Patriotic Associations

   Of the groups striving to undermine the Republic, none were more obstinate than the patriotic associations. Although they were active elsewhere in Germany, they were con-spicuous in Bavaria.* Including both Wehrverbande and Kampfbunde, they ap-peared in 1920 when the Versailles Treaty* compelled a dramatic cut in regular army units and the elimination of the Freikorps.* Among the better-known were Organisation Escherich (Orgesch) Bund Bayern und Reich, Deutscher Kampf-bund (dominated by the Nazis), Bund Oberland, Jungdo,* Organisation Consul* (OC), the NSDAP's SA,* the Stahlhelm,* and Wehrwolf. Hapless attempts were made from 1922 to give the Verbande a single voice through formation of the Union of German Patriotic Associations (Vereinigte Vaterlandische Verbande Deutschlands*) and the Union of Bavarian Patriotic Associations; such efforts were ultimately subverted by differences between the more restrained associa-tions (e.g., Orgesch, Bund Bayern und Reich, and Stahlhelm) and the fascistic and racist groups (e.g., OC, Deutscher Kampfbund, and the SA). Internal dis-putes, generally over political goals and paramilitary ideals, also afflicted the associations. While the Nazis were not immune from dissension, only they man-aged (until 1934) to balance the ambitions of a party with the ideals of the SA.
   REFERENCES:Diehl, Paramilitary Politics; Garnett, Lion, Eagle, and Swastika; Harold Gordon, Hitler; Waite, Vanguard ofNazism.

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

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