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Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Right-wing paramilitary units which formed across Germany following the armistice that ended world war i . The volunteers, who amounted to some 250,000 by 1919, included demobilized soldiers, nationalists, and the unemployed – and many were all three. Though independent of the former imperial army, the Freikorps received vital encouragement from those who had constituted the High Command. So long as these units were fighting bolsheviks in the baltic states or suppressing the spartacist rising in Berlin, they even attracted some measure of approval from the Allied victors too. More generally, however, the Freikorps regarded the weimar republic as an alien imposition. This was shown by their contribution to the abortive kapp putsch of March 1920. They were officially disbanded in the following year, but many members continued to muster informally, and often carried their paramilitary enthusiasm into the ranks of the new Nazi SA (see sturmabteilung ). ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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