Organization Consul

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The organization Consul ( O. C. ) was a nationalist and anti - Semitic terrorist organization during the Weimar Republic . The paramilitary organization led by Hermann Ehrhardt was structured as a regionally structured secret society . They committed political murders with the aim to destabilize the democratic system of the young republic, a military dictatorship to build and the results of the First World War , in particular the Treaty of Versailles to, revise .

origin

The O. C. emerged from the Ehrhardt Marine Brigade , a volunteer corps that was officially disbanded in 1920. Their eponymous commander, Captain Hermann Ehrhardt, formed the organization from the ranks of the brigade after the failure of the Kapp Putsch . Due to its origins, the O. C. was a militarily organized cadre group, the members of which were mostly recruited from former (front) officers of the German Army and the Imperial Navy as well as the Freikorps. The O. C. was initially tolerated by the Reich government and the Reichswehr leadership, who hoped with it and similar leagues to be able to undermine the arms restrictions of the Versailles Treaty.

organization

Member of the Consul organization

The O. C. had liaison officers throughout the empire and was able to draw on an estimated workforce of around 5,000 men. One of the most famous members was the later writer Ernst von Salomon . The average age of the members was between 20 and 30 years. Their motivation was nourished by an anti-bourgeois affect and an extreme nationalism. In addition, anti-Marxism and anti-Semitism played a role: The statute named the "fight against everything anti and international, Judaism, social democracy and the radical left parties" as the goal. Jews were excluded from participation, and each member had to confirm that they were of “German descent”.

This secret society operated from Munich , which was tacitly tolerated or covered by the Munich Police President Ernst Pöhner . As a camouflage, the front organization had created the Bavarian timber recycling company based in Munich. Around 30 full-time employees worked in the headquarters under the actual direction of Ehrhardt's chief of staff, Alfred Hoffmann. The O. C. had seven upper districts ( Hamburg , Hanover , Berlin , Frankfurt am Main , Dresden , Breslau , Tübingen ) with up to three sub-districts each; the establishment of planned further districts was prevented by the ban on the organization. It was financed through illegal arms trafficking, including with the Irish Republican Army . Ehrhardt looked after a whole network of other paramilitary organizations through O. C. Members of the O. C. took part in the referendum battle in Upper Silesia in 1920 and, as the Koppe assault company, took part in the suppression of the Third Polish Uprising to prevent the area from being ceded to Poland.

The organization played an important role in the formation of the SA when in 1921 OC Lieutenant Hans Ulrich Klintzsch took over the military leadership of the former "gymnastics and sports department of the NSDAP ". Julius Schreck and Joseph Berchtold , who later became Adolf Hitler's bodyguards , also came from its membership .

Murders

On August 26, 1921, the center politician Matthias Erzberger, hated by the right, was murdered near Bad Griesbach in the Black Forest by Heinrich Schulz and Heinrich Tillessen . The police investigations quickly led to the perpetrators and ultimately to the Consul organization, to which the two belonged. In a Germany-wide wave of arrests, 34 members of the Consul organization were arrested after further investigations. Most had to be released soon, however, because the suspicion that the O. C., as an organization, planned and carried out the murder of Erzberger, could not be sufficiently supported by evidence. Some of the members were nevertheless charged with membership in a secret society.

On June 24, 1922, members of the O. C. murdered the German Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau . One of the accomplices was Ernst von Salomon , who describes his membership in his 1951 autobiographical work The Questionnaire . Members of the O. C. were also responsible for the attempted murder of Philipp Scheidemann on June 4, 1922, and probably also for the murder of Karl Gareis on June 9, 1921.

Prohibition and successor organizations

During the investigation into the murder of Matthias Erzberger, the seat of the O. C. was dug up. On the basis of the Republic Protection Act passed on July 21, 1922 , the O. C. was banned. The Bund Wiking was founded as the successor organization.

During the time of National Socialism , the members of the O. C. were subordinated to the SS . They were hailed as “heroes of national resistance”, although the O. C. had actually been in competition with the NSDAP. Ehrhardt had clashed several times with Adolf Hitler in Munich in the 1920s . a. accused of breaking his word. At the same time, Friedrich Wilhelm Heinz , one of the regional leaders of the O. C., was part of the military resistance of 1938. It was intended that he should arrest Hitler in a planned putsch and, if necessary, kill him. In the Federal Republic of Germany , Friedrich Wilhelm Heinz was then the head of the Friedrich Wilhelm Heinz service .

literature

Web links

Remarks

  1. ^ Wolfram Selig : Organization Consul. In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus . Hostility to Jews in the past and present. Vol. 5: Organizations, institutions, movements. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-027878-1 , p. 465 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  2. ^ Wolfram Selig: Organization Consul. In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Hostility to Jews in the past and present. Vol. 5: Organizations, institutions, movements. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-027878-1 , p. 466 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  3. ^ Wolfgang Benz: Politics in Bavaria 1919-1933: Reports of the Württemberg ambassador Carl Moser von Filseck . Walter de Gruyter, 2010, ISBN 978-3-486-70361-0 , p. 102 ( google.de [accessed on April 23, 2020]).
  4. ^ Martin Sabrow: Organization Consul (OC), 1920-1922. In: Historical Lexicon of Bavaria . March 8, 2018, accessed March 10, 2018 .
  5. On the Erzberger murder and the involvement of the O. C. cf. Sabrow: Der Rathenaumord , pp. 22-27.
  6. ^ Wolfram Selig: Organization Consul. In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Hostility to Jews in the past and present. Vol. 5: Organizations, institutions, movements. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-027878-1 , p. 465 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  7. ^ Wolfram Selig: Organization Consul. In: Wolfgang Benz (Hrsg.): Handbuch des Antisemitismus. Hostility to Jews in the past and present. Vol. 5: Organizations, institutions, movements. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-027878-1 , p. 466 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).