Showing posts with label Peterskirche. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peterskirche. Show all posts

Around Munich's Marienplatz: Between Isartor and Karlstor

When American soldiers from the 42nd Rainbow Division arrived here at the town hall on Marienplatz on the afternoon of April 30, 1945, it marked the end of the Nazi era in the ‘Capital of the Movement’ and the beginning of the confrontation with what Thomas Mann called the city’s “tattered past.” The legacy of how this is still reflected in the way the city chooses to remember it is the subject of this page, and of my website in general. On the left is the view immediately after the war and me today taken from the top of the Neues Rathaus next to the Marienplatz showing the roofless Altes Rathaus looking up towards Tal road. Its tower was completely blown up during the war due to the danger of collapsing after a bomb attack and was only rebuilt in 1971
. It was here at the Altes Rathaus where, on November 9, 1938 Goebbels gave his infamous speech initiating the nationwide Reichskristallnacht pogroms. The roofless Heilig-Geist-Kirche is on the right of the photo and its spire, without the copper top, is behind the church. The Talbruck gate tower had been completely destroyed by 1945 at a time when just under 3% of Munich’s buildings remained unscathed from Allied carpet bombing, which had targeted the city centre. Approximately 45% of the city's buildings had been destroyed, including more than 85,000 residential units which meant that 300,000 Munich residents were left homeless. 
Looking from the same vantage point on the right with Drake Winston and how the site appeared around the time of the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, allowing one to appreciate the phenomenal success of the Marshall-era rebuilding and reconstruction of the city. By most eyewitness accounts, Munich was a disaster. After more than 70 air attacks, 81,500 homes were completely destroyed (out of 262, 000 homes in 1939) and most others were severely or partially damaged. Sixty percent of the pre-war population (480,000 people) still lived in the city.’ British experts, brought in to survey the damage, thought it would take at least fifty years to rebuild the city. As Jeffrey Gaab writes (86), the British even suggested that the citizens forget about rebuilding the city and simply move to another spot on the Isar River given that 
[a]s a result of bombings and combat, 6,632 Müncheners had been killed, another 15,000 wounded, and approximately 20,000 residents of the city had died on the various combat fronts throughout the war. The city’s native population had shrunk from about 824,000 people in 1939 to approximately 470,000 by war’s end. Former concentration camp inmates, slave labourers, displaced persons, and former prisoners of war now flocked to the city in search of food, medical attention, and whatever shelter they could find. This actually led to overcrowding in the city which now had to be administered and fed by the United States Army. Food was so scarce throughout Europe in the first years after the war, especially in Germany and eastern Europe,that hunger was common. Even in Great Britain, bread was rationed for the first time in the nation’s history. In the Western zones of Germany, the normal daily ration was to be 1, 550 calories but rarely reached this level. Some got more if their profession warranted, some got less. Manual labourers and farmers received more while an unemployed civilian was supposed to survive on between 1000 and 1500 calories daily.' The black market thrived.

Hitler's supposed drawings of Marienplatz just before the Great War. The 11 x 16 cm painting on the left with the initials "A.H. 1913"and the 10 x 14 cm work on the right were both sold on January 28, 200 for £3,000 each. According to David Irving
[t]hirty years ago a British collector obtained four paintings executed by the young Adolf Hitler from two different sources, and these are now offered for sale. Hitler gave two of the paintings to Helen Schwaiger, the waitress at the Munich restaurant at which he regularly ate during his first Munich period, 1913-1914, in payment of his tab; she "earned" altogether 21 paintings by Hitler in this way. 

The GIF on the right shows the square after the war and today with Drake Winston. One of the first tasks in the reconstruction of Marienplatz was the restoration of the Neues Rathaus, a neo-Gothic building that housed the city's government. Architect Georg von Hauberrisser, who had originally designed the building in the late 19th century, was posthumously honoured when his masterpiece was meticulously restored. The restoration was completed in 1958, led by architect Erwin Schleich. Schleich adhered closely to Hauberrisser's original plans, ensuring that the building retained its historical and architectural integrity. The famous Glockenspiel, a carillon situated in the tower of the Neues Rathaus, was also fully restored and resumed its daily performances in 1952. The commercial aspects of Marienplatz were also revitalised as Kaufingerstraße and Sendlinger Straße, the two main shopping streets leading off Marienplatz, were part of the reconstruction efforts. The Fischbrunnen, a popular fountain that had been destroyed, was rebuilt in 1954 by sculptor Josef Henselmann. The fountain not only served an aesthetic purpose but also symbolised the renewal of commerce and daily life in the heart of Munich. The reconstruction of Marienplatz was not solely an architectural endeavour; it was deeply intertwined with the socio-political climate of post-war Germany. The square became a focal point for public gatherings and political events, symbolising Munich's resilience and the democratic aspirations of its citizens. In 1948, the currency reform was announced from the balcony of the Neues Rathaus, marking a significant step in West Germany's economic recovery. This event was attended by thousands of Munich residents, who filled Marienplatz to hear the proclamation by the then-Mayor of Munich, Thomas Wimmer. Wimmer's leadership was instrumental in not only the physical reconstruction of the city but also in fostering a sense of community and optimism among its residents. Marienplatz also regained its status as a hub for public transportation. The S-Bahn and U-Bahn stations, crucial for the city's public transport network, were modernised and expanded. The S-Bahn station was officially reopened in 1972, just in time for the Munich Olympics, an event that symbolised Germany's return to the international community (before being the stage through which Jews were again being massacred). The U-Bahn station followed suit, becoming operational in 1971. These developments were more than mere infrastructure projects; they were indicative of a city striving to move forward while respecting its past. The reconstruction of Marienplatz was a collective effort that involved not just architects and politicians, but also the citizens of Munich. Community involvement ranged from public consultations about the design elements to volunteer work in the actual rebuilding process. The square's restoration became a source of civic pride, a physical manifestation of the city's resilience and a tribute to its historical significance. By the late 1950s, Marienplatz had regained its status as the heart of Munich, pulsating with commercial, political, and social life. It involved the restoration of civic pride, the renewal of commercial activity, and the re-establishment of the square as a symbol of Munich's resilience and cultural heritage.
From the time of the so-called Beer Hall Putsch and whilst taking a school group from Naples, Florida on a tour. Julius Streicher, later publisher of Der Stürmer, is shown speaking in support of the putsch. The bus in the foreground transporting armed Nazis to Munich reads Hofbrauhaus F[reising]. By this time numerous posters and speakers in Munich, such as Streicher and Helmuth Klotz, were already proclaiming the victory of their movement. Even on the New Town Hall behind Streicher as he spoke, a huge black, white and red flag hung on the balcony. Julius Schaub and a raiding party took nine socialist city councilors hostage. They were locked up in the Bürgerbräukeller that morning, as were about two dozen Jewish men who had previously been picked up at their front doors by putschists in Lehel and Bogenhausen. Whilst some putschists suggested taking the prisoners along as human shields during the march, Göring instead threatened the Bavarian State Police that he would shoot the hostages if putschists were killed during the march through Munich's city centre. Despite this, units of the Reichswehr and the state police, reinforced with armoured vehicles, advanced against the military district command, which Röhm had occupied with 400 putschists from the Reich War Flag League. Two soldiers of the Reichswehr were wounded in an exchange of fire; Martin Faust and Theodor Casella were killed (the first putschists). Mediators tried to persuade Röhm to surrender, but he only agreed to a ceasefire at 11:45,  and only for two hours.
At the Marienplatz the Nazi column encountered a large crowd which was listening to an exhortation of Julius Streicher, the Jew-baiter from Nuremberg, who had rushed to Munich at the first news of the putsch. Not wishing to be left out of the revolution, he cut short his speech and joined the rebels, jumping into step immediately behind Hitler.
From the Tal the swelling horde entered the Marienplatz, Munich’s great central square, and swept past the Mariensdule, a seventeenth-century column topped by a bronze Madonna overlooking four cupids representing Hunger, War, Plague, and Heresy—evils very much still present. In anticipation of the marchers’ arrival, an advance guard of SA men had stormed the Rathaus on the north side of the square and arrested a number of city councillors and the Socialist mayor, Eduard Schmid. A huge swastika flag now flew from a balcony of the building. The scene in front resembled more a street festival than a putsch. Buskers competed with food vendors for the attention of the huge crowd, which carpeted the square from end to end, totally enveloping some streetcars from the Sendlingen line. People sang patriotic songs until their voices gave out. Beneath the Mariensaule, gnomelike Julius Streicher, personification of Munich’s new political plague, claimed that Hitler’s Germany would hang Jewish profiteers from the lampposts, shut down the stock exchange, and nationalize the banks. Any who opposed the movement would be eliminated, whereas those who cooperated could look forward to a glorious German future, he declared. As they entered the square, the putschists were swallowed up by the mass of celebrants. Understandably many of the marchers assumed that their cause was now triumphant and began to celebrate with the crowd. Munich was theirs, they believed, and Berlin would soon follow. Yet Hitler knew full well that most of Munich’s military and governmental installations were still under the control of the police or army and that Röhm’s contingent was surrounded by Reichswehr troops. Faced with the conundrum of how to translate the energy and enthusiasm of the Marienplatz crowd into an actual takeover of the city, Hitler wallowed once again in doubt and indecision, giving no orders at all. 
Clay Large (186-187) Where Ghosts Walked 

Marienplatz swastika  

The Neues Rathaus with Nazi banner from 1933 after it was first was hoisted atop the tower on the evening of March 9 with the Nazi city councillor, Max Amann, announcing the "national uprising" to a "conspicuous crowd," according to the Völkischer Beobachter." A little-known, belated united front action by Social Democrats and communists attempted to prevent the hoisting of the flag, supposedly forcing the Nazis to hoist their banner only under heavy police protection. That day at a rally in front of the Feldherrnhalle, the Nazis made a declaration of war on Communism and Judaism as opponents of the new government were placed in "protective custody"and the first press bans were issued. That day Hitler appointed Franz Ritter von Epp as Reichskommissar of Bavaria. Accompanied by Upper Bavarian Gauleiter Adolf Wagner, SA chief Röhm and SS chief Himmler, he then forced Prime Minister Heinrich Held to abdicate. Held's resignation and the legal measures taken by the Nazis, above all the laws for the synchronisation of the states with the Reich of March 31 and April 7, 1933, marked the so-called seizure of power in Bavaria and the end of independent state politics. Meanwhile as the flag was being hoisted, the incumbent Lord Mayor Karl Scharnagl was forced to run the gauntlet through a trellis of threatening SA men like the two on duty as auxiliary policemen in front of the gate at the entrance that same year shown in my GIF below on the right, but was later able to leave the town hall unmolested and continue his business for another week and a half until replaced by Nazi Karl Fiehler over. He was joined by Christian Weber and personnel officer Karl Tempel, a lawyer and technocrat, acting as the chief ideologue in the town hall. Evans argues that the takeover of municipal buildings like the Rathaus was a calculated move to gain administrative control and to project an image of order and authority. The Rathaus was not merely a symbol but also a functional space where policies were formulated and executed. Its grand halls and chambers were converted into offices for Nazi officials, and its open spaces were used for public gatherings that propagated Nazi ideology. In this way, the Munich Rathaus was not just an architectural landmark but a multi-dimensional space that facilitated the Nazis' political and administrative agendas. Its historical and cultural significance was appropriated to lend legitimacy to a regime that sought to rewrite history in its own image.
SS men  auxiliary policemen in front of the gate of Munich Town HallIn addition, the late Eric Hobsbawm's analysis of the rathaus as a "stage for political theatre" is particularly apt given the building served as a backdrop for mass rallies, speeches, and other public events that were crucial for the Nazis' rise to power. Hobsbawm contends that the rathaus's grandeur and historical significance provided the Nazis with a sense of legitimacy and continuity, linking them to Munich's rich history and cultural heritage. This perspective is critical for understanding how architecture and urban spaces can be co-opted for political purposes. The rathaus was not merely a passive structure but an active participant in shaping public opinion and political ideology.
The rathaus's significance for the Nazis can also be understood through the lens of Kershaw's concept of "working towards the Führer." According to Kershaw, many lower-level officials and party members took initiatives that they believed would find favour with Hitler, even without explicit directives. The rathaus, in this context, became a site where local Nazi officials could demonstrate their commitment to the party's ideals. Public events held at the Rathaus were meticulously planned to showcase Nazi ideology, and the building itself was adorned with Nazi symbols and flags, effectively transforming it into a shrine for National Socialism. Moreover, the rathaus served as a locus for the Nazis' administrative activities most infamously following Kristallnacht in 1938 when a wave of anti-Semitic legislation was passed, much of which was announced or formalised within the rathaus. This dark chapter in the building's history is a focal point of Mason's work, which explores how architecture can be implicated in the machinery of state-sponsored discrimination and violence. Mason contends that the Rathaus, by virtue of being a seat of municipal power, lent an air of bureaucratic normality to the abhorrent policies being enacted, thereby making the unthinkable appear routine and even rational.  Furthermore, the rathaus was instrumental in the Nazis' efforts to rewrite history, a point highlighted by Burleigh. The building was often the site of exhibitions and displays that propagated the Nazi version of history, particularly the notion of Aryan supremacy and the vilification of other races and ideologies. These exhibitions attracted thousands of visitors, including schoolchildren, and were a key element in the Nazis' propaganda machinery. Burleigh argues that the rathaus, as a respected public institution, gave these distorted historical narratives a veneer of credibility that they might not have had in a less esteemed venue.
Munich Kristallnacht
The Altes Rathaus on November 9, 1938 on the night of Kristallnacht. Inside is the following plaque which reads: 
This ballroom of the Old Town Hall was for centuries the scene of magnificent civic gatherings and parties. The National Socialist regime abused this place for the planning of anti-Semitic crimes. In the course of a party meeting on the evening of November 9, 1938, a Germany-wide pogrom was instigated here leading to anti-Jewish riots. As "Kristallnacht," this pogrom was the preliminary stage of the destruction of European Jewry. 
It was here that Goebbels gave his infamous speech launching the pogrom after German diplomat Ernst vom Rath succumbed to his wounds that evening at 17.30 in Paris after being shot days earlier. Already by then several cases of antisemitic violence had already take place in two locations in Germany. Hitler and Goebbels discussed these incidents before attending a dinner together here at the Old Town Hall. It's here where Hitler, who had ordered his accompanying doctor Karl Brandt and the respected trauma surgeon Georg Magnus to Paris to go to vom Rath's bedside, learned about the death of the diplomat. During the meal, he immediately spoke to Goebbels, who informed him about the riots that were already beginning, and decided to “[l]et the demonstrations continue. Withdraw police. The Jews should one day feel the anger of the people.” Contrary to his habit, he refrained from speaking and left the meeting after the meal.  In his diary entry for that day Goebbels wrote: “I go to the Party reception in the Old Town Hall. Colossal activity. I brief the Führer about the matter. He orders: let the demonstrations go on. Withdraw the police. The Jews must for once feel the people’s fury. That is right.” Marienplatz Munich KristallnachtGoebbels then announced the news to the assembled party and SA leaders around 22.00. He used the death for an anti-Semitic interpretation of the assassination, in which he made "the Jewish world conspiracy" responsible for the death of vom Rath. He praised the anti-Jewish actions throughout the Reich, in which synagogues were also set on fire, and stated that the party did not want to appear as an organiser of anti-Jewish actions, but would not obstruct them where they arose. The Gauleiters and SA leaders present understood this as an indirect but unmistakable request to organise the "spontaneous" actions of "popular anger". After Goebbels's speech, they called their local offices at around 22.30 and gathered in the"Rheinischer Hof" hotel to pass on further instructions for actions from there. After the end of the commemoration, Goebbels himself had telegrams sent from his ministry to subordinate authorities, Gauleiters and Gestapo offices across Germany which in turn, passed on corresponding orders to their teams
In the course of the riots and the chaos in which they took place, numerous Jews were murdered. In a suburb of Bremen, for example, the mayor and chief of the local SA storm believed, due to a transmission error, that all Jews should be killed. The passing of this erroneous order led to the murder of a Lesum doctor and his wife. In Austria, SA men didn't allow a newly married couple to take their few-month-old child with them when they were arrested. The baby was left uncared for in the apartment and died. How many Jews died in the pogroms cannot be determined with certainty. The Nazi Party's Supreme Party Court put their number at 91 although specialists in the event estimate it to be significantly higher. In addition to the approximately 300 suicides that took place, Richard J. Evans that up to 2000 Jews died in the November pogroms. Here in Munich the excesses of violence against its Jewish citizens doesn't appear to have triggered any particular horror. SA men had smashed the windows of Joachim (Chaim) Both's shop at 185 Lindwurmstrasse. When the couple returned from a visit to the theatre, they surprised the looting SA men. "We hadn't entered the doorway when about ten men who were standing in the doorway jumped at us and hit us with their hands. (...) Some men threw themselves on my husband and dragged him into the first When I went there shortly afterwards, the men were already leaving the apartment, and one of them punched me in the face." Marjem Both then found her husband's body in their son Max's room. The Nazis later attempted to legitimise such terror through numerous mass rallies held to paint them as legitimate retaliatory actions. In the Circus Krone, Gauleiter Wagner went os far as to justify the murder of Chaim Both by declaring that they "used this opportunity to get rid of the last synagogue and the last prayer room of the Jews in Munich, after all the Jewish shops have been closed and the Jews have been properly arrested, who have been responsible for this for a long time. If a Polish Jew had to lose his life during these events, it was only because he presumed to be able to interfere in German affairs."
Throughout this website- and further down this page- some specific examples of the terror are presented showing the sites as they appear today.
Hitler being driven through MarienplatzHitler being driven through Marienplatz whilst on his way to the state funeral of Dr. Gerhard Wagner, the Reich Medical Leader (Reichsärzteführer). Wagner was co-founder and later leader of the National Socialist German Physicians' Federation (NSDÄB), and from 1933 was a member of the Palatinate Landtag. He had also served as "The Führer's Commissioner for National Health." At the 1936 Nuremberg Rally, he discussed the racial laws.  In 1937 when he was promoted to SA Obergruppenführer before dying at only fifty for reasons unknown. Wagner had been jointly responsible for euthanasia and sterilisation carried out against Jews and the handicapped, and showed himself at the Nuremberg Party Congress in 1935 to be a staunch proponent of the Nuremberg Laws, and thereby also of Nazi Germany's race legislation and racial politics. Under Wagner's leadership, the Nazi killing institution at Hadamar was established. After the war at the Nuremberg doctors’ trial, Dr Karl Brandt, former Reichskommissar for Health, testified that “[i]n 1935 Hitler told the Reich Medical Leader, Dr Gerhard Wagner, that, if war came, he would take up and carry out this question of euthanasia because it was easier to do so in wartime when the church would not be able to put up the expected resistance” whilst also providing much-needed hospital space for the wounded.
American occupation HQ  Munich 
The entrance when serving as the American occupation HQ and today in front and me below on the side of the building. The rathaus's role as the administrative headquarters for the American occupation forces was not accidental but a calculated choice. Its central location in Munich made it an ideal hub for governance and control. The building itself was relatively unscathed by the bombings that had devastated much of the city, making it one of the few viable options for setting up an administrative base. Evans notes that the American forces were keen on establishing a visible and centralised authority to facilitate the transition from war to peace, and the Rathaus provided just that. It became the site where key decisions about Munich's reconstruction, denazification, and governance were made. Military orders, policy decisions, and administrative functions flowed from this building, making it a nerve centre of American operations in post-war Munich. The site also served as a venue for interactions between the American forces and the local German population. It was here that American military officials met with German civic leaders to discuss plans for rebuilding the city and reintegrating it into the new Germany. Carr argues that these interactions were crucial in shaping the American occupation policy, as they provided firsthand insights into the challenges and opportunities of governance in post-war Germany. The rathaus thus became a space where different cultural and political understandings met, clashed, and eventually found a way to coexist. American occupation HQ MarienplatzIt was a microcosm of the larger challenges faced by the American occupation forces in Germany, encapsulating the complexities of administering a defeated and divided nation. It thus served not merely a passive backdrop but an active participant in shaping the post-war landscape. Its grand halls and chambers were transformed into offices, meeting rooms, and even courtrooms where denazification trials were held. Hobsbawm emphasises the importance of these trials in purging German society of its Nazi past and laying the foundations for a democratic future. The rathaus, therefore, wasn't just a symbol of American authority but also a symbol of justice and the rule of law. It was in this building that former Nazi officials were tried and held accountable for their actions, making it a pivotal site for the moral and legal reconstruction of Germany. Finally, the rathaus's historical and architectural significance added a layer of complexity to its role during the American occupation. As a building that stood as a testament to Munich's rich history and cultural heritage, its use by the American forces was fraught with symbolism. Kershaw points out that the occupation of such a significant German landmark by foreign forces was a powerful reminder of Germany's defeat and the loss of its sovereignty. However, it also symbolised the beginning of a new chapter in German history, one that was guided by the principles of democracy and the rule of law, values that the Rathaus came to embody during the American occupation. In 1949 an American couple donated the material needed to rebuild Munich’s famous Glockenspiel clock in the Town Hall with the hope that by doing so “all races and nationalities and religions could enjoy the pleasure of the Glockenspiel together.” 
plaque commemorating the Munich Jews who were murdered in Kaunas, Lithuania
Inside the building next to the staircase leading to the first floor is this plaque commemorating the Munich Jews who were murdered in Kaunas, Lithuania, in 1941. Put up in November 2000, the plaque was intended to express the “sorrow and shame of Munich’s population as well as their horror at the silence that prevailed at the time”. On November 20, 1941 one thousand men, women and children were deported from Munich to Kaunas and five days later murdered by firing squad marking the beginning of the systematic annihilation of Munich’s remaining Jews. Between then and February 1945 at least forty-three deportations of Jews were transported to Kaunas, Piaski, Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. Numerous people and institutions, including employees of the city, were involved in organising and carrying out the deportations. This memorial plaque, designed by Beate Passow, was put up on the initiative of the Munich City Archive which also donated a sign of remembrance at the memorial site in Kaunas which Passow used as a model for its Munich counterpart. The artist described how "[t]he pane of glass shows a photo of the memorial plaque in Kowno [Kaunas] together with portraits of Jewish citizens of Munich who were deported. The crime committed in Kowno is thus given an appropriate presence in Munich as well.”  The photographs were taken from the identity cards marked with a red “J” that Jewish citizens were obliged to carry with them from 1939. In many cases these photos were the last visible traces of their owners.
 
On the first floor is this Memorial Room. In 1951 members of the Munich City Council belonging to the Christian Social Union, the Social Democrats and the Bavarian Party tabled a joint motion to have a plaque put up in the town hall to commemorate those members of the city administration who had fallen victim to the Third Reich or died in the two world wars. A hexagonal, chapel-like room on the first floor of the wing facing Marienplatz was proposed as a suitable location for the plaque. During the 1920s this room had already been turned into a memorial to the city officials, teachers and white and blue-collar workers killed in the Great War, but it was destroyed by bombing in 1944. The newly refurbished room was opened to the public again in 1958 when the city celebrated its 800th anniversary. In the centre of the room there is an altar-like stone table on which a leather-bound book lists the names of those who died in both world wars. Inscriptions on the walls commemorate both the war dead and those who suffered political persecution under the Nazi dictatorship. A stone slab in the floor is dedicated to the “employees who died in service,” arguably placing them on a par with the victims of the Nazi regime whilst questions about any political and moral responsibility have been ignored.
The Munich City Council (Münchner Stadtrat) has been, since 1919, the local government and is elected for six years and meets inside the Great decorated boardroom, seen here in the meeting of July 25, 1933 when first led by the Nazis as the sole power in the city council of seventeen members and today. Among the attendees were the representative of the State Government, the Police Headquarters, the Reichswehr, the Protestant church council and others. Lord Mayor Fiehler used the occasion to praise Munich as the home of Hitler and the heart of the Nazi movement, stating that "[t]he struggle for power is over; now the reconstruction work has to begin." A longtime colleague would later describe Fiehler after the war as not having "a fighter nature- he has no strong elbows." When Fiehler took over the office of the Lord Mayor in 1933, he was perhaps the most qualified candidate in the eyes of Gauleiter Wagner precisely because of his weakness. Here in the city council, Fiehler did most of the Nazis' political work. Although he liked to present himself as moderate and prudent, he helped formulate the theoretical foundations for the Nazis' obstruction policies in the city council and made no secret of his rejection of democracy as well as his strong anti-Semitism.
 
Corner of the building at the entrance to Marienplatz during the Nazi-era and today showing a dragon- the Lindwurm- which was unveiled on June 21, 1907 and which represents  the local legend that in the time of the plague a huge dragon had flown through Munich and his poisonous breath brought death and destruction to its inhabitants. Instead of landing on the market square, it had been bested by a single well-timed cannon shot and thus spared the city the plague.
    
  The arch underneath the Old Town Hall then and now. Today it contains the Memorial to [German] Prisoners of War shown below on the right, dedicated in 1954 to those citizens of Munich who were still being held prisoner. It was unveiled at a time when 12,500 citizens of Munich were still registered as missing, many in the Soviet Union where their conditions in captivity varied depending on the location and the captors. However, one common thread was the harshness of the environment, particularly for those held in the Soviet Union. Applebaum describes the Gulag camps as places where prisoners were subjected to forced labour, inadequate food, and extreme weather conditions and Munich's PoWs were no exception to this grim reality. They were often used for labour-intensive tasks such as mining, logging, and construction in inhospitable regions like Siberia. The mortality rate was high, with diseases like typhus and malnutrition being common causes of death. The Soviet authorities were less concerned with adhering to the Geneva Convention than with extracting maximum labour from the prisoners which led to a situation where PoWs were caught in a vicious cycle of deteriorating health and increasing work quotas. The numbers regarding the survival and return of Munich's PoWs are sobering. According to figures from the German Red Cross, of the 12,500 citizens of Munich registered as missing in 1954, only a fraction returned. Moeller indicates that approximately 3,000 Munich PoWs returned from the Soviet Union by 1955. The rest were either confirmed dead, or their fates remained unknown. The psychological and physical toll on the returnees was immense. Many suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, malnutrition, and other health issues that made their reintegration into post-war German society challenging. The stigma associated with being a PoW further complicated matters. In the context of a defeated and divided Germany, these individuals often found themselves ostracised, their experiences largely unacknowledged in the immediate post-war years. The political climate of the Cold War also played a role in the delayed return of Munich's PoWs. The Soviet Union was keen to maintain leverage over the Federal Republic of Germany, which was aligning more closely with the West. Thus, the release of PoWs became a tool in broader geopolitical negotiations. Naimark argues that the Soviet Union used the issue of PoWs to extract concessions, such as recognition of the German Democratic Republic by the Federal Republic of Germany. This political manoeuvring meant that the plight of Munich's PoWs was not merely a humanitarian issue but entangled in the larger East-West conflict that defined the era. That said, it would be decades before any such memorial would be erected to the victims of German aggression. The deliberately restrained stone relief by Franz Mikorey reflects the view of prisoners of war then prevailing in post-war Germany, showing three grieving women awaiting the return of prisoners of war, whose sufferings the inscription tells us should never be forgotten. The location was chosen given the central position of the Old Town Hall on Munich’s busy central square Marienplatz, which ensured that as many people would see it as possible. In fact, during the Nazi era Mikorey's works were regularly represented in the Great German Art Exhibition, such as his Sonnengott during the 1942 exhibition. His Springende Pferde from 1934, dismantled in 1941, can now be found on Herzog-Wilhelm-Straße near the Karlsplatz-Stachus S-Bahn station and Rosselenker at Goethestraße 29-31.
   
After the war and with the old town hall behind me during one of my tours, and the Ludwig Beck shop being built amidst the ruins and as it appears today. The war saw the destruction of all the historic buildings on the south side including the "Peterhof" with its fine baroque gable façade. The ruins on the south side of the square were demolished in the sequence and the building line partly offset by several metres back, especially in the east of the square to create more space. In place of Peterhof was later rebuilt several times over the current Hugendubel book shop.
 
The Alte Rathaus as it appeared after the bombing and today. By December 17, 1944 bombs further destroyed the tower and the south wing, forcing the remains to be torn down. On the right looking behind the rathaus from Tal is the former "Zum Meteck" guesthouse, now an hideous Sparkasse bank. 
Indicative of the dominance of a traditionalist memory of the Third Reich in early postwar Munich was the stigmatisation and rejection of modernist construction projects as "Nazi." The proposal of Munich reconstruction chief Helmut Fischer in 1949 to demolish and erect a modern replacement for the ruin of the fifteenth-century city hall on the Marienplatz in order to ease the flow of automobile traffic through the Altstadt was eventually defeated after a petition campaign to save the structure found overwhelming  popular support among the local citizenry. Importantly, a significant portion of the statements of protest expressed the belief that the proponents of demolishing the venerable old city hall were "on the same path as was Hider, who could ... not tear down enough in order to modernise our city." The presence of such historically-charged comments against the measure-which one journalist in the Suddeutsche Zeitung compared to a policy of "euthanasia for buildings"—suggests the popular acceptance of the traditionalist position that Nazism was at once the product and promoter of modern forces. The ultimate prevention of the old city hall's demolition and its eventual reconstruction in 1955 thus seems to have been substantially supported by the traditionalist tendencies of much of the local population.
Auferstanden aus ruinen: The Roman-Mayr-Haus on Marienplatz and its dreadful replacement- the Galeria Kaufhof. For the construction of the execrable Kaufhof in the 1970s, the richly decorated Roman Mayr House of the previous turn of the century had to give way to Theo Pabst's modern design for the Kaufhof department store chain, completed in 1951 only after a smaller conservative wing, topped by a hipped roof, was added to its northern edge to mute its modern appearance. It was here that Dr. Wilhelm Gutberlet had treated Hitler for a throat infection early in the latter's political career. Gutberlet was an astrologer, a shareholder in the Völkischer Beobachter who had been described as the “Master of the Sidereal Pendulum,” who could divine the exact degree of Jewish blood in any person; he and Hitler were close personal acquaintances. Walter Schellenberg described him in his postwar memoirs as "a Munich physician who belonged to the intimate circle around Hitler" whilst Kater considers it "highly probable" that "another physician who helped the Nazi party financially from the outset, was also in this late nineteenth- century mould of anti-Semitism, even though his biography so far is still very sketchy."
During the 1944 bombing of Munich, both the Alten Rathauses and the Kleine Rathaus were destroyed. The former was reconstructed by Munich architect Erwin Schleich from 1953 to 1977. The latter had been connected to the town hall tower to the south, the seat of municipal authorities such as the registry office, and destroyed in 1944. Today at this point there are now Rischart's outside stairs and a cafe terrace. On the left is Hitler's "Standesamt und Altes Rathaus Muenchen" (Civil Registry Office and Old Town Hall of Munich) painted in 1914 which recently sold for £103,000 (130,000 euros) at an auction in Nuremberg.  The painting is one of about 2,000 works that Hitler painted between about 1905 and 1920 as a struggling young artist. Asked before the auction whether it was tasteless to auction the Nazi dictator's works, generally considered to be of only limited artistic merit, the auctioneers  said complaints should be addressed to the sellers – two unidentified German sisters in their 70s. Apparently the original handwritten bill of sale, dated September 25, 1916, had come with the painting and was a rarity for Hitler's art. That also explained the relatively high selling price, she said. But that has raised doubt among critics about the painting's provenance. They recall how hoaxer Konrad Kujau used supposed certifications of authenticity to trick some historians when he marketed what proved to be bogus "Hitler Diaries" in 1983.
Viktualienmarkt nsdap 
The Viktualienmarkt during the Nazi-era when it was made off-limits to Jews, after the war and today
Viktualienmarkt
A bird's eye view of the site in 1858 and today showing the postwar development all around.
When Marienplatz became too small as a market for cereals and other agricultural products, the Viktualienmarkt was created by a decree issued by King Maximilian I on May 2, 1807. In the course of time many additions were made to the market, as for example a butchers' hall, a tripe hall, pavilions for bakeries, fruit vendors and a fish hall. The White Rose resistance group scrawled the phrase “Mass Murderer Hitler” and crossed-out swastikas in Viktualienmarkt and on buildings on Marienplatz; such slogans were posted on a total of around thirty facades. The Gestapo had the messages removed immediately, but this was not completely successful. The need to finally receive reactions to their acts of resistance motivated the friends to undertake the risky nighttime actions as acknowledged by Hans Scholl who, after his arrest, justified the action to the Gestapo by saying that the thousands of leaflets distributed had “no particular effect”. During the war the square was badly damaged in air raids. People considered abandoning the market entirely and building high-rise buildings in a prime location on this valuable property, but instead, the municipal authorities revitalised Viktualienmarkt with considerable financial support, and the citizens of Munich added to it with memorial fountains for the folk singers and comedians Karl Valentin, Weiß Ferdl and Liesl Karlstadt. Later, further memorial fountains for the folk singers and comedians Ida Schumacher, Elise Aulinger and Roider Jackl were added.
Hitler's painting of Peterskirche
LEFT: Hitler's painting of the Peterskirche from the Viktualienmarkt in 1914
One of the first prominent buildings to receive the people of Munich's concerned attention was the Peterskirche (St. Peter's church). Dating back to 1169, the oldest church in the city had been hit during Allied aerial attacks in 1944-45 and suffered severe damage to its tower (known as der Alte Peter), roof, nave, and choir, as well as its baroque and rococo interior, including several altars. Initial prospects for the church were grim. The head of the BLED, Georg Lill, initially felt enough frustration to consider tear[ing] down everything." While preparations were being made to demolish much of the ruin, however, public opinion intervened and played a decisive role in the decision to reconstruct the entire Peterskirche. Inspired by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber's remark that "I cannot imagine Munich without the Peterskirche," saving the church became what parish priest Max Zisti described as eine urmünchnerische Angelegenheit - a matter of fundamental concern for the city. By 1950, a newly formed citizens' group, the Wiederaufbau-Verein Alter Peter, had collected extensive funds for reconstructing the church's tower. That and a declaration of support by the city council led church officials and historic preservationists to reconstruct the church to its exact prewar form.
The principle of creative historic preservation guided the reconstruction of the Peterskirche. "It was," as Oswald Hederer has written, "a matter not of conservation, but of restoration, ... of reconstructing, supplementing, and reproducing that which had been lost." Speaking about the restoration project in 1954, the main theorist of creative historic preservation, Rudolf Esterer, stressed the importance of "restoring the personality-value of the damaged original and once again granting it its former forceful radiance.
Peterskirche
Its ruins in 1945 and today.
Underpinned by such principles, the reconstruction effort first targeted the tower, whose Renaissance-era steeple was restored to its prewar form in 1951. Thereafter, the work shifted to the heavily-gutted interior. In this area, the efforts of numerous artisans, in particular the young architect Erwin Schleich, later to become the city's most influential advocate of reconstructing war-damaged buildings, were instrumental in successfully restoring the church. Although the Peterskirche's interior columns, pilasters, and vault were partially intact and merely had to be repaired, the heavily damaged altars and delicate rococo ornamentation had to be nearly completely reconstructed from prewar photographs. 
Aware of the objections that such The exact manner of the Peterskirche's reconstruction, however, had problematic implications for the representation of the recent past. Not surprisingly, the "new" form of the church visually denied its wartime fate. As one observer noted in 1953, "We once again have the tower of St. Peter. Its trusted silhouette ... soars in the sky as if nothing had happened. According to another in 1954, "he who did not know the [church's) ruin will hardly believe that the grandeur that he sees today was reborn out of destruction. ... The image of before and the reality of today are nearly perfectly matched. 1994 For his part, Rudolf Esterer proudly asserted that church officials had little idea which parts of the Peterskirche were new and which were reproductions. In short, the impression that the reconstructed church was the same as the original marked the fulfillment of many citizens' desire to undo the war's destruction.
Gavriel D. Rosenfeld (32-34) Munich and Memory
Viktualienmarkt

The ascent from the Viktualienmarkt to the Peterskirche in 1879 and today showing how, during the postwar reconstruction, the area was tidied up to provide more space. The right shows the church from the north of the Rindermarkt before the war and today.
FruaenkircheShowing the area before and after the "New Town Hall" was built between 1867 and 1908 and in 1945 immediately after the war and today. The Frauenkirche, or Church of Our Lady, is Munich's main cathedral and with its distinctive twin towers, serves as one of the main landmarks in the city. Just before the Nazi seizure of power between 1930 to 1932, the neo-Gothic furnishings underwent extensive restoration work. The colours of the walls and vaults were changed, whilst the furnishings were retained. The cathedral suffered severe damage during the war - the roof collapsed and one of the towers suffered severe damage as shown below with my uncle demonstrating the building today after a major restoration effort which began after the war and which was carried out in several stages, the last of which came to an end in 1994.
Although the late Gothic cathedral had suffered heavy damage to its trademark twin onion domes, vault, choir, and nave, as well as to its interior neo-Gothic pulpit and altars, in air raids during 1944-45, its immense importance to Munich's citizenry led to its swift reconstruction. Despite being preoccupied with their own problems in the immediate postwar months, many local citizens volunteered to clear rubble from the cathedral grounds. Citizens' groups such as the Domkirchenstiftung Unserer Lieben Frau and especially the newly expanded Bürgerbund Alter Peter-Frauentürme were formed to help with the reconstruction. No doubt expressing the sentiment of many, the Süddeutsche Zeitung concluded, "[t]here can be no argument against rebuilding the Frauenkirche. The structure is too venerable, too important to our heimatliches cultural legacy, too münchnerisch. ... Without the Frauenkirche, Munich would not be Munich." Fruaenkirche 
Despite this sentiment, however, the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche was somewhat less exact than that of the Peterskirche. Although the exterior of the cathedral was generally rebuilt to its prewar appearance, the extensive destruction of the neo-Gothic interior required a far simpler restoration. Painted white throughout, the interior was sparsely outfitted with a new, relief-encrusted, reinforced-concrete pulpit, modest stained-glass windows, and modern lighting fixtures. To a degree, this inexact restoration reflected a certain willingness to accept the extensive losses to the cathedral's interior identity. Other reconstruction proposals voiced at the ambitious proposals were defeated, however, in favour of a plan that allowed the cathedral to once again approach its prewar form. Following the restoration of its twin onion domes in 1953, work continued and the cathedral eventually was reopened to the public in 1957.  The towers and the interior were finally restored in 1989. Only the stained glass of the choir windows and individual paintings and sculptures have survived from the original furnishings, which were supplemented by other pieces that were taken to the Diocesan Museum in Freising after purification. Since the thorough restoration from 1989 to 1994, the interior of the church is richer than it was in the first decades after the war.
BELOW: The interior then and now with Drake Winston 
PeterskircheAs with the Peterskirche, the manner in which the Frauenkirche was rebuilt reflected the intentions behind it. Only the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche as exactly as possible to its prewar form could satisfy the citizenry's desperate desire to preserve the city's cultural identity. Still, as at the Peterskirche, clear signs of the inability to mourn appeared at the Frauenkirche. The tendency to identify with the victim was exhibited in the 1951 assertion by Karl Abenthum, a priest of the cathedral, that the people of Munich had faced the "horror of devastation" visible in the ruin of the Frauenkirche and had begun the process of reconstruction in the same way that the Jews of antiquity, returning from exile, had been forced to begin the long work of rebuilding the temple destroyed by the Babylonians. Though cloaked in a more distant historical analogy, this comparison with the historical fate of the Jews-the most obvious victims of the Third Reich-allowed at least some citizens to feel justified in rebuilding what had been destroyed, in part, by the deeds of their fellow citizens. 
Maxburgstrasse Hiter
Hitler in triumph down Munich's Maxburgstrasse towards Marienplatz after the return of Memel, March 26, 1939 in Hugo Jaeger colour photograph, and with Drake Winston today. This achievement had 
restored the East Prussian frontier, in the Memel region, to the line confirmed by Napoleon and the Russians in their treaty at Tilsit-on-the-Niemen in 1807. This line in turn was recognised by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and it was the identical boundary established at the Peace of Thorn in 1466 between Poland-Lithuania and the German Order of Knights. It was evident that the March 1939 Memel agreement was a conservative step rather than a radical innovation. The Allied victors at Paris in 1919 had detached Memel from East Prussia.They had seized a city which in the seven centuries of its history had never been separated from its East Prussian homeland.
Hoggan (219-220) Forced War
Alte Akademie
In front of the Alte Akademie, also known as the Wilhelminum, shown after the war and today as it is currently being renovated. Dating from the 16th century, it fell victim to air raids in April 1944 after collection catalogs and valuable archive material had already been destroyed the year before. This included he original finds of the dinosaurs discovered by Ernst Stromer von Reichenbach in Egypt were destroyed during this Allied bombing raid on Munich including the first skeleton found of the Spinosaurus. Hans Krieg, the director of the Alte Akademie museum where these important fossils were kept, had ignored Stromer's desire to keep these dinosaurs in a safe place. Thanks to Stromer's exact records - which were also viewed by the palaeontologist Nizar Ibrahim in Grünsberg Castle - his findings were able to eventually help create a digital skeleton model of what may be the largest known carnivorous dinosaur. 
After the war, only were window axes were left on the south wall of the building, which is adjoined to the east by St. Michael's Church. The building complex was rebuilt by Josef Wiedemann based on the old structures. He reconstructed the gabled building in the middle in its original form. The arrangement of the inner courtyards with the ornamental courtyard, the monastery courtyard, the jewelery courtyard and the economic courtyard (of the state office) has so far been retained.
Drake Winston in front of St. Michael's church at the same location. Having suffered severe damage during the November 1944 bombing, the church was restored in 1946-48. It was not until the early 1980s that the stucco-work was restored. The spire which lost its steeple top during the wartime bombing is situated further north next to the former convent. Across the way is Altheimer Eck shown then and now. 
 
