yet Trump is a product of the class the malcontents despise.  And yet many seemed ready, willing and able to form part of his base, to “Stand Back and Stand By.”  And so they did in Michigan in the plot against Democratic Governor Whitmer; a tune up to what occurred in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.

          But if they have any understanding of history, it should become painfully evident that they are merely useful idiots for a wannabe dictator seeking to fill the void left by the lack of a functioning system of Representative Government. A Duce of the Dumb who would have eventually tossed them aside once he was able to stay in power so as to use his followers to pay off the hundreds of millions he owes the real power-brokers, Wall Street.

          But lurking in the background, behind the veil of history, is the Night of the Long Knives, the decapitation of a Working Class militia by Hitler . . . his own beer hall brawlers.  The argument can certainly be made, though, that Trump did not get reelected and, he is the first Baby-Boomer chief executive not returned for a second term.  Yet the precepts of Trumpism remain . . . as do the American Freikorps that made up the militant wing of Trump’s base.  It remains to be seen how the Corporate State, in the guise of the Biden-Harris Administration, will handle these armies of the uprooted and disinherited.  For rest assured, the practitioners of the Corporate State have come too far, spent too much time and more importantly, of course, too much money, in arranging and maintaining the fiction of a functioning Republic to have it torn asunder by Rightist malcontents from Main Street. 

          The nationwide coordinated crackdown on Occupy Wall Street gatherings in 2011 and police responses to street gatherings and demonstrations by the Left in 2020 should show unequivocally that the Corporate State’s police forces stand ready, willing and able to crackdown on anti-Establishment factions, be they Left or Right.  For in the end, all that matters is maintaining the integrity of Corporate State power.             

* * * * *

Endnotes

[1]  See page 4, “1918:  The Empire Crumbles,” The German Freikorps, 1918-23, by Carlos Caballero Jurado and Ramiro Bujeiro.

[2]  This historian does not hold to the premise of World War I and World War II.  There is only one war, The Great War, 1914-1922; 1931-1945.  For after the Versailles Treaty, Germany was in the throes of upheaval; in addition to Syrians who rose up against their colonial overseers, the French, 1919; in newly-minted Iraq, an uprising of Sunnis, Shias and Kurds attempted to evict their colonial overseer, the British, 1920; the Russian Civil War, 1918-1921; the Ukrainian-Polish War, 1918-1919; the Russo-Polish War, 1919-1921; the Allied contingents in Russia, 1918-1920; the Turkish War for Independence, 1919-1922. . .

          With regards to Allied contingents of troops in the middle of the Russian Civil War, Americans were included here as well.  President Woodrow Wilson sent 5,000 troops to Archangel on the White Sea; another 9,014 went to Siberia, while Tokyo sent 70,000 Japanese troops.  Britain and France did not want to see the survival of the fledgling Bolshevik regime.  American troops were in Siberia as a reminder to Tokyo not to take undue advantages by setting up shop in Far Eastern Russia.  Regardless, Western troops would be out of Russia before the end of 1920, the Japanese would evacuate Vladivostok in 1922 and the Bolsheviks would win the Civil War against the White Russian armies.  Yet what became crystal clear to a couple of American officers in Siberia had nothing to do with Western concerns for Bolshevism.

          “If the Siberian intervention did not set in motion the great rivalry between the two Pacific powers (Japan and the United States) that ultimately resulted in a rain of bombs at Pearl Harbor, certainly it greased the gears.  It was during the Russian intervention that the military men saw that Japanese ambitions were a threat to American security.  Major Sidney C. Graves . . . who served as assistant chief-of-staff in the Siberian AEF, described Japanese aggression for The New York Times in May 1921.  Vladivostok, charged young Graves, had become a Japanese  city.  He argued that if Japan were allowed to pursue aggressive expropriation, to turn the wealth of other nations to her advantage, ‘America, in a relatively short time, will face an enemy almost as great as Germany.’  In his 4,000-word article Sidney C. Graves never once mentioned Bolshevism.

          “General Robert L. Eichelberger, who directed several of the Pacific campaigns in World War II, also served as assistant chief-of-staff in the Siberian AEF.  Lieutenant Colonel Eichelberger wrote in his intelligence reports of 1919 that he was more impressed with the dangerous Japanese military than with the future dangers of the red regime.  Working closely with the Japanese, witnessing the way a small unpopular military clique influenced the Diet (Japanese parliament), Eichelberger was sure of a future war.”  See pages 240 and 241, Chapter 27, “July 12-October 6, 1920,” The Midnight War, by Richard Goldhurst.

[3]  August 29, 1916, in what is known as “The Silent Coup,” the vaunted German General Staff, led by Generals Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, “accepted” the reins of power, leaving Kaiser Wilhelm II to “retire” to his estate “to cut the wood and tend his garden.”  But the German military dictatorship did not have the resources to wage Total War as modern conventional war had become; that is, Levee en Masse, conscripting entire populations and economies for war.  For by this time, conventional war had become industrialized, corporatized and commercialized.

