Stalin's German-Nationalist Party
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At a meeting between Joseph Stalin and leaders of the Socialist Unity Party (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands: SED) in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, held on January 31, 1947, Stalin asked what percentage of Germans (in all the occupation zones) were “fascist elements,” and “what influence did they retain in the Western zones”? Otto Grotewohl replied that it was a difficult question to answer, but that he could give Stalin lists of former National Socialist party members “in leadership positions in the Western zones.” Stalin had not asked the question with the view to purging Germany of “fascists,” but with the possibility of re-forming former National Socialist party members into another party, which would promote nationalism and socialism within the context of a Soviet Germany. He was also interested in the possible voting patterns of “fascist elements” should there be a plebiscite on German unification. Grotewohl’s view was that they were “all reactionaries.” Stalin’s view was different. Would it be possible to organize the “fascists” in the Soviet zone under a different name? He pointed out to the SED leaders that their policy of “exterminating fascists” was no different from that of the USA, stating: “Maybe I should add this course [of organizing a nationalist party] so as not to push all of the former Nazis into the enemy camp?”
While the Western zones sought to ban any political re-manifestation of National Socialism, Stalin was exploring the possibilities of integrating such elements into a new Soviet Germany. The reticence he received from the Socialist Unity leaders was based on a typically Marxist reaction. However, one uses Marxism to tear down a nation and a state, not to construct one. Stalin, as Trotsky correctly lamented, had “betrayed” the Bolshevik revolution by reversing possibly every Marxian program that had been erected by Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Sverdlov, et al., who had for the most part been purged or liquidated by Stalin.
Grotewohl objected that if the “fascists” were reorganized into their own party, such a move would be “incomprehensible to the working masses” in the Western zones. Presumably he was so naïve as to believe that the proletariat in the Western zones were so eager to forsake twelve years of almost miraculous social and economic achievements under National Socialism, and embrace doctrinaire Marxism, that they would feel betrayed unless all the leaders of the former regime were routed and lynched. Stalin had other thoughts. Stalin replied that showing the “Nazis” in the Western zones that their comrades under the Soviets were not being purged would provide a positive impression that “not all of them will be destroyed.” Pieck regarded the idea as “impossible,” while Stalin saw no reason why it should not be achieved. He wanted to recruit “patriotic elements” to a “fascist party” especially among “secondary figures of the former Nazi Party.” There would be nothing reactionary about establishing such a party, as many “Nazis” had “come from out of the people.”
Ulbricht thought Stalin’s idea entirely plausible by focusing on the socialist aspect of National Socialism, especially among idealistic youth, who had regarded the NSDAP as Socialist. Stalin explained that he did not aim to integrate “fascist’ elements into the SED, but to encourage them to form their own party, in alliance with the SED. Former “Nazis” were voting for the bourgeois conservative parties in the Soviet-occupied zone, fearful that the establishment of a Soviet state would mean their liquidation. Stalin wanted to demonstrate that their situation under a Soviet Germany would be otherwise. He also did not share the preposterous view of the German Communist leaders present that the “fascist elements” were all bourgeois. He stated that “there should be relief for those who had not sold out” to the Western occupation; and that “we must not forget that the elements of Nazism are alive not only in the bourgeois layers, but also among the working class and the petty bourgeoisie.”
Ulbricht’s particularly positive attitude among the SED leaders towards Stalin’s plans for a nationalist party as part of an SED-led “national front” had a personal precedent. While the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939 had caused a crisis of conscience among Communists throughout the world, Ulbricht had been particularly enthusiastic towards the alliance between two “socialist” states, writing in the Comintern newspaper, Die Welt, published in Stockholm:
Many workers, who desire socialism, welcome the pact particularly, because it reinforces the friendship with the great country of socialism. … Both the German people and those peoples who are admitted to the German multinational state must make the choice: not together with English high finance in favor of the extension of the war and a new Versailles, but together with the Soviet Union for peace, for the national independence and the friendship of all peoples. The working-class, the farmers and the working intellectuals of Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland will be the strongest guarantee for the Soviet-German alliance and the defeat of the English plan.
It should be noted that Ulbricht saw the Hitler-Stalin pact as an alliance against plutocracy headed by England. Ulbricht also played a prominent role in Stalin’s purge of the German Communist party leadership that had fled to the USSR after Hitler’s assumption of office. Some of these were extradited from the USSR back to Germany, such as Margarete Buber-Neumann, who was sent to Ravensbrück. While Hitler executed five members of the Politburo of the German Communist party, in the USSR seven were liquidated, and 41 out of 68 party leaders.
Pieck, presumably assuming that the projected party would be called “National Socialist” or “Fascist,’ objected that that the Allies would not allow the reconstitution of such a party. Stalin laughed in response, and explained that the party would be called a name that was less obvious, such as “National Democrats.”
Another major objection from the party leaders, again naïve, was that the “fascists” are an “aggressive party” and want “living space.” Stalin pointed out that Germany was defeated, its army was no more and that the “fascist elements” were not concerned with such matters.
Otto Grotewohl, Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic, delivers keynote speech during the celebration of the 71st Birthday of Josef Stalin held in the Berlin State Opera on the evening of 21 December 1950. The inscription reads "Long live J.W. Stalin, the best friend of the German people!"
