The Anti-Hitler Underground within the German Conservative Revolution

Published: 2015-05-23

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In recent years more has become known about the anti-Hitler underground acting within German conservative and military circles. The book Secret Germany by Baigent and Leigh went a long way to popularize the events surrounding “Operation Valkyrie,” the assassination plot against Hitler.[1] The character of Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, perhaps the most well-known figure in the 20 July 1944 plot, figured prominently in the Tom Cruise movie “Valkyrie” in 2008. Stauffenberg was one of an intellectual circle that gathered around the poet Stefen George.

Such circles among the military and intelligentsia were elitist and saw Hitlerism as another democratic pandering to the masses. Others, including those in what has been widely termed the “Conservative Revolution,” attempted to appeal to the masses with the ideology that the nation and the state are the organized expressions of a volk. The volk in the German sense is something other than Darwinistic race, and it is ironic that the Hitlerites embracedconcepts of race that were more English than German. The volk is a spiritual-cultural entity organized into a community by the state. Therefore, there was something intrinsically “socialist” about the nationalist movements in Germany, insofar as “socialism” is defined as duty to the state as the organized volk community, as distinct from both bourgeois liberal-democratic and Marxian economic doctrines. Hence, even Oswald Spengler, one of the leading spokesmen of the conservative post-war generation, in his epochal book The Decline of the West, pointed out that so-called “proletarian movements” were merely the capitalism of the lower classes, and sought to appropriate rather than transcend capitalism.[2] Spengler referred instead to “Prussian Socialism,” defined as an ethic of duty. German “nationalists” were intrinsically “socialist” in this sense. Indeed, there is a German School of Economics, like there is an English School of Economics, the former standing for social control of the economy in the service of the nation; the latter standing for the liberal notion of the state existing as little more than a referee between individualistic relations.[3]

Among those who emerged in Germany amidst the moral, spiritual, cultural and political crises of World War I were thinkers and activists that converged from both Left and Right to form a broad movement called the “conservative revolution.” Such figures included the National Socialists, emerging prior to Hitler from Anton Drexler’s and Karl Harrer’s German Workers’ Party; the philosopher-historian Spengler; Gregor and Otto Strasser; Möller van der Bruck;[4] the writers Edgar Jung;[5] and Ernst Junger; and Ernst Niekisch, among others.

Ernst Junger

Ernst Jünger, (March 29, 1895 – February 17, 1998)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Some of these luminaries of the “conservative revolution,” including Niekisch and the Strasser brothers, had started politically in the Socialist party. The First World War had caused an ideological crisis within the world socialist movement, as many leading socialists, when the call for duty towards one’s nation came, rejected “internationalism” and were among the leading spokesman for the war effort as securing their nation’s “place in the sun.” Among the most famous of these was Benito Mussolini, one of the most capable leaders of the Italian Socialist party, whose call for Italian intervention in the war placed him in alliance with the Nationalists; a unity that was to emerge as Fascism after the war. It was a phenomenon that occurred throughout the world. Even the Bolsheviks were split, with Lenin, in the pay of the Germans, demanding an immediate armistice with Germany, while Trotsky, who seems to have been backed by the Entente, resigned as foreign minister over the issue.

After 1928 there was a major shift in the Soviet Union, when Stalin began eliminating the Trotskyites and other factions, proceeding to create a modern centralized pan-Slavic state. Stalin undertook a long-term fight to eliminate the excrescences of Marxist dogma.[6] It is in Stalinist Russia that we see the origins of what became known as National Bolshevism.

