Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-03 10:45am

What I meant is that there would be no forced collectivization, no purges of the army or nobility. There is no way radical communism succeeds at all.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by K. A. Pital » 2014-08-03 10:51am

Thanas wrote:What I meant is that there would be no forced collectivization, no purges of the army or nobility. There is no way radical communism succeeds at all.
Truth be told, a lot of the old Army turned to the communists in the Russian revolution; the purges came much later, and they were only possible because Stalin consolidated the power. Before, when there was a ruling circle, no matter how radical it was, it did not purge on such a scale. Collectivization is not a huge issue for communists; many communist parties decided either not to do it or simply ignored the issue, as the peasants were never a policy focus. What is important for Stalin (squeezing every possible resource out of the village for industrialization) is not even remotely relevant for Germany which is already an industrial power.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-03 10:57am

All true, just explaining what I meant and why radical communism would never happen in Germany.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by K. A. Pital » 2014-08-03 11:19am

Thanas wrote:All true, just explaining what I meant and why radical communism would never happen in Germany.
Victory of the KPD does not mean 'radical communism'; but neither did the victory of the RKP(b) mean that. Stalin's power consolidation took a while, a long period of internal struggle over internal policy. Communism itself is radical; you are arguing that it would not look exactly like Russian communist rule, but that wouldn't make it not communist, so as long as communists are in power and are able to oversee a coherent economic development plan.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-03 11:21am

That's a bit of a no true scotsman fallacy, isn't it, especially considering the different forms of communism in existence?
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by K. A. Pital » 2014-08-03 11:38am

Thanas wrote:That's a bit of a no true scotsman fallacy, isn't it, especially considering the different forms of communism in existence?
Why? I am merely saying that in the early XX century, when people stuck to their political programs better, it was unlikely for people to be communist in name only, like now. Variation is still very much there, but a communist party would at least attempt to implement a program. It will not be uniform across all nations, but it will have important similarities (the nationalization of heavy industry and disempowerment of royalty - not necessarily its annihilation, though - are a must).
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-03 02:23pm

Sure, but touching the elites in Germany would have triggered an immense backlash. Not even Hitler, who was supported by them, tried to really touch the privileges of the army and elites.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Elheru Aran » 2014-08-03 02:29pm

Thanas wrote:Sure, but touching the elites in Germany would have triggered an immense backlash. Not even Hitler, who was supported by them, tried to really touch the privileges of the army and elites.
Would you care to elaborate? I am not familiar with what exactly you are describing as 'the elites'. I assume you mean, for example, people who held hereditary noble privileges pre-WWI, corporate owners, etc...?

I know Hitler always paid Hindenburg at least lip-service in public, but I wasn't aware of any such deference being paid to other 'elites' in Germany. I would have thought that the post-WWI atmosphere would have levelled the playing field to some degree...
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by K. A. Pital » 2014-08-03 02:36pm

Disempowerment doesn't mean rolling heads. China let its last emperor live as a citizen - despite him working as a puppet of a foreign Empire that invaded the land. You can be merciful when you want to. So why would people oppose disempowering the German royalty and rendering them ordinary citizens?
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-03 02:59pm

Stas Bush wrote:Disempowerment doesn't mean rolling heads. China let its last emperor live as a citizen - despite him working as a puppet of a foreign Empire that invaded the land. You can be merciful when you want to. So why would people oppose disempowering the German royalty and rendering them ordinary citizens?
What German royalty? There was none left after 1918. I am talking about the military and bureaucratic elites.

Elheru Aran wrote: Would you care to elaborate? I am not familiar with what exactly you are describing as 'the elites'. I assume you mean, for example, people who held hereditary noble privileges pre-WWI, corporate owners, etc...? ´
The military, the bureaucrats, the industrialists - essentially the people who make the empire run.
I know Hitler always paid Hindenburg at least lip-service in public, but I wasn't aware of any such deference being paid to other 'elites' in Germany. I would have thought that the post-WWI atmosphere would have levelled the playing field to some degree...
Hitler was so afraid of the Wehrmacht that he promised them that he would not touch their privileges and then destroyed the opposition to the Wehrmacht (the SA under Röhm). He also promised them that he would not build up a parallel army and that the SS would be under the overall strategic command of the Wehrmacht. And despite all that some generals still had plans to coup him because he was an upstart with no manners who had retired generals killed. Had Hitler not made the above concessions, a coup would almost have been a certainty.