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-09039-0001 / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
Indeed, a significant faction of diehard post-war German National Socialists were committed to a neutralist position, if not being overtly pro-Soviet. They had just fought a war against the USSR, and many were not eager to do so again in the interests of American hegemony over Europe, which they regarded as culturally and spiritually lethal, and therefore a more pervasive threat than Russian military occupation. Furthermore, the plutocracies had fallen out with Stalin when he declined to become a junior partner in a post-war new world order based around the United Nations General Assembly, where the USA could readily buy votes and outmaneuver the Soviet bloc with ease; and the Baruch Plan for the “internationalization of atomic energy,” which the USSR considered to be a euphemism for American control. In fact, it was the USSR that pursued a national course, including a campaign against “rootless cosmopolitanism” in the arts, which the Stalinist leadership condemned as “internationalism,” while promoting a revived Russian folk culture; while the USA was committed to internationalism, and a cultural offensive in which abstract expressionism and jazz took leading roles in trying to subvert nations.
Given this post-war realignment, it should not be too difficult to see why Stalin would regard ex-Nazis as potential allies, and vice versa.
The largest post-war National Socialist formation in the Western zone, the Socialist Reich Party, under the leadership of Major General Otto Remer, was quickly suppressed by the Allies when it made considerable electoral progress. Most worrying of all was the Socialist Reich Party’s “neutralist position,” at a time when the USA had reversed the Morgenthau Plan for the obliteration of German nationhood and nationality, and sought to rebuild Germany as an ally against the new foe, Stalin. Sir Oswald Mosley, commenting on the arrest of Dr. Werner Naumann, designated by Hitler as Goebbels’s successor, and a few others, for allegedly plotting to infiltrate the Free Democratic Party, remarked on the West’s post-war policies towards Germany that “Years after the Russians were offering German scientists every material prize that life can hold, the allies were making such men sweep rubble in the streets on account of their past political affiliations.”
Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NDPD)
In February 1948 the Soviet Military Administration (Sowjetische Militäradministration in Deutschland:SMAD) announced the end of denazification. In March 1948 the prosecution of Germans for alleged “war crimes” was formally ended. The same month the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NDPD) was formed. The German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik: DDR) was announced in 1949, from elections in the Soviet occupied zone, after the failure of the USSR and the Western occupiers to agree on terms for elections on the reunification of Germany.
With the NDPD’s creation, Stalin stated that the party would “erase the line between non-Nazis and former Nazis.” On March 22, a newspaper was launched to pave the way, National-Zeitung, announcing: “while in other areas there remains the atmosphere of denazification of Germany, in the eastern part the people’s eyes light up again. Simple party comrades no longer have to be timid and fearfully look around as if they were pariahs.” The party was founded three days later, under the chairmanship of Lothar Bolz, who held the post until 1972. Bolz had been a member of the pre-war German Communist party and was one of the few German Communist leaders to have survived Stalin’s hazardous hospitality towards Communist refugees. During much of the time Bolz served in the government of the DDR, including the position of Foreign Minister (1968-1978), the vice chairman of the NDPD was Heinrich Hohmann, who had joined the National Socialist party in 1933, and was a co-founder of the League of German Officers, which formed the initial nucleus of the NDPD.
The NDPD program was stridently nationalistic; as much as the Socialist Reich Party which was being outlawed in the Federal Republic:
America violated the Treaty of Potsdam and plunged us Germans with malice into the biggest national distress of our history. … But the American war may and shall not take place! Germany must live! That’s why we National Democrats demand: the Americans to America. Germany for the Germans! The Federal Republic of Germany is a child of national treason... That's why we National Democrats demand: German unity over the head of the government of national treason in Bonn, as a basis for peace, independence and prosperity for our entire German fatherland.
The party reached a peak of 230,000 members in 1953, and during the 1980s still had a significant membership of 110,000. In 1948 the party sent 52 members to the DDR parliament, the Volkskammer. One of its primary aims was German unification, and the party drew on ex-NSDAP members and army veterans to support its campaigns. One such appeal from the party issued in 1952 included 119 names of officers from the Wehrmacht, SS, Hitler Jugend, League of German Maidens (BDM) and German Labor Front.
Hess’s Meeting with DDR Leaders
Interestingly, also in 1952, Lothar Bolz, then deputy minister-president of the DDR; the minister of trade and supplies, Karl Hamann, and Otto Grotewohl met with former deputy Führer Rudolf Hess, to discuss whether Hess would be willing to play a leading role in a reunified and neutral Germany. German historian Werner Maser states that Otto Grotewohl told him of the meeting on the understanding that it would not be mentioned until after Grotewohl’s death. Wolf Rüdiger Hess (Rudolf Hess’s son) states that in March 1952 “Stalin proposed a peace treaty and free elections for a neutral and unified Germany to prevent the Federal Republic of Germany from joining the West’s defense organization, which he considered a threat to Soviet security.” A neutral, reunited Germany was precisely the policy of the Socialist Reich Party.