 Drake Winston inside showing how much of it has been reconstructed since its destruction on a foggy and rainy day on November 22, 1944. Just around the corner from Michael's church is the Polizeipräsidium (Hauptant - Oberstes ϟϟ und Polizeigericht):
The blood flag being triumphantly reclaimed on March 15, 1933 from the police headquarters on Ettstraße where it had been confiscated after the Beer Hall putsch attempt a decade earlier. Behind at the main entrance are still Bernhard Bleeker's Liegende Löwen (Lying Lions) dating from 1914-15. His works can be found throughout Munich and this site. This is where the Nazis' bureaucracy of oppression started, at Ettstraße 2. Amongst Hitler's opponents, the house on Ettstrasse was known as Mörderzentrale. On the right below SA leader Ernst Roehm and a SA cohort raising a 'Sieg Heil!' to Hitler in 1933. In July 1932, Heydrich's counterintelligence service grew into an effective machine of terror and intimidation. With Hitler agitating for absolute power in Germany, Himmler and Heydrich wished to control the political police forces of all seventeen German states, and they began with the state of Bavaria. The police here had already shown their political colours long before this point: in the suppression of the Soviet Republic by pre-fascist Freikorps, in the more or less undisguised sympathy of senior Munich police officers for nationalist and anti-Semitic thinking, legend and writing. Although the attempted putsch of 1923 was crushed by the Munich police, it is also true that Ernst Pöhner, then chief of police, would have become prime minister of Bavaria had the putsch succeeded. Pöhner had protected protective right-wing extremists wanted by the state as for example the leader of the Kapp putsch of 1920, captain lieutenant Hermann Ehrhardt and his followers, as well as about the murderers of former finance minister Matthias Erzberger.
The latter were able to remain in Munich for days after fleeing the Black Forest whilst warrants were already being issued to search for them. The police headquarters here even went so far as to give these terrorists false identification papers. In mid-September 1921, the social-democratic “Vorwaerts” also asked rather rhetorically: "Is it true that the traitors, Lieutenant Captain Ehrhardt and Colonel Bauer, who were on wanted papers, went in and out of Munich with the head of the local police force, Police Director Poehner?" Two years earlier on June 10, 1921, the left-wing social-democratic “Freiheit” newspaper based in Berlin damned Pöhner as a “dubious individual [who] bears the main blame for the utter demoralisation and decay of conditions. All this fellow's activity was directed towards the persecution of the workers' movement, whilst the bandits of order could always be sure of his loving support… Poehner belongs in court for abetting terrorist activity.” Despite this, Pöhner moved as a councillor to the Supreme Regional Court in Munich.
Like the other putschists, he was only sentenced to a light sentence and released after three months.  Shortly after the putsch attempt he died in a car accident. In contrast, Pöhner's right-hand man Wilhelm Frick, who also had to resign in 1921, was only at the beginning of his political career. In 1930 he took over the as the Nazis' Thuringian Ministry of the Interior and in 1933 he became Hitler's Reich Minister of the Interior.
SA leader Ernst Roehm and a SA cohort raise a 'Sieg Heil!' to Hitler on the left in 1933 when Heydrich gathered some of his men from the SD and together they stormed this building and took over the police using intimidation tactics seen on the left with men of the SA-Standarte 'Muenchen II' marching past the building with swastika flags during the Nazis' so-called seizure of power.
Himmler became commander of the Bavarian political police with Heydrich as his deputy. The Bavarian officers knew that an ϟϟ take-over was inevitable and feared reprisals for all their past battles with the Nazis during demonstrations and street fights and expected, at the very least, to be fired. In a long series of closed-door sessions, Heydrich subjected each officer to a gruelling interrogation on his methods and policies before calling the officers back and telling them one at a time that they would retain their jobs — as members of the SD. The officers were vastly relieved, assuring Heydrich that they were ready to serve without reservation. In one move, he had converted them from enemies to allies. One by one Himmler and Heydrich extended ϟϟ sway over fourteen of the remaining fifteen state political police forces. In his funeral eulogy for Heydrich in 1942, Himmler stated
After we came to power, I became Munich police chief on March 12, 1933. I immediately gave Heydrich the so-called political division of the presidium. In no time he re-organised the division, and in a few weeks transformed it into the Bavarian Political Police. Soon the division became a model for political police departments in non-Prussian German territory.
From there, the duo moved on to the police forces of the sixteen remaining German states so that from 1933 all police bodies in Germany were subjected to the Nazis' claim to power and centralised. However, in the end there were only minor changes in personnel. The interior ministers of the federal states now exercised their police powers on behalf of the Reich. Bavaria's police forces may have lost their organisational autonomy, but not their power in the country. The Secret State Police, known in Bavaria as the Bavarian Political Police until 1936, became independent and was detached from the existing legal norms. In 1936 the police system received a new structure throughout the Reich. The uniformed security teams, the gendarmerie, the small community police and the water, fire and air protection police were combined into the order police. The criminal police and Gestapo now formed their own security police apparatus, which from 1939 was merged with the ϟϟ into the Reich Security Main Office. Another feature of the police force in the Nazi state was its pronounced militarisation. In 1935 the barracked Bavarian State Police was dissolved, as in the other states of the Reich, and transferred to the Wehrmacht. After that, however, the formation of new police battalions began, which were used from the beginning of the war in 1939 to secure the rear front area, to "fight partisans" and to carry out mass killings in the east. At the same time, police reservists were recruited to reinforce the “home front”.
On the left, Franz Ritter von Epp leading a Nazi march past the headquarters in 1933, the year when, on the orders of Hitler and Frick, he abolished the Government of Bavaria and set up a Nazi regime with himself as Reichskommissar. On April 10 Hitler appointed him Reichsstatthalter for Bavaria. In this position he often clashed with Bavaria's Nazi Minister-President Ludwig Siebert. Epp's attempt to limit the influence of the central government on Bavarian politics failed. He, however, retained his post as Reichsstatthalter until the end of the war, although by then he was politically insignificant. The day-to-day service in the protection and criminal police during the Nazi regime was characterised by extensive responsibilities that were not bound by the rule of law. The police turned out not only to be an instrument of political persecution. For example, as part of the "preventive fight against crime" socially deviant behaviour patterns of all kinds came into the sights of the police officers. The police participated in the exclusion and deportation of the Jews as well as in the brutal disciplining of foreign forced labourers and concentration camp prisoners. In this way, police officers often became the perpetrators themselves, and the police the executors of a criminal regime. Any supposed positive image of the police as “friends and helpers” was deliberately misused. 
On the left is the entrance on Augustinerstraße 2. Despite the clear Nazi-esque imagery, the fresco painting by Bruno Goldschmitt of a knight and woman representing fecundity is shown here from Theodor Fischer's Öffentliche Bauten published in 1922. Goldschmitt joined the Nazi Party in 1932, described by Anja Prölß-Kammerer in Die Tapisserie im Nationalsozialismus as a keen party member. In a 1935 letter to the board of directors of the "Deutsche Kunstgesellschaft" of which served as head of alongside Hitler's chief ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, he wrote of Jews and communists as an "introduced rotten sponge" that had to be removed from the art of "awakened Germany". His controversial tapestry with supposed hidden Nazi symbols continues to hang in Pasing's town hall council chamber.
This was also the location for the German TV series “Derrick”. In April 2013 it was revealed that the star, Horst Tappert, had joined the infamous 3.ϟϟ-Panzergrenadier-Division Totenkopf, then employed on the Eastern Front, in March 1943. Jan Erik Schulte, an expert on the history of the ϟϟ, said that the circumstances of Tappert's membership in the ϟϟ and the question of whether he was pressured or coerced to join remain unclear. The "Liebstandarte" division was the premier fighting unit of the Waffen-ϟϟ, officered by committed Nazis and guilty of numerous war crimes and atrocities (especially on the Eastern Front).
Kershaw in The End - The Defiance and Destruction of Hitler’s Germany wrote how 
[o]fficials in the Munich police department spent time and energy (as well as using reams of precious paper) in December 1944 making sure that five cleaning‑buckets were ordered to replace those lost in the recent air raid, deciding how to obtain copies of official periodicals that regulations said had to come from post offices (even though these were now destroyed), or obtaining permission for a usable iron heater to be taken to police headquarters, left without heating after the last bombing.
On the corner of Ettstraße and Neuhauserstraße is an example of the 'aryanisation' of Jewish businesses: "Now Aryan"- newspaper advertisement for the Lindner photo shop. This process involved the transfer of Jewish property into "Aryan" hands in order to "de-Jew the economy".  The process started in 1933 in with so-called "voluntary" transfers of Jewish property and ended with the Holocaust. At first the destitution of Jewish victims was concealed under a veneer of legality before property was more openly confiscated. In both cases, aryanisation corresponded to Nazi policy and was defined, supported and enforced by Germany's legal and financial bureaucracy. Before Hitler came to power Jews owned 100,000 businesses in Germany. By 1938, boycotts, intimidation, forced sales and restrictions on professions had largely forced Jews out of economic life. Of the 50,000 Jewish-owned stores that existed in 1933, only 9,000 remained in 1938. Munich became a testing ground for the implementation of such anti-Semitic laws and policies. Kershaw argues that the city's historical significance for the Nazi Party made it a focal point for the enforcement of racial purity laws. Indeed, records indicate that by 1938, nearly all Jewish businesses in Munich had been Aryanised, meaning they were either shut down or transferred to non-Jewish ownership. The speed and efficiency with which these laws were implemented in Munich underscore the city's role as a crucible for anti-Semitic policies. The Nuremberg Laws were not static; they evolved over time to include more prohibitions and restrictions, each more draconian than the last. For example, a decree in 1938 prohibited Jews from changing their residences without police permission, effectively confining them to specific areas and making it easier for authorities to monitor and control their movements.

Further along is a reminder of the boycott of Jewish businesses on April 1, 1933, that of Bamberger and Hertz on Kaufingerstraße 22 with Drake Winston on the left and me below showing the site today, extensively rebuilt.
The Nazi authorities were quite sensitive to public opinion, and responded to public disquiet over Nazi policy towards the Catholic Church, for instance, by moderating policy. Similarly, after the initial failure of the economic boycott in April 1933, Nazi policy on Jews was ratcheted up gradually with one eye to public reactions. The fact that the authorities nevertheless continued increasing the level of persecution of Jews indicates both the centrality of antisemitism to Nazi ideology, but also the relative apathy with which non-Jewish Germans regarded the fate of their Jewish fellow citizens. There was simply not the same degree of outrage and resistance that there was on other issues.
Another notable example of such Jewish-owned businesses being boycotted and later seized is the renowned Munich department store Hermann Tietz, which was Aryanised and renamed Hertie. The economic disenfranchisement was part of a calculated strategy to impoverish Munich's Jewish community, making them more vulnerable to further persecution and eventual deportation. Evans contends that the economic strangulation of Jews in Munich was a precursor to more violent forms of persecution, as it weakened the community's ability to resist or escape the increasingly oppressive regime.
 At Kaufingerstraße 15 the J. Speier shoe shop was attacked during Kristallnacht. Compared with how it appeared November 10, 1938 the building has completely changed due to the post-war reconstruction of central Munich but it still sells shoes.
The pogrom of November 1938, known as “Kristallnacht” (Night of Broken Glass), or “Reichspogromnacht”, marked the beginning of the final murderous phase of the persecution of the Jews. Following the terrible events of 9/10 November 1938, which are today recalled by a commemorative plaque in the Old Town Hall, the Jews finally lost all their remaining rights. They were forbidden to visit theatres, cinemas, restaurants, museums or parks. Their driving licences were withdrawn, their telephones were cut off and they were forbidden to keep pets or use public transport. This persecution redoubled Jewish efforts to emigrate, and by 1942 almost eight thousand of Munich’s Jews had fled. However, starting in November 1941, close to three thousand citizens of Munich were deported to Kaunas, Piaski, Auschwitz and Theresienstadt, where they were murdered.
The aftermath of Kristallnacht saw the acceleration of anti-Semitic policies, including the imposition of a collective fine on the Jewish community and the exclusion of Jews from all economic activities. Jewish assets were seized, and many were left destitute. The city of Munich played a pivotal role in these events, not merely as a backdrop but as an active participant. Local authorities and the general populace often collaborated willingly in the enforcement of these measures. The city's police force and administrative machinery were complicit in the arrest and deportation of Jews, and there was a conspicuous absence of public outcry against these actions. Meanwhile KFC has recently been forced to apologise after sending a notification to German customers encouraging them to commemorate the anniversary of Kristallnacht with fried chicken and cheese.
The Bürgersaal Church towards Karlstor on Kaufingerstrase contains the tomb of Rupert Mayer, a Jesuit priest and noted Nazi opponent who, after several trials and detention in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and held under arrest at the Ettal Monastery in Upper Bavaria until the end of the war. He returned to Munich after the war, where he died on All Saints’ Day 1945 after suffering a stroke whilst giving a sermon. The prayer and assembly hall of the Marian Men’s Congregation was one of the places where Mayer preached and is also where he is buried after initially being buried at the Jesuit Cemetery in Pullach until three years later his remains were transferred to the crypt of the Bürgersaal Church in a ceremony attended by 120,000 people. The museum at the back of the church documenting the life and work of the pastor was opened in 2008.
Karlsplatz in 1919 with troops returning home after the Great War as seen in the BBC documentary Nazis: A Warning from History just before the six minute mark. As s
hown here, the two corner towers at the Karlstor originally had two dome tops that were destroyed in the Second World War and have not been reconstructed to this day.
[A]t the end of World War I, conditions existed here which would create a revolution. After the war, the Allies continued to blockade Germany and the returning troops were shocked to discover how much their families were still suffering. Millions of Germans were hungry and thousands more were dying of tuberculosis and influenza. Politics were polarised. Conservatives and Socialists became radical in the face of crisis. With the whole of Germany in turmoil in the spring of 1919, the unrest in Munich resulted in a left-wing takeover of the city, the Raterepublik. This culminated, in April 1919, in the Munich Soviet Republic, an attempt to create a soviet-style government of the city, only eighteen months after the victory of the Bolsheviks in the Soviet Union. Government troops were sent to quash the rebellion and there was fighting on the streets of Munich.  
Also shown in the original footage here is the kiosk which was referred to in Marchand's Die Knabenliebe in München!, published in 1904
When dusk falls, a number of young boys, often in scanty clothing, gather around the large kiosk at 'Karlsplatz', who ... have nothing else to do than ... stare at all the men next to the public toilet. If they think they have recognised one of their men, they follow him into the interior of the institution.
During the 1920s and 1930s, up to four detectives in the city were deployed to persecute homosexuals and arrests were correspondingly high with the toilet at Stachus the most visited. There was a thriving prostitution scene around this urinal at what was later called “Kerlsplatz” (guys' square) because of its hustler scene.
Karlstor, part of a large 14th century city wall that was removed in around 1800. Since then, the gate has served as the centrepiece of a new square, Karlsplatz (or Stachus), located between the central rail station and Marienplatz, representing the very centre of the city. Badly damaged during the war, the Karlstor was rebuilt in a somewhat simplified manner as seen in the GIF on the left with me in front and when Hitler was driven through in 1939 after the conquest of Memel. Germany's first department store established after the war, Kaufhof, is located on the west side of the square. It during Mussolini's visit in 1937 when,
[a]lthough he was only there for nine hours the city had never been more "elaborately adorned", the pièce de resistance being a large triumphal arch in front of the Karlsplatz, draped with a fascist black, wreathed with laurel and crowned with a massive golden "M".
Brendan (482) Dark Valley
  
 The now-gone Cafe Karlsthor which Hitler would once frequent. It was there after Franz Joseph I broke off diplomatic relations with Peter I on Saturday, July 25, 1914 that the so-called 'Schlacht im Café Karlstor' took place when some Serbs ordered their national anthem from the coffee orchestra and the German guests then demolished the café right at the start of the revolution of November 1918. On the right Hitler is driven through Karlstor after return of Memel, March 26, 1939. Joachim Ringelnatz wrote how "the guests suddenly got up and smashed the window panes because a Serbian band was playing." Ödön von Horváth meanwhile wrote that the cafe had been smashed to pieces because of a homeless unshaven man was sitting at a table who was taken for a Serb. 
On the right Hitler is driven through Karlstor after return of Memel, March 26, 1939 in another Hugo Jaeger colour photograph. Hitler had earlier passed through the Karlstor during his triumphal return to Munich after the annexation of Austria in 1938, a moment captured in numerous photographs that were disseminated as propaganda making the gate a focal point for Nazi rallies and marches, its historical significance reinterpreted through the lens of National Socialist ideology. That said, the appropriation of the Karlstor wasn't without its controversies. Evans notes that whilst the Nazi regime was successful in transforming the gate into a symbol of their ideological might, this act also led to public debates about the erasure of history. Critics argued that the Nazis' ideological imprint on the Karlstor was a form of historical revisionism, aimed at erasing or altering the gate's original significance. These debates, however, were largely suppressed as dissenting voices were either silenced or co-opted by the regime. Such appropriation by the Nazis also had international implications. Mazower argues that the gate's transformation was not merely a domestic affair but was keenly observed by foreign powers as a barometer of Nazi intentions. The gate's prominence in Nazi propaganda was also noted by foreign journalists, who often used it as a backdrop for reporting on Germany's political climate. Therefore, the Karlstor served not only as a domestic symbol but also as an international representation of the regime, its image carefully curated to project power and ideological purity.
Tag der Deutschen Kunst  karlstor
The photo on the left shows it during the Tag der Deutschen Kunst of June 10, 1938 and the right showing Germans being marched into captivity after the war, offering a remarkable contrast.
Hitler's painting of Karlstor   
Hitler's supposed painting of the monument with what was left of it after the war.  
Game Stop terrorism
A brownshirt preventing anyone from entering the offices of Jewish lawyers Dr. Th. Erlanger, Ludwiger Erlanger, and Dr. Adolf Mayer with stickers reading "Jude!" over each man's sign at Karlsplatz 8 on April 1, 1933 and the site today during yet another terror attack in Germany on Friday July 22, 2016 outside the Olympia shopping mall when 18-year-old Iranian-German David Sonboly opened fire on fellow teenagers at the McDonald's restaurant across the street before shooting at bystanders in the street outside and then in the mall itself. Nine people were killed, and 36 others were injured, four of them by gunfire; it was only a last-minute phone call from the wife asking me to look after Drake Winston that prevented me from being there at the time to pick up my bike. According to Kershaw, 
 [t]he boycott itself was less than the success that Nazi propaganda claimed. Many Jewish shops had closed for the day anyway. In some places, the SA men posted outside ‘Jewish’ department stores holding placards warning against buying in Jewish shops were largely ignored by customers. People behaved in a variety of fashions. There was almost a holiday mood in some busy shopping streets, as crowds gathered to see what was happening. Groups of people discussed busy shopping streets, as crowds gathered to see what was happening. Groups of people discussed the pros and cons of the boycott. Not a few were opposed to it, saying they would again patronise their favourite stores. Others shrugged their shoulders. ‘I think the entire thing is mad, but I’m not bothering myself about it,’ was one, perhaps not untypical, view heard from a non-Jew on the day. Even the SA men seemed at times rather half-hearted about it in some places. In others, however, the boycott was simply a cover for plundering and violence. For the Jewish victims, the day was traumatic – the clearest indication that this was a Germany in which they could no longer feel ‘at home’, in which routine discrimination had been replaced by state-sponsored persecution.  
Looking across from Karlsplatz immediatley after the war showing the American occupation forces. The Hotel Königshof and the Pini-Haus are located in direct line of sight on Sonnenstrasse opposite the Karlstor. On the northwest side, the square was initially bordered by the Old Botanical Garden where the Palace of Justice was eventually built in 1891. On the southwest side, where the Stachus Garden used to be, stands the Kaufhof building designed by the architect Theo Pabst which closed in 2022. 
During the so-called During the so-called Wirtschaftswunders, Stachus became the square with the highest car traffic in Europe until its eastern part, Neuhauser Straße, which begins at Karlstor and ends at Färbergraben, was converted into a pedestrian zone. This has led to the local reference to something being "like Stachus" for whenever the situation threatens to get out of control. The conversion into a pedestrian zone took place in the run-up to the XX Olympic Games in Munich but it's still considered the busiest intersection in Europe. On the right an American GI directing traffic on from the same site. in front of the building. Named Pini House, also known as the Imperial House, it is a seven-story building on the triangular plot of Schützenstrasse 1 at Stachus. The building stands at the fork in the road between Schützenstrasse and Bayerstrasse and is rounded at the sharp corner. The building had been designed by architect Joseph von Schmaedel as a solid masonry structure with wooden beam ceilings and was completed in 1877. It was renovated for the first time in 1907 and the wooden beam ceilings were replaced by reinforced concrete ceilings, steel columns were covered with concrete and a flat roof was replaced in place of the previous gable roof. Further conversions took place in 1933 and later from 2000 to 2002. The building received its original name Imperial House after the Café Imperial, which was managed there. It was later renamed Pini House after the Pini Optik optician moved there. There has been a cinema in the building since the beginning of the 20th century called the Imperial Cinema. During the war it was Munich's largest military cinema and was open 24 hours a day. Due to the many neon signs, it was said that the Times Square feeling brought to Munich. After the war, the Associated Press news agency temporarily used the rooms on the sixth floor. After a fire, the building was extensively restored around the turn of the millennium. Since then, the Anna Hotel has been housed in the building and is operated by the Geisel family, who also owns the nearby Hotel Königshof. 

Panzerkampfwagen V Panther tank outside the Imperial Lichtspiele cinema across the street from Karlstor, now the Anna Hotel with Drake Winstn in front today. the role of the Lichtspiele is a noteworthy aspect of the city's post-war intelligence landscape. Lichtspiele, a cinema turned into an intelligence operations centre, served as a crucial venue for information gathering and dissemination during the early years of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND). The conversion of a public entertainment space into an intelligence hub is emblematic of the broader transformation Munich underwent in the post-war period, shifting from a city known for its cultural heritage to a focal point of Cold War espionage activities. The choice of Lichtspiele on Karlsplatz as an operations centre was strategic. Located in the heart of Munich, it offered easy access to various parts of the city and was less conspicuous than a dedicated government building, thereby providing a level of anonymity essential for covert operations. According to Eichner, the central location of Lichtspiele made it an ideal place for agents to receive assignments and report back on completed missions. Eichner further notes that the cinema's layout, with its multiple exits and entrances, provided an added layer of security, allowing agents to enter and exit without drawing attention. The use of Lichtspiele as an intelligence centre has been the subject of scholarly debate. While Eichner views it as a pragmatic choice, driven by logistical considerations, others like Müller argue that the selection of a cinema, a symbol of public life and entertainment, for intelligence operations had symbolic undertones. Müller contends that the transformation of Lichtspiele into an intelligence hub reflects the extent to which the Cold War had permeated everyday life, turning even spaces of leisure into arenas of geopolitical contestation. The role of Lichtspiele also raises questions about the ethical dimensions of intelligence operations in post-war Munich. The cinema, once a place for public gathering, had been transformed into a space where activities were conducted that had significant political and ethical implications. Scholars like Wolf have questioned the morality of using a public space for activities that were shrouded in secrecy and had far-reaching consequences. Wolf argues that the use of Lichtspiele exemplifies the ethical ambiguities that characterised the early years of the BND, as it navigated the complex terrain of Cold War politics.
The same tank parked at the Stachus with the Karlstor in the background and Drake Winston at the same spot today. This,
the Fgst.Nr. 121455, was the last Panther to be manufactured and had been considered one of the best tanks of the Second World War for its excellent firepower and protection. The Panther was intended to counter the Soviet T-34 and to replace the Panzer III and Panzer IV although, it served alongside both the Panzer IV and the heavier Tiger I until the end of the war. Its reliability however was less impressive. According to Albert Speer (325) Inside the Third Reich,  "[s]ince the Tiger had originally been designed to weigh fifty tonnes but as a result of Hitler's demands had gone up to fifty seven tonnes, we decided to develop a new thirty tonne tank whose very name, Panther, was to signify greater agility. Though light in weight, its motor was to be the same as the Tiger's, which meant it could develop a superior speed. But in the course of a year Hitler once again insisted on clapping so much armour on it, as well as larger guns, that it ultimately reached forty eight tonnes, the original weight of the Tiger."
Hitler's painting of Senglingertor
Hitler's supposed watercolour from 1913 of the Sendlinger Tor and the view with Drake Winston on the left. The original owner of the painting on the left was a teacher from Ingolstadt, Friedrich Echinger, who, according to Gaab (130) in Munich: Hofbräuhaus & History: Beer, Culture, & Politics, "sold several paintings to the NSDAP archives for RM 5000 a piece, by far the best art investment Echinger ever made." Echinger sold these pictures to the Nazi main archive on March 23, 1939 for 15,000 RM in toto. He himself described how "[a] well-known lady of mine, who knew about my inclination for good pictures, first bought the watercolour 'Die Propylaea' on my behalf in 1913 in a stationery shop in Munich. I liked the picture so much at the time that I commissioned the lady to buy more pictures for me by the same artist, if she could get them. In the same way, the lady then acquired the “Münzhof”, the “Sendlinger Tor” and the “Hofbräuhaus” for me. The 'Münzhof' is now owned by Pastor Friedrich Loy. The other three pictures are still in my personal possession." Pastor Loy from Hamborn would later sell the picture to the Nazi main archive in Duisburg on May 11, 1939 for 5000 RM.
On the right is another painting of the gate attributed to Hitler.
A 31-year-old goldsmith and gem cutter named Otto Paul Kerber would recall how "[i]n 1912 a young man came into the Georg Lotthammers Nachf. business, founded in 1880, in which I was a partner from 1913, and offered me a watercolour of the Munich Residenz. I liked the picture and subsequently bought several pictures of the young Hitler, who kept coming to see me. As far as I can remember, I paid him 15 to 20 marks for a picture, depending on the version." Dr Alfred Detig, who dealt with Hitler's pictures from 1935 and wrote several newspaper articles, reported that he bought his first Hitler watercolour from Kerber in the spring of 1936 when he "met the Munich chemist Dr. Schnell, Sendlingerstrasse, who showed me five watercolours in the room behind his shop, which he himself had bought from the Führer in the last few years before the war. The pictures made a deep impression on me, as did the description of Dr. Fast. In the near future in Munich I saw a number of the Hitler's watercolours from his time before the war in Munich, and I wrote several articles about them, some of them illustrated, which appeared in Reich German newspapers, especially in several party newspapers. Some editors informed me that among the readership there was an extraordinary interest in the Fuehrer's work as an artist, of which most had no idea. The various inquiries in the editors prompted me to continue to deal with this topic and to investigate all the traces available to me. In this way, the desire arose to own one or the other picture, if possible, and so I bought the watercolor of the Munich Residenz from the jeweler Kerber in Dienerstrasse in the summer of 1935 and a short time later from the widow of the Juweliers Haug in Türkenstrasse which his wife Emma continued to run after his death....Both gave me the express assurance that they had bought the watercolors themselves from the Führer in Munich in the years before the World War. Kerber added that he bought a total of 21 watercolours from the Führer, two of which he still owns."
Hardly damaged in in the war, Sendlinger Tor was completely renovated in the 1980s; a remnant of the city wall can still be seen which had continued up the Herzog-Wilhelm-Straße. Recently this sign in the Sendlinger Tor underground station was discovered during construction work which has left historians puzzled. In the course of the refurbishment and modernisation of the subway station the wall paneling was removed revealing an old instruction board for the staff came to light directly at the entrance to the U1 and U2 railway lines, reading "Caution, train operations - only enter the tunnel on the platform!" The notice itself isn't so surprising as the font used, reminiscent of the Nazi era. However, the tunnel couldn't have been built under the Nazis given that its construction only began in the 1970s, with underground lines 1 and 2 rushing through for the first time on October 18, 1980. The only pre-war structure of the Munich subway is the station at Goetheplatz from where the so-called Lindwurm tunnel leads 590 metres in the direction of Sendlinger Tor where the U3 and U6 train lines run today- but the tunnel is one floor higher. The Lindwurm Tunnel had been built between 1938 and 1941 under the eponymous Lindwurmstraße, leading to Goetheplatz and which is now part of the Munich U-Bahn network. After Hitler gave the order to restructure the Munich railway system around a new main station near today's Friedenheimer Bridge, the Deutsche Reichsbahn decided to construct two S-Bahn tunnel routes through the city centre. On May 22, 1938 Hitler started the construction work for the tunnel of the Munich Stadtbahn network, in which an underground S-Bahn between Harras and Freimann was to run. The first trains had already been ordered, but construction was halted after 590 metres had been completed by 1941 due to the war.  During the wartime bombing the tunnel served as an air raid shelter. After the war, the building was partly filled with rubble, and in the early 1950s a mushroom farm was operated there. The tunnel and station remained unused until 1965, when it was decided to build the Munich subway. The old tunnel was supposed to connect to the new subway network but, according to experts from the city's subway department, it was almost too close to the street. And so in March 1965, the Lindwurm Tunnel was blasted free again with 125 kilogrammes of TNT. The route to Goetheplatz station, which was also built in shell form before 1941, was opened on October 19, 1971 and is still used today.
Hitler's painting of Asamkirche
Hitler's drawing of the Asamkirche on Sendlinger Straße, built between 1733-1746. When painting such architecture in his paintings, rather than developing his technique Hitler copied 19th century artists and many of the masters preceding him. He claimed to be the synthesis of many artistic movements but it is clear that he drew primarily from Graeco-Roman classicism, the Italian Renaissance, and Neoclassicism. He liked the technical ability of these artists, as well as the understandable symbolism. He described Rudolf von Alt as his greatest influence although, whilst both are similar in their use of colour and subject matter, but Alt displayed fantastical landscapes giving as much attention to nature and the surrounding environment as to the architecture. In Mein Kampf Hitler described how, in his youth, he wanted to become a professional artist, but his aspirations were ruined because he failed the entrance exam of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Hitler was rejected twice by the institute, once in 1907 and again in 1908. In his first examination, he had passed the preliminary portion which involved drawing two of the assigned iconic or Biblical scenes in two sessions of three hours each. The second portion was to provide a previously prepared portfolio for the examiners. It was noted that Hitler’s works contained “too few heads” and it was felt that he had more talent in architecture than in painting. One sympathetic instructor believing he had some talent suggested he apply to the academy's School of Architecture which would have required returning to secondary school from which he had dropped out and which he was unwilling to do. Hitler would eventually frequent the artists' cafés in Munich in the unfulfilled hope that established artists might help him with his ambition to paint professionally. According to a conversation in August 1939 before the outbreak of the war, published in the British War Blue Book, Hitler told British ambassador Nevile Henderson, "I am an artist and not a politician. Once the Polish question is settled, I want to end my life as an artist."
Hitler's 1914 Alten Residenz painting, the Alter Hof, which was home to Bavarian dukes, electors and kings. Destroyed during the wartime bombing, how it appears today with some of my Grade 11 and 12 Bavarian International School history students. In 1935 Hitler gave the painting as a fiftieth birthday present to his personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann. Hoffmann came to own at least four of Hitler's watercolours – one was purchased in 1944, which provoked the remark from Hitler that it would have been "insane" to have paid more than 150 or 200 marks for it, at most. The painting itself shows its inner courtyard (bombed in 1944) and has been described as illustrating both Hitler's style and mastery of watercolour to create a strict delineation of the building whilst on the left presenting two soft standing trees to contrast the harsh lines of the house. In many of Hitler's watercolours, Charles Snyder notes the "detailed attention to humble structures surrounded by water and vegetation, [but] the architecture is of the prime importance... Note plant life, especially leaves on trees. Leaves are typically daubed and dappled in with little regard for accuracy or realism, often used to 'frame' the subject".  A small fountain between two trees is painted on the proper right. 
On the left is is the entrance into the Alter Hof from Burgstrasse, shown in 1942 amidst the ruins. The complex was partially destroyed during the war and rebuilt after 1950, initially using simple means on the north and east sides (Lorenzistock, Pfisterstock and Brunnenstock). The southern and western wings (Burgstock and Zwingerstock), on the other hand, still have the old roof structures and numerous historical details.

One of Hitler's own favourites was the courtyard of the Old Residenz. He must have done a good many of these as well, and presented one to Heinrich Hoffmann for his fiftieth birthday in 1935. To Hoffmann's daughter, Henriette von Schirach, he once commented that he had often washed out his paintbrushes in the courtyard fountain there.
Frederick Spotts (131) Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics
 The Courtyard of the Old Residency in Munich and a few other paintings by Hitler are archived in the basement of the Army Centre of Military History in Washington, D.C., never shown to the public eye because of their controversial nature.
 
Looking down Burgstraße from the other direction towards Marienplatz with the altes rathaus in the background, this time shown from 1904 and today. There are a couple of locations on this street associated with Mozart- next door to the Weinstadl, the oldest surviving town house in Munich, Mozart composed the opera Idomeneo which premiered on January 29, 1781 in the Munich Residenztheater. Commenting on it, Elector Karl Theodor is said to have said to Mozart how “[o]ne should not think that there is something so big in such a small head.” In September 2006, a production of Idomeneo was canceled at the Deutsche Oper Berlin due to fear of Islamic terrorists after it was felt necessary by the directors to display the severed head of Mohammed next to the bloody heads of Jesus, Buddha and Poseidon, not to stir up interest and insult people who take such characters seriously, but apparently to signal that the subjugation of people through and in religions must be overcome. Another example of an artist's work being desecrated by Woke pretensions. Mozart also lived at number 7 for a short period in 1780 where he completed Idomeneo from November to December of the year. A panel attached to the facade of the house on the corner of Altenhofstraße commemorates this. At number 8 directly opposite the Weinstadel, the architect Francois Cuvilliés lived and died. Again, a memorial plaque on the facade commemorates this. In 1715 Cuvilliés arrived at the court of Elector Max Emanuel in Munich and a decade later was given the office of court architect. Between 1738 and 1756, he published more than fifty books on the interior of rooms and on design elements such as wall panels, ceilings, furnishings and wrought-iron decoration objects. The engravings in these books helped to spread the taste and style of the Rococo throughout Europe.
Hitler's sketch of the Isartor and me in front.
The Isartor in 1943; it was particularly damaged in 1944. From 1946 to 1957, its restoration, which was limited to the most necessary backup work, was initially completed. As a result, there were considerable construction defects, and war damage had in some cases only been poorly repaired. A simple tower clock system in the style of the standard station clocks was also installed. In 1971-1972 after tram traffic through the Isartor was abandoned, the Isartor was renovated, which brought the medieval appearance back to its best advantage and corrected some decisions made during the restoration of 1833. In 1971, for example, the complete tower clock system with the two glass dials and pairs of hands was dismantled in the course of the renovation of the Isartor and then not reinstalled. It wasn't until November 4, 2005 that a large clock was again attached to the main tower. On the west side the dial is a mirror image and so accordingly the hands run (deliberately) in opposite directions in homage to comedian Karl Valentin (who has a museum dedicated to him inside one of the towers) who declared that "In Bavaria the clocks go differently". Valentin himself was naive and skeptical about the Nazi regime although one of his routines had him say "Heil… Heil… Heil… yes what's his name - I just can't remember the name.” Another had him muse "It's a good thing that the Führer's name isn't 'Herbs' or else you'd have to greet him with 'medicinal herbs' (Heil Kräuter).

 After the war under American occupation -note the sign reading "Death is so Permanent- Drive Carefully". It covers the 1835 fresco by Bernhard von Neher - "The triumphal procession of Ludwig the Bavarian after his victorious battle against the Habsburg Frederick the Handsome near Mühldorf in 1322."

The American army in front in 1945 and how it still appeared as late as 1971.
Through the gate one enters Tal road, shown during the annual commemorative march in memory of those who died in the Hitler putsch on November 9, 1923 in front of the Feldherrnhalle, taking place a decade later with the Nazis now in power. The column is passing through the Isartor with Julius Streicher walking in front, directly past what is supposedly the oldest hotel in the centre of Munich. When it was founded in 1470 as the Hotel Thaltor, the Hotel Torbräu was where the SA and ϟϟ recruited and drank throughout the 1920s. The SA swore allegiance to Hitler in May 1923 and the precursor to the ϟϟ, the Stosstrupp Hitler, was established in the bowling alley in basement here according to Guido Knopp:
The SS started very small. In May 1923, the "Stoßtrupp Hitler" was born in the bowling alley of Munich's Torbräu tavern – 22 men formed the nucleus of the Black Order. Protecting the life of the “drummer” who wanted to be the “leader” in battles in the hall – that was their job. They wore the skull and crossbones on their black caps – borrowed from the emblem of the 1st Guards Reserve Engineer Regiment of the First World War, which operated in front of the front lines with flamethrowers. “Death-defying joy in fighting” – with such a trench mentality, the shock troopers wanted to overthrow the hated republic.
 (9-10) Die SS
   
He goes on to write (24) how 
When inflation took hold in 1923, a pint of beer in the Torbräu SS hangout was already costing several billion marks. That money earned in the morning was worth nothing in the evening. Their job of protecting Hitler elevated the men from the bowling alley, as they saw it, from an average existence to the rank of an "elite." Hitler made his first attempt to overthrow the hated state almost six months after swearing allegiance in Torbräu. The course for a dollar was now at 420 billion marks. The patience of the people was exhausted, the situation for a "national revolution" seemed favourable...
In the Torbräu, Josef Berchtold initiated the men into the putsch plans: “Comrades, the hour has come that you all, like me, have longed for. Hitler and Herr von Kahr have come to an agreement, and this very evening the Reich government will be overthrown and a new Hitler-Ludendorff-Kahr government formed. The deed to be carried out by us will be the impetus for the new events. But before I proceed, I urge those who for any reason object to our cause to resign.” No one made a move to leave.
Hitler’s first bodyguard was replaced with a new one in May of 1923, the Stosstrupp Adolf Hitler. Its members by and large came from a differing social and age group (older) than the quite young SA. The initial leader of this group was Julius Schreck, a man who superficially resembled Hitler and later served as his double from time to time. These recruits were later described by one of their own: “Hard and rough and sometimes quite uncouth were the customs, habits, and looks of the Stosstrup. They did not know ... grovelling. They clung to the right of the stronger, the old right of the fist. In an emergency they knew no command.... When ... called to action— to attack right and left—march! march!—then things were torn to bits and in minutes streets and squares were swept of enemies.... Soon we were known in village and town.”
 By April 1925 Hitler ordered Schreck to set up a new bodyguard who then gathered his "old comrades" around him inside the Torbräu. The name that the troop then adopted in September suited the current needs of its leader: "Schutzstaffel" (initially in a plural form, Schutzstaffeln),  a ”Protective Squadron” with its name taken from air warfare terminology, referring to fighters escorting bombers.
Marching down Am Tal
Sterneckerbräu
The Sterneckerbräu, so-called 'cradle of the Movement' was located in Munich's old town in the Tal 38 (originally 54) on the corner of Sterneckerstraße, very close to the Isartor. This is where Hitler first came across the German Workers' Party (DAP) on September 12, 1919 whilst serving in the intelligence section of the German army. Hitler apparently became involved in an heated political argument with a Professor Baumann, who had proposed that Bavaria should break away from Prussia and found a new South German nation with Austria. In vehemently attacking the man's arguments he made an impression on the other party members with his oratorical skills and, according to Hitler, the "professor" left the hall acknowledging unequivocal defeat. Impressed with Hitler, Anton Drexler invited him to join the DAP which Hitler accepted on September 12, 1919, becoming the party's 55th member (although officially  member number 555 as they started from 500 to give the illusion of greater suport). When the DAP chief, Anton Drexler, signed the Party membership form he wrote "Hittler" with two 't's. This is also significant as being the site where the Nazi Party was originally organised on February 24, 1920.
It can scarcely have been a very impressive scene when, on the evening of 12 September 1919, Hitler attended his first meeting in a room at the Sterneckerbrau, a Munich beer-cellar in which a handful of twenty or twenty-five people had gathered. One of the speakers was Gottfried Feder, an economic crank well known in Munich, who had already impressed Hitler at one of the political courses arranged for the Army. The other was a Bavarian separatist, whose proposals for the secession of Bavaria from the German Reich and a union with Austria brought Hitler to his feet in a fury. He spoke with such vehemence that when the meeting was over Drexler went up to him and gave him a copy of his autobiographical pamphlet, Mein politisches Erwachen. A few days later Hitler received a postcard inviting him to attend a committee meeting of the German Workers' Party.
Alan Bullock (58) Hitler: A Study in Tyranny
 The Sterneckerbräu was the lowest category of beer house and gained fame and historical significance only because Anton Drexler founded the German Workers' Party (DAP) on January 5, 1919, together with Karl Harrer. It met once a week in the restaurant on the first floor of the new building. On September 12, 1919, Hitler attended a meeting of the DAP on behalf of the intelligence command of the army. The meeting took place in a meeting room of the Sterneckerbräu. According to Dr. Werner Maser, the first to evaluate the main Nazi Party archive and exposed the "Hitler Diaries" as a forgery, in his 1975 book Adolf Hitler: Legende-Mythos-Wirklichkeit (171-2), 
Hitler appears in civilian clothes and not as a training officer or as a representative of the troop, but rather as a "Private," stating his troop unit as the place of residence. Bored, Hitler listens to the lecture by the speaker Gottfried Feder, whom he had known since the end of June 1919 from the political course for demobilised soldiers. He only stays because the scheduled discussion interests him. However, when a professor named Baumann took the floor and demanded the separation of Bavaria from the Reich and a union between Bavaria and Austria, Hitler got hooked. "Then I couldn't do anything else," he writes in Mein Kampf, "than to announce myself and to tell the ... gentleman my opinion on this point." SterneckerbraukellerTwo days earlier, on September 10, 1919, the peace treaty between German-Austria and the Entente states had been signed in St. Germain-en-Laye, which sealed the separation of Hungary from Austria and the recognition of Czechoslovakia and Poland, which was linked to the cession of territory, Hungary and Yugoslavia as independent states by Austria, which was no longer allowed to call itself “German Austria”. The disintegration of the Austrian "state corpse" that Hitler had longed for in Vienna had come about as a result of the war. The fact that a German professor, of all people, is recommending at this hour to separate part of Germany from the Reich and to advocate a union with Austria, which Hitler regarded as a dying state even before the war, has the all-German Hitler downright shocked. When he left the room immediately after his emotionally charged contribution to the discussion, which left most of the participants mute and astonished and caused the professor to "flee" in dismay, the first chairman of the DAP, tool-fitter Anton Drexler, who was just as obviously struck by such brilliant eloquence, followed him and gives him a copy of the brochure he wrote, My Political Awakening, which Hitler reads in the barracks, considers it undemanding, but accepts the content.
During one of my regular tours. In October 1919, the first branch of the DAP, which in February 1920 changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers Party, was set up in a side room of the Sterneckerbräu.  In 1921, the Bavarian nationalist and royalist league In Treue fest was founded at the Sterneckerbräu. It was banned by the Nazis on February 2, 1933, and later re-established in 1952.

Of this first visit, Hitler wrote the following in Chapter IX: The 'German Workers' Party' in Mein Kampf:
In the evening when I entered the 'Leiber Room' of the former Sterneckerbrau in Munich, I found some twenty to twenty-five people present, chiefly from the lower classes of the population.
Feder's lecture was known to me from the courses, so I was able to devote myself to an inspection of the organisation itself.
My impression was neither good nor bad; a new organisation like so many others. This was a time in which anyone who was not satisfied with developments and no longer had any confidence in the existing parties felt called upon to found a new party. Everywhere these organisations sprang out of the ground, only to vanish silently after a time. The founders for the most part had no idea what it means to make a party-let alone a movement out of a club. And so these organisations nearly always stifle automatically in their absurd philistinism.
The meeting didn’t impress Hitler, but he was given a brochure titled “My Political Awakening” by founder Anton Drexler, and he read it nonetheless. Hitler was invited to the next meeting of the DAP at the Altes Rosenbad Inn and he was again ordered to attend and even join the tiny party by his Intelligence superior, Capt. Karl Mayr.
Standing in front with the Isartor and Hotel Torbrau behind. After joining, Hitler was said to have established an office there in a former barroom with a light, telephone, table, a few chairs on loan, a bookcase and borrowed cup- boards. Thus, what would become the first headquarters of the future Nazi Party was born, after Hitler changed its name, direction and leadership. Hitler would also write in Mein Kampf when he rented the site to serve as the party offices that:
In the old Sterneckerbräu im Tal, there was a small room with arched roof, which in earlier times was used as a sort of festive tavern where the Bavarian Counsellors of the Holy Roman Empire foregathered. It was dark and dismal and accordingly well suited to its ancient uses, though less suited to the new purpose it was now destined to serve. The little street on which its one window looked out was so narrow that even on the brightest summer day the room remained dim and sombre. Here we took up our first fixed abode. The rent came to fifty marks per month, which was then an enormous sum for us. But our exigencies had to be very modest. We dared not complain even when they removed the wooden wainscoting a few days after we had taken possession. This panelling had been specially put up for the Imperial Counsellors. The place began to look more like a grotto than an office.
Sterneckerbraukeller
Standing at the entrance on the side street off Tal which Hitler entered when first encountering the DAP.
The story is well-known; it has been told a thousand times. On 12 September 1919, on an assignment from the Reichswehr's Intelligence Section, Hitler attended a meeting of the German Workers' Party in the Sterneckerbräu, a pub near the Isartor, where slightly more than forty people had assembled to listen to speeches by Gottfried Feder and a Professor Baumann. During the subsequent discussion Hitler drew attention to himself with a forceful contribution and was then invited by the chairman of the local branch, Anton Drexler, to become a member. After careful consideration Hitler agreed to do so and, thanks to his rhetorical gift, soon became the party's main attraction. Under his dominant influence it rapidly expanded, consolidating its organisation, until he formally took over the party leadership. The story represents the core of the party legend, invented by Hitler, outlined at length in Mein Kampf, referred to again and again in hundreds of his speeches, and continually repeated after 1945. The legend can, however, be disproved with relative ease. For a start, during the 1930s, Drexler, the chairman in 1919, understandably objected to Hitler's claim that he joined the party as member No. 7. The only thing that is certain is that Hitler was one of the first 200 or so members who had joined the party by the end of 1919. But much more important is the fact that the success of the DAP, later NSDAP, in Munich was not, as Hitler later maintained, the result of his decision to join it.
From 1933 the Sternecker housed a Nazi museum, opened November 8 that year by Hitler himself. Mentioned in Nazi-ersa Baesecker guides, for twenty pfennigs one could visit the room of the first office that was supposedly preserved and furnished as it was originally. The first inventory and office furniture, as well as the members' rooms, could still be viewed there. Every year on November 8 the solemn procession dedicated to the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch passed the Sterneckerbräu at which point marchers stopped for one minute. The building survived the war. In 1957 the restaurant was closed and the first floor was converted into a store whilst currently preserved rooms are now used as office space for an Apple shop which may be appropriate, given that in Latin the words for 'apple' ("mālum") and for 'evil' ("malum") are nearly identical. One particularly incisive piece from the New York Times revealed the way the company exploits its own foreign workforce in Chinese concentration camps.
Hermann Otto Hoyer's 1937 representation of Hitler's political beginnings set in the Leiber Room of the Sterneckerbräu, Am Anfang war das Wort (In the Beginning Was the Word) for the Great German Art Exhibition at the Haus der Deutschen Kunst. Note how Hitler’s arms are bent in the form of the swastika, matching that on the flag which hanging directly behind him. The lighting over Hitler seems to fall directly onto the audience, having him represent the bringer of light and further hint at the audience's 'enlightenment,' evoking the Pentecost. In the summer of 1920 alone Hitler had given the following speeches here: 'Nationalism' (June 9), "About the Political Situation" (June 16), "Spa and Moscow" (July 28) and "Financial Questions" (August 6).
Its small group of faithful followers— workmen, craftsmen, members of the lower-middle-class—assembled each week in the Leiber Room of the Sternecker-Bräu ‘for the discussion and study of political matters’. The trauma of the lost war, anti-Semitic feelings, and complaints about the snapping of all the ‘bonds of order, law and morality’ set the tone of its meetings. It stood for the widespread idea of a national socialism ‘led only by German leaders’ and aiming at the ‘ennoblement of the German worker’; instead of socialization it called for profit-sharing, demanded the formation of an association for national unity, and proclaimed that its ‘duty and task’ was ‘to educate its members in an ideal sense and raise them up to a higher conception of the world’. It was not so much a party in the usual sense, as a mixture of secret society and drinking club typical of the Munich of those years; it did not address itself to the public. Obscure visionaries would hold forth to the thirty or forty who had gathered together, discuss Germany’s disgrace and rebirth, or write postcards to like-minded societies in North Germany.
Fest The Face of the Third Reich
Further down about 200 metres from Marienplatz at Tal 8 (formerly Tal 74) is Munich's second-oldest hotel, the Hotel Schlicker "Zum Goldenen Löwen",  first mentioned as an inn and brewery in 1433. As can be seen, it suffered considerable damage during the war and was rebuilt in a slightly more simplified manner. Compared to other major German cities, Munich was a significantly lesser target given its distance from the United Kingdom but, As the Hauptstadt der Bewegung, it was a focus of the bombing campaign, leading to 45% of the entire urban area and up to 70% of the old town destroyed, with only 2.5% of the buildings remained completely undamaged”. Despite such devastation, Munich was lucky in having its underground utility systems remaining functional, with reported damage to its electrical system at 6.58%, its gas system at at 15.71% , its water system at 4.21%, its sewer system at 4% and its telephone lines at 40-50%.  Building on what was left rather than starting from scratch made financial sense whilst Munich's arcane land laws meant that any alterations in the existing street and lot layout could only be made after considerable negotiations and through the costly purchase of land. According to Der Spiegel, “​Never before had an entire country been rebuilt... [i]n West Germany alone, some 400 million cubic metres of rubble was piled up after the war- enough to build a wall two metres thick and seven metres high all the way around the western half of the divided country. From an architectural and urban-planning point of view, Germany's phoenix-like resurrection from the inferno resembled a continuation of the wartime destruction by other means: Another 30 percent of the country's historic buildings were simply wiped off the map to make way for the new." Fortunately for Munich, the old was more often than not reconstructed rather than simply replaced with the type of architecture that blights not only cities in the defeated nations, but across the United Kingdom.
Hitler's painting of am Tal
Hitler's painting of Tal Road looking towards Marienplatz with Heilig-Geist-Kirche on the left and the alte rathaus straight ahead.
As he had done in Vienna, he developed a routine where he could complete a picture every two or three days, usually copied from postcards of well-known tourist scenes in Munich – including the Theatinerkirche, the Asamkirche, the Hofbräuhaus, the Alter Hof, the Münzhof, the Altes Rathaus, the Sendlinger Tor, the Residenz, the Propyläen – then set out to find customers in bars, cafés, and beerhalls. His accurate but uninspired, rather soulless watercolours were, as Hitler himself later admitted when he was German Chancellor and they were selling for massively inflated prices, of very ordinary quality. But they were certainly no worse than similar products touted about the beerhalls, often the work of genuine art students seeking to pay their way. Once he had found his feet, Hitler had no difficulty finding buyers. He was able to make a modest living from his painting and exist about as comfortably as he had done in his last years in Vienna. When the Linz authorities caught up with him in 1914, he acknowledged that his income – though irregular and fluctuating – could be put at around 1,200 Marks a year, and told his court photographer Heinrich Hoffmann at a much later date that he could get by on around 80 Marks a month for living costs at that time.

