Bloody Sunday

   On Sunday, 17 July 1932, the NSDAP staged a pa-rade in Altona, a largely KPD-controlled Hamburg precinct. Correctly deeming the event a willful provocation, Communists fired on the marchers. The resulting skirmish left seventeen dead. Heretofore, Altona's SPD police commissioner had only occasionally granted assembly permits to either the KPD or the Nazis. In July, however, he sensed that any attempt to rein in the NSDAP would be overruled in Berlin; for several weeks Franz von Papen* had acquiesced to Hitler s* requests.
   On the same day, the NSDAP chose to challenge SPD and KPD control in Greifswald s working-class districts. About eight hundred men participated in a march organized by the SA.* Although windows were smashed, the progression remained relatively peaceful until early evening, when, after terrorizing at least one neighborhood, a small group of stormtroopers was attacked while returning to nearby villages. When the skirmish ended, three SA men were dead.
   Rather than use the violence as grounds for reinstating a ban on paramilitary activities, Papen employed it as final justification for dismissing Prussia's* SPD government. Meanwhile, in both Altona and Greifswald Nazis had been the chief victims of the violence. The NSDAP scored a psychological victory by exposing the ineptitude of the police to prevent serious disorder.
   REFERENCES:Bessel, Political Violence; Childers and Weiss, "Voters and Violence ; Eyck, History of the Weimar Republic, vol. 2; Orlow, Weimar Prussia, 1925-1933; Ward, " 'Smash the Fascists.

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

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