Showing posts with label Lenin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lenin. Show all posts

Lenin in Munich and the Coming of the Third Reich

It was in Munich that Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov first went by the name 'Lenin.'
Lenin lived here at 106 Schleissheimer Strasse in 1901.
Amazingly, on the same street at #34 would be Hitler's first address in Munich just before the outbreak of the Great War


Schelling Salon
Having lunch at the Schelling Salon. I'm going to quote from my copy of the 'Past Finder Zik Zak' of Munich, which is based on Maik Kopelek's series of books, although the fold-out map hasn't any author mentioned:
"Family-owned since 1872... Hitler is said to have often left without paying; Lenin never did! Worth seeing: the stone urinals in the cellar."
Claimed to have been used by Lenin, Hitler and Franz Josef Strauss.
 
Gabelsbergerstraße 46 (then 20a), directly across from the Technical University of Munich, is where the mail Lenin received was addressed to Mr. Dr. Carl Lehmann. This had been Dr. Lehmann's house and office and he had been considered above suspicion, although the site served as an important source for top Russian conspirators. Lehmann himself had been a reformer and an idealist, dreaming of the liberation of the working class, having worked in Zurich, London, Hamburg and Munich in the production and dissemination of socialist literature. He was repeatedly in conflict with the police and judiciary, once he was in Freiburg in court, but was acquitted. Later he decided to take a civilian job and studied medicine in Strasbourg and Munich, where he received his doctorate. Lehmann's wife Hope had studied medicine, specializing in gynecology. Their salon was the meeting place of the social democratic intellectuals in Munich; SPD party leader August Bebel stayed here whenever he was in Munich, and Mrs. Lehmann translated Bebel's book "The Woman and Socialism" into English.
In his March 22, 1901 letter to F.I. Dan, Lenin writes:
The money can be sent through a bank by cheque, in a registered letter addressed to Carl Lehmann (the third letter is a German h), M.D., Gabelsbergerstrasse 20a. Keep this address in mind: it is good for cash, and for letters and books.—Lenin
Lenin and his wife, Krupskaya lived here at Kaiserstrasse 14 under the name "Meyer" between 1900 and 1913. It was from Munich that Lenin and fellow exiled Russian Marxists published the journal "Iskra" ("the Spark") which was then smuggled into Russia. Here Lenin wrote his famous revolutionary book "What is to be Done?
We looked back on this Munich period afterwards as a bright memory. Our later years of life in emigration were a much more distressing experience. During the Munich days the rift in the personal relations between Vladimir Ilyich, Martov, Potresov and Zasulich had not been so deep. All energies had been concentrated upon a single object – the building up of an all-Russian newspaper. There had been an intensive rallying of forces around Iskra. All had had the feel of the organization's growth, a sense that the path for creating the Party had been rightly chosen. That explains the genuine spirit of jollification with which we had enjoyed the carnivals, the universal good humour that had prevailed during our trip to Zurich, and so on.
Local life held no great attraction for us. We observed it merely as bystanders. We went to meetings sometimes, but on the whole they were of little interest. I remember the May Day celebrations. For the first time that year the German Social-Democrats had been permitted to organise a procession, on condition that the celebrations were held outside the town and no crowds collected within the town.
Krupskaya
Siegfriedstraße 14 in Schwabing on the second floor was Lenin's last address in Munich. Currently a restaurant, Das Zimmer Esszimmer, at the far end of the dining room stands a bust of Lenin.

Kurt Eisner was Bavaria’s first postwar Prime Minister. Born to a middle-class Jewish family in Berlin, he studied philosophy and German literature, but forswore a doctorate for financial reasons. Turning to journalism, he worked in Berlin for the Frankfurter Zeitung and moved to Marburg in 1893 to become political editor for the Hessische Landeszeitung. His neo-Kantianism was bolstered in Marburg by attending Hermann Cohen’s lectures. A parody of the Kaiser, published in 1897, landed him a nine-month prison sentence. He soon joined the SPD and caught the attention of Wilhelm Liebknecht, who ensured his appointment as editor of Vorwärts. But Eisner was not a rigid Marxist; his resolve to link socialism and Kantian ethics provoked his dismissal. He relocated to Bavaria and wrote for various city newspapers, serving finally as editor for Munich’s Arbeiterfeuilletons. He was part of Munich’s bohemian set, and his literary knowledge distinguished him from his socialist colleagues.

