German Fatherland Party
|German Fatherland Party
|Founded||September 2, 1917|
|Dissolved||December 10, 1918|
|Succeeded by||None (de jure)
DNVP and DAP (de facto)
The German Fatherland Party (German: Deutsche Vaterlandspartei) was a short-lived far-right party in the German Empire, active during the last phase of World War I. It played a vital role in the emergence of the stab-in-the-back myth and the defamation of democratic politicians as the "November Criminals".
Backed by the Pan-German League, the party was founded in September 1917 and represented conservative, nationalist, anti-Semitic, and völkisch political circles, united in their opposition against the Reichstag Peace Resolution of July 1917. The party's leaders were Wolfgang Kapp (of the Kapp Putsch fame) and Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz (a naval minister and post-war party leader). Walter Nicolai, head of the military secret service, was also supportive. Media baron Alfred Hugenberg was also a prominent member. Its political influence peaked in summer 1918 when it had around 1,250,000 members. Its main source of funding was the Third Supreme Command.
The party was officially dissolved in the German Revolution on December 10, 1918. Most of its members later joined the German National People's Party (DNVP), the major right-wing party of the Weimar Republic.
One member, Anton Drexler, went on to form a similar organization, the German Workers' Party, which later became the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) that came to power in 1933 under Adolf Hitler.
Notes & Bibliography
- on Nicolai, see Höhne and Zolling, p 290
- Höhne, Heinz, and Zolling, Hermann (1972). The General Was a Spy. Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc, New York. (Published in Germany as Pullach Intern, 1971, Hoffman and Campe Verlag, Hamburg)
- Historisches Lexikon Bayerns: Deutsche Vaterlandspartei, 1917/18 (Sarah Hadry)
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