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German History in Documents and Images
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The Karl Liebknecht House, Central Party Headquarters of the German Communist Party, on Bülowplatz in Berlin (January 22, 1933)
The Karl Liebknecht House was the headquarters of the German Communist Party [Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands or KPD] from 1926 to 1933. (Liebknecht, one the cofounders of the KPD, had been murdered by members of the Free Corps back on January 15, 1919.) This photograph shows SA and SS men parading in front of the Liebknecht House on January 22, 1933, shortly before Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor. This NSDAP-organized parade was intended as a clear demonstration of power vis-à-vis its political opponents. A month later, the Nazis searched the KPD headquarters, occupied the house, and renamed it after the murdered Nazi activist Horst Wessel. The KPD was outlawed shortly thereafter, and its members were persecuted, arrested, and sent to concentration camps.