Arthur Ehrhardt

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Arthur Ehrhardt (21 March 1896, Mengersgereuth-Hämmern, Saxe-Meiningen - 16 May 1971) was a German Waffen-SS officer and author on warfare who became a leading figure in the post-war neo-Nazi movement.

Early years[edit]

Ehrhardt was involved in such youth groups as the Free German Youth and was also the founder of the Boy Scout movement in his home town of Coburg.[1] He saw action in the First World War before returning to Coburg to teach elementary school. He first came to politics as a member of the Freikorps after the First World War.[2] Ehrhardt had been a paid informer for the Wehrmacht and was also involved in the training of units of the Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten and the Sturmabteilung. It was through his involvement in the latter that Ehrhardt first came to Nazism. He became an officer in the SA but left the movement after the killing of Ernst Röhm and became estranged from the Nazi Party.[1]

Wartime activity[edit]

Ehrhardt re-enlisted in the Wehrmacht when war broke out in 1939 and initially served with the Abwehr. At his own request he was transferred to the Waffen-SS in 1944 and worked as a member of Heinrich Himmler's staff.[1] Within the SS he rose to rank of Sturmbannführer (Major),[3] becoming an expert in anti-espionage tactics in the Balkans.[2] He also wrote extensively on the subject of guerrilla warfare, notably in such books as Kleinkrieg.[4] This work has been edited by the Command and General Staff School of the United States Army in Fort Leavenworth, KA in 1936 under the title: Guerrilla Warfare. Lessons of the Past and Possibilities of the Future. However, his insights into the possibility of unusual tactics being used by and against partisans were largely ignored by the Wehrmacht high command.[5] He also served as the expert in 'Bandenbekämpfung' in the Führer Headquarters.[6]

Post-war activism[edit]

Following the end of the Second World War Ehrhardt became a strong supporter of Oswald Mosley's Europe a Nation ideal and to this end was the founder (with Herbert Böhme) and editor of the magazine Nation Europa in 1949.[7] He was a minority shareholder in the enterprise[8] and, although the journal was damaged by financial wrangling between Ehrhardt and Werner Naumann,[9] it continues to this day. He was also a regular writer for Western Destiny, the magazine of Roger Pearson.[10] Politically he was an active member of the European Social Movement and also founded his own group, the Jungeuropäischer Arbeitskreis, in 1958.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Philip Rees, Biographical Dictionary of the Extreme Right Since 1890, 1990, p. 110
  2. ^ a b Karl Dietrich Bracher, The German Dictatorship, 1970, p. 587
  3. ^ German Neo-Nazi Press: Nation & Europa
  4. ^ A. Erhardt, Kleinkrieg: geschichtliche Erfahrungen und künftige Möglichkeiten, 1944
  5. ^ Walter Laqueur, Guerrilla warfare: A Historical & Critical Study, 1997, p. 199
  6. ^ Heinrich August Winkler, Der lange Weg nach Westen, Volume 2, 2000, p. 595
  7. ^ G. Macklin, Very Deeply Dyed in Black, London, 2007, p. 111
  8. ^ Bracher, The German Dictatorship, p. 587
  9. ^ Macklin, Very Deeply Dyed in Black, p. 113
  10. ^ Foundation for Fascism: the New Eugenics Movement in the United States, Patterns of Prejudice