Hess had been taken from Spandau to meet the DDR leaders when the USSR assumed its monthly jurisdiction over the prison fortress.Professor Maser records that Stalin wished “to temper justice with mercy in the Germany matter and to grant Hess a prominent position within the framework of reconstruction and the efforts towards the reunification of Germany.” Maser stated that he had the impression from Grotewohl that the NDPD, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Farmers’ Party, all part of a “National Front” bloc in the DDR, had moved their party programs “suspiciously close to the 25-point program of the NSDAP of 1920.” It was proposed that Hess would serve as “a vehicle for the introduction of the New Policy,” according to Maser. In the longer term, Hess would play a part in the leadership of a reunited Germany. If Hess would state that the DDR policy was the same as the “socialism” to which he had always adhered, he would be immediately released from Spandau. Hess rejected the offer, although he “welcomed… the efforts of the DDR and the Soviet Union to preserve German patriotism, and had listened attentively to what his interlocutors had to say on the programs of the political parties referred to…” But he regarded the acceptance of such an offer as a betrayal of Hitler’s memory. Grotewohl found it hard to understand why Hess rejected the offer to help rebuild Germany as a free man.
Wolf Rüdiger Hess remained skeptical as to the reality of the meeting and the offer. He has not explained why. The alleged meeting took place precisely when the USSR called for a plebiscite on the unification and neutrality of Germany, which reflected a policy that was likewise taken up by war veterans and former NSDAP members led by Major General Otto Remer in the Federal Republic.
The Socialist Reich Party (SRP) was founded in 1949, and promptly had two members in the Bundestag, who defected from other parties when the SRP was formed. Remer was not only deputy leader, but also the most energetic campaigner, receiving enthusiastic responses to his condemnation of the American democratic imposition and praise for the achievements of National Socialism. Remer was soon banned from Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia, where the SRP was most popular. The US occupation authorities not only noted the “Nazi” style of the SRP but also its opposition to a Western alliance, and advocacy of united Europe as a third force, led by a reunified Germany. The SRP attracted 10,000 members, and organized auxiliaries for women, youth and trade unionists. Its paramilitary Reichsfront was formed mainly among the British-run German Service Organization barracked at British military bases, which were reportedly covered with SRP propaganda. In 1950 SRP members were banned from state service, the US State Department fearing that the party could democratically assume power. SRP meetings were violently broken up by police, and a pro-SRP newspaper, Reichszeitung, was banned. Remer increased his denunciation of the US occupation and the Western alliance, while refraining from condemning the USSR and the DDR. The US State Department noted this, with the comment: “The party is suspected of willingness to effect a large compromise with Russia in order to unify Germany.” When the USA decided on a policy of integrating Germany into the western defense system, Remer launched a campaign with the slogan “Ohne mich!” (“Count me out!”), which drew a ready response from war veterans resentful of their post-war predicament under the Western zone. Remer went further and stated that in the event of war, Germans should not cover an American retreat if the Russians drove them back. He stated that he would “show the Russians the way to the Rhine,” and that the SRP members would “post themselves as traffic policemen, spreading their arms so that the Russians can find their way through Germany as quickly as possible.”
The leadership of the SRP (Socialist Reich Party); Chairman of the SRP Dr. Fritz Dorls, the former Major General Otto Ernst Remer, 2nd Chairman of the SRP and the former SS and Hitler Youth leader Count von Westarp. Photo: 14 August 1952.
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-15845-0010 / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0-de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons
In 1952, the year of the meeting between the SED leaders and Hess, and Stalin’s call for free elections for a neutral and united Germany, Remer, who had the previous year been sentenced to four months' jail for slandering Bonn officials, invoking the Treaty of Rapallo as a symbol of Russo-German co-operation, endorsed Stalin’s proposals. The US felt obliged to offer the Adenauer government the pretense of sovereignty over German affairs under the “Contractual Agreement” of May 1952. SS veterans were now permitted to join the army. The US remained suspicious of how reliable West Germany would be in a conflict with the Eastern bloc, but preferred the risk of rebuilding the Western zone to the possibility that Germans would respond to Stalin’s call for a united, neutral state. It was also tacitly accepted that the purpose of NATO was to contain Germany as much as the USSR. The pressure from the SRP and from Stalin’s call for a neutral, united Germany, had forced the end of denazification in the Federal Republic.
At this time, the American philosopher and activist Francis Parker Yockey, in calling for the liberation and unity of Europe was, like Remer et al, prepared to collaborate with the USSR to purge the “holy soil” of Europe of US occupation, which he regarded as the enforcer of Jewish “culture distortion.” Yockey, who until apprehended in the USA in 1960, had kept ahead of military intelligence, Interpol and the FBI, and travelled the world organizing a “fascist” revival, was an adviser to the SRP. Working with a few colleagues within Mosley’s Union Movement in 1947, Yockey, contrary to Mosley, took the position that a Russian occupation of Europe was the lesser evil. This was noted by the FBI, which in summarizing Yockey’s activities in a 1954 report stated that Yockey and his colleagues left Mosley and founded the European Liberation Front in 1949 having published his magnum opus, Imperium, the previous year. During a planning meeting for the ELF in London, Yockey stated that an aim would be to create a partisan organization which would collaborate with the USSR against the Western occupation powers in Germany. The FBI report states that Yockey went to Germany, where he spread anti-US material of a pro-Soviet nature, and contacted the SRP. Yockey wrote a sequel to Imperium, Der Feind Europas, as an instruction manual to for the SRP, although the document was suppressed by the occupation authorities. During 1955 to 1957, the “missing years,” Yockey is thought to have travelled through the Soviet bloc. In a letter to this writer, by Yockey’s primary US contact, Keith Thompson, registered US agent for the SRP, it was stated that Yockey served as a courier for the Czech secret service. His “fascism” was obviously regarded as no impediment to the Soviets, and it might be conjectured that he earned a living writing anti-Zionist propaganda in the Soviet bloc, having undertaken this for the Nasser regime in Egypt in 1953.
