Heinz Neumann

Poincaré’s German Fascisti

(12 July 1923)

From International Press Correspondence, Vol. 23 No. 50 [29], 12 July 1923, pp. 512–513.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2022). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The Munich trial of the Bavarian Fascist! may be counted among the greatest trials of history. That which was whispered about for years among the workers, but could never be proved, has now been plainly proved by a bourgeois court of justice: German Fascism is working, politically, organizatorially, and financially, in the service of the French bourgeoisie.

The “Fatherland” fighting organizations of Bavaria had intended to carry out a military coup d’etat, with the support of French imperialism, tor the purpose of crushing “Bolshevism”, that is, the North German working class. In the period between autumn 1922 and spring 1923, the black-white-red murder organizations received 100 million French francs through the agency of Lieutenant Colonel Richert, the representative of Millerand.

The putsch was to be carried through in March by the Ehrhardt Brigade, the Blücher Federation, and the Hitler Hundreds. All preparations had been made, down to the smallest detail. It was intended to “ cut off Bavaria militarily, from North Germany ” with the joint aid of Bavarian and French troops.

Fascist rule was to be established in the form of a “national dictatorship”. Over 100 persons were to be shot on the first day of the action, these victims being on the black list. A regency council, composed of the conspirators Fuchs, Machhaus, and the well-known murderers of workers: Kahr, Epp, and Pöhner, with the addition of the most important leaders of the voluntary corps, was to take over state power. Capital punishment was to be the penalty for strikes.

The French Lieutenant Colonel Richert, officer of the army staff, coal commissary in the Saar area, head spy for the French courts of justice, and confidence man of Mr. Lyonel, the president of the foreign committee of the French chamber, gave binding pledges as to the aid to be afforded by France. Besides the 100 million given in bribes, which have actually been paid out and distributed among the various fatherland societies in Bavaria, he promised that French weapons and equipment would be placed at their disposal. He conveyed the German nationalist traitor, Machaus, in a motor car to Saint-Avold, in order to show him the captured German cannon there in readiness for the equipment of the national socialists. And above all, he assured the conspirators, as early as December of last year, that they should be supplied with cotton, coal, and lime. When the “hooked cross” followers anxiously inquired if the available forces would suffice for the successful carrying out of the putsch, Richert replied in the name of the French government:

“The Ruhr army has received instructions to lend favorable support to your action.”

The Fascisti were by no means satisfied with the help promised from France. They applied simultaneously to Czechoslovakia and to Mussolini. The Jewish coal dealer Munk acted as intermediary in the consultations with the Prague ministry for foreign affairs. He proposed to the Czechs that “ troops should be mobilized on the Saxon frontier to relieve the action in Bavaria”, and further declared, as commissoned by his principals these fatherland lovers, that: “Should Czechoslovakia desire to occupy parts of Upper Silesia and the Slavonic districts of Saxony, Bavaria would not interfere.” On March 4, 1923, a consultation was arranged between representatives of the Czech government and the German “hooked crusaders” at an hotel in Prague, at which Munk was to take part. The Bavarian “Coal Import Company” sent monarchist officers belonging to the national defence organization to Prague, in order that further arrangement might be made with Benesch, Kramarsch, Rasin, and the French general Mittelhauser. It was solely owing to the sabotage of the German major Mayr that this conference did not take place.

Fuchs entered into personal relations with Mussolini. The Fascist deputy Cebaidi, in the course of a consultation with Fuchs at Innsbruck, promised the delivery of foodstuffs to the value of 100 million lire, should the national socialist enterprise succeed.

During the course of the trial, it became increasingly evident that the action taken by Fuchs and Machhaus was by no means the isolated action of separate individuals, but that the relations between the Bavarian Fascisti, and through them between all other Fascisti and the French government, formed a well thought out, tried and firmly knit system. German Fascisti and French agents travelled unceasingly between Paris, Mayence, Wiesbaden, and Saarbrucken on the one hand, and Bavaria on the other.

It is characteristic that a great part of the provocatory announcements made by the fatherland societies in Bavaria, the innumerable presentation of colors, regimental celebrations, unveilings of monuments, etc. were financed directly by French francs. Some weeks after the occupation of the Ruhr, for instance, the Fascist “Blücher federation” celebrated the dedication of its colors. On this occasion Schaefer, a government engineer, declared that the standard would “wave amid a hail of bullets before the trees blossomed again”. At the same time, the national socialist Esser, Hitler’s deputy, delivered an address of a particularly bloodthirsty character. It now turns out that the whole affair was entirely paid for by French money.

