Deutsche Machtpolitikin Lettland im Jahre 1919. Ausgewählte Dokumente des von General Rüdiger Graf von der Goltz geführten Generalkommandos des VI. Reservekorps

Wilhelm Lenz


In spite of defeat and revolution, in the Baltic policy of the German Reich there was a remarkable continuity till the end of 1919. A decisive requirement was the military power position which German troops in Latvia had gained in the fight against the Bolshevist enemy, according to the conditions of the treaty of armistice. The aggressive policy towards the East was pursued especially by General Rüdiger Graf von der Goltz who had taken the chief command of the VI Reserve Corps in February 1919 and thereby had the command of all formations of volunteers in Latvia and Lithuania. In consideration of his importance for the political development in Latvia in that year, the here published documents can demand special attention, as they come from part of the General's inheritance. In the main they concentrate on three thematic fields: 1) the German-Latvian relation in the spring of 1919 till the putsch of Libau; 2) the German plans of settlement in Courland; 3) the German-Russian co-operation in the summer of 1919. Most comprehensive are the documents concerning the third thematic complex, which has been dealt with in the literature up to then only based on sparse source material. The documents illustrate the various antagonisms in the circles of Russian emigrants in a clear and vivid way and, in addition, show that General von der Goltz was the prime mover in the co-operation with the anti-Bolshevist Russian formations, which finally led to the so-called Bermondt action. Though Bermondt nominally held the supreme command, this action was a German affair under Russian colours.