March 3rd, 1919. Berlin March Battles begin (on the very next day after the Comintern is officially founded in Moscow). It was the last, the bloodiest and the least-known (practically forgotten actually) Communist attempt to seize power in Germany (in the whole of Germany that it) in 1918-19.
Consequently, historians usually consider the Berliner Märzkämpfe the final event in the German Revolution of 1918-19. In other words, these bloody events brought the revolution to its (long-awaited) end.
The two key objectives of this Communist uprising – the whole thing was started and run by the Communist Party of Germany and the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany – were to (1) nationalize the key German industries; and (2) place the German army under a firm control of soldiers’ councils.
Which in just about no time would have given the Communists full control over German economy and its armed forces. And thus over the whole country, opening the road to its Bolshevization.
The Battles began (relatively) peacefully on March 3rd, 1919 – on exactly the same day the founding Congress of the Communist International opened in Moscow. Which means that for all practical purposes, the Berliner Märzkämpfe were the first revolutionary project of Comintern. Fortunately for Germany, Europe and very possibly for the whole world, this “pilot project” failed – and failed miserably.
It started (as usual) with a general strike called by the workers’ council of AEG Hennigsdorf – a rail vehicle (locomotive) factory near Berlin with a specific purpose of enforcing the abovementioned demands.
The federal government had no desire whatsoever to hand control over the whole German economy (let alone of its armed forces) to Communists, so it (more specifically, its defense minister Gustav Noske) predictably declared a state of siege (far more draconian that the state of emergency) in Berlin.
This decision by the government (which made complete sense) no less predictably transformed a (relatively) peaceful affair into an armed – and ultimately bloody – uprising. A Communist coup attempt, to be more precise.
The notorious Volksmarinedivision (People’s Navy Division), a paramilitary unit created on November 11th, 1918 to “defend the German Revolution”, immediately began distributing weapons to the strikers. With the obvious objective of seizing power in Berlin – and ultimately in the whole Germany – by the force of arms.
To prevent this from happening (another decision that made complete sense, the government turned to the Freikorps – the loyalist paramilitary units that had already saved Germany once (by crushing a Spartacist uprising of a similar nature in January of the same year).
Five units entered Berlin on March 4th – the Freikorps Reinhard, Freikorps Lützow, Freikorps Hülsen, Guards Cavalry Rifle Division and German Protection Division. Volksmarinedivision resisted fiercely but the “counter-revolutionaries” had a decisive and overwhelming advantage in personnel and hardware.
Using aircraft, tanks, armored cars, artillery, mortars and machine guns, the Freikorps crushed the Communist rebels – again. However, it took them ten days to restore order – the last barricade was captured by the loyalists only on March 13th.
Due to the overwhelming superiority of the Freikorps in military hardware, it was actually more of a massacre than of a battle. Only 75 Freikorps members were killed by the insurgents while the latter lost about 1,200 dead.
One of these was the leader of the German Communists Leon “Leo” Jogiches. Who was, yes, Jewish. His successor Paul Levi was Jewish as well. Although at the time of the Battles Leo Jogiches was in jail, he was still officially the leader of the Communists (and thus of the uprising).
These indisputable facts were – again – misinterpreted by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. For them these facts were another proof beyond the reasonable doubt that the Battles – and the whole “Communist project” were the key parts of a global Jewish conspiracy for taking over the whole world.
Which added another “layer of snow” to the mass that 22 years later will trigger the “Holocaust avalanche”.