Destroyed during the war, this was the site of the legendary Café Stefanie, one of the liveliest cafés in Schwabing. After the Great War it served as the base for the revolutionaries who established the Bavarian Soviet Republic. This was one of the places frequented by Hitler in the late 1920s. In its entry for Bavarian Prime Minister Kurt Eisner, the Historical Dictionary of Germany’s Weimar Republic, 1918–1933 (C. Paul Vincent) mentions how
A friend remembered him as a bearded, stooped figure who captivated friends at a Schwabing locale, the Cafe Stephanie.
 The constitution of the Workers' and Soldiers' Council in the Mathäser-Bräu in November 1918 was the birth of the Bavarian Soviet Republic. In the reconstruction after the Second World War, in addition to the restaurant rooms, a cinema complex was built in the numerous premières took place. After the total demolition of the building complex was at the site on 21 May 2003 Mathäser multiplex cinema opened.
  
Soldiers in front of the Mathäserbräu celebrating the Revolution, and the aftermath of the May 1-2 counter-revolution on its roof.

Kurt Eisner Memorial
The place where Kurt Eisner was assassinated. Eisner, whose "belligerent political style, impractical at the same time it was utopian, caused respectable citizens to desire nothing more than to see him jailed or killed" and "seemed to fit the stereotype of the unwashed radical, the sort of man a respectable German loved to hate," had organised the revolution that overthrew the monarchy in Bavaria and declared Bavaria to be a free state and republic on November 8, 1918. Due to the inability of the new government to provide basic services, Eisner's Independent Social Democrats were soundly defeated in the January 1919 election. It was whilst he was on his way to present his resignation to the Bavarian parliament that Anton Graf von Arco auf Valley shot him in the back on February 21, 1919, His assassination resulted in the establishment of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and parliament and government fleeing Munich.
In Munich, power was seized in a spontaneous rush by a collection of idealists led by journalist Kurt Eisner. Eisner and his associates were able to prevail for a time because there was a nearly absolute vacuum in Bavaria at war’s end when King Ludwig fled his domain. But Eisner was no Lenin. No proletarian dictatorship was set in place. Instead, Eisner sponsored elections which took place in April and quickly threw him out of office. He was then assassinated. The killing of Eisner inspired his fol- lowers to try to retain power by force. This meant establishing the Soviet-style government they failed to create initially. The eventual “Red Republics” which grew out of this circumstance lasted only a brief period and were soon crushed by German army and Freikorps elements.
The provisional government that was soon constituted under Eisner’s leadership was from the outset a highly unstable coalition, mainly composed of the radical but largely idealistic USPD and the ‘moderate’ SPD (which had not even wanted a revolution). Moreover, it stood no chance of mastering the daunting social and economic problems it faced. The assassination of Eisner by a young, aristocratic former officer, currently a student at Munich University, Graf Anton von Arco- Valley, on 21 February 1919, provided then the signal for a deterioration into chaos and near- anarchy. Members of the USPD and anarchists proclaimed a ‘Councils Republic’ in Bavaria. The initial failure of attempts at counter-revolution simply strengthened the resolve of the revolutionary hotheads and ushered in the last phase of the Bavarian revolution: the full Communist takeover in the second, or ‘real’ Räterepublik – an attempt to introduce a Soviet-style system in Bavaria. It lasted little more than a fortnight. But it ended in violence, bloodshed, and deep recrimination, imposing a baleful legacy on the political climate of Bavaria.It would be hard to exaggerate the impact on political consciousness in Bavaria of the events between November 1918 and May 1919, and quite especially of the Räterepublik. At its very mildest, it was experienced in Munich itself as a time of curtailed freedom, severe food shortages, press censorship, general strike, sequestration of foodstuffs, coal, and items of clothing, and general disorder and chaos. But, of more lasting significance, it went down in popular memory as a ‘rule of horror’ imposed by foreign elements in the service of Soviet Communism. The image, constructed and massively shored up by rightist propaganda throughout the Reich as well as in Bavaria itself, was that of alien – Bolshevik and Jewish – forces taking over the state, threatening institutions, traditions, order, and property, presiding over chaos and mayhem, perpetrating terrible acts of violence, and causing anarchy of advantage only to Germany’s enemies. The real gainers from the disastrous weeks of the Räterepublik were the radical Right, which had been given the fuel to stoke the fear and hatred of Bolshevism among the Bavarian peasantry and middle classes. Not least, extreme counter-revolutionary violence had come to be accepted as a legitimate response to the perceived Bolshevik threat and now became a regular feature of the political scene.
Its flirt with left-wing socialism over, Bavaria turned in the following years into a bastion of the conservative Right and a magnet for right-wing extremists throughout Germany. These were the conditions in which the ‘making of Adolf Hitler’ could take place.
The history of the Bavarian revolution was almost tailor-made for Nazi propaganda. Not just the legend of the ‘stab-in-the-back’, but the notion of an international Jewish conspiracy could be made to sound plausible in the light of the Munich Räterepublik. Though right-wing extremism had no stronger traditions in Bavaria than elsewhere up to this point, the new climate provided it with unique opportunities and the favour of a sympathetic establishment. Many of Hitler’s early followers were deeply influenced by the experience of the turbulent months of post-revolutionary Bavaria. For Hitler himself, the significance of the period of revolution and Räterepublik in Munich can hardly be overrated. 
Kershaw (64-65) Hitler
Just around the corner from the spot on Promemadeplatz is this crazed memorial to Michael Jackson.
 
