Organisation Consul

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Organisation Consul was an ultra-nationalist force operating in Germany in 1921 and 1922. It was formed by members of the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt, a Freikorps unit which disbanded after the Kapp Putsch failed to overthrow the German Weimar Republic. It was responsible for the assassinations of the Republic's Minister of Finance, Matthias Erzberger, in August 1921 and Foreign Minister Walter Rathenau in June 1922. Erzberger was murdered because he was the German representative in signing the 1918 armistice.

Origins[edit]

The OC was created in 1921 by Captain Hermann Ehrhardt and some of his followers in the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt. They had been hiding out in Bavaria following the forced disbandment of Freikorps organizations after the Kapp Putsch of 1920. His fighters had formed the Association of Former Ehrhardt Officers which then became the OC.[1] The founders used Freikorps contacts to recruit members in dozens of cities and small towns all over Germany. Eventually it came to have districts encompassing large swaths of the nation.[2]

Mission statement[edit]

An excerpt:

"Spiritual aims:

The cultivation and dissemination of nationalist thinking; warfare against all anti-nationalists and internationalists; warfare against Jewry, Social Democracy and Leftist-radicalism; fomentation of internal unrest in order to attain the overthrow of the anti-nationalist Weimar constitution . . .

Material aims:

The organization of determined, nationalist-minded men . . . local shock troops for breaking up meetings of an anti-nationalist nature; maintenance of arms and the preservation of military ability; the education of youth in the use of arms.

Notice:

Only those men who have determination, who obey unconditionally and who are without scruples . . . will be accepted. . . . The organization is a secret organization. "[3]

Victims[edit]

At least 354 people were murdered for political reasons, between 1919 and 1922.[4] Some notable victims are as follows:

The end[edit]

After Rathenau's murder, the OC became the Viking Bund. Related to it was the Olympia Sports Association (Sportverein Olympia) [10]

The Viking Bund eventually became related to the Nazi SA (storm troopers), but apparently by 1923, Hermann Göring writes that the Viking Bund had "declared war against the party and the SA".[11] In 1934, Ehrhardt was on the list of people to be killed by the Nazi party during the Night of the Long Knives purge, but he escaped, and was later invited back to Nazi Germany.[12]

Miscellaneous[edit]

The OC murders often took the form of a "Feme" – a secret court that rendered death penalty sentences on perceived enemies. It was named after the Femgericht courts of Medieval Germany.[13]

The OC had a front company, the Bavarian Wood Products Company, with a headquarters in Munich [6]

Ernst Pöhner was a great deal of help to the OC. He was the chief of Bavarian police, so he could do things like embezzle money to support the OC, and falsify passports for members to escape trial.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Waite, pp. 203, 213
  2. ^ Waite, p. 215, quoting Friedrich Wilhelm Heinz, Sprengstoff, Berlin, 1930
  3. ^ Waite, Vanguard of Nazism, 1969, p. 214, quoting, among other sources, Fried, Guilt of the Germany Army, 197, who in turn is quoting the Münchener Post, Dec 27, 1922
  4. ^ Waite, p. 216
  5. ^ Lange, p.250
  6. ^ a b Waite, p. 217
  7. ^ a b Waite, p. 218
  8. ^ Waite, p. 222
  9. ^ Waite, p. 219
  10. ^ Waite, pp. 203–204
  11. ^ Waite, p. 256
  12. ^ Waite, pp. 279–280
  13. ^ Waite, pp. 212–213
  14. ^ Waite, p. 213

Bibliography[edit]

  • Waite, Robert G. L. (1969). Vanguard of Nazism The Free Corps Movement In Post-War Germany 1918-1923. New York:. W. W. Norton and Company. . 356 pages. ISBN 978-0-393-00181-5