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1919 May Sebottendorff moves the "Munchener Beobachter" offices from the Four Seasons Hotel to the premises occupied by H.G. Grassinger's local branch of the Deutsch-Sozialistische Partei (DSP), another antisemitic nationalist group founded in 1918. Henceforth Grassinger is the newspaper's production manager and the paper becomes his party's official organ. (Roots)
1919 Spring Guido von List and his wife leave Austria and travel to Germany, intending to stay with Eberhard von Brockhusen at Langen in Bradenburg. Brockhusen is a devoted List Society member and Grand Master of the loyalist Germanenorden. (Roots)
1919 May 1 Free Corps troops enter Munich and take it from the Communists after two days of heavy fighting. The famous Erhardt Brigade arrives at the city singing their marching song, which began with the words: "Hooked cross (swastika) on steel helmets..."
1919 May 1 Rudolf Hess is wounded for a fourth time, this time in the leg, while manning a howitzer during street battles fought by General Franz von Epp's ragtag army to liberate Munich. (Missing Years)
1919 May 4 Slovak General Milan R. Stefanik dies in a mysterious plane crash over Bratislavia. Stefanik is soon succeeded by Edouard Benes, a Czech.
1919 May 6 The Treaty of Versailles is finally ready to be presented to Germany, after three and a half months of argument and comprise. Except for the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France, which is unanimously agreed upon, all of the important treaty provisions regarding German territory are compromises:
(1) Allied occupation of the Rhineland is to continue for at least 15 years, and possibly even longer, and the region is to remain perpetually demilitarized, as is a strip of territory 30 miles deep along the right bank of the Rhine. Three smaller frontier regions near Eupen and Malmedy are to be ceded to Belgium. Parts of the German provinces of Posen and West Prussia are to be given to Poland to provide that revived nation with access to the Baltic Sea. The Baltic seaport of Gdansk (Danzig) is to become a free state, linked economically to Poland. This leaves East Prussia completely separated from the rest of Germany by what is called the "Polish Corridor" to the Baltic.
(2) All of Germany's overseas possessions are to be occupied by the Allies but are to be organized as "mandates," subject to the supervision and control of the League of Nations. Britain and France divide most of Germany's African colonies, and Japan takes over its extensive island possessions in the South Pacific.
(3) The treaty also requires Germany to accept sole responsibility and guilt for causing the war. Kaiser Wilhelm and other unspecified German war leaders are to be tried as war criminals. (This provision will never be enforced.)
(4) Several military and economic provisions are designed not only to punish Germany for its alleged war guilt, but also to insure France and the rest of the world against any future German aggression: The German army is limited to 100,000 men and is not allowed to possess any heavy artillery, the general staff is abolished, the navy is to be reduced. No air force will be permitted, and the production of all military planes is forbidden.
(5) Germany is to payfor all civilian damages caused during the war. This burden, combined with payment of Reparations to the Allies of great quantities of industrial goods, merchant shipping, and raw materials, is expected to prevent Germany from being able to finance any major military effort even if it is inclined to evade the military limitations.
1919 May 7 Rudolf Hess officially joins a volunteer unit of General von Epp's Freikorps.
1919 May 7 Members of the German delegation are summoned to the Trianon Palace at Versailles to learn the new Allied treaty terms. After carefully reading the new treaty, Brockdorff-Rantzau denounces it, reminding them that President Wilson's Fourteen Points had clearly provided the basis for the armistice negotiations, and are as binding on the Allies as on Germany. He also insists that the economic provisions of the treaty will be impossible to fulfill.
(Note: In many respects the Treaty of Versailles was indeed unfair to Germany, which technically was not a defeated nation. She was a signatory to an armistice, not a surrender. Even some of those who had fought against Germany were disturbed by the severity of the treaty.) (Duffy)
1919 May 8 Provisional President Friedrich Ebert and the German government publicly brand the terms of the Versailles Treaty as "unrealizable and unbearable."
1919 May 8-15 After refusing to sign the treaty, the German delegation take it with them back to Berlin for further government consideration. Chancellor Philipp Scheidemann also denounces the treaty. The Allies, however, continue to maintain their naval blockade of Germany, and thousands of German civilians continue starving to death. (Note: It soon became obvious that Germany has no choice but to sign. The suffering and misery the German people were forced to endure creates a hatred so deep and instinctual that it will haunt the German national psyche for decades to come.) (See June 28)
1919 May 17 Guido von List dies of a lung inflammation in a Berlin guest house before he can reach Brockhusen's home. He is later cremated in Leipzig and his ashes are placed in an urn at the Vienna Central Cemetery. (Roots)
1919 May 24 Philipp Stauff writes an obituary of Guido von List for the "Munchener Beobachter," a völkisch newspaper edited by Rudolf von Sebottendorff. This publication will soon become the official party newspaper of the Nazi party and will remain so until May 1945.