This new memorial to Eisner has been set up in Munich. The abstract glass cube by Munich artist Rotraud Fischer contains a black area painted on the glass to commemorate Eisner's assassination, whilst an Eisner quote has been engraved into the glass. Proponents of the new design deem the glass construction a modern interpretation of commemoration instead of outdated busts or sculptures. Critics, however, think the design has no distinct feature and ties in with the current "latte macchiato aesthetics". In their opinion, the cube could also be another item of random street furniture suiting the taste of the new nearby owners of luxury apartments. Also Eisner's quote: "Jedes Menschen Leben soll heilig sein" (The life of every human being should be sacred) may sound philanthropic in general, but is entirely taken out of its historical and political context. Nevertheless, the effort to establish a new memorial site has been made and perhaps a continuing dispute on the monument will keep Eisner's commemoration more alive than a sculpture that everybody could agree on.


 
Dedication of the monument at 1 revolution May 1922 and today at the Neuer Israelitischer Friedhof.
In March 1919 Hitler returned to barracks in Munich. The city was wracked by the most intense political turmoil. Bavaria’s Independent Socialist leader, Kurt Eisner, had been assassinated on the city’s streets only weeks before by Count Arco-Valley, a German nationalist from Austria. Thereafter the city descended into near civil war. On 7 April 1919 Bavaria was declared a Soviet Republic and rumours began to spread that Communist troops were ready to march from Russia and Hungary to shore up Socialism there. Lenin sent the Red revolutionaries telegrams of support. He urged them to consolidate their rule through terror. When bands of anti-Communist troops (made up of right-wing, nationalist veterans of the First World War, some with swastikas painted on their helmets) under Captain Ehrhardt approached the city, the ‘Reds’ executed a number of radical nationalist hostages held in the Luitpold Gymnasium. Munich was a political hothouse in which anything was possible. Hitler soon had the point illustrated to him personally. For the most part he was serving at a military camp near Traunstein, guarding Russian and French prisoners of war who were awaiting release. Alternatively, he received RM 3 per day counting gas masks at a military store. Despite such a low profile, Hitler came into conflict with Communism and to the attention of Red sympathisers. The following document is based on an interview with a man who had been friendly with Hitler in Munich. It shows that politics had become a matter of life and death that just could not be ignored.
Housden (42-43) Hitler Study of a Revolutionary?
 
In fact, Thomas Weber argues in Hitler's First War that this photograph taken by later official photographer Heinrich Hoffmann during the funeral of Kurt Eisner in Munich on February 26, 1919 shows Hitler at the far right of this photo, wearing a greatcoat and with his hands in his pockets.  Given that Eisner was left wing and Jewish, Hitler's appearance is astonishing. Kershaw argues that 



Hitler’s possible support for the Majority Social Democrats in the revolutionary upheaval is less unlikely than it might at first sight appear. The political situation was extremely confused and uncertain. A number of strange bedfellows, including several who later came to belong to Hitler’s entourage, initially found themselves on the Left during the revolution. Esser, who became the first propaganda chief of the NSDAP, had been for a while a journalist on a Social Democratic newspaper. Sepp Dietrich, later a general in the Waffen-SS and head of Hitler’s SS- Leibstandarte, was elected chairman of a soldiers’ council in November 1918. Hitler’s long-time chauffeur Julius Schreck had served in the ‘Red Army’ at the end of April 1919. Gottfried Feder, whose views on ‘interest slavery’ so gripped Hitler’s imagination in summer 1919, had sent a statement of his position to the socialist government headed by Kurt Eisner the previous November. And Balthasar Brandmayer, one of Hitler’s closest wartime comrades and a later fervent supporter, recounted how he at first welcomed the end of the monarchies, the establishment of a republic, and the onset of a new era. Ideological muddle-headedness, political confusion, and opportunism, combined frequently to produce fickle and shifting allegiances.