Leo Schlageter

Möller van den Bruck was one of the key members of the Juni-Klub, founded in June 1919, as a non-partisan organization of intellectuals to discuss national and social issues. There were many editors, journalists, authors and others of note, including future Reich Chancellor Heinrich Brüning. Otto Strasser was also a member.[7] Hitler was a guest speaker, who was immediately impressed by van den Bruck, but the admiration was not reciprocated; van den Bruck regarded Hitler as lacking ideological depth.[8]

Although the Juni-Klub was drawn from the intelligentsia of the “conservative revolution” they sought dialogue with the radical Left in their revolt against bourgeois-liberalism; in particular Comintern representative Karl Radek. Radek was a most unlikely figure in this role, resembling an anti-Semitic stereotype of a scruffy Jewish Bolshevik. Another guest was Spengler, whose views accorded in many ways with van den Bruck’s, although van den Bruck’s primary contention with Spengler was that Germany – and Russia – had emerged from the war as “young peoples” detached from the decaying Western civilization, with the chance to start anew. Otto Strasser remarked how impressed the Juni-Klub members were with both Spengler and van den Bruck, the two being regarded as complementary rather than antagonistic.[9]

It was within this milieu of conservative revolutionaries that a strong socialist element arose that saw the “young peoples” of Russia and Germany defying the corrupt and dying bourgeois liberal-capitalist powers. Some nations were “proletarian” rather than bourgeois, insofar as work and duty rather than capital and egotism were the new ethos; what Spengler called “Prussian Socialism,”[10] and what others called “National Socialism,” and ‘National Bolshevism’. Seeing Germany’s destiny aligned with Russia was a major impetus for the development of National Bolshevism. Many of the Nationalist Right looked to Russia beyond Marxism and saw a new, vital nation emerging that was outside of the bourgeois world system of President Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points,” of global commerce and parliamentarianism. Even Spengler, whose philosophy is as far removed from Marxism as one can imagine, advocated pro-Soviet foreign and trade policies.[11]

The Treaty of Rapallo signed with Russia in 1922 was initiated in this widespread belief that Germany had to move towards Russia to circumvent the Versailles diktat and beyond that to forge a new destiny. General von Seeckt and other military leaders even prior to Rapallo established alliances between the German and Soviet armies to circumvent the restrictions imposed by Versailles.

Hence when Radek of the Comintern began negotiating with the German Right, as early as 1919 a pro-Soviet sentiment had already been developing even among the most militant anti-Communists. In 1921 Möller wrote of an “axis” between Communists and Nationalists against the corruption of liberal individualism, and its parliamentarianism. German Communists would have to start thinking nationally. He stated that no German worker would fight the USSR, and eschewed the call from General Ludendorff, aligned with the Nazi party, for an international crusade against the USSR. Möller welcomed Rapallo as a move in the right direction. [12]

With a common enemy in France, Radek made an appeal to German nationalism in his speech before the Comintern executive committee in a eulogy to Leo Schlageter, who had been executed by the French in 1923 for his part in a Freikorps sabotage attempt in the French-occupied Ruhr. That Schlageter had also been a fighter against Bolshevism was inconsequential in the broader scheme of politics. Radek suggested to the Comintern that the Russians make common cause with the Germans “to throw off the yoke of Entente capital for the enslavement of the German and Russian peoples.” Radek asked, “Against whom did the German people wish to fight: against the Entente capitalists or against the Russian people? With whom did they wish to ally themselves: with the Russian workers and peasants in order to throw off the yoke of Entente capital for the enslavement of the German and Russian peoples?” He stated “we believe that the great majority of the nationalist-minded masses belong not to the camp of the capitalists but to the camp of the workers. We want to find, and we shall find the path to these masses.”[13]

National Bolshevism

The term “National Bolshevism” was first applied to the doctrine of the Nationalist scholar Paul Eltzbacher, a Jewish professor of law at Berlin University in April 1919. Although a member of the German National Party, he advocated social ownership of production in the interests of the nation. This was dubbed nationaler Bolschewismus by the newspaper Deutsche Tageszeitung.[14] In November Radek referred to this, stating that “honest nationalists as Eltzbacher, displeased by the peace of Versailles […] have looked for a union with Soviet Russia in what they have called national bolshevism […].” The Hamburg Circle of the German Communist Party, led by Heinrich Laufenberg and Fritz Wolffheim, saw a Soviet revolt as resurrecting Germany as a great power. Radek called this doctrine “national Bolsheviki.”[15]

Hence, there was a nationalist current among the radical Left and a socialist and pro-Soviet current among the radical Right, both inimical to liberalism and the plutocracy, and seeing the possibility of Germany and Russia forming a common front.

