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Reinhold Wulle

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Reinhold Wulle

Reinhold Wulle (1925)

Reinhold Wulle (* 1 August 1882 in Falkenberg, Pomerania; † 16 July 1950 in Gronau) was a German völkisch publicist and politician in the Weimar Republic. He also used the pseudonym R. Benade.

Life

Reinhold Carl Benjamin was born on 1 August 1882 in Falkenberg, Naugard County, the son of the local pastor Gustav Wulle[1] and his wife Emma Louise Wilhelmine née Meinecke. Wulle attended the Latina of the Francke Foundations in Halle (Saale) and then the Francisceum in Zerbst, where he passed the Abitur in 1902. After studying theology, history and German in Halle, Jena and Berlin, Wulle worked for various newspapers in Dresden, Chemnitz and Essen from 1908 to 1918

From 1918 he was editor-in-chief of the Deutsche Zeitung of the Alldeutsche Verband. In December 1920, he was dismissed after disputes with the chairman of the Alldeutsche, Heinrich Claß. The latter had criticised that Wulle, after taking up his Reichstag mandate for the DNVP, was no longer fulfilling his duties as editor-in-chief. The two agreed to part peacefully; however, Wulle decided to publicly attack Claß in the last issue of the Deutsche Zeitung for which he was responsible. This article, however, was only the beginning of a large-scale campaign by Wulle and Albrecht von Graefe against the Deutsche Zeitung, the Alldeutscher Verband, and Claß himself. Attempts by Claß to mend fences failed; Graefe referred to the Alldeutscher Verband and the Deutsche Zeitung as “his mortal enemies” because of Wulle’s “unforgivable” dismissal. This conflict, which had been quickly escalated by Wulle, began the disintegration of unity in the völkisch movement, as both Wulle and Claß were popular figures in the völkisch movement and many actors found themselves torn between the two.[2]

In the process, Wulle retained control of the Deutscher Herold – Bund der Vorkämpfer für deutschvölkisches Zeitungswesen und völkische Politik, which had previously functioned as a readers’ association for the Deutsche Zeitung. In 1921, he additionally expanded Deutscher Herold into a publishing house.[3] In the spring of 1920, together with Arnold Ruge and Richard Kunze, Wulle founded the “Deutschvölkischer Arbeitsring Berlin”, a competitor to the Deutschvölkischer Schutz- und Trutzbund, but showed little activity for the latter after he had entered the Reichstag for the Deutschnationale Volkspartei (DNVP) in June 1920.[4] Within the DNVP, Wulle belonged to the völkisch-antisemitic wing.

After the expulsion of Wilhelm Henning from the DNVP faction, Wulle formed a völkische Arbeitsgemeinschaft together with Henning and Albrecht von Graefe. This eventually gave rise to the radically anti-Semitic Deutschvölkische Freiheitspartei (DVFP), founded on 16 December 1922, of which Wulle became deputy chairman.[5] After the DVFP was banned in Prussia in March 1923, Wulle, who was not arrested, represented the party, which remained active. His publishing house Deutscher Herold published Das Deutsche Tageblatt as the main organ of the DVFP. As an association, Deutscher Herold initially functioned as one of the substitute organizations of the banned DVFP. In November 1923, the Deutscher Herold was also temporarily banned.[3]

In the course of the investigation into the femicide in the Black Reichswehr, Wulle was also questioned. The Black Reichswehr were illegal paramilitary formations which, in breach of the Versailles Peace Treaty, were sponsored by the German Reichswehr and in some cases maintained themselves. One of those accused of femicide had stated that he had committed one of the femicides at the request of or on behalf of Wulle as well, in order to keep secret preparations by the DVFP for a coup d’état.[6] Wulle contradicted these statements and in the mid-1920s told a committee of inquiry of the Prussian parliament that party members had been forbidden to join the Black Reichswehr.[7] Wulle’s private secretary Goetz Otto Stoffregen belonged to the Black Reichswehr in a leading function; another member of the Black Reichswehr testified to having joined through Wulle’s mediation.[8]

In the Reichstag elections of May 1924, the DVFP ran together with the NSDAP in the list combination National Socialist Freedom Party (NSFP). Wulle received a mandate in the Reichstag and became an assessor in the NSFP’s parliamentary group executive. At the new election in December 1924 he left the Reichstag. From 1924 to 1928, Wulle was an NSFP deputy in the Prussian state parliament.

