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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Written by Alternate Historian

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February 25

In 1932, on this day Herr Dr. Joseph Goebbels declared his intention to run in the thirteenth presidential elections as the official candidate for the National Socialist German Worker's Party (NSDAP or Nazis for short). An instalment of the Plot Against Germany.

Goebbels makes his ill-fated bid for powerFormerly the Gauleiter (regional party leader) of Berlin he was a subordinate of the Chairman, a vitriolic Austrian-born politician by the name of Adolf Hitler. But his superior was barred from running for the Presidency because the Weimar Constitution reserved the right for German citizens only. When his attempts at naturalisation failed, it appeared that democratic institutions had succeeded in presenting the rise of an extreme right-wing government.

Goebbels despised capitalism, viewing it as having Jews at its core, and he stressed the need for the Nazis to emphasise both a proletarian and national character. Since the French occupation of the Ruhr he had put his considerable propaganda skills to full use, combating the Social Democratic Party of Germany and Communist Party of Germany and seeking to gain their working class supporters. But his campaign was a disaster, and he was unable to prevent a Communist electoral victory and the accompanying rise of Chancellor Ernst Thälmann.

October 11

In 1937, on this day Adolf Hitler, a forty-eight year old disabled veteran of the 16th Bavarian Reserve Regiment was placed under arrest by political officers of the Munich Soviet.

The Plot Against GermanyHis reactionary piece of subversive artwork Dolchstoßlegende (a Wagnerian image of Hagen murdering his enemy Siegfried with a spear, hence "The Stab in the Back") was deemed a hateful, inciteful expression of Prussian militarism and therefore an offence to Communist Party doctrine. Because Herr Hitler, and indeed a considerable number of his fellow veterans, believed that the Kaiserreich had been betrayed by civilians on the home front, the so-called November Criminals.

But of course the imprisonment of Herr Hitler was part of a larger crackdown across Germany with lower ranking Stalinist forces attempting to seize power from Chancellor Ernst Thälmann. This second turn of the revolutionary wheel was of course being engineered by the Soviet Union, with November Criminals themselves being slowly forced out by the Comitern.

August 25

In 1940, Communist Chancellor of the German Republic Ernst Thälmann invited European leaders to seize the historic opportunity presented by the premature demise of the Duke of Guise.

The Plot Against Germany 10As the political violence began to destroy the Third Republic from within a new leader had been sought to fill the political vacuum. Elected President in 1938, foreign leaders had expected the Duke to attempt to restore the House D'Orléans.

Although such a restoration had been put beyond the realms of political possibility, much damage had been done to European security. He had used his authority and prestige to form a robust Cabinet that featured an array of strong national leaders including Petain, Gamelin and de Gaulle. And he signed a tripartite military alliance with Fascist Spain and Italy that brought Europe to the brink of war. A reinvigorated military capability had been established and even if France was unlikely to open hostilities, Stalin's Russia seemed unwilling to wait to find out. To be continued in the Chancellor Ernst Thalmann thread.

January 15

In 1933, the Nazi Party put in a desperately weak performance at the Lippe-Detmold state election due almost entirely to the active opposition of Gustav Streseman.

The Plot Against Germany 3Prior to his retirement on health grounds in 1929 [1], he was widely recognized as the Weimar Republic's Greatest Statesman. And he had promised to use his retirement [2] in order to prevent the rise of Adolf Hitler who he had identified as Germany's most dangerous man.

Sure enough as he had anticipated the result at Lippe-Detmold was an unmitigated electoral disaster for Hitler whose Nazi Party had been rapidly overtaken in national popularity by the Communist Party. He had hoped that a particularly strong local showing might encourage President Hindenburg to offer him the Chancellorship. But despite determined attempts to coerce the vote he had been discredited by Streseman's strong voice of reasoned authority. Instead, von Papen stayed in office until Hindenburg's death eighteen months later. This extension of Chancellorship required the signing of an emergency decree by the President which lapsed with his death. And of course the failure of the right to coalesce around a single strong authority figure was the primary reason of the election of Chancellor Ernst Thälmann. The secondary cause was the Soviet Forces threatening to invade Eastern Germany. And the third reason, was the fracture in the Nazi Party itself To be continued in Part 3.

