The Ruhr uprising started as a perfectly legitimate civil (mostly workers’) protest against the totally illegitimate Kapp putsch. However, the German Communists (supported, interestingly enough, by various Social Democrats) predictably jumped on this unique opportunity to launch a coup of their own and seize power – at least in the Ruhr region (part of modern-day in North Rhine-Westphalia and now the largest urban area in Germany). And ideally – in the whole Germany.
On March 23th, 1920, the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt (the most potent Freikorps unit) led by von Lüttwitz marched into Berlin, occupied the government buildings and installed Wolfgang Kapp as new chancellor, calling for a return of the monarchy (no less).
Neither Reichswehr nor the police had any desire to interfere (as both were either neutral or outright supportive of the coup) so the Social Democratic government’s only chance to bring down the coup was to call a nationwide general strike hoping that neither German workers nor its civil servants have any desire to return to monarchy that they overthrew just sixteen months earlier.
Allgemeiner Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (ADGB) – confederation of German trade unions supported the call for a general strike. Separately, the Communists (KPD), Independent Social Democrats (USPD) and the DDP – the German Democratic Party (well-represented in German governments) also called for a strike.
Government’s assumption was correct – there was little (if any) desire among the workers to do away with the republic and to replace it with the even more authoritarian monarchy than the Second Empire.
So it is no surprise that already on the very first day of the Kapp Putsch twenty thousand workers participated in a demonstration against the coup in just one Ruhr city – Bohum.
However, the national government was in for a big surprise (which actually should have been no surprise at all). In a matter of hours, the “medicine” (strikes and left-wing demonstrations) turned out to be not much better than the “disease” (the Kapp Putsch).
In some key aspects, it was even worse. On March 14th (the next day after the beginning of the putsch in Berlin), KPD, USPD and (surprise, surprise), regional chapter of SPD met in Elberfeld (now a subdivision of Wuppertal) and decided on a spontaneous alliance against the putschists.
With the ultimate objective (explicitly stated in their joint appeal) of… “winning political power by the dictatorship of the proletariat”. In practical terms, it was the call for another coup (a “counter-coup”, if you will). The Red one. The uprising.
The call was enthusiastically answered by local workers’ organizations who immediately began to form “Executive Councils” and take over political power across the whole Ruhr area.
These councils were predictably dominated by USPD and KPD with the active participation of representatives of anarcho-syndicalist Free Workers’ Union of Germany (FAUD) – an independent (from ADGB) trade union.
Two key differences made the “medicine” far worse than the “disease”. First, it got a military support from a 50,000 strong Red Ruhr Army (RRA) formed in a matter of a day on March 13th (the Marinebrigaden Ehrhardt that single-handedly occupied Berlin and ousted the national government had only 6,000 soldiers).
Second, unlike the Kapp Putsch that had no public support whatsoever, the Ruhr uprising could potentially count on support of millions of workers not just in the area but in the whole Germany.
300,000 mine workers (about 75% of the work force in mining) immediately proclaimed their support for the RRA. The national government was justifiably afraid that the uprising was a beginning of a full-scale Russian-style Communist revolution.
Not surprisingly, the mighty RRA in a very short time prevailed over the undermanned local government (police and Reichswehr) forces. The national government had no other choice than to… send in Freikorps units not that different from the ones who were involved in the Kapp Putsch.
On March 17th, RRA units attacked an advance party of the Freikorps Lichtschlag under Hauptmann Hasenclever. The Reds took the enemy force’s weapons, captured 600 Freikorps soldiers and occupied Dortmund, meeting little if any resistance.
Energized by these military successes, on March 20th in Essen, spontaneous leaders of the uprising formed the Central Committee of the Workers’ Councils which was supposed to serve as the de-facto provisional government of the region. Which by the end of March was firmly under the control of these councils.
By that time, the Kapp Putsch has already collapsed and on March 22nd the government, the unions and the parties (KPD, USPD, SPD and DDP) announced the end of the general strike. Having successfully defeated the “black coup”, the national government was now ready to take care of the Red one.
On March 24th, the government issued an ultimatum demanding that the workers’ councils put an end to the strike and the uprising by 30 March – or Ruhr will be occupied by the Reichswehr who will put an end to the uprising with a military force.
