Friday, 13 March 2020

kapp putsch

On this day in 1920, Wolfgang Kapp and Walther von Lüttwitz with the support of the disbanded military staged an attempted coup aimed to undo the November Revolution and reinstate the monarchy since replaced by the duly elected government of the Weimar Republic—a historical designation and never used in official parlance with Germany retaining the name Deutsches Reich in use since 1871 due to its constituent states and better translated as realm rather than empire. Shock troops occupied Berlin and Kapp declared himself chancellor of a provisional regime with the government in temporary exile in Dresden.
Though initial resistance and opposition did not materialize, civil servants and other representatives refused to collaborate with the putschists and held counter-rallies and a general strike, which while paralyzing the country and causing the take-over to collapse after four days there was bloodshed and unrest. Although attesting the art movement’s political neutrality, Walter Gropius created a monument to the March Dead (Denkmal für die Märzgefallenen) to memorialise workers killed during the event erected in the central cemetery of Weimar. The Nazis demolished it in 1936 when they outlawed the Bauhaus school as subversive and promoting degenerate art but has been since restored. While the suppression of the coup and restoration of the legitimate government was mostly recognised as a victory for the republic and public confidence in their ability to rule, the Kapp Putsch stirred other, more violent uprisings in other regions.