1919 May 30 Dietrich Eckart gives a lecture to the Thule Society at the Four Seasons Hotel. The Thule rooms were a haven for many völkish activists from November 1918 to May 1919. Thule guests included Gottfried Feder, Alfred Rosenberg, and Rudolf Hess, all to achieve prominence in the Nazi Party. (Hering, typescript 21 June 1939, Bundesarchiv, Koblenz. A list of Thule members is included in Sebottendorff, BHK)
1919 May 30 Colonel Edward Mandel House, President Wilson's chief advisor, meets in Paris with a group of American and British industrialists to discuss the founding of an institute for International affairs.
1919 May Friedrich Krohn, a member of the DAP, the Thule Society, and the Germanenorden since 1913, writes a memorandum entitled "Is the Swastika Suitable as the Symbol of the National Socialist Party," which proposes the left-handed swastika (i.e. clockwise in common with those used by the Theosophists and Germanenorden) as the symbol of the German DAP. Krohn evidently preferred the sign in this direction because of its Buddhist interpretation as a talisman of good fortune and health, while its right-handed (anti-clockwise) counterpart symbolized decline and death (most of Guido von List's swastikas, as well as the Thule Society's, were right-handed). Hitler, who was not yet a member of the DAP, later chose the right-handed version (May 20, 1920). (Roots)
(Even more interesting is Krohn's use of the term National Socialist in the title of his memorandum. At that time, only the Austrian Nazis (DNSAP) were known to have been using this name.) (see August 1918 and December 1919)
1919 Summer Sebottendorff, now living in Constance, Switzerland, summons his sister, Dora Kunze, and his mistress, Kathe Bierbaumer. Soon afterward he converts the "Munchener Beobachter" into a limited liability company, the Franz Eher Verlag Nachf. Bierbaumer was given 110,000 of the 120,000 marks of capital stock issued and Kunze the remaining 10,000. (Roots)
1919 Summer General Heimerdinger abdicates the Chancellorship of the loyalist Germanenorden in favor of the Grand Duke Johann Albrecht of Mecklenburg. Mecklenburg used the alias "Irmin." (Irminism was the religion professed years later by Karl Maria Wiligut (alias K.M. Weisthor of Himmler's SS staff.) (Roots)
1919 June 21 German Chancellor Scheidemann and Prime Minister Brockdorff-Rantzau resign.
1919 June 21 The German High Seas Fleet, interned by the Allies at Scapa Flow, the British naval base in the Orkney Islands, stages a dramatic protest. German sailors scuttle all 50 of their warships in the harbor.
1919 June 22 Sebottendorff attends his last Thule Society meeting. Many members hold him negligently responsible for the loss of the Thule membership lists to the Communists who killed the Thule Society hostages in April. (Roots)
1919 June 28 The new German chancellor, Gustav Bauer, sends another delegation to Versailles. After informing the Allies that Germany is accepting the treaty now, only because of the need to alleviate the hardships on its people caused by the "inhuman" blockade, the Germans sign.
June 28 - Signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
Above -- The Interior of the Palace des Glaces during the signing of the Peace Terms. Versailles, France. June 1919. (Photo credit: U.S. National Archives)
(Note: If Germany had refused to sign, Allied Commander-in-Chief Marshal Foch had instructions to occupy all of Germany. Article 23 of the treaty, the so-called "War Guilt Clause," was the suggestion of John Foster Dulles, later Secretary of State under President Dwight Eisenhower.)
(Note: The final treaty does not follow Wilson's Fourteen Points, upon which Germany had agreed to negotiate peace. Hitler will later distort this fact to claim that Germany had been betrayed, not defeated.) (Schlesinger I)
1919 Jean Monnet, an acquaintance of Colonel Edward Mandell House, is appointed as Deputy Secretary of the new League of Nations and after WW II Monnet will become known as the "Father of Europe."
