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This is John Vincent Palatine’s Blog on Central European History, roughly following the chronology of his book “The Little Drummer Boy”. The posts are sorted thematically into the six categories shown below. An asterisk [*] after a post title denotes it being tagged and annotated with links to original sources and Wikipedia references – a work in progress for all posts.

This blog revolves around, but is not limited to, Central European History of the early 20th Century and before – and centers on the themes of the youth of Adolf Hitler, the First World War, and its revolutionary aftermath until 1923, the year of the Beer Hall Putsch.

The book begins with a survey of European Imperialism from Caesar to Bismarck (including a few looks into Central European history from the Roman Empire through the Middle Ages until about AD 1871) before switching to Adolf Hitler’s youth and adolescence in Austria.

Its main part opens with a historia, an investigation, into the evolution of the European alliances, Triple Alliance, Entente Cordiale and Triple Entente, followed by the developments which preceded the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and the diplomatic tomfoolery that eventually led to the outbreak of the Great War of 1914. An analysis of major operations of the Great War and a look into the Russian Civil War of 1917 – 1924 concludes the central part.

Woven in the drama, young Hitler appears moving to Munich in May 1913  and serving as Private First Class on the Western Front from 1914 – 1918. He surfaces again on the eve of the Revolution in November 1918, which abolishes the monarchy and establishes the German Republic. After the short-lived experiment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic in the spring of 1919, he works as an agent for the shady Major Karl Mayr,  head of Bavaria´s military intelligence unit.

In September 1919, Hitler visits a meeting of a small political party which counts about fifty members and calls itself “Deutsche Arbeiter Partei” (‘German Workers’ Party’, DAP). Despite the socialist label, the party is a right-wing, authoritarian and nationalist group of petty bourgeois, who suffer from the want of new ideas or popular orators – deploring the unfairness of life while meeting in smoke-filled Munich beer cellars.

Adolf Hitler eventually joins the motley crew, of which he subsequently becomes chairman in 1921. Through his adrenaline-filled sermons, the party gains attraction and the legend of the “Führer” is born. Two years later, by November 8-9, 1923 he has enlarged the party to membership numbers approaching 20.000 in Munich alone and attempts to grab power over Germany …

[All posts are original works under copyright of John Vincent Palatine © 2015 – 2019]

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