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were only some five thousand men in the column, but the Potsdam garrison, naturally susceptible to Monarchist propaganda, was also on the way to the capital at the same The total number of
rôles so diverse as those of assistant in a Presbyterian mission station in Canada, ourate in the Church of England, member of the British Parliament, private secretary to a well-known Englishman time. of philanthropic reputation, troops supporting the Junand attempted German spy. ker coup was in all some On release from prison he had 20,000. been deported to Hungary, where during last winter he attached himself, with characteristically adroit parasitism, to the Monarchist movement. At the same time he had contrived to impress the supposedly able Colonel Bauer with a sense of his reliability, and despite all his past record of deceit and brazen bluff, his impudence and resource had secured for him a minor post in the Junkers' undertaking.
It was by now broad daylight, and the Government troops posted in the Tiergarten had received no orders to open fire upon the advancing mutineers. Outpost after outpost accordingly let them pass without challenge, and when the column reached the Brandenburg Gate, and halted just outside the centre of the city, the officers of the Reichswehr, who had taken up a defensive position there, marched their men off down the Linden, and the entrance to the city was left clear.
With bands crashing out the old triumphant marohes, and with standards dancing gaily in the sun, the Junker Army swung on through the Brandenburg Gate and took ever possession of Berlin. For the moment the revolution was bloodless and complete. Ag the first of those sinister-looking Baltio infantrymen wheeled into the Wilhelmstrasse, which is the heart of Ministerial Berlin, the members of the Cabinet they had driven out were already swiftly passing the southern suburbs of the city on their way to Dresden.
But with that brief success
of their actual entry, the life died out of the Junker movement altogether. From that moment onward its leaders remained helplessly inert. Their seizure of the capital had been unexpectedly easy, but they were unable to exploit it. Meanwhile the Government, which for the moment they regarded complacently as being in ignominious flight, had already set in operation against them the deadliest instrument which any modern ruler can have to combat,-the weapon of the General Strike.
Yet, though the newlyinstalled Junkers did not
realise it, they had, just for a few hours, a sporting chance of winning at least one half of the population of the capital over to their side. For throughout the whole of that Saturday morning, the attitude of the middle classes was not ill-disposed towards them. The average German is a conservative, orderly - minded person, whose whole soul cries out against the unsettlement prevailing in his country, and desires nothing better than an authoritative capable government to take him in hand and control his existence in the old familiar way to which he was accustomed under the Monarchy.
But the newcomers did nothing except suppress the newspapers and close the streets with posts of soldiers armed with rifles and woodenhandled bombs.
Kapp had meanwhile taken up his quarters in the Chancellor's Palace in the Wilhelmstrasse, a low two-storey house, noteworthy only for its memories of Bismarck, and for the fact that the Congress of Berlin held some of its sittings there. He sent for Sohiffer, the Minister of Justice, who happened also to hold the post of Vice-Chancellor in the Bauer Cabinet, and informed him that the old Government had ceased to exist. Schiffer replied that he would only surrender his own office if obliged to do so by force, and he was in consequence put under the guard of an officer in his official residence for the rest of the day.
The sole statement of policy
which Lüttwitz and Kapp had prepared as a justification to the nation of their seizure of power was a laconic announcement of the dissolution of the National Assembly. And even this they were unable to convey to any large section of the population, for the printers at once refused to handle proclamations of the Junker usurpers, and the only way the manifesto could be distri buted was in typewritten form. Only in the course following night did they manage to produce a printed programme of promises, which, however, were too vague to revive the already fast-cooling feeling of interest which the events of the morning had aroused.
For by Saturday evening the people of Berlin had realised that the men who were trying to make themselves masters of the country were the same narrow-minded, self-satisfied militarists whose claim to be reverenced as a superior caste had been admitted readily enough before the war, but a revival of whose pretensions since Germany's defeat would be intolerable.
Throughout the week-end Junkerdom was regarded by the mass of the population chiefly as a show. The soldiers picketing the streets were surrounded by throngs of idlers. In the absence of newspapers the mere waiting about to pick up rumours became an occupation in itself. But the yeast of resentment was rising. In and out among the crowd moved Socialist agents, join
ing in the arguments that went on at every street corner, passing from hand to hand secretly printed copies of the 'Vorwärts,' circulating the order of the Trades Union Council for the General Strike to begin on Monday.
And even while the ordinary activities of life continued for the moment to function, Dr Kapp and his colleagues were confronted with the difficulty that the permanent staffs of the various Ministries, by a very great majority, refused their support to the Junker olaimants of authority, and proclaimed their faithfulness to the evicted Government, which had by now formally
announced its continued existence at Dresden, and was organising South Germany against the usurpers. The lack of foresight about details which the militarists had shown appeared hour by hour as a more fatal omission.
From this time on, until its ignominious collapse in the middle of the following week, the Junker olique, which had seized upon the outward forms of government, reminded one of nothing so much as of some wild beast that has escaped from its oage, and stands stupidly bewildered by the novelty of its surroundings until its keepers have made preparations to capture it again.