October 17

In 1933, the Nazi Party finally imploded nine months after Gustav Streseman destroyed their credibility at the disastrous State election result in Lippe-Detmold. continues from Part 3.

The Plot Against Germany 4"Club Foot" Joey Goebbels led a stage walkout of the entire left wing in the SA and also the Nazi Trade Unions into a newly formed Socialist German Workers' Party. It remained unclear whether Adolf Hitler would lead the rump or create new, ultra right-wing National German Workers' Party.

Of course the party re-organization was a matter of little immediate relevance because Chancellor von Papen was being retained in office not by the will of the voters but by an Emergency Presidential Decree. However, the ageing President Hindenburg was growing so weak that he was no longer able to even lift his military baton.

When Hindenburg finally passed away a year later, von Papen's mandate disappeared and he once again had to return to democratic processes to secure a mandate. However reluctant he might have been to work with the extremist National German Workers' Party his hand was forced because Ernst Thalmänn's Communist Party had surged passed him in the polls again and if necessary were prepared to sign an electoral pact with Goebbels and his Socialist German Workers' Party. But of course the most pressing threat was the Soviet Forces which were threatening to invade Eastern Germany. Communist rule in Germany appeared certain, the only question was whether the country would be governed from puppets in Red Star Berlin, or directly from Moscow. To be continued

March 23

In 1937, on this day in Republican Spain the former head of the defunct National German Workers' Party Adolf Hitler was killed in action while serving in the Freikorps "Ludendorff" Division at the Battle of Guadalajara continues from Part 4.

The Plot Against Germany 5His erstwhile colleague the former Commander of the Sturmabteilung, Ernst Röhm was also involved in the fighting in the University quarters - but on the other side, backing the Communists by serving in the German Spartikist Division.

Both men had become persona non grata when Chancellor Ernst Thalmänn took office after the death of President Hindeburg. The size of the Communist Party landslide majority even dispensed with the need for a coalition pact with the Socialist German Workers' Party. Consequently, its leader, "Club Foot" Joey Goebbels quit politics and subsequently became a Red Star Radio Berlin reporter. And as a result of entering that front-line role, he became increasingly aware of the Plot Against Germany. To be continued

November 20

In 1923, on this day in Munich, Anton Drexler the President of the German Workers' Party (DAP) was formally charged with the murder of Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler (pictured).

The Plot Against Germany 6 Hitler punks at the FeldharenhalleFirst reports had indicated that some embittered Nazis had executed the veteran for cowardice after he had punked at the Feldharenhalle, the attempted coup of November 9th known as the "Beer Hall Putsch". But investigations soon revealed that he was an army infiltrator, appointed Verbindungsmann (intelligence agent) of an Aufklärungskommando (reconnaissance commando) of the Reichswehr, to influence other soldiers and to infiltrate the DAP. The exposure was of course a tremendous shock to Drexler whose leadership had been deeply marginalized by Hitler. He suspected that Hitler had been trying to destroy the party from within. Whereas the police suspected that Drexler had used Hitler's exposure simply as a means of restoring his position in the party.

While Drexler set about the task of rebuilding the DAP in the wake of the Feldharenhalle, Hitler became a little known foot note in the early history of the party. A failed fine arts painter, a war hero and noted denizen of the Munich demimonde it was also rumoured that he briefly served with the forces of the Bavarian Socialist Republic. Unfortunately, he would not live to see Germany turn red at the ballot box, instead Drexler would be given the fruitless task of trying to stop the inexorable rise of Ernst Thalmänn to the Chancellorship of Germany. An article from the asynchronous Chancellor Ernst Thalmänn thread.

October 23

In 1924, on this day former actor and journalist Ret Marut [the Man Known as B. Traven] succeeded Anton Drexler as the President of the German Workers' Party (DAP).

