The term "National Bolshevism" is often discussed nowadays. Historians, such as Kurt Sontheimer and Ernst-Otto Schüddekopf, apply this concept to both Nationalist initiatives within the Communist Party as well as to trends within the National Revolutionary Movement: "It (the concept of "National Bolshevism") concerns Nationalist tendencies within the German Communist and Socialist movements as well as tendencies within the radical right-wing camp." Because of their radicalism the two movements necessarily had to meet each other again and again, in friendship or as enemies. This equating of "Nationalism of the left" with "Socialism from the right" is not only of little help by clarifying the concept but also historically incorrect. The radical Nationalism of the Communist Party (KPD), as expressed in the Schlageter directive (1923) and later in the "Programmatic representations regarding the National and Social liberation of the German people" (1930), was one case. The "Bolshevism" in the National movement was of a completely different case.*
The "Schlageter- (and later "Scheringer-") directive was in the first place conceived to get closer to the National-minded masses. The KPD tried to profile themselves as the "true representatives" on the case of the German people. **
A much more accurate definition of the term "National Bolshevism" is provided by the Frenchman Louis Dupeux (a bourgeois historian). He describes the "real" National Bolshevism as the "purest and hardest form of German Nationalism." "National-Bolshevism is not actually a separate ideology, but only another system of Konservative Revolution of which it endorses all its fundamental values: The people with their own "Volkischer" identity, the "bound" and structured society and above all the State and Nation who have the only claim on politics. Most protagonists are very often rejected to be qualified as a "National-Bolshevik" and it would be better to call them "radical National Revolutionaries". In their unconditional Nationalism they went far beyond the historical "Fascism" of the ideological reaction.
The ideology of National-Bolsheviks
One of the main representatives of the National Bolsheviks in the final phase of the Weimar Republic was Ernst Niekisch. Based on his statements one could broadly draw the ideological lines of the radical National Revolutionaries (or National Bolshevism). Not only the Nationalism, but also the absolute hostility to the ideas of 1789 - that of the Great French Revolution and the idea of liberalism - characterized National Bolshevism as part of the Konservative Revolution.
"Because it's about to be or not to be, if it wants to continue to exist, Germany remains not to be spared: the massacre of St. Bartholomew and the Sicilian Vespers against everything Western that lives inside of her. With relentless hardness it has to eradicate everything in her that is connected with the West." (Niekisch, E)
In his work "Gedanken über Dutsche Politics" (1929) Niekisch formulates the "Querfrontstrategie" to form a "new front" (Neue Front) for the National movement, a strategy which at that time was embraced by almost all schools of the "Konservative Revolution"(except the NSDAP!). The National-Bolsheviks wanted - and that distinguished them from other movements - the German Communists (KPD) to participate in this "new front". However Niekisch was strongly opposed to a Soviet Germany:
"Germany rejects to be taken over by Bolshevism. Rather, it develops her own special ideas, diametrically opposite of 1789, a lifeform from itself ".
(Niekisch - Entscheidung 1930)
The biggest difference between the National-Bolsheviks and other National movements, such as Jung Konservativen, the Strasserists or the NSDAP, was their concept of foreign policy. They were the most radical advocates of the so-called "Ostoriëntatie"; the alliance of the Reich with Soviet Russia against the plutocratic West. Niekisch:
"Where Germanic blood mixes with Slavic blood, there will arise a real state. Prussia was created from a mixture of the Germanic and the Slavic. In Ostraum, of Germanic-Slavic lifeblood, Prussia rose to greatness. We move to the east and find new roots and our mission. A new center will emerge, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Rhine, from Vladivostok to Vlissingen. Germany as the brain, the organizer and part of an extending block from the Pacific Ocean to the Rhine States". (Niekisch - Entscheidung 1930)
In 1932 Niekisch stated in his pamphlet "Hitler - ein Deutsches Verhängnis" that Hitler was a typical representative of the Occident - just like everyone else - because of his fierce opposition against Bolshevism. "This while the "schanddiktat" of Versailles was much more pernicious for Germany than Bolshevism ever could be." Above that Hitlers legalism was heavily criticized.
"Hitler his legalism stems from the fact that he comes from the Catholic Austria and Bavaria, which always had been under the influence of the decadent Rome and the Mediterranean. This is in contrast to the Protestant Prussia." (Niekische - Hitler, ein Deutsches Verhängnis)
* "Schlageter" course of the KPD. After the Reich government had fallen behind with reparations to the Entente, French imperialists (supported by Belgium) occupied the Ruhr in January 1923. Then it came to armed resistance (sabotage and "direct action") on the part of the Nationalist actiongroups. In May 1923 a French courtmartial convicted the first lieutenant and Freikorps veteran Albert Leo Schlageter, a leader of a sabotage unit, to death. His execution led to a wave of Nationalist outrage in the Reich. The KPD joined them and launched the call "down with the government of National shame and betrayal of the People" (directed against the Reich Government - Cuno). Karl Radek (specialist of the Communist International on German issues and part of the leadership of the Communist Party) held his legendary "Schlageter-Reason" in June 1923, in which he praised Schlageter as a "martyr of German Nationalism", murdered by "the henchmen of French imperialism".
** Programmatic Declaration on the National and Social liberation of the German People (call of the Central Committee of Communist Party) Quote: "We will tear the rapacious peacetreaty of Versailles and the Young Plan, which made Germany a servant and cancel all international debt and reparations." "Is the present-day Germany helpless and isolated, the Soviet-Germany does not have to fear foreign imperialists."
Source: Nationale & Socialistische Actie / Autonome Nationale Socialisten