For a few months after the Radek speech there was collaboration between the radical Left and Right. Communist party meetings in honor of Schlageter were adorned both with the Red Star and the Swastika, the latter a symbol not only of Hitler’s NSDAP but also of the Freikorps and various sundry Nationalist leagues. A pamphlet on Schlageter included Radek’s speech and articles by Möller, Count Ernst zu Reventlow, foreign policy adviser for the NSDAP, and Frölick of the Communist Party.[16]

Ernst Niekisch

The leading spokesman for the National Bolsheviks was Ernst Niekisch. He was one of a circle that formed around the writer of the frontline war generation, Ernst Jünger, and Helmut Franke, Freikorps veteran and editor of Die Standarte. They called for a “nationalist workers’ republic.”[17] Others in the circle included Niekisch’s colleague Karl O. Paetel, and Otto Strasser, future leader of the anti-Hitler underground, the Black Front. This circle that met Friday evenings throughout 1929 also included the Communists Bertold Brecht and Ernst Toller.[18]

The association between the paramilitary and youth bunds with National Bolshevism was extensive given that these associations were anti-Marxist. There was much about the new Soviet Man that was akin to the coming class of worker-soldier-technician prophesied as the New Man of the future by Jünger.[19] In 1930 Jünger became co-editor of the National Bolshevik newspaper Die Kommenden (The Coming) founded in 1925. Die Kommenden was co-edited by Niekisch’s primary National Bolshevik colleague Karl Paetel. The paper was influential among the nationalist youth leagues.

Niekisch had been a member of the short-lived Munich Soviet, an Independent Socialist, and a member of the Old Social Democratic Party. He established the Soviet of workers and soldiers at Augsburg in 1919, and served as president. He was the only Munich Soviet member to vote against Bavaria becoming a Soviet Republic, considering the region unsuitable as a Bolshevik state.

Niekisch was jailed in May 1919 by the Freikorps, which suppressed the Munich Soviet. While jailed for his role in the Soviet revolt he took an increasingly nationalistic view. He served a two-year sentence, not having supported the lunatic actions of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, and assumed a seat in the provincial parliament as a Social Democrat. He soon resigned his seat and moved to Berlin, increasingly opposed to the appeasement policy of the Social Democrats towards the French occupation of the Ruhr, and their acceptance of the Dawes Plan for reparations repayments.

In 1925 Niekisch became editor of Firn (The Snowfield), influenced by the German socialist Ferdinand Lasalle, who had been an antagonist of the Marx-Engels faction. The nationalist sentiments that were emerging among the radical Left, including the Communist Workers Party, a rival to the Communist Party, were attacked by the Leftist luminary Eduard Bernstein. However, Niekisch was far from isolated among the Left, and worked closely with the socialist youth group Circle Hofgeismar, from which he would draw support for his own newspaper. In 1926 Niekisch was expelled from then Social Democratic Party and from his presidency of the textile union.

That year Niekisch established the newspaper Widerstand (Resistance) largely for the purpose of advocating a pro-Russian direction. The byline of the paper was “Writings for a socialist-revolutionary nationalist politics.” Niekisch wrote of the common opposition to liberalism:

The liberal democratic parliamentarian flees from decision. He does not want to fight but to talk. The Communist wants a decision. In his roughness there is something of the hardness of the military camp; in him there is more Prussian hardness than he knows, even more than in a Prussian bourgeois.[20]

