Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
After a British WW1 soldier, Henry Tandey, did not shoot Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler sparing the wounded man´s life and thus proving that one good deed might breed disaster just as a thousand bad ones could, he regretted his kindness for the rest of his life.
Those who were hurtling stones in Spreewaldplatz in Kreuzberg on September 22nd, 1929 and failed to crack this one skull open might have felt the same.
On September 23rd the Vossische Zeitung publishes a text entitled “Political Clashes in Neukölln”. It was an article about a political rally organised the day before by Gau Berlin-Brandenburg der National-Sozialistischen Deutschen Arbeiterpartei (the Country Subdivision of the National-Socialist German Workers´ Party, the Nazi Party in short) in the borough of Neukölln and in the so called Südosten, meaning today´s Kreuzberg SO 36.
During the Propagandaumzug (propaganda march) of the Nazis through the traditionally very communist and social-democratic neighbourhoods – which was by no means a coincidence, rather a demonstration of power – the members and followers of KPD (German Communist Party), of RFB (short for Roter Frontkämpfer-Bund, Alliance of Red Front-Fighters) and of other allied political groups expressed their total lack of respect for the Nazis by attacking them and trying to do what both sides of this conflict had reached excellence at. Beating the hell out of them.
In Spreewaldplatz in front of Görlitzer Bahnhof the main guest of the day became the target of a particularly ferocious attack. His feverish speech, as always punctuated with irate accusations and a masterpiece of Nazi propaganda blood-call, did not come through well with the red-oriented anti-rally listeners.
Here is what the Vossische Zeitung reporter had to say about the events that followed:
“Under such heavy siege from the communists was the head of Berlin Country Division and MP for NSDAP Dr Joseph Goebbels whilst standing in his car in Spreewaldplatz in Neukölln (!) that he repeatedly fired his blank pistol. However, since the police had to assume that the shots he produced were live, both Goebbels and the other passengers were arrested only to be released again in the evening.”
Goebbels and his company were several of the 21 persons arrested on that day: 9 Nazis, 2 Communists and 10 allegedly unaffiliated participants of the rally. All of them were released after their cases had been forwarded to the Staatsanwaltschaft (Public Prosecution Office).
Goebbels was actually hit by at least one stone thrown at him by his opponents. From today´s perspective it is an unspeakably great pity that his wounds were not more serious.
By the way, that same evening in the tunnel joining Hochbahn and U-Bahn (overground and underground) lines of today´s U1 and U6 at Hallesches Tor the Nazis returning from their rally attacked and badly assaulted a journalist of the Vossische Zeitung, Ullirch Salingere. He was beaten up so badly he was unable to walk and had to be carried home with serious head injuries that needed doctor´s attention. All that because he was wearing a Reichsbanner (“Black, Red, Gold Banner of the Reich“) badge on his coat.
Already by then the Nazis feared no-one. The knew they had been on their way up.