That, as has been implied, Hitler was inwardly sympathetic to Social Democracy and formed his own characteristic racist-nationalist Weltanschauung only following an ideological volte-face under the influence of his ‘schooling’ in the Reichswehr after the collapse of the Räterepublik is, however, harder to believe. If Hitler felt compelled to lean outwardly towards the Majority Social Democrats during the revolutionary months, it was not prompted by conviction but by sheer opportunism aimed at avoiding for as long as possible demobilization from the army.

Memorial to Freikorps
The German army’s impotence after the Great War was apparent on Christmas Eve when its troops, ordered to remove radicals from the Royal Stables, dispersed and went home. It was thus that a proposal was made to supplement the Reichsheer through a broad creation of Freikorps units made up of volunteers which existed in some fashion from late 1918 until 1923 who would defend the new Republic. The best known of the volunteers were the Freikorps, or regular volunteers
consisting of officers and soldiers, as well as students and civilians, driven by counterrevolutionary zeal, eager for adventure, or simply seeking the ‘‘companionship of the trenches’’ and regular meals. Numbering 200,000 to 400,000 men by the spring of 1919, the 103 major Freikorps units received little direct attention from the Reichsheer and were militarily and politically unreliable. During the first half of 1919 they were used to crush both real and imagined threats throughout Germany.
Vincent (137) An Historical Dictionary of Germany’s Weimar Republic
The remains of a 1942 Nazi memorial to the Freikorps victory over the communists in Munich in May 1919 remains on Ichostrasse, apparently as a memorial to victims of Nazism, although the various symbols appear intentionally vague:
By May 2, 1919, the Freikorps and a coalition of Prussian and Bavarian troops, collectively known as the known as the Weisse Garde, had taken the City of Munich. It was not officially announced secure until May 6 after roughly 1,200 Communists had been killed.
The White force had in it hardened desperadoes and they shot down without cause some twenty medical orderlies and eight surrendered Red soldiers. Most infamously, the Reds executed ten people by firing squad, including the Countess Westarp. This killing was the direct result of the White atrocities at Dachau which had caused Red soldiers to ask superiors if they could take revenge. Permission was granted and the victims were rounded up and brought to courtyard of the Luitpold gymnasium. In pairs, they were placed against a wall and shot. The news of this horrific event spread quickly and, by midday of 1 May, the killings had become public knowledge. There were protest meetings all over the city, and firefights erupted.
The Whites had decided to move on 2 May. They now advanced the attack to May Day. It was held to be just and proper that they were moving into the capital on the traditional workers’ holiday. As the Whites took Munich, atrocities appeared seemingly everywhere. All White killings were said to be justified by the Luitpold executions. The Luitpold killings had also had a demoralizing impact on Red troops not involved but who had heard of them. They began throwing down their arms, as the Whites entered the city to encounter scant opposition.
The Munich political scene, immediately after the demise of the Red Republics, was profoundly altered. The disappearance of the two republics resulted in an atmosphere changed lastingly... This was the heritage which carried over into the scene after the war.

By May 2, 1919, the Freikorps and a coalition of Prussian and Bavarian troops, collectively known as the known as the Weisse Garde, had taken the City of Munich. It was not officially announced secure until May 6 after roughly 1,200 Communists had been killed.
The White force had in it hardened desperadoes and they shot down without cause some twenty medical orderlies and eight surrendered Red soldiers. Most infamously, the Reds executed ten people by firing squad, including the Countess Westarp. This killing was the direct result of the White atrocities at Dachau which had caused Red soldiers to ask superiors if they could take revenge. Permission was granted and the victims were rounded up and brought to courtyard of the Luitpold gymnasium. In pairs, they were placed against a wall and shot. The news of this horrific event spread quickly and, by midday of 1 May, the killings had become public knowledge. There were protest meetings all over the city, and firefights erupted.
The Whites had decided to move on 2 May. They now advanced the attack to May Day. It was held to be just and proper that they were moving into the capital on the traditional workers’ holiday. As the Whites took Munich, atrocities appeared seemingly everywhere. All White killings were said to be justified by the Luitpold executions. The Luitpold killings had also had a demoralizing impact on Red troops not involved but who had heard of them. They began throwing down their arms, as the Whites entered the city to encounter scant opposition.
The Munich political scene, immediately after the demise of the Red Republics, was profoundly altered. The disappearance of the two republics resulted in an atmosphere changed lastingly... This was the heritage which carried over into the scene after the war.