Niekisch was supported by the Freikorps Bund Oberland and by the Social Democrats in Saxony, and directed the newspaper Volksstaat in Dresden. In 1928 Niekisch founded a publishing house also named Widerstand, lectured throughout Germany, and gained support from the ‘Left’ of the NSDAP, Gregor and Otto Strasser, Count Ernst zu Reventlow, Joseph Goebbels, then a protégé of Gregor Strasser, and the influential conservative-Catholic judicial scholar Carl Schmitt. In October 1929 Niekisch led the opposition to the Young Plan for the payment of reparations. Most youth factions, including those of the Hitlerites, supported such opposition. Supporters of his newspaper Widerstand were organized into a movement, Circles Widerstand. The program included a strong state, withdrawal from the international economy, a Spartan lifestyle, the reinvigoration of peasantry and the rural in opposition to urbanization. Widerstand also advocated a geopolitical German-Slavic bloc embracing Russia and even then rejecting American banality.

In the conflict between Stalin and Trotsky for the soul of Russia, Niekisch and the National Bolsheviks opposed Trotsky. Niekisch praised Stalin’s economic reorganization as one of national autarky.

Niekisch also saw German collaboration in the development of Siberia as a means by which Russia could stem the “Yellow tide” in a geopolitical bloc stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific.[21]

Soviet Russia and the German Right

Niekisch traveled to the Soviet Union in 1932 where he met Radek.[22] This association between the Soviet Union and the German Right was not isolated. Arplan (Association for the Study of the Planned Economy of Soviet Russia) included Communists, and Rightists such as Count Ernst zu Reventlow; Arplan chairman, Lenz, a close associate of the National Bolsheviks; Ernst Jünger; and Römer, a prominent National Bolshevik who had served in the Oberland Bund. The Arplan members were composed of approximately one-third conservative-revolutionaries and National Bolsheviks.[23]

Another association cultivating ties between the “Right” and the Soviet Union was the BGB, Bund Geistige Berufe (League of Professional Intellectuals), founded in 1931. The aim of the BGB was “to attract into the orbit of our influence a range of highly placed intellectuals of rightist orientation,” according to Soviet documents. Niekisch, Jünger and Lenz were members.[24] David-Fox explains:

The hybrid left-right nature of both Arplan and the Bund reflects not only the breadth of interest in the Soviet economic model during the first phase of Stalinism, but also mixing the cross-fertilization among the radical intellectuals of Left and Right in social circles and salons at the end of Weimar. Many of the far-right figures in Arplan shared a fascination with the military-utopian mass mobilization and national autarky embodied in the Soviet industrialization drive.[25]


During the 1920s Niekisch regarded the NSDAP as a genuine national-revolutionary movement. His attitude changed with the re-establishment of the party in 1925, after the release of Hitler from Landsberg Prison following the abortive Munich Putsch.

Certainly within the NSDAP there were large and important social-revolutionary factions. The most important was the North German section of the NSDAP run virtually as a separate party by Gregor Strasser.

In 1932 Niekisch wrote a warning, the book Hitler, ein deutsches Verhängnis. Like Spengler, he was suspicious of the mass demagoguery of the NSDAP. In particular he retained his support for Stalin and a Russo-German alliance. In March 1937 Niekisch and seventy Widerstand supporters were detained. In January 1939 Niekisch was sentenced to life imprisonment for “high treason.”

Other National Bolsheviks continued underground, such as Harro Schulze-Boysen, who had maintained dialogue with Communists and Nationalists during the Weimar era. He had been an advocate of a united socialist Europe, and had organized in 1932 a congress of revolutionary youth, drawing a hundred delegates from throughout Europe. A friend of Niekisch’s National Bolshevik colleague Paetel, that year Schulze-Boysen began publishing the periodical Gegner with support from the Soviet embassy, rejecting liberalism and advocating rule by a new elite.