This is why a radical communist Government is not viable.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Adam Reynolds » 2014-08-04 06:31am

Stas Bush wrote:I concur. The topic is interesting (it is actually an uncommon AH scenario, I know only one book that follows it, it's also a relatively good one). But it is far from being historical news or a serious study on the matter.
What book is it?

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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Irbis » 2014-08-05 08:07am

Stas Bush wrote:The peacetime power rise one does not seem to be feasible unless we talk of strategy changes.
One way of communist rise to power could be similar to 1938 Spain. United left front winning vote in 1933, then right wingers and army rebelling to topple them. Since Germany would be much closer to Soviet Union and present much greater prize, you can expect Soviet aid to be far larger (and control of at least one northern port would be instrumental for it). I don't think France and UK would have openly intervened, but you might see Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia send their own version of Legion Condor to combat communists to avoid encirclement.

As people above mentioned, single charismatic figure could possibly brought this upon.
Thanas wrote:But that gets even worse when you consider that the communist message simply failed on all fronts. It could not establish itself among the educated youth, it failed to attract enoug workers to become a real power and was universally hated among farmers.
Oh, you mean just like in Russia, other Soviet Republics, or (almost) Republican Spain? Where communist message mostly failed, too, and if not for people fighting 'against' communist enemies, not 'for' them, you could say the same?

Message working or not is meaningless, in the end, all that matters is how many guns you can call upon. Popularity is one thing, but hatred of your enemies is a factor, too. Maybe even greater and more important, see ISIS vs Iraqi Army for most recent example.
Thanas wrote:Nevermind that sailors make bad soldiers.
Funny that, this would be good "Famous Last Words" for Tsar Nicholas II and his state.
You can't really imagine them standing up to the Sturmtruppen, can you?
In 1918, that was spent, beaten, disillusioned force. In hypothetical 1933, they would be 15 years out of any combat shape seeing how tiny inter-war German Army was.
Thanas wrote:What I meant is that there would be no forced collectivization, no purges of the army or nobility. There is no way radical communism succeeds at all.
Why not? They could have succeed with Stalin's backing, after all, Russian revolution of 1917 initially seen more moderate left coalition win taking power with communists kicking them out as they were just more ruthless. Russian purges happened after communists won, sometimes one or two decades later, so you can't really say that.
Thanas wrote:Sure, but touching the elites in Germany would have triggered an immense backlash. Not even Hitler, who was supported by them, tried to really touch the privileges of the army and elites.
Yes, but Hitler was backed by them. Had German communists had to fight against at least part of army and elites for power, you can expect similar brutality as in Spanish Civil War.

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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-05 09:19am

Irbis wrote:
Thanas wrote:But that gets even worse when you consider that the communist message simply failed on all fronts. It could not establish itself among the educated youth, it failed to attract enoug workers to become a real power and was universally hated among farmers.
Oh, you mean just like in Russia, other Soviet Republics, or (almost) Republican Spain? Where communist message mostly failed, too, and if not for people fighting 'against' communist enemies, not 'for' them, you could say the same?
And none of those societies are in any way comparable to that of the German Empire.
Thanas wrote:Nevermind that sailors make bad soldiers.
Funny that, this would be good "Famous Last Words" for Tsar Nicholas II and his state.
:lol: Because you totally saw those sailors stand up to the Freikorps....yeah, what great success there.
In 1918, that was spent, beaten, disillusioned force. In hypothetical 1933, they would be 15 years out of any combat shape seeing how tiny inter-war German Army was.
1. They kept in shape and trained
2. If this is about 1933 then sailors aren't going to do much
Why not? They could have succeed with Stalin's backing, after all, Russian revolution of 1917 initially seen more moderate left coalition win taking power with communists kicking them out as they were just more ruthless. Russian purges happened after communists won, sometimes one or two decades later, so you can't really say that.
No, they couldn't have because Stalin can't get to them without waging war with Poland France and the UK.
Yes, but Hitler was backed by them. Had German communists had to fight against at least part of army and elites for power, you can expect similar brutality as in Spanish Civil War.
Communists lacked the strength and willingness to go to war. Even when they were purged their resistance was minimal.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by K. A. Pital » 2014-08-05 03:25pm