On the afternoon of this first day of the "new régime," as it ambitiously styled itself, I went to the Chancellor's Palace in the Wilhelmstrasse, which throughout the whole five days was the headquarters of the Monarchist usurpers. To get there one had to pass elose scrutiny from the steelhelmeted Baltic troops and members of the Marine Brigade who manned the thick barbed-wire barrier that had been thrown across the end of the Wilhelmstrasse where it joins Unter den Linden. The former were distinguished by a swastika, which they wore painted on the front of their helmets; the latter bore on the arm a metal badge representing a boat under sail. They were mostly youths of nineteen to twenty-one, be
longing to the generation of boys which reached manhood during the European War, unsettled in their ideas, and lacking the discipline of proper education. Their officers, too, were very young,-smart, slim, active-looking fellows, who had evidently tasted of the adventure of war, and had as yet no taste for the anti-climax of a return to oivilian life.
The Wilhelmstrasse was full of troops; almost every house had a small garrison billeted upon it. Opposite the door of the British Embassy stood a fieldgun, still wearing the colours of camouflage. The Wilhelmsplatz, where stands the embassy of the United States, was a point of concentration. Guns, ammunition waggons, motor-lorries for transporting troops quickly to other parts
of the city, lined the roadside, Troops lay on the grass of the square in the sunshine, sleeping with a soldier's placid indifference to the oddness of the political situation created by their own presence there; two heavy armoured motorcars, each with five machineguns, raked, for street-fighting purposes, to an angle which would command first-floor windows either side, were just returning from a patrol through the outlying parts of the capital. A skull-and-crossbones was painted on their sides; their appearance, together with the formidable din they made, was not caloulated to reassure the more timid of the population as to the benefits of the new political situation.
Dr Kapp's house itself was the scene of a confused activity which was characteristic of the whole Junker undertaking. The atmosphere in its crowded rooms and corridors was one of vague willingness to assist, combined with complete inefficiency and lack of organisation. All the reactionaries of the capital, old and young, male and female, seemed to have collected at the Chaneellor's house to exchange complacent gossip about the "success of the movement," to offer congratulations, and to get in the way. Retired old Prussian officials, with bristling moustaches, heads shaved bald as ooots, and a bearing of ramrod stiffness, were handing in their cards to see one or other of the heads of the movement, with no more useful purpose than to give assurances of their
support," and to ask for news. Their sons and nephews had arrayed themselves in wartime uniforms with all their decorations, and had come to "put themselves at the disposition" of General Lüttwitz. The improvised reception and olerical staff, consisting of young counts and barons, aided by their sisters, the countesses and baronesses, were much too polite to refuse any one. Everybody was affably asked to sit down and wait, so that the confusion prevailing on the ground-floor of the Chancellor's house was like a stock exchange at midday.
On the floor above, Kapp himself held permanent confabulation with an unceasing series of colleagues and subordinates. He was in a large couneil-room that opens off the ballroom. As I orossed the latter, Ludendorff came out from Kapp's room and walked with quick nervous step towards the staircase. He was in oivilian clothes, and the look of intense self-consciousness that is habitual to him did not mask the expression of grave pre-occupation in his eyes. The chattering hangerson of militarism downstairs might be filled with blatant satisfaction, but the high priest of their order was obviously anything but satisfied with the auguries.
Kapp was surrounded by a group of his civilian assistants, all men of secondary standing, who were eagerly waiting to consult with their chief. In & corner of the room stood Lüttwitz, in field-grey General's uniform, a spare earnest figure,
deep in conversation with a He denied, with much inoirole of officers who stood, as sistence, the suggestion that it seemed, half-unconsciously a restoration of the Monarchy
yet perceptibly a little apart from the civilian Junkers bustling round the new-fledged Chancellor. Kapp was a tall, burly, bronzed figure, with that heavy obstinate cast of face that tells of a narrow outlook upon life. Small eyes, set toe olose together, peered through myopic pince - nez. The left side of his face was scarred with the parallel ridges and slashes of the sabre-cuts he had received in the duels of his student days. Prejudice of a dogged, downright kind was written all over the man, and in his presence there was none of the thrill and the stimulus that men by nature fitted to be leaders of their fellows spread around them.
The account which I heard from Dr Kapp himself of his own plans, and of the aims that had impelled his party to this desperate throw, was as uninspiring as his own personality. He spoke in the out-and-dried conventional phrase of politics. What was more, he hedged quite obviously. The attitude of the Junker Government towards the Peace Treaty? Well, they would, of course, do their best to fulfil it,-fulfil it, that was to say, so far as this might be compatible with the honour of the German people, so far as it was economically feasible, and so far as its execution was not self-destructive for the German nation. "I hope our goodwill in this respeot will be recognised by our former adversaries," added the temporary Chancellor lamely,
lay within the scope of the Junker movement. "Such tendencies are far from us,' he asserted. I glanced at the face of one of Dr Kapp's "Under-Secretaries," who had admitted to me that same morning that while the Junkers recognised that the German nation was not "ripe" for a return of the Imperial family, they hoped in a year or so to be able to place another Kaiser on the throne. It was set in a mask of imperturbability. Bluff and sham! Successful revolutions, one felt, needed firmer foundations than these.
"This is not a military dictatorship," went on the Junkers' Chanceller. "It is a civil diotatorship. By a strong authoritative Government we shall restore economic and financial prosperity to Germany."
By this time the throng of minor Junkers at the "Chancellor's" elbow had increased so much that he turned away, and was immediately engulfed in flurried consultation with his subordinates.
From the Reichskanzlei and from the Foreign Ministry, where the irrepressible Trebitsoh Lincoln gave, in AngloSaxon eyes, an amusing air of roguery to the whole affair, news was being industriously put into circulation of the enthusiastic adoption of the Junker Government by the whole of the rest of Germany. But despite the suppression of the whole of the Berlin Press, the truth gradually filtered through the capital that it