Although he was arrested briefly in 1933, his parents’ connections were able to get him released. Schulze-Boysen had already established an underground network. In 1936 he helped form the “Red Orchestra” spy ring. With wireless contact he relayed information to the USSR. While serving as a Luftwaffe officer Schulze-Boysen was arrested by the Gestapo and shot in 1942 along with many others of the Red Orchestra. [26]

Gregor and Otto Strasser

The Strasser brothers were leaders of the anti-Hitler opposition, offering an alternative form of National Socialism, which they contended maintained the original revolutionary program of the NSDAP. While Gregor remained within the NSDAP, having a large personal following, in the hope of transforming the party, Otto left at an early stage and formed the League of Revolutionary National Socialists.

Otto Strasser

Otto Strasser gives a speech a year after his return home to Germany to his newly formed party - The German Social Union (1957)
By SchwarzerFront (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Otto, a wounded, decorated, frontline soldier, was a socialist, but was disgusted by the anti-national Marxism of the Communists such as Kurt Eisner. He consequently joined the Freikorps to fight the Communists in Bavaria.[27] Gregor, also with a distinguished military service, formed his own formidable Freikorps, and became a prominent personality in Lower Bavaria. [28] It is a mistake to assume that those who joined the Freikorps against the Bolsheviks were all right-wing militarists. Many were Socialists. Otto joined the German Social Democratic party, which had been prominent in resisting the Communist insurrection.[29] He was assailed from the Left for his patriotism, and from the Right for his socialism, and left the Socialist party.[30]

Gregor had joined the NSDAP in 1920, bringing over his Freikorps. Otto did not join until 1925, several years after the Munich Putsch, Gregor also having been jailed for his part in the putsch. With Hitler still in jail, Gregor assumed leadership of the NSDAP, and was elected to the Reichstag. Even after Hitler’s release, the Strassers were the real leaders of the NSDAP in North Germany.[31] The Strasser faction pursued its own course, for example supporting the metalworkers’ strike in Saxony, while the Hitler faction opposed it.[32] With Gregor’s protégé Goebbels swayed by the Hitler faction’s resources, Hitler’s faction managed to isolate Strasser. In a confrontation in Berlin with Otto, Hitler accused him of “Bolshevism.”[33] After a five-year struggle within the NSDAP for the direction of National Socialism, Otto and his supporters were expelled.[34]

The Black Front

Otto Strasser formed the League of Revolutionary National Socialists. After the defection of the Berlin S.A. (Brownshirted Stormtrooperes) to Otto, the movement was named the Black Front. Its adherents included Major Buchrucker, who had after the world war formed a secret 100,000-strong Black Reichswehr, with the support of the regular Army to circumvent the Versailles diktat.[35] Also aligned was The Young German Order, whose leader, Lt. Mahraun, was incarcerated under the Hitler regime; and the radical peasant leader Klaus Hein, from Schleswig-Holstein. The aim was to infiltrate the NSDAP, the S.A. and all other branches of the party, for the day when Hitler might be overthrown.[36]

Until the NSDAP assumption of power, Otto was well-known for his public debates with the Left and Right alike, although Hitler refused his challenge.[37] By 1940, 600-700 Front members were incarcerated. Thousands of others had received short prison terms and had since been set free. Of course there were many others who remained working clandestinely in the party, the S.A., Labor Front etc. [38]

Germany had in fact been close to electing Gregor Strasser as Chancellor instead of Hitler, but General Schleicher’s efforts were undermined by von Papen and others,[39] and Gregor did not have the Machiavellian character to play at intrigue. Such was the revolutionary-socialist sentiment within the S.A. that the infamous 1934 purge, “The Night of the Long Knives,” was required to suppress it. Gregor, having left politics was nonetheless shot during the purge, as were General Schleicher and his wife.