Thanas wrote:No, they couldn't have because Stalin can't get to them without waging war with Poland France and the UK.
While your other points are valid, this I find dubious. If Germany and Russia become communist in the 1920s or early 1930s, reality would unfold very differently. France and Britain may not be willing to immediately commit to another massive bloodbath (and one likely ending bad for them) against a Russia and Germany united. Besides, it is not sure if Stalin would even rule Russia in this situation. The Luxembourgian tradition would hold a lot more weight, so perhaps someone with better ties to the German communists would rule Russia. To keep relations good, because at that time the two states would be each other's only allies vs. the colonial empires.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-05 03:42pm

I thought he was talking about the KPD taking control post 1930 and Germany not being communist before.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Elheru Aran » 2014-08-05 04:06pm

Thanas wrote:I thought he was talking about the KPD taking control post 1930 and Germany not being communist before.
Channel72 wrote:I think a more interesting alt-history question is to speculate on what might have happened if the Nazi party didn't become so successful during the declining years of the Weimar Republic. There were many other parties vying for power in Depression Era Germany. At one point, it seemed completely plausible that Germany would become a Communist Republic under the pro-Soviet KPD (Communist Party of Germany). But after the Reichstag fire, the Nazis successfully blamed it on the Communists, and pretty much crippled them politically, destroying the future of Communism in Germany.

Let's imagine an alternate scenario in which Hitler was unable to turn Germany against the Communists, and Germany successfully became a Communist state.
The bolded line suggests to me that C72 was in fact looking at a ~1930s divergence, notably around the time the Nazis IRL took power.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by K. A. Pital » 2014-08-05 04:45pm

Thanas wrote:I thought he was talking about the KPD taking control post 1930 and Germany not being communist before.
Early 1930s are still close enough. He was talking about the post-1930 scenario, which I personally don't find very realistic.
Adamskywalker007 wrote:What book is it?
"New World" by a Russian author. I am not sure that information would be useful, as the book is unlikely to be translated into other languages. Germany and Russia both have a successful communist revolution; the success leads to a creation of a long-lasting continental bloc whose main enemy is the British Empire and it's last continental satellite, France. Unlike many other books, it does not end with a decisive victory for any of the parties, reflecting perhaps the impossibility of such outcomes in real life. It has no superheroes or Mary Sues. States behave realistically enough for the situation to be believable.
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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Welf » 2014-08-08 04:45pm

Thanas wrote:Welf, that is one scenario that might have worked....but not on a national level, I think.

IMO the best shot for a commmunist or socialist Government would be if the Versailles treaty is not designed to put all the blame on Germany. Without that, you got no instant and indefensible attack weapon against the socialist. Max Ebert for example was one of Germany's best politicians ever, yet Versailles wrecked him. If you remove the stigma of "socialist surrender monkeys" the SPD and especially the more socialist factions of it would be a lot more palpable to the public, especially with success in treaties like Lausanne or Rapallo that might have been negotiated by socialists as well (though this is the weak point of the scenario as Streseman was just a dominant figure that removing him is so hard).

And it would necessitate the sort of charismatic and pragmatic leader that the socialists and communists lacked after Ebert. Because there will be a challenge from the right in the form of another charismatic leader, be it Hitler, Göring or even Roehm. And there will have to be concessions made to the Wehrmacht and the right-wing. There will be an annexation of Austria and other territories and there would have to be an effort to get Danzig and the corridor back.

