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Bund Oberland (Nuremberg 1923)

The Freikorps Oberland (also Bund Oberland or Kameradschaft Freikorps und Bund Oberland) was a free corps in the early years of the Weimar Republic, fighting against Communist and Polish insurgents. It was successful in the 1921 Battle of Annaberg and became the core of the Sturmabteilung (SA) in Bavaria while several members later turned against the Nazis.

The Freikorps was founded in April 1919 by Rudolf von Sebottendorf, president of Thule Society. The cabinet of Johannes Hoffmann (SPD) flew from Bavarian Soviet Republic to Bamberg. The military control overtook Major Albert Ritter von Beckh (1870–1958). Most of the volunteers came from Bavaria, and therefore the symbol of the Edelweiß was chosen. Direct percursor was the „Kampfbund“ within Thule Society, who also was against the Bavarian Soviet republic.

In May 1919 the Freikorps fought against the Bavarian Soviet Republic. Parts of the Freikorps were together with Freikorps Epp Franz Ritter von Epp taken to the Reichswehr brigade 21, they fought in 1920 in the Occupation of the Ruhr. The Freikorps itself was dissolved on 21 October 1919. However, all members went to Organization Escherich (Georg Escherich).

Therefore, in the Silesian Uprisings 1921 the Freikorps was quickly ready and participated in the conquest of St.&nbsGóra Świętej Anny (hill) in Annaberg in Upper Silesia. In Upper Silesia the Freikorps also had a propaganda unit. It is supposed they gave the order to carry out the Feme murders in the Weimar Republic and kidnappings.[1] There were close connections between the extremely right organizations in Bavaria. The murderers of Matthias Erzberger, Heinrich Tillessen and Heinrich Schulz, did not only belong to Organization Consul, but also to „Arbeitsgemeinschaft Oberland“ .(Committee Oberland).[2] Maybe members of Oberland had to do with the murder of USPD politician Karl Gareis (1889-1921).[3]


In summer 1922 the Bund became separated because of the question whether Bund Oberland should be integrated into Bund Bayern und Reich. The civil wing formed Bund Treu Oberland, later Blücherbund. The military wing was led by veterinarian Friedrich Weber.

In 1922 the Bund Oberland had a few hundred members. Until November 1923 in Bavaria were around 2000 members. Amongst them were many students, employees, members of free professions, and also some workers. Most of the military leaders were young former officers, who studied meanwhile. Most of the members were between 20 and 30 years old and had the experience of fighting either in the World War I or in the fights in Bavaria, Ruhr area or in Upper Silesia. They had enough weapons, however many weapons of the Bund were stored and maintained by the Reichswehr. Maybe the Bund was supported by the father-in-law of Friedrich Weber, national publisher Julius Friedrich Lehmann.[4]

Under the guidance of Weber Bund Oberland approached continuously to the radical people under Adolf Hitler and Ernst Röhm. Together with the "Wehrverband Reichsflagge" and the SA the Bund formed in January 1923 the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft vaterländischer Kampfverbände". In September 1923 they joined together with the Nazi Party and more national organizations the "Deutscher Kampfbund". From 25 September 1923, the Kampfbund was guided by Adolf Hitler.

Beer Hall Putsch[]

On 8 November 1923 the Bund activated many members and participated actively in the Hitlerputsch. Members of the Bund, led by Ludwig Oestreicher took Jewish people as hostages.

Because of his participation in the coup attempt the Bund Oberland e. V. first was forbidden in Bavaria and at the end of 1923 all over Germany.[5] By act of Gustav Ritter von Kahr the Bund Oberland was dissolved on 9 November 1923. Weber was sent to prison the same day and later accused in the Hitler-Process and sentenced to five years in prison. Former members of the Bund co-worked with extreme right terror organization Organisation Consul. On 9. Januar 1924 they killed in French-occupied palatine separatism leader Franz Josef Heinz.[6]

Reestablishment 1925[]

After the end of the ban, the Bund was re-established in February 1925. Already 1930 were differences, because the strong Austrian part voted Austrofascist Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg for leader.


After 1945 the old fighters gathered around Ernst Horadam and founded in 1951 the still existing tradition community Kameradschaft Freikorps und Bund Oberland. Some authors think of it is an extreme right organization.[7] In Schliersee took place till 2006 a church service as a commemorate for the in 1921 fallen of the Freikorps. According to a statement of the president of Landsmannschaft Schlesien the event was regularly controlled by the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution.[8] Since 2007 the commemorate became much smaller.