DDR Rebuffs Zionists
In 1952, the Bonn regime announced that it would begin paying reparations to Jews. Meanwhile, the trial began of Rudolf Slansky and other mostly Jewish leaders of the Czechoslovakia Communist party, who were charged with a wide-ranging “Zionist conspiracy” in collusion with the USA and Israel; an event that was seminal in the thinking of Yockey and other rightists vis-à-vis the Soviet bloc. The trial was noted by the SED Central Committee:
Sailing under the Jewish nationalistic flag, and disguised as a Zionist organization and as diplomats of the American-vassal government of Israel, these American agents practiced their trade. From the Morgenthau-Acheson Plan that was revealed during the trial in Prague it appears unmistakably that American imperialism organizes and supports its espionage and sabotage activities in the people’s republics via the State of Israel with the assistance of Zionist organizations.
The “Morgenthau-Acheson Plan” referred to in the SED statement was an allegation that an agreement had been reached “according to which American support for Israel was promised in exchange for the use of Zionist organizations for espionage and subversion,” of the Soviet bloc states.
Furthermore, in the same statement, the SED Central Committee condemned the German communist Paul Merker as a Zionist agent who had who acted “in the same way as the criminals in Czechoslovakia.” Merker, who had spent the war years in exile in Mexico, advocated reparations for German Jews. The SED leaders stated:
It can no longer be doubted that Merker is an agent of the US financial oligarchy, whose demand for compensation for Jewish properties is only designed to infiltrate US financial capital into Germany. That is the real reason for his Zionism. He demands the displacement of German national wealth with the words: “The compensation for the harm that has been done to Jewish citizens will be given both to those who return and to those who want to stay abroad.” Merker illicitly transformed the maximum profits squeezed out of German and foreign workers by monopoly capitalists into alleged property of the Jewish people. In reality “Aryanization” of this capital merely transferred the profits of “Jewish” monopoly capitalists to “Aryan” monopoly capitalists.
As with the Soviet purging of Zionists and Jews in Czechoslovakia, Merker was condemned as being part of a world apparatus in which Zionists served as agents for subversion by foreign capital.
The DDR did not at any stage establish diplomatic relations with Israel. The DDR also adamantly refused to pay any reparations to Israel or “Holocaust survivors.”
On September 18, 1973, Yosef Tekoah, Israeli ambassador to the U.N. General Assembly, stated that:
“Israel notes with regret and repugnance that the other German state (DDR) has ignored and continues to ignore Germany’s historical responsibility for the Holocaust and the moral obligations arising from it. It has compounded the gravity of that attitude by giving support and practical assistance to the campaign of violence and murder waged against Israel and the Jewish people by Arab terror organizations.”
The East German regime never accepted the war guilt that was the foundation of the Bonn regime, and hence it was not morally hindered in pursuing an anti-Zionist policy. Interestingly, the first comments on Bonn’s intention to pay reparations to Jews and Israel were published three days after the publication of the indictments against Slansky, et al for “Zionist treason.” An article in Neues Deutschland described the reparations agreement as a deal brokered between “West German and Israeli capitalists.” With the death of Stalin in 1953, Israel hoped for a change in direction, including on the matter of reparations, but the DDR refused.
In 1968 Simon Wiesenthal claimed that the DDR news service was far more anti-Zionist than that of any other Soviet-bloc state, and that this was because of the number of ex-“Nazis” employed there. The NDPD was the focus of Wiesenthal’s allegations. Dr. Richard Arnold, who had been an official in the Ministry for Science and Public Education (1939-1945), and had written of eliminating every trace of the “Jewish spirit” from the cultural life of Germany, was in 1968 general editor of Der Nationale Demokrat, the newspaper of the NDPD, and recipient of the Order of Merit for the Fatherland. Kurt Herwart Ball, who had been editor of the SS journal Hammer, in the DDR was a journalist for the NDPD and an official in the propaganda bureau of the regime.
In a 1951 report the Anglo-Jewish Association urged the Bonn regime and the Allied occupiers to start a vigorous campaign against the revival of National Socialism and any admittance of war veterans into the political realm, alluding to the threat of an accord between “Nazis” and the Eastern bloc:
In Germany as elsewhere the political pendulum has swung far since 1945. The increasing sharpening of the cold war has, among other things, resulted in a certain tendency among parties, not always entirely disinterested, to label those who draw attention to the neo-Nazi revival as Communists and fellow-travellers. The facts revealed about new Nazi groups in this booklet, and the strong suspicion held in many German quarters that some of their leaders, at any rate, are not above coming to a working arrangement with the totalitarians of the Eastern Zone, should help to expose such views. Too frequently they are expressed by people whose professed dislike of Stalinist dictatorship is merely a cloak for their own totalitarian aims.
