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ROTER FRONTKÄMPFERBUND

The Red Front Fighters League, or Roter Fronthämpferbund, was a paramilitary group aligned to the Communist Party and formed in 1924 to protect people from Hitler’s Brownshirts.

 

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With over 60,000 members the Red Front specialised in street clashes with other left groups before turning its full attention to the Nazis, eventually culminating in assassinations. 

Banned in 1929, in 1933 Hitler had as many members as possible rounded up and imprisoned before later sending them to concentration camps. Many who survived the round up fled to Spain to volunteer in the International Brigades or to Moscow to volunteer for the Red Army. Two of the Red Front Fighters, Erich Honecker and Eriche Mielke, would later form the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, which ruled East Germany. Honecker was the General Secretary of the party, naming the Berlin Wall ‘the antifascist wall.’ He led East Germany until weeks before the tearing down of the Wall. 

After the Second World War, the West German government enforced the 1929 ban to curtail further antifascist activities.

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