Gregor Strasser

Gregor Strasser (1928)
Bundesarchiv, Bild 119-1721 / CC-BY-SA [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (], via Wikimedia Commons

Soon after Hitler assumed power, the Black Front offices in Berlin were ransacked, and thousands of members detained. Otto issued an order for all supporters who were not known to enter the ranks of the party, state and military.[40] Pursued by the SS, he crossed into Austria, where the Front had also been organized. Here he published Die Deutsche Revolution, bearing the crossed sword and hammer symbol of the Front. This was smuggled into Germany, 50,000 at a time. With the fall of Austria, Otto resumed activities in Prague. Millions of mini-stickers with the sword and hammer and slogans such as “The Black Front will oust Hitler” were sent into Germany. A radio transmitter, the “Black Front Sender,” was established by Rudolf Formis, beaming into Germany, and regarded as a ‘technical marvel’.[41] The march of Hitler across Europe brought Strasser to Switzerland and to Paris. He called for a broad alliance under the slogan “Neither Fascism nor Bolshevism, but the alliance of army, workers and youth.”

Otto’s (and Gregor’s) “German Socialism” was based on thoroughly German – and wider European—traditions, including the concept that one is the custodian rather than owner of land, and hence occupancy imposes a social duty. The concept is extended to commerce, and involves the recreation of guilds and the creation of a corporatist state where the “Estates” are represented directly rather than through parties. Germany would be federated into Cantons on the Swiss model, within a federated Europe.[42]

Black Front branches were formed among German émigrés throughout South America, under the leadership of Bruno Fricke. Despite Otto’s record of anti-Hitler opposition, when he settled in Ottawa he was “quarantined,” despite his work to rally German-Canadians against Hitler, his newspaper articles and his “psychological profile” of Hitler for the Office of Strategic Service. While the British had assisted him in leaving Portugal, they did not want him in Britain and the USA did not want him, because his views did not accord with liberalism. He was settled in Canada.[43] By 1942 both British and U.S. officialdom were describing him as “a dangerous man,”[44] although the Canadian press called him the leader of “Germany’s greatest underground movement,” and he had wide public recognition in Canada.[45] By December 1942 he was totally silenced on orders from London and Washington, his mail examined, and deprived of a livelihood.[46]


In 1947, with Otto barred from returning to Germany, Bruno Fricke formed the League of German Renewal. This organization however was denied a license to operate by the Allies.[47] Otto did not relent in denouncing the occupation of Germany by the Allies.[48] In December 1949 the Allies got assurances from other countries that Otto and his brother Paul would be kept out of Europe.[49] Otto nonetheless expanded contacts in Germany with nationalists who campaigned for neutrality during the Cold War, which many believed would become a shooting war. Despite his vitriol against the USSR the Western powers were suspicious, as he had been offered Russian assistance to return to Germany.[50] Soviet East Germany (the DDR) even asked Otto to become part of their “National Front” coalition of parties in 1950 and assist with the building of a Russo-German alliance. While Strasser declined, Fricke wrote an “open letter to Stalin” urging such an alliance against the West, referring to the invincibility of a “Socialist Germany and Communist Russia.”[51]

In 1953 Otto won his fight in the courts to become renaturalized and he could not be denied a visa, but the Bonn regime prolonged obstructions. However, with the threat from the Socialist Reich Party and other “extremists” who were demanding neutrality effectively dealt with in 1952, and the Adenauer regime entrenched, Strasser was permitted to return in 1955. The U.S. Army newspaper Stars and Stripes, full of historical errors, reported the return.[52] He established the Deutsche Soziale Union, advocating that Germans should be prepared to shoot anyone, Russians or Americans, to secure their freedom. The party got nowhere however, in the climate of post-war Allied repression. Disillusioned, Otto returned to Canada, and died in 1974.