  • Friedrich Weber, (1892-1954) head of veterinary surgery in Germany, also the group's leader
  • Richard Arauner, (1902-1936)SS-Oberführer
  • Karl Astel (1898-1945), Nazi eugenics
  • Eleonore Baur, (1885-1981)SS-Oberführer in KZ Dachau
  • Albert Ritter von Beckh, SS-Gruppenführer
  • Kurt Benson, SS-Oberführer
  • Josef Dietrich, (1892-1966), SS-Oberstgruppenführer and Generaloberst der Waffen-SS
  • Hans Dorn, SS-Sturmbannführer, Commanding Suppily Officer Dachau Concentration Camp 1934-1936
  • Fritz Fischer, (1908-1999), historian, SA- and NSDAP-member
  • Karl Gebhardt, (1897-1948),SS-Gruppenführer, physician in Ravensbrück concentration camp
  • Franz Gutsmiedl, Reichstag delegate
  • Wilhelm Harster, (1904-1991), SS-Brigadeführer
  • Franz Hayler, (1900-1972), SS-Gruppenführer
  • Richard Hildebrandt, SS-Obergruppenführer
  • Heinrich Himmler, (1900-1945), Reichsführer SS and Chef of German Police
  • Hans Hinkel, (1901-1960),SS-Gruppenführe, Reichstag delegate
  • Ernst Horadam, SA-Obersturmbannführer
  • Max Humps, SS-Oberführer
  • Friedrich Gustav Jaeger, (1895-1944), Officer and resistance leader in 20 July plot
  • Rudolf Jordan, (1902-1988), SA-Obergruppenführer, Gauleiter of Magdeburg
  • Gerhard Krüger, (1908-1994), student leader
  • Max Lebsche, physician, opponent of the Nazi regime
  • Emil Maurice, (1897-1972), SS-Standartenführer
  • Carl von Oberkamp, SS-Brigadeführer and Generalmajor der Waffen-SS
  • Ludwig Oestreicher
  • Maximilian du Prel, Baron, Nazi author and press chief of the General Government in occupied Poland
  • Heinz Reinefarth, (1903-1979), SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS, war criminal
  • Arthur Rödl, (1898-1945), SS-Obersturmbannführer and commandant of Gross-Rosen concentration camp
  • Josef Römer, (1892-1944), Jurist, staff officer, later a communist and resistance member
  • Arnold Ruge, university teacher
  • Ludwig Schmuck, SA-Gruppenführer
  • Fritz von Scholz, (1896-1944), SS-Gruppenführer and Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS
  • Ernst Rüdiger Starhemberg, (1899-1956), Austrofascist politician, opponent of the Nazi regime
  • Bodo Uhse, (1904-1963), writer, Nazi supporter but later a communist
  • Hilmar Wäckerle,(1899-1941), SS-Standartenführer and commandant of Dachau concentration camp


  • Hans Fenske: Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus in Bayern nach 1918. Verlag Gehlen, 1969
  • Kameradschaft Freikorps und Bund Oberland: Bildchronik zur Geschichte des Freikorps und Bundes Oberland. München 1974
  • Peter Schuster: Für das stolze Edelweiß, Brienna, Achau, 1995. ISBN 3-9803875-1-8
  • Oliver Schröm, Andrea Röpke: Stille Hilfe für braune Kameraden. Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-86153-231-X
  • Andreas Angerstorf: Rechte Strukturen in Bayern 2005, Bayernforum, ISBN 3-89892-416-5


  1. Ulrike Claudia Hofman: Verräter verfallen der Feme! Fememorde in Bayern in den zwanziger Jahren. Böhlau, Köln 2000, S. 125.
  2. Horst Möller: Die Weimarer Republik. Eine unvollendete Demokratie. dtv, München 2004, S. 152.
  3. Ulrike Claudia Hofman: Verräter verfallen der Feme! Fememorde in Bayern in den zwanziger Jahren. Böhlau, Köln 2000, S. 118 f..
  4. Harold J. Gordon jr.: Hitlerputsch 1923. Machtkampf in Bayern 1923–1924. Bernard & Graefe, Frankfurt/M. 1971, S. 94–96.
  5. Erwin Könnemann: Freikorps Oberland 1921-1930 (1921-1930 Bund Oberland) [BO], in: Fricke, Dieter (Hrsg.): Lexikon der Parteiengeschichte: die bürgerlichen und kleinbürgerlichen Parteien und Verbände in Deutschland (1789-1945), Band 1, Köln: Pahl-Rugenstein, 1984, S. 678 f.
  6. Ulrich Herbert: Best. Biographische Studien über Radikalismus, Weltanschauung und Vernunft, 1903-1989. Bonn: Dietz, 1996, S. 83. ISBN 3-8012-5019-9
  7. Oliver Schröm, Andrea Röpke: Stille Hilfe für braune Kameraden, S. 180f; Andreas Angerstorf: Rechte Strukturen in Bayern 2005
  8. SPD-Kreisvorsitzender fordert Distanzierung vom Dritten Reich. In: Münchner Merkur, 21. Mai 2005

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