Monday, January 6

Spartacus the Commie and Adolph the Nazi

By Art Cashin

On this day (-1) in 1919, two interesting things happened in Germany. In Berlin the streets were filled with gunfire. (Wait you say, didn't the war end in 1918?) Right you are, Toynbee, but this was not the war. It was the Spartacus thing. (Wait you say, wasn't Spartacus involved with the Romans back in the B.C. days?) You must have made Sister Herman Joseph so proud you little historian you!

This was not the original Spartacus but a group of Communists who opted to call themselves the Spartacus League since the word Communist was hard to spell.

Anyway, they took to the streets and made Berlin look like Kabul without TV cameras. After two weeks of bloody fighting, the rebellion was crushed sending the leader of the Spartacus League, Karl Liebknecht, into hiding.

Meanwhile, in Munich, the news of the rebellion provided just the right amount of terror for another leader. He was a veteran of the war, having won the Iron Cross for bravery. But he felt the war had been poorly led, the peace unjustly won, and the reparations crushingly onerous.

So on this day, with the telegraphed news of the fighting in Berlin as backdrop, Herr Adolph Hitler founded the Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party. To fit it all on a slogan and a banner they nicknamed it the "Nazi" Party.

To mark the day take Mel Brooks to a musical comedy...but don't wear a cardboard's gauche.

Many thanks to Mr. Cashin and UBS Financial Services who graciously allow his historical musings to be republished on this site. To enjoy more of Art's posts simply click on "Cashin's Comments" in the label section on the sidebar.

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