[4]  “These independent military units . . . known as Freikorps, . . . were organized by officers, industrialists and landowners to protect property, and in the east to maintain control of the Baltic and to fight the Poles in Silesia.  The recruiting nuclei of the Freikorps were sometimes based on the remnants of some old Kaiserheer (Kaiser’s Army) formations, but more often than not they were raised by an individual officer to whom Freikorps members gave their personal allegiance.  Recruits were less concerned with politics than in retaining the camaraderie of wartime and being able to indulge in widespread violence.  Discipline was very lax, and although the Freikorps were to fight under the overall direction of OHL and the government, individual Freikorps soldiers held little allegiance to either organization.  Freikorps units were a throwback to the mercenary bands of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and their recruitment and employment indicated just how far authority had collapsed.”  See page 110, “War and Revolution,” History of the German Army, by Keith Simpson.

[5]  “During the period of 1918-22 no fewer than 376 political murders took place in Germany.  Of these 22 were committed by the Left, and 354 by the Right.  Convictions by the courts totaled 62, including ten death sentences.  In each instance the capital punishment applied to cases of left-wing violence; none of the 354 murders perpetrated by the Right led to anything other than terms of imprisonment.”  See pages 59 and 60, Chapter 3, “From World War to Civil War,” Germany, 1918-1945, by Richard Grunberger.

[6]  See page 140, Chapter Eleven, “The Munich Soviet,” Hitler’s Heralds, by Nigel H. Jones.

         Indeed, during the TET Offensive, the battle of Hue, the Communists shot upwards of 3,000 counterrevolutionary enemies before the Marines had evicted the insurgents and NVA regulars, in one of the hardest fought battles of the entire Second Indochina War.

[7]  The German General Staff was a veritable institution in Bismarck’s German Corporate State; including that of perpetuating a coup on August 29, 1916, to create a Military Dictatorship.  The Allies desired the disbandment of the General Staff.  This is something the German Armed Forces refused to do; instead, relabeling the General Staff with the innocuous nomenclature, Troop Office.  And in the hands of the skilled General Hans von Seeckt, the German General Staff would not only survive, but be rejuvenated and able to lead the effort in German rearmament during the 1930s.

[8]  Hans von Seeckt was very much concerned with maintaining high educational standards of German Army officers and NCOs, so as to be able to organize that post-1918 leadership for a revamped German armed forces.

          “Reinhardt (General Walther Reinhardt) as army chief, ordered in 1919 that preference for officer selection for the Reichswehr go to the front officers, the wartime commissionees who had distinguished themselves.  General Maercker, one of the senior Freikorps commanders, echoed this view.  Young front officers, while brave, nevertheless did not have the education or military background of General Staff officers.  Von Seeckt wanted to give officer retention preference to the General Staff Corps members because of their experience in army organization and higher command planning.  Without General Staff officers, he pointed out, the Freikorps could never have been organized or the army rebuilt.  Von Seeckt insisted that the General Staff officer was indeed a ‘front officer.’

          “Von Seeckt’s decision to retain a disproportionately high percentage of General Staff officers was right for the army and the nation.  It was less democratic than Reinhardt’s vision, but von Seeckt was correct in recognizing the organizational and technical abilities of the General Staff as having first priority.  Many of the wartime commissionees may have been brave storm platoon leaders, but the undisciplined postwar behavior of many members of the Freikorps was no more than ‘mobs,’ and part of the border-troop Freikorps were characterized as ‘bandit gangs’ by von Seeckt in 1919”  See pages 33 and 34, Chapter Two, “Von Seeckt and Rethinking Warfare,” The Roots of Blitzkrieg,” by James S. Corum.

[9]  “Under the tutelage of Ernst Rohm it was developed and expanded under a new title:  Sturmabteilung (SA)—Storm Troopers—a title that appealed to ex-soldiers because it was associated with the elite assault detachments, or storm troopers, of World War I.”  See page 17, “The Birth of the SS,” The SS:  Hitler’s Instrument of Terror, by Gordon Williamson.

[10]  See page 17, Williamson.

[11]  Hermann Goering is reputed to have come up with the name Protection Squad.  When Goering was with the elite Richtofen flying squadron in World War I, fighter planes flying escort duties were labelled Protection Squads.  Hence the name accorded to Hitler’s new bodyguard.

[12]  A Gauleiter was a District Leader; and, he was the highest ranking party official under the actual party leadership.  Known, too, as a Gaufuhrer, a Gauleiter was responsible for the political and economic activities within his district.  Early on, most of the Gauleiters were appointed by Hitler himself.  See page 110, “Gauleiter (District Leader),” Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, by Dr. Louis L. Snyder.

          “Out of thirty Gauleiter, twenty-seven were of small-town origin, and twenty-three had received only elementary schooling.  Five had been to a university, but only three had degrees.

         “Of the thirty Gauleiter, six were elementary-school teachers, ten were white-collar workers and three were manual workers (including one agricultural laborer).”  See pages 58 and 59, Chapter 4, “The Party,” The 12-Year Reich, by Richard Grunberger.

