By the early 1930’s, the situation in Germany was becoming highly explosive. A third of the workers were unemployed, and democracy was on the verge of collapse. The Communists saw in this their best opportunity to seize power since their abortive revolution in 1918. A revolution was clearly in the offing, but despite the support of a few million voters and the Soviet Union, power seemed to be slipping from the Marxist grip.
The German people were turning to a new kind of socialism – National Socialism – and even some of the Communists were looking to Adolf Hitler for their salvation.
The Red response to this situation was one of extreme violence. One notable victim was the 21-year old poet and voluntary social worker Horst Wessel, who was murdered in 1930 after writing a stirring marching song for his Brown Shirt comrades. Two years later, as the General Election of July 1932 loomed nearer, the Reds abandoned all pretence of debate and discussion. Bloody terror became the order of the day.