 

Hitler's painting of the Hofbräuhaus Hitler's painting of the Hofbräuhaus and standing in front today. The Hofbräuhaus in Munich holds a significant place in the history of the Nazi Party. Established in 1589, this beer hall became a focal point for political gatherings, particularly for Hitler and his Nazi Party. It was here on April 13, 1919 (Palm Sunday) that the soldiers' councils proclaimed the Bavarian Soviet Republic in the festsaal. The Hofbräuhaus was one of the beer halls used by the Nazi Party for functions and holds a particular significance in its mythology. The DAP—the future Nazi Party—held its first mass meeting there on October 16, 1919—less than a year after the war’s end—with an audience of seventy people. On February 24, 1920, in its Festival Hall, Hitler presented the Twenty-five Points that formed the political base of the Nazis—this time with two thousand in attendance. During this event, Hitler introduced the party's 25-point programme, a foundational document that outlined the party's ideological stance and political objectives. The choice of the Hofbräuhaus for such a seminal event was strategic; its central location and popularity made it an ideal venue for attracting a large audience and disseminating propaganda.

 Adolf Reich's Hofbräuhaus- Schwemme of 1939 on the right, showing a Wehrmacht soldier sitting alone and seemingly lost in his thoughts as the rest throw themselves into merriment upon the outbreak of the war in the Aufgabeort (Place of Consignment) which is immdiately at the entrance on the left when one walks in. The painting itself is in the possession of the owner of the German Art Gallery (like 90% of the works found on the site) and is for sale for € 9.000.

On Friday, August 13 1920, Hitler publicly denounced the Jews for the first time in his Why We Are Antisemites speech, demanding their removal from Germany altogether. On November 4, 1921, there was a massive fight between the Nazis and their opponents in the Hofbrauhaus, the so-called "Feuertaufe der SA," but Hitler managed to complete his address, despite the chaos of smashed tables and chairs and hurled beer mugs all about him. On February 25, 1939, Martin Bormann wrote to Bavarian Prime Minister Ludwig Siebert, that Hitler ordered that the Hofbräuhaus should no longer bear the "royal" designation but its official name should in the future be "Das Hofbräuhaus zu München". The Hofbräuhaus was actually renamed, but instead became "Staatliches Hofbräuhaus".

Hitler referred in his address to the first assembly that was held at the Hofbräuhaus:
It was the first major rally our Movement had ever held in which we can say that the Volk participated. For the first time the internal organisation was tested in a large hall, and it worked. For the first time people came to us who wanted to listen. We certainly had not lacked the courage to summon the masses, but for a long time the masses lacked the courage to hear our call.
At that first rally we announced our twenty-five points—which our opponents ridiculed—for the first time, to implement them item for item in the years thereafter. And finally, I myself spoke to a large crowd of people for the first time in this hall, although someone had told me I had any number of talents, but speaking was not one of them. I had to assert myself at that large rally, which was not as well-mannered as it is today.
Later my opponents conceived of the idea of calling me “the drummer” for years afterwards. In any case, that first rally was significant in that it was the first mass rally of our Party, it announced our programme and produced a new speaker.
This plaque (shown here during and after the war) commemorated Hitler's speech of February 24, 1920 in which he laid out the goals of the new Nazi Party in his 25 point programme, an event later declared to have been the founding session of the Nazi Party.
The principles were incorporated in the party programme that Hitler together with Anton Drexler and Gottfried Feder wrote out in twenty-five points and that Hitler presented to a meeting of February 24, 1920, in the Hofbräuhaus. They had appealed greatly to the party constituency even though they had no prospect whatever of being realized in any foreseeable future. The party's programme enunciated among other things the right to self-determination for Germany, with equal treatment and land and colonies to feed the German people. The Treaties of Versailles and St. Germain were to be abrogated. Only racial Germans could be citizens, and racial Germans were men and women of German blood regardless of religion, so no Jew could be a Volks comrade. Battle would be waged against the corruption of the parliamentary system based on party considerations, which took no account of character and ability. Every citizen had the same rights and duties; the general need came before the individual need; only a man who worked was entitled to an income; war profits were to be confiscated, the serfdom of interest broken. Profiteers, common criminals, and black marketers were to be executed. Trusts already nationalised were to remain so. In the interest of a healthy middle class, the party platform declared that big department stores would be communalised. It demanded land reform and the abolition of speculation in land. Poor children were to be educated by the state, child labour was to be prohibited, and health services were to be provided for mothers and children and young people. A people's army was to replace mercenary troops, and a strong central authority was to be established with complete authority over the Reich and its organisations.
The plaque can be seen behind the 'blood flag' behind Hitler on left, speaking in the Hofbrauhaus on February 24, 1940 on the twentieth anniversary of the formation of the Nazi Party, and Adolph Wagner shown speaking in the centre. Hitler's speech can be read here. I'm standing at the location today with the plaque being replaced with a fire escape sign. Kershaw argues that the Hofbräuhaus served as a "propaganda machine" for the Nazis. The beer hall's large gathering space allowed for the mobilisation of supporters and the dissemination of Nazi ideology. Hitler's oratorical skills were particularly effective in such a setting, where he could engage directly with the public and sway opinions. The Hofbräuhaus thus became a platform for Hitler to gain political traction and build a following in the early years of the Nazi Party's existence. A fight that broke out on November 4 1921 made the site a Nazi shrine as it was claimed that the SA had met its baptism of fire. As Hitler wrote at the beginning of Chapter VI, The First Period of our Struggle in Mein Kampf,
 During that period the hall of the Hofbrau Haus in Munich acquired for us, National Socialists, a sort of mystic significance. Every week there was a meeting, almost always in that hall, and each time the hall was better filled than on the former occasion, and our public more attentive.
The Festsaal on the third floor where, in 1920, the Nazi Party held its first meeting. The following year on November 4 Hitler spoke to a crowd of two thousand, a number of whom belonged to the Social Democrats, concerning an assassination attempt on one of the SPD's spokemen, Erhard Auer. The ensuing clash is recounted by Hitler in Chapter VII: The Struggle with the Red Front in the Second Volume of Mein Kampf:
In the Festsaal of the Hofbräuhaus I always stood on one of the long sides of the hall and my platform was a beer table. And so I was actually in the midst of the people. Perhaps this circumstance contributed to creating in this hall a mood such as I have never found anywhere else. In front of me, especially to the left of me, only enemies were sitting and standing. They were all robust men and young fellows in large part from the Maffei factory, from Kustermann's, from the Isaria Meter Works, etc. Along the left wall they had pushed ahead close to my table and were beginning to collect beer mugs; that is, they kept ordering beer and putting the empty mugs under the table. In this way, whole batteries grew up and it would have surprised me if all had ended well this time...
The presence of the SA at the Hofbräuhaus underscored the venue's importance as a hub for both the ideological and operational aspects of the Nazi movement. Fest contends that the Hofbräuhaus was instrumental in creating a sense of community and belonging among Nazi Party members. The beer hall culture, characterized by camaraderie and social interaction, facilitated networking among party members and sympathisers. This sense of community was vital for the Nazi Party's grassroots organising and recruitment efforts. The Hofbräuhaus thus served as more than just a physical space; it was a symbol of the party's identity and a catalyst for its growth.
swastikas hofbrauhaus ceiling
Until a few years ago, above each lamp the Bavarian flag was seen in the form of a swastika, painted by Hitler's supporters after he took power. After the war the owners found they couldn't paint over them as the swastikas were still visible after several coats of paint, and so decided to 'decorate' them as oddly shaped Bavarian flags. Recently the shape itself was altered as seen in the before-and-after photos above. The ceiling paintings were the work of Hermann Kaspar, a well-known Nazi artist whose work was featured in the monumental mosaic frieze on the gallery walls in the congress hall of Munich's Deutsches Museum in 1935 as well as the remaining swastika-decked ceiling mosaic over the colonnades of the Haus der Kunst. With sculptor Richard Knecht he'd been responsible for the overall design of the marches and parades for the “Day of German Art ” in Munich in 1937 and 1938. At the parade of his kitschy floats, Kaspar was allowed to sit right next to Hitler. Works by Kaspar were also shown in the 1944 art exhibition Deutsche Künstler und die ϟϟ in Breslau organised by Himmler and the main office of the ϟϟ. Kaspar was on the God-gifted list in 1944. In the late 1960s, he was seen as an example of failure to denazify because, despite his initial dismissal from the Americans, he remained an academy professor and received numerous government contracts. The ceiling of the Hofbrauhaus had suffered war damage in 1945 and was not painted until 1965. Since then Kaspar's painting became a victim of tobacco smoke and its restoration took place after the smoking ban from 2007.
According to Wikipedia, the Hofbrauhaus "also held a 1889 baby photo of Hitler as recent [sic] as 2006" and furthermore, according to a post at http://worldwartwozone.com: "On the left hand side of the main hall is small room with sort of a racks where locals can keep their beer steins. They wash them in a copper sink, then put into mailbox size padlocked lockers. When I visited Hofbrauhaus one of the locals told us that Hitler's stein is still there. No one knows which one it is, but is worshipped. Indeed one of the racks was decorated with green applications. Apparently faithful locals decorate it every year before Adi's birthday - 20th April." Given that Hitler was supposedly a teetotaller, it's hard to credit that... 
Although Hitler indeed consumed little alcohol and did not smoke, his image as a vegetarian teetotaler was carefully crafted propaganda used, in the words of Ian Kershaw, to evoke the image of of a “Führer without sin.” Such a cultivated reputation was one element in an effort to portray Hitler as the sober, well-intentioned, moderate leader of a Nazi state that took extreme actions. it helps to explain why Hitler's personal popularity remained elevated when Germans' opinion of the Nazi Party began to decline. although Hitler did not allow himself to be seen drinking, he never avoided association with the trappings of alcohol that make up everyday German life, and which devout Mormons avoided by the early twentieth century. Faithful Latterday Saints would not be seen in a tavern, but Hitler gave one of his most famous speeches at the Bürgerbräukeller beer hall in Munich in 1923.
   The day Hitler committed suicide and now showing the entrance when the site served as the Command Post for the American 45th Division, most associated with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. It was reactivated and deployed in late June 1943 to North Africa and subsequently took part in various campaigns in Europe under the command of Major General Robert T. Frederick when the division was involved in taking several cities and faced intense resistance from enemy forces. After crossing the Rhine, its troops had advanced along the Main towards Franconia and fought fierce battles for Aschaffenburg from late March to mid-April. During the Battle of Nuremberg which took place from April 16-20, the city was taken. On April 29, 1945, the 3rd Battalion of the 157th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division liberated the Dachau concentration camp. During the war the Hofbräuhaus was almost completely destroyed by air raids starting on the night of April 25, 1944 followed by three more air raids. Only a part of the Schwemme, the ground floor, remained intact although several hundred mugs in the cellars of the Hofbräuhaus am Platzl remained intact frm where they were recovered and stacked up. Nevertheless, the rest of the beer hall, and most of the buildings on the Platzi, lay in ruins. For example, the Talbruck gate tower near the Hofbräuhaus had been completely destroyed by 1945, and less than 3% of Munich's buildings remained unscathed from Allied carpet bombing, which had targeted the city centre. Only months earlier on February 24 the Nazi Old Guard had gathered in the partially wrecked Hofbrauhaus for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the proclamation of the party programme. Although not present, Hitler sent the following message: “Twenty-five years ago | prophesied the victory of the movement; today I prophesy the victory of the German Reich!” That same month Mayor Fiehler admitted that “Munich was especially hard hit by terror attacks on December 17, 1944 and January 7, 1945, and must now be regarded as one of the most devastated cities in the Reich. Many unique sites much loved by Miinchners and visitors have been destroyed... [however] you can be sure that after our victory Munich will be rebuilt according to the great plans of the Führer, whilst retaining historical features and idiosyncrasies.” It wasn't until 1958 on the occasion of Munich's 800th anniversary that the building's reconstruction was completed with the reopening of the ballroom. This came at a time when the subject of Munich's reconstruction was fought over between the traditionalists who demanded that the city be rebuilt as close as possible to what it had been before the war and the modernisers who in turn demanded that the old, bombed out buildings be replaced with the same dreary, soulless modern structures found throughout postwar Europe in order to permanently mark the destruction Hitler had brought to the city.
In June 1945 the occupation authorities banned the brewing of beer to conserve grain and took over most of the major beer halls and breweries in the city. The Bavarian authorities tried to convince the military authorities that beer was not a luxury item but a major staple of the Bavarian diet which provided much nutrition, but they had little success. “Dunnbier” and “Hefe-sud” a poor, non-alcoholic substitute, made their debut, at least until the military authorities got the breweries running again and the food situation stabilised.” Ironically, perhaps, American troops, often accompanied by attractive Munich women, drank so much beer in their off hours, in some cases paying with American dollars, that they inadvertently resurrected the Munich food and beer industry in spite of military government prohibitions. They also clearly ignored the “non-fraternisation” orders by finding German girlfriends so quickly. The Bürgerbraukeller, for example, now became a popular American canteen.”
 Jeffrey S. Gaab (86) Hofbrauhaus & History— Beer, Culture, & Politics
Nearby is the Pfeffermühle, founded by Erika and Klaus Mann in January 1933 which satirised the Nazis before the two emigrated to New York after Hitler's seizure of power. Erika defined clearly the aims of his political-satirical cabaret: “Wir wollten die Nazis bekämpfen." Only a few weeks after its highly successful premiere, the troupe had to flee from the Nazis to resume as an exile cabaret on September 30, 1933 in Zurich at the Hotel Hirschen. The second exile programme was launched on January 1, 1934, with clearer references to the Nazis followed by the third and most biting programme on October 3, 1934 in Basel. One performance ended up triggering riots by Swiss Nazis, so that the performances could only be continued under police protection. The performances had attracted criticism from the Neue Zürcher Zeitung in 1934, and various cantons even banned its performances. When Nazi pressure became too strong, Erika tried to reëstablish The Peppermill in New York at the start of 1937 without much success.
 