The proclamation of the 1st Soviet Republic in the Communist paper Rote Fahne April 7, 1919, and the demonstration that same day in Munich in support.
Red Guards guarding a government building and marching through Munich at the end of April.

On the 7th November 1918, Bavaria was declared a free republic under a Social Democratic politician, Kurt Eisner; and after Eisner was assassinated by a right-wing nationalist in 1919, communists and anarchists took adavantage of the resulting disorder to establish a Soviet republic in Bavaria. A certain Dr Franz Lipp was appointed to be Foreign Minister, an unhappy choice since the good doctor had twice undergone cures in a mental institution, with not entirely successful results. He sent a cable to Lenin complaining that the deposed President of Bavaria had fled from Munich taking the key to the ministerial toilets with him. And then he declared war on Switzerland, and indeed Württemberg too, because they were unwilling to restock the Bavarian railway system with locomotives . "My dear colleague", he wrote to a fellow-minister, "I have declared war on Württemberg and Switzerland because those dogs have not immediately handed over the 60 locomotives to me on loan. I have no doubt that we will be victorious. Furthermore I will seek the blessing of the Pope, who is a good friend of mine, for this victory." But the initial, relatively moderate, Soviet government of which he was a member collapsed within six days, as hardline Communists took over, and even the thought of a Bavarian invasion of Switzerland and Württemberg was forgotten. The communist government lasted until the beginning of May. I don't know what happened to Dr Lipp, maybe he went into exile in Switzerland.

The Soviet Republic seems to have got off to a bad start because the first proclamation that the government issued was that all cafés should close at 6 o'clock, and one can just imagine what the jovial citizens of Munich would have thought of that. The chief commissar Ernst Toller (a 25-year-old playwright) was so mobbed when he walked along the street that he beat a tactical retreat and extended the opening hours to 9 o'clock. There was then a run on the banks, and the Red Army, deciding that their barracks were not good enough, installed themselves in the schools, and everything declined into ever greater chaos until proper Communists displaced these 'bourgeois amateurs'.

The New York Times correspondent had this account of Dr Lipp: he is 'a man of 60 whose mind is so unstable that some years ago his friends endeavoured to cure him by consigning him for a time to a lunatic asylum. He edited a Stuttgart paper for a while, but being involved in a charge of libelling the Kaiser, he escaped to Switzerland and subsequently appeared in Italy, where, having made his peace with the old German regime, he acted as a spy and informer for it. Before Italy entered the war he was especially active in endeavouring to bring about sabotage in various places there.' According to another account, it was the Pope to whom he addressed his complaint about the missing lavatory keys, in a long, lewd and rambling telegram addressed to 'Comrade Pope, Peter's Cathedral, Rome', and he merely informed Lenin that the proletariat of Upper Bavaria was now happily united.


During the Bavarian Soviet Republic in 1919, Levine was the organizer of the Workers and Soldiers Soviets. When the Bavarian Soviet Republic was crushed, Levine was captured and courtmartialed. The court-martial told him: "You are under sentence of death." Leviné answered: "We Communists are always under sentence of death."
Chambers (6) Witness

Leviné was undisturbed by the thought of starving babies. "What does it matter," he said, "if for a few weeks less milk reaches Munich? Most of it goes to the children of the bourgeoisie anyway. We are not interested in keeping them alive. No harm if they die - they'd only grow into enemies of the proletariat."