It should be clearly realized that the neo-Nazis are in no sense allies against Communism. Even before the leading neo-Nazi group —the Socialist Reich Party— was founded, Drew Middleton, senior correspondent of The New York Times in Germany, wrote:
“It is high time that the United States, Britain and France awoke to the danger, the very real danger, that the rise of the right-wing in Germany represents the best chance of a Soviet-German rapprochement… anti-Communism is not enough. (The Struggle for Germany, Allan Wingate, 1949)”
The new Nazis draw their inspiration direct from Hitler’s Germany, and those who learn from the lessons of history will keep firmly before them the memory of the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939. They will remember that it was this pact that signaled the unleashing of the German armies against Poland and later against the West. Similarly, it should not be forgotten that the history of the ill-fated Weimar Republic is dotted with examples of co-operation between the Nazis and Communists against the democratic parties. What happened before can well happen again.
The DDR integration of “Nazis” and Rightists had its precedents, as mentioned by the Anglo-Jewish report. Karl Radek, the anti-Semite’s stereotype of a “Bolshevik Jew,” attempted to appeal to the nationalism of German workers to win them over to the Communist party and away from the NSDAP, by agitating for opposition to the French occupation of the Ruhr, in the name of the martyred Freikorps fighter Albert Leo Schlageter, who had been shot in 1923 by the French for his resistance activities. Radek’s speech urged the Communists to tap into, rather than oppose, the nationalist sentiments of the German workers. Radek stated in words that were thirty years later reflected in Stalin’s aim of reintegrating the NSDAP and military veterans into the DDR, that “those who have turned to fascism in their despair over the social ills and enslavement of their nation” should no longer be regarded with anathema by the Communist party.  Towards this end leaflets advertising Communist Party meetings honoring Schlageter were adorned with the red star and the swastika. A pamphlet on Schlageter included Radek’s speech, and articles by conservative-revolutionary Moeller van den Bruck, Count Ernst zu Reventlow of the NSDAP, and Fröhlich of the Communist Party.
The “National Bolshevik” current within the German Right during the Weimar era regarded the USSR as a natural ally of Germany vis-à-vis the plutocracies. They advocated an eastward direction for German diplomacy, which had been reflected in the Treaty of Rapallo. The primary “National Bolsheviks” were Ernst Niekisch and Karl O. Paetel, around whom gravitated not only radical nationalists and revolutionary-conservatives such as Otto Strasser and Ernst Junger but also the Communists Bertolt Brecht and Ernst Toller. Even Oswald Spengler, the conservative-revolutionary philosopher-historian, who warned of the possibility of Russia’s leadership of a “colored world revolution” behind the banner of Bolshevism, had also seen the possibility of another Russo-German alliance.
The USSR sought out Rightists via several organizations: The Association for the Study of the Planned Economy of Soviet Russia (Arplan), included Reventlow, Junger, and several National Bolsheviks.The League of Professional Intellectuals (BGB) included Junger and Niekisch and, according to Soviet documents, was a means of attracting “into our orbit of influence a range of highly placed intellectuals of rightist orientation.”
Hence, the line taken by both Remer and the DDR was by no means a historical aberration or paradox. On October 23, 1952, the SRP was banned after winning 16 seats in the state parliament of Lower Saxony and 8 seats in Bremen. The SRP was succeeded by the German Reich Party of Colonel Hans-Ulrich Rudel, and the National Democratic Party (NPD), not to be confused with its Soviet-sponsored namesake, the NDPD.
Remer, like Rudel, and the commando leader Major Otto Skorzeny, undertook their own versions of German diplomacy, Rudel and Skorzeny both advising Juan Peron in Argentina, while Remer was said to have maintained close links with the Nasser regime, and lived in Egypt and Syria. Martin Lee writes that a Russo-German accord remained the basis of Remer’s policy as the only means of liberating Europe from the USA. Remer believed that a united Europe should include Russia, which would welcome such a union as a bulwark against an encroaching Asia.
In 1983, back in Bavaria, Remer launched the German Freedom Movement (Die deutschen Freiheitsbewegung, DDF), dedicated to Russo-German accord, under the chairmanship of Georg Bosse. Their manifesto, The Bismarck-German Manifesto, is subheaded “German-Russian Alliance Rapallo 1983.” The movement published a periodical, Recht und Wahrheit (Justice and Truth). The DDF manifesto Der Bismarck-Deutsche continued the neutralist line from Remer’s SRP days three decades earlier. The manifesto, echoing Yockey’s ideas on the “culture-distorting regime” of Washington and New York, states “The American way of life is for us synonymous with the destruction of European culture,” and that Germany “would not be used as the tip of the NATO spear… We will not participate in a NATO war against Russia.” Remer explained to Martin Lee “We have to realize and act accordingly, like Bismarck did, that Russia is the superpower in this gigantic Eurasian continent, to which we belong geographically, geopolitically and economically, and even culturally… We are, like Bismarck, for a close collaboration with Russia in politics, economy, culture, science, technology, and research.”