The RRA was a military force far superior to Freikorps units; however, it was no match for a Reichswehr. Consequently, the leaders of the uprising took this threat very seriously and agreed to start negotiations with the government.
Negotiations began on the same day – March 24th – in the city of Bielefeld. An agreement was reached which gave the chance for a peaceful end to the uprising. Unfortunately, some local leaders as well as the RRA commanders rejected the agreement preferring an “honorable downfall” to a “dishonorable surrender”.
Which predictably led to a new ultimatum issued this time by the military authorities – regional military commander Generalleutnant Oskar von Watter. Determined to crush the uprising with brutal force, he intentionally made it impossible to comply with.
The Essen Workers’ Council no less predictably called for a new general strike supported by over 300,000 miners. This gave von Watter the excuse for sending his troops (augmented by Freikorps units) to the area on April 2nd .
Crushing the uprising turned out to be not a walk in the park as von Watter expected. Despite their overwhelming technical superiority, his units lost 208 dead and 123 missing. Freikorps losses amounted to 173 dead.
RRA lost about 1,100 dead; however as everyone carrying weapons at the time of their arrest were shot—including the wounded – battlefield losses were roughly about even.
Reichspräsident Ebert issued an order that forbade these summary executions on April 3rd – the next day after von Watter’s troops entered Ruhr. However, the latter ignored it and issued a similar order only on April 12th when the uprising was completely crushed.
Invasion of Ruhr that was supposed to be demilitarized according to the Versailles Treaty did not make the Allies very happy (to put it mildly). Hence, on April 6th the French Army occupied Frankfurt, Hanau and Darmstadt, creating essentially a safe haven for the RRA (which promptly fled there).
The British occupation forces were threatening to occupy the Bergisches Land in reprisal for the blatant violation of the Treaty of Versailles by the Reichswehr and thus forced the latter to stop at the river Ruhr. However, by April 8th it was in full control over the whole Northern Ruhr area. The Ruhr uprising was over.
Adolf Hitler who undoubtedly followed the Ruhr events closely (he was an avid reader of all major German newspapers), made the following inevitable conclusions.
Yes, the Communists will seize any opportunity to obtain the power in a German region and in the whole Germany via an armed uprising and the general strike. Yes, it is all a Bolshevist conspiracy (KPD was a member of the Moscow-based Comintern, after all). And yes, it is all a part of a global Jewish conspiracy to grab the power in Germany – and ultimately to destroy it.
The latter (totally erroneous) conclusion was based on, alas, indisputable historical facts. Hugo Haase, the founder and the first Chairman of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany that played a leading role in the uprising (and subsequently joined Comintern), was a Jew.
He was also a co-chairman of the Council of the People’s Deputies – the government of the November Revolution in Germany from November 1918 until February 1919.
It was the Council that negotiated the armistice with the Allies on November 11, 1918. Which made Haase one of the “November criminals” in the eyes of Adolf Hitler and the November revolution – a part of a Jewish plot to destroy Germany.
Paul Levi, then chairman of the Communist Party of Germany that also played an important role in the uprising (and was already a member of Comintern) was a Jew. As was Hugo Preuss – a prominent Social Democratic politician and the author of the Weimar Constitution (the latter fact made the whole Weimar Republic a part of a global Jewish conspiracy in Hitler’s eyes).
Contrary to an almost universal misconception, the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-20 was not one, but actually three wars fought at the same time by not two, but four countries – Poland (the Second Polish Republic), the Ukrainian People’s Republic (a predecessor of modern Ukraine), Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine (the latter was nominally independent but in reality run from Moscow).
The first was a noble war fought by the Ukrainian People’s Republic (which declared independence from Russia on January 25th, 1918) for its freedom and independence from both Russia and Poland.
The first war was the local war fought by two predators – Poland and Russia – over the control of an area equivalent to today’s Ukraine and parts of modern-day Belarus. Consequently, there was nothing noble about that war at all – the objectives of both sides were equally ignoble.