Niekisch, always an advocate of a Russo-German alliance, however, did settle in the DDR. Almost blind and semi-paralyzed, Niekisch was freed from a prison at Brandenburg-Görden by the Soviet Army on 27 April 1945. He took a professorship of sociology at Humboldt University, and later became director of the Institute for the Study of Imperialism. He joined the Communist Party and the subsequent Socialist Unity Party (SED), and settled in Berlin. His prestige was such that he wrote the speech of Social Democratic leader Otto Grotewohl declaring unity between the Social Democrats and Communists in forming the SED. In 1948 he was elected to the board of the Cultural Association for the Democratic Renewal of Germany, and to the Constitutional Committee of the People’s Congress that would lay the foundations of the DDR. In 1950 he became a member of the Presidium of the ruling “National Front” coalition. By 1951 however he was increasingly out of favor with the regime, his institute was closed, and by 1954 he had resigned from the SED and all offices. Under the Bonn regime, he was denied a pension from the State as a victim of Nazism because of his post-war support for the SED and DDR, finally getting compensation in 1966. Nonetheless, he remained in Berlin, where died in 1967.[53]

Questions for Today

Although it has been assumed that Niekisch became a Marxist after the war due to his joining the SED, he had always championed a Russo-German alliance. This was not on the basis of Marxism but on a widespread realization, even among Conservatives, that the USSR would transcend Marxist dogma, and that Russia and Germany were natural geopolitical allies in rejecting bourgeois-liberalism.

In 1958 Niekisch showed that he had not changed his views. He still regarded what is now widely advocated within Russia as a “Eurasian bloc” as having the greatest “reserve of energies,” to which the future would belong, while the “decline and descent” of the West appeared “inexorable.” The question now was whether the “best cultural values of Europe” could be “salvaged” and incorporated into a Russian-led new age. It was the basic question that had been asked by the Widerstand movement after World War I. It is the same question that today remains of paramount importance. As decaying Rome was revitalized from the North, can the West be revitalized from the East, for a new cultural symbiosis to emerge as the basis of a New Age? Niekisch in 1958 saw Russia as the arbiter of this, enacted by “an elite of the spirit,” replacing the “plutocratic elite,” but avoiding the demagoguery of mass democratic politics. “The Hitler-Reich” had been a triumph of this “demagogy over a spiritual elite,” the “demagogue a travesty of the spiritual leader.”[54]

These are questions that are again being asked over Europe and further, and one sees with ever more frequency the unfurling of the banner of the Black Front sword-and-hammer in conjunction with the Widerstand eagle-hammer-sickle-sword. One also sees such ideas discussed at the highest levels of Russian politics and academia.