Other Munich Pages
Odeonsplatz
Munich’s Road to the Third Reich DAVID CLAY LARGE The capital of the Nazi movement was not Berlin but Munich. So said the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, of this handsome Bavarian town on the banks of the Isar River. Munich, the city of baroque buildings, fine art museums, and Oktoberfest, was where Hitler felt most at home. Itwas the birthplace of Nazism and became the chief cultural shrine of the Third Reich. Why did Nazism flourish in the “Athens of the Isar”? In exploring this question, David Clay Large has written a compelling narra- tive account of the cultural roots of the Nazi movement. His focus on Munich allows us to see that the conventional explanations for the movement's rise are not enough. Ger- many’s defeat in World War |,the deep resentment of the Versailles peace settle- ment, the failure of Weimar, and the eco- nomic strains of the 1930s all have their place. So too does Munich's unique experi- ence with revolutionary violence in 1918-19 when “soviet” regimes seized control of the city and then collapsed. But for Large the story is not only political but cultural. The roots of Nazism run deeper than the topsoil of political circumstance. (continued on back flap)  Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2022 with funding from Kahle/Austin Foundation https://archive.org/details/whereghostswalkeO0O0O0Olarg_qig3   WHERE Cie@ ons WaygeIEI 18D)  ALSO BY DAVID CLAY LARGE Germans to the Front: West German Rearmament intheAdenauer Era Contending with Hitler: Varieties ofGerman Resistance in the Third Reich (Editor) The End ofthe European Era: 1890 to the Present Fourth Edition (with Felix Gilbert) Between Two Fires: Europe’s Path in the 1930s Wagnerism in European Culture and Politics (Coeditor) The Politics ofLaw and Order: A History ofthe Bavarian “Einwohnerwehr,” 1918-1921  WHERE Cite>is WALKED Munich's Road to the Third Reich IDWANDYEXEaeIERUNIGrI8  LIC LIBRARY “TOMI : ROLO?71 35e9) Copyright © 1997 by David Clay Large All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America First Edition For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110. The text of this book iscomposed in Granjon with the display set in Granjon and Bembo. Composition by JoAnn Schambier Manufacturing by Quebecor Printing, Fairfield Inc. Book design by BTD LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Large, David Clay. Where ghosts walked :Munich’s road to the Third Reich / by David Clay Large. p.cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-393-03836-X 1.Munich (Germany)—Social conditions.2.National socialism IT IS ONE of the more piquant ironies of modern European history that the birthplace of Nazism, “capital” of the Nazi movement, and chief cultural shrine oftheThird Reich had gained inthedecades before Hitler’s arrival a reputation around the world as the most tolerant, democratic, and fun-loving city in Germany. If Prussian Berlin stood for militaristic au- thoritarianism and pushy assertiveness, Munich meant baroque buildings, fine art museums, and easygoing Gemiitlichkeit. The atmosphere was so egalitarian and congenial, people said, that one could almost forget one was inGermany. The image of democratic amiability, itseems, had much to do with Mu- nich’s most famous product, itsbeer. “Beer isagreat constitutional, politi- cal, and social leveler,” wrote the American consul in 1874, “One sees at the Oktoberfest [Munich’s famous beer festival] great and small crowded to- gether on the rough benches.” Max Halbe, a playwright who had fled bustling but “Mammon-ruled” Berlin for Munich in 1895, insisted that in  Brobdingnagian beer halls like the Hofbrauhaus there was “no distinction between rich and poor, elegant and simple, even between ministers ofstate and coach drivers.” “Few other places are so democratic,” agreed the American traveler Robert Schauffler in an article entitled “Munich—A City of Good Nature” (1909): “In the great beer halls where Munich spends many ofits leisure moments, one man isexactly as good as another. There you will find a mayor and an army captain rubbing shoulders with a sweep and a peddler, and all talking and laughing together with no sense of con- straint.” But such effusions, while no doubt true enough on the surface, dis- guised or overlooked another aspect of Munich’s beer hall scene: frequent brawls and riots, in which heavy earthenware steins, emptied of their liq- uid bliss, became dangerous weapons. These stein wars were often ignited by ideological disagreements, since the massive beer halls were ideal fo- rums for pitchmen of all political stripes. Colliding aesthetic judgments could also lead to blows. Alfred Pringsheim, a passionate Wagnerian (and future father-in-law of Thomas Mann) smashed his stein over the head of a fellow drinker who had dared insult the Master. For this act he proudly bore the title Schoppenhauer, “beer glass swinger,” a pun on the name ofthe famous German philosopher. Whatever the sociopolitical implications of Munich’s beer culture, the city’s claim to fame rested on more than its fabled brew. It was also, as a Bavarian character in Katherine Mansfields’ story “Germans at Meat” (1911) brags, the repository of “all the Art and Soul life in Germany.” Hitler might proclaim Munich Capital of German Art during the Third Reich, but the city had been celebrated as a great art center long before he took power, indeed well before he appeared on the local scene. A proper understandingofMunich’spoliticalandculturalroleinthefirsthalofthe twentieth century must therefore begin with a brief account of the city’s emergence as a mecca of the muses in the previous century, when itbecame known far and wide as Athens on the Isar. Munich’s rise to cultural prominence began with the reign of Bavaria’s second king, Ludwig I (1825-1848), who declared (stealing a line previ- ously applied to Cologne): “No one shall know Germany who does not know Munich.” Having spent much of his time as crown prince in Greece and Italy, Ludwig was determined to turn his humble Residenzstadt into a radiant enclave of imposing buildings, grand boulevards, and rich collec- tions of art. Among this ambitious king’s most important contributions were the Kénigsplatz, a broad square framed with neoclassical structures; the Alte Pinakothek, which displayed the ruling Wittelsbach family’s splendid collection of Old Masters (later Ludwig added the Neue “ATHENS ON THE ISAR” # XIII  XIV TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Pinakothek, for contemporary art); the Feldherrnhalle, a neo-Renaissance loggia dedicated to Bavaria’s greatest generals; and the Ludwigstrasse, a grand corso lined with Italianate public buildings, including the Bavarian State Library and the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universitat, which the king had transferred to Munich from Landshut in 1827. Modern Munich’s greatest patron might have done even more for his capital had he not abdicated his throne during the revolutions of 1848. One of his reasons for renouncing power involved a feud with the citizens of Munich over what he regarded as another cultural asset for the city, his re- cently acquired mistress, the “Spanish dancer” Lola Montez. Née Maria Dolores Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, Lola was in reality of Anglo-Irish descent. Court lore had itthat she gained the king’s favor by baring her breasts to him at their first meeting, proving that these wonders were “nature’s work alone.” (Lola’s most recent biographer discounts this story, no doubt justi- fiably, but itisworth noting that Ludwig later wrote a poem entitled “On Lola’s Bosom.”) Not only did Lola flop as a dancer in the court theater, but she infuriated the locals by her life ofluxury at the king’s expense, her bru- tality toward tradesmen, her interference in royal politics, and her as- sumption of the title Countess of Landsfeld. She became so hated that Ludwig had to send her away for fear she might be lynched by the popu- lace: Ludwig’s son and successor, Maximilian II (1848-1864), was not as gen- erous a benefactor as his father, but he added in important ways to Mu- nich’s luster. On the architectural front he presided over the construction of another new boulevard, the Maximilianstrasse, which proved rather livelier than the Ludwigstrasse because itprovided much-needed space for private housing, art studios, shops, and hotels. King Max also commis- sioned the Glaspalast (Glass Palace), a837.2-foot-long iron and glass struc- ture modeled on Sir Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace in London. Like that building, the Glaspalast was designed to house industrial exhibits, but it soon found more consistent use as an exhibition hall for painting, sculp- ture, and graphic arts. Another modern structure commissioned by Max was the glass and iron Central Train Station, which became a focal point in Bavaria’s railway development. Above the banks ofthe Isar he built the hulking Maximilianeum, an innovative educational institute where Bavaria’s brightest students could study at state expense for careers in the civil service. Max enriched the culture of his capital also by importing talented sci- entists, scholars, and writers from other parts of Bavaria and Germany. Among his most prominent acquisitions were the great chemist Justus von Liebig, the historian Heinrich von Sybel, the poet Emanuel Geibel, and the  poet-dramatist Paul Heyse. Geibel and Heyse became fixtures in the Mu- nich Poets’ Circle, known for its richly textured works that combined pu- rity of form with otherworldliness of content. The circle dominated Munich’s literary life long after its royal patron died in 1864. Heyse in par- ticular enjoyed great success; he built a palatial villa in the Luisenstrasse and became the first German to win a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1910. Although Max’s imports gained influence across Germany, some of them inspired resentment in Munich as “outsiders” who led privileged lives as favorites of the king. Mockingly dubbed Nordlichter (northern lights) by a local journalist, they were widely seen as too pushy and arro- gant in their relations with the townsfolk, whom they sometimes dispar- aged as barely civilized bumpkins. Nonetheless, they lighted the way south for many more northern luminaries in subsequent decades. Bavaria’s best-known ruler, King Ludwig II (1864-1886), began his reign with the ambition of turning his capital into Europe’s premier venue for neoromantic music and communal theater. To that end he invited the composer Richard Wagner, whose innovative music dramas were inspir- ing both admiration and revulsion across Europe, to make Munich his new creative home. Fully sharing Wagner’s dream of revolutionizing opera, Ludwig promised to build him a splendid new theater in the Bavarian cap- ital where he could mount his great work in progress, the Ring of the Ni- belungen. As he excitedly told Wagner, “In my mind’s eye I see our longed-for building rising before me in all its majesty... . Ihear the first mysterious chords and watch the curtain rise. ...Isee gods and heroes standing before me, see the dreadful curse of the Ring slowly fulfilled.” But as so often in his melancholy life, the young king had allowed fan- tasy to crowd out reality. His ministers balked at committing state funds for the project, while the people of Munich insisted that contrary to the king’s and Wagner’s assertions, they did not need Wagnerian theater to achieve spiritual and political enlightenment. Moreover, the citizenry was up in arms over Wagner’s luxurious lifestyle, which was subsidized by Ludwig. “What [Wagner] demands in everyday life and comfort,” protested the Allgemeine Zeitung, “seems to be of so exquisitely sybaritic a naturethatnotevenanoriegrnandtsaeiglneurwouldobjecttolodgingper- manently with him . .and eating at his table.” Miinchners were also ap- palled by the composer’s openly conducted love affair with Cosima von Biilow, the wife of the pianist and conductor Hans von Biilow, whom Wagner had summoned from Berlin to help transform the musical culture of Munich. To complete his transgressions, Wagner interfered in royal pol- itics and looked down his Saxon nose at the locals. “The Miinchner,” huffed an indignant society lady, “is benevolent and respectful toward “ATHENS ON THE ISAR” & xXV  friendly talents, but will by no means put up with being condescended to or humiliated by arrogant foreigners.” Thus, like Lola Montez, Wagner became so hated that his royal benefactor was forced to send him away in 1865. The composer ultimately built his cherished Festival Theater not in Munich but in Bayreuth, near Nuremberg. Ludwig II did not abdicate his throne over this loss, but he never for- gave Munich for making him part with his “Dear One.” For the rest ofhis reign he avoided his capital as much as possible, spending the bulk of his time in the nearby Alps, where he began building, at enormous expense, his spectacular rural retreats: Neuschwanstein, Linderhof, and Her- renchiemsee. His apparent inability to curb his mania for mountain cas- tles, combined with his increasingly bizarre behavior—he conversed with imaginary guests during dinner, spoke of wanting to fly across the sky ina chariot pulled by peacocks, and made his valet wear a bag over his head in his presence—prompted his ministers to have him declared congenitally insane and unable to carry out his royal duties. However, in June 1886, be- fore he could be safely locked away ina gilded cage, he drowned mysteri- ously in Lake Starnberg south of Munich along with the psychiatrist who had (without ever interviewing him) signed the certificate of insanity. From that moment on a romantic cult flourished around the memory of Ludwig II,above allinMunich, thecityhehad rejected. Although Ludwig II personally did not do as much as his father and grandfather for Munich’s enrichment, his capital continued to act as a cul- tural magnet, especially in the plastic arts. In 1885 the Bavarian capital had more painters and sculptors than Berlin and Vienna combined. In addition to being thick on the ground, the artists exerted considerable social influ- ence. A visiting painter from England was astonished to note that Mu- nich’s artists enjoyed a level of prestige “equal to that ofa general in the army.” Some of them, like the “painter princes” Wilhelm von Kaulbach, Franz von Lenbach, and Franz von Stuck, became so wealthy that they could build grand villas. Munich’s painters sold much of their work at large annual exhibitions, which were truly cosmopolitan affairs. The First International Exhibition, held in 1869 in the Glaspalast, featured paintings by Courbet, Corot, and Manet, as well as hundreds of German works. These events were spon- sored by the Miinchener Kiinstlergenossenschaft (Munich Artists’ Soci- ety), which encouraged relationships between artists and “friends of the arts.” It organized dinners, processions, and (at Carnival time) costume balls and bacchanalian parties. The constant round ofartists’ revels was in- strumental in furthering Munich’s reputation as Germany’s answer to Paris. As one contemporary observed, “a single successful féte organized xXVi ="WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  by the artists, an effective parade, did more to popularize Munich art than halfadozen auspicious exhibitions.” While itwas known primarily for itspainters and art schools, Munich in Ludwig II’s era continued to attract writers and musicians, many of whom did their most productive work there. Hermann Levi, a gifted con- ductor from Giessen, used his tenure as Kapellmeister in Munich (1872-1896) to make the court orchestra there one of the finest musical en- sembles in Europe. Levi's Jewishness, however, caused him to be attacked in the local press as an “alien” who had no business conducting “German music.” The Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen, who moved to Munich in 1875, had an easier time of itin the Isar city, where he lived until 1891, surrounded by friends and admirers. He too sometimes ran afoul of local conservatives—one critic accused him of purveying “soulless material- ism”—but he was impressed enough by the cultural ambiance of the Bavarian capital to dub it“a genius among cities.” HOW WAS IT,then,thatthisgenialplace,thiscenterofbeerygood cheer and magnet of the muses, came to play the crucial role itdid in the development of National Socialism? This question has puzzled students of the German scene for years. Summing up the quandary in a pioneering essay in 1957, the Bavarian scholar Georg Franz asked: “Why precisely Munich? Why, of all places, should this ‘Athens on the Isar’ have been re- garded as the cradle and nursery of that cataclysmic force?” Franz’s query is asmall but significant piece of that much larger puzzle: How was itthat the land of Dichter und Denker (poets and thinkers) became the country of Mérder und Henker (murderers and hangmen)? To the extent that commentators have dealt with the Munich dimension of the German catastrophe, they have tended to focus on the immediate background of the Nazi Party’s Foundation, the revolution of 1918-1919. Munich, alone among major German cities, experienced an escalation of revolutionary chaos that culminated in back-to-back soviet regimes, the last of which amounted to a grimly brutal attempt to emulate the Bolshe- vik model in Russia. The Munich soviet experiment quickly collapsed, but the trauma of those days seared the consciousness of the city’s middle classes to such a degree that they were highly receptive to the anti-Marxist message of the Nazis. As Franz puts it,“The fundamentally anti-revolu- tionary mood of the Bavarian population may be regarded as the basis for the antirevolutionary movement of which the Nazi party was a part. In the story of the revolution, therefore—the story of the bolshevik soviet repub- ATHENS ONTHEISAR”&XVIt  lic in Munich and its rejection—lies the key to the place of Munich in the history of the Nazi party.” One of the operating principles of this book isthat Munich’s fateful po- litical role between 1919 and 1945 isbest understood by starting the story in a rather different setting—in the so-called golden age of Munich that encompassed the three or four decades before World War I.During most of this period Bavaria basked under the benevolent tutelage of Prince Re- gent Luitpold (1886-1912), who ruled on behalf of Ludwig II’s younger brother, Otto. (Otto could not take power himself because he was consid- erably more demented than Ludwig; he was hidden away from public view at the Fiirstenried Palace until his death in 1916.) Our study begins in the Prince Regency period because, as I shall argue in detail in the first chapter, fin de siécle Munich’s much-celebrated culture had a deeply prob- lematical side in terms of the ideological legacy it left behind. It was a cul- ture that generated not only outstanding works of the modernist spirit—one thinks, for example, of the paintings of the Blaue Reiter school and the pioneering designs ofthe Jugendstil movement—but also an inter- nal critique of cosmopolitan modernity and political liberalism that could easily be embraced by the Nazis and their vélkisch allies. Indeed, a Nazi commentator in Munich had this protofascist cultural heritage in mind when he proposed in 1935 that the Bavarian capital had always remained “healthy in its essence” and that there were extensive ties connecting the Hitlermovement tothehistoricallifeofthecity. Important lines of continuity can also be detected in the realm of so- cioeconomic and political developments. Under Prince Regent Luitpold, who was loved for his common touch and lack of stuffiness, Munich was often praised as a “classless” and “harmonious” city. Yet in reality the Prince Regency era was a time ofescalating social discord and rising polit- ical tension. The “good old days” of Luitpold’s rule coincided with an up- surge of population growth, ethnic diversification, and industrial expansion—in short, with Munich’s emergence as amodern metropolis. Boisterous Gemiitlichkeit was as evident as ever in the beer halls, but in- creasingly ithad an aggressive edge to it,as ifone could repress unwanted change with a hearty song and a thump of the stein. Munich’s difficult pas- sage to metropolitan modernity, like its troubled transition to cultural prominence, helped set the stage for the political and ideological battles of the twentieth century. Munich had been growing steadily through the first two thirds of the nineteenth century, its numbers climbing from approximately 34,000 in 1800 to 230,000 in 1880. In the next three decades the population more than doubled, reaching 596,000 in 1910. Most of the newcomers came from XVIII ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  other parts ofGermany or from eastern Europe. By the turn of the century almost half the city’s inhabitants were not native-born. With rapid population growth came the usual urban ills. Many of the newcomers crowded into seedy, congested districts like Giesing and the Au. Local boosters liked to tout these quarters as “picturesque,” but the residents generally saw things differently. “We had a room and a kitchen,” recalled a working-class girl from the Au. “My sister slept on the floor in thekitchen; Isleptbetween my parents intheother room. That was com- pletely normal for workers. It was unheard of for children to have their own beds, or for workers to have living rooms or bathrooms in their houses.” Humorist Karl Valentin’s nine-member family lived in one room, which had “one good feature—running water—which ran day and night down the walls.” As the tide of immigrants rose, new working-class dis- tricts sprang up outside the old city center. The housing there consisted of drab stack-a-prole Mietskasernen (rental barracks), which, like their better- known counterparts in Berlin, featured long, dingy corridors and cav- ernous inner courtyards where light scarcely penetrated. Neither the old hovels nor the new flats came cheaply. “Munich isan ex- pensive city,” observed the American consul in 1893, “especially as far as rents are concerned. I speak from personal experience in Paris, London, Rome ... and other cities in Germany.” The poor were particularly hard hit by the frequent rent increases, which forced them to move repeatedly insearch ofaffordable quarters. The high cost ofliving also bred a plague of begging. In 1886 the city’s largest newspaper, the national liberal Miinchener Neueste Nachrichten, complained that hordes of beggars were congregating around the beer halls and popular tourist sites. These predators, admonished the paper, should not be confused with the “genuinely helpless people to whom Miinchners’ hearts are always open.” Rather, they were “work-shy thieves” whose presence was a threat to the city’s orderly image. The police re- sponded to the begging plague with periodic roundups of “doubtful char- acters.” Another by-product of the expanding metropolis was prostitution, which increased dramatically with the influx of rural migrants and the es- calating cost of living. Prostitution was legal in Munich so long as the women registered with the police, submitted to periodic medical exams, and stayed away from the fancy tourist areas. Needless to say, these re- strictions ensured that the majority of Munich whores never bothered to register. In 1907 there were 107 registered prostitutes, but a poll among the prostitutes put the number at more than 2,000, a figure accepted by the vice police. Whatever the actual tally, whores certainly seemed omnipresent. A “ATHENS ON THE ISAR” @© XIX  XX B= WHERE GHOSTS WALKED pamphlet entitled The Secrets ofMunich (1910) complained: “Neuhauser- strasse, Kaufingerstrasse, and Marienplatz are particularly infested. Every SIX paces, it seems, one encounters a prostitute. If they do not whisper ‘Come along’ or a similar phrase, they give you a challenging look or even grab you by the sleeve.” Another report insisted that whores and their pimps were so numerous around the Isartorplatz that “no decent woman can walk there.” More dangerous than female prostitution, from the standpoint of vigi- lant moralists, was a proliferation of homosexuality and a growing sex trade in young boys. Das Bayerische Vaterland, an archconservative paper, claimed that a “flood of homosexuality” was inundating Germany, citing the Eulenburg affair in Berlin as a case in point. (Count Philipp zu Eulen- burg, a prominent diplomat and close friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II’s, was exposed as a homosexual by the muckraking journalist Maximilian Harden in 1908.) The homosexual flood had reached Munich, complained the paper, because local liberals were treating this phenomenon as a “men- tal illness” rather than as a willful perversion, thereby giving it“scientific respectability.” A similar message was conveyed by a Munich cabaret song: “Years ago no one knew the homosexual curse /Love was normal then, not perverse /But now not just Eulenburg loves this way /Our city teems with creatures ofhissway /Warm friendship blooms rank on rank /Aside the pretty Isar bank.” Local homosexuals did not confine their attentions to fellow adults, noted alarmed conservatives, but exploited the services of Strichjungen, young male prostitutes. The Munich police brought a number of cases of male prostitution before the courts in the first decade of the twentieth cen- tury, but they insisted that these were just the tip of the iceberg since this “antisocial vice” was practiced “in the greatest secrecy.” Munich’seconomy wasalsoinastateoffluxduringthePrinceRegency period. Although small producers and purveyors to the court—tradition- ally the backbone of the local economy—continued to play an important role, the city began to develop a significant manufacturing base with a sub- stantially larger labor force. Between 1882 and 1895 the number oflicensed firms operating in the city increased by 68.1 percent, and from 1895 to 1907 grew another 21.9 percent. Artisanal shops increasingly took on the qual- ity of small factories, doubling in average size between 1882 and 1907, when one third ofthe plants were classed as Grossbetriebe (large enterprises employing more than fiftyworkers). These changes greatly increased tensions in the labor market. In the mid-1880s Munich surpassed Nuremberg as Bavaria’s major center of labor unrest. Complaining of job competition from foreigners willing to  work for lower wages, factory workers and artisans repeatedly went on strike, prompting the employers to band together in protective associations and to rely even more heavily on recent immigrants. After the turn of the century the strike movement abated, but not because the workers had made significant progress. In 1912 a Munich police report stated that the “welcome” decline in strikes was due “solely to the employers’ ability to match the workers in solidarity.” Munich’s emergence as a metropolis also brought significant changes on the political front. The city’s political scene had been dominated since mid- century by its business and professional elites, which tended to take a rel- atively liberal stance on issues of religion and economics. That is, they favored minimal clerical influence in daily life and opposed state or guild control of business and trade. Small in number, the wealthy elites used franchise restrictions to maintain their hold on power. But in the last decades ofthe century new forces emerged to challenge liberal dominance. While varying in composition and orientation, the new parties shared a populist commitment to democratizing the political order. Yet democrati- zation could also bring, as itdid in Vienna and Budapest, a tip toward re- ligious sectarianism, nativism, hypernationalism, and anti-Semitism. The first group to challenge the liberal parties in Munich was the Pa- triots Party, which had been established in 1868 by militant Catholics to fight for religious prerogatives and states’ rights following the Bavarian- Austrian defeat by Protestant Prussia in 1866. Capitalizing on widespread fears of a “Prussianization” of the emerging German nation, the Patriots (renamed the Bavarian Center Party in 1887) won a slight majority in the Bavarian Landtag (diet) in 1869. When, two years later, Germany became unified under Prussian domination, the Patriots used their strength in the Landtag to combat German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s anticlerical program, known as the Kulturkampf (cultural struggle). They also fought against liberal cultural policies pursued by the government of Prince Re- gent Luitpold. While continuing franchise restrictions at the municipal level kept them from penetrating the Munich City Council, their influence in the Bavarian legislature exerted—as we shall see—a dramatic impact on the cultural politics of “Isar Athens” in the early twentieth century. In 1887 Social Democracy, the party of Germany’s industrial working classes, came to Munich in the form of the Munich Social Democratic Workers’ Association. Despite a flurry of new anti-Socialist laws intro- duced at the national level, the fledgling party grew quickly. As early as 1878 Socialists won 14 percent of the vote in Munich’s two Reichstag (na- tional parliament) districts. (Voting for the Reichstag was by universal manhood suffrage.) This success was due in large part to the party’s leader, “ATHENS ON, THE ISAR”TM”TM © XXII  Georg von Vollmar, a folksy figure who eschewed Marxian dogmatism for pragmatic reformism. Vollmar himself won one of Munich’s Reichstag seats in 1884. Six years later, in 1890, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) captured both of Munich’s Reichstag seats. At the Bavarian Landtag level they won one mandate from Munich in 1893, four in 1899, and (after a re- duction in franchise restrictions) eight in 1907. Another new political force was virulent anti-Semitism. Like many western and central European cities, Munich experienced an upsurge of anti-Semitism in the last decades of the nineteenth century. In part this stemmed from a sudden growth in the size of the Jewish population. As late as 1875 only 3,451 Jews lived in Munich. By 1900, however, the figure had reached 8,739. Though still tiny by the standards of Berlin or Vienna, this was the largest concentration in southern Germany. Some of the growth came from within Bavaria and other parts of Germany, but many of the new migrants were Ostjuden (Eastern Jews) from Galicia, Poland, and Russia. They congregated in specific districts, such as Bavariaring and the Gartnerplatz. With their distinctive dress, habits, and speech, the Os- yuden hardly went unnoticed. As early as 1895 a local chronicler wrote: “Like the Chinese to California came the Jews to Munich: diligent, frugal, numerous, and thoroughly hated.” Munich’s more established Jewish community, while not readily distin- guishable from the rest of the population in speech or dress, was also “no- ticeable” because of its tendency to cluster in certain professions or businesses. The University of Munich was said to function as a “secular- ized Talmud high school” for the many Jews who obtained degrees there. Like their counterparts in Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, and Prague, many Munich Jews parlayed their professional skills into illustrious careers. The Eichtal, Hirsch, and Auhduser families were prominent in banking, the Bernheimers and Wallachs were distinguished in the art trade, and Her- mann Tietz dominated the new department store business. Alfred Pring- sheim, who had converted to Protestantism, was one of Munich’s leading art patrons. Such prominent and successful figures liked to think that they were well assimilated into the local social establishment, a perception that was undoubtedly enhanced by Bavaria’s promulgation of legal equality for Jews in 1869. But legal equality did little to change the fact that even the most assimilated Jews were often seen as not fully German. Nor did efforts at assimilation shield Jews from charges that they were responsible for many of the social ills associated with rapid urbanization and industrial- ization. Indeed, their successes made them all the more despised by those who were falling by the wayside in the new economic environment. Thus XXII ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  the retailer Hermann Tietz, who built Munich’s first department store, was accused of driving his salesgirls to prostitution by paying them less than a living wage. Jewish financiers were said to be behind the specula- tion 1n urban real estate that was driving up rents and building costs. Hostility toward Jews was vented ina variety ofways, from innuendo- filled newspaper articles to occasional physical attacks by “patriotic” louts. One satirical weekly, the Grobian, made anti-Semitism its chief theme. The conservative Szaatsbiirgerzeitung complained of “a terrifying increase in the Jewish element” that was threatening to “destroy the healthy kernel of theMunich middle class.” Popular folk singers who worked the raucous beer halls around the Platz! (little square), and whose songs both reflected and shaped public opinion (much like today’s talk show hosts), conjured up horror visions of a city being overrun by strange, foul-smelling crea- tures from the East. A couple of examples will suffice: “One sees these an- imals by the score /Hirsch and Low and many more /From Russia and Galicia they roam / Settle here and call ithome.” Or: “Take a stroll down the Thal /Look at the people, one and all/Some natives from Regensburg you'll surely spy / But the hordes from Jerusalem will stick in your eye.” Munich’s most popular folk singer, Weiss Ferd] (Little White Horse), identified Jews with the obnoxious by-products of technological modern- ization. “Cohen and Sarah go motoring for a blast /Up front itstinks of garlic, and out back of gas.” Malicious toward unassimilated Ostjuden, Ferdl and his colleagues were no easier on Jews who sought to blend in with Gentile society by convert- ing to Christianity or by changing their names. On the contrary, they tar- geted these Jews for special abuse. “A Schutz remains a Schutz, come rain or shine /And aJew stays aJew, though he converts ahundred times.” Or: “Kohn changes his name to help escape the shame / But ‘Julius Schmid’ he cannot chew / Ask his name and he’ll blurt out ‘Schmulius Jew.’ ” Munich’s populist folk singers were expressing in their beery idiom what influential scientists around Europe were retailing in learned lectures: the doctrine that biology was destiny. Such sentiments soon became the stuff of organized politics. In De- cember 1891 a group calling itself the Deutsch-Sozialer Verein (DSV) reg- istered with the police as Munich’s first anti-Semitic party. Composed primarily of craftshop owners, small retailers, and low-level officials, itbe- sieged the state government with petitions detailing the grievances of Bavaria’s “little men.” Viktor Welcker, the group’s chief propagandist, cried: “In the interest of national self-preservation, we cannot allow that our people are sucked dry by the international Jewish stock-exchange pump. Nor can we tolerate that our peasants and middle classes, the back- “ATHENS ON THE ISAR®” ® XXIII  XXIV © WHERE GHOSTS WALKED bone of our monarchical system, are proletarianized and driven into the arms of Social Democracy by a cartel of usurious Jewish cattle dealers, heartless clearance-sale jobbers, and aggressive pushcart peddlers—all backed up by liberal laws on trade and commercial mobility.” A newspaper allied to the DSV, the Deutsche Volksblatt, urged the Bavarian government not just to rescind laws liberalizing trade but to pro- hibit outright such “Jewish” commercial enterprises as department stores, chain stores, cut-rate bazaars, rental agencies, and street peddling. It also urged curbs on the recently instituted stock exchange, an alleged bastion of “unproductive Jewish capital.” New limited liability companies should be subjected to a special tax, and the proceeds used for the relief of small producers and retailers who did not “enjoy the protection ofinternational high finance.” The paper also urged the government to overturn the eman- cipation law of1869, to exclude Jews from public office, and to reduce Jew- ish participation in the medical and legal professions. “The future belongs to those nations that are most successful in freeing themselves from the curse of the Jews.” In addition to being a hotbed ofanti-Semitism, fin de siécle Munich fig- ured prominently in a corollary movement: Pan-Germanism. Alhough, once again, Munich was hardly alone in pushing this cause, Pan-German- ism was particularly militant there owing to the competing presence of Bavarian Catholic particularism and the city’s geographical location on the southeastern periphery of the Reich. Munich’s hypernationalists, many of whom wereProtestants,wereanxioustoprovethattheywerejustas“Ger- man” as the folks in the heartland. Here they had much in common with their counterparts in Vienna, who saw themselves as an island ofGermanic purity in a sea of ultramontane Catholicism, Judaism, and rising Slavic na- tionalism. Munich’s branch of the Pan-German League, established in the mid- 1890s, was one of the largest in the Reich. Serving as hosts for the league’s annual meeting in 1898, leaders of the Munich chapter advertised their city as the “kernel” of Pan-German thinking. In his greeting to the delegates, a representative of the municipal government urged that Munich play a key role in the league’s expansion into Austria and Bohemia. This would be a “natural mission” for the Bavarian capital, said the speaker, because Munich had originally “colonized” this region for German culture. One of the founders of the Munich branch of the Pan-German League was a local publisher of medical and scientific books named Julius Friedrich Lehmann. Later to be awarded the Nazi Party’s first Golden Medal of Honor, Lehmann used his publishing business to distribute ex- treme racist and nationalist literature. Convinced that the Berlin govern-  ment was not doing enough to expand German influence outside the Reich, he created a “war fund” to “strengthen Germandom on our lan- guage borders and abroad, to support German settlers, students, libraries, and economic enterprises, and [to help establish] colonies throughout the world.” Lehmann was quick to add, however, that the struggle for Germandom abroad could not prosper ifthe Volk at home fell victim to corrupting in- fluences. Although he and his colleagues often railed against the Germans’ subservience to foreign cultural values, especially those of France, they be- lieved that the greatest danger came from those “internal aliens” the Jews. “[W]e are not conducting a pogrom,” wrote Lehmann in 1903, “but we seek, as much as possible, to exclude [Jewish] influence from our political and cultural life.” Convinced that mainstream Christianity, with its Judaic foundations, was no effective antidote to Jewish “corruption,” Lehmann called for a “Germanic Christianity” that would incorporate the myths and legends handed down from pagan ancestors. While the publisher found both Protestants and Catholics remiss in their attitude toward German national values, he singled out the latter for especial abuse, accusing “Rome” of de- liberately favoring Slavs over Germans in the Habsburg monarchy. At home he saw an insidious conspiracy between political Catholicism and Judaism to thwart the growth of German culture and identity. He hoped that Germany might give birth to a “new Luther” who would “bring on a struggle which will shake our foundations [and] compel the entire na- tion—indeed the whole world—to take a stand on the great questions of our time.” Lehmann could hardly have known, at the turn of the century, that his “Luther” would appear so soon or that he would do so in his own hometown. WHEN ADOLE HITLER arrived inMunich in1913,hesettledon the edge ofSchwabing, the city’sartistic and intellectual quarter. He did so because he considered himself an artist and wanted to be close to the cen- ter of action. By this time, the eve of World War I,Schwabing’s creative bloom was beginning to fade, but in the last decades ofthe nineteenth cen- tury the district had harbored one of the most exuberant avant-garde scenes in the world. If Munich as a whole had established itself as Ger- many’s Athens, then Schwabing was Germany’s bohemia. Yet itwas a very troubled bohemia, not a refuge from but a hothouse of the pressures and antagonisms afflicting the new German Reich. “ATHENS ON THE ISAR” © XXV  Walls where ghosts still risk to walk, Soilasyetuntouched bybane, Oh town of folk and youth! Of home we dare not speak, Until we see Our Lady’s spires reign. —Stephan George, “Munich”  Na!TealTet188Jet GinkOrsists WALKED 4   Germany's Bohemia “SCHWABING WAS A spiritual island in the great world, in Germany, mostly in Munich itself,” observed Wassily Kandinsky, the Russian painter, who lived in the district from 1897 to 1908. Erich Miihsam, an anarchist who was to play a major role in the Munich revo- lution of 1918, wrote: “I think of the free spiritual wind that blew through Schwabing and made the district synonymous with culture.” Such phrases well capture the popular image of Munich’s famed artists’ quarter at the turn of the century. The Bavarian capital, itwas said, had produced in these vibrant streets lying just north of the Old City a  German Montmartre or Chelsea, a freethinking, free-living antidote to the stuffy authoritarianism of the Wilhelmian Reich. The notion of Schwabing as a bohemian paradise became so well established that fifty years later, after a lot of very dirty water had flowed under Munich’s bridges, the physicist Werner Heisenberg, a native Miinchner, could speak of “live-and-let-live Schwabing,” whose “spirit of tolerance” had set the tone for the entire town. Like many clichés, this one was not without some validity: Schwabing was undoubtedly a “beautiful place to live,” as Viktor Mann, Thomas Mann’s younger brother, insisted in his memoirs. Yet such elegiac imagery obscured the complex realities of the quarter in the decades just before World War I.As Kandinsky noted, Schwabing was an “island” not only in the great world but also in Greater Munich. Many of the city’s estab- lished residents had little use for the hordes of non-Bavarian artists, intel- lectuals, and students who frequented the quarter. Native Miinchners labeled the expatriates Schlawiner—a derogatory term for Eastern Europeans—and generally looked askance on their unorthodox lifestyles. Like the Nordlichter of Max II’s day, the Schlawiner were in turn often contemptuous of the natives. The writer Theodor Lessing, an ex-Berliner, appreciated the locals’ “sensual sloppiness” but found them “bearlike in their dim brains and fat hips.” Lujo Brentano, an academic import, con- sidered the Miinchners so “decisively hostile to high culture that they [were] destined to go under, like the Sioux in North America.” Even Thomas Mann, who had a genuine affection for his adopted town (he had moved there from Liibeck in 1894), could complain that Munich was “the unliterary city par excellence. Banal women and healthy men—God knowswhata lotofcontemptIloadintotheword‘healthy’!”Mann’sfirst novel, Buddenbrooks (1901), caricatured the typical Miinchner via a char- acter named Alois Permaneder, a hops dealer interested only in marrying into money and drinking his three liters of beer a day. True Schwabinger preferred cafés to beer halls. Among the district’s many Kénstlercafés, the most famous was the Stefanie, whose patrons sat around declaiming poetry and solving the problems of the world amid a perpetual cloud ofcigarette smoke. Talk was cheap, and a good thing too, for most of the talkers were broke; the headwaiter carried a battered lit- tle book in which he marked down debts that rarely got paid. “He who entered this place to become a regular patron crossed the rubicon of his life,” recalled the writer Richard Seewald. “Here he could lay the basis for later fame or totally come a cropper. Here he could find himself by wan- dering through a jungle of philosophies or become hopelessly lost and go to seed in some back alley.” Not without reason was the Stefanie known as Café Gréssenwahn (Café Grand Illusion). 4 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  Aflame with their grand illusions, the Schwabingers waged protracted battles over intellectual turf. The streets were alive with sectarian rancor, personal feuds, and ideological discord. As one veteran of the scene recalled, “[We were] enemy nomadic tribes occupying the same never- never land ofself-importance. When our warpaths converged, we crossed cutting glances like sword blades.” It was here, in the first years of the new century, that a Russian émigré named Nikolai Ulyanov took the pseudonym Lenin and launched a revolutionary magazine called Istra (Spark). In 1904 Lev Trotsky spent a few months in the Schwabing apart- ment of a local Socialist publisher. And of course it was here that Germany’s own future world burner, Adolf Hitler, was to find a conge- nial home. Looking back on Prince Regency Schwabing after World War II,the philosopher Ludwig Klages argued: “Here, and here alone, the die was cast, and the thirty years’ war of 1914-1945 was only the working out of fate.” Klages’s assertion undoubtedly overshot the mark, for Munich- Schwabing was hardly the only intellectual foundry in which the weapons of the coming ideological struggle were forged. Another observer of the Munich scene, the cultural historian Moritz Julius Bonn, was closer to the mark when he observed that “A good many spiritual threads connect [Hitler] with the bohemian crowd that by and by came to be known by thename ofSchwabing.” The Modern Life Society Munich-Schwabing’s avant-garde culture may be said to have been launched on 18 December 1890, when a group calling itself the Gesellschaft fiir modernes Leben (Modern Life Society) registered with the Munich police. According to its statutes, this “nonpolitical literary- artistic association” would cultivate “the modern creative spirit” through lectures, stage productions, art exhibitions, and a periodical. The society welcomed “all people... who wish to engage actively in the fight for the modern spirit.” The group’s declared enemies were the cultural tradi- tionalists around Paul Heyse’s Munich Poets’ Circle, which, though estab- lished under Maximilian II, still commanded considerable influence. Another foe was the clerically supported Center Party, which tended to equate artistic modernism with political and religious subversion. Publication of the society’s goals generated so much interest that when it held its first public lecture evening, on 29 January 1891, the hall was sold out. A police observer reported that there were “many Social Democrats present, as well as many young businessmen and Jews; also many ele- GERMANY’S BOHEMIA  6 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED gantly dressed women whose toilettes suffered in the crush.” The meeting was opened by the group’s principal founder, Michael Georg Conrad, a journalist from Franconia (northern Bavaria) who had made a name for himselfinMunich through his advocacy ofliterary nat- uralism and his biting attacks on the conservative Catholic establishment. On this occasion he was surprisingly mild, as were the comments of two other charter members, the litterateurs Otto Julius Bierbaum and Julius Schaumberger. Conservatives who had come to be scandalized must have been disappointed. They found ample cause for indignation, however, in the performance of the evening’s last speaker, a young journalist and playwright named Hanns von Gumppenberg. The son of an impoverished Bavarian noble- man who worked in Munich’s post office, Gumppenberg believed that one ofliterature’s main functions was to slaughter sacred cows. Thus he used his hour on the stage at the Modern Life Society to deliver a wither- ing parody of the “forever yesterdays” of the Munich Poets’ Circle. “Mocking, angry, and threatening cries flew at me from the excited crowd,” he recalled in his memoirs. “[In] the wake of my performance, the evening ended full of discord and a general escalation of passions.” In the following days Bavaria’s conservative newspapers ran alarming stories about the Modern Life Society. “How happy the Social Democrats will be,” wrote the Catholic Bayerischer Kurier, “over these pioneers who prepare the way for them.” The Ménchener Fremdenblatt labeled the Modern Lifers “Socialists in tailcoats” who were more dangerous than the proletarians because they sought to “carry out among the upper ten thou- sand the work that the Social Democrats are performing among the ‘socially dispossessed.’ ” Believing that the society’s critics were misrepresenting its constructive posture, Conrad published the lectures of the inaugural meeting. But instead of calming passions, this (in the self-important words of Gumppenberg) “split Munich into two rival camps.” A Catholic critic wrote verses attacking the society, while Schaumberger weighed in with another parody of the Munich Poets’ Circle. Gumppenberg, disguised as a beggar woman “to confuse our opponents,” handed out copies of the parody on the Maximilianstrasse. Although not seeing through his dis- guise, an angry mob set upon him and forced him to take refuge in the ladies’ room of the Parsifal restaurant. While Gumppenberg saved his skin for the moment, he soon ran afoul of the conservatives once again, this time more seriously. Shortly after the Modern Life Society’s inaugural lecture, anew play of his called Messias (The Messiah) appeared in Munich’s bookstores, The play depicted Christ  as a purely human apostle of peace and social progress who had duped his followers by faking miracles. Predictably, Bavaria’s Catholic press pounced on the playwright, con- demning his work not only as blatantly atheistic but also as politically sub- versive. “The church is his first target, the state his second,” cried the Fremdenblatt. Munich’s clerical authorities demanded that the govern- ment take legal action against the author. Gumppenberg’s father, hoping to protect his job, hurriedly bought up the entire stock of Messias. The young artist, meanwhile, responded with a new lecture entitled “The Atheistic Treatment ofReligious Subjects.” Here he argued that “itisnot I,but my opponents, who are atheists.” This tack failed to impress the Catholic press, which insisted that Gumppenberg had ridiculed Christ as a “laughable fool” and “disgusting figure.” As the church hoped, this induced the police to bring formal charges of blasphemy against the playwright, which in the event of con- viction could have led to a jail term. The charges were dropped, howev- er, when Gumppenberg was able to prove that he had not actually said that Christ was loathsome and ridiculous, only that the Catholic zmage of him suggested absurdity. It had been a close call, and the Catholic establishment was now more determined than ever to put the playwright behind bars. Gumppenberg played into their hands with another provocative foray. At the Modern Life Society’s third lecture evening he read a number of poems by the rad- ical Berlin naturalist Karl Henckell. One of them, entitled “Monarchs Who Have No Time,” took some unmistakable jabs at the new kaiser, Wilhelm IT, whose restless traveling allegedly left him no time to concen- trate on problems at home. Gumppenberg got an inkling of the stir he was causing when two officers stalked out of the room. Immediately after the meeting the Catholic Fremdenblatt demanded that Gumppenberg be charged with lése majesté. The Bavarian cabinet was sensitive to this accusation, for in the wake of its treatment of King Ludwig IIin1886itwas anxious toshow itsloyaltytomonarchical insti- tutions. The government also hoped that by tossing the disgruntled Catholics the occasional errant artist they might stave off the Center Party’s push for control of the cabinet. Brought to trial for lése majesté, Gumppenberg argued that he had not intended to undermine the monarchy. The judges conceded this point but insisted that he must have known that his recitation would be “provoca- tive” in the given context. They handed down a sentence of two months’ incarceration. “The ultramontane court wanted to make an example of me,” declared the playwright.  While controversy swirled around Gumppenberg, Conrad sought to defend the Modern Life Society against charges of irreligiosity by announcing that itstood “on the ground of the Gospels, not on the ground of atheism.” Conrad’s declaration did not sit well with younger members of the society, who interpreted it as a craven retreat before the forces of reaction. Bierbaum and Schaumberger declared that they were “fully com- mitted to the consequences of the modern ideal in this domain [religion].” Conrad’s backpedaling did not pacify the Catholics. On 7 February 1892 the Fremdenblatt charged that anyone who listened to Conrad and his friends would know that they glorified divorce, encouraged suicide, promoted the doctrine of “natural sensuality,” and waged war against “positive religion.” The paper also revived the charge that the naturalists were agents of political subversion. The Modern Life Society, it insisted, “walks arm in arm with the Socialists.” This last charge was not entirely groundless, for some of the younger members of the society had indeed lectured before working-class audi- ences, and workers had been well represented at the group’s meetings. Believing that itmight advance social progress, the Socialist Miinchener Post had applauded the formation of the society. The paper had also backed some of the group’s cultural causes, including its appeal for an independent “people’s theater” that could mount uncut versions of social- lycritical plays. The Catholics’ claim that the Modern Life Society was an artistic front for the SPD enraged Conrad, who feared that the charge might lead to legal suppression. But his indignation also stemmed from his conviction that the accusation was unfounded. If the society made contact with workers, Conrad said, itwas to wean them from the SPD, whose revolu- tionary agenda itrejected in favor ofa reconciliation between the masses and the monarchy. As if to show that avant-garde artists could be respectable monarchists, Conrad represented the society at a party honor- ing the prince regent’s seventieth birthday; he even toasted the ruler in the name of Munich’s progressives. In the society’s new journal, Moderne Blatter (Modern Leaves), he threw the Socialists into the same pot with the ultramontane Catholics, insisting that both worked for “the destruction of the national spirit.” Conrad claimed to be speaking for the Modern Life Society, but he was actually speaking for himself. His stance prompted a new revolt from other members of the society that angered him so much he resigned his chairmanship in December 1891. As he explained to the police, he could no longer tolerate “the radical undercurrents of the thoroughgoing mod- ernists.” 8 B® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  With Conrad’s resignation, the Modern Life Society quickly lost what- ever coherence ithad ever possessed. Gumppenberg, Schaumberg, and Bierbaum remained members but spent most of their time working on projects unconnected with the society. A police report in 1892 observed that the group’s meetings lacked the verve of earlier gatherings. With its members pursuing different aesthetic visions and with no strong leader to impose unity, the society voluntarily dissolved in February 1893. The Modern Life Society’s brief history revealed certain tendencies in Munich’s fledgling avant-garde that persisted over the next quarter cen- tury. Every bit as self-righteous as their opponents, the Modern Lifers believed they were on a mission to purify German culture of outmoded forms. Although they sometimes denied harboring any political inten- tions, they understood that art was a weapon and used itas such. While taking obvious delight in attacking clerical traditions, they were ambiva- lent when itcame to prevailing secular authority. Some toyed with social- ism, though none did much to promote the SPD’s cause. Gumppenberg might make fun of Kaiser Wilhelm II, but he and his colleagues consid- ered themselves staunch German nationalists—indeed the purest patriots in Bavaria. They respected the Bavarian ruling house, for the Wittelsbachs had been crucial sponsors of cultural progress. Their prob- lem, however, was that the new regency was finding it ever harder to defend “blasphemous” artists against an increasingly assertive clerical establishment. By insisting that the Modern Life Society’s attacks on reli- gion were also attacks on the state, the church was making itvery diffi- cult for the secular authorities to turn a blind eye. At the same time, the confrontations with the authorities exacerbated internal divsisions within the group. Enamored with visions of the artist as lonely hero, the Modern Lifers could not work together to maintain a common front. Oskar Panizza: Bavaria’s Bruno The Modern Life Society’s collapse by no means calmed the conflict between Munich’s avant-garde and clerical establishment since some of the modernists stepped up their anticlerical crusade in the wake of the society’s demise. A society veteran named Oskar Panizza (1853-1921) emerged in the last years of the century as Munich’s most notorious Catholic baiter. . Panizza, like Conrad, hailed from Franconia, where he had learned to hate Catholics from his Protestant mother. She wanted him to be a cler- gyman, but he decided to become a psychiatrist, a prophetic choice of pro- GERMANY’S BOHEMIA  fessions inasmuch as he was to end his days in an insane asylum. In the late 1880s he found employment as an army doctor but devoted most of his time to writing plays and poetry. His work came to the attention of Conrad, who invited him to join the Modern Life Society in May 1891. By this time Panizza had gained a well-deserved reputation for eccen- tricity. A partial cripple with a bent back and large head, he was called “a limping Mephistopheles with a monk’s face.” He was accompanied every- where bya little terrier, Puzzi, whose observations on life he recorded in his “Diary of aDog.” Appropriately his first presentation at the Modern Life Society was called “Genius and Madness.” Conrad soon had reason to regret his sponsorship of Panizza, for a con- tribution by the doctor led the police to confiscate a society anthology in September 1891. The offending piece, entitled “The Crime in Tavistock Square,” was a mock detective story featuring garden plants practicing nightly masturbation. When word reached Panizza’s military superiors that their unit physician had written a story about Pflanzen-Onanie, they ordered him to give up his literary avocation. He refused, and they cashiered him. Panizza now embarked full-time on the mission he knew to be his true calling, that of skewering the self-appointed guardians of traditional morality. At the seventh meeting of the Modern Life Society, on 2 December 1891, he called attention to a recent “morality conference” of pietist pastors that had condemned modern realistic art in the name of “the eternal rules of morality.” The pietists obviously did not realize, observed Panizza, that the record of German literature from Roswitha, a nymphomaniac nun of the tenth century, to Heinrich Heine was “one long chain of sensuality.” In other works Panizza defended prostitution as a “natural human drive”; praised Martin Luther for having slept around before his mar- riage; interpreted the Grimm’s Fairy Tales as explorations in incest and zoophilia; appraised Wagner’s Parsifal as “spiritual fodder for pederasts”; and, in a play entitled The Council ofLove, depicted the Holy Family as a circle of drugged debauchés who conspire with Lucifer to infect human- itywith syphilis. The Council ofLove was so patently offensive that the Munich prose- cutor’s office ordered the confiscation ofall copies that could be found in local stores. In January 1895 the state began legal proceedings against Panizza for “crimes against religion, committed through the press.” The dramatist now saw himselfasa Bavarian Bruno, ready to don “the bloody halo.” “It is time,” he said, “for the public to learn that atheism too is not without itsheroes and martyrs.” 