The Plot Against Germany 7 The Man Known as B. TravenHe had first become politically engaged in 1917 when he started to publish the periodical Der Ziegelbrenner (The Brick Burner) with a clearly anarchistic profile. Two years later the Bavarian Soviet Republic (BSR) was proclaimed in Munich. He was appointed director of the press division and also a member of the propaganda committee.

During this crazy period he had become acquainted with a fellow Bohemian Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler (pictured) who had briefly served with the forces of the BSR. Hitler subsequently introduced Marut into the DAP, although at that stage, no one was aware that he was actually a military infiltrator bent on wrecking the Nazi Party from the inside. An article from the asynchronous Chancellor Ernst Thalmänn thread.

October 29

In 1879, on this day German nobleman, General Staff officer and right-wing politician Franz von Papen was born into a wealthy and noble Catholic famil in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Plot Against Germany 8 Birth of Franz Von PapenElected Chancellor of Germany in 1932, he belonged to the group of close advisers to President Paul von Hindenburg in the late Weimar Republic. And for the final two crazy years of his leadership, he had no choice but to rule the country by Emergency Presidential Decree. Of course this suspension of democratic processes was forced upon him by the actions of one of his predecessors, Gustav Streseman. His intervention in the Lippe-Detmold state election fatally underminined the Nazi Party, preventing the rise of a right-wing coalition Government.

But when von Hindenburg finally passed away in August 1934, his time was up. von Papen was then forced to call fresh elections in which nationalist parties were comprehensively beaten by the Communist Party of Germany. Ernst Thälmann then took office as Chancellor in the city shortly to be known as "Red Star Berlin". Although he declared an end to the State of Emergency, the internal state of the country was becoming rapidly overshadowed by the build-up of Soviet Forces threatening to invade Eastern Germany. Germany was close to gaining a new stability but of course the price was loss of sovereignty to the Kremlin. An article from the asynchronous Chancellor Ernst Thalmänn thread.

April 16

In 1886, on this day future Communist Chancellor of the German Republic Ernst Thälmann was born in the city of Hamburg.
Part 9 of the The Plot Against Germany thread.

The Plot Against Germany 9 Birth of Chancellor ThälmannA Social Democratic Party member from 1903, between 1904 and 1913 he worked as a stoker on a freighter. On the day of the German Revolution, 9 November 1918, he wrote in his diary on the Western Front, "..did a bunk from the Front with 4 comrades at 2 o'clock".

In October 1925 Thälmann became Chairman of the German Communist Part (KPD) and later that year was a candidate for the German Presidency. But he did not manage to reach high elected office until anti-Communist forces fell into acrimonious division. Because Gustav Steseman's intervention in the Lippe-Detmold vote scuppered the Nazi's bid for power and their extremist party broke up soon afterwards. After that popular opinion swung to the left and Von Papen was forced to rule by decree until Hindenburg's death, when Thälmann swept the right power from power - at the ballot box. Of course, at this desperate stage matters were already at a knife edge, with Soviet Forces threatening to invade Eastern Germany. But this time, doing a bunk was not really an option.

October 13

In 1944, in Czarist St. Petersburg, Red Star Radio Berlin reporter "Club Foot" Joey Goebbels interviewed film director Adolf Hitler.

The Plot Against Germany Part 2For sure his dystopian reactionary movie "the Iron Dream" had generated some wild excitment in the new political atmosphere created by the passing of Chancellor Ernst Thälmann. But the artist, writer and vegetarian crank made Goebbels instantly suspicious of the real motivations for shooting the movie.

Therefore with some reluctance he agreed to attend the premiére and was presented to the movie cast including co-stars Ronald Reagan and Ingrid Bergman. He also met Joseph Stalin a government friend of Hitler's who he subsequently discovered was a high official in the revived Okhrana and a well known power behind the throne. He quickly became convinced that the real purpose of the movie was subversive, nothing less than a dastardly Plot Against Communist Germany.

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