US Army intelligence, still monitoring Remer, feared that his neutralist, and even “pro-Soviet” line was making headway among the German Right, and noted a “trend towards neutralism” and “a rise in anti-Americanism.” In 1985 a West German secret service officer opined to a Reuters newsman that, “the Soviet Union is seen as a potential friend and, in some cases, even an ally.”
It is an interesting aside that in 1962, during the “Cuban Missile Crisis,” Castro purchased 4,000 pistols through Remer and Ernst Wilhelm Springer. The latter had been a member of the SRP who, like Remer, settled in Egypt in 1953, supplying guns to Arab clients. It is perhaps indicative that Remer was serious when he had ventured that the SRP would assist the Russians in Germany in the event of a conflict with the USA.
Why pro-Russian, anti-NATO or neutralist positions should be regarded by US and German intelligence agencies as sudden new trends among the Right is difficult to explain. Even the comparatively conservative NPD of the 1960s, during which time it reached its electoral high point under Adolf von Thadden, rejected NATO.
While Yockey’s plans were cut short with his death in a San Francisco jail in 1960 while awaiting trial for passport fraud, his militant stance was assumed by a new generation led by Michael Kuhnen, who founded the Action Front of National Socialists during the late 1970s and the 1980s. Under the name of the Werewolf Northern Cell, in association with Wiking Jugend, a raid on a NATO base in the Netherlands was organized along with others against NATO and US bases in West Germany.
This is not to say that Remer and others had become Stalinists. As articles in Recht und Wahrheit show, Remer and the DDF remained critical of Stalinism, the USSR and the DDR, and welcomed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany. It is unclear to this writer what Remer et al, expected Europe to gain by the supplanting of Soviet control over Eastern and Central Europe and the obliteration of the Warsaw Pact, by a power that was “synonymous with the destruction of European culture,” as Remer had put it. His views at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall seem at odds with the avidly anti-US, pro-Soviet statements during the early 1950s. Perhaps he had considered the USSR to have progressively decayed after Stalin, which it indeed had. The “colour revolutions” organized and funded by George Soros’s network and the National Endowment for Democracy, in association with the US State Department, have been rampant across Europe since the days of “Solidarity” in Poland and show no signs of abating. Nonetheless, when the USSR remained a factor in world power politics, Remer was still insisting in 1983 that “I want to make an agreement with the Russian people, we have to move out of NATO, and out of the European Community. We want to be a neutral country, then we can reunify. The Americans, not the Russians, are the aggressors!” Remer stated that the Russians were “very interested.”
Origins of the NDPD in Wartime USSR
As is well known, some such as General Reinhard Gehlen, head of the Bonn regime’s espionage apparatus, became avid Cold Warriors on behalf of the USA. The relationship between the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands, the USSR and the leaders of the DDR and Socialist Unity Party reflected a willingness of other war veterans and ex-NSDAP members to embrace Soviet hegemony while remaining German patriots.
Those who formed the NDPD had been prisoners of war held by the USSR. While many Russian soldiers who had surrendered to the Germans sought to join an anti-Soviet army under German auspices, there were Germans in Russian captivity who were persuaded that they could play a role in postwar Germany.
NDPD co-founder and first chairman (1948-1972), Lothar Bolz was one of the few Communist party members who had survived liquidation by Stalin when party members had fled to the USSR. There he taught at an ideological school for captured Germans.
A primary co-founder of the NDPD was Colonel Wilhelm Adam, a veteran of both world wars, whose nationalist politics went back to membership in the Young German Order in 1920, and the NSDAP in 1923, and his participation in the Munich Putsch. He was a member of the conservative German People’s Party (DVP) during 1926-1929. In 1933 he joined the Stahlhelm and the SA. Captured in 1943 at Stalingrad, Adam joined the National Committee for a Free Germany. Returning to the Soviet Zone of Germany in 1948, he was an adviser to the state government of Saxony. In 1952 he became a colonel in the Kasernierte Volkspolizei (KVP), which became the DDR People’s Army. He was honored in 1968 with the Banner of Labor, and with the title of Major General in 1977.
Vincenz Müller, a veteran of both world wars, with the rank of lieutenant general, was captured at Minsk in 1944. He joined the National Committee for a Free Germany, in which he was particularly active. In 1948 he returned to Germany and joined the NDPD, serving as deputy chairman during 1949-1952, and as a member of the Volkskammer. In 1952 he was given responsibility for reorganizing the DDR armed forces, headed the Ministry of the Interior, organized the KVP, and was appointed first chief of staff of the National People’s Army. However, his loyalties were often suspect, perhaps because he maintained contacts in the West in regard to promoting relations between the Federal Republic and the DDR, He retired in 1958.
Heinz Neukirchen, a naval commander stationed in Norway, was held in the USSR during 1945-1949. In 1949 he joined the NDPD and served as a party political department manager until 1950, and then as deputy chairman of the party Board for the Berlin District. During 1954-1956 he served as chief of staff for the Sea Police, and was appointed rear admiral in 1952, and later as chief of staff of the People’s Navy.