[13]  “Rotfrontkampferbund (Red Front Fighters Association).  The unofficial army of the Communists during the Weimar Republic.  From 1930 on it faced Nazi Storm Troopers (SA) in continual bloody battle on the streets.  Many on both sides were killed in these clashes.  Calling themselves antifascists, the Communists, sometimes trained by Russian instructors, used the slogan:  ‘Strike the fascists wherever you find them!’  On February 1, 1933, directly after Hitler’s assumption of political power, the Hamburg Rotkampferbund issued a call to arms:  ‘The day is not far distant when our victorious Red Army that needs no police to protect it, weapon in hand, will drive the deadly enemy of the working class to the devil.’  After the Enabling Act of March 24, 1933, the Communist Party and its unofficial army ceased to exist.”  See page 302, “ROTFRONTKAMPFERBUND (Red Front Fighters Association),” Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, by Dr. Louis L. Snyder.

[14]  Hitler became a German citizen in 1932.

[15]  The so-called Deutschland Pact has been called into question by a number of historians.  Nikolai Tolstoy in his Night of the Long Knives, stated that the cruise into the Baltic, Hitler was “accompanied by his unprincipled Minister of Defense (Werner von Blomberg), he conferred with the commanders-in-chief of the army and navy, General von Fritsch and Admiral Raeder, on this delicate question.  He proposed bluntly that the armed forces should support his succession to the Presidency.  In return he offered a greatly increased army and navy—that went without saying—and the drastic reduction of the SA and curbing of Rohm’s military ambitions.  (It should be noted, however, that some historians query whether any such pact took place on the Deutschland. It may well be that the pact came later.)

          “Raeder agreed at once, but the far more vital von Fritsch stated that he would have to consult his fellow generals.  This he did at Bad Nauheim on 16th May, and there the foolish generals dishonorably accepted Hitler’s bait.  In return for the ending of Rohm’s pretentions, they would endorse Hitler’s succession to Hindenburg.  Hitler began to consider what measures would be necessary to curb Rohm.”  See pages 108 and 109, “Out on a Limb,” Night of the Long Knives, by Nikolai Tolstoy.

[16]  “Eicke, Theodor, General, SS (1882-1943).  First head of the concentration camps, 1934.  In 1939, Hitler’s invasion of Poland, Eicke was involved in the “pacification” of Polish resisters, including killings and deportation. Commander of the Totenkopf Division beginning in 1940, he was involved in the Russian campaign, 1941-1943.  Killed in action, March 1943, when the plane carrying him was shot down in Ukraine.  The former SS-Totenkopf  Infantry Regiment 3, was renamed SS-Panzergrenadier Regiment 3, “Theodor Eicke.”  See page 464, Dramatis Personae, The SS:  Alibi of a Nation, by Gerald Reitlinger.  See also page 209, “Theodor Eicke,” Waffen-SS, The Encyclopedia, by Marc J. Rikmenspoel.   

Bibliography

Andrews, Wayne, Editor, Concise Dictionary of American History, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1962.  Originally published 1940.

Corum, James S., The Roots of Blitzkrieg:  Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 1992.

Goldhurst, Richard, The Midnight War:  The American Intervention in Russia, 1918-1920, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1978.

Grunberger, Richard, Germany, 1918-1945, Perennial Library, Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc., New York, NY., 1967.  Originally published by B.T. Batsford, Ltd., London, 1964.

Grunberger, Richard, The 12-Year Reich:  A Social History of Nazi Germany, 1933-1945, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, 1971.

Irving, David, The War Path:  Hitler’s Germany, 1933-1939, The Viking Press, New York, NY., 1978.

Jones, Nigel, The Birth of the Nazis:  How the Freikorps Blazed a Trail for Hitler, Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, NY., 1987.

Jones, Nigel, Hitler’s Heralds:  The Story of the Freikorps, 1918-1923, Dorset Press, New York, 1987. 

Jurado, Carlos Caballero, The German Freikorps, 1918-23, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, 2001.

Maracin, Paul R., The Night of the Long Knives, The Lyons Press, Guilford, Ct., 2004.

Noakes, J., and Pridham, G., Editors, Nazism:  A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts, 1919-1945, Vol. 1, Schocken Books, Inc., New York, 1983.

Reitlinger, Gerald, The SS:  Alibi of  Nation, 1922-1945, Arms & Armor Press, London, 1981.

Rikmenspoel, Marc J., Waffen-SS, The Encyclopedia, The Military Book Club, garden City, New York, 2002.

Rohm, Ernst, The National Socialist Revolution and the S.A., Preuss Press, USA, 2003.  Originally published in magazine, Hochschule und Ausland, June 1934.

Simpson, Keith, History of the German Army, Bison Books Corp., Greenwich, Ct., 1985.

Snyder, Dr. Louis L., Encyclopedia of the Third Reich, Paragon House Publishers, New York, NY., 1976.

Tolstoy, Nikolai, Night of the Long Knives, Ballantine’s Illustrated History of the Violent Century, Politics in Action, No. 7, Ballantine Books, Inc., New York, NY., 1972.

Williamson, Gordon, The SS:  Hitler’s Instrument of Terror, Motorbooks International, Osceola, Wisc., 1994.

Mark Albertson

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