The third – and by far the most important – war that made the Polish-Soviet War the most important “Inter-War” conflicts of 1919-1938 by far was the existential war between Poland and Russia for the very survival of Poland, Germany and quite possibly the whole continental Europe. Which makes the Polish-Soviet War essentially a predecessor of World War II on the Eastern Front.
Although the Soviet Russia (more precisely, the Bolshevist clique that ran it) wanted to occupy the abovementioned territories, it wanted more. Much more. Ultimately, they wanted the whole continental Europe.
Consequently, their strategic objectives of this war was to occupy Poland and Germany (defenseless after the Treaty of Versailles), establish puppet Communist regimes in these countries and then use them as a springboard, a beachhead for spreading the “socialist revolution” to other European nations (by organizing an armed uprising, coup d’état or by a direct military invasion).
These objectives stemmed from the fundamental principle of “permanent revolution” preached by Leon Trotsky – the second most powerful man in Soviet Russia.
At that time he held the position of People’s Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs which made him a Minister of Defense of Soviet Russia and Commander-in-Chief of its armed forces.
According to this principle (a fundamental belief, actually), the Communist regime in Russia can survive (let alone succeed) only if it starts an avalanche of “socialist revolutions” in Europe (first and foremost, in Germany) and subsequently transforms the whole human civilization into a global Communist state.
In the long run, Trotsky turned out to be right. The Soviet Union (successor to the Soviet Russia) failed to start this “avalanche” and in August of 1991 the Communist regime in this country ceased to exist. The once-mighty USSR fell apart and went into the dustbin of history a few months later – in December of that year.
The Polish-Soviet War was the first attempt of the Bolshevist clique to put this theory into practice. The second should have been the invasion of Germany in 1941 preempted by Operation Barbarossa (according to some estimates, by mere 24 hours).
The Treaty of Versailles required Germany to withdraw its troops from the territories of former Russian Empire that they occupied according to the terms of Brest-Litovsk peace treaty with the Soviet Russia.
This withdrawal created a “power vacuum” that made these lands a lucrative prey for both Soviet Russia (that wanted to restore the Empire and transform it into a Communist state) and for Poland (that wanted to create a Polish-led Intermarium – the union of nominally independent state that would become a counterweight to any potential threat on the part of Russia or of Germany). Consequently, the war between Poland and the Soviet Russia over these territories was all but inevitable.
Especially after the latter began (after annulling the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on November 13th, 1918) is “Westward Offensive”. With the objective of occupying Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic States, establish puppet Communist governments there and ultimately to incorporate these territories into the Communist state (the future Soviet Union).
In the Baltic states, the offensive failed miserably (the Soviet Russia was forced to recognize the independence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) but in Ukraine and Belarus it was far more successful.
So successful in fact that in January 1920 the Red Army began concentrating a 700,000-strong force in Belarus with the ultimate objective to invade and occupy Poland and then Germany.
Although by that time the Polish Army had roughly the same number of troops as its Soviet counterpart, it was far inferior in terms of weapons. The Red Army had at their disposal much military equipment left by withdrawing Germans, and modern Allied armaments (including armored cars, armored trains, trucks and artillery) captured from the White Russians and the Allied expeditionary forces following their defeat in the Russian Civil War.
The Poles could rely on far more limited supplies of weapons and ammunition (in quantity, scope and quality). Consequently, the Soviet High Command anticipated an easy victory over their Polish adversaries.
The Polish High Command (led by the Chief of State Józef Pilsudski) did not agree and began their own slow but steady advance eastward. On January 21st, after three weeks of heavy fighting, the Polish forces captured the Latvian city of Dyneburg and promptly handed it over to the Latvian government.
By March, Polish forces had driven a wedge between Soviet forces in the north (Belarus) and south (Ukraine), capturing the towns of Mozyrz and Kalenkowicze and significantly disrupting Soviet plans for their early offensive.
It is well-known that the best defense is a powerful offence so on April 24 Polish Army began its main offensive, Operation Kiev, aimed at creating an independent Ukraine to become part of Intermarium Federation and an ally against the Soviets (and Germans). They captured Kiev on May 7th meeting only a token resistance.
However, on May 15th the Red Army launched a powerful counteroffensive and by June 15th forced the Polish Army into retreat along the entire front. On June 13th, the Soviet 1st Cavalry Army entered Kiev.