10 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  And martyr he became. The court sentenced him to a year’s imprison- ment, more than the prosecutor had asked for. Yet one of the jurors declared that Panizza should be happy with his sentence; had he been tried in a Lower Bavarian village, the juror said, “that dog would not have gotten out alive.” This was the harshest sentence yet levied for blasphemy in modern Germany, and Panizza’s colleagues in the Modern Life Society were shocked at its implications for artistic expression. They insisted, as Conrad put it,that “the only forum” to which artists were responsible was the aesthetic criticism of their peers. Theodor Lessing protested that “Questions of literature do not belong before bourgeois courts.” For all his strident iconoclasm, Panizza was in certain ways more in tune with community standards than he was given credit for. There was another side to his work that in retrospect seems at least as important as his attacks on traditional values. In his defense of prostitution as “natu- ral,” for example, Panizza insisted that he was upholding the female’s “inveterate tendency toward sluttishness” and seduction. This was a view of female nature that many conservative males, horrified by the dawning movement for women’s rights, could readily accept. The main difference between Panizza’s perspective and more conventional fin de siécle takes on “female perversity” is that he did not advance the usual Madonna/whore dichotomy; he left out the Madonna part. Panizza also espoused an unabashed anti-Semitism. Like most racialist commentators ofhis day, he considered Jews artistically inferior to Gentiles, albeit “supe- rior in craft.” Although (or perhaps because) he was himself no fine spec- imen of Nordic manhood, he made much of the Jews’ alleged ugliness. In a nasty little story called “Der operierte Jud” (The Surgically Altered Jew), he wrote ofawealthy Jew who underwent several nose operations to rid himself of his Semitic features, only to be betrayed by his circum- cised penis on his wedding night. Panizza also announced that while some Jews lusted after nubile Nordic women, most preferred young boys, a proclivity they shared with Catholic priests. Both Catholicism and Judaism, he declared, were marked by “something weak, formless, soft, timid, cowardly, and evasive.” If the Germans hoped to become domi- nant, he insisted, they must overcome the influence of sexually inverted priests and Jews. After his release from jail in 1896 Panizza decided to move to Switzerland. As he left Munich, he railed against its “perennial rejection of genius and creativity.” The Miinchners’ only passion, he cried, was for beer and roast beef; woe be to anyone who tried to make them “chew on ideas!” If the town was called Athens on the Isar, he added, that was only GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 11  because ithad “harbored a few insane princes who had raised themselves above the prevailing butcher’s mentality and built museums rather than slaughterhouses.” Panizza did not last long in Switzerland; a messy affair with a prosti- tute led to his deportation to France in 1898. Increasingly losing his men- tal grip, he blamed his deportation on Wilhelm II. From his new refuge in Paris he published a collection of verses called Parisjana, which heaped scatalogical abuse on the kaiser. The German authorities retaliated by confiscating Panizza’s trust fund, which forced him to return to Munich to stand trial for lése majesté. He evaded going to court by running naked through the streets. Declared insane in 1904, he was sent to an asylum out- side Bayreuth, where he died in 1921. Simplicissimus: The Red Dog ofSatire While Panizza was languishing in jail in 1896, a new and more lasting mouthpiece of literary satire made its appearance on the Munich scene: the magazine Simplicissimus. Taking its title from a seventeenth-century novel by Hans Jakob von Grimmelshausen, the new magazine lam- pooned Wilhelmian Germany’s puritanical social mores, elevated cultur- al pretensions, and boastful political posturing. Strongly anti-Prussian, it also mocked backwardness at home. The Catholic clergy came in for much abuse, as did beer-swilling Munich burghers. In fact, aSimpl car- toon of 1897 showing a fat Miinchner sitting drunkenly in a tavern inspired Thomas Mann’s caricature ofHerr Permaneder inBuddenbrooks. Simpl’s trademark was a red bulldog that had broken its chain. The fierce-looking totem was appropriate, for as Peter Gay has argued, aggression is one of the preeminent motives behind humor, especially satirical humor. Simpl was pugnacious in a double sense: It attacked Wilhelmian foibles while embracing some of that society’s most aggres- sive ideals. Indeed, its role can best be appreciated when we recall that it emerged against a backdrop of German agitation for a place in the sun. The man who unleashed Munich’s red dog of satire was a twenty- seven-year-old publisher named Albert Langen. He borrowed the idea from the French satirical weekly Gil Blas Ilustré. In Munich-Schwabing, where he had moved from Paris in 1895, Langen assembled a brilliant staff of young writers and graphic artists. His chief assistant was Ludwig Thoma, a Bavarian who savored earthy jokes that buried their targets in verbal offal. The magazine’s best graphic artist was Thomas Theodor Heine, a Jew from Leipzig who drew urbane cartoons caricaturing the 12 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  philistine taste and caste pride of imperial Germany’s plutocrats, civil ser- vants, and army officers. But perhaps Simpl’s sharpest pen was wielded by Benjamin Franklin (“Frank”) Wedekind, a dramatist whose struggles against his superficially liberal father led him to detest hypocrisy in all authority figures. Simpl was so bold that even its advertisements were on the cutting edge. In addition to fashionable new gadgets like motorcars and “Brownie Kodaks,” the journal pushed contracaptive devices and “male strength pills.” A regular advertiser was Dr. Franz Miiller’s sanatorium, which treated addiction to alcohol, morphine, opium, and cocaine. From itsinception until World War ISimpl’s favorite target was Kaiser Wilhelm II and the personality cult surrounding him. “Am I really the king or just suffering from megalomania?” asks a “fairy-tale prince” in one cartoon. “Perhaps both,” responds the court jester. In another cartoon a bourgeois citizen asks the mayor why he keeps a shoe on display. The mayor responds: “That’s a precious relic. Our Most Noble All-Highest spit on that shoe on the occasion of His Sublime Majesty’s recent visit to our city.” Even more graphically, a cartoon entitled “The Cigarette Butt or True Popularity” has citizens fighting to retrieve a cigarette end that the prince has thrown into a pile of horse droppings. One citizen exults: “It fell upon some manure. People stepped on it,horses pissed on it,but . . Tran to where itlay and gladly licked itclean.” Simpl’s most celebrated attack on the kaiser was a send-up of his voy- age to Palestine in 1898. Alongside a cartoon by Heine showing the ghosts ofGodfrey ofBouillon and Friedrich Barbarossa snickering about “point- less” crusades, there appears apoem by “Hieronymus Jobs” (Wedekind) containing the lines: Though men are lazy, not too fond of action, They have the greatest need to be admired, To show off, to be Number One Attraction, Like you who strut so gorgeously attired, In sailor suit or ermine robes arrayed, Or in rococo suit of stiff brocade, As sportsman, huntsman, always on display, Oh photogenic Prince! Accept this lay. The kaiser insisted upon prosecution of the journal. The case was han- dled by the Saxon government, since Simpl was printed in Leipzig. Charges of lése majesté were leveled against Langen, Heine, and Wedekind. Langen escaped to Paris, where he remained for five years GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 13  until he was pardoned. Heine was arrested, tried, and sentenced to six months in jail. Wedekind fled to Switzerland but soon returned to stand trial in order to avoid permanent exile. Also convicted, he was given seven months’ imprisonment. The arrests did not succeed in muzzling the red dog. New writers and editors, including Thomas Mann, were hired to fill the vacancies. The controversy, moreover, was a boon to sales. “The fury of the Saxon authorities,” wrote acting publisher Korfiz Holm, “had the result that our circulation rose within four or five weeks from fifteen thousand to, I think, eighty-five thousand. We were happy about this, although even then we barely broke even financially.” In their efforts to suppress Simplicissimus, conservatives sometimes claimed that the magazine held no principles dear. This was far from the case, especially in the political realm. In fact, Simpl’s attacks on the politi- cal establishment stemmed not from a contempt for authority per se but from an urge to defend state power against abuse by those who wielded it.Certainly this was evident in the lampooning of the kaiser. At bottom Simpl’s complaint was that Wilhelm II was all bluster and no substance: He spoke loudly and carried a little stick. His strutting theatricality was reducing the art of government to a vaudeville show. Recalling Simpl’s deep frustration with the kaiser’s antics, Ludwig Thoma later wrote: “None of us was so clairvoyant as to see the consequences of these musi- cal-comedy politics, but we knew that they were ridiculous, and behind our mockery lay a lively discontent. And it was natural that we as artists should be repelled by the whole show.” Repelled also, he might have added, by the fact that Germany’s middle classes seemed all too delighted by this flashy production. When Simpl made fun of German professors and businessmen who scrambled after titles and court receptions, it was exposing the failure of the intellectual and commercial elites to impose some discipline or focus on the mercuri- al kaiser. To the disgruntled artists, this failure confirmed the German bourgeoisie’s political immaturity. Simpl’s treatment of Germany’s military leadership reflected similar concerns over misdirected or inadequately realized power. The magazine was full of cartoons savaging the officer corps’ caste pride, dim-witted- ness, addiction to spit and polish, and brutalization of enlisted personnel. There were jokes about the fashionable officer who could issue no IOUs because he could not sign his name, about the elegant young aristocrat who did not worry about being unable to lead a platoon because he would soon be commanding a brigade. A cartoon entitled “Barracks Discipline” had a pair of officers standing over a dead recruit. “It’s a good thing he 14 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  didn’t resist the punishment,” says one; “otherwise he would have gotten two years in the stockade.” The motivation behind these attacks was arguably not knee-jerk antimilitarism but a desire for a more efficient and potent army. Like many German national liberals, Szmpl’s contributors believed that the mil- itarycouldrealizeitspotentialonlyifitrootedoutremnants offeudalism in favor of promotion by merit, along with improved technical training and civilized treatment of personnel. Significantly, the magazine never joined Socialist crusades to reduce the army’s budget. Simp! joined no such crusades because in many ways itwas just as bel- licose as imperialist lobby groups like the Pan-German League. When the German government backed down in a 1903 confrontation with America over Berlin’s attempt to penetrate the Caribbean, Simplicissimus barked in rage. A Heine cartoon skewered Germany’s ambassador to Washington for meekly accepting the Monroe Doctrine. Taken to court for insulting the government, Heine argued that his cartoon was meant as a protest against Berlin’s lamentable tendency to be misled by “its love of peace into self-abasement before a foreign power.” Simpl’s depiction of the foreign powers with which Germany was com- peting in the decades before World War I also revealed pronounced nationalist tendencies. France was not too badly savaged because itwas a favorite haven for persecuted German artists, but Britain emerged as a shallow, meanspirited, hypocritical land whose people spoke incessantly about democracy while imposing a brutal colonial yoke on half of the world. Simpl’s contributors, like many Germans (including the kaiser), were particularly outraged by Britain’s suppression of the Boers in South Africa. Echoing Wilhelm II’s famous Kruger Telegram, Szmplicissimus cheered the Boers on, instructing them to “shoot the English in the mouth, where they are the most dangerous.” Another cartoon showed King Edward VII and a colonial officer stamping on the inmates of a con- centration camp inSouth Africa. “The blood from these devils isbefoul- ing my crown,” complains Edward. These slurs caught the attention of British visitors to Munich, whose complaints prompted the Bavarian authorities, watchful protectors of the tourist industry, to confiscate Simpl’s Boer War issue. Thoma, however, was very happy to have given offense. “I hate the English,” he wrote, “and ifIcould shoot one of them, I'd be delighted.” The magazine was even more rabid about the Russians, casting them as barbarous, superstitious, and reactionary. In the wake of the abortive revolution of 1905, Nicholas II was pilloried as “The Blind Czar,” strolling club in hand across a landscape littered with severed heads and GERMANY’S BOHEMIA aeS  broken bodies. Because Nicholas was related to the Prussian Hohenzollerns, Simpl could conflate Russian and Prussian “autocracy” as a double evil. A cartoon entitled “At Russia’s Service” (1904) showed Prussianmonkeys pickinglicefromthefurofaRussianbear:“’Tisthe Prussians’ greatest love / To delouse the Russian bear / Filth and dirt they’re not above / They perform this service with nary a care.” Simpl’s hatred of Russia derived in part from a broader contempt for all Slavs, so it is not surprising that the magazine heaped abuse on other Eastern European peoples, including the Poles and the Serbs. Like most of the German intelligentsia, Simpl’s contributors saw the Balkans as a benighted region where the people were too primitive to do anything but flay one another in incessant tribal wars. The Serbs always fought to the death, proposed one cartoon, because they could never find a flag white enough to signal surrender. Yet the magazine presciently sensed danger in the perennial Balkan quarrels. A cartoon entitled “The Politics of Insect Bites” (1908) noted that “when there’s an itch down in the Balkans, all Europe has to scratch.” If in its coverage of international affairs Simplicissimus often showed itself more in tune with traditional ways of thinking than might seem appropriate for amagazine claiming “advanced” status, such was true also of its stance on many domestic issues of the day. In Germany’s ongoing class confrontation, Simp/ liked to champion the cause of the workers, but its advocacy was heavily tinged with paternalism. Its depiction of work- ing-class people hardly deviated from Victorian-era stereotypes ofinartic- ulate wretches in need of guidance from their intellectual betters. A Heine cartoon called “An Impertinent Person,” for example, shows a cadaverous woman and her malnourished child bowing before a pair of overstuffed burghers, whose dog is devouring a plate of bones. “If Herr Dog cannot eat itall?” pleads the woman. Simplicissimus also trafficked in stereotypes of the Jews. There were Jews on its staff, and it sometimes attacked instances of racial prejudice, but its cartoons implied that Jews could never become fully assimilated. They appear as overfed types crass- ly exploiting their wealth to assault the upper reaches of Gentile society. A cartoon by Bruno Paul, called “The Aristocratic World View,” shows a dwarfish Jewish bride being given by her father in marriage to a chinless aristocrat. It reads: “Honor, love, and hunger make the world go around; for honor, we have the duel; for love, the corps de ballet; and for hunger, thank God, marriage for money.” Down-at-the-heel Junkers and social- climbing Jews, the cartoon suggests, deserved each other. If the humor purveyed in Simplicissimus reflected the pugnacious instincts of the magazine’s producers and consumers, it also betrayed 16 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  other emotions characteristic of aggressive humor: inner insecurity and self-doubt. The bitter derision of Germany’s foreign rivals stemmed part- ly from fears regarding the Reich’s ability to find its place in the sun, while the caricatures of Jews and workers suggested disorientation in a time of rapid socioeconomic change. And perhaps the kaiser came in for such ferocious abuse because in the end he was not all that different from his critics at Simpl: more bark than bite. The Eleven Executioners: Bourgeois Society on the Chopping Block Both aggression and insecurity were amply evident in Munich’s theatrical equivalent to Simplicissimus, the satirical cabaret Die Elf Scharfrichter (The Eleven Executioners). Like the angry red dog, the Eleven Executioners became a prominent fixture on the Schwabing scene, though the famous cabaret lasted only from 1901 through 1903. During its brief moment of glory itwielded the sword of satire with lusty abandon, yet italso showed just how double-edged that sword could be. Cabaret, of course, was not a Munich invention. Paris’s legendary Chat Noir (1881-1897) was the prototype of this genre, and itspawned a host of imitators across Europe, from Barcelona’s El Quatre Cats and Berlin’s Uberbrettl to Moscow’s Bat. The Eleven Executioners had direct Parisian affinities, for one of its founders, Marc Henry, was an expatriate Frenchman who had worked in the cabaret scene there. Convinced that Schwabing would provide fertile soil for Parisian-style cabaret, Henry brought together about a dozen Munich writers and artists to discuss the venture. According to him, they envisaged “a sort of artistic-literary republic with a clearly defined program.” Their cabaret would boast the latest technical innovations, including an auditorium of original design, but “everything in miniature,” so the audience’s experience would be “intimate and exclusive.” By registering as a private club and allowing admission only to members, the enterprise could avoid paying Munich’s theater tax and evade censorship regulations applicable to public theaters. Once the cabaret opened in April 1901, however, it proved anything but low-profile. Located in the back room of a tavern in the heart of Schwabing, it boasted appointments that were calculatedly outrageous. The black walls were adorned with illustrations from Simplicissimus and pornographic Japanese woodcuts. The defining motif was an execution- er’s block complete with the cloven head of a bewigged philistine. The cabaret’s printed program magazines were also studies in provocation. GERMANY’S BOHEMIA dBea  18 BP WHERE GHOSTS WALKED One cover depicted a policeman drawing his sword over a woman baring her leg; another showed a nude lady hurling her red gloves in the face of the viewer; yet another featured a naked girl admiring herselfin a hand mirror while a group of old crones look on disapprovingly. As for the cabaret’s name, one of the founders explained that it“was intended to sug- gest that judgment was sharp and execution summary in the battle against reaction and obscurantism.” The performers did their best to live up to their name. The eleven Executioners, decked out in bloodred robes and hangman’s masks, marched onto the stage singing a song addressed to the protectors of the traditional Catholic order: A shadow-dance apuppet’s joke! You happy, polished people— In Heav’n on high the same old bloke Guides puppets from his steeple. For good or illhe guides their moves, Each doll an anthem sings, But then, just when itleast behooves, We cut the puppets’ strings. After the opening song came an appearance by the resident femme fatale, Marya Delvard, an extremely thin woman with flaming red hair, black-rimmed eyes, and luminescent skin. Dressed in a long black gown and bathed in violet light, she looked as though she had just crawled out of a coffin. Hardly moving or changing her pitch, she moaned songs about dawning sexuality, suicide, and murder. “She was frightfully pale,” recalled the writer Hans Carossa. “One thought involuntarily ofsin, vam- pirically parasitical cruelty, and death... .She sang everything with a lan- guid monotony which she only occasionally interrupted with a wild outcry ofgreedy passion.” After Fraulein Delvard had warmed up the audience, the Executioners got down to serious business: political and religious satire. Their first pro- gram included a puppet play called The Fine Family, the family in ques- tion being the European Great Powers. Like Simplicissimus, the play condemned both the British for their suppression of the Boers and the German government for not pursuing a more aggressive colonial policy. Thus, as one commentator has pointed out, the “same people who desired greater domestic liberties also demanded a stronger German stance in Asia and Africa.” This posture was typical of the national liberals of the Wilhelmian era, who believed that greater openness and intellectual free-  dom at home would make Germany a stronger contender abroad. True to their anticlerical liberal ethos, the Executioners also hacked away at the Catholic Church. Among their early presentations was a play by Otto Falckenberg that claimed to illuminate the lascivious mental world of Lucrezia Borgia’s father confessor. Reminiscent of Panizza’s Council of Love, this work could not help but appall the authorities. A police officer informed Bavaria’s archconservative minister of the interi- or, Max von Feilitzsch, that the play constituted an “insult to the institu- tions of the church” since the priest performed “his sensual gesticulations inamost immoral manner.” On Feilitzsch’s orders, the Eleven Executioners lost its status as a pri- vate club in 1901; henceforth it would have to submit all its material to prior censorship. The cabaret was also reclassified as a vaudeville “devoid of the higher interest of art and science,” which meant that it could be closed down by the police at any time. With the authorities’ ax hanging over their heads, the Executioners became more careful in their selection of targets and less violent in their theatrical techniques. One of their most popular skits in 1902 made fun of Munich’s building commission for stipulating that a new public toilet must blend in with the city’s historical architecture. Rather more daring were Frank Wedekind’s explorations of adolescent eroticism; though not explicitly political, they challenged a moral order that considered sexual freedom the first step to anarchy. The Executioners also swung their swords against the contemporary art scene. Hanns von Gumppenberg mocked the pious Ibsenites and the cult of mysticism surrounding the symbolist poet Maurice Maeterlinck. Gumppenberg and his colleagues even poked fun at one another in parodies of modernist cabaret. Although the Executioners’ self-parody showed that the group found nothing too sacred to mock, italso suggested a growing frustration with the work at hand. The satirists were honest enough to see that their “lit- erary republic” was not having much of an effect on the society around them. Their bourgeois audiences were titillated but hardly galvanized to action. Their skits had no resonance with workers, who were rarely in attendance. For all their aggressive talk and trappings, the artists had not wounded, let alone “executed,” the reigning powers of the day. Indeed, political gains by conservatives in 1903 helped put the Eleven Executioners itself on the block. In an effort to appease the Catholic-dom- inated Landtag, Prince Regent Luitpold dismissed his relatively liberal prime minister, Krafft von Crailsheim, in favor of the much more con- servative Clemens von Podewils. Now the cabinet acceded to the Center Party’s demands for even tighter controls over Die Elf Scharfrichter and GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 19  20 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED other modernist theater groups. In November 1903 the government ordered the suppression of four major pieces planned by the cabaret. When he criticized the censorship, Henry, as a French citizen, was threat- ened with deportation. Under such conditions, the group concluded that itcould not go on. Already unsure about the resonance ofitsmessage, it closed up shop in 1903. The Eleven Executioners’ demise—partly imposed and partly self- inflicted—illustrated the growing fragility of Munich-Schwabing’s mod- ernist culture at the beginning of the twentieth century. In retrospect the cabaret’s collapse may be seen as an early exit from a battlefield that was soon almost entirely vacated by its once-so-doughty defenders. The “Queen ofSchwabing” Simplicisimmus and Die Elf Scharfrichter were prominent bastions of Munich’s modernist culture, but they were also commercial businesses with payrolls and deadlines to meet. As such they could not fully exem- plify the bohemian ethos that seemed so central to the Schwabing mys- tique. That role could be performed only by an individual, someone prepared to lead a life of daily rebellion against the conventions and restrictions of bourgeois society. In the end no one person could embody all aspects of this place and time, but the figure that perhaps came closest was Countess Franziska zu Reventlow, known widely in her day as the Queen of Schwabing. Her tumultuous life in the Bavarian capital, which she richly documented in diaries and autobiographical novels, illustrated the possibilities, as well as the limitations, of free-spirited rebellion in bohemian Munich. And her world view, a curious amalgam of the advanced and the reactionary, reflected the deep ambiguity of turn-of- the-century Schwabing’s ideological legacy. Like most of the artists and intellectuals who had enriched the cultur- al life of Munich since the era of Ludwig I, Franziska (“Fanny”) zu Reventlow hailed from northern Germany. Her father owned a large estate and two of her brothers were members of the Reichstag. From an early age Fanny showed signs of rebellion. Instead of learning needle- work she read “advanced” novels. “People are horrified,” she wrote to a friend, “when young women want to develop their own character. They aren't allowed to be anything but pieces of furniture or household pets, hemmed in by thousands of ridiculous prejudices.” In 1886, hoping to crush Fanny’s budding rebelliousness, her mother sent the fifteen-year-old to a strict Lutheran school for young noble-  women. Fanny caused so much trouble, however, that she was expelled. Shortly thereafter her family moved to Liibeck, Thomas Mann’s native town. (She shared this connection not only with Mann but also with Simplicissmus’s Korfiz Holm and the anarchist Erich Miihsam. “Why did they all have to come from Liibeck?” groaned that city’s conservative mayor.) In Liibeck Fanny joined the Ibsen Club, where young people dis- cussed the latest plays by the Norwegian dramatist, as well as works by other modernists like Emile Zola and Ferdinand Lassalle. Nietzsche too was a potent influence, as he was for the entire German avant-garde. Fanny declared that Zarathustra was the “sacred source” from which she quenched her intellectual thirst. Meanwhile, she was satisfying her physical needs through a liaison with a fellow Ibsenite, which prompted her mother to lock her up in a convent. Fanny refused to be kept down, and on her twenty-first birthday she escaped to Hamburg, the nearest big city. But Hamburg proved too staid for her tastes; in 1894, determined to become a painter, she decamped for Munich. Twenty-two years old when she arrived in Munich, Fanny was a strik- ingly handsome woman, with blue eyes, dark blond hair, and a volup- tuous figure. One of her admirers called her the Venus from Schleswig-Holstein. But she was a sloppy Venus, already cultivating the bohemian look. She did not bother to launder her dresses or to use make- up. “She took too little interest in her toilette to be elegant,” commented one of her new friends. Shortly after settling in Schwabing and beginning painting lessons at the Royal Academy, Fanny received word that her father was dying. She rushed home, only to learn that she was being disinherited for soiling the family name. In despair she sought out a former lover in Hamburg and agreed to marry him. This was unwise, for Fanny was simply not cut out to bea Hamburg hausfrau. Within a year she had left her bewildered hus- band and was back in Schwabing, furiously partying with her bohemian friends. “My life was young, ripe, and hot, and sin was so sweet and beau- tiful,” she wrote in her diary. “[Sin] pulled me down into its glowing whirl, and Ibecame itspriestess.” Now dependent largely on her own resources, Fanny tried to make a living from her painting. This would have been difficult even ifshe had possessed unusual talents, as she did not. In the year of her arrival Munich was overflowing with artists. There were some 1,180 “registered” painters and sculptors, about 13 percent of all those living in the Reich. Their out- put overwhelmed the local market because there were too few patrons willing to invest in contemporary art. The American market, long a prof- GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 21  22 ®TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED itable dumping ground for Munich’s artists, had fallen off sharply when Washington imposed a 30 percent tariff on art imports in the mid-1880s. To survive in such tight circumstances, many artists resorted to fringe employment, like retouching photographs, making kitsch for tourists, forging Old Masters, and studio modeling. Countess zu Reventlow was as hard up as any of her peers. Her paint- ings did not sell, and her savings quickly dried up. Reducing her meals to one a day, she soon fell dangerously illand was unable to paint. “Art isthe only way I can hold myself together,” she wrote. “but a sick person can- not work.” Lying feverish in her flat, she threw glasses at the walls to remind her landlord to bring her crusts of bread and water. Frequently she used laudanum to combat the pain from a bleeding ulcer. In January 1897, not long after her marriage had been officially termi- nated, Fanny learned that she was pregnant. Pregnancy brought on fur- ther bouts of illness, but she was ecstatic about her impending motherhood. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra states: “Everything about women is a puzzle, and everything about women has a resolution—pregnancy.” Apparently remembering this adage, Fanny wrote in her diary: “It now seems to me that the puzzle of my identity has resolved itself... that I can see with new eyes, understand everything, feel everything, and be every- thing to those who stand close to me.” Fanny’s baby, a son named Rolf, was born in September 1897. She did not identify the father, perhaps could not, for since coming to Schwabing, she had slept with dozens of men. In any event she was determined not to bind herself to a man for the sake of economic convenience, and she did not want to share Rolf with a live-in father. “I want him exclusively for myself,” she wrote. While having an illegitimate child was nothing unusual, Fanny’s determination to remain unattached as a “free mother” helped turn her into a liberationist icon, a “pagan Madonna.” Fanny said that Rolf was her “salvation,” but he was also a heavy responsibility. She immediately began looking for the kind of work that would put food on the table without depriving her of time to paint and rear her child. For a while she peddled insurance, but she was happy every time someone slammed a door in her face. She tried to open a milk shop but gave up after three days when she found herself knee-deep in unsold product. A total failure in commerce, she returned to art or to a kind of art. She found that she had a talent for forging medieval religious drawings and sketching likenesses of Ludwig II on beer steins. “Lart pour l'art gives pleasure but itdoesn’t pay the bills,” she noted pragmati- cally. She also sold a few jokes to Simplicissimus. Her largest literary pay- checks came from translating French novels for Albert Langen’s press.  Her own novels, lightly fictionalized accounts of her upbringing and col- orful existence in Schwabing, earned almost nothing. In writing, as in painting, her address was decidedly Grub Street. Desperate, Fanny began selling her body. Schwabing’s many bars and cafés provided a steady source of customers. “Spooned up a French writ- er who wants to study life,” reads a diary entry for 15 July 1898. On anoth- er occasion she engaged in a menage 4 trois with three students, who gave her 150 marks to advance her “acting career.” “One can’t become a star on 150 marks,” she noted, “but the boys are dears, so energetic.” No doubt Fanny could have earned more money in this trade had she turned herself into a full-time prostitute, but this would have interfered with her parenting and painting. “I don’t have time to make [streetwalk- ing] a serious profession,” she wrote in 1898. “Anyway, what comes of it? My Frenchman isalready gone, and the 300 marks [he paid] are gone as well, like ice in the sun. I can never make a real go at this.” Yet ten years later she was still at it. On Carnival Tuesday, 1909, she noted: “Evening [Café] Luitpold. Yesterday’s gallants are not so approachable. ... A bad night at the Tip-Top Bar.” And a little later: “Another bad night with the Tip-Top people. They picked me up at 11:00, drove me to Pullach. The next morning they took me to the train station and disappeared.” Despite her material difficulties, Fanny continued to reyect men who wanted to “keep” her. “One can be my lover only for amoment,” she wrote. “I have no interest in constancy, need only sensuality. If someone wants to possess me, I retreat.” Or: “I love one man but desire six more, one after another. It’s precisely the variety that excites me, the new ‘strange man.’ ” In fact, itoften seemed that men were little more than sex objects for Fanny. She remembered them not by their faces but by their penises— sometimes a “cudgel,” sometimes a “pencil.” In an erotic memoir entitled “Amouresken,” she referred collectively to her men as Paul. “Paul is always an amusing thing, basically trivial and without consequence. Fortunately he shows up again and again, in varying shapes and sizes.” Fanny’s own libidinal needs were so strong that she did not resent sexual aggression in men, regarding itas a “point of honor” never to repulse a fellow’s advances. “To be desired by a man is never an insult,” she declared, “even when the desire isfleeting and without deeper feeling.” Such views, Fanny well knew, were more typically articulated by men. But why, she asked, should not women also celebrate their sexuality and adopt the credo of “free love”? Frenchwomen, she believed, were more advanced in this regard than their German sisters. Now itwas time for the latter to shake off their “cold Nordic dutifulness and guilt complexes.” GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 23  24 =" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED She saw herself as a role model, boasting that her liberating influence was working “like yeast on many daughters from good houses.” Yet Fanny’s tough talk about sex and freedom should not be taken at face value. She was miserably lonely much of the time, frustrated by her inability to settle down to a more “normal” existence. “I pined for solitude but could not stand being alone,” says the heroine of her autobiographical novel, Ellen Olestjerne. Her life, it seemed, was a bitter struggle between material necessity and the imperatives of the free spirit. Eventually the hardship became so great that Fanny began searching, albeit reluctantly, for a companion who might provide support for her and her son. The search was difficult because, as Fanny admitted, “A woman with a past is about as acceptable in society as aman who has served time in jail.” For all her preaching about female sexuality and independence, more- over, Fanny was not a prophet of women’s emancipation in the conven- tional sense. She had nothing but contempt for her sisters who, in Germany and elsewhere, were campaigning for female suffrage. Organized politics of any sort she found boring and useless. In this regard she was the quintessential “unpolitical German,” though her hostility toward political engagement was rooted not in high-minded idealism but in the cult of sensuality. She also had no interest in expanding women’s economic horizons. Why fightfortherighttobeabanker orbroker when the frock-coated males who pursued these occupations were so dreary? she asked. No woman worth her ovaries, thought Fanny, would ever want to be a stockjobber. “Women were not created for work, the heavy business of the world,” she wrote, “but for lightness, joy, and beauty.” The feminists who were stridently campaigning for socioeconomic rights were mean- spirited “viragoes” whose unhappy example was causing too many women “to lose their allure and producing an ever more boring and sexless world.” Instead of angry assaults on the male sphere, she said, the world needed a “women’s movement that works to free females as sexual creatures, that teaches them to demand free control over their own bodies.” Such views were advanced enough to scandalize Munich’s conserva- tives, and Fanny’s writings were roundly condemned. Yet her perspective was readily exploitable by enemies of the political and economic advance- ment of women. No wonder she was sometimes quoted by those who believed that women “by nature” had no business in business, not to men- tion in the political arena. Her brother Ernst, a nationalist politician and future supporter of Hitler, had at least one thing in common with his errant sister: the conviction that awoman’s proper place was in bed. Fanny’s views on motherhood were equally problematic. While her championship of single motherhood typed her as a rebel, her insistence  that women found their true calling in pregnancy and child rearing put her in league with cultural conservatives who were leading a backlash against the “New Woman.” Late-nineteenth-century volkisch writers, like the Nazis a generation later, preached the virtues of broodmares that were allwomb and no brain. As one ofthem wrote, “The way ofthe Volk isthe way of the woman, anonymous, without person, producing unconscious- ly,at work quietly like Nature.” Fanny was celebrated in Schwabing for her rebelliousness, but her rebellion in the end was incomplete. Like many of her colleagues, she combined bold attacks on official culture with affirmations of some high- ly traditional views. More important, her very assaults on bourgeois val- ues contained ideological ingredients that were as easily exploitable by the Right as by the Left. Itisnot surprising, therefore, that at the height of her Schwabing career she became close to (but also amusingly critical of) a coterie of self-absorbed intellectuals whose views were authoritarian and protofascist. “Criminals ofthe Dream” The group in question was known as the Cosmic Circle. It included Ludwig Klages, a graphologist and self-taught philosopher; Alfred Schuler, an amateur archaeologist; Karl Wolfskehl, a Jewish professor of German literature; and Stefan George, a noted symbolist poet who later became the center ofa larger aesthetic cult. Like Fanny, who was introduced to the group by Klages, the Kosmiker hoped to revivify the arid, overly cerebral modern world through a “renaissance of paganism.” Though they disagreed on some of the finer points of their revolutionary project, they all shared a repugnance for industrial modernity, liberal rationalism, parliamentary democracy, and orthodox Christianity. They harbored acommon inclination toward mys- ticism and the occult, agreeing that the only route to higher consciousness lay along “obscure and secret paths.” Those who knew these paths might consider themselves Enormen (giants), whereas all others were Belanglosen (inconsequentials). Summing up the group’s self-perception, Fanny wrote that itconstituted “an intellectual movement, a direction, a protest, a cult, and above all an effort to retrieve new religious possibilities out of ancient rituals.” Ludwig Klages moved to Munich from Hanover in 1893. He came to the Bavarian capital to study chemistry but quickly tired of his studies and drifted into the bohemian scene. Tall, blond, and handsome—an admirer GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 25  26 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED called him a “Nordic pine”—Klages became a fixture at the Café Luitpold, a favorite bohemian “muse temple.” He was very excited to be in Schwabing, which he called, perhaps more presciently than he knew, the “world-suburb in which the fate of the next generation will be decided.” Not long after arriving in Schwabing, Klages stumbled upon a book that he said made him a “new man.” It was Mutterrecht (Matriarchy), written in 1861 by the Swiss historian Johann Jakob Bachofen. From this work Klages learned that matriarchal orders had preceded patriarchal societies and were culturally superior to them. Matriarchy enshrined the life and power of the soul and spirit, whereas patriarchy brought the tri- umph of shallow, desiccated rationalism. “The oldest wisdom of human- ity was the possession and privilege of women,” concluded Klages, citing as proof the Pythian oracle, sibyls, Valkyries, and swan maidens. Dilating on these themes in his most famous work, Der Geist als Widersacher der Seele (The Mind as Opponent of the Soul), Klages argued that the patriarchal mind, operating through abstraction and logic, creat- ed artificial concepts that distorted raw experience. The soul, on the other hand, was linked directly to the potent mysteries of the blood through the intercession of women. Drawing on Bachofen’s observation that the lives of women were bound up in the ebb and flow of blood—menstruation, deflowering, childbearing—Klages argued that only men in touch with their inner women were capable of true creativity. Much of this sounded like Klages’s better-known English contempo- rary D. H. Lawrence, who also spent time in Schwabing and became a follower of Bachofen’s. But unlike Lawrence, Klages gave the Mutterrecht doctrine a racist twist. Artistic creativity, he argued, had strong racial foundations, for the ur-Nordic peoples had been governed by their femi- nine “blood souls,” whereas their racial antagonists, the Jews, had repressed the feminine power of blood in favor of patriarchal rationalism. As archrationalists the Jews could never create anything themselves, could only feed on the energy and accomplishments of others. “The Jew is the vampire of mankind,” he wrote, “collecting the fragments of the broken urn of paganism.” For Klages, the victory oflife-denying reason was painfully evident in the sad relationship between modern urban man and nature. Contemporary urban peoples, he argued, had lost touch with the natural environment. “Walled into their cities, their vision blocked by smokestacks and their hearing dulled by street noise,” modern men no longer knew what nature was. In their sensual myopia and technological arrogance they were willing to turn their physical environment into a wasteland of polluted rivers, clear-cut forests, and befouled air. “An  unprecedented orgy of destruction has been carried out in the name of ‘progress and civilization,’ ” he wrote. This too sounded like Lawrence (and few of us today would question its accuracy), but Klages’s “environmentalism,” like his “feminism,” was thoroughly caught up in irrationalist mysticism and racist dogma. For him the spirit of the pagan Nordics, who had sanctified their forests and rivers, might be recaptured by modern Germans ifonly they had the wis- dom to listen to their blood. By contrast, the Jews, rootless urbanites par excellence, were incapable of taking anything but a predatory view of nature. Should their perspective continue to hold sway, said Klages, the earth was doomed. Klages’s personal relationships were also mired in metaphysics. He fell violently in love with Fanny zu Reventlow, who to him embodied “Nordic paganism in unadulterated purity.” The fact that she was a mother added greatly to her allure. He himself hoped to father a child with her, believing that the mere sight of their pure blond offspring might generate a “pagan revival through which the whole world would be reju- venated.” He even toyed with the idea of going off with her to some unpolluted corner of the globe to found a Nordic pagan colony. (Klages may have been inspired by the example of Nietzsche’s sister Elisabeth and her militantly anti-Semitic husband, Bernhard Forster, who with a select group of followers traveled in 1886 to the remote jungles of Paraguay to establish an Aryan colony called Nueva Germania. Internecine squabbles and the harsh realities of life in the jungle soon wrecked the enterprise, but a few distant descendants of the original settlers are still there.) Unlike Nueva Germania, Klages’s pagan outpost never got beyond the planning stage. Fanny, moreover, became increasingly restless as her friend pushed to make her his permanent soul mate and disciple. It also did not help that he apparently talked a better sexual game than he played. Fanny told an acquaintance that Klages wanted to “overpower me intellectually and achieve through his personality what he cannot achieve as a man.” After their break she wrote in her diary: “My God, what is Klages, exactly? At bottom just another man with illusions of grandeur and a captivating mind that pulled us all in.” For his part, Klages con- cluded that Fanny was not his pagan goddess after all,for she had includ- ed Jews among her bed partners. At the time Fanny met Klages he was already close to Alfred Schuler, who shared many of his views. Schuler cut a very different figure from Klages. Short, corpulent, and prematurely bald, he had a huge head and bulging, bloodshot eyes. Like a pagan monk, he darted through the streets of Schwabing in a black cloak with a cowl. Originally from Mainz, he GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 27  28 "=" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED now lived with his widowed mother in a roomy apartment on the Luisenstrasse. “Mama” gave him a generous allowance, which he supple- mented by passing a collection plate at his poetry readings. His work left him plenty of time to ponder philosophical questions and to fantasize about young soldiers and sailors, boxers and wrestlers in overalls and heavily muscled lads in lederhosen. Apparently he had no actual lovers and slept only with his cat. Fanny zu Reventlow found him strange, declaring that his life played itself out in long-forgotten patterns. Klages, on the other hand, attested to the brilliance of Schuler’s ideas, which he conveyed in a “heavy voice that seemed to emanate from a vault.” Among the few works that Schuler left to posterity are some lectures he delivered on ancient Rome. In these he argued that republican Rome had been a sterile, life-denying society where men ruled tyrannically over women, the city’s true creative spirits. Schuler prized instead late imperi- al Rome, whose ripe sexual decadence should be emulated by the modern world. Schuler, like Klages, advanced the “cosmic concept” of Blutleuchte (blood glow), which postulated that blood was central to human creativi- ty because it was the repository of lingering energy from the ancient matriarchal past. Only those races who possessed a viable Blutleuchte could hope to tap into this ancient wellspring of cultural potency. Other peoples, burdened with inferior bloodlines, had to employ the under- handedwilesofLogostogetahead.Among thesepeoples,Schulerinclud- ed the Prussians, whose blood he said was too polluted with Slavic infusions to allow true Nordic status. The Prussians had achieved power through soulless science and industrialization—a curse for Germany. But the most devious practitioners oflogic chopping, Schuler contended, were the Jews. They undermined all belief with their corrosive reason. Because of their weak blood, moreover, they needed to feed on the superior sub- stance of their mother pagan antagonists the Nordics. In one of his poems he wrote: “Up to the heart of Life crawled the Weasel Jew. He eats away the hot, beating, foaming, dreaming Mother Heart.” Branding the Jews as Moloch, devourer of children, Schuler admonished neopagans to “kill the father before he can eat your child; unleash against him the ancient coil, the thousand-spoked wheel of fire.” The “coil” to which Schuler referred was the swastika, an old and almost omnipresent symbol variously suggesting the wheel of the sun, the coupling of God-father with Earth-mother, or two human figures locked in coitus. The swastika was an appropriate emblem for Schuler because as the psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich observes in his Mass Psychology of Fascism, this image awakened a stimulus in the psyche “that proves to be  that much more powerful the more dissatisfied, the more burning with [unspent] sexual desire, a person is.” Schuler could fall into semiorgiastic transports simply by seeing a swastika design on an ashtray. “Swastika! Swastika!” he would stammer, his eyes bulging. Yet there was an ugly method in the madness here, for Schuler’s swasti- ka was not just a primeval sexual emblem but the visual representation of racial and religious counterrevolution, the fire wheel that would burn away everything (and everyone) impeding “cosmic renewal.” “We throw fire into the night, a copper fury, so that everything bleeds and boils from the city to the village to the charcoal-burner’s hut,” he wrote. The hooked cross of racial renewal would sweep away the “limp cross of Christianity,” which was just a “castrated swastika” on which pious postpagans, both Christians and Jews, would “come to a sticky end like flies on flypaper.” Given his apocalyptic neopaganism, Schuler not surprisingly advertised himself as a Nietzschean. The Nietzsche he loved was the great destroyer and prophet of new beginnings, the lonely sage who believed that new sources of vitality could reveal themselves only after the collapse of exist- ing value structures. In 1896, besotted with Nietzsche, Schuler hatched a scheme to rescue the philosopher’s mind, which had been darkened by insanity for six years. He planned to do this by subjecting the thinker to the Dionysian powers of ancient corybantic dance as interpreted by a band of virile young men wearing nothing but copper bracelets. Alas, Nietzsche’s sister, back from the jungles of Paraguay, vetoed this plan. Although Schuler had no luck with Nietzsche, he became guru to some of Munich’s most prominent rightists, including the publisher Hugo Bruckmann and his socialite wife, Elsa, who ran a vdlkisch salon after the First World War. Schuler (who died in 1923) was often present at the Bruckmanns’ evenings, holding forth on the cosmic meaning of the swastika and the need for pagan revival. Karl Wolfskehl would not have been welcome at the Bruckmanns’, for he was Jewish. Scion of a prominent Darmstadt banking family, Wolfskehl moved to Munich to assume a professorship in German litera- ture at the university. An irrepressible bon vivant, he collected wine, women, books, and paintings. Among his many female conquests was the perennially available Fanny, who called him “a manly beautiful Assyrian Prince,” a reference to his great height, wild black hair, and jutting beard. For a while Fanny wrote him glowing love letters every day. “Carlo, it strikes me that you and I have experienced the Primeval Awakening together, the earliest spring, which is so soft and magical, but also humid and ripe like a glowing summer day full of yearning.” Carlo responded in kind, sometimes averaging three letters a day. GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 29  30 " WHERE GHOSTS WALKED As much as Fanny, Wolfskehl was considered the soul of Schwabing. The designer Emil Preetorius recalled that he was “the very center and glory of everything” that made Schwabing an artistic mecca. Aside from his ebullient personality, one of the reasons for his prominence was his secure bourgeois position. Unlike most of his bohemian friends, he could afford to maintain a well-stocked apartment where young artists could comfortably celebrate their freedom from materialism. “From early morning until late at night,” wrote Preetorius, “Wolfskehl’s apartment was the favorite meeting place to find color and stimulation. It was a curi- ous environment, filled to overflowing with art as well as odds and ends, objects of every provenance, valuable or worthless, serious or scurrilous, yet united by a secret significance they had for their owner. And to this confusing jumble was added an inexhaustible selection of the most beau- tiful and rarest books of all epochs.” Through these rooms, recalled another acquaintance, Wolfskehl paced like a caged animal, “his great head with itshawk beak thrown back, his half-blind eyes, litfrom with- in, flitting over people and objects, while he held forth at great length about the most amazing things.” Like his fellow Kosmiker, Wolfskehl espoused the glories of a lost pagan matriarchy. He spoke of a “sunken world in which many of the conditions governing modern life were not yet present. Not man, but woman, governed here; not calculating mind, but the expanding soul, filled with myth and symbolic power.” Among the ancient rites that fas- cinated him were the orgiastic festivals of Dionysus and the Grecian Totentanz (dance of death). He was also obsessed with runes, the ancient alphabet supposedly invented by Wotan to help unlock the secrets of the universe. Wolfskehl insisted that the runes conveyed magical powers to those who could penetrate their mysteries. Wolfskehl was by all accounts acommanding personality, but he felt like an unworthy suppliant in the presence of the fourth member of the Cosmic Circle, the poet Stefan George. “I am your slave and I will be your Peter,” Wolfskehl exclaimed in a poem to George. It was from George’s example, he said, that the “world received its meaning”; through him “one knew why one existed and to what end.” In payment for such ado- ration, George consented to live rent-free in Wolfskehl’s apartment. George’s route to Germany’s bohemia was circuitous. He grew up in Riidesheim on the Rhine, where his father ran a wine business. Stefan was meant to take over the firm but instead decided to become a poet. Convinced that his own country lacked an authentic poetic spirit, he wan- dered through Europe in search of enlightenment. Via London, Amsterdam, Montreux, and Turin, he found his way to Paris, where he  fell in with the symbolist poets around Stéphane Mallarmé. Like them, he thought that poetry should be a secret code open only to the elect. Accordingly he wrote verse that few could decipher but that nonetheless was highly seductive and ultimately very influential, at least among a self- appointed elite. His looks too suggested a man anxious to set himself apart from the vulgar crowd. He kept himself immaculately groomed in black velvet frock coats with silver clasps. According to André Gide, who met him in Paris, he had a blue-white complexion, beautiful bone structure, and “a convalescent’s hands, very slender, bloodless, very expressive.” The longer George stayed in Paris, the more he became convinced that he could employ the poetic medium not just to explore hidden corners of the psyche but also to elevate the cultural tone of his nation. He came to seethepoet’sroleasthatofculturalmessiah,asprophetofanew nation- al awakening. And where better to launch such an awakening than in Munich-Schwabing, where Germany’s most daring and innovative artists were congregating asifinahuge church? Arriving in Munich in 1895, George quickly became part of the cul- tural ambiance. Although he detested the Bavarian city’s cult of beer (a “vulgar drink”), he found Munich “a thousand times better” than Berlin, which he disparaged as “an amalgam of minor civil servants, Jews, and whores.” Schwabing he found to be even more exciting than his cherished Montmartre. “Here were powers,” he intoned, “united in the knowledge that things could not go on as they were, that mankind was ruining itself, and that no social utopia would help, but only Miracle, Action, Life!” Falling in with Klages and his friends and soon attracting a larger cir- cle of his own. George began hosting literary-philosophical evenings at his room at Wolfskehl’s or in some other acolyte’s apartment. He would send out beautifully lettered invitations delivered by a liveried messenger. Invitees were expected to bring flowers and wine. Women, with the exception of Fanny and few others, were not welcome, for George did not share his fellow Kosmiker’s faith in the special powers of the female sex. On the contrary, he considered women inferior to men in all matters of the spirit. “In council [woman] isevil and nefarious,” he preached. The young men who made up George’s circle were subjected to a tyrannical order. They had to respect the Master’s edict that all nouns be set in lowercase. They were required to recite his works by memory in a ghostlike chant. They had to open their apartments to him at amoment's notice should he desire to honor them with an extended visit. In prepara- tion for his stay, rooms had to be cleared of newspapers (they smacked of grubby politics) and of most books, for one of his edicts was that fifty books were enough for any decent human being. (He made a special GERMANY’S BOHEMIA ce|  32 B= WHERE GHOSTS WALKED exception here for Wolfskehl, who could not give up his bibliomania.) Finally—and this was distinctly odd for aGerman—he would tolerate no music, believing, like the Italian humanist Settembrini in Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, that music’s subjectivity corroded the mind. The atmosphere prevailing during the Master’s literary evenings was suffused with religiosity and ecstatic megalomania. The best description of these affairs, and one of the more prescient analyses of their broader implications, was provided by Thomas Mann ina little story called “At the Prophet’s” (1904). While not amember of the George set, Mann knew whereof he spoke, for he had once attended one ofits evenings in the com- pany of his future mother-in-law, Hedwig Pringsheim. His story begins with a brilliantly ironic evocation of the physical and emotional context in which George and company operated: Strange regions there are, strange minds, strange realms of the spirit, lofty and spare. At the edge oflarge cities, where streetlamps are scarce and policemen walk by twos, are houses where you mount till you can mount no further, up and up into attics under the roof, where pale young geniuses, criminals of the dream, sit with folded arms and brood; up into cheap studios with symbolic decorations, where solitary and rebellious artists, inwardly consumed, hungry and proud, wrestle in a fog of cigarette smoke with devastatingly ultimate ide- als. Here is the end: ice, chastity, null. Here is valid no compromise, no con- cession, no half-way, no consideration of values. Here the air isso rarified that the mirages of life no longer exist. Here reign defiance and iron consistency, the ego supreme amid despair; here freedom, madness, and death hold sway. The climax of the evening comes when a “short-necked and ill-favored young man” (modeled on the George disciple Ludwig Derleth) delivers a series of semireligious “proclamations”: The “Proclamations” consisted of sermons, parables, theses, laws, prophecies, and exhortations resembling orders of the day, following each other in a min- gled style of psalter and revelation with an endless succession of technical phrases, military and strategic as well as philosophical and critical. A fevered and frightfully irritable ego here expanded itself, a self-isolated megalomani- ac flooded the world with a hurricane of violent and threatening words. Christus imperator maximus was his name; he enrolled troops ready to die for the subjection of the globe; he sent out embassies, gave inexorable ultimata, exacted poverty and chastity, and with a sort of morbid enjoyment reiterated his roaring demand for unconditional obedience. Buddha, Alexander, Napoleon and Jesus—their names were mentioned as his humble forerun- ners, not worthy to unloose the laces of their spiritual lord. ...  