The Nazi NSDAP had the brown-shirted SA (Sturm Abteilung or 'Storm Division'); the Communist KPD, the Red Front Fighters' League (Rotfrontkampferbund); the Social Democratic SPD had the Reichsbanner; and the nationalist DNVP, the Stahlhelm
Consider how his words dovetail with the 1934 Nazi justification for German anti-gun laws: "The associations of the national revival, SA [Storm Troopers], SS [para-military adjunct to the Gestapo] and Stahlhelm
[a lunatic fringe para-military group allied with the Nazis], offer every decent citizen the opportunity to join their ranks in the struggle.
And the Stahlhelm
, a militia grouping, supported the rightists.
As Bessel admits, however, the male survivors of the war constituted one-quarter of the German electorate, were the most established members of their communities, and constituted the core of the Stahlhelm
and other right-wing groups, including the NSDAP.
Meanwhile, however, he became editor of the Stahlhelm
newspaper Die Standarte, and of the nationalist journal Arminius.
In Prussia, members of the left and right planned to engage in what the interior ministry referred to as a "test of strength." (73) In neighboring Saxony, political violence involved paramilitary groups organized by the SPD (Reichsbanner) and the KPD (the Communist Hundreds) and engaged against groups like the Steel Helmets (Stahlhelm
) and the Young German Order (Jungdeutscher Orden).
Already as a schoolboy he had belonged to the youth section of the anti-Semitic and nationalistic veterans' league, the Stahlhelm
("Steel Helmets"), which until its incorporation into the Nazi stormtroopers--the brown-shirted SA--toward the end of 1933 oscillated between rivalry and collaboration with Hitler's movement.
The NSDAP also made gains among those recruited from Stahlhelm
labour exchanges in the Ruhr, and among workers recruited by textile employees in Franconia in 1932 precisely on account of their anti-socialist credentials.
Schumann focuses on political violence in the Prussian province of Saxony, which saw widespread fighting during the Communist "March Actions" of 1921 and in which the two leading Weimar paramilitary organizations were founded: the right-wing Stahlhelm
and the Social Democratic Reichsbanner.
Second, there were the associations which were politically radical in their goals, obvious examples being the Stahlhelm
and Schutzbund deutscher Soldaten (BdS); these were numerically small, but disproportionately vociferous in their public statements.
Rightly or wrongly, Junger as a rule has been bracketed as the German counterfoil to Erich Maria Remarque, and for that matter to Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Henri Barbusse and other ideological opponents of the "Great War." In the second edition of Storms of Steel, moreover, Junger altered its conclusion in a decidedly more nationalistic vein (the final sentence now exclaim, "Germany lives and shall never go under!") which recommended him to the increasingly raucous claque of anti-Versailles revisionists and conservative revolutionaries aiming to overthrow Weimar democracy, including the right-wing veterans' league Der Stahlhelm
(The Steel Helmets) and at least briefly the Nazi Party.