On July 4th, the Red Army began another, even more powerful offensive and by August 10th reached the outskirts of Warsaw. The Soviets were only a few kilometers from Warsaw… and Berlin was less than a week’s march away.
It seemed that the fall of Poland and Germany (which at that time was totally defenseless thanks to the idiotic terms of the Treaty of Versailles) to the Communists was inevitable. With devastating consequences for the whole Europe and for the whole Western civilization.
And then the “Miracle on the Vistula River” happened. Outnumbered and heavily outgunned, the Polish Army led by brilliant Pilsudsky outsmarted its Soviet counterpart and (blitzkrieg-style) delivered a devastating blow to the advancing Red Army.
The latter was forced to retreat and the subsequent rapid eastward advance of the Polish Army forced the Soviet Russia to sue for peace. In October the armistice was signed followed by a formal peace treaty (the Peace of Riga), which was signed on March 18th, 1921.
The Polish-Soviet war was over. Poland, Germany and the whole Europe were saved from occupation and destruction by the Bolsheviks.
Obviously, Adolf Hitler (like millions of other Germans) closely followed the events of this war – at least in July-August of 1920 when the seemingly unstoppable Red Army was a week away from Berlin (and thus presented a clear and present existential threat to Germany).
No less obviously, he made the following fundamental conclusions which subsequently heavily influenced the principles and objectives of his domestic and foreign policy.
If left to its own devices, the Soviet Russia will inevitably try again to conquer and destroy Europe and incorporate it into a Soviet State run from Moscow. He was dead right – twenty years later it will. Thus, it presents an existential threat to Germany, Europe and the whole Western civilization.
It can (and must) be stopped with a lightning-fast (blitzkrieg-style) military strike. Twenty years later, on June 22nd, 1941, Hitler’s Germany will launch Operation Barbarossa – exactly such blitzkrieg. Which did prevent the Soviet Union from conquering and destroying the whole Europe (it occupied only its Eastern part).
This time, none of the commanders of the enemy force was Jewish. Tukhachevsky was Polish (believe it or not); Stalin was Georgian; Budyonny, Kamenev and Yegorov were Russian.
However, the Commander-in-Chief of Russian Armed forces (and the key driving force between the theory and practice of “permanent revolution”) was Leon Trotsky. Who was a Jew (his real last name was Bronstein). And the initial author of this concept was none other than Karl Marx himself – also a Jew.
Consequently, Adolf Hitler made the inevitable (and totally erroneous) conclusion that this war (and the whole theory and practice of “permanent revolution”) was a part of a “global Jewish conspiracy”.
The Communist International (Comintern), also known as the Third International was an international organization that had but one objective – establish a worldwide communist society.
In other words, destroy the global human civilization as we know it and replace it with an alternative civilization (subsequently referred to as the global Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – a single worldwide state).
Using either the coup d’état (e.g. the one that led to the establishment of the Hungarian Soviet republic), terrorist acts (e.g. blowing up of the St. Nedelya Cathedral in Sofia in 1925), or a direct military invasion (e.g. the Russo-Polish War of 1920). Or (usually) all of the above.
Unlike the First and Second International that were international non-government organizations, Comintern was essentially an integral part, an arm, a tool of the VKP(b) – the Russian Bolshevik Party. And, therefore, was supported by the full power and enormous resources first of Soviet Russia and then of the Soviet Union.
Consequently, Comintern indeed, presented an existential threat to Europe, the Western civilization and to the whole global human civilization.
Comintern was founded at a Congress held in Moscow on March 2–6, 1919. 52 delegates from 34 parties were present, including Communist parties of Germany, Austria, Hungary, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia and Japan.
Comintern was led and managed by Grigory Zinoviev (Chairman of the Executive Committee), who was a Jew (his real name was Hirsch Apfelbaum).
From these indisputable facts, with his background, prejudices and deficiencies Adolf Hitler could make only the following two conclusions. Yes, Communism (more specifically, Soviet Russia) presents an existential threat to Germany, Europe and the whole Western civilizations. And yes, it is all a global Jewish conspiracy.
As usual, damn right on the first count and dead wrong on the second.