Considerable differences developed between the DVFP and the NSDAP from 1925 onwards. In his information letters, Wulle accused the NSDAP of basing itself unilaterally on one stratum of the population and thus of being exposed to the danger of “becoming a class struggle movement”. According to Wulle, the NSDAP was experiencing “a constantly spreading decomposition by radical elements.”[9] In 1928 Wulle became chairman of the DVFP, which by this time had lost many members to the NSDAP. In the final phase of the Weimar Republic, Wulle developed into an authoritarian conservative opponent of the Harzburg Front.[10] Together with Joachim von Ostau, he tried to persuade both Adolf Hitler and Paul von Hindenburg to renounce candidacy in favor of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia in the 1932 Reich presidential election.

After Hitler’s appointment as Reich Chancellor, Wulle gathered his supporters in the monarchist society Deutsche Freiheit, founded in 1933. He also continued to work as a writer and edited Reinhold Wulle’s Information Letter. He welcomed the National Socialists’ “seizure of power” as a “national revolution” and called for its further development into a monarchy. In this, Wulle said, the “Prussian idea of the state […] must become the bearer of the coming Reich.”[11] On August 17, 1938, Wulle was arrested on charges of violating the Heimtückegesetz and the law against the new formation of parties.[12] Following the banning of the Deutsche Freiheit Society and Information Letters, he was expelled from the Reichsschrifttumskammer on October 6, 1938. After imprisonment in Berlin prisons, Wulle was taken into “protective custody” in 1940 and held in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. According to reports from fellow prisoners, Wulle enjoyed some privileges in Sachsenhausen: For example, he was able to let his hair grow, and he was given cigars sent to him by Crown Prince Wilhelm. Among some of his fellow prisoners, Wulle was suspected of having given the Gestapo tips about the Communist resistance in Sachsenhausen when he was released in 1942. As a result, leading communists had been transferred to other concentration camps.[13]

After the end of the war, Wulle founded the German Reconstruction Party in Gronau on 31 October 1945 together with Joachim von Ostau. The party took up German nationalist positions, recalled a Prussian-conservative Christianity and advocated the monarchy. The “Ungeist of National Socialism” presented itself to Wulle as a “foreign conqueror of Germany and the German soul”:[14]

“We have had a State which sovereignly disregarded the immutable moral laws and showed its own people as well as the whole world that life need no longer be respected; that the murder of dissenters and members of other peoples ordered by the State was a national merit. […] that creation had committed errors which a strong people had to put right by denying other peoples the right to life; that man could no longer stand in responsibility before God, but only in responsibility before the State […].”[15]

The German Reconstruction Party merged with the German Conservative Party on 22 March 1946 to form the DKP-DRP. Shortly before, Wulle had been told by the British military government that he had to abstain from any political activity, as he was not “qualified to promote the democratic institutions in Germany”.[16]

See also

  • Barmat scandal

Publications

  • World Fire, 1911
  • More Land! Foundations of the New Germany, 1917
  • In the Sign of the Revolution: Contributions to German History from October 1 to December 31, 1918, 1919
  • (R. Benade): Prussia or Poland. The Border Question in the East, 1919
  • The Tragedy of a People, 1920
  • The völkisch struggle for freedom in its world-political significance, 1924
  • German Politics 1925, 1926
  • The bankruptcy of democracy, 1929
  • Nach Ostland woll’n wir reiten, lecture, 1930
  • Germany 1930. from democracy to dictatorship and the Third Reich, 1930
  • The Mission of the North. The Meaning of the German Struggle for Freedom, 1931
  • From Verden to Wittenberg, 1932
  • The Debt Book of the Republic. 13 Years of German Politics, 1932
  • The Foundations of the German State, lecture, 1932
  • Caesars, 1934
  • History of a State Idea, 1935
  • The new millennium, 1936
  • The Big Five. Revolt against Versailles, 1936
  • From Osman to Kemal Atatürk. Awakening Turan, 1936
  • Gods, Gold and Faith. In the struggle for God and power, 1937
  • Bismarck as statesman, 1950

