Günther von Hagen

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Günther von Hagen (6.1.1957 - 17.8.1986) was the last Chairman of the Popular Council of the Socialist Republic of Leonstein, known for his involvement in the gas attacks on Lemmburg which killed more than 200,000 civilians.


[edit] Early Childhood

Von Hagen was born into a well-off family of party officials in January 1957. His father was a political commissar of the SRL's military forces and veteran of the Second Leonsteiner War, his mother a stay-at-home housewife.
His father took it upon himself to teach his only son about politics, soon indoctrinating young Günther with propaganda and militarism. When the boy turned six, his father sent him to a party-run military school, where he spent the next twelve years. He graduated with a final thesis entitled "On the Uses of the Military in achieving Communism".

[edit] Military Career

After graduation in early 1975, Günther joined the political wing of the People's Army, but unlike his father his deep and thorough understanding of political ideology and his success in combining it with organisational policies soon saw him rising through the ranks. His success in creating a new experimental form of self-sufficient armoured infantry regiment made him a household name within the army, and saw him transferred to the office of personnel management in 1978. He became a go-to man, initiating and completing transformation programs and devising new training schedules whenever necessary.
It was during this time that he became increasingly frustrated with the technical and economic limitations of the People's Army, caused by the failings of the SRL's economic system and the lack of support for the military coming from the ageing Max Bechtel. He wrote numerous letters to high party officials to gather support for a thorough transformation of the People's Army, but to no avail. Disillusioned, he lost faith in Bechtel's leadership and began to suffer from depression.

[edit] The Summer Protests


In Summer 1982 von Hagen finally overcame his depression as the country threatened to disintegrate due to nation-wide protests. The government was weak and indecisive, and it was thanks to a group of hardline military minds, including von Hagen, that Bechtel could eventually be persuaded to okay the use of force against the protestors.
Von Hagen took control of the 3rd Guards Armoured Infantry, the unit he had transformed several years earlier. It had perhaps the most critical job in securing the capital Zentralia without attracting international attention.
His use of psychological warfare, false rumours and measured use of force at the right moments must be regarded as one of the greatest achievements of this kind, as the masses disintegrated out of fear of a massive crackdown that was never actually about to occur. His successful strategy was then employed by military units in other cities, to finally quell the Summer Protests by early September.

[edit] Ascension to Power

After his success von Hagen soon became an insider name within the party leadership. Bechtel's inability to take action had convinced the immediate circle of ministers and officials that he had become a liability. They repeatedly asked Bechtel to step down from power, which he refused. Suspiciously, Bechtel died in late November of that year. Although the circumstances of his death have not been determined, it is generally accepted that he was "removed" by the party to make way for a new leader.
Surprisingly, this new leader turned out to be Günther von Hagen. Despite not having held a government post previously, he was chosen as Bechtel's successor due to his perceived neutrality when it came to other party bigwigs. It was expected that von Hagen could be manipulated fairly easily. Unfortunately, this turned out to be incorrect. On the 2nd of December 1982, von Hagen became the Chairman of the Popular Council and immediately began to centralise power, mainly due to moving military associates into powerful positions and generally increasing the power of the military in the country.

[edit] Expansionist Socialism

...to be continued

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