[1] Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, Secret Germany: Stauffenberg and the Mystical Crusade against Hitler (Penguin Books, 1995).
[2] Oswald Spengler, The Decline of The West (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1971), Vol. II p. 402.
[3] The German School was exemplified by Friedrich List, the English by Adam Smith. Marx was a product and student of the English School and hence reflects the mirror image of liberal capitalism.
[4] Möller van der Bruck was regarded as the prime spokesman of the “conservative revolution”, and coined the term “The Third Reich” with his book Das Dritte Reich. Möller was greatly admired by certain National Socialists such as Goebbels, a socialist at heart who had served his political apprenticeship in the so-called “Left wing” of the Nazi party under Gregor Strasser. However, by 1939 Möller had been repudiated by the Nazis. See Fritz Stern, The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology (Anchor Books, 1965), p. 361.
[5] Jung was one of those killed in the 1934 purge known as The Night of the Long Knives.
[6] K. R. Bolton, Stalin: the Enduring Legacy (London: Black House Publishing, 2012).
[7] Fritz Stern, op. cit., pp. 279-281.
[8] Ibid., pp. 292-293.
[9] Ibid., p. 294.
[10] Oswald Spengler, Prussianism and Socialism (1920),
[11] Addressing a group of industrialists in Essen in 1922 Spengler stated that Marxism is an imported and imposed doctrine not in keeping with the Russian character, and would soon be transformed into something quite different. He urged German businessmen and politicians to align with Russia. Spengler, “The Two Faces of Russia and Germany’s Eastern Problems,” 1922; published in Politische Schriften, 1932;
[12] Cited by Fritz Stern, op. cit., pp. 305-306.
[13] Karl Radek, ‘Leo Schlageter: The Wanderer into the Void’, Speech at a plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International, June 1923. English translation first published in Labour Monthly September 1923.
[14] Michael David-Fox, Fascination and Enmity: Russia and Germany as Entangled Histories 1914-1945 (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012), p. 8.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Bernice G. Rosenthal, New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism (Penn State University Press, 2004), p. 378.
[17] See K. R. Bolton, “Jünger and National Bolshevism”, in Troy Southgate (ed.) Jünger, Thoughts & Perspectives Vol. 11 (London: Black Front Press, 2012), p. 6.
[18] Thomas R. Nevin, Ernst Jünger and Germany: Into the Abyss 1914-1945 (Duke University Press, 1996), p. 106.
[19] See K. R. Bolton, “Jünger and National Bolshevism”, op. cit.
[20] E. Niekisch, “Entscheidung”, Widerstand, Berlin, 1930, p. 134.
[21] For this writer’s exposition of similar ideas see K. R. Bolton, Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific: Emerging Conflicts, New Alliances (London: Black House Publishing, 2013).
[22] Michael David-Fox, op. cit., p. 10.
[23] Ibid., pp. 8-9.
[24] Ibid., p. 10.
[25] Ibid., p. 11.
[26] “The National Revolutionary Movement in Weimar,” The National Revolutionary Alternative, Part II, 9 January 2012,
[27] Douglas Reed, Nemesis? The Story of Otto Strasser (London: Jonathon Cape, 1940), p. 51. Reed, senior London Times European correspondent between the world wars, remained Otto’s leading English-speaking protagonist. Reed was among the first to warn of the rise of Hitler. After the war he became a leading writer on the nexus between Zionism, Communism and international finance. See in particular his last book The Controversy of Zion.
[28] Ibid., p. 58.
[29] Ibid., p. 66.
[30] Ibid., p. 69.
[31] Ibid., p. 79.
[32] Ibid., p. 92.
[33] Ibid., p. 100.
[34] Ibid., p. 114.
[35] Ibid., p. 117.
[36] Ibid., p. 115.
[37] Ibid., p. 127.
[38] Ibid., pp. 127-129.
[39] Ibid., p. 137.
[40] Ibid., p. 151.
[41] Ibid., p. 180.
[42] Otto Strasser, Germany Tomorrow (London: Jonathan Cape, 1940).
[43] Deborah Kisatky, The United States and the European Right 1945-1955 (Ohio State University, 2005), p. 89.
[44] Ibid., p. 90.
[45] Ibid.
[46] Ibid., p. 91.
[47] Ibid., p. 97.
[48] Ibid., p. 92.
[49] Ibid., p. 97.
[50] Ibid.
[51] “Strasser asked to join East German Reds”, The Manitoba Ensign, 8 April, 1950. Indeed, German nationalists and prominent military veterans were included in the Soviet-run coalition, right up to the fall of the Eastern bloc. These were grouped into the National Democratic Party of Germany (NDPD) not to be confused with the so-called “neo-Nazi” NPD that continues to exist. Stalin had insisted that the DDR include German nationalists in the State apparatus, in contrast to the Allied policy of hanging, starving and impoverishing veterans, and their families. See: K. R. Bolton, ‘Stalin’s German-Nationalist Party’, Inconvenient History, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2014,
[52] William Mahoney, “Otto Strasser returns with ‘new’ platform,” Stars and Stripes, 19 March, 1955.
[53] Dietmar Gottfried, “The National Bolshevism of Ernst Niekisch,” Telepolis, 28 January 2012.
[54] Ernst Niekisch, Gewagtes Leben (Cologne: Kiepenheuer and Wistch, 1958), pp. 145-155, cited by Roger Griffin, Fascism (Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 318-319.

Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Kerry R. Bolton
Title: The Anti-Hitler Underground within the German Conservative Revolution
Sources: Inconvenient History, 2015, vol. 7, no. 2
Published: 2015-05-23
First posted on CODOH: Sept. 8, 2015, 8:47 a.m.
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