As Mann perceived at the time, these cosmic evenings revealed an intriguing mixture of uncompromising absolutism, hunger for grand solu- tions, hero worship, and eagerness for self-sacrifice in the name of purifi- cation and redemption. A half century later, looking back on his moment “among the prophets,” Mann was to locate the spiritual origins of the German catastrophe in just this kind of all-consuming megalomania. There was an air of self-dramatization and extravagant egotism even in the costume parties that the Kosmiker frequently organized in Schwabing. Here the best source isFanny zu Reventlow, who was a reg- ular participant. According to her accounts, George came dressed as Caesar or Dante; Wolfskehl as Homer, Dionysus, or Ulysses; and Schuler as Nero, Caligula, or aRoman earth mother. On one occasion George demanded that a young acolyte (Roderich Huch) take off all his clothes in the manner of aGreek Olympian. Huch demurred, stammering that the Master would not find his body pleasing enough. George was furious at such insubordination. At another party Wolfskehl, dressed as Dionysus, danced around swinging a long staff, which a girl broke by trying to climb. “At this moment,” recounts Fanny, “[Wolfskehl] lost his pagan cool.” Once when Schuler was dressed as Magna Mater, “Mama” also came to the party. Schuler refused to talk to her on the ground that it would not look right for the earth mother to be seen conversing with his real mother. Although not ill disposed toward George and his young men, Fanny obviously enjoyed making fun of their pretensions. In a little newspaper she edited called the Schwabinger Beobachter, she referred to George as Weihenstephan, a pun on a famous local brewery; Klages she called Dr. Langschadel (Dr. Long Skull), while the Schwabing milieu they inhabit- ed became Wahnmoching, the field of delusion. She ran naughty little jokes mocking the Kosmiker’s self-infatuation: “How do I become an ‘enormous one’?” a young disciple asks Weihenstephan. “Rub up against my masterpiece,” he replies. In a novel about the Kosmzker called Herrn Dames Aufzeichnungen, Fanny took up the delicate issue of anti-Semitism, albeit lightly, as if it were just another foible. A Jewish disciple laments that most of the Kosmiker “prize blond people much more than dark ones.” They have “no respect for my race,” he says; they “appreciate only long skulls.” Another character observes that in Wahnmoching “the Aryans represent the constructive, cosmic principle, whereas the Semites embody the destructive, negative-molochistic forces.” Whereas Fanny tended to emphasize the ludicrous side of the Kosmiker’s antics, most middle-class Miinchners saw George and his cir- cle as evil and dangerous. “Much nonsense was spread about George,” GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 33  34 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED recalled Theodor Lessing. “The harmless symposia of his order were decried as fanatical orgies.” George himself, Lessing added, took a certain pleasure in this hysteria. When there was talk of “satanic masses with vio- let lights,” he would say, “Don’t forget the dish of smoking blood that stood before me!” Such self-mockery was untypical of the Master, however. Certainly there was little humor or irony in his most characteristic work, amaga- zine devoted to the dissemination of his aesthetic principles entitled Blatter fiir die Kunst (Leaves of Art). This journal contained esoteric poems and essays punctuated according to George’s private rules. The cover was emblazoned with a swastika. The publishing house under whose auspices the Blatter appeared, Bondi, also adopted the swastika as itstrademark. Ironically Bondi was aJewish firm. “Those who know the kind of books we publish,” explained a Bondi brochure, “know that they have nothing to do with politics.” George’s own attitude toward Jews was somewhat ambivalent. He was very close to Wolfskehl, and his wider circle included other prominent Jews. Yet he acknowledged in his Jewish disciples only financial and orga- nizational skills. “Jews make the best politicians,” he once said; “they are gifted in the distribution and conversion of values. Of course they cannot experience things as elementally as we do.” Under the malignant influ- ence of Klages and Schuler, George produced some ugly racist drivel. One of his poems, for example, speaks of the “blood-shame” resulting from miscegenation; it argues that races that do not retain their purity are bound to lose their vitality. George’s continuing personal ties to Jews, however, alienated Klages and Schuler. “What binds you to Juda?” Klages asked. He and Schuler especially resented the Master’s loyalty to Wolfskehl, who had responded to the growth of anti-Semitism by founding Munich’s chapter of the International Zionist Federation in 1897. Schuler suspected that Wolfskehl and his Jewish associates were cultivating a Semitic Blutleuchte of their own to ensure world domination. In January 1904 he dispatched a black-bordered “declaration of war” to Wolfskehl. Fearing for his life, Wolfskehl bought a pistol and began practicing with it. In the course of his instruction he shot himselfin the leg. Meanwhile, Schuler turned against his friend Klages. “Klages comes from Hanover,” he observed, “and the Phoenicians penetrated as far as Hanover. Therefore Klages is a Jew.” Nonplussed by this logic, Klages questioned (itwas about time) Schuler’s sanity. Amid a storm of acrimo- ny the Cosmic Circle blew apart in mid-1904.  The Decline ofKunststadt Miinchen In 1902 Thomas Mann wrote a short story about his adopted hometown called “Gladius Dei.” Many read itas a paean to the city’s beauty and cul- tural verve. The much-quoted opening lines certainly sound laudatory enough: Munich was radiant. Above the gay squares and white columned temples, the classicistic monuments and the baroque churches, the leaping fountains, the palaces and parks of the Residence there stretched a sky of luminous blue silk. ... Young people, the kind that can whistle the Nothung motif, who fill the pit of the Schauspielhaus every evening, wandered in and out of the University and Library with literary magazines in their coat pockets. A court carriage stood before the Academy, the home of the plastic arts, which spreads its white wings between the Tiirkenstrasse and the Siegestor. And colorful groups of models, picturesque old men, women and children in Albanian cos- tume, stood or lounged at the top of the balustrade. Indolent, unhurried sauntering was the mode in all the long streets of the northern quarter. There life islived for pleasanter ends than the driving greed of gain. As Mann’s story progesses, however, the mood darkens. A youth who has emphatically not given himself over to sensual pleasure enters the scene. Dressed in a black cloak and hood, haggard and ugly, the young man joins a crowd assembled outside an art shop next to the Feldherrnhalle. The crowd is admiring a reproduction of a painting newly purchased by the Neue Pinakothek, a “modern” Madonna who smiles provocatively while her child plays with her bare breast. Appalled by this blasphemy, the cloaked young man (Hieronymus) enters the shop and demands that the offending picture be removed from the window at once. Ascertaining that the youth has no official status, the shop owner ignores him. Hieronymus then launches into a tirade about the true pur- pose ofart. “Art isno conscienceless illusion, lending itself to reinforce the allurements of the fleshly. Art is the holy torch which turns its light upon all the frightful depths, all the shameful and woeful abysses oflife; art is the godly fire laid to the world that, being redeemed by pity, itmay flame up and dissolve altogether with its shames and torments.” This outburst results in the youth’s being told to leave the shop or be thrown out. Defiant, Hieronymus now demands that the owner, Herr Bluthenzweig, burn everything in his shop, “for itisa filthiness in God’s sight.” Claiming that he stands for the freedom of art, Bluthenzweig duly orders his burly warehouseman to throw Hieronymus into the street. In front of the GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 35  Feldherrnhalle, the young man calls for a great bonfire of the vanities to consume this sinful Babylon of a city. Although Hieronymus was meant to be a ludicrous figure, he had some heavy allegorical weight behind him, for he was modeled on Savonarola, the Jesuit monk who imposed an ascetic Christian republic on decadent quattrocento Florence. Although Mann was hardly proposing a similar fate for twentieth-century Munich, he could certainly see that much was rotten and fraudulent under the gleaming surface of the city’s cultural life. This beautiful place was really just a stage on which most of the props were borrowed. The artwork at the center of the controversy was a repro- duction, like everything else in the shop. Herr Bluthenzweig claimed to defend artistic freedom, but his real motives were commercial. Ridiculous though Hieronymus seemed, he represented a broadly based antipathy toward an art whose primary purpose was to shock. Mann seemed to be suggesting that if Munich’s modernists were not careful, they might indeed bring forth a modern Savanorola, eager to light a purging fire. In preparation for his story Mann had read a pair of articles that appeared in 1901 in a Berlin newspaper under the title “Miinchens Niedergang als Kunststadt” (Munich’s Decline as an Art City). The author, Hans Rosenhagen, argued that Munich was a shadow ofits for- mer innovative self, a place where “imitation,” reactionary historicism, sleazy commercialism, and scandalmongering were the dominant con- cerns. Berlin, the critic predicted, would soon supplant Munich as Germany’s true capital of the avant-garde. Rosenhagen implied that Munich’s decline as a center of progressive culture was partly the fault of the artists themselves. There was much truth to this. The city’s celebrated artistic Secession of 1893, which involved a revolt by modernist painters and sculptors against the domina- tion of the Old Guard, quickly became derivative and hidebound in its own right. Secessionist artists began working to shut out new talents that might have offered effective competition. The avant-garde painter Wilhelm Triibner left for Berlin in 1896 with a bitter blast at Isar Athens: “A city like Munich, where only rubbish gets recognized, should be avoided at all costs if one does not want to do oneself serious harm.” Similar frustrations were voiced by the brilliant experimentalist Lovis Corinth, who upon departing for Berlin told a friend: “I really can’t stand Munich any longer.” Complaining of the Secession’s lack of support for innovative craftsmanship, the Jugendstil pioneer Hermann Obrist fumed that in Munich one could expect “no action, just reaction”; hence he also left for greener pastures. Wassily Kandinsky, who saw all nine of the paintings he submitted to the Secession in 1906 rejected, remained in the 36 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  Munich area (in the village of Murnau) but was thoroughly sated with the pseudoprogressive art scene in the Bavarian capital. After visiting the Secession Exhibition of 1907, he told his friend Gabriele Munter that he found nothing new or interesting, just the “same bunglers. . .In a half hour I was completely done with the exhibition and gallery and didn’t even get tired.” Munich’s avant-garde art community was also undermined by a steady growth of censorship sponsored by the Catholic Center Party and moral vigilante groups like the Munich Men’s Association for Combating Public Immorality. Pressure from these groups resulted in the removal (for “inde- cency”) of Max Slevogt’s Danaé from the Secession Exhibition of 1903. On the theatrical front, in addition to dulling the swords of the Scharfrichter, the censors banished the innovative cabaret artist Josef Vallé and the radi- cal promoter Karl Schuler. Sometimes the vigilantes had the cooperation of artists anxious to placate the authorities. Thus in 1913 Munich’s Censorship Advisory Board, made up of twenty-three writers who advised the police commissioner, turned thumbs down on an uncut performance of Wedekind’s Lulu plays. The atmosphere became so oppressive that Simplicissimus ran a cartoon showing two searchlights mounted on the twin towers of the Frauenkirche, Munich’s Gothic cathedral. But censorship per se was not the only arrow in the cultural conserva- tives’ quiver. An even more effective weapon was financial starvation through restrictions on state funding of the arts. Largely because of the Center Party’s growing influence in the Bavarian Landtag, no funds were added to the state’s art-purchasing budget between 1890 and 1913, despite great increases in the number of artists working in the city. In 1904 the critic Theodor Goering lamented: “There ismuch suffering for the artist here! The capacity, the capability, isthere, but one does not find enough support.” This was especially true for avant-garde artists, whose experi- mental paintings were anathema to the Center. In 1910 a local paper called for the arrest of the Munich-based Blue Rider painters, Franz Marc, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, and August Macke. They were not arrested, but by 1914, when the outbreak of World War I suspended offi- cial art purchases, Munich’s great state museums had not purchased a sin- gle work by the now-famous group. The harsh realities of Munich’s art market fostered an atmosphere of nationalism and xenophobia, of bunkering down against the outside world. As early as 1897 the leader of Munich’s Secession. Fritz von Uhde, lambasted a Berlin art journal for suggesting that Berlin’s Max Liebermann was a more important artist than he. Uhde attributed the judgment to “Semitic tendencies” characteristic of a Berliner Judenblatt GERMANY’S BOHEMIA eT  38 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED (Berlin Jewish rag). Increasingly, Munich artists grumbled about the number of foreigners working in the city. Two former members of the Secession, Karl Vinnen and Paul Schultze-Naumburg, insisted that Munich be identified exclusively with a “healthy” and “rooted” art of the German soil. In 1911 they sponsored a Protest of German Artists aimed against French cultural influences in the fatherland. Of the 118 artists who signed the protest, 57 lived in Munich or other parts of southern Bavaria. The document concluded with a call for parochial patriotism: “A great, powerfully upward striving culture and people like ours cannot forever tolerate spiritual usurpation by an alien force. And since this dominion isbeing imposed on us bya large, well-financed international organization, a serious warning is in order: let us not continue on this path; let us recognize that we are in danger oflosing nothing less than our own individuality and our tradition of solid achievement.” A year before the publication of this document, Fanny zu Reventlow moved to Ascona, Switzerland, a budding art colony that became a kind of neo-Schwabing, a magnet for abstract painters, free verse poets, mod- ern dancers, anarchist philosophers, vegetarians, Theosophists, faith heal- ers, and long-haired sun worshipers. She died there in November 1918, just as the First World War—and the German Empire she had grown to hate—came to an end. Her flight from Schwabing to Ascona can be seen as the ultimate symbol of Munich’s decline as a center of bohemian cul- ture and avant-garde art in the first decade of the twentieth century. “A Brother” The proposition that Munich was in decline as a Kunststadt would have meant nothing to Adolf Hitler, who, as mentioned above, had chosen to settle in Munich in 1913. For the young Austrian, Munich was the place to be in Germany ifone wanted to become an artist. Before moving to Munich, Hitler had been trying to launch an artistic career in Vienna and had compiled a portfolio of renderings of major buildings in that city. But he had failed twice to gain admission to the Art Academy. He was advised to study architecture instead, but he could not do so because he lacked the necessary high school diploma. Drawing on his small inheritance, Hitler had lived an idlet’s life, getting up at noon, sitting in cafés, visiting museums, going to the opera, and gazing at the buildings along the Ringstrasse. As the years went by, he had become increasingly withdrawn and isolated, giving up a shared apartment for anonymous flophouses. He had managed to sell a number of his water-  colors and oils but had made no impression on the local art world. Blaming polyglot Vienna for these failures, he had concluded that he would have better luck in Munich, where he imagined that a talent like his would be more appreciated. Hitler’s search for a place to live in Munich took him to the western edge of Schwabing, where he found a furnished room above Popp’s tailor shop. The address was Schleissheimerstrasse 34, a few blocks from where Lenin had once lived. He signed in as “Adolf Hitler, architectural painter from Vienna.” According to his landlady, Frau Popp, Hitler began work- ing right away, turning out several paintings a week and hawking them in the streets. He insisted that his goal was to earn enough money through his painting to finance studies in architectural drawing. But he made no effort to undertake formal studies; as in Vienna, his painting served sim- ply as a way to earn his keep. His specialty, again as in Vienna, was famous buildings: the Hofbrdéuhaus, Frauenkirche, Feldherrnhalle, Alter Hof, Theatinerkirche, and so forth. His renderings of these structures were pleasing enough to people who liked to know exactly what itwas they were looking at. He was able to sell a few of his works in the local beer halls and shops. Like most Munich artists, however, he had trouble when winter came and there were fewer tourists. Contemporaries who dealt with him described him as a somewhat pathetic creature, thin and shab- bily dressed, awkward in his desperation to make a sale. Nonetheless, Hitler was content to be in Munich, which appealed to him on a number of levels. Much of what he later wrote in his autobiog- raphy, Mein Kampf, is inaccurate, but the following testimonial about his move to Munich rings true: [A] heartfelt love seized me for this city .. almost from the first hour of my sojourn there. AGerman city!What adifference from Vienna! Igrew sickto my stomach when I even thought back on this babylon of races. In addition, the dialect, much closer to me, which particularly in my contacts with Lower Bavarians, reminded me ofmy former childhood. There were athousand and more things which were or became inwardly dear and precious to me. But most of all I was attracted by this wonderful marriage of primordial power and fine artistic mood, this single line from the Hofbraéuhaus to the Odeon, from the October Festival to the Pinakothek, etc. Iftoday Iam more attached to this city than to any other spot of earth in this world, it is partly due to the fact that itisand remains inseparably bound up with the development at my own life;ifeven then Iachieved thehappiness ofatrulyinward contentment, itcan be attributed only to the magic which the miraculous residence of the Wittelsbachs exerts on every man who isblessed, not only with acalculating mind but with a feeling soul. GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 359  40 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Of all the Wittelsbachs, Ludwig I appealed to Hitler the most; this king was, Hitler believed, a great visionary who had made Munich into a place that one had to have seen “to know German art.” Alas, not much of value had been added since Ludwig, Hitler concluded. “[T]ake from pre- sent-day Munich everything that was created under Ludwig I,and you will note with horror how poor the addition of significant artistic cre- ations has been since that time.” Hitler was also convinced that Ludwig’s buildings had made Munich a center of German national unity. “By push- ing Munich from the level of an insignificant provincial capital into the format of a great German art metropolis, [Ludwig] created a spiritual center which even today isstrong enough to bind the essentially different Franks to this state.” Hitler’scelebrationofLudwig IasaGerman culturalherowaspartof his effort in the twenties to reinterpret his move to Munich in terms of political ideology as well as artistic ambition. He claimed to have left Vienna as “a confirmed anti-Semite, a deadly foe of the whole Marxist world outlook, and a pan-German.” He went to Munich, he said, to find “a wider field for political activity.” Had politics indeed been Hitler’s prime concern, he would have been better advised to go to Berlin, where the political action was. In truth, however, he was not motivated by a desire for political engagement, and he greatly exaggerated the coherence of the ideology he brought from Vienna to Bavaria. He undoubtedly considered himself “German” and despised the multiethnic Habsburg Empire, but he was not unusually anti-Semitic and had no developed views on Marxism. (All that came later.) Once settled in Munich, he made no effort to contact that city’s bustling community of anti-Semites or Pan-Germans. He claimed later to have read extensively on Marxism, but in reality he read little more than the daily press. He certainly did not go around preaching the dangers of Social Democracy. In fact, he seems to have done rather little preaching at this point, save for the occasional anti-Habsburg harangue in a beer hall. As in Vienna, his human contacts were meager and shallow. When not painting or try- ing to sell his paintings in the streets, he sat by himself in a café or in the Bavarian State Library reading newspapers. His literalist paintings sug- gested no affinity for the local avant-garde, and indeed, he loathed all experimentalism in art. While he frequented the cafés where Schwabing’s artists held court, he made no effort to join any of their circles or to attend their gatherings. Yet ifHitler made no mark on prewar Schwabing, he was firmly in his element in Germany’s bohemia. After all, he fancied himself a rebel  against bourgeois conventions and habits. He was attracted to a milieu where ordinary work was disparaged and daydreaming considered an honorable profession. Like the other habitués of Café Gréssenwahn, he imagined himself destined for great things, though (as yet) he did not know what they might be. Strolling around Munich, he could be com- forted by the fact that, for all its eccentricity, this city was indeed a very German place, much more so than Vienna. As a provincial nativist (which iswhat Hitler always remained), he could feel at home in a town that was often fearful of its own urbanism and that longed for “healthy” rusticity. While not yet an active participant in Munich-Schwabing’s political dis- course, he was already partial to the style of thought that prevailed there: the disdain for measured analysis and the delight in absolutist proclama- tions. But above all, young Hitler could identify with this city’s artistic self-image, itsconviction that preeminence in the arts endowed itwith a purer and more refined perspective on the problems of the world. Thus Thomas Mann was insightful when, twenty-five years after he and Hitler first shared the streets of Schwabing (though apparently never meeting), he wrote a piece about the Fiihrer called “A Brother”: Ah, the artist! I spoke of moral self-flagellation. For must I not, however much it hurts, regard the man as an artist-phenomenon? Mortifyingly enough, it is all there: the difficulty, the laziness, the pathetic formlessness in youth, the round peg in the square hole, the “what ever do you want?” The lazy, vegetating existence in the depths of a moral and mental bohemia; the fundamental arrogance which thinks itself too good for any sensible and hon- orable activity, on the ground ofits vague intuition that itisreserved for some- thing else—as yet quite indefinite, but something which, ifitcould be named, would be greeted with roars of laughter. On 18 January 1914 Hitler’s bohemian idyll was interrupted when a Munich police officer served him with a summons to present himself to the Austrian military authorities in Linz on 20 January. This summons could not have been a total surprise to the young man, for he had left Austria without performing his required military service or obtaining an official deferment. In fact avoiding the Austrian draft was one of the main reasons for his sudden flight to Germany. The Munich policeman took him under arrest to the Austrian Consulate, where he lachrymosely pleaded that the stress of supporting himself as an orphaned artist had caused him to overlook his duty. Taking pity on him, the consul allowed him to postpone his draft appearance by two weeks and to report to Salzburg rather than to Linz. On 5 February he underwent a physical GERMANY’S BOHEMIA 41  examination in Salzburg and was found unable to bear arms. Apparently his bohemian existence had paid off, for he had the dilapidated constitu- tion of a coffeehouse warrior. Released from the clutches of the hated Habsburgs, Adolf Hitler was free to return to Schwabing and his hand- to-mouth existence as part-time painter and full-time dreamer. 42 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  The Great Swindle ON 20 JUNE 1914 the First Heavy Cavalry of the Bavarian Army cel- ebrated its one-hundredth anniversary with parades and parties in Munich. Officers and men filled the city’s beer halls, toasting glorious battles of times past. Yet the political anxieties of the present—above all, the rising tensions between the Great Powers—imposed a certain seri- ousness on the festivities. For the fist time the soldiers wore their new field gray tunics rather than their traditional colorful dress uniforms. The change in dress was appropriate: One week later Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo by a Serbian nationalist. A month after that Europe was at war.  44 “It was the so-called First World War that put an end forever to the idyll of aesthetic innocence and dionysiac easygoingness in the Isar City,” says the narrator in Doktor Faustus (1947), Thomas Mann’s penetrating novel about the German condition in the first half of the twentieth centu- ry. Mann’s perception notwithstanding. Munich had lost—or at least had begun to lose—its aesthetic innocence well before the Great War began. Nonetheless, the war unquestionably had a tremendous impact on the city, catapulting itinto paroxysms of patriotic fervor and then magnifying internal divisions to the degree that the entire sociopolitical fabric ripped apart at the seams. There was nothing unusual in this experience. What happened in Munich happened in other German cities, and indeed across much of Europe, under the pressure of the first “total war” of modern times. In fact, the Bavarian capital was in many ways a microcosm of the European home front. Yet the scene in Munich between 1914 and 1918 did not sim- ply reflect developments on the broader stage; italso initiated trends that were to transform Germany and Europe in the coming generation. Wartime Munich, like prewar Schwabing, was a breeding ground for the new world. On the Eve of War Prince Regent Luitpold, the ruler of Bavaria since 1886, died at age nine- ty-one on 12 December 1912. For the last year of his life he had been so inactive that Miinchners joked he was already dead but could not be informed because the news might overexcite him. Munich’s affection for the regent was evident in the huge throngs that turned out to watch his funeral procession wind its way to the Theatinerkirche, where he was buried in the Wittelsbach crypt. After the war many Miinchners looked back on Luitpold’s death as the end of Old Bavaria. Luitpold was succeeded in the regency by his oldest son, Ludwig. Already sixty-seven when he took up his duties, Ludwig was a study in unpretentious sobriety. Bald, fat, and bearded, he squinted at the world through old-fashioned glasses, wore trousers that fanned out like accor- dion bellows, walked with a stoop, and always carried a badly rolled umbrella. He looked more like a slightly down-at-the-heels businessman than a ruler. Yet for all his lack of grandeur, he was discontent to be a mere regent and managed to have himself crowned King Ludwig III in November 1913. His coronation was legally problematical because Otto, Ludwig II’s =" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  mad brother, was still alive. Ludwig could become king only through a constitutional amendment allowing the transfer of royal power outside the direct line of succession. For this he needed the blessing of the Center, the conservative Catholic party that was now the largest in the state. In exchange for its support, he promised to rule according to strict Catholic principles. Among his first acts as king Ludwig sold the Neue Pinakothek (the art museum founded by Ludwig Iand owned by the royal house) to the state of Bavaria. This move, which shocked many Miinchners, was an indica- tion of how little the new sovereign cared for the cultural life of his capi- tal. Indeed, he was to play the role of Maecenas only occasionally and with great reluctance. He generally stayed away from Munich’s theaters and concert halls, preferring to go bowling. He showed up for the unveiling of a Richard Wagner monument at the Prince Regency Theater in May 1913 only because the ceremony was an important step in Munich’s ongo- ing crusade to claim the composer for its own. He also attended Munich’s 1913 premiere of Parsifal (before then the work had been reserved for Wagner’s Festival Theater at Bayreuth), but he swore that wild horses could not drag him to hear Wagner again. On the other hand, he was pas- sionately interested in technology and launched a project to build Germany’s largest museum of science and industry on an island in the Isar River. Unfortunately construction had to be suspended because of the war, and Ludwig was no longer around when the museum finally opened in 1925. In addition to industrial technology, Ludwig had a passion for scientif- ic agriculture, which had been his field of study at the university. He set up a model dairy farm at his estate at Leutstetten, where he always felt most at home. What grandiose castles and Wagnerian operas had been for Ludwig II,contented cows and fragrant dung heaps were for Ludwig III. Munich duly marked Ludwig’s coronation with a royal procession and proclamations of loyalty from the Rathaus, but there was much dis- gruntlement over the event among the city’s liberals and Socialists, who rightly saw itas confirmation of their ruler’s dependence on the Catholics. Some Miinchners were also troubled by the fact that as king Ludwig would be entitled to a higher personal budget than he had had as regent and would therefore cost the taxpayers more. As a local tabloid, Die Ratschkathel, complained, “We now have a... king and must hope that we also have better economic times so we can pay for him. Unfortunately, itdoesn’t look as ifthis will be the case, and therefore everyone isafraid of the new taxes that the royal accession will bring.” Like Ludwig II,who had ascended the Bavarian throne on the eve of THE GREAT SWINDLE 45  46 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED the wars of German unification, Ludwig III assumed royal power at a time of heightened international tension. The powerful new German Empire challenged the old balance of power laid down in 1815. Germany’s bellicose policies under Kaiser Wilhelm II prompted the cre- ation of the Triple Entente (Great Britain, France, and Russia), which in turn inflamed German desires to break out of its “encirclement.” Russia and Austria meanwhile were at loggerheads in the Balkans, where the precipitous collapse of Turkish power was creating new opportunities for the Habsburgs and their Serbian antagonists, who enjoyed the protection of St. Petersburg. Munich, which had a large population of Slavic refugees and students from Russia and Serbia, was fully caught up in the tensions of the hour. The Munich police received anonymous tips that the “Serbian Academic Reading Group” was a den of dangerous Pan-Slav radicals. Nationalist papers like the Miinchener Neueste Nachrichten warned that war might be imminent. On 21 March 1914 Rosa Luxemburg, the Polish-born Socialist, told a huge crowd of workers at the Kind beer hall that the SPD would obstruct any effort to plunge Europe into war. “Ifaman of blood and iron like Bismarck could not overcome us, how can the pipsqueaks now run- ning the country manage it?” she asked. The crowd passed a resolution condemning the preparations for war. Before leaving power in 1890, Bismarck had predicted that the next big war would start over “some damn fool thing in the Balkans.” He was right, as usual. In the immediate aftermath of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the Great Powers began frantically putting their armies on a war footing even as they made last-ditch efforts at a diplomatic resolution of the Bosnian crisis. In early August they gave up and turned matters over to the generals. The Spirit ofAugust The outbreak of hostilities in August 1914 brought rejoicing in all the great cities of Europe. Everywhere people imagined that they were about to witness a bracing and heroic spectacle. Patriotic citizens welcomed the sudden sense of national unity and common purpose. Leaders of political parties, unions, and interest groups solemnly swore to suspend internal conflicts for the duration of the struggle. The city of Munich was as high on war fever as any place in Europe. This should not surprise us. In the decades since the unification of Germany by “blood and iron,” military enthusiasm had become as much  a part of the city’s atmosphere as its famed Gemiitlichkeit. Pride in Bavaria’s military traditions was evident in the huge Army Museum, which went up in the Hofgarten between 1900 and 1905. Local regiments played a prominent role in the public life of the town, from the annual Corpus Christi parade to the Oktoberfest. Citizens took delight in daily changings of the guard by the magnificent Lezber (King’s Own Regiment), all of whom stood a dizzying five feet nine inches or taller. Many Miinchners hoped that the war would give Bavaria an opportunity to display its dedication to the national cause. At the same time, some also hoped that the conflict would strengthen Bavaria’s hand within the Reich and allow itto stand equal with itsold rival, Prussia. “The high enthusi- asm in the streets of our town proves that the people are still true to their king, are good Bavarians and good Germans,” observed the Munich writ- er Lena Christ in August 1914. “They are glad to fight for king and fatherland.” In Munich official notice that the long peace was about to end came on the night of 31 July 1914. Thirty drummers marched through the city sounding the alarm for mobilization. During the next few days, following Germany’s declaration of war against Russia and France, people streamed into the streets singing the “Wacht am Rhein” and dropping cigars or cigarettes into blue and white boxes labeled “For the Front.” Recruiting stations were jammed with young men anxious to trade their civilian garb for military tunics. Large crowds assembled before the Austro- Hungarian Consulate to cheer Germany’s primary ally, whose insistence upon punishing Serbia for Franz Ferdinand’s murder had done much to turn this issue into a major war. Another crowd gathered in front of the Residenz, where King Ludwig III soberly warned of the great test ahead, concluding with the admonition “Now go home and do your duty.” Munich’s governing mayor, Wilhelm von Borscht, spoke rapturously of a “storm of national enthusiasm that blows away everything that separates [German from German], yielding a single people of brothers.” Swept up in the storm, a group of students demolished the Café Fahrig on the Karlsplatz because the house band got tired of playing the national anthem over and over again. Munich’s artists and intellectuals also leaped eagerly on the patriotic bandwagon. Many of them had become restless under the long peace, con- vinced that it was producing a shallow materialist ethos, internal divi- sions, and their own alienation from the rest of the nation. The conservative writer Ludwig Thoma allowed that he was “vastly relieved” when he learned of Germany’s decision to fight. “Gone was the pressure, gone was the uncertainty,” he exulted. Looking back on this heady THE GREAT SWINDLE 47  48 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED moment, Thomas Mann asked how the “soldier in the artist could not but praiseGod forthecollapseofapeace-time world ofwhich hehad become sick, thoroughly sick. War! It meant a cleansing, a liberation... and an extraordinary sense of hope. ...” Not just conservatives like Thoma and Thomas Mann took this line. The anarchist playwright Frank Wedekind, who before the war had written of the “glowing feeling of solidarity among the cultural nations against military rule,” now spoke of the “loyal brotherhood of arms” between Socialism and the High Command. The young Munich writer Oskar Maria Graf was astonished by the overnight patriotism of his left- ist friends. “Where had they all gone, those who had taught me that an anarchist must never serve the state, that he must especially reject all mil- itary or war service?” he asked. They had “run in droves to the nearest recruiting station to volunteer!” The leaders of the Bavarian SPD wel- comed the chance to prove that Socialists were not, as Kaiser Wilhelm II had once claimed, “rascals without a fatherland,” but loyal Germans ready to carry their share of the burden. The fact that czarist Russia had mobilized against Germany made shouldering this burden all the easier. AstheMiinchenerPosteditorializedon1August,“When itcomestothe duty to protect our country from bloody czarism, we will not allow our- selves to be considered second-class citizens.” Thus Bavaria’s Socialist del- egates to the Reichstag voted with the majority of their SPD colleagues in favor of war credits—to the consternation of more radical leftists like Rosa Luxemburg. No one in Munich was more swept away by the spirit of the moment than that recent transplant from Vienna, Adolf Hitler. Despite having dodged the Austrian draft, Hitler was convinced that war was “healthy.” He was among the huge crowd that assembled in the Odeonsplatz on 1 August as Germany declared war on Russia. The future Fiihrer iseasily recognizable in a now famous photograph of the scene; he gazes rapturously up at the Feldherrnhalle, his mouth half open, his hair uncut and wild. Later, in Mein Kampf, he described his emotions on that day: “To me those hours seemed like a release from the painful feelings of my youth. Even today I am not ashamed to say that, overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, Ifelldown on my knees and thanked heaven from my overflowing heart.” On 3 August, after having submit- ted a petition to King Ludwig to allow him to enlist as a foreigner in the Bavarian Army, Hitler stood outside the Residenz waiting for the king to speak. When Ludwig appeared, Hitler whispered to himself: “If only the king has already read my application and approved it.” In fact, the very next day Hitler received his approval to enlist. “My joy knew no bounds,”  he recalled later. “Within a few days I was wearing the tunic that I would not take off until almost six years later.” The uninhibited joy experienced by Hitler and so many others was hardly the only emotion generated by the opening of hostilities. Fear was another. Rumors swept through Munich that enemy agents had infected the water supply with typhus. Dynamite was said to have been found under several bridges. Because spies were reportedly everywhere, natives were instructed not to talk to strangers and to keep a sharp eye out for signs of treachery. In such an atmosphere long-standing suspicions of foreigners quickly turned into open hostility. Newspapers urged the populace to take “self- defense measures” against resident Serbs and Russians. Anyone who looked out of place was in danger of being attacked in the streets. Walking on the Kaufingerstrasse, the conductor Bruno Walter, who had just arrived from Vienna, was accosted by a wild-eyed man who pointed at him, yelling, “A Serbian! A Serbian!” Walter replied that he was not from Serbia, but that his accuser must certainly come from Eglfing (site of an insane asylum). His knowledgeable riposte saved him from further acrimony. A pair of young women who were overheard speaking French did not get away so easily; they were attacked by a mob and savagely beat- en. Ernst Toller, a student from Posen (and later a prominent revolution- ary), was set upon simply for wearing a French-looking hat. He too might have been bloodied had he not found a policeman who quieted the mob by holding up Toller’s German passport. Shortly after Britain declared war on 4 August, a mob destroyed the English Pharmacy in Munich on the assumption that “it must be penetrated by the English spirit.” Some citizens urged the city council to change the name of Munich’s great park, the Englischer Garten, to Deutscher Garten. The municipality demurred—a rare act of sanity in this environment of patriotic breast- beating and intense xenophobia. Culture versus Civilization One of the first cultural casualties of the war was Schwabing—or, more accurately, what was left of that quarter’s beleaguered bohemian spirit. A number of local artists expressed their patriotism by rushing off to the front. Among them were the Blue Rider painters August Macke and Franz Marc and the prominent writer Richard Dehmel. Many of the artist-warriors, including Macke and Marc, never returned from the trenches. Schwabinger who stayed behind felt increasingly isolated. In THE GREAT SWINDLE 49  50 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED summer 1915 Frank Wedekind gloomily predicted to his anarchist friend Erich Miihsam that there would henceforth be an unbridgeable gap between artists who had served at the front and those who had not. “[The veterans] will sitaround and talk about their heroic deeds, and when peo- ple like us want to give their opinions on questions of art or religion, they'll shout us down: “You weren’t there, how can you expect to have a say?’ ” Many conservative Miinchners, meanwhile, were pleased that the war was cleansing their city of its remaining bohemian trash. As early as November 1914 a contributor to the nationalist Al/gemeine Rundschau glee- fully celebrated the dispersal of the “Schwabing crowd,” that pack of self- proclaimed cosmopolitans who had always been so anxious “to complain to the world about Bavarian backwardness.” He hoped that the “literary and artistic bohemianism signified by the word Schwabing” was gone forever. “German discipline isthe demand of the hour,” he proclaimed. Simplicissimus certainly agreed with this last sentiment. For amoment after the war’s outbreak, Simpl’s editors wondered whether a magazine noted for its gibes against illiterate lieutenants should not simply shut down. T. T. Heine, however, argued convincingly that itwas “wrong to think that Szmpl’s time was over.” Indeed, the magazine could prosper if it“adjustedtothefacts”andcame down solidlyforthewar.Afterall,he continued, “at amoment like this the Fatherland needs a magazine... with international prestige to back the military leadership at home and abroad.” The other editors quickly fell into line. “They all felt like good patriots and were pleased to find a way to secure their existences,” noted Hermann Sinsheimer, amember oftheboard. During the next four years Simpl emerged as one of the more strident jingoist voices in the Reich. When Germany’s war machine slammed through Belgium, the red dog yelped for joy. A cartoon depicting German soldiers planting the flag of victory over the Belgian fortress of Liittich (Liége) featured some bathetic doggerel from Ludwig Thoma: “We lis- tened full of care /Then came a signal through the air / Rang over mighty mountains and valleys fair /The Germans! The Germans have taken Liittich.” With the failure of the Marne offensive and the onset of trench warfare, Simp! began devoting most of its space to the war effort. A car- toon of 1915 showed happy troopers entraining for the front, eagerly receiving flowers and coffee from buxom Frauleins. The Prussian gener- als whom the magazine had once disparaged as caste-bound dolts were now held up as heroes of the hour. Simpl was especially enthusiastic about Hindenburg and Ludendorff, who were winning significant victories on the Eastern Front. Germany’s enemies, on the other hand, were merci- lessly lampooned as conniving, greedy, rapacious, barbarous, and hypo-  critical. One cartoon depicted Germany as St. George the Dragon Slayer, running his spear through cowering bears and reptiles. Thoma’s caption reads: “Were the world filled with monsters, bent on making us their feed / We wouldn’t be very frightened /For we know we will succeed.” By deciding to throw its creative energies behind the war effort, Simpl became part of a broader cultural war that was to accompany the battle- field carnage over the next four years. Munich, as the self-proclaimed cap- italofGerman culture,playedacentralroleinthisenterprise. The tone of the wartime cultural crusade was signaled early on by an appeal from the rectors of the Bavarian universities to the academic youth: “Students! The muses are silent. The issue isbattle, the battle for German Kultur. .Theenthusiasmofthewarsofliberation[againstNapoleon] flares, and the holy war begins!” A little later several professors from Munich joined their colleagues at other German universities 1n issuing an Appeal to the World of Culture. They were disgusted with the Western powers for claiming to defend European cultural values while fighting alongside “Asiatic” Russians and black colonial troops. “The claim to be defending European civilization can be raised least convincingly by those who ally with Russians and Serbs, and who engage in the revolting spec- tacle of siccing Mongols and Blacks on a white nation.” To help protect German culture on the home front, Munich’s cultural institutions tried to shut out foreign influences. The Court Opera cur- tailed its French and Italian repertories. The Royal Theater dropped plays by Racine, Moliére, and Shaw. The city’s music halls, whose “tin- seled ladies” had earlier “passed out their coquettish adventures and alcove secrets in couplet form,” now gave themselves over to patriotic reviews. A performer at the Circus-Varieté discarded his prewar stage name of Hopkins and reverted to Hoppke. “His performance,” exclaimed the Mdnchener Zeitung piously, “has not become worse for his broadcast- inghisGerman name.” The push to purge Munich’s cultural life of “un-German” influences was accompanied by attacks against resident Jewish artists. The experi- ence of Bruno Walter isa case in point. Since his arrival in 1913, when he participated in that year’s Wagner centennial, Walter had been dispar- aged by Munich critics as an “alien” figure who had no business tamper- ing with German music, least of all with that of the Master. Such criticism accelerated during the war, as Walter continued to conduct Wagner operas and works like Palestrina, by the hypernationalist composer Hans Pfitzner. In 1916 Walter complained of a “measureless agitation against me in which the entire Munich press is unanimous.” He was tempted to move to Boston, which had invited him to become resident conductor. But THE GREAT SWINDLE 51  he stayed on in Munich, and a few local supporters rallied to his defense. The philologist August Mayer attacked Walter’s critics as a pack of beer hall louts given to slamming down their opinions like steins on a Stammtisch (table reserved for regular guests). The offended critics promptly took Mayer to court and won a libel judgment against him. In 1934 the Nazi paper Vélkischer Beobachter looked back on this judgment as “the first victory in Germany over the great power of Judaism ...the dawn signaling the eventual triumph of the Hitler movement.” Meanwhile, most of Munich’s newspapers jettisoned any social or polit- ical perspectives that could have been seen as critical of the ruling estab- lishment or High Command. The periodical Zeit im Bild (Time in Pictures), which before the war had been serializing Heinrich Mann’s Der Untertan (Man of Straw), a brilliant satire of kaiser worship, abruptly halt- ed the project on 1 August. The editor explained to Mann: At this moment a great public organ cannot criticize German conditions in the form of satire. Only very few readers would, in such anxious times, either notice or accept the distinction between art and life: they would hold the con- tents of Der Untertan as matters of fact. In this light certain parts of the novel might easily give offense among the general public in the present critical situ- ation. But apart from this we might face the most severe censorship problems were we to publish anything of the least political intent, particularly regard- ing the person of the Kaiser. Despite such efforts at self-censorship, Munich’s opinion makers, like those across the rest of Germany, became subject to increased govern- mental regulation as the war dragged on. A year after Zeit im Bild sus- pended Der Untertan, the Bavarian Ministry of War banned the periodical Das Forum for displaying “unpatriotic aestheticism and Europeanism.” At the same time, local authorities warned theater and cabaret managers not to mount any skits or plays that might offend “religion, morality, pub- licdecency, political institutions, or public order.” Demands for political and moral purity, however, sometimes collided with Munich’s desire to retain a reputation for artistic exuberance and lighthearted gaiety. Over vehement protests from conservatives, Frank Wedekind’s Friihlings Erwachen (Spring Awakening), a daring play about adolescent sexuality, was allowed to run from 1915 to 1917. After an ini- tial display of self-sacrificial Spartanism, moreover, the city began to loosen up somewhat. In 1915 Der Zwiebelfisch, a nationalist paper, report- ed disgustedly that some citizens were carousing in expensive bars and restaurants as ifthere were no war going on. Another commentator was 52 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  revolted by the sight of scantily clad music hall chanteuses proclaiming their “lewd desire to hop in bed with furloughed soldiers.” One prominent Munich artist who showed no signs of cultural back- sliding was Thomas Mann. As we have seen, Mann greeted the war enthusiastically, though he feared itmight “ruin” him financially. Despite his bellicosity, Mann was not inclined to join the rush to the trenches— earlier he had evaded completing his military obligation by finagling a discharge for flat feet (an experience he later worked into his comic novel Felix Krull)—but he was determined to compensate for his physical absence from the front through intellectual militance. In late August 1914 he put aside work on his novel The Magic Mountain to produce an essay entitled “Thoughts in Wartime,” which he called “a war service with the weapon of thought.” The heart of the piece was a polemical embroidering of Nietzsche’s famous distinction between “culture” and “civilization.” The former, which Mann identified with Germany, implied tribal unity, spiritual profundity, soulful irrationalism, youthful vitality, deep yearning for absolute values, and innocent uncontaminated — strength. “Civilization,” associated with Germany’s Western enemies, especially France, connoted arid rationalism, secularism, pseudoenlightenment, shallow literary gamesmanship, spiritual softness, overbreeding, parlia- mentary fetishism, crass materialism, fake humanism, and the unhealthy atrophy of instinct. Mann argued that Germany’s efforts to protect its Kultur from the onslaught of civilization demanded a heroic struggle that would be salutary for the national soul. Mann’s “Thoughts in Wartime,” which appeared in the Neue Rundschau in November 1914, was merely the first salvo in an ideological barrage he maintained for almost the entire war. In December 1914 he expanded on the themes of his first war essay with a sixty-page harangue called “Frederick and the Great Coalition.” By celebrating Frederick’s “historically necessary” invasion of Saxony, Mann sought to justify Germany’s overrunning of neutral Belgium at the outset of the present war. Frederick’s unquenchable spirit during the darkest days of the Seven Years War, said Mann, lived on in the embattled Germany of 1914. “Germany today is Frederick the Great. It is his battle that we have to wage again and to win.” In May 1915, after Germany had used poison gas on the Western Front and bombed London, Mann wrote a shrilly defensive letter to aSwedish newspaper in response to an editorial about the bloody collapse of European unity. Europe was united, said Mann: united against Germany. Since the beginning of the war Germans had had to put up with a chorus of hypocritical cant about German “barbarism.” It had gotten to the point THE GREAT SWINDLE 53  where black colonial troops, “animals with lips as thick as cushions” and “gray paws” for hands, were demanding that German soldiers be execut- ed as “war criminals.” Explaining his country’s need to continue fighting, Mann proposed that in the current struggle Germany recognized “the her- ald of her Third Reich,” an emerging “synthesis ofmight and mind. ...” While Mann sometimes aimed his wartime writings at Germany’s for- eign critics and enemies, he also had in mind a target closer to home: his older brother, Heinrich. After a flirtation with conservative nationalism, Heinrich had become a champion of the Western democratic ideals open- ly despised by his younger brother. When Thomas’s “Thoughts in Wartime” appeared, Heinrich was horrified. His friend Wilhelm Herzog recalled that Heinrich read these lines “with revulsion and indignation.” He found it hard to believe that an otherwise “well-tempered spirit” could stray so far from the path of decency. Heinrich’s own literary response to the political and cultural issues raised by the war came chiefly in the form of an essay on Emile Zola that he published in November 1915. Here Heinrich celebrated Zola as a humanist intellectual who, in his defense of the alleged “spy” Alfred Dreyfus, had dared put abstract principles ofjustice over claims of nation- al interest. Heinrich saw his own intellectual odyssey as a variation on Zola’s, both having come to realize that, as Heinrich put it,“literature and politics have the same subjects, the same goals, and must mutually condi- tion each other.” This last comment was meant for brother Thomas, who, like most conservative Germans of the idealist school, had argued that politics must be avoided by all true artists (as if his own impassioned defense of the authoritarian state did not constitute a form of politics). The arrow did not fail to hit its mark. Aside from the business about artists’ needing to be politically engaged, Thomas was sure Heinrich had him in mind when he wrote: “[Artists] who appear assertive and self-possessed in their early twen- ties are the most likely to dry up later on.” The younger Mann con- demned this remark as an example of “truly French spitefulness,” a “glittering piece of sham” redolent of “slander and deception.” Thomas’s fury with Heinrich was partly responsible for his decision, in 1916, to unlimber his “weapon of thought” once again on behalf of Germany and its sacred cause. Even this prolific writer, who sometimes joked about his tendency to run offatthe pen, could not have guessed that this new effort would balloon to 650 pages, take two years to complete, and appear only when the cause itdefended was already lost. The work in question, Die Betrachtungen eines Unpolitischen (Reflections of aNonpolitical Man), was a personal reckoning with brother 54 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  Heinrich, a defense of Thomas’s own literary ideals, an apologia for Germany’s military endeavor, and a tortured exploration of German identity in the early twentieth century. At its core, once again, was an impassioned argument for saving German Kultur from the predations of Western Zivilisation. In the prefaces Thomas described the Reflections as the work of an artist “whose existence was shaken to its foundations, whose self-respect was brought into question and who was so upset he could produce noth- ing else.” Yet as an inveterate pumper of irony, Mann was also aware that there was something odd about this entire project. Here was a literary man defending a nation he called “unliterary” and by so doing perhaps assisting the conquest of Germany by “civilization.” Like Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Mann thought that music, not lit- erature, was Germany’s true art. He considered itmore deeply spiritual, an unmediated expression of the soul’s inner voice. Though music was mathematical in construction, its power to transport was, he thought, essentially irrational and religious. Only later would Thomas Mann con- clude that music’s “demonic” capacity to subvert the world of Logos made itan ambivalent and dangerous art, especially in the hands of Germans. Whatever the author thought about his Reflections, posterity must judge itaproblematical work. For allitsagonized nuances, itwas fullof bombast regarding Germany’s right to assert itself against an uncompre- hending and jealous world. It was an unabashed reassertion of Hegel’s “might makes right”—at least when the might in question was employed in the name of high cultural principles. As Mann’s son, Klaus, later wrote, “(Thomas] confounded the reckless arrogance of the Prussian imperialists with the splendors of Diirer, Bach, and Schopenhauer. The deadly ecstasies of Tristan and Isolde became an argument in favor of the Teutonic expansion and unrestricted submarine warfare.” While Thomas’s wartime convictions deepened his alienation from his brother and set him sharply apart from what remained of Munich’s Left- literary culture, these views strengthened his broader spiritual identifica- tion with the town he had come to call home. Munich, he now believed, was Germany writ small, the quintessence of the beleaguered German spirit. In his martial mood he even loved the bovine anti-intellectualism ofits shopkeepers and butchers, the visceral xenophobia of its superficial- ly urbanized peasants. Having once despaired over the city’s lack ofliter- ary sophistication, he now believed that this confirmed the deep Germanness of the place. Certainly he meant itas acompliment when he wrote, in the Reflections, “Munich is completely unliterary; literature there has no basis.” THE GREAT SWINDLE 55  56 While Thomas Mann was agonizing over the fate of German culture in the modern world, another adoptive Miinchner, Oswald Spengler, was beginning to forge his magnum opus, Der Untergang des Abendlandes (The Decline ofthe West), abook that Mann initially claimed was “thoroughly related” to his own ideas, though he later turned sharply against it. Spengler had moved to Munich from Hamburg in 1911. He chose Munich because he had fallen in love with the city during a year’s study there in 1901. Ten years later he found Munich changed for the worse, full of “sterile” Jugendstil buildings and nonsensical Expressionist paintings. Nonetheless, he settled in for good and allowed the town to work its seductive influence on him. Soon this staid North German was strolling through Schwabing carrying a knapsack full of books from the State Library. Like many of the artists and intellectuals who had flocked there over the years, Spengler had no regular job, living hand to mouth from a small inheritance. Staying well outside Munich’s cultural and academic mainstream, he managed to find a few kindred spirits in the Schwabing cafés he frequented. In the end, wrote one of his biographers, his life in Munich amounted toa strange mixture oflingering northern discipline and newfound bohemian rebellion. Spengler’s writings, above all, his monumental Decline, also displayed a restless impatience with conventional intellectual boundaries. He had originally planned to write a philosophical novel about a young painter living in Munich, which he saw asa rich and cultured city bypassed by the modern zeitgeist. “Munich is the old-fashioned city par excellence in Germany” he wrote. “It isa place that lives off the artistic romanticism of itspastandisthereforenolongerabletoproduce.ThespiritofMunich