And in the end, such a Germany would not look like what we associate with communism. It would have to be more of a saloon communism of the sort of Ferdinand Lasalle, in essence more closer to the nowadays right-wing of the Linke or maybe even the SPD than anything resembling Stalins regime.
I think I slightly disagree. I don't think a charismatic figure would have been a requirement for a elective victor. Someone like Hitler was essential for a right winger movement because there are too many different factions that would tear it apart otherwise. But I think he wasn't elected because he was likeable or relatable. In any normal election cycle someone like Hitler would be unelectable. He was a catholic in a majoritarian protestant country and a foreigner who only in 1932 got a German passport. I still get stupid comments in Berlin for being from Bavaria, and back in the 2002 election it still mattered. I imagine this to be a much bigger deal in the 1930s, and Hitler was often called the "Bohemian corporal". And also he was a convicted criminal and probably had a sexual affair with his niece. But all this is an advantage in times of crisis; his outstanding personality makes him recognizable, and more importantly, his "unusual" character was a guarantee for change.
I think communist party could have achieved a similar effect, even without a charismatic leader. Communism is a movement that is hated and loved exactly because it promises to change everything. And since leftists movements are motivated by ideas it's possible that the different factions would work together even without a unifying leader to overthrow the system. In my scenario people would vote guaranteed change, and the only option are the communists.

Not that I think it would be likely. Leftists love to debate about the True Meaning of Anything and love to backstab each other (see the short-lived Bavarian socialist republics). Also the advantage of Hitler was that is ideology was weird enough that people could project anything on it, unlike communism where you know what you get.
But in the end it wouldn't have made much difference. Even if the communists would have worked together they would have needed a strong leader to keep them together after any victory.

Also don't you mean Friedrich Ebert?
Irbis wrote:One way of communist rise to power could be similar to 1938 Spain. United left front winning vote in 1933, then right wingers and army rebelling to topple them. Since Germany would be much closer to Soviet Union and present much greater prize, you can expect Soviet aid to be far larger (and control of at least one northern port would be instrumental for it). I don't think France and UK would have openly intervened, but you might see Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia send their own version of Legion Condor to combat communists to avoid encirclement.

As people above mentioned, single charismatic figure could possibly brought this upon.
Spain was less important than Germany. A German-Soviet alliance would have shifted the balance of power in direction of the communist countries, with time working for them. In the early 1930s Germany was still military weak, with the Rhineland still demilitarized and the armed forces more or less around what the Versailles treaty allowed. This would be the best moment to strike, because later it would be even bloodier. I think both sides would have been aware of that making a war a self-fulfilling prophesy. Depending on who voted and supports a hypothetical socialist government (I assume it would be mostly supported by the protestant north and very disliked by the catholic-conservative south) it might be possible for the western powers to break up Germany.

I expect after a communist victory is a German civil war with both the western powers and the soviet union meddling to make their side win, with it likely escalating to an invasion by Franc and Britain if the conservatives don't win quickly. So depening on how strong we assume the socialist movement it might trigger another major war.

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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by The Kernel » 2014-08-22 01:06pm

Thanas wrote:Sure, but touching the elites in Germany would have triggered an immense backlash. Not even Hitler, who was supported by them, tried to really touch the privileges of the army and elites.
The Army maybe but how can you say touching the "elites" in Germany would trigger an immense backlash? Many of the Industrialists did well enough under Nazi Germany but did you forget about the establishment of things like the Reichswerke and incidents like the outright seizure of Junkers? My reading of it suggests that the Nazi High Command was more than able to seize industrial assets and forcibly renegotiate agreements whenever it suited them.

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Re: Alt History Scenario: KPD replaces Nazi party

Post by Thanas » 2014-08-27 08:16am

Yeah, got Ebert and Streseman mixed up regarding their first names. Not my finest moment. :(
The Kernel wrote:
Thanas wrote:Sure, but touching the elites in Germany would have triggered an immense backlash. Not even Hitler, who was supported by them, tried to really touch the privileges of the army and elites.
The Army maybe but how can you say touching the "elites" in Germany would trigger an immense backlash? Many of the Industrialists did well enough under Nazi Germany but did you forget about the establishment of things like the Reichswerke and incidents like the outright seizure of Junkers? My reading of it suggests that the Nazi High Command was more than able to seize industrial assets and forcibly renegotiate agreements whenever it suited them.
They were able to seize parts of it, but you don't see them touching Krupp for example, even though having Krupp, Daimler and Opel under one central command would have been much better. You also do not see them crushing the Junkers (the people, not the airplane).
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