View previous topic | View next topic

Horst Wessel

Page 1 of 1

700123.  Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:08 pm Reply with quote

As noted in a General Banter thread, there used to be a thread about Horst Wessel here and for some reason it's no longer there. I've managed to recover the text from the Google cache, so here it is:

Sadurian Mike wrote:
Horst Wessel is (in)famous more for dying than for anything he did during his life, and had the dubious distinction of being a heroic marytr for the Nazi party. Although the manner of his death is known, the reasons behind it are less clear.

Horst Wessel was born to respectable parents in Westphalia on the 9th of October 1907. He grew up a young thug who was drawn to extreme right wing politics and street brawls, and joined the Nazi party in 1926, after leaving the German National People's Party, itself a strongly right wing conservative party.

Wessel immediate entered the ranks of the SA ("Sturmabteilung" or "stormtroopers"), the "brownshirts", who acted as paramilitaries and muscle at the Nazi party's rallies and marches. He became leader of one of the SA troops in 1928 (aged 21) and left his law school studies to devote himself to the SA full time.

Having some musical ability, Wessel played the shawm (a type of oboe) in an SA shawm band that he founded, and also wrote the lyrics to a new Nazi fighting song, "Der Unbekannte SA-Mann" (the unknown SA Man) which later became known as the "Horst Wessel Song". The music to the song was probably from a old German folk tune and was in any case reportedly used in a WWI German naval song.

Setting up home with an 18-year old prostitute, the young Wessel had a series of arguments over unpaid rent with his landlady, Elisabeth Salm, the widow of a Communist activist. On the evening of the 14th of January 1930, Horst Wessel answered his door to a group of Salm's acquaintances including one Albrecht Höhler, a known criminal and member of the local Communist Party, who shot him in the face with a pistol. Wessel died in hospital on the 23rd February from the injury.

The motives given for killing range from Höhler acting to help the widow of an old party comrade, revenge for the killing of a young communist earlier that day, to a love triangle between Höhler, Wessel, and his prostitute lover. Whatever the reason, Albrecht Höhler was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison but was murdered in 1933 by members of the new governing party, the Nazis.

Horst Wessel and his death at the hands of a Communist were exploited to the full by Goebbels, who made the man a figurehead and posthumous party hero. Areas of Berlin, ships, and regiments took his name, and the "Horst Wessel Song" became the party anthem. Ironically, of course, in 1934 the SA, Wessel's old organisation, was destroyed in the "Night of the Long Knives" and so, had he lived, he would probably have been imprisoned or discredited.

Salm and the others who had been present at Wessel's murder were sent to concentration camps, Sam dying in Belsen in 1945.

The "Horst Wessel Song" is still banned in Germany, and the old folk tune upon which it was based is now inextricably linked to the Nazi Party.

Efros wrote:
it is referenced endlessly in Sven Hassel's books.

austinallegro wrote:
On the same lines of 'Martyrs who were later exposed as twonks' can I nominate Pavlik Morozov who dobbed in his father for hoarding grain (and a number of other trumped up charges too I reckon) during the time of Stalin's agricultural collectivisation and Kulak purge. His father died 10 years later in a labour camp. Pavlik's family didn't take too kindly to this and murdered him in a forest. He became a martyr along the same lines of Horst Wessel.

Sadurian Mike
700447.  Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:59 pm Reply with quote

Thank you for performing that act of resurrection, suze.

Now there's some C17th Spanish men in conical headgear* who want to talk to you about being a necromancer....

*I bet you didn't expect them!

700461.  Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:33 pm Reply with quote

Drive a stake though his heart! Fascist scum.

The only excuse for resurrection is to shoot him again.


700536.  Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:31 pm Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
*I bet you didn't expect them!

No one expects them !

Doesn't stop Horst Wessel having been a horrid little man, and I'm sure no one particularly plans to argue otherwise. But Quite Interesting in his own horrid little way.

Sadurian Mike
700546.  Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:51 pm Reply with quote

Quite so. Had they not made him a martyr then nobody would have cared one way or another. His legacy, his song, is better known than the man himself.

700816.  Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:09 am Reply with quote

A compatriot of mine had a short-lived stint here as priest. This shortlivedness laid in the fact that he was rather controversial. In our local he managed to upset quite a few people by talking out loud about the KKK when there was a dark-skinned US family trying to enoy a quiet meal, and he thought it was hilarious to sing Das Horst Wessel Lied at the top of his voice, especially when there were German, Dutch or .... well, it didn't matter what nationality, but everybody was mightily ennoyed by his behaviour. He was reported to the higher powers in Newcastle, who moved him to Byker. (nice move, that :)
Some some reason he didn't like it there and he buggered off to Belgium.

Sadurian Mike
700843.  Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:11 pm Reply with quote

Bloody hell. Having read through my own post it appears that my English was having a bit of a day off. If I recall, I wrote it right at the end of my shift and didn't read it through to myself.

700844.  Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:17 pm Reply with quote

Don't be so hard on yourself - I'm sure nobody noticed P

701075.  Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:23 am Reply with quote

A Nazi shacked up with a prostitute in the house of a former communist! A fine example to der kinder. Would the modern day equivalent be a BNP activist lodging in a house owned by a black or Asian woman?

I now have this in my head for the rest of the day. One of the most chilling moments in any film ever.

701083.  Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:46 am Reply with quote

[quote="tetsabb"I now have this in my head for the rest of the day. One of the most chilling moments in any film ever.[/quote]

I like the old man who doesn't stand. He seems to be thinking "here we fucking well go again".

Sadurian Mike
701087.  Sat Apr 24, 2010 4:55 am Reply with quote

I love that film! It is a good illustration of the rise of Nazism in Berlin, as well as having some great tunes and a lovely atmospheric grubby decadence.

The singer in that clip is, indeed, a member of the SA (the brownshirts). I, too, particularly like the old fella' who you can almost hear grumbling to himself about the "Youth of Today".

701097.  Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:58 am Reply with quote

soup wrote:

I like the old man who doesn't stand. He seems to be thinking "here we fucking well go again".

Exactly what I feel about the scene.

735622.  Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:54 pm Reply with quote

soup wrote:
I like the old man who doesn't stand. He seems to be thinking "here we fucking well go again".

He might also be thinking that there would be no tomorrow for him. He would have been one of the ones who were rounded up.

735626.  Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:58 pm Reply with quote

Another resurrection! Bligh me :)


Page 1 of 1

All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group