|Disappeared||May 1945 (age 73)|
|Other names||Knüpple Kunze|
|Years active||1914 - 1945|
|Known for||Anti-Semitic politician|
|Title||Member of the Reichstag|
|Term||1933 - 1945|
|Political party||German Conservative Party|
Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund
Deutschvölkischen Arbeitsring Berlin
German National People's Party
German Social Party
Kunze's political career began around 1914 when he was employed by the German Conservative Party along with fellow rightist Wilhelm Kube. Serving the party as general secretary he earned 12,000 marks per month for a role that largely involved travelling Germany drumming up support. Near the end of the war he became involved with the Fatherland Party where he gained the nickname Knüpple Kunze (Cudgel Kunze) because of strong attacks on the Jews.
After the war Kunze was associated with the Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund and in 1920 he joined with Reinhold Wulle and Arnold Ruge to form the Deutschvölkischen Arbeitsring Berlin, a short-lived successor group. The group was absorbed by the joined German National People's Party (DNVP) in June 1920 and Kunze joined the DNVP and became the party's chief publicist. However Kunze split from the party in 1921, feeling that it did not match his own hard-line stance on the Jews.
German Social Party
In 1921 Kunze established his own anti-Semitic party in north Germany known as the German Social Party, an early rival to the Nazi Party on the far right. The new party rejected the monarchism of the DNVP, arguing that Jewish influence had been just as pronounced in the German empire as in the new Weimar Republic. The party became noted for provocative street activities, with Kunze himself becoming a well-known demagogue. However support was lost as Kunze also gained a reputation for using the party as a way to make money for himself, diverting funds into his own pockets and after a number of defections he wound the party up in 1929.
In 1930 Kunze joined his old rivals as a member of the Nazi Party. Kunze was elected to the Preußischer Landtag as a Nazi delegate in 1932 and in the November 1933 he was elected to the Reichstag, serving in what by then had become a perfunctory institution until 1945.
- Alastair P. Thompson, Left Liberals, The State, and Popular Politics in Wilhelmine Germany, Oxford University Press, 2000, p. 9
- Thompson, Left Liberals, The State, and Popular Politics in Wilhelmine Germany, p. 64
- Paul Bookbinder, Weimar Germany: The Republic of the Reasonable, Manchester University Press, 1996, p. 45
- Uwe Lohalm, Völkischer Radikalismus: Die Geschichte des Deutschvölkischen Schutz- und Trutz-Bundes. 1919 - 1923 Leibniz-Verlag, Hamburg 1970, p. 258
- Donald L. Niewyk, The Jews in Weimar Germany, Transaction Publishers, 2001, p. 50
- Konrad Heiden, A History of National Socialism, Taylor & Francis, 1971, p. 23
- Manfred Weißbecker: "Deutschsoziale Partei 1921−1928", in: Dieter Fricke (ed.): Lexikon zur Parteiengeschichte. Die bürgerlichen und kleinbürgerlichen Parteien und Verbände in Deutschland (1789−1945). Band 2, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig 1984, p. 539
- Bernd Kruppa: Rechtsradikalismus in Berlin 1918−1928. Overall-Verlag, Berlin 1988, pp. 300; 327ff; 362
- Niewyk, The Jews in Weimar Germany, p. 52
- Ernst Rudolf Huber: Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte seit 1789. Band 6, Die Weimarer Reichsverfassung. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1984, p. 282.