As editor

  • Information letter, 1923-1938
  • The German Evening Press

Literature

  • Bernhard Sauer The German People’s Freedom Party (DvFP) and the Grütte Case (pdf, 4.1 Mbyte) In: Berlin in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Yearbook of the Berlin State Archives, 1994.
  • Martin Schumacher (ed.): M.d.R. Die Reichstagsabgeordneten der Weimarer Republik in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus. Political persecution, emigration and expatriation, 1933-1945. A biographical documentation. 3., considerably expanded and revised edition. Droste, Düsseldorf 1994, ISBN 3-7700-5183-1.

Web links

Commons: Reinhold Wulle– Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual references

  1. http://www.szukajwarchiwach.pl/65/633/0/1/9/skan/full/zyHpomK-eF15Mmjp5BeMLA
  2. Barry Jackisch: The Pan-German League and Radical Nationalist Politics in Interwar Germany, 1918-39. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, Farnham 2012, ISBN 978-1-4094-2762-9, pp. 42-46.
  3. a b Stefanie Schrader: Deutscher Herold. In: Wolfgang Benz (ed.): Organisationen, Institutionen, Bewegungen (= Handbuch des Antisemitismus, vol. 5). de Gruyter Saur, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-598-24078-2, pp. 173-175.
  4. Uwe Lohalm: Völkischer Radikalismus: Die Geschichte des Deutschvölkischen Schutz- und Trutz-Bundes. Leibniz-Verlag, Hamburg 1970, ISBN 3-87473-000-X, p. 258.
  5. Bernhard Sauer: Schwarze Reichswehr und Fememorde. Eine Milieustudie zum Rechtsradikalismus in der Weimarer Republik. Metropol-Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-936411-06-9, p. 39ff.
  6. Sauer, Reichswehr, p. 41.
  7. Sauer, Reichswehr, p. 42.
  8. Sauer, Reichswehr, pp. 239f, 332.
  9. Wulle in his Information Letters No. 48 (16 February 1925) and No. 164 (15 October 1929), quoted in Manfred Weißbecker: Deutschvölkische Freiheitspartei 1922-1933. in Dieter Fricke (ed.): Lexikon zur Parteiengeschichte. Die bürgerlichen und kleinbürgerlichen Parteien und Verbände in Deutschland (1789-1945). Volume 2, Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig 1984, pp. 550-558, here p. 555.
  10. Horst Schmollinger: Deutsche Konservative Partei – Deutsche Rechtspartei. In: Richard Stöss (ed.): Parteien-Handbuch. Die Parteien der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1945-1980. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1983, ISBN 3-531-11570-7, p. 986f.
  11. Reinhold Wulle: Die deutsche Revolution. Berlin 1934. Quoted in Weißbecker, Freiheitspartei, p. 556.
  12. Martin Schumacher (ed.): M.d.R. Die Reichstagsabgeordneten der Weimarer Republik in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus. Politische Verfolgung, Emigration und Ausbürgerung 1933-1945. Droste-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1991, ISBN 3-7700-5162-9, pp. 1555f.
  13. Schumacher, M.d.R. , p. 1556. See also Weißbecker, Freiheitspartei, p. 558.
  14. Reinhold Wulle: An alle Deutschen o. O., o. D. quoted in Schmollinger, Deutsche Konservative Partei, p. 990.
  15. Reinhold Wulle: Warum eine neue Partei? o. O., 1945, quoted in Schmollinger, Deutsche Konservative Partei, p. 990.
  16. Letter from Wille to Eldor Borck, 5 March 1946, quoted in Schmollinger, Deutsche Konservative Partei, p. 987f.