We thank you for your message of greetings, and on our part whole heartedly greet the Soviet Republic of Bavaria. We ask you insistently to give us more frequent, definite information on the following. What measures have you taken to fight the bourgeois executioners, the Scheidernanns and Co.; have councils of workers and servants been formed in the different sections of the city; have the workers been armed; have the bourgeoisie been disarmed; has use been made of the stocks of clothing and other items for immediate and extensive aid to the workers, and especially to the farm labourers and small peasants; have the capitalist factories and wealth in Munich and the capitalist farms in its environs been confiscated; have mortgage and rent payments by small peasants been cancelled; have the wages of farm labourers and unskilled workers been doubled or trebled; have all paper stocks and all printing-presses been confis-cated so as to enable popular leaflets and newspapers to be printed for the masses; has the six-hour working day with two or three-hour instruction in state administration been introduced; have the bourgeoisie in Munich been made to give up surplus housing so that workers may be immediately moved into comfortable flats; have you taken over all the banks; have you taken hostages from the ranks of the bourgeoisie; have you introduced higher rations for the workers than for the bourgeoisie; have all the workers been mobilised for defence and for ideological propaganda in the neighbouring villages? The most urgent and most extensive implementation of these and similar measures, coupled with the initiative of workers’, farm labourers’ and— acting apart from them— small peasants’ councils, should strengthen your position. An emergency tax must be levied on the bourgeoisie, and an actual improvement effected in the condition of the workers, farm labourers and small peasants at once and at all costs.
With sincere greetings and wishes of success.
Lenin 27 April, 1919

LEVINE, EUGEN, alias Niessen (1883–1919), Communist activist; led Munich’s second Räterepublik. He was born in St. Petersburg to a rich Jewish businessman; his family settled in Germany in 1897, and he was raised in Wiesbaden. After beginning legal studies in 1903, he went to Russia to support the Social Revolutionaries when revolution erupted in 1905. After sundry imprisonments he escaped to Germany in 1909, completed a doctorate in economics, joined the local SPD in Mannheim, and wrote for the Party’s radical press under the pseudonym Goldberg (his mother’s maiden name). Rejected for front- line duty in 1915, he became an interpreter at a prisoner-of-war camp. Upon discharge in 1916 he worked with the Gruppe Internationale and then entered the USPD in 1917. After working in 1918 for the Soviet press agency’s Berlin office, he joined a Rhineland branch of the Spartacus League during the November Revolution. Essen chose him to represent the city at the December Congress of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Councils. He was a founding member of the KPD in late December.
Levine ́ participated in the Spartacist Uprising of January 1919 and then engaged in leftist actions in the Ruhr and Braunschweig. Shortly before her murder Rosa Luxemburg asked him to represent the KPD at Moscow’s first Comintern congress in February. Deterred at the border, he returned to Berlin, where Paul Levi, the KPD’s acting chairman, asked him to assume direction of Bavaria’s Communist movement. Upon arriving in Munich on 5 March, he restructured policy and purged the local central committee; of seven members, only Max Levien and Hans Kain remained in late March. Establishing KPD cells within the council system, he supplanted Levien as Party strategist and terminated the latter’s cooperation with the USPD. While he was apparently not a Russian agent, he shared the Bolsheviks’ commitment to discipline and action.
Although Levine ́ was ordered by the KPD’s Zentrale to avoid operations that might draw a Freikorps response, his impatience with Bavaria’s ‘‘pseudo-282 LIBERAL ASSOCIATION
Soviet Republic’’ (Scheinräterepublik) led him to disobey and invoke a ‘‘real’’ Räterepublik in April 1919. With Levien in charge of oratory, Levine ́ organized a seizure of power. By authority of newly formed Factory and Soldiers’ Councils, he took charge of a four-man executive council (Vollzugsrat) on 14 April 1919; theoretically, he served as Bavaria’s chief executive. But since legal authority still rested with Johannes Hoffmann in Bamberg, Levine’s influence effectively ended at Munich’s borders. Moreover, he was fully aware that this limitation would spell disaster. With the remainder of Germany secured by Frei- korps units, Levine’s action was a quixotic attempt to erect, if briefly, a ‘‘dictatorship of the proletariat’’ on German soil. Despite local appeals for moderation, he dismissed the risks his actions were producing. Amidst accusations from erstwhile accomplices of being Russian agents, both Levine ́ and Lev- ien resigned on 27 April following a vote of no confidence. The ‘‘real’’ Räterepublik collapsed on 3 May.
Levine’s removal did not preclude carnage. On 30 April the leader of Bavaria’s so-called Red Army unwisely executed 10 hostages. Retribution was swift. During 1–7 May an estimated 1,000–1,200 people were killed in Munich by Freikorps units. Levine, arrested on 13 May, was soon tried. Notwithstanding an eloquent self-defense, he was convicted of treason and executed on 5 June 1919.