1919 July Sebottendorff leaves Munich and resigns as Grand master of the Thule Society.
1919 July 6 Brockhusen writes Bernhard Koerner pleading for a constitutional reform of the loyalist Germanenorden. (Bundesarchiv; Roots)
1919 July 14 With the signing of the peace treaty, the embargo of trade with Germany is lifted and the U.S. resumes business relations. (Schlesinger I)
1919 July 26 Brockhusen writes to Koerner, accusing Stauff of slandering him. (Bundesarchiv; Roots)
1919 August Hitler is assigned to conducts political indoctrination classes at Lechfeld.
1919 August 4 Romanian troops occupy Budapest, contrary to the wishes of the government, and after two weeks of fighting, defeat Bela Kun's Hungarian Communists.
1919 August 11 The Weimar Constitution is announced. (Eyes)
1919 Autumn The Protocols of the Elders of Zion begin circulating in Germany, Europe and America. (Segel/Levy)
1919 September Walter Riehl sends copies of the Austrian Nazi program to Anton Drexler, chairman of the German DAP. Riehl suggests that Drexler change the name of his German organization to coincide with that of Riehl's Austrian Nazi party (DNSAP). (Forgotten Nazis)
1919 September 3 President Wilson, instead of negotiating the Versailles Treaty and the League of Nations Covenant with the Senate, departs on a tour of the country to rouse public support in favor of the project. He is already quite ill and proceeds against the warnings of his doctors.
1919 September 10 Representatives of the now tiny republic of Austria sign the Treaty of Saint-Germain, just outside Paris. The once great Habsburg empire had completely disintegrated in October and November 1918. Austria recognizes the independence of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Hungary; it also recognizes the award of Galicia to Poland, and of the Trentino, South Tyrol, Trieste, and Istria to Italy. Austria is forbidden to unite with Germany, as many in both countries had envisioned.
1919 September 12 Adolf Hitler attends his first meeting of the German Worker's Party (DAP). Hitler had been ordered by Captain Karl Mayr, his immediate superior, to attend as a spy for the army. (Mayr, autobiography)
1919 September 15 Brockhusen writes another letter to Heimerdinger revealing a deep dismay at postwar conditions and a hatred for the Poles. Brockhausen it seems had kept his office as Grand Master of the loyalist Germanenorden. (Bundesarchiv; Roots)
1919 September 16 Hitler's first known, political writing on the "Jewish Problem," a letter addressed to Adolf Gemlich (identity unknown) shows that Hitler's belief in a worldwide Jewish-Marxist conspiracy was already well developed.
1919 September 20 Hitler is ordered by his superior, Captain Mayr, to join the German Worker's Party (DAP), even though he is still in the army and such an act is technically illegal. Captain Mayr later wrote that it was General Ludendorff himself who had come to him and personally suggested that Hitler should be allowed to join the party and build it up. (Mayr, autobiography) (Note: Other sources state that Hitler joined the DAP on September 16, 1919. There seems to be some confusion on the actual date. (See Hitler's first party membership cards)
1919 September 25 President Wilson suffers a stroke in Colorado. For five weeks, he is delicately balanced between life and death. Outside his family, only his doctor, his secretary Joseph Tumulty, and infrequently, Bernard Baruch are permitted to see him. (Schlesinger I)
1919 October 10 The Allied Supreme Council, which had imposed a blockade on Soviet Russia, tells neutral countries how to bring economic pressure on "Bolshevik" Russia and to ensure strict observance of such a policy. British and French ships continue "to alter the course" of all ships heading for Soviet ports and citizens of Entente countries are not only forbidden to visit Russia, but even to communicate by letter, telegram or radiogram. (Polyakov)
1919 October 15 Rudolf Hess resigns from General von Epp's Freikorps. (Missing Years)
1919 October 16 A speech by Hitler at the Hofbrauhauskeller in Munich marks the beginning of his political career.
1919 November George Herbert Walker, the grandfather of former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush, organizes the W.A. Harriman & Co. private bank and becomes its president and chief executive officer.
1919 November 1 President Wilson is again in control of his faculties, although he never fully recovers. There is no provision in the law for declaring a president unable "to discharge the powers and duties of the said office."
1919 November 18 Field Marshal Hindenburg, possibly seeking to conceal his role in the armistice, publicly mentions the "stab in the back" while testifying before the Committee of Inquiry of the German National Assembly. Hindenburg claims that the army had been close to victory, but had been betrayed by civilian authorities and socialists in the government.
1919 November 19 The U.S. Senate rejects the act required to ratify the Versailles Treaty (55 to 39), including the provisions for the League of nations. President Wilson's hopes for a world governing organization are crushed.
1919 November 27 Bulgaria signs a treaty with the Allies at Neuilly, a suburb of Paris. Bulgaria recognizes the independence of Yugoslavia, and agrees to cede territory to Yugoslavia, Romania, and Greece.
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