The black-white-red Hohenzollern section of the Fascisti which is carrying on a sham fight against the white-blue separatists, is now attempting to cast the blame of national betrayal on to the Wittelsbach wing. This clumsy attempt at denial has however, been amply disproved by the trial itself. It has been definitely proved that known leaders of the Hitler national socialists, the shock troop leaders Ströbl and Stiglbauer for instance, have been actively involved in the crime. Ludendorff has, of course been acting as the wirepuller behind the scenes.

The Wittelsbach circles themselves are even more plainly unmasked as national traitors in the service of France. Rupprecht von Wittelsbach committed the rascally deed of carrying on negotiations with the French spy Richert, through the mediation of the Count of Soden. This crime is proved up to the hilt against him.

And Kahr and Pöhner, these faithful German Bavarians, have also carried on treasonable relations with the most brutal representatives of French militarism.

The heads of the police and the national defence army have also been fully aware of the treasonable designs of Fuchs and Machhaus. Frick, a leading official and political leader of the Munich police, took part in the consultations relating to the putsch. Generals Epp, Möhl, and von Lossov, heads of the national defence army, were the patrons of Fuchs and Machhaus. The police even permitted Lieutenant Colonel Richert, meanwhile promoted to propaganda chief for General Degoutte, to enter Bavaria between February 10–22, about six weeks after the Ruhr occupation, to reside undisturbed at the Romental estate near Diessen, and finally to hold a consultation with national defence army officers on February 20. in Machhaus’ appartments in Munich. Although the police, as well as the Minister for Internal Affairs, Schweyper, and the Prime Minister, von Knilling, were informed of all these details, they permitted Richert to continue his work without interruption, deliberately sabotaged his arrest, and allowed him to depart comfortably for the French quarters of the murderous general Degoutte.

Volumes could be filled with the enormous amount of material brought to light at this trial. The political results are decisive for the working class. German Fascism has suffered its severest ideological blow by these revelations. German counter-revolution, which is living on the nationalist propaganda and the national delusions of petty bourgeois and proletarian susses, is unmasked as the shock troops of national treason, as the bloody sword of Poincaré.

The Communist Party will now proceed to a general political attack on Fascism. The glaring facts of the Munich trial must be driven into minds of the proletarian and petty bourgeois masses of Germany.

But the trial also possesses its international significance. With the exception of the Oeuvre, there is not a single bourgeois paper in France which has published an exact report of the proceedings. Richert himself states that he distributed the 100 million francs received from the French state treasury. And today he is still an active officer in the Ruhr army. Colonel du Bac and Captain de Pommerde, both active French officers, carried on simultaneous negotiations with the Bavarian separatists in Frankfort and Wiesbaden. Richert promised the armed advance of the French army along the Maine line, and the support of the German conspirators by the Ruhr army. He has several times expressly stated that he has not been acting in his own name, but on the special orders of Millerand, and with Poincaré’s knowledge. The French government has hitherto denied the truth of all the incriminating documents as to its interference in German affairs in favor of the separatist policy. It has impudently denied the genuineness of the Daria memorandum, and of the Tirard report on the Dorten movement. Will Poincaré deny that he commissioned Richert, and provided him with funds from the state! Will he deny that the French ambassador in Munich, Dart, received the conspirators Machhaus and Munk in his apartments to five o’clock tea, and gave them instructions?

Our French comrades will doubtless raise these questions, within and without the French chamber.

The Czech working class will also be interested to know why Benesch and Kramarsch opened up connections with Fuchs and Machhaus, why the Czech general consul in Munich drew up false passports for officers of the German national defence army, and why he held consultations of a highly treasonable character.

The class conscious workers of Germany will recognize from this trial, however, that every advance made by German Fascism implies an advance of Poincaré. The masses of Fascist followers must be ideologically awakened, but Fascism itself will be finally settled in Germany not so much by the ideology as by the united forces of the working class. The danger of national treason will not be removed until Ludendorff, Hitler, and Wulle, the real wire-pullers standing behind Fuchs and Machhaus, are brought before the proletarian revolutionary tribunal.

Last updated on 7 September 2022