is now being thoroughly displaced by the spirit ofPrussia-Berlin. From now on... Germany means Berlin.” Munich’s historical fate, however, soon merged in Spengler’s mind with broader patterns of cultural ebb and flow. The city’s decline seemed symbolic of a disintegration of European civilization that was following the pitiless laws of historical evolution. Europe’s tense political climate in the prewar era also helped define his thinking. He became convinced that a world war was about to begin that would serve as “the inevitable man- ifestation of the [contemporary] historical crisis,” and his task must now be “to comprehend [this crisis] from an examination of the preceding cen- turles—not years.” Spengler spent almost a decade putting together his huge Decline of the West, but the crucial work was done during the First World War, which cast its grim shadow over the whole enterprise. Like Thomas Mann’s Reflections, Spengler’s book elaborated on distinctions between culture = WHERE GHOSTS W ALKED  and civilization, albeit with aDarwinian twist. For him, “culture” denot- ed the phase in a society’s development when it was young, virile, and instinctively creative; “civilization” came when the society turned to material comfort and theoretical refinements of earlier untutored cre- ations. He did not attach a specific time frame to each phase, but he insist- ed that the transition from culture to civilization was as inevitable as the changes of the seasons or the biological stages in an individual’s life. Spengler believed that in his own age, the dawning twentieth century, Western civilization was taking a fateful turn toward great bloody con- flicts in which charismatic Caesars would fight each other for mastery of the world. In the process humanity would sink into a uniform mass, most people living in enormous “barracks cities” like London, New York, and Berlin. Like the inhabitants of imperial Rome in its dotage, these masses would do the bidding of any leader who provided bread and circuses. Spengler’s Decline was not only gloomy but very long and badly orga- nized. Its length and turgidity may have helped make it popular in Germany, where, as one commentator has noted, “long, wretchedly orga- nized books had been the tradition” and where profundity was (and often still is) thought to be incompatible with brevity and lucidity. But the Decline’s main appeal was undoubtedly its very gloominess. Because the first of its two volumes appeared in 1918, at the end of the great slaugh- ter, it harmonized perfectly with the dominant mood. Never before, noted the critic Ernst Cassirer, had a philosophical book gained such quick and universal popularity, finding an audience among ordinary readers as well as professional philosophers and historians. Cassirer thought that this was attributable more to the book’s apocalyptic title than to itsactual content. “The title ...was like an electrical spark that ignit- ed the reader’s imagination. [When the book appeared], many of us rec- ognized that there was something foul in the firmament of our highly praised Western civilization. Spengler’s book brought this generalized discontent sharply to the surface.” “Dotschland, Dotschland tiber Alles” Although various self-appointed guardians of German culture continued to demand unqualified enthusiasm for the war even as itdegenerated into a stalemated contest over a few miles of mud, signs of disarray were begin- ning to show across the Reich as early as 1915. The cause was not only the mounting casualties at the front but increasing suffering at home. While the disillusionment was almost universal, it was particularly intense in THE GREAT SWINDLE 57  58 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Bavaria, whose citizens came to feel that they were suffering more than other Germans and especially more than the Prussians. Munich was the center of this discontent, the place where Germany’s wartime Burgfrieden (civil truce) broke down earliest and most dramatically. AttheoutsetofWorld War IMunich hadceasedtobetheglorifiedvil- lage imagined by many postwar nostalgia-mongers, but the long conflict greatly accelerated the process of social and economic change. For the first time Munich developed a sizable arms industry, as the Essen-based Krupp firm established an artillery factory in the suburb of Freimann, and local firms like the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Works) and Bayerische Motorenwerke (BMW) converted to war produc- tion. Munich’s rapidly expanding industrial infrastructure required a larger work force than the town could provide, so thousands of workers were imported from other parts of Germany, especially from Saxony and the Ruhr. Meanwhile, to replace men called to the front, women took over industrial jobs in increasing numbers: Among the 9,402 women employed in Munich’s war industries in 1917, only 19.5 percent had previously worked ina factory. For traditionalists among the native population, these changes were highly unwelcome; they portended an end to the com- fortable old city they had known—or thought they had known. While the war created employment for munitions and industrial workers, italso took jobs away from the city’s artists, actors, and writers. Those who did not enlist in the army or arrange a war-related sinecure found that the home market for their services had significantly atrophied. Many citizens believed that in a time of national emergency it was improper to spend money on “frivolities” like the theater, novels, or paint- ings. Even King Ludwig III got into this spirit by banning the 1914 Okoberfest because of the “present political situation.” Munich’s culture market became so depressed that after a few weeks of war several literary magazines and publishing houses shut down or cur- tailed operations. In October 1914 the Munich branch of the League for the Protection of German Writers lodged an appeal with the Bavarian MinistryofCultureonbehofajoulrnaflistsandwriterswhohadlosttheir jobs. “The war,” said the letter, “has almost fully taken the possibility for existence from a large part of our colleagues who did not go along into the field or who were not able to dedicate their services to the fatherland in another way.” The league urged the ministry to find suitable new posi- tions for the artists, but few such jobs opened up, and Munich therefore harbored a growing community of unemployed intellectuals and writers who tried their best to turn their own misfortune into a crisis of state. The situation in the theater was even worse. At the outbreak of war  local officials closed all the theaters to demonstrate the city’s no-nonsense commitment to the struggle. This caused an outcry, and after a few weeks the theaters were allowed to reopen, though not all of them did so. While some could not function for lack of actors or patrons, by 1916-1917 the main problem was an acute shortage of coal, which forced closures or cur- tailments of performance schedules in the winter months. As early as 1915 Munich’s chapter of the Brotherhood of German Stage Artists com- plained that some two thirds of its members were unemployed, a figure that increased in the wake of the 1916-1917 closings. By the last two years of the war many of Munich’s actors and actresses were reduced to per- forming impromptu street theater for people standing in breadlines. But artists and actors were hardly the only ones to suffer economically from the impact of war. The conflict was especially hard on white-collar employees and small businessmen. Lacking the powerful unions deployed by manual workers, the white-collar workers were unable to obtain the wage increases necessary to keep up with the high wartime inflation. A Bavarian labor leader reported that white-collar workers were contem- plating behaving like blue-collar workers and going out on strike. “The great need of the white-collar workers isdemonstrated by the fact that the thought of striking isdiscussed in an ever more lively way in their ranks,” he wrote. “This is the result of the failure of all their efforts to improve their condition. Until now the organizations have not approved of this idea; they are proud of the fact that they have chosen a path different from that of the [manual] workers.” The owners of small shops and companies, meanwhile, were in no position to compete for the huge military contracts awarded by the cen- tral government in Berlin, nor could they fight effectively for scarce raw materials or manpower. While these pressures exacted their toll on small- er businesses throughout the Reich, their impact was strongest in Bavaria, since the economy there, despite the new war industries, remained domi- nated by smaller firms. The Reich government’s tendency to favor the megafactories of the North at the expense of Bavaria’s nascent industry was the subject of a bitter protest to Berlin lodged by Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria in 1917: Bavaria will find itmuch more difficult to recuperate from the consequences of the war than North Germany because her industry is less developed. But her further development is also being made more difficult during the war because, on the pretext that she is not sufficiently capable of producing, she receives relatively fewer contracts from the central agencies. Heavy industry isnow supreme in Germany. ...Using the needs of war in the most ruthless THE GREAT SWINDLE by)  fashion, the Berlin business people have managed, by the creation of all the central agencies set up in Berlin, to bring the entire internal economic life of Germany under their control and power, and the consequence will be that, after the war, the middle class, which already finds itself in dire distress, will disappear and a trustification worse than America’s will set in. For Bavaria, where the middle class is rather numerous, this will be catastrophic. The members of this class, who were previously very monarchically minded, are now in part more antimonarchical than the Social Democrats because they blame the government for their misfortune. Rupprecht’s protests, and others like it,had little impact on the central government. A growing number of smaller Munich factories were forced to close for want of contracts, materials, coal, or labor. Their owners focused their bitterness largely on Berlin, though the “antimonarchical” sentiment noted by Rupprecht applied increasingly also to the Wittelsbachs, who were seen to be impotent when itcame to protecting local interests. As ifbankruptcies and unemployment were not enough, the war also dramatically exacerbated Munich’s housing shortage. The large wartime immigration made the demand for private dwellings greater than ever, while a lack of raw materials caused by priorities for the military forced Munich’s builders to suspend most construction of new housing. Fewer than three hundred new dwellings were built during the entire war. The sight of families scouring the city for a place to live became so common- place that a local folk singer wrote a ditty about a wretched housewife slogging across town without ever finding an apartment for her family. Of course, the housewife’s grief was the landlord’s boon: The “devils” could charge forty marks for “two rooms in the building out back.” Agonizing as the housing crunch undoubtedly was, food shortages constituted the single greatest grievance during the First World War. The civilian food crisis, in Munich and elsewhere, came about largely because of the British blockade, inadequate resources for agricultural production, and massive demands by the military. In an effort to ensure that everyone received enough to eat, the Munich authorities began rationing foods in May 1915 and constantly added items to the list. (Food distribution and production were coordinated by a large bureaucracy in Berlin, the War Food Office.) Despite such efforts, scarcities were such that long lines formed outside every bakery and butcher shop, and almost everyone complained about not getting enough to eat. In May 1916 Oswald Spengler wrote to a friend in the countryside: 60 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  I have a request—namely, that you send me some food as quickly as possible. ... White bread and flour have not been available here since 1 February and probablywillnotbeattainableuntilthenextharvest.... Freshvegetablesand meat preserves are also no longer to be found. I’m living on 1/5 [kilo] Limburger and 1/4 [kilo] bad sausage a week. Recently in the Pschorr Brewery Restaurant the only “meat” dish they had was a piece of cod... . Yesterday I stood in line for one and a half hours to buy 200 grams of ham; this required one and a half weeks of ration coupons, so I can’t eat in any restau- rants. On Wednesday I stood in line for three quarters of an hour to get a lit- tle pack of saccharin, only the second one I’ve had since New Year’s. These are truly matters for philosophical contemplation. From his vantage point as the child of amuch more prosperous writer, young Klaus Mann remembered the war chiefly in terms of inadequate food. “To us children, as well as the average citizen, war primarily meant not enough to eat. With the food situation constantly and rapidly detert- orating, it became a general obsession to discuss all aspects and implica- tions of this one paramount problem: how, where, at what price and risk one could obtain the necessary victuals.” On one occasion Klaus and his sister, Erika, discovered a tiny store in a distant suburb where they might buy some eggs for their mother. They stood in line in the bitter cold for six hours to make their purchase. But in trying to carry the eggs home in his numb hands, Klaus dropped them on the sidewalk. “It was bitter beyond description to watch the beautiful yolks, a mucilaginous rivulet, oozing away between the paving stones. Itnow seems to me that our tears froze even while running along our cheeks and adorned our bewildered faces like biting little jewels. Everything was glacial and forbidding and infinitely sad.” Klaus recalled that even his august father became obsessed with food, and he speculated that Thomas’s gloomy Reflections might, among other things, have been the product of “the inadequate food and the chilly temperature in his studio during the winter months.” (If this was true for Thomas Mann’s wartime opus, it might also hold for Spengler’s Decline of the West; ifever a book bore the mark of having been written on an empty stomach, itwas this one.) With the shortage of foodstuffs, Miinchners, like other Germans, were obliged to consume ersatz (substitute) products in lieu of genuine butter, coffee, sugar, eggs, milk, and so forth. Ersatz milk was a watery mixture that neither looked nor tasted like milk, ersatz eggs had a yellowish color but otherwise bore no resemblance to the original, and the substitute cof- fee simply did not bear drinking. More seriously, this was also true of beer, which was heavily watered down. Fake pastry was another abomination. Constance Hallgarten, a leader in the local women’s movement, ordered THE GREAT SWINDLE 61  a birthday cake from her baker in the hope that he might have secret sup- plies of real flour and eggs. “He sent something that looked like a cake,” she recalled. “But one could hardly cut the thing and ittasted like paste- board encased in gelatin—vile!” Summing up the universal contempt for ersatz products, Ernst Toller observed in his memoirs: “Eminent scientists proved that clay had the same food value as flour, that saccharin-sweet- ened jam was healthier than butter, that dried potato tops were better for the nerves than tobacco and tasted just as good. But the pronouncements of scientists were of little avail to the stomach, which reacted to this non- sense in its own way: People collapsed, fell sick, grew desperate.” Despised as the ersatz innovations were, however, the prime symbol for wartime deprivation was not a ghastly food substitute but a true prod- uct of nature, the lowly Dotsche (turnip), which began to replace the pota- to as the main staple during the infamous “turnip winter” of 1916-1917. With bitter humor Germans altered the opening lines of their national anthem to read “Dotschland, Dotschland tiber Alles.” Miinchners responded to the multitude of laws governing the distribu- tion of foodstuffs by violating them at every opportunity. Those who could bought food on the black market and hoarded itat home like pack rats (an offense called hamstering); others raided nearby farms for pro- duce. Indeed, the food crisis brought out a streak of daring criminality in a people not otherwise known for their open flouting of the law. Recalled Klaus Mann: “The hoarding ofillegal food was not only a necessity but a sport; more than that, amania. Some people deployed the most uncanny skill in tracing devious sources of milk, lard or honey. With unflagging ingenuity they explored the countryside in search of chickens, rabbits, and potatoes. The funny papers and the criminal records were full of stories concerning the reckless wiles employed by the egg-ham-and-butter hunters.” City folks might regard their evasion ofthe food laws asa sport, but the authorities did not. Hundreds of Miinchners were prosecuted for such offenses during the war. Even less amused were the farmers whose crops were regularly raided by hungry urbanites. The peasants responded by establishing armed patrols that beat and often killed would-be poachers. As elsewhere in the Reich, some Miinchners fared much better than others when itcame to the challenges of wartime existence. Those with money and connections could bribe officials for extra ration cards, trade in the black market, and eat in restaurants that still had access to coveted items like Weisswurst (white veal sausage). Meanwhile, ever increasing prices for essentials meant that the poorest elements of the population were not just stealing from farmers but hunting urban “game” as well. As Anémtic Calf 62 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  apopular folk song had it,“Squirrels, weasels, martens /We did kill,and adog and acat/Fox and mole and jayand crow /Safe weren’t even mice and rats.” But perhaps there was a shortage of these delicacies too, for by the middle of the war the children of poorer families were showing signs ofsevere malnutrition. Monitoring these iniquities, the Munich police understood how dan- gerous they might become. “The easily avoidable, but long tolerated, injustice in food distribution,” said a police report in March 1917, “is a far more dangerous enemy to public order than the shortage of food per se.” The military command in Munich agreed. Because of “gross disparities in living standards,” it said, “growing frustration and bitterness” were spreading through the lower classes. On 18 June 1916 Munich witnessed the first of a series wartime food protests. Indignant over cuts in the bread ration, hundreds of people, mostly women and children, demonstrated in the front of the Town Hall. The mob was eventually dispersed by mounted police. According to Erich Miihsam, who witnessed the clash, people cursed the authorities as “Prussian lackeys” and shouted that “Even the French wouldn't treat us like this.” Miihsam was convinced that the rioting would lead to full- fledged revolution. With time, many people began to hold King Ludwig II personally responsible for the food shortages. Milk-starved Miinchners accused him of shipping milk from his model dairy to northern Germany in order to make large profits. To help him appreciate their anger, some malcontents tied an empty milk can to his carriage. Others blamed him for the watered beer, on the ground that he allowed the export of Bavarian hops to the North. In summer 1917 rumor had itthat the Miinchners were so angry at the king that he had fled to Saxony. The story was false, but an omi- nous harbinger. The popular perception of Ludwig as a toady to Berlin was part of a much larger animosity toward the central government, especially toward the Prussians, who dominated it.Hatred ofPrussia, ofcourse, was an old story in Munich and Bavaria, but itreached new levels of virulence in the later phases of the war. Locals often spoke more bitterly of the Saupreussen (pig Prussians) than of the enemy. As the costs of war mounted and hopes of quick victory receded, Miinchners began blaming the central government for dragging them into a war they claimed never to have wanted. They also accused the High Command of conducting operations in a way that South German troops took more than their share of the casualties. More precisely, Bavarians claimed that Prussian generals habitually threw Bavarian soldiers into the THE GREAT SWINDLE 63  most dangerous engagements, treating them as cannon fodder. Regarding developments on the home front, Bavarians complained that Prussia was using the war to gut states’ rights in favor of a “dictator- ship” from Berlin. Nowhere was this more evident, they said, than in the centralized military procurement policies directed from the Reich capital. On the one hand, these policies starved South German industry by favor- ing northern firms; on the other hand, they “ruined” Bavarian peasants by commandeering food products at artificially low prices. Perhaps inevitably, beer became a centerpiece in the dispute with Berlin. Bavaria’s brewers fumed that Berlin was providing plenty of raw materials to Prussian schnaps makers, while cutting hops quotas for beer production in the South. Berlin did this, said the brewers, knowing full well that in Bavaria beer “was not just a necessary food supplement for hard-working laborers, but, along with bread, the chief nutriment for poor people in the countryside.” Ernst Toller put the complaint a little more bluntly: “Just because the Prussian swine didn’t mind bad beer, the Bavarians also had to swallow dishwater.” In their bitterness over “Prussian hegemony,” a delegation of Bavarian noblemen and prominent citizens of Munich petitioned Ludwig III in November 1917 to seize control over the war effort. But Ludwig’s gov- ernment chose to remain loyal to Berlin and to continue to enforce its edicts. Of course, Bavaria and Munich also continued to pour men into the meat grinder on the Western Front, which became even more grimly efficient with the arrival of fresh American troops in mid-1918. By sum- mer 1918 Munich alone had lost 13,725 soldiers. The war also demanded ever greater material sacrifices from the home front. On orders from Berlin, in 1917 the Bavarian government began requisitioning items that might be of military use; these included metal pots and pans, kitchen refuse, old paper, and organ pipes. In the same year the Imperial War Ministry seized and melted down 35 percent of Munich’s church bells for ammunition. Aside from food shortages and bad beer, no wartime measure caused more consternation in Munich than this transformation of bells into shells. Miinchners also fretted over what the war was doing to the city’s schoolchildren. School hours had been drastically cut because most male teachers had been drafted, and many school buildings had been turned into military hospitals or barracks. The local school commission worried that the cuts in schooling, along with disruptions of family life occasioned by the war, were rapidly producing a new generation of “wild” and “raw” youngsters. “The strong hand of the educator isgone,” lamented a school commission report. “The father has been drafted, the mother works out- 64 TM® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  side the home, and schooling has been sharply curtailed.” A prominent Munich pedagogue warned that the more severely afflicted children “might have to live with the damage [suffered during the war] through- out their entire lives.” As adults, he feared, they would either instinctive- ly reject all authority and discipline or, conversely, surrender themselves blindly to anyone who promised to bring order and direction into their chaotic lives. Pacifism and Polarization In response to the manifold horrors of war, some Miinchners, along with like-minded citizens across the Reich, began to cry that enough was enough. In February 1916 the first pacifist flyers and posters started show- ing up in Munich’s streets; they declared that the war was a huge “swin- dle.” According to the Bavarian War Ministry, most of the antiwar agitation was aimed at women. Whether or not this was true, it made good sense, for women had been carrying much of the war’s burden at home. Among the earliest antiwar protesters in Munich were well-edu- cated women like Anita Augsburg, Constance Hallgarten, and Lida Heymann. Starting in 1916, through rallies and printed broadsides, these ladies encouraged their sisters to stop doing all the things that helped keep the war machine oiled and running. They should stop filling men’s places in the ammunition factories, stop sewing uniforms, and stop volunteering in military hospitals. The authorities did not take kindly to such agitation, and the Bavarian government ordered the expulsion of Heymann, who was not a Bavarian citizen. (She evaded the order by hiding on Augsburg’s estate south of Munich.) No one was more appalled by this pacifist and defeatist sentiment than Private First Class Adolf Hitler, who returned to Munich briefly in the depth of the “turnip winter” to continue convalescing from a leg wound he had suffered on the Somme in October 1916. Before joining a replace- ment battalion in Munich on 2 December, Hitler had spent time in a mil- itary hospital near Berlin, where he encountered (in his words) “spineless cowards” who had deliberately injured themselves in order to get away from the front. In Berlin itself, which Hitler now visited for the first time, he found pacifist agitators spreading their poisonous views in the streets. Thoroughly disgusted, he went down to Munich expecting to experience a more uplifting and patriotic atmosphere. To his horror, however, he dis- covered a monstrous nest of slackers and Jews. He recalled it in Mein Kampf: THE GREAT SWINDLE 65  When I was discharged from the hospital as cured and transferred to the replacement battalion [inMunich], Ithought Icould no longer recognize the city. Anger, discontent, cursing, wherever you went! In the replacement bat- talionitselfthemood wasbeneathallcriticism.tobeaslackerpassedalmost as a sign of higher wisdom, while loyal steadfastness was considered a symp- tom of inner weakness and narrow-mindedness. The offices [in the city] were filled with Jews. Nearly every clerk was a Jew and nearly every Jew was a clerk. Iwas amazed at this plethora of warriors of the chosen people and could not help but compare them with their rare representatives at the front. To Hitler’s further horror, most Miinchners did not seem to know who their true enemy was; they thought itwas Prussia, not the Jews! Hitler had nothing but contempt for this anti-Prussian phobia, for though an adoptive Miinchner himself, he regarded Bavarian (or any other) particu- larism as a betrayal of the national cause. Again, to quote Mein Kampf: At this time [winter 1916-1917] I saw with horror a catastrophe approaching which, unless averted in time, would inevitably lead to collapse. While the Jew robbed the whole nation and pressed it beneath his domi- nation, an agitation was carried on against the “Prussians.” At home, as at the front, nothing was done against this poisonous propaganda. No one seemed to suspect that the collapse of Prussia would not by a long shot bring with it a resurgence of Bavaria; no, that on the contrary any fall of the one would inevitably carry the other along with itinto the abyss. While Hitler expedited his return to the front in early 1917, grateful to be back in the only place he felt at home, agitation for an end to the war picked up steam across the Reich. In July 1917 the Reichstag passed a Peace Resolution calling for a negotiated settlement and a repudiation of annexationist war aims. This initiative found strong backing in Munich because the city was close the Southern Front, where Germany’s Austrian allies were experiencing growing difficulty against the Italians. However, neither the parliament’s belated effort to contain the war nor all the spontaneous pacifist protests had much effect on the German HighCommand. Itseemedincreasinglyapparentthatonlyamoreradi- cal and better organized antiwar campaign could bring an end to the slaughter. On 16 May 1917 Munich hosted a meeting of the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD), which had been formed the month before by embittered leftists (among them Rosa Luxemburg) to push for an early end to the war. The Bavarian capital became a major USPD bastion in 66 TM®WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  large measure because of the man who took control of the movement in the Isar city, Kurt Eisner. Eisner was without doubt the most unlikely figure ever to gain power and prestige in Bavaria. He was not only a Jew but a Jew who hailed from Berlin. Physically there was nothing earthy or robust about him; itwas impossible even to imagine him in lederhosen. He had a spindly, bent frame; a large head sprouting wild white hair; a silver gray beard that hung like a dead animal over his dirty frock coat; aprominent hooked nose that was a caricaturist’s dream; pale, unhealthy-looking skin; and dark, runny eyes enlarged by a pair of pince-nez glasses. Looking as he did, Eisner could find a certain niche in the small world of Schwabing’s bohemia, where he became a fixture after moving to Munich from Nuremberg in 1911 and taking up a position as drama editor for the Socialist paper Die Miinchener Post. Yet even here he was something of an odd (and sometimes unwelcome) duck. Otto Zarek, a student at Munich University during the war, wondered who among the denizens of the Café Stefanie might mobilize the growing discontent: “Perhaps, Herr Kurt Eisner, a dirty little man from Berlin who had succeeded in becom- ing dramatic critic on the Social Democratic newspaper.” Like almost all German Socialists, Eisner had backed the war when it broke out in 1914. “Now Tsarism has attacked Germany,” he wrote in in the first days of August, “now we have no choice, now there isno looking back.” But within a year, earlier than most of his colleagues, he did start looking back, becoming convinced that itwas German militarism that was primarily responsible for the continued slaughter. In December 1916 he delivered his first antiwar speech to a small group of USPD members. He must have had a way with words and, despite his odd looks, a certain magnetism, for he was soon attracting larger crowds to his speeches. His message was that the war would end only when the system that sponsored itwas drastically changed. At first he was not very specific about how this might be done or what the new system should look like. Coffeehouse intellectual par excellence, he dealt in glowing abstractions and grandiloquent phrases. “Friends!” he cried. “The people of today are stunted and crippled because of the system of yesterday. But deep in every heart slumbers the yearning for a new world, foranew humanity.” Nebulous though this was, ithad genuine appeal at a time when mis- ery and deprivation set men dreaming ofa new epoch for mankind. The poet Rainer Maria Rilke, who was on hand for some of Eisner’s speeches, spoke for many such dreamers when he gushed: “I confess that I was able to feel a certain quick and happy confidence in the [revolutionary] over- THE GREAT SWINDLE 67  turn... for I had urgently wished that we turn an entirely new page in history, one onto which the sins of the past would not be carried over.” Trying to explain Eisner’s growing popularity from a different perspec- tive, the liberal politician Ernst Miiller-Meiningen observed: “There was nothing so stupid that it would not have found thousands of willing believers in Munich.” No doubt this was true, but in the end itwas a truth that would redound more to the advantage of the Right than of the Left. In early 1918 Eisner began to get more specific with respect to the means by which the war and existing political system might be brought to a quick end. Taking a cue from Russia, where massive political strikes had recently helped bring down the czar, he started calling for crippling walkouts across the Reich. But he also—and this was the most astound- ing yet shrewdest part of this ex-Berliner’s appeal—effectively exploited the Bavarians’ wild antipathy toward Prussia. A police report quoted him telling a large audience at the Colosseum Beer Hall on 27 January 1918: “Here in Bavaria we have always been much more generous and open than [the people] up there in Prussia. The people here are also much more freedom-loving, not bound by Prussian hyperdiscipline. I myself, a Prussian, came for this very reason to the South. My ambition is not to encourage a separation between North and South, only to get rid of the Prussian militaristic system that has dominated Germany.” The next day, urging an audience of metalworkers to go out on strike, Eisner spoke elo- quently about the evils of industrial war, citing in particular a “cruel ammunition invented by a Berlin professor” that was being used on the Italian front. He was warmly applauded for his words, while an SPD speaker who called for patience and moderation was shouted down. In late January workers in many plants in Berlin walked out in a demonstrative strike. Inspired by their example, employees at Munich’s Krupp arms factory laid down their tools on 31 January. Other workers followed suit, and by the late afternoon of that wintry day some nine thousand men and women were parading down the streets of Munich, shouting revolutionary slogans. The demonstration inspired a series of quick countermoves by the local authorities. That very evening Munich police arrested Eisner and packed him off to Stadelheim Prison. Shortly thereafter they picked up young Ernst Toller and other members of the USPD. At the same time, supported by the more conservative SPD, the Bavarian government employed a combination of force and vague promises of reform to bring the strikes to an end. For the next eight months, as Eisner and his radi- cal colleagues sat in jail, the revolutionary forces in Munich remained quiescent. 68 TM® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  While Munich’s Left lapsed into temporary lassitude, the nationalist Right escalated its push for victory at the front and suppression of dissent at home. Like its counterparts elsewhere in the Reich, Munich’s chapter of the Pan-German League sponsored rallies demanding “total war”—the unrestricted use of submarines, air power, and poison gas. Prodded by the rightist publisher Julius Lehmann, the Pan-Germans also insisted that Germany take over vast new territories in the East. Lehmann cried that it was “a matter oflife and death for Germany to win the new land she needs to become strong and agriculturally and industrially independent from foreign influence.” The problem, he realized, was that Germany’s project- ed Lebensraum was already inhabited by other peoples, mainly Slavs who might “corrupt” the Germans who moved in after the conquest. Therefore, prior to Germanic settlement, Lehmann insisted that the region be “depopulated” by resettling the present inhabitants elsewhere. Another urgent necessity, said the publisher, was a thorough ethnic purging of the Reich itself. Lamentably the imperial government in Berlin had allowed alien and racially inferior elements to undermine the purity of the Volk. It had forgotten the fundamental Darwinian rule that “Men of excellence must defend themselves—with all possible authority and power, and, ifneed be, by vile means—against the vile.” One reason for this fateful lapse, Lehmann proposed, was that the leaders in Berlin had fallen under the influence of the international Jewish conspiracy, which was doing itsbest to bring Germany down. In his darkest moments Lehmann also suspected that the imperial elite had itself become Judaized through failure to keep itsblood pure. He therefore declared that his pub- lishing house would devote itself to the dissemination of the lessons of racial hygiene, which he said had been “fundamentally deepened and transformed” by the war. He also saw to itthat Munich’s Pan-German League established a special committee to study ways to deal with the “Jewish problem.” Wartime Munich also became a bastion of the Fatherland Party (estab- lished in Berlin on 2 September 1917), a militantly pro-annexationist group presided over by Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz. The purpose of this organization was to ensure that nationalist and militarist elements would have a stronger voice in the Reichstag at a time when that body, along with the imperial cabinet under Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann- Hollweg, was showing signs of irresolution. In August 1917 the Fatherland Party sponsored amammoth rally in one of Munich’s largest beer halls. Simpliccisimus’s Ludwig Thoma, a leader in the local branch, proposed that the recent Reichstag Peace Resolution be treated as a “day ofnational mourning.” THE GREAT SWINDLE 69  Another significant development in Munich during the later phases of the war was the founding, on 17 August 1918, of the Thule Gesellschaft (Thule Society). Although it claimed to be nothing more than a “study circle” absorbed with early Germanic history and culture, Thule was in reality a semisecret sect promoting German power abroad and racial puri- ty at home. The central figure behind it was a convicted forger calling himself Freiherr von Sebottendorff (but known to the police as Adam Glauer). According to Sebottendorff, who later wrote a history of the soci- ety entitled Bevor Hitler kam (Before Hitler Came), “Thule” referred to an ancient land in the Far North where the original Nordics had resided. Like Atlantis, Thule had vanished long ago, but itssecrets could be recov- ered through magical rituals that allowed present-day Nordics to com- mune with their departed ancestors. Thule’s secrets, once revealed and put to use, would enable twentieth-century Germans to create anew mas- ter race. To promote its cause, Thule launched a newspaper called Der Miinchener Beobachter. The paper disguised itself as a “sports sheet” to deter Jewish readership; everyone knew, said Sebottendorff, that Jews read only business papers. Regarding itself as an exclusive sect, Thule was careful to keep its membership small and pure. Potential members had to prove that their ancestry was exclusively German going back at least three generations. Aspirants also had to possess facial and body features conforming to the society's image of what the ancient Thulites had looked like. A certain fastidiousness was expected in the realm of sexual morals. “Always remember that you are aGerman! Keep your blood pure!” admonished the leadership. To symbolize its racial purity, Thule selected as its logo a dagger encircled in oak leaves crowned by a rounded swastika emanating shafts oflight, like a pagan halo. Swastika daggers figured prominently in the interior decorations at Thule’s headquarters, a suite of rooms in Munich’s most expensive hotel, the Vier Jahreszeiten. The group could afford such opulent quarters because its250-person membership included some very wealthy and well- placed figures. There were industrialists, brewers, judges, lawyers, doc- tors, high police officials, university professors, and courtiers. Significantly, anumber of Thule figures went on to play important roles in the Nazi movement. Among them were Dr. Rudolf Buttmann, head of the Nazis’ Bavarian Landtag delegation; Dr. Ernst Poéhner, police-presi- dent of Munich until 1921 and an early Hitler backer; Karl Fiehler, mayor of Munich after 1933; Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy; Alfred Rosenberg, chief ideologist and head of the Nazis’ foreign political office; Hans Frank, Bavarian minister of justice from 1933 to 1939 and wartime gov- 70 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  ernor-general of Poland; and Dietrich Eckart, an early Nazi publicist and close Hitler confidant. With such a lineup there was some justice to Sebottendorff’s boast that Thule set the stage in Munich “before Hitler came.” Another stage setter was a “guest member” of the Thule Society named Anton Drexler. As a toolmaker in Munich’s railway yards, Drexler was too plebeian to socialize with the likes of Buttmann and Poéhner. Yet he became a prominent figure in the city’s radical nationalist milieu in the last year of the war. On 9 January 1918, as talk ofa possible general strike spread in Munich, Drexler wrote an article in the rightist Mdinchen- Augsburg Abendzeitung seeking to rally local workers around the flag. He argued that an annexationist victory would greatly benefit the German workingman. “Hold Fast!” he urged. To promote this ideal, Drexler founded the Free Labor Committee for a Good Peace in March 1918. In addition to pursuing territorial annexations, the group promised to com- bat those “secret powers”—international Jewry, Freemasonry, Marxism, and Big Capital—that were conspiring to keep the “little people” of Germany in bondage. Drexler’s organization never had more than about forty members and never exercised much influence on Munich’s workers. Nevertheless, like the more august Thule Society, it did its part to pave the road to the Third Reich. The Free Labor Committee served as the nucleus for Drexler’s postwar German Workers’ Party, which Adolf Hitler transformed into the Nazis. Defeat Little did Drexler realize that just as he was admonishing his countrymen to stand fast on the home front, the battlefront was inexorably caving in. In the spring of 1918, ignoring the Reich’s lack of manpower reserves and its inability to match its enemies’ productive capacities, General Erich Ludendorff launched amassive offensive. Itnot only failed toachieve the desired breakthrough but also overstretched Germany’s lines and dra- matically reduced the supply of manpower necessary to hold the exposed positions. In late summer the Allies counterattacked. In addition to their superi- or numbers, they made effective use of tanks, aweapon the Germans had failed to appreciate. (Upon seeing the first German-made tanks in February 1918, Field Marshal Hindenburg had sneered: “I do not think that tanks are of any use, but as they have been made, they may as well be tried.”) British tank assaults in August and September produced panic in THE GREAT SWINDLE 71  the German lines and provided officers with a welcome excuse to give up positions without much struggle. “The tanks had arrived,” they reported; “there was nothing more to be done.” LudendorfafndHindenburg railedattheirsubordinates fortheseloss- es, never admitting any blame on their part. For the time being they were also careful to hide the extent of the reversals from the kaiser, who in any event preferred to live in a world ofillusion. In early September the High Command posted placards in the larger cities, including Munich, pro- claiming: “We have won the war in the East, and we shall win it in the West.” Ludendorff justified the deception as politically necessary. “IfI had told the statesmen the truth,” he said, “they would have completely lost their heads.” Actually it was Ludendorff who was losing his head. With every “strategic redeployment” he became more unstable, falling prey to insom- nia,outbursts ofvicious temper, and crying fits,none ofwhich was helped by his home remedy ofheavy drinking. Alarmed by his deteriorating con- dition,aphysicianattheGerman headquartersinSpaputhimonastrict regimen of rest, walks, deep-breathing exercises, medicinal waters, and light reading. The general was also instructed to sing German folk songs upon awakening and to contemplate the beauty of the roses in the villa garden. Ludendorff preferred to contemplate miraculous developments that might yet save Germany from defeat. Recalling how Catherine the Great’s death had spared Frederick the Great in 1763, he proposed that the Spanish flu epidemic that was beginning to sweep the front would save Germany by wiping out enemy troops. Such fantasies suggested, at the very least, that the regimen of folk song singing and rose contempla- tion might have been insufficient. On 28 September, as Germany’s armies reeled from a new flurry of enemy blows, and Berlin’s ally Bulgaria announced that itwas withdraw- ing from the war, Ludendorff cracked. This supreme martinet, who had ordered soldiers jailed for uttering the word defeat, now called on Hindenburg to demand that Germany sue for an armistice. To delay, he said, would be to risk the complete destruction of the German Army and in all likelihood to provoke a revolution. Supported by Hindenburg, who had also become pessimistic, Ludendorff took these grim tidings to the kaiser. Wilhelm was shocked to learn how desperate the situation had become, but he accepted the necessity for an armistice, hoping that a speedy peace might allow him to stay on the throne. Yet—and this isthe crucial point—neither the kaiser nor his generals wanted to take on the onus of arranging an armistice 72 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  after having spent four years telling the German people that a glorious victory was imminent. They all agreed that this unhappy task should be entrusted to civilian politicians, who would act in the name of the Reichstag, which would be given more authority. Moderate democratiza- tion, the generals hoped, might also take some wind out of the sails of the radicals calling for aGerman republic. Accordingly, on 1 October 1918 the kaiser asked his cousin Prince Max of Baden to become Germany’s chancellor and preside over a series of constitutional changes designed to bring effective parliamentary govern- ment. The reforms, which made the cabinet responsible to the legislature and subordinated the military command to the civilian government, were drawn up and passed through parliament in record time. Max also appealed to President Wilson to broker an armistice based on his Fourteen Points. But the shock of impending defeat, coming after years of deprivation and promises of victory, overwhelmed these efforts. A few days of reforms, people said, could not make up for “years oflies.” The sense of having been “swindled” was as strong in Bavaria as any- where in the Reich. Indeed, itwas undoubtedly stronger there, for as we have seen, Bavarians had long felt that they were being victimized by the central government. As announcements of Max’s armistice appeal were posted in Munich, sporadic rioting broke out and beer hall orators cursed Berlin more bitterly than ever. “In October of 1918,” a prominent Munich liberal declared, “we finally considered ourselves, everyone without distinc- tion ofparty, deceived and duped.” Thomas Mann captured the despair prevailing among the city’s cul- tural conservatives when he insisted that one could trust neither the new regime in Berlin nor Germany’s Allied conquerors. He wrote in his diary on 4 October: Prince Max von Baden appointed chancellor. Establishment of the new, democratic government in which the Social Democrats predominate. Formal peace offer and armistice terms from the “New Germany” are impending. Beliefin“power” isbeing solemnly abjured—though Germany’s enemies are steeped in that belief. The self-abnegation, remorse, and penitence are bound- less. We now say that the enemy isin the right, admit that Germany needed to be reformed. Lethargic, tormented, half sick. Mann was especially sickened by the fact that Germany’s fate was now in the hands of President Wilson, whom he considered a naive do-good- er of the worst sort. Perhaps itwould be best, he mused, ifWilson and the THE GREAT SWINDLE Hind)  other victors did impose a harsh peace; at least then Germany might reject the democracy that was being forced down its throat. As he wrote on 5 October, “It is certainly a bit painful that everything now hangs on the wisdom of a Quaker [sic] whether Germany obtains a peace that does not inject into her bloodstream undying outrage against the turn of events. In the interest of the German spirit and the preservation of its own opposi- tion to democratic civilization one might almost wish for this.” In the end, however, Mann conceded that democracy was probably inevitable in Germany. He therefore proposed that the only hope for pre- serving the German spirit was “the separation of cultural and national life from politics, the complete detachment of one from the other.” Mann himself, as we shall see, eventually rejected this dubious wisdom. It was unfortunate for Germany that many of his intellectual colleagues did not. Meanwhile, the Bavarian government, like that of the Reich, was try- ing desperately to stay afloat through timely concessions and strategic backpedaling. On 14 October it released Kurt Eisner from prison so he could campaign for one of Munich’s Reichstag seats recently made vacant by the retirement of the Bavarian SPD leader Georg von Vollmar. The government hoped thereby to show its goodwill toward the militant Left. It also expected that Eisner would fare badly in the election against his main rival, the moderate Socialist Erhard Auer. Auer, after all, was a native Bavarian of peasant background with ample girth and a folksy manner. How could he be beaten by a skinny Berlin Jew? Yet Eisner, looking more unkempt than ever, with hair to his shoulders and beard to his navel (“You see me just as Stadelheim released me,” he crowed to his supporters), ran a brilliant campaign perfectly attuned to the apocalyptic mood of the times. He conducted, that is, less a political campaign than a crusade for revolution. “There will be no Reichstag elec- tions anyway,” he said. “The revolution will come first.” Removal of Germany’s emperor and all its kings, he cried, was the only way to end the mass murder on the front and the criminal injustice at home. He dis- missed Auer as an establishment stooge who would surely keep the troops on the front and the princes on their thrones. Eisner’s audiences grew by the day, yet the Bavarian government remained serenely confident that the people would reject this alien crea- ture. At the same time, the government sought to pacify the citizenry through a hasty series of reforms similar to those instituted in the Reich. Under the “new order” announced in Munich on 2 November, the king could no longer dismiss ministries at will and the upper house could not veto legislation passed by the Landtag. That body would now be elected by proportional representation, and two Social Democrats would become 74 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  members of the royal cabinet. Bavaria, in short, would have a true parlia- mentary government. But the changes came too late. Or, more precisely, they could not achieve the desired impact when people’s daily lives were still governed by the chaos of war, which seemed all the more brutal and unbearable now that it was clearly going to be lost. Reform was not very exciting when revolution was in the air. On 5 November Munich learned that radical sailors at the naval base at Kiel had just seized their ships rather than venture out on a suicide attack against the British fleet. That very evening some of King Ludwig’s personal guard made their way to the Theresienwiese to hear Kurt Eisner swear a formal oath “that Munich shall arise in the coming days.” The next day Bavaria’s outgoing cabinet met with the new one slated to take power on 8 November. Minister of War Philipp von Hellingrath admitted that there were “restless and unreliable elements even in the Bavarian army” but insisted that the military as a whole was “securely in our hands.” He added: “Nothing is going to happen.” Ernst Miiller- Meiningen, incoming minister without portfolio, was not so sure. He warned that Eisner, “in his embodiment of Christ with long prophet mane,” was a dangerous demagogue who should not be underestimated. Yet most of his colleagues, including Auer, who was also to join the new cabinet, stillcould not take Eisner seriously. “Eisner isout ofthe picture, you can be sure of that,” Auer promised. Then he repeated the war min- ister’s reassuring words: “Nothing isgoing to happen.” THE GREAT SWINDLE 75  Red Munich 76 IN EARLY APRIL 1919a British military official who had been sent to Germany to evaluate conditions in that defeated land delivered the fol- lowing assessment from his base in Munich: The greatest danger lies in the fact that the nerves of the German people appear to have broken down. A people of limited political understanding, they imagined, when the armistice was signed, that peace was immediately at hand and the privations of four and a half years were over. Five months have passed, and their exaggerated hopes of a speedy peace, of quick supplies of food and clothing—hopes unduly encouraged by a somewhat reckless press—have been disappointed. Hope deferred has made the German heart sick. From the heights of hope last November—and in spite of the disaster  that had overtaken them the Armistice was hailed with genuine joy in Germany—they haveplungedintothedepthsofdespair.Anditisthisdespair which has given Bolshevism itschance. Itissignificant that this report was dispatched from Munich, for itwas in the Bavarian metropolis that the German despair seemed most pro- nounced. Munich was the first provincial capital to lose its monarch and the last German city to see order restored in the wake of the upheavals of 1918-1919. The revolution there progressed through stages of escalating radicalism, culminating in the creation of two successive soviet regimes. Ignited by exasperation over the seemingly endless war and by bitter resentment toward the central authorities in Berlin, the revolution in Munich produced excesses of irresponsibility and popular passion that shocked the world. The One Hundred Days ofKurt Eisner The weather was unseasonably mild on the afternoon of 7November 1918, when several columns of restless people converged on Munich’s Theresienwiese. They had come at the invitation of both Socialist parties, the SPD and the USPD, to demand an immediate end to the war. The SPD was not enthusiastic about cosponsoring this demonstration but understood itcould not hold out for “national defense” without losing fol- lowers to Kurt Eisner and his Independents. The makeup of the crowd, which by late afternoon exceeded eighty thousand, confirmed the Majority Socialists’ anxieties. In addition to SPD loyalists from the big industrial unions, there were many radical Saxons from the local Krupp works; mutinous soldiers and sailors who had aban- doned their units; rebellious farmers brought in by their leader, the blind demagogue Ludwig Gandorfer; a smattering of Schwabing bohemians; thousands of women and teenagers; and the usual assortment of beer hall rowdies ready to follow any fast talker who promised a little excitement. Eisner was on hand to offer just such stimulation. He stood on a soap- box and harangued the crowd for more than an hour. When he was done, one of his aides shouted: “Comrades, our leader Kurt Eisner has spoken. There is no reason to waste any more words. Follow us!” Eisner now led a swelling band of followérs toward a school that housed a temporary military barracks and munitions depot. The Munich writer Oskar Maria Graf, who was part of the mob, described the scene: RED MUNICH Pl  All at once the howling mass started to move. Like an impatient black wave itrolled, thousands upon thousands strong, down the hill into the streets. We went at a fast trot past closed-up houses with their window shades pulled down. ...Eisner was pale and looked deadly earnest; he said nothing. Sometimes he seemed as if he himself had been overtaken by the mighty event. ... He went arm in arm with the broad-shouldered, blind peasant lead- er Gandorfer. This character moved much more freely and boldly, like a typ- ical Bavarian peasant. ... There was no opposition. All the police seemed to have disappeared. . .All along the route people joined our ranks, some of them armed. Most laughed and chatted as if on the way to a party. Occasionally Iturned around and looked behind me. The whole cityseemed to be marching. Upon arriving at the school, the mob rushed inside and emptied the arms depot; this was easy, for the guards promptly defected to the revolu- tionaries. Now the crowd surged across the nearby Donnersberger Bridge and, dividing into smaller units, advanced upon a number of military posts, most of which they took with equal dispatch. Only at the massive Tiirkenstrasse Barracks did the revolutionaries encounter any opposition, which they quickly put down with tear gas and warning shots. No doubt the situation might have been different had the government troops been willing to employ all their resources against the rebels. But after four years of war they were no longer prepared to put their lives on the line for the Wittelsbachs. Moreover, the civilian authorities were in complete disarray, having underestimated the threat posed by Eisner and his followers. Another band of revolutionaries descended upon Munich’s largest beer hall, the Mathaserbrau, and took over one of the lower floors for an impromptu political meeting. Against a background of drunken cheer- ing, the soldiers established a Council of Soldiers and Sailors. A little later thatevening Kurt Eisner presided over theestablishment ofaCouncil of Workers. He was elected chairman, the first electoral office he had ever held. He then combined the two groups into a Council of Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants, which dispatched truckloads of soldiers to take control of key buildings. At the same time, the council put up hundreds of yellow posters announcing the advent of the new order. “Down with the Dynasty! Long Live Freedom!” the placards proclaimed. At about 10:00 P.M. the council members, protected by an armed guard of sixty men, marched from the Mathaserbriau to the Landtag building, where they heard Eisner proclaim the birth of the Bavarian Republic in a high, squeaky voice. “The Bavarian revolution isvictorious. Ithas put an end to the old plunder of the Wittelsbach kings. ... Now we must pro- ceed to build a new regime. ... The one who speaks to you at this moment 78 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  assumes that he isto function as the provisional prime minister.” But what of the old ruler of Bavaria? In the early afternoon of 7 November 1918 King Ludwig II] was enjoying his usual walk in the Englischer Garten when a policeman on a bicycle begged him to return to the Residenz; it seemed that a mob was heading toward the Old City. Ludwig returned to find an unruly crowd milling around the main entrance to the palace. After entering through the stable doors, he sat down to dinner with his wife, Queen Maria Therese. At eight two of his ministers arrived and advised him that the situation had become so dan- gerous that he and his family must vacate the capital at once. His Majesty could not, they warned, count on any troops in the city to defend him. Envisaging nothing more than a tactical retreat, Ludwig instructed his family and a few retainers to prepare themselves for a nocturnal auto journey to Wildenwarth, a Wittelsbach estate near the Austrian border. The escape began on an inauspicious note, for it turned out that the royal chauffeur had gone over to the revolutionaries. As a replacement Ludwig turned to the owner of a rental car agency who had once driven for his father. “This trip could be dangerous, Tiefenthaler,” warned the king. “I’m afraid of nothing,” replied the doughty chauffeur. At 9:30 P.M. the royal party climbed into three cars and pulled away from the Residenz. They managed to get out of Munich safely enough but ran into trouble on the dark roads outside the city. With a heavy ground fog obscuring visibility, Tiefenthaler piloted the king’s auto into a swampy potato field and got stuck. Setting out on foot across the countryside, he eventually found a farmhouse where, as it happened, two soldiers with horses were overnighting. Unaware that a few hours earlier their monarch had been deposed, they pulled Ludwig’s car from the muck. The party drove on to Wildenwarth, where itarrived at 4:30 A.M. The king expected to stay there only until the trouble in Munich had abated, but the next day he learned that his kingdom had become a repub- lic and that a band of revolutionary soldiers was already on its way to Wildenwarth to arrest him. He therefore resumed his flight, which took him first to Austria and then on to exile in Hungary, where he