Rudolf Bamler was a section head of the Abwehr, German military intelligence. Achieving the rank of lieutenant general, Bamler was captured on the eastern front in 1944. He served as an officer in the DDR’s Stasi secret police during 1946-1962, and held the rank of Major General in the KVP.
Arno von Lenski served in both world wars. Promoted to lieutenant general in 1943, he was captured at Stalingrad, and joined the National Committee for a Free Germany in 1944. Returning to Germany in 1949, he became a council member of the NDPD in 1950. He worked with the Berlin municipal administration, joined the KVP, and became a major general of the National People’s Army. In 1952 he served as a member of the Volkskammer, for the NDPD.
Major General Kurt Haehling, returning from Russian captivity in 1951, served with the NDPD as district chairman for Dresden (1953-1960).
The final electoral performance of the NDPD, by then apparently keen to rid itself of “right-wing” tendencies and appear “liberal”, rebuffing efforts at entryism by the National Democratic Party (NPD), was in the local elections for Helbra, Mansfeld in 1990, where the party obtained 2%, then disappeared into the Free Democratic Party.
The NDPD seems to have mostly disappeared down the “memory hole.” Yet right up to the final days of the DDR the party was an important constituent of the governing National Front bloc. According to one of its last office holders, Dr. Ludwig, the party had accrued a considerable amount of assets. NDPD officials, and particularly high-ranking military officers from the Third Reich, many with the most distinguished military awards of that regime, were propelled to the top of the DDR in politics, police and military. While the NDPD is distinct from the NPD that was founded in West Germany, when Germany was reunited, the German radical Right, such as the NPD and others, received an influx of especially young recruits from the East. It might be asked whether this was because the youth in particular, having lived under a nominally “communist regime,” would naturally turn into the most avid anti-communists? However, an alternative explanation might be offered: these youth had lived under the Spartan discipline of the DDR, its militarism, duty, unencumbered by “war guilt,” schooled in anti-Zionism and anti-liberalism, even if with Marxian rhetoric, where the state youth organizations for boys and girls seem strikingly similar in form to the Hitler Jugend and the BDM. If these youth had rejected their past under the DDR their tendency would surely have been, once freed from the discipline of the old regime, to embrace the liberalism, commercialism, and American pop culture that was the basis of the Bonn regime and, now, reunited Germany. Instead, many have chosen another “authoritarian ideology” and have still eschewed democratic-liberalism. With the eclipse of a liberalized NDPD in 1990, the NPD, heir to the Socialist Reich Party, garners its highest votes from former DDR states: Saxony, Thuringia, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Brandenburg.
|||Historical and Documentary Department, Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The USSR and the German Question. 1941-1949. Documents from the Archives of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, M. “International Relations,” 2003, pp. 244-253.|
|||Lev Trotsky, The Revolution Betrayed (1936). See especially chapter 7, where Trotsky laments the restoration of family life as particularly un-Bolshevik.|
|||K. R. Bolton, Stalin: The Enduring Legacy (London: Black House Publishing, 2012).|
|||Historical and Documentary Department, op. cit.|
|||That is, the states that had been incorporated into the Reich.|
|||W. Ulbricht, Die Welt, February 9,1940.|
|||Margarete Buber-Neumann, from what can be discerned from a brief biography, had some typical psychological traits of Communist leaders, growing up in a dysfunctional family, and displaying a more nebulous love for “humanity’ than for her own family. She became a leading agent for the Comintern. She and her husband Heinz Neumann fled to Moscow in 1933, and he “disappeared’ in 1937. Shortly after, she was sent to a labor camp in Siberia, and with the Hitler-Stalin Pact, she was deported back to Germany in 1940 where she resumed her work at “hard Labor.” See: “Margarete Buber-Neumann,” Fembio, http://www.fembio.org/english/biography.php/woman/biography/margarete-buber-neumann/|
|||K. R. Bolton, Stalin: The Enduring Legacy, op. cit., p. 8.|
|||Historical and Documentary Department, op. cit.|
|||K. R. Bolton, Stalin: The Enduring Legacy, op. cit., pp. 125-136.|
|||Ibid., pp. 28-54.|
|||James Bacque, Crimes and Mercies (London: Little Brown & Co., 1997).|
|||Oswald Mosley, “Dr. Naumann,” The European, March 1953; in Mosley: Policy and Debate (Euphorion, 1954), p. 126.|
|||Historical and Documentary Department, op. cit.|
|||The entirety of the Central Committee of the Polish Communist party in Soviet exile was liquidated. See K. R. Bolton, Stalin, op. cit., p. 8.|
|||NDPD program, June 1951.|
|||NDPD appeal for German unity, 4th Party Congress, 1952.|
|||The event is described by Wolf Rüdiger Hess in My Father Rudolf Hess (London: W. H. Allen, 1986). Note 6 for the chapter “Special Treatment,” states that Maser left a typewritten note on his meeting with Grotewohl when Maser was working at the Institute for Research into Imperialism, East Berlin Humboldt University, which was directed by the pre-war “National Bolshevik” Ernst Niekisch, who was present at the meeting between Maser and Grotewohl.|
