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Precursors of Nazi “Waffen SS“: Freikorps (Voluntary Military Corps

General Ludendorff, the brilliant military tactician who executed the encirclement strategy on the French army during WWI (and emulating Hannibal’s tactic in Canna), had a vast vision of Teutonic vital space (Lebensraum).

Ludendorff and marshal Hindenburg had pressured Lenin of the new Bolshevik revolution to sign a peace treaty in 1918.

Germany of the Kaiser Reich II doubled in size and in population.  Lenin could temporarily afford to release Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Poland, Roumania, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan to Germany in order to consolidate his reign on Russia.

This extension in size, natural resources, and population didn’t last 6 months but it generated grave consequences.

Germany had dispatched over one million soldiers to this eastern front in order to transfer natural resources and foodstuff back to famished Germany.  Among the soldiers were the voluntary military corps known as Freikorps or “franc corps”.

In the mean time, the Bulgarian front collapsed, which forced the Ottoman Empire to sign a cease-fire with the allied forces of France, Italy, England, Japan, and the USA.

The flu epidemic had ravaged all the States that participated in the war and over 20 millions died from this virulent flu.  The German soldiers on the western front were dying of famine and the flu and started to disperse.

Thus, during the six months before the collapse of the German army in the Western fronts the Freikorps (mostly people of German origin in the newly acquired land) advanced to regain the lands that Medieval Germany had conquered in the 13th century.  And the Freikorps soldiers felt at home; they also linked up with the “White Russian army” (supporting Russia monarchy) to jointly fighting the “Red Russian army” of the Bolsheviks.

In the two years 1919-1921, there were more revolutionary insurrections and upheavals in Germany than all of Europe during the last two centuries.

The fact is that the terrible flu and the disintegration of three empires (Ottoman, Russian, and Austria), the flux of refugees from Russia and many other countries to Western Europe, and the lengthy Paris “Peace Treaty” negotiations have obscured the chaos that Germany’s political and social structures were experiencing.

The Freikorps, returning to Germany after the retreat of the “White Russian army”, formed the backbone of Germany governments’ counter attacks on insurgent groups and parties.

The Freikorps squashed with utmost savagery the marxists, communists, and leftist revolts in many cities such as Berlin, Munich, and in the Ruhr region (the main region for heavy industries and mining.).  These reprisals were precursors of what Nazi Germany would apply with the Waffen SS.

For example, the Ehrhardt  brigade, the most extremist among the Freikorps, paraded at the Brandenburg Arch (Berlin) wearing the future Nazi swastika symbol on their helmets (years before Hitler adopted that symbol)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2021
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