remained until his death in October 1921. ON THE MORNING of 8 November Miinchners awoke to find red flags flying over the twin towers of the Frauenkirche and yellow posters tacked up allover town. They read: RED MUNICH a)  FELLOW CITIZENS! In order to rebuild after long years of destruction, the people has over- thrown the power of the civil and military authorities and has taken the regime inhand. The Bavarian Republic ishereby proclaimed. Elected by the citizens and provisionally instituted until a definitive representation of the people is created, the Council of Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants is the highest authority. Ithas law-giving power. The entire garrison has placed itself at the disposal of the republican regime. The General Command and the Police Presidium stand under our direction. The Wittelsbach dynasty isdeposed. LONG LIVE THE REPUBLIC! The Council ofWorkers and Soldiers Kurt Eisner To ensure a peaceful transition to the new era, Eisner’s Council of Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants ordered beer halls and taverns to close at 8:00 P.M. and required all civilians to be off the streets one hour later. On the first day of the new republic, only one newspaper, the Mdinchener Neueste Nachrichten, was allowed toappear. Itcarried Eisner’s proclama- tion of the revolution, along with an appeal to farmers to keep provision- ing the cities. The paper also printed a promise that the “Democratic and Social Republic of Bavaria” would muster the “moral force to obtain for Germany a peace that will preserve her from the worst.” Cautiously it assured that public order, security of persons, and private property would be guaranteed and that a constitutional assembly would be convoked for which “all men and women of age” would be able to vote. The announce- ment ended on a characteristic note of high humanism: “In this time of wild murder we abhor all bloodshed. Every human life should be holy. Long live the Bavarian Republic! Long live the peace! Long live the cre- ative work of all labor activity!” For the most part Miinchners passively accepted this sudden change of regimes. To be sure, a few people seized the moment to plunder shops, but the city’s Wittelsbach statues and monuments remained standing. Even those appalled by the sudden turn of events did not, at least at first, do anything of consequence to alter the situation. Rather, they grumbled among themselves at their favorite beer halls, and some scrawled anti- Eisner graffiti on buildings. Others, like Thomas Mann, spilled their bile in the privacy of their diaries. Mann’s commentary on the new regime is especially noteworthy, for itsounded a theme that was to become increas- ingly common among bourgeois Miinchners as the revolution progressed. On 8 November he wrote: 80 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  Both Munich and Bavaria governed by Jewish scribblers. How long will the city put up with that? Incidentally, it is said that Herzog [a member of the ruling council] has already expressed his frustration with Eisner, who isnot nearly radical enough for him. Herzog, by contrast, isultrabolshevistic. ... [He is]a slimy literary racketeer ... who let himself be kept by a moviestar, a moneymaker and profiteer at heart, with the big-city piss-elegance of the Jew-boy, who would lunch only at the Odeon Bar, but neglected to pay [the dentist] Ceconi’s bill for partially patching up his sewer-gate teeth. That isthe revolution! Thomas Mann and other conservatives feared that the new regime might try to emulate the Russian Bolsheviks, but itsoon became evident that Eisner was no Lenin. Unlike the Soviet leader, he was entirely unpre- pared to advance the revolution by liquidating “class enemies” or by establishing a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Nor, unlike some of the Schwabing bohemians who initially backed him, did he welcome the prospect of anarchy. He was determined to effect an orderly transition to an egalitarian state in which all Bavarians could live harmoniously. Immanuel Kant, not Karl Marx, was his true guiding star. On the morning of 8November Eisner asked his old adversary Erhard Auer to help form a coalition government to replace the Council of Workers, Soldiers and Peasants as Bavaria’s governing body. Although Auer had little love for the revolution, he accepted the invitation because he saw no way to undo what had been done. That afternoon a new gov- ernment was formed with Eisner at the head but with SPD men in most of the important ministries. Auer himself took the post of the interior, which controlled the police. Within hours of its inception, it seemed, the Munich revolution had become a model of moderation. Eisner confirmed this tendency in his speech introducing the new goy- ernment. He promised a conciliatory course and assured property owners that he had no intention of confiscating their holdings. At the same time, however, he insisted that Germany must abandon itsmonarchical institu- tions, for the Allies would negotiate a favorable peace only with republi- cans. This was a none-too-subtle reminder that Berlin needed to oust Kaiser Wilhelm II just as Munich had ousted King Ludwig HI. Berliners did not need any advice from their southern cousins. On the morning of 9November thousands of arms factory workers in the capital marched to the city center, chanting, “Peace, Bread, Freedom!” Arriving at the gates of the royal palace, they added the magic word Republic. Believing that he might yet save the monarchy by jettisoning the monarch, Max of Baden took the liberty of announcing Wilhelm II’s abdi- RED MUNICH 81  cation at noon. Max then handed the chancellorship over to the SPD lead- er Friedrich Ebert, a former saddlemaker who was known to favor a con- stitutional monarchy. But Ebert’s preferences counted for little in the atmosphere of confusion that now gripped Berlin. Shortly after he and his colleague Philipp Scheidemann took the reins of power, word came that the radical Spartacist leader Karl Liebknecht was about to proclaim a Socialist republic on the Bolshevik model. This was precisely what the SPD had been dreading for months. Aiming to undercut Liebknecht, Scheidemann appeared on the balcony of the Reichstag and delivered an impromptu speech, ending with the fateful phrase “Long live the great German republic!” Ebert was furious with his colleague for taking a step that he believed only a constituent assembly could decide. But once the Socialists had proclaimed the republic there was no way to unproclaim it. In their bewilderment they resembled, wrote the novelist Alfred Doblin, a “virgin with her baby.” On 11 November the long-awaited armistice was officially concluded in a railway car at Compiégne north of Paris. While most people in Munich breathed a sigh of relief that the war was finally over, even if it had ended in bitter defeat, the adoptive Miinchner Adolf Hitler found nothing to be relieved about. During those crucial days of revolution and surrender, he was pacing the halls of a military hospital in Pasewalk (northeast of Berlin), where he was slowly recovering from the effects of a mustard gassing he had sustained on 14 October near Ypres. He claimed to have been temporarily blinded in the attack, but it is possible that the blindness was largely psychosomatic, as if he could not bear to see Germany go down to defeat. As he tells the story in Mein Kampf, one day in early November some sailors arrived at the hospital and “proclaimed the revolution.” They were led by “a few Jewish youths” recently released from a “gonorrhea hospital.” Hitler hoped, he says, that this “high trea- son” was just a local affair, and he was able to convince some of his fellow patients, “especially the Bavarians,” that this was the case. “I could not imagine that the madness would break out in Munich, too. Loyalty to the venerable House of Wittelsbach seemed to be stronger, after all, than the will ofafew Jews.” But during the next few days rumors ofgeneral rev- olution reached Pasewalk, and when the empire fell, a hospital pastor confirmed the worst. Hitler further relates that during the “terrible days and nights” fol- lowing the armistice, as he ruminated on this awful crime, “hatred grew in me, hatred for those responsible for this deed.” With the hatred came knowledge of what his own mission must be. He would wage war on the traitors at home who had thrust the “dagger” in the back of Germany’s 82 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  armies. The struggle would be bitter and merciless, he knew, for there was no “making pacts with Jews.” But his own fate was sealed: “I, for my part, decided to go into politics.” As in many other parts of his memoir, Hitler here was playing fast and loose with the truth. In reality he made the decision to “become a politi- can” only after the Bavarian revolution had been put down. He had no sentimental feelings toward the Hohenzollerns or the Wittelsbachs. He undoubtedly despaired over the revolution and armistice, but his chief concern at the time was over what these developments might mean for him. With the end of the war he had lost the one place in life that seemed perfectly to suit him. He had loved the “comradeship of the trenches” and the purposeful violence of the great crusade. The army had, moreover, provided him with the only sustained employment he had ever known. Now, at age twenty-nine, he could only assume that he would soon have to return to the civilian world, where he had always been a failure. WHILE HITLER WAS despairing atPasewalk, Eisner settled into his task of running the Free Republic of Bavaria. The new prime minis- ter still struck many, ifnot most, Miinchners as a wildly improbable ruler. “Eisner gave me the impression of being an old, well-meaning, but uncanny Jew,” recalled Frieda Duensing, director of a school for way- ward girls. “He seemed without understanding of what he had done or wanted todo.[Hewas]something ofanutcase—the typewho setsahouse on fire, enjoys the spectacle, and doesn’t think too much about what the future will bring.” The folk singer Weiss Ferd] abused Eisner for imag- ining that he could bring freedom to Germany by shouting slogans and turning everything topsy-turvy. “Revolutilatilutilai! Holaridium! Turn everything around /Bring everything around /And shoot everything up. Boom! Boom! Boom!” Even Vorwarts, the Berlin-based SPD paper, ridiculed Eisner’s ambitions in Bavaria: You are living in a world of sweet delusion ifyou imagine you can put your confidence in the Bavarian people—you, a literary immigrant from Berlin who never played a role in Bavaria’s political life, a man virtually unknown to the public three weeks before taking office. ...This minister-presidency of yours has nothing to do with the great gravity of our times. It stands in shat- tering contradiction to them. It is aPunch-and-Judy show in real life, freely adapted from Frank Wedekind by Kurt Eisner, with the author in the title role—homemade theater in the Munich-Schwabing style. In five minutes the curtain will come down, and itwill allbe over. RED MUNICH 83  Eisner’s problem, however, was not just that he was an outsider but that he was an incompetent outsider. He was unable to shift from the world of theatrical journalism and coffeehouse philosophizing to the complex realities of political administration. Moreover, he was excessive- ly tenderhearted for his new responsibilities. With his training in Kantian philosophy, he thought he could persuade old enemies to cast aside their differences in anew “communism of the spirit” that would yield a “Reich of light, beauty, and reason.” Politics for him was (as he put it)“a form of self-actualization like poetry, watercolors, or compos- ing string quartets.” Eisner’s style as a leader was evident in his first public ceremony as prime minister, the staging, on 17 November, of an elaborate celebration of the revolution. He saw to itthat the men and women who assembled in the National (formerly Royal) Theater wore somber business suits and modest dresses rather than the traditional tuxedos and low-cut gowns. The new ministers of state sat scattered around the hall rather than in the boxes because they, like everyone else, had drawn their tickets by lot. Yet the evening’s program was as pompous and high-toned as its classics-wor- shiping impresario could make it.To begin, Bruno Walter led the Munich Philharmonic in Beethoven’s Leonore Overture, an ode to political free- dom and the triumph of the human spirit. Then Eisner, his hair and beard trimmed at last, delivered an oration promising that Beethoven’s emancipatory vision anticipated “the reality which even now we are expe- riencing.” To the crowd he asked: “What do we want?” He answered himself: “We want to give the world an example that finally a revolution, perhaps the first in the history of the world, will unite the Idea, the Ideal, and the Reality!” When Eisner finished, a group of actors played a scene from Goethe’s Epimenedes Erwachen, ending with the call “Upward, Onward, Upward! And the work, will be done!” Next, some singers per- formed the section in Handel’s Messiah in which the chorus intones: “The people who wander in the darkness see a great light.” Then the orchestra played Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. To conclude, the entire audience sang Eisner’s own poem, “Hymn to the Peoples,” which ended with the invocation “Oh, world rejoice! Oh, world rejoice!” One member of the audience, a theater director, was so moved that he urged Eisner to repeat the performance for Munich’s children. Perhaps Eisner should have done so, for this was the kind of thing he did best, though some citizens wondered, as the Méinchener Neueste Nachrichten archly put it,why the regime was celebrating freedom when hunger, fear, and misery still gripped the land. In a similar vein Josef Hofmiller, a conservative editor, chastised Eisner for staging “a national 84 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  celebration in the wake of a shameful armistice and on the eve of what will probably be an equally shameful peace settlement.” Eisner indeed faced a host of challenges crying out for immediate action. Law and order had broken down following the collapse of the tra- ditional organs of public security. Revealingly, Eisner initially dealt with this problem by appointing an unknown lieutenant as commander in chief of the Bavarian Army and by asking workers in the factories to pro- vide “a number of trustworthy, energetic men for the maintenance of order.” These steps resulted in massive confusion, as a plethora of ad hoc security patrols, operating out of various factories and beer halls, fought one another in the streets to keep order. Eventually Eisner delegated all security operations to his new minister for military affairs, Albert Rosshaupter, but Rosshaupter was so overwhelmed by the task of feeding andhousingthousandsofdemobilizedsoldiersthathehardlyhadme for other affairs. Some of Eisner’s more radical followers urged him to take advantage of the royal collapse to “socialize the economy”—that is, to place large agricultural, industrial, and financial institutions under state ownership. But the prime minister argued that itmade no sense to attempt this when “the productive power of the land” was exhausted. Eisner did not lose much sleep over his government's failings on the domestic front, for he expected to do great things in the realm of foreign policy. In his self-appointed capacity as republican Bavaria’s first foreign minister, he promised a just peace for Germany, and in the process he hoped to make Bavaria the moral and political arbiter of the new Reich. Germans and foreigners alike, he believed, must learn to look to Munich, not to discredited Berlin, for leadership and guidance. Three days after taking power, Eisner sent a telegram to the Allied governments appealing for a lenient peace. The appeal had as its main target President Woodrow Wilson. To improve his chances of influenc- ing Wilson, Eisner secured the services of an American evangelical paci- fist and amateur diplomat named the Reverend George D. Herron, whom he incorrectly believed to be a close confidant of the American leader. Herron wrote Wilson that “The members of the new Bavarian Ministry are the best that Germany has to offer,” adding, in a bow to Wilson’s academic background, “The new Republic ispractically consti- tuted by the faculty of the University of Munich.” Alas, Wilson ignored both Herron and Eisner, choosing to deal exclusively with the central government. Undeterred by the silence from Washington, Eisner made another, more controversial effort to speak for the new Germany. On 25 RED MUNICH 85  November, during a conference of the German states in Berlin, he pub- lished reports from Munich’s legation in Berlin documenting the imperi- al government's support for Vienna’s aggressive policy toward Serbia in July 1914. Eisner apparently hoped that such openness about German complicity would facilitate easier peace terms. The Bavarian prime minister’s confession on behalf of Germany’s for- mer rulers did not impress the Allies; they did not need this exposé to know that Germany was responsible for the war. The Bavarian leader’s own countrymen, meanwhile, were aghast over the move. The Miinchener Neueste Nachrichten thought it “simpleminded” to cast all blame for the war on German “militarists,” since, as any half-wit knew, the French revanchists and Russian Pan-Slavists had also been anxious for war. In any event, confessing guilt would only give Allied hard-liners welcome ammunition. Eisner’s Majority Socialist partners, whom he had not bothered to consult regarding his foreign policy initiative, were equal- ly upset, for they had also backed the war. Another bone of contention between Eisner and the SPD was the Council of Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants. Eisner wanted it to function as a kind of “shadow parliament” that would engage in “constant criti- cism and discussion of political and social life.” The SPD, however, regarded the council as a threat because itchallenged the principle of par- liamentary government and hindered cooperation between the new regime and the middle-class parties. Under pressure from the SPD, new regulations issued in late November relegated the council to a symbolic role. Yet another source of dispute within the Eisner government concerned the timing of elections for a new Landtag. Eisner wanted to put off the elections because he feared that the majority of Bavarians were not yet sufficiently “liberated” to vote for his party. The Majority Socialists, how- ever, looked to the Landtag elections as an expeditious way to terminate the Eisner experiment. Reminding the prime minister of his promise of timely elections, they were able, in a cabinet meeting on 5 December, to schedule a Landtag vote for 12 January 1919. While temporarily pacifying his Socialist partners, Eisner’s concessions enraged Munich’s radical Left, which saw them as the death knell for the revolution. They believed that “true democracy’—the kind that Lenin had recently introduced in Russia—had nothing to do with parliaments and elections. They knew, as Ernst Toller put it,that the fate of the repub- licmust not beleftto“the chance results ofaquestionable election and an ignorant people.” On the night of 6 December about four hundred Munich anarchists, led by Erich Miihsam, occupied the offices of several 86 B® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  conservative newspapers. On the presses of one of them, the Bayerische Kurier, these self-styled “International Revolutionists of Bavaria” pub- lished a special edition urging their comrades to press the revolution for- ward. Then the group captured Erhard Auer and forced him at gunpoint to draft a letter resigning his ministerial post. Rushing around Munich in the middle of the night, Eisner was able to put an end to this insurrection. He convinced Miihsam and company to vacate the newspaper offices, and he tore up Auer’s dragooned letter of resignation. Yet he refused to punish any of the rebels. “I know you meant well. You acted out of love for me, but itwas not a good thing to do,” he chided. This slap on the wrist served only to encourage the radicals to under- take more decisive action. On 11 December a small group of them found- ed a local branch of the Spartakusbund (Spartacist Association), a Bolshevik-inspired group led by Luxemburg and Liebknecht. They vowed to advance the revolution, with force, ifnecessary. “Does the gov- ernment want order or does it want anarchy?” asked the Miinchener Neueste Nachrichten in response to this ominous development. A high degree of disorder, in fact, seemed Munich’s fate in the first months of peace. The presence of huge numbers of demobilized soldiers swelled the ranks of the city’s unemployed. BMW laid off thirty-four hundred workers in a single day in mid-December. Food shortages were as acute as ever because the Allies had not yet lifted their blockade of Germany. Soaring inflation made itdifficult to buy the little food that was available. Bread had gone up fourfold, while a bottle of wine previously fetching 1.90 marks had gone up to 5.10. Since 1913 building costs had risen 250 percent. To cope with the inflation, Munich issued an “emer- gency currency.” Misery engendered demonstrations, some of them violent. On New Year’s Eve nine people were killed in street brawls; aweek later two more died. Eisner passionately condemned the violence, but he rejected pleas from conservatives, as well as from some Socialists, to set up a Birgerwehr (citizens’ militia) to assist the police. Therefore, members of the SPD and the bourgeois parties acted on their own, establishing a Republican Security Force independent of the Eisner regime. Meanwhile, Munich’s hydra-headed Right now launched a concerted drive to rid Bavaria of its hapless prime minister. Local newspapers spread the rumor that Eisner was in reality a Galician Jew. Eisner denied the charge but rejected his advisers’ calls for press censorship. “Let them insult me as much as they want. That won’t bother me. My entire life is J. i66 open to the world.” But itwas Eisner’s “life” that now seemed so offensive RED MUNICH 87  to the hundreds of Miinchners who paraded under his office window shouting, “We want a Bavarian! We want a Bavarian!” Some wanted a Bavarian king. As Josef Hofmiller put itin his diary: Bavaria is simply not ripe for this [revolutionary] development. . . . Monarchical sentiment has run deep in our blood for hundreds of years. ... The Altbayer wants to be ruled by someone with a crown, not a top hat; by someone who wears a uniform and not a black coat; by aman who goes to the Oktoberfest in a carriage pulled by six horses and not in a car. Our ruling house and people grew together over the span of 700 years and cannot be driv- en asunder today or tomorrow by the well-intentioned bromides ofa littera- teur. The most concerted and dangerous opposition to Eisner’s regime came from the radical vélkisch faction. The key player here was Julius Lehmann, the right-wing publisher who had campaigned so assiduously for Germany’s racial cleansing during the war. On 10 November Lehmann convinced the Thule Society to establish a secret paramilitary organization to overthrow the new government. Called the Kampfbund Thule (Fighting League Thule), the group procured arms from the army command and hid them in Lehmann’s publishing house. The plotters included a number of men soon to become prominent in the Nazi move- ment: Anton Drexler, Hans Frank, Rudolf Hess, and Alfred Rosenberg. Yet the conspiracy also included a government informer, who exposed the Kampfbund’s plot. Lehmann and several other conspirators were arrest- ed and imprisoned. Lehmann was therefore not present when two of his Thule Society col- leagues, Karl Harrer and Anton Drexler, met in a cheap Munich hotel on 5 January 1919 to establish a new rightist grouplet called the Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers’ Party, DAP). The new party embraced only a handful of members, but it had big ideas, including the establish- ment of a vdlkisch dictatorship. Soon, under the name National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP), itwould launch a full-scale crusade to realize that goal. While Thule and the DAP were plotting their next moves, Munich prepared for the Landtag election scheduled for 12 January. The city was awash in electoral propaganda: Handbills and posters were tacked to every conceivable surface; loudspeaker trucks screamed slogans; and, in a startling novelty, airplanes pelted the populace with leaflets. Hofmiller saw the frantic electioneering as one more sad sign of the changing times: “The placards, in all possible screaming colors, resembled carnival adver- 88 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  tisements. ... The Residenz was plastered top to bottom with red propa- ganda.... A long red flag waved sickeningly from the top of the Landtag. From the concierge’s cell protruded a similar red banner, which looked exactly like the red flag that chimney sweeps use to signal when they are burning out a flue.” Hofmiller seemed to notice only the red propaganda, but the conser- vative parties were just as prominently represented. The Bayerische Volkspartei (BVP—previously the Center) claimed that Spartacus lurked behind Eisner and was impatient to push him aside and turn Bavaria into a Soviet-style state. Hoping to tap into Catholic anxieties, the BVP ran a poster depicting a naked man ina gladiator’s helmet ripping apart the Frauenkirche with his bare hands. “Christian people! Will you allow Spartacus to tear down your churches? Give your answer on election day!” Election day was warm and sunny, and some 86 percent of Bavaria’s eligible voters turned out to cast ballots. Among them were newly enfran- chised women, who made up 53.4 percent of the total electorate in the state. In Munich long lines of nuns and monks stood outside heavily guarded polling places. The USPD complained that the BVP had scoured every monastery and convent for the “cattle vote” itherded to the polls. The election turned out badly for the prime minister and his party, which statewide won less than 3 percent of the total and only 3 of the 180 contested Landtag seats. The biggest vote getters were the BVP and the SPD, which won 35 percent (66 seats) and 33 percent (61 seats) respec- tively. In Munich the USPD dida little better, but here too itwas over- whelmed by the other parties, especially by the SPD, which won eleven out of twelve precincts. The BVP took little comfort in the Majority Socialists’ success, but itdelighted in the humiliation of Eisner. “This Jew should no longer stand at the head of a Volksstaat whose voters have just handed him a crushing defeat,” declared the party. But Eisner was not yet ready to step off the political stage. He enjoyed being prime minister, and he believed that he was still needed in the post. In addition to the continuing threat from the far Left, he could point to a new threat from the far Right. Just three days after the Bavarian elections rightist soldiers in Berlin murdered Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Moreover, closer to home counterrevolutionaries in Munich were distributing leaflets urging the establishment of a right-wing dicta- torship. Now more than ever, thought Eisner, Germany needed a humane and civilized spokesman. RED MUNICH i)2)  Martyr for the Revolution Determined to fill this role himself, in early February 1919 Eisner attend- ed the first postwar conference of the Second Socialist International in Bern, where he repeated his earlier admission of German war guilt and issued an appeal to German prisoners of war in France to help rebuild that devastated country. This gesture ignited a new storm of indignation. Munich newspapers protested that Eisner wished to press German POWs into forced labor. The Mdinchener Post reminded its readers that he repre- sented barely 3 percent of the electorate. “Even in the Socialist camp,” gloated Karl Alexander von Miiller, the conservative historian, “Eisner is judged as little more than a charlatan or a criminal.” Eisner’s close friend the radical poet Gustav Landauer had to agree: “Eisner isthe most cursed man in Germany.” Hoping to force his departure, Auer announced in Eisner’s absence that the Landtag would convene on 21 February; the prime minister would have to resign then, ifnot before. While Eisner temporized, the radical Left, aware that the SPD and BVP intended to eliminate the council and cast off the last vestiges of the revolution, sought to regain the initiative. On 16 February the leftists staged a large demonstration on the Theresienwiese, followed by a parade into the Old City. Their message was garbled, however, because a num- ber of Majority Socialists carrying placards supporting parliamentary government participated in the demonstration. Eisner too joined the rally in an effort to give ita progovernment slant. He failed to achieve this, but his appearance gave the Right one more reason to brand him a dangerous radical. On the following day Dr. Herbert Field, aMunich-based repre- sentative of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, recorded in his diary: “All that Imeet seem to expect Eisner to be assassinated. Ifear bloodshed will come before the week isover.” As ithappened, Field was right on target. In the course of the next few days Eisner concluded that he would indeed have to resign, and he decid- ed to make the announcement at the opening of parliament on 21 February. That morning he wrote his farewell speech in his office at the Foreign Ministry and dismissed his secretarial staff. Then, at ten sharp, he set off for the Landtag building accompanied by two aides, Friedrich Fechenbach and Benno Merkle, along with two armed guards. Given the death threats. Fechenbach urged Eisner to avoid his regular route, which was dangerously exposed. Eisner replied, “They can only shoot me dead once,” as ifthis were not enough. Thus the quartet took the regular route, Eisner flanked by Merkle and Fechenbach, with the guards walking a few steps in front. 90 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  In a doorway around the corner from Eisner’s office stood a young man named Count Anton Arco auf Valley. Born in Austria, Arco had served as a lieutenant in the Bavarian Cavalry in the recent war. Like many officers returning to revolutionary Munich, he had had his rank insignia ripped off by radicals. Hating the revolution, he had applied for admission to the Thule Society, only to be rejected on the ground that his mother was Jewish. His girlfriend meanwhile taunted him as a weakling. Of Eisner, he had written: “He isa Jew. He isnot aGerman.” In his pas- sion for revenge, he did not stop to think that the assassination of an iso- lated and impotent leader might not constitute a brilliant stroke for the counterrevolution. Arco waited until Eisner and his party had passed. Then he ran up behind the prime minister and shot him point-blank in the head and back. The first shot shattered Eisner’s skull, while the second pierced one of his lungs. He collapsed on the sidewalk, a pool of blood forming around his body. His deed accomplished, Arco started to run, but he managed only a few steps before one of Eisner’s guards felled him with a shot in the leg. As he lay writhing on the pavement, the guard pumped four more rounds into him. Nonetheless, he was not dead when soldiers carted him to the hospital, where Germany’s foremost surgeon, Ernst Ferdinand Sauerbruch, operated to save his life. There was no need to operate on Eisner. He was already dead when Fechenbach and the two guards carried him back to the Foreign Ministry. Meanwhile, at the spot where he had fallen, sobbing proletarian women dipped handkerchiefs into the drying pool of blood. A crowd of workers and radical soldiers listened to a man swear that the assassin was a paid agent of Eisner’s old rival Auer. Another claimed that the killer was a hit man for the BVP. The writer Oskar Maria Graf gained the impression that if someone had advocated shooting a dozen bourgeois, the mob would have done so with alacrity. Shortly after the assassination one of Eisner’s guards, his uniform spat- tered with blood, rushed into the Landtag and told the delegates what had just transpired in the street outside. Frau Eisner, present to hear her husband’s resignation address, fainted and was carried from the building. Someone in the visitors’ gallery shouted, “Revenge for Eisner! Down with Auer!” The session adjourned for an hour. When the deputies returned, Auer delivered a brief eulogy, calling Eisner “a man of the most unsullied idealism.” The SPD leader had no sooner sat down when a man entered the hall, pulled a Browning rifle out from under his coat, and blew Auer out of his RED MUNICH 91  chair. Critically wounded, Auer survived, saved by the same Professor Sauerbruch who attended to Arco; for a time the two lay in neighboring hospital rooms, and Auer gallantly sent Arco a bouquet of red roses. Auer’s assailant, itturned out, was an unemployed butcher named Alois Lindner. After shooting Auer, Lindner turned on his heels and walked back down the aisle, firing at the BVP benches as he went. At the door a porter tried to disarm him, but Lindner shot him dead and escaped. At the same time, an unidentified man in the visitors’ gallery began raining bullets on the deputies. They dived madly under their seats, but one BVP man took a fatal shot in the head. Horrifying as they were, the bloody events of21February served only as a prologue to the agonizing drama that was to unfold in the coming weeks. Overnight Eisner became a martyred saint to many people who had been calling for his ouster, or even for his death, just a few days before. “It is strange,” observed a young girl after the killing, “up until now I heard people ask every day, ‘Isthere no bullet for Eisner?, but since he’s been shot, everyone is beating his breast and cursing his murderer.” Eisner’s death, agreed Karl Alexander von Miiller, prompted the “great- est mood swing” he had ever seen in Munich. Having thoroughly damned the prime minister during his term in office, people were now hailing him “as a hero, messiah, liberator and unifier of the proletariat.” Of course, not everyone became a convert. Eisner’s bloody end, even more than his controversial policies, polarized Bavaria. Most of Munich’s middle- and upper-class citizens were happy to see him out of the way, and some even welcomed the violent manner in which this was effected. Thomas Mann, who did not approve of the murder, recorded that his son Klaus’s schoolmates “applauded and danced when the news came.” In the privacy of his diary, Hofmiller made fun of the proletarian women who bloodied their hankies at the assassination scene. How could they have been sure that the stuff they were mopping up belonged to Eisner and not to Arco auf Valley? he wondered. The wife of racist publisher Julius Lehmann declared that she and her friends “breathed more easily” upon learning of Eisner’s death since “we held [him] to be an evil spirit.” Perhaps these ladies would not have breathed so easily had they expe- rienced what another bourgeois woman, the writer Ricarda Huch, wit- nessed on the afternoon of 21 February. Strolling on the Ludwigstrasse with her daughter, she encountered a mob from the proletarian suburbs. “One noted faces that one rarely saw [in this quarter]: angry, inhuman, threatening faces... .They stared at our sort with undisguised menace [and] made threatening comments that we were clearly meant to under- stand.” 92 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  ror: The Feldherrnhalle and Theatinerkirche. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen) spottom: Marienplatz, Munich's central square. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen )   apove: The Prince Regent Luitpold, 1901. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen) opposite, top: The Ludwigstrasse, with Ludwigskirche. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen) opposite, Bottom: Garden Court at the Hofbriuhaus, 1896. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen)  apove: The “Queen ofSchwabing”: Fanny zu Reventlow and son, Ralf. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen) opposite, Top: Fasching Party ofthe Journalists and Writers’ Association, Schwabing, 1905. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen) opposiTe, BoTTOM: A scene at Café Simplicissimus, one ofSchwabing’s many bohemian watering holes. The café was named after the famous satirical magazine. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen)    opposite, top: lhe Cosmic Circle plus one: (leftto right) Karl Wolfskehl, Alfred Schuler, Ludwig Klages, Stefan George, Albert Verwey. (Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz) OPPOSITE, BELOW: Bavarian troops marching offto war, 1914. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen) ricut: General Erich Ludendorff, 1917. Prorepublican soldiers infront ofthe Bavarian Landtag during the revolution of1918. (Stadtarchiv Miinchen)  aBove: Return ofthe Bavarian Second Infantry Regiment from thefront, December 1918. ricut: Kurt Eisner, leader ofthe Bavarian revolution of1918—19. (Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz)  ‘ Heinrich and Thomas Mann. (Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz)  vert: Hitler’sfirstresidencein Munich: Schleissheimerstrasse 34. (Library of Congress ) BeLow: A Nazi speaker addresses the crowd in the Marienplatz during Hitler P) Beer Hall Putsch, 9November 1925. (Library ofCongress) ,- gts 419 mt) RAO: m4 Pe  Determined to keep alive the passions aroused by Eisner’s murder, his followers erected abizarre shrine atthedeath site.Itconsisted ofadozen rifles stacked in a pyramid over a pile of flowers; a wreath holding Eisner’s picture hung on a wire in the middle. According to an American reporter, women and children constantly added fresh flowers to the pile. Their piety, he suggested, was inspired not just by remorse but also by the knowledge that “in all the well-to-do sections, men and women of prop- erty and privilege were saying openly that Eisner ought to have been shot, that he was nothing but a Galician Jew anyway and never a Bavarian.” Certainly the Thule Society held this view. One of its members desecrat- ed Eisner’s shrine by sprinkling itwith the urine ofa bitch in heat; soon every male dog from miles around was lifting his leg on the sacred spot. The “Schwabing Soviet” Ironically, if Eisner had managed to resign as he had intended, parlia- mentary government might have been introduced. As itwas, power now passed to a new ad hoc revolutionary body calling itself the Zentralrat (Central Council), which consisted of eleven delegates drawn from the left-SPD, USPD, and Communists. The Zentralrat immediately called for a three-day general strike and imposed a curfew on the capital. Revolutionary soldiers patrolled the streets and set up machine-gun posts on prominent corners. Because the university had been a bastion of anti- Eisner sentiment, itwas shut down until further notice. The new govern- ment also took control of Bavaria’s non-Socialist press, forcing the Catholic Bayerische Kurier to publish atheistic articles and the national lib- eral Miinchener Neueste Nachrichten to run Socialistic pieces. More omi- nously, the council decreed that members of the Socialist parties would receive arms from army stockpiles, while all bourgeois citizens had to turn in any weapons they possessed. Finally, the new rulers ordered prominent bourgeois organizations to hand over fifty representatives as “hostages” to the state; three of these would be shot for every revolution- ary harmed, the regime warned. On 26 February the mild man whose violent death had brought Munich to such a pass was laid to rest in a state funeral that would have done a Wittelsbach proud. By order of the Zentralrat, Munich’s Town Hall was wreathed in black and all its churches flew red flags from their spires. To the sounds of cannon salutes, muffled drums, and tolling church bells—rung, in some cases, by priests at gunpoint—Eisner’s cortege made its way through the Old City to the main cemetery east of RED MUNICH 8 103  town. The prime minister’s casket rested on an ornate carriage appropri- ated from the royal house; the driver was a former royal coachman who had changed his political spots but not his uniform, which was Wittelsbach blue and white trimmed with gray fur. At the cemetery Gustav Landauer delivered a eulogy in which he compared Eisner to Goethe, Jesus, Jan Hus, and the prophets of the Old Testament. Like Jesus and Hus, said Landauer, Eisner had been killed by stupidity and greed, and like the prophets, he had “wrestled with weak, wretched human beings because he loved humanity.” Heinrich Mann offered another com- memoration, declaring: “The hundred days of Eisner’s government brought more ideas, more joys of rationality, more intellectual stimula- tion, than the fifty years that went before.” “The outlook is extremely dark. I expect to see a bolshevist reign installed in the near future,” wrote Herbert Field on the day of Eisner’s funeral. Again the American was prescient, though it would be a few weeks before Munich witnessed the installation of a Bolshevist-style regime. In the meantime the city seesawed between efforts to extend the revolution and to restore order. That all these measures were undertaken in Eisner’s name was a testament to the ambiguity of his legacy. Following its flurry of radical gestures, the Zentralrat began to back pedal toward a more moderate course. Under pressure from the SPD and the middle-class parties, Ernst Niekisch convinced his colleagues to release their bourgeois hostages and to drop efforts to build a working- class armed guard. Moreover, rather than decree that Bavaria would be ruled by a council system, the Zentralrat convened a Congress of Bavarian Councils to debate whether the councils or the parliament should hold decisive power. As the congress began its deliberations on 25 February, mobs of radical soldiers and unemployed workers assembled in two of Munich’s largest beer halls and demanded the creation ofa soviet republic. Rowdy delega- tions then marched to the congress meeting, determined to press for a soviet regime and a Red Army. The radicals had an ally within the congress in the person of Max Levien, head of the local Communist Party. Of Huguenot extraction, the Russian-born Levien had run one of Munich’s soldiers’ councils in the November revolution. An admirer of Lenin, he was more like a Schwabing bohemian than a disciplined Bolshevik. He slouched about in a rumpled uniform, drank heavily, and allegedly rented out his wife as a prostitute. Now he urged a “second revolution”—that is, apermanent enshrinement of the council system in place of parliamentary govern- ment. However, when he and Erich Miihsam presented a motion on 28 104 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  February—a week after Eisner’s murder—calling for a soviet republic, the congress rejected it by a vote of 234 to 70. Clearly, the majority of Bavaria’s council members were still committed to the principle of parlia- mentary government. Indeed, the congress next agreed, by an equally lop- sided vote, to recall the Landtag as soon as possible. News of these decisions prompted new demonstrations of revolution- ary outrage in Munich. On | March a crowd of several thousand radicals gathered on the Theresienwiese to demand the proclamation of a soviet. However, before matters could go any further, the recently created SPD militia, the Republican Security Force, broke up the rally, killing three men. This timely show of force allowed the congress to finish its deliber- ations without any more intrusions from the streets. In its final meeting, on 8 March, the congress stipulated that the Landtag should select a new cabinet and draw up a constitution based on parliamentary principles. Understandably Levien was furious. The congress had “labored and brought forth a mouse,” he fumed. The Communist delegates stalked out of the congress, and Levien and some other radicals withdrew from the Zentralrat. The moderates heaved a collective sigh of relief. Ten days later the Landtag met and appointed a new cabinet. The incoming prime minister was Johannes Hoffmann, who had served as minister of education and culture under Eisner. A tall, handsome man in his early fifties, Hoffmann had originally belonged to the left wing of the SPD, then moved to the center. “Every revolution has two enemies,” he liked to say, “one to the right, the other to the left.” In order to lead Bavaria safely between Right and Left, he put together a cabinet contain- ing no BVP members or Communists. He launched his new government with the words “The political act which Prime Minister Eisner wanted to undertake on 21 February isnow accomplished.” Hoffmann meant by this that parliamentary government was now safely established, but his declaration was premature, for thousands of radicals in the capital still hoped for a second revolution. Their demands might have subsided had the city and state not faced a continuing array of seemingly insoluable socioeconomic problems. Bavaria’s economic condi- tion was, as Hoffmann admitted, “wretched,” particularly in Munich, where unemployment had now reached almost forty thousand, and municipal debt had climbed to eighty-five million marks. The capital’s credit was so bad that state-run agencies like the post office had stopped accepting Munich’s emergency currency. As ever, food shortages kept a good portion of the population hungry and (in the opinion of the obser- vant Mr. Field) “mentally unbalanced.” Shortages propelled the black RED MUNICH 8 105  market, which remained the chief source of food and fuel, despite esca- lating prices. Perhaps worst of all, Miinchners could not escape their mis- eries in the traditional pre-Lenten Carnival festivities, for the police had determined that the times were too troubled for such antics. As ifall these woes were not enough, Hoffmann’s regime had to con- tend with a challenge from the Reich in the form of a draft constitution for the new Weimar Republic that would deprive Bavaria of most of its cherished sovereign rights. Under the new system Bavaria could no longer maintain its own military command, diplomatic corps, post and telegraph service, transportation system, and direct taxation arrange- ments; even its precious beer tax, the source of critical state revenue, was in jeopardy. Some BVP politicians were so incensed by the new constitu- tional plan that they advocated Bavaria’s secession from the Reich. While agreeing that the new system demanded too many sacrifices from Munich, Hoffmann refused to mount a frontal attack on the national gov- ernment, proposing instead to search for a “middle way” between Bavarian particularism and extreme national centralism. He ruled out secession, insisting that a “Bavaria outside the Reich isa thing of impossi- bility.” Not surprisingly, this stance made Am a thing of impossibility to militant particularists. In an editorial entitled “Eisner and Hoffmann,” the Bayerische Kurier grumbled that when it came to standing up for states’ rights, even the “Jew from Berlin” had been a better Bavarian than Hoffmann. Yet itwas the radical Left that, at least for the moment, presented the greatest threat to Hoffmann’s regime. Despite their setback on 1 March, radical agitators continued to pack beer halls with anti-Hoffmann rallies. Planes dropped leaflets declaring (falsely) that all Bavaria stood behind the radicals. These elements got a powerful boost from abroad when, on 22 March, Communist forces in Hungary overthrew the existing bour- geois government and established a soviet. Budapest’s new ruler, Béla Kun, called upon Bavarian radicals to emulate his example. “The news from Hungary hitMunich likeabomb,” wrote Mihsam. Fearing that Munich might go the way of Budapest, Hoffmann announced that the Landtag would reconvene on 8 April, two months earlier than originally scheduled. For Bavaria’s radicals, this was yet another act oftreachery. Meeting in Augsburg on 3 April, they passed res- olutions demanding a Bavarian soviet and alliances with Moscow and Budapest. They dispatched a delegation to Munich with orders to negoti- ate with Hoffmann, threatening a general strike ifhe proved intractable. The prime minister, however, was not available to negotiate. Sensing trouble, he had left for Berlin to confer with the Scheidemann govern- 106 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  ment about the looming crisis in Munich. In his absence a panicky Zentralrat rescinded Hoffmann’s recall of the Landtag. No doubt itwas influenced by a rally of some four thousand radical soldiers in the Loéwenbraukeller. The Munich garrison, for itspart, announced that ifa general strike broke out, itwould side with the striking workers and offer no protection to the government. Someone installed machine guns around the Landtag, presumably to discourage anyone from meeting there. On 5 April, against this ominous backdrop, the remaining members of Hoffmann’s government, along with about 150 representatives from the Socialist parties, the Communists, and the councils, met in the Ministry of Military Affairs to sort out the next steps in the Bavarian revolution. Host for the gathering was Hoffmann’s military minister, Ernst Schneppen- horst, a former lumber union official from Nuremberg who was known to distrust the council movement. The leading spokesman for the radicals was aCommunist named Eugen Leviné, who had recently arrived from the German Communist Party (KPD) headquarters in Berlin with orders to instill more discipline into the local branch. The new leader, whose real name was Niessen, was a Russian-born Jew who had been educated in Germany, fought in the Russian revolution of 1905, suffered arrest and torture at the hands of czarist police, and eventually returned to Germany to fight in the revolution of 1918. An ugly little man with a high, nasal voice, he was known to be tough, resourceful, and shrewd. Everyone expected a fierce battle between him and the equally determined Schneppenhorst. As it happened, a battle did erupt, but with the chief antagonists tak- ing positions that no one would have predicted. Like political cross- dressers, the rightist Social Democrat Schneppenhorst urged the proclamation of a soviet, while the Communist Leviné vehemently opposed this action. Schneppenhorst’s strategy, itseems, was akin to invit- ing the bandit into the bank and asking him to run it; presumably he would be tamed by his responsibilities. Unluckily for Schneppenhorst, Leviné saw through this stratagem and was not tempted by it. Like his mentor Lenin, he did not believe that Communists should participate in inept bourgeois governments; they should wait until conditions allowed them to seize power and then rule by themselves. As Leviné put itat the meeting, “We can only take part in a republic of councils if it is pro- claimed by the councils—and ifthe majority of them are communists. We can only participate in a council regime pursuing’a communist policy— and only the communists themselves can do that.” He added that he understood what Schneppenhorst was trying to do: He was trying to launch a “pseudo-putsch from a smoke-filled room.” Livid, Schneppen- RED MUNICH & £07  108 ®TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED horst responded that he would not be insulted by a “Jewish goblin” from Russia. The delegates watched this exchange with consternation. They were in a dilemma, for if they now proclaimed a soviet, as Schneppenhorst had proposed, they would have to do so without the Communists, and that was like setting up a church without priests. Avoiding a decision, they adjourned for forty-eight hours so that delegates could travel to other Bavarian cities and test the political wind blowing in the provinces. This allowed Schneppenhorst to attend an SPD conference in his native Nuremberg, where he discovered that the Socialists, not to men- tion the local bourgeois parties, were vehemently opposed to any radical experiments. He was instructed to withdraw his call for a soviet. He was happy enough to do so, for he had never been comfortable in his red suit, even ifhe had donned itonly as a disguise. He returned to Munich to try to undo the damage he had caused. But he was too late. Munich was not like Nuremberg. Radicals were running through the streets screaming the Bolshevist slogan “All Power to the Soviets!” These zealots seemed to believe that Munich could do for Germany what Budapest had done for Hungary and Petrograd and Moscow had done for Russia. Radical soldiers were threatening to give military muscle to this enterprise. The local bourgeoisie, having been forced out of the political picture since the war, was cowed and irresolute, waiting behind closed shutters for rescue. Some even entertained the grimly vengeful view that a Communist takeover in Central Europe might not be so bad because at least it would tweak the hated Western powers. As Thomas Mann wrote in his diary on 5 April, “We are on the point of declaring a soviet republic here, to be allied, moreover, with the Hungarian and Russian soviets. Ifind Bavaria terribly comical, and see all this as little more than mischief, but I would like to see the Allies forced to swallow it,and Ialmost love communism insofar as itispitted against the Entente.” The very next evening Bavaria’s political drama grew even more amusing, as a ragtag collection of council representatives gathered in the queen’s suite of the Wittelsbach Palace to resume the deliberations broken off two days earlier. Ernst Toller recalled the scene in his memoirs: “The great rooms where once maids-in-waiting and powdered lackeys had fawned attendance on their royal masters now rang with the heavy tread of workmen, farmers, and soldiers. Red Guards, couriers, and typists leaned out from the silk-curtained windows of the ex-queen’s bedroom.” The meeting was called to order by Niekisch in his capacity as chair- man of the Zentralrat, but Gustav Landauer, the gentle anarchist, set the  tone. As an old friend of Eisner’s, Landauer enjoyed a certain moral authority, buttressed by his reputation asa literary scholar who had trans- lated Walt Whitman. Like Eisner, he resembled an Old Testament prophet, with a bent frame, black hair down to his shoulders, and flow- ing beard. Philosophically he shared Eisner’s commitment to the nonvio- lent transformation of capitalist society. Unlike Eisner, he emphasized his Jewishness, believing that the Jews had a messianic mission to unite all nations and to effect the spiritual elevation of the world. Now, at the meeting in the queen’s bedroom, he argued passionately that the group should, in a “creative revolutionary act,” proclaim itself the government of Bavaria in place of Hoffmann, who was still in Berlin. After little dis- cussion his motion carried with one abstention, by Niekisch. This done, the meeting turned to the business of appointing minis- ters—or, as they preferred to call them, “people’s commissars.” Almost immediately Erich Miihsam proposed himself for the post of commissar for foreign affairs. He had, as he pointed out, an excellent reputation abroad and solid leftist credentials. But the other delegates were not con- vinced. As Niekisch recalled, “He [Miihsam] was an effervescent, witty spirit, a good man, but obviously so much a literary bohemian that no one could imagine him holding a responsible office.” After an embarrassed silence Landauer declared that while he respected Miihsam asa person, he could not see him as foreign commissar, a verdict quickly seconded by others, including Toller. The latter, itturned out, had his own favorite for the job, one Dr. Theodor Lipp, whom Toller had brought along to the meeting. No one had heard of Lipp, but Toller assured his colleagues that the gentleman, who sported an impressive goatee and an immaculate suit, was an accomplished diplomat and expert on foreign affairs. Perhaps embarrassed to be unacquainted with so worthy a figure, the delegates promptly voted Lipp in. Someone then proposed that Niekisch become commissar for educa- tion and enlightenment, but he declined, allowing Landauer to put him- self forward for the job. There was another embarrassed silence. Eventually a representative from the Farmers’ League observed that it would be inadvisable to appoint a non-Bavarian, and a Jew at that, to a post dealing with matters of culture, education, and religion. But just as it appeared that Landauer would be rejected, Miihsam roundly berated his colleagues for harboring sentiments that belonged to a “bygone age.” The revolution, he said, demanded a new outlook and new leaders. Those objecting to Landauer on grounds that he was a Jew were nothing but “reactionaries.” The Zentralrat members unanimously approved Landauer as commissar for education and enlightenment. RED MUNICH 8 109  As the delegates were finishing their selection of commissars, Eugen Leviné suddenly appeared on the scene. Most delegates welcomed his arrival, for they still felt uncomfortable about proclaiming a soviet with- out any genuine soviet personnel and hoped that Leviné was now pre- pared to endorse their plan. But he was not; he simply wanted to condemn them again for trying to create a new order in collaboration with “soiled” repesentatives of the old one. Some of the delegates were so disturbed by the Communist opposition that they proposed dropping the whole idea of a Bavarian soviet. But the majority was determined to press on, fearful that ifthey did not, radical soldiers and unemployed workers would do it for them. In his motion for a soviet, Landauer said this would “signal the dawn ofanew era ofuniversal peace and noble humanity.” The delegates passed Landauer’s motion, again with Niekisch’s abstention. Even before the final vote was taken, inthe early-morning hours of7April, telegrams were being dispatched across the land announcing the new order and urg- ing towns and villages to celebrate by ringing church bells. Most Bavarians were not inclined to ring any bells when they learned that their venerable state, thanks to the machinations of a cabal of radicals in Munich, was now a soviet republic. The mayors of Regensburg, Augsburg, and Rosenheim said they would cooperate with the new regime, but almost all the smaller and medium-size towns registered staunch opposition. So did Bavaria’s second-largest city, Nuremberg, home of Schneppenhorst and headquarters of two army corps that were likely to follow his bidding. It was to Nuremberg that Prime Minister Hoffmann traveled after leaving Berlin and before establishing a rival government in nearby Bamberg. The stage seemed to be set for a violent confrontation between Munich and the rest of the state. But even in Munich itself most residents were anything but enthusias- tic about the new soviet, which they immediately dubbed the Schwabing Soviet, the latest harebrained scheme from that nest of coffeehouse dilet- tantes. This view was aptly summarized by Hofmiller in his diary on 7 April: “I just don’t understand why the gentlemen did not [issue their proclamation] a week earlier. |The first of] April would have been a more appropriate date.” But there was also fear that this farce might quickly degenerate into genuine tragedy. Thomas Mann, for one, expected “a fourth and totally radical upheaval before reaction sets in.” He could not have been more sagacious. Even the new rulers sensed that they might be operating on borrowed time. On 7 April Landauer wrote a friend: “I am now Commissar for pro- paganda, education, science, art, and a few other things. If 1am allowed a few weeks’ time, I hope to accomplish something, but there is a possibili- 110 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  ty that it will only be a couple days and then it will have been but a dream.” Niekisch, who was now chief of state by virtue of his presidency of the Zentralrat, did not want to participate in the dream at all. Hoping to bring Hoffmann back to Munich, he resigned on 8 April. His place was taken by twenty-five-year-old Ernst Toller, who wondered what this lat- est twist in Bavaria’s revolution portended. “What would itachieve? How would itend?” he asked. Yet there were high expectations in some quarters. President Toller’s anteroom was filled with people who, in his words, “believed that the Soviet republic