Jungdo

(Jungdeutscher Orden, Young German Order)
   Founded as a Frei-korps* on 10 January 1919 by Artur Mahraun of Kassel, the volunteer unit was recast on 17 March 1920, after the abortive Kapp* Putsch, as the Jungdeutscher Orden. Second in size among the Wehrverbande to the Stahlhelm,* Jungdo combined elements of a veterans' organization with the pseudodemocracy and medieval corporatism derived from the prewar youth movement. But in early 1920 Jungdo was chiefly concerned with maintaining itself—the Allies having reasserted their demand for the dissolution of volunteer units—and with de-fending Germany against further revolution.
   Calling for law and order and German "rebirth," Jungdo soon attracted re-cruits and expanded its base of support. By the end of 1920 it had increased from ten local chapters in Hesse to about fifty located as far as Thuringia,* Westphalia, and Hanover. Although association with Georg Escherich's* Ba-varian-based Orgesch convinced the Prussian authorities to ban Jungdo from August 1920 to February 1921, the organization flourished elsewhere, growing from 70,000 members in August 1920 to 200,000 in October 1921.
   Until 1925 Jungdo, which Mahraun recast in 1924 as a Kampfbund, retained a program roughly compatible with the political Right. But Hindenburg's* elec-tion as President convinced Mahraun that the rationale for such organizations was past. This apparent acceptance of the Republic stirred the Stahlhelm and other rightist groups to reprimand Jungdo's "march to the Left." In turn, Mah-raun labeled his critics "reactionary pawns of plutocratic interests." Mahraun was largely motivated by a belief that Germany was well served by Gustav Stresemann's* foreign policy*; he was not prompted by love of the Republic. Indeed, he berated his rightist critics as too willing to accommodate parliamen-tarianism. Less attached to monarchism* than its rivals, Jungdo mixed medieval metaphysics with its aspiration to supersede the Republic with an elaborate new Volksstaat free of party politics. The vision was outlined in Mahraun's 1927 book Jungdeutsche Manifest; based largely on abstractions, Jungdo would abol-ish parliamentary democracy and the "domination of caste and money" by instituting a complex corporative system.
   Jungdo's political isolation ended in late 1928 when, disturbed by the frag-mentation of the middle classes, Mahraun launched the Volksnationale Reichs-vereinigung (People's National Reich Association). The volte-face was absolute when, upon Stresemann's death (October 1929), Jungdo's new political arm began negotiations with the DDP s Erich Koch-Weser* that led in July 1930 to establishment of the DStP. Aiming to counter both the reactionary forces around Alfred Hugenberg* and Marxism, the alliance was short-lived. Concluded in secret, the DStP was distasteful to members of both groups. With former Jungdo members fleeing to the NSDAP and Democrats deserting to the SPD, the union collapsed in October 1930. Faced with failure, Mahraun reinstated the shaken Jungdo s nonpolitical status, but the next two years saw the weakening of all Kampfbunde except the SA.* Mahraun's criticism of Nazism led to brief im-prisonment. As part of the synchronization (Gleichschaltung) of the SA s par-amilitary rivals, Jungdo was dissolved in June 1933.
   REFERENCES:Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon; Diehl, Paramilitary Politics.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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