Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) – Part 3

Chaos and Violence in Berlin

My Father’s Involvement in the Freikorps

It is not certain in which year Ernst Klopp arrived in Berlin. He probably participated in the counter-revolutionary activities of the Freikorps deployments in the capital city. In January of 1919 street battles took place, as well as general strikes of all sorts, and at the beginning of March, a major attack of the Freikorps against the Berlin proletariate shook the nation. The Reich defence minister Notke issued the martial-law order, “Each person caught with weapons is to be shot immediately!” Ernst’s sister was indeed exercising a good portion of wisdom to tell her younger brother to throw away his gun.

Communist Spartacists Taking Control in Berlin – Wikipedia Public Domain

BBC BiteSize provides the following historical background information: During 5 – 12 January 1919, 50,000 members of the post-World War One Communist Party, known as the Spartacists, rebelled in Berlin, led by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. The government was saved when it armed bands of ex-soldiers, known as the Freikorps, who defeated the Spartacist rebels. In the aftermath, communist workers’ councils seized power all over Germany, and a Communist People’s Government took power in Bavaria. By May 1919 the Freikorps had crushed all of these uprisings.

Street Fights in Berlin Wikipedia Public Domain

At the mass demonstration against the treaty of Versailles in 1920, army and FreiKorps soldiers caused a bloodbath. In March of the same year, the FreiKorps supported the Kapp-Coup. One year later, the last armed Freikorps attacks took place during the communist general strikes in Central Germany. The extent of Ernst Klopp’s involvement in all of these events remains shrouded in darkness.

It is likely that a few years later Ernst Klopp received assistance from his old Freikorps connections, which through work communities (Arbeitsgemeinschaften) and work camps (Arbeitslager) provided shelter and employment to the old comrades up to the years 1924/1925 and in some cases even later on Pomeranian and Mecklenburg estates.

13 Replies to “Ernst Klopp (1900 – 1964) – Part 3”

  1. Very interesting. I knew that things were difficult in Germany after World War I, but never heard about these uprisings. I wonder whether any of the Spartacists ended up supporting Hitler because of his promises of a better economy. People who are desperate for economic relief might easily swing from left to right, searching for support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Spartacists were on the extreme left of the political spectrum and would not have supported Hitler. Their name is derived from the leader of the slaves who rebelled against their Roman masters, formed armies of the run-away slaves and even defeated initially entire Roman legions. His name was Spartacus.

      Like

  2. Sets one thinking. Though we know about history, we perhaps don’t see our ancestors as being ‘historical’ figures. Many of them lived in and through turbulent times. Making an effort to know more about their lives would be a great honour to their memory.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: