The Info List - Wolfgang Kapp

Wolfgang Kapp
Wolfgang Kapp
(24 July 1858 – 12 June 1922) was a Prussian civil servant and journalist. He was a strict nationalist, and a failed leader of the so-called Kapp Putsch.


1 Early life 2 The political activist 3 The Kapp Putsch 4 References

Early life[edit] Kapp was born in New York City
New York City
where his father Friedrich Kapp, a political activist and later Reichstag delegate for the National Liberal Party, had settled after the failed revolutions of 1848. In 1870 the family returned to Germany
and Kapp's schooling continued in Berlin
at the Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium (High School). Wolfgang Kapp married Margarete Rosenow in 1884; the couple would have three children. Through his wife's family, Kapp acquired a family connection with politically conservative elements. In 1886, he graduated at the conclusion of his law studies at the University of Tübingen
University of Tübingen
and was appointed to a position in the Finance Ministry
Finance Ministry
the same year. The political activist[edit] After an ordinary official career, Kapp became the founder of the Agricultural Credit Institute in East Prussia
East Prussia
which achieved great success in promoting the prosperity of landowners and farmers in that province. He was consequently in close touch with the Junkers of East Prussia, and during the First World War
First World War
made himself their mouthpiece in an attack on Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg. Kapp's pamphlet, entitled Die Nationalen Kreise und der Reichskanzler and published in the early summer of 1916, criticized German foreign and domestic policy under Bethmann Hollweg. This pamphlet appeared about the same time as the attacks of “Junius Alter” and evoked an indignant reply from Bethmann Hollweg in the Reichstag, in which he spoke of “loathsome abuse and slanders.”[1] In 1917, along with Alfred von Tirpitz, Kapp founded the Deutsche Vaterlandspartei (Fatherland Party), of which he would briefly become Chairman. He was one of a number of prominent figures of the right, including General Ludendorff and Waldemar Pabst, who set up in August 1919 the Nationale Vereinigung (National Union), a right-wing think-tank which campaigned for a counter-revolution to install a form of conservative militaristic government. The Nationale Vereinigung did not, however, press for the restoration of the monarchy, the Kaiser having bowed to Army pressure and left for his exile in the Netherlands in November 1918. 1919, which saw the consolidation in Germany
of the Weimar Republic, found Kapp a member of the Deutschnationale Volkspartei (German National People's Party). Germany’s defeat in the First World War
First World War
was seen by nationalists such as Kapp as a humiliation and a betrayal. He became an exponent of the Dolchstoß legend and a vehement critic of the Treaty of Versailles. In 1919 he was elected to the Reichstag as a monarchist. The Kapp Putsch[edit] Main article: Kapp Putsch

"We will not govern according to any theory", Wolfgang Kapp, 13 March 1920[2]

In March 1920 Hermann Ehrhardt, the leader of the Freikorps
known as the Ehrhardt Brigade, was authorized by General Walther von Lüttwitz (Commander of Reichswehr Command Group I) to proceed and use the Marine Brigade to take Berlin
from the Weimar Government. The Weimar government fled to Dresden and then onto Stuttgart in order to avoid arrest by rebel Reichswehr troops. Though proclaiming a new government and state administration, Kapp along with Lüttwitz failed to calculate the lack of support for such a coup. The majority of the old establishment, civil service, labour unions and general population did not side with the putschists and as a result the newly proclaimed state lasted for a mere two days before a General Strike was called by the SPD. The Reichswehr, under the command of Hans von Seeckt, failed to uphold their constitutional commitment by defending the Republican government against the rebellious Freikorps
units. The Weimar regime was saved by the public by means of the strike, but the Putsch did not succeed for other reasons. These include the lack of outward and active support from the military elite, judiciary and civil service who were reluctant to commit to the Putsch from its beginning. When the Coup d'état
Coup d'état
failed Kapp fled to Sweden. After two years in exile, he returned to Germany
in April 1922 to justify himself in a trial at the Reichsgericht. He died in custody in Leipzig
shortly afterwards of cancer.[3] References[edit]

^  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1922). "Kapp, Wolfgang". Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.  ^ Kapp's proclamation as quoted in Waite R,(1952) Vanguard of Nazism, Norton library, New York ^ Biography at the German Historical Museum
German Historical Museum
(in German)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 47559868 LCCN: n82069829 ISNI: 0000 0000 2314 5393 GND: 118891502 SUDOC: 03108656X BNF: cb1223