|||Wolf Rüdiger Hess, ibid., p. 251.|
|||Spandau was administered by the Four Powers (Britain, France, USA and USSR) on an alternating monthly basis.|
|||Ibid., pp. 252-253.|
|||Martin Lee, The Beast Reawakens (London: Little Brown and Company, 1997), p. 49.|
|||Ibid., pp. 50-51.|
|||US State Department report, June 22, 1951; cited by Lee, ibid., p. 65.|
|||Ibid., pp. 80-81.|
|||L. O. Bogstad, “Francis Parker Yockey,” FBI Summary Report, July 8, 1954, pp. 11-12. See K. R. Bolton, “Foreword” to F. P. Yockey, Imperium (Abergele, UK: The Palingenesis Project, 2013), p. xlviii.|
|||Alex Kurtagic, “Yockey Chronology,” Imperium, ibid., p. lxxviii.|
|||Paul Lendvai, Anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe (London: Macdonald, 1971), pp. 243-259. Others mentioned together with Slansky et al included French colonial minister Georges Mandel, “a Jewish nationalist;” “Jewish nationalist Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter,” and “Titoist Jewish ideologue” Mosha Pijade, as well as US President Truman, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, former Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr., [who gave his name to the infamous plan to exterminate the German nation]; and Israelis Ben Gurion and Moshe Sharrett. Lendvai, ibid., p. 245.|
|||Yockey wrote an analysis of the trial, “What Is behind the Hanging of Eleven Jews in Prague?” (1952), which was republished in Yockey: Four Essays (New Jersey: Nordland Press, 1971).|
|||Lehren aus dem Prozeß gegen das Verschwörerzentrum Slansky, Beschluß des Zentralkomitees der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands, December 20, 1952, p. 13.|
|||Czechoslovak indictment cited by Lendvai, op. cit., p. 245.|
|||Lehren aus dem Prozeß, op. cit., p. 55-56.|
|||“Reparations for Whom?, Neues Deutschland, November 25, 1952.|
|||Simon Wiesenthal, The Same Language: First for Hitler - Now for Ulbricht, (Vienna: Eine Dokumentation der Deutschland-Berichte. Jüdisches Dokumentationszentrum, Simon Wiesenthal Centre, September 6, 1968).|
|||Germany’s New Nazis, The Anglo-Jewish Association, London (Jewish Chronicle Publications, 1951), “Conclusion,” p. 72.|
|||K. Radek, “Leo Schlageter: The Wanderer into the Void,” speech at a plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, June 1923, online: http://www.marxists.org/archive/radek/1923/06/schlageter.htm|
|||Michael David-Fox Doing Medicine Together: Germany and Russia between the Wars (University of Toronto Press, 2006), p. 136.|
|||Bernice G. Rosenthal, New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism (Penn State University Press, 2004), p. 378.|
|||Thomas R. Nevin, Ernst Junger and Germany: into the Abyss, 1914-1945 (Duke University Press, 1996), p. 106.|
|||O. Spengler, The Hour of Decision (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934, 1963), pp. 204-230.|
|||O. Spengler, “Two Faces of Russia and Germany’s Eastern Problems,” speech to Rhenish-Westphalian Business Convention, Essen, February 14, 1919.|
|||K. R. Bolton, “Junger and National Bolshevism,” in Troy Southgate, ed., Junger: Thoughts and Perspectives, Volume 11, (London: Black Front Press, 2012), p. 18.|
|||Martin Lee, op. cit., p. 84.|
|||Lee’s interview with Remer, April 16, 1992, cited by Lee, ibid., p. 193.|
|||For the view that China will eventually conflict with Russia, regardless of historically inorganic alliances such as BRIC and the Shanghai co-operation agreement, see: K. R. Bolton, Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific (London: Black House Publishing, 2013).|
|||Martin Lee, op. cit., p. 194.|
|||Ibid., pp. 194-195.|
|||“Fidel Castro Recruited ex-Nazis to Train Troops during Cold War,” The Economic Times, October 16, 2012, online: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-10-16/news/34499057_1_bundesnachrichtendienst-bnd-german-secret-service|
|||Martin Lee, op. cit., p. 127.|
|||An obvious allusion to the “Werewolf” guerrilla movement established during the closing days of the Third Reich, which harassed the Western occupation authorities and their German collaborators for several years thereafter. See SS Werwolf, Combat Instruction Manual, Translation Michael C. Fangan (Colorado: Paladin Press, 1982).|
|||Martin Lee, op. cit., p. 198.|
|||Recht und Wahrheit archives, online:http://www.vho.org/D/ruw/Archiv/index.html|
|||Thierry Lalevee, “The Revival of the Nazi-Communist Pact: Soviets Foster Worldwide Terrorism,” Executive Intelligence Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, January 3, 1984. This article, from a LaRouche source, contends that 1983 was the year for a Soviet-based international Nazi terrorist offensive that would allow the USSR to assume world control.|
|||According to Dr. Christian Dirk Ludwig, who had been NDPD Berlin District Board member, September 4, 2007, Online: http://www.wahlrecht.de/forum/messages/42/804.html?1191478580|
Additional information about this document
|Author(s):||Kerry R. Bolton|
|Title:||Stalin's German-Nationalist Party|
|Sources:||Inconvenient History, 6(1) (2014)|
|First posted on CODOH:||Feb. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.|