The Freikorps

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Jeffk 1970
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The Freikorps

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:00 am

While re-reading “The Vanquished” I came across the section where Robert Gerwarth talked about the Freikorps, the bands of German right-wing militias who fought in Eastern Europe after WW I. I found some interesting things to share that I glossed over when I first read it.

After Germany was defeated Lenin moved to establish Soviet Republics in the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Initially they were successful, so successful that the Western Allies requested that German Government under Friedrich Ebert to leave German forces in place (with the exception of Estonia where counterrevolutionaries quickly overthrew the Commune set up in Narva).

The Latvian Government (with the permission of the British) called for the creation of a German anti-Bolshevik force called the Baltische Landeswehr. Composed of the remnants of the German Eighth Army and ethnic Germans, it grew into a sizable force of 16,000 men led by Major Josef Bischoff. The Major was highly decorated, very charismatic and incidentally directly involved in the genocidal campaign against the Herero and Nama in Africa years before. The Latvian Government offered new volunteers from Germany farmland in exchange for fighting the Bolsheviks for four weeks.
Last edited by Jeffk 1970 on Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Harvard Crimson (on why it refused to run an add by Bradley Smith):
“(It is) vicious propaganda based on utter BS that has been discredited time and time again.”

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Re: The Freikorps

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:01 am

This offer proved very attractive to men faced with the uncertainty of a future in defeated Germany. There were other attractions. Some of the men joined due to the attraction of operating in an essentially lawless territory. They were free to do as they wanted. Others joined to continue fighting, to erase the humiliation they felt over the lost war.

More later, need to run off for a bit.
Last edited by Jeffk 1970 on Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Harvard Crimson (on why it refused to run an add by Bradley Smith):
“(It is) vicious propaganda based on utter BS that has been discredited time and time again.”

Balmoral95
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Re: The Freikorps

Post by Balmoral95 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:21 am

Jeff, is the thread meant to be an overview of the subject or confined to a discussion of the Freikorps in the Baltics?

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Jeffk 1970
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Re: The Freikorps

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:55 am

Balmoral95 wrote:
Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:21 am
Jeff, is the thread meant to be an overview of the subject or confined to a discussion of the Freikorps in the Baltics?
Don’t feel confined to the Baltics. I’m just giving an overview to start with.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Harvard Crimson (on why it refused to run an add by Bradley Smith):
“(It is) vicious propaganda based on utter BS that has been discredited time and time again.”

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Re: The Freikorps

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:39 pm

Bump
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Harvard Crimson (on why it refused to run an add by Bradley Smith):
“(It is) vicious propaganda based on utter BS that has been discredited time and time again.”

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Re: The Freikorps

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:36 pm

The difference between how this warfare and how warfare was conducted during WW I was how it was perceived. The Freikorps fought against ethnic Latvians, Russians, even Germans who fought besides the regular Bolsheviks. These troops fought in improvised uniforms and sometimes disguised themselves as civilians. This reinforced the idea that the combatants fought a guerrilla war in which normal rules did not matter.

Rudolf Hoess, who served in Latvia, described the battles as slaughters until no one survived.

Both sides fought viciously. German Freikorps described an instance where they stumbled upon the bodies of their comrades in the house of two Latvian women. Whoever killed the five Germans mutilated them savagely. In a rage the Freikorps beat the two women to death. Freikorps soldiers committed massacres at the Latvian towns of Tuckum and Dunamunde, murdering over 800 civilians who were accused of collaboration.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Harvard Crimson (on why it refused to run an add by Bradley Smith):
“(It is) vicious propaganda based on utter BS that has been discredited time and time again.”

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Jeffk 1970
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Re: The Freikorps

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:52 pm

The Freikorps drove the Red Army out of Latvia by March 1919. This is where the trouble started. The Latvian Government requested that the Germans withdraw the Freikorps and in return the Freikorps staged a coup. They replaced the Latvian Government with Pastor Andreas Needra who Goltz believed would act in German interests.

Things fell apart only after the Freikorps attempted to invade Estonia. The Latvian forces backed by Estonian troops defeated the Freikorps at the battle of Wenden. Goltz signed a peace treaty and agreed to withdraw.
Question for Groening by a reporter:
“Mr. Groening, what do you say to those who still deny the Holocaust?”

Groening:
“Nothing. They are hopelessly lost.”


Harvard Crimson (on why it refused to run an add by Bradley Smith):
“(It is) vicious propaganda based on utter BS that has been discredited time and time again.”