The typesetter Karl Höltermann started out as a trainee at the Fränkische Tagespost newspaper and then became an editor for the Social Democratic Press Service in Berlin. In 1920 he was appointed politics editor for the Magdeburger Volksstimme, where he soon became editor-in-chief. Höltermann was the driving force behind the foundation of the republican defense organization Reich Banner Black-Red-Gold and became its deputy chairman. He headed the group’s Magdeburg-published newspaper Das Reichsbanner on a voluntary basis and was a member of the SPD’s defense commission. When the NSDAP entered the Reichstag after the September 1930 elections with 107 representatives, he founded the Reich Banner’s protection formations. From December 1931, he was initially provisional chairman of the Reich Banner and from April 1932 official chairman. He was also one of the organizers of the Iron Front during this time. He held his last major speech outside the Berlin Palace on February 19, 1933. In the subsequent months he was wanted by the SA, prompting him to emigrate in May 1933. Via stops in the Netherlands and the Saar region, he settled in London in 1935. He tried in vain to reorganize the Reich Banner and his attempts to establish a counter-position to the SPD leadership in exile were also unsuccessful. In 1942 he withdrew from exile politics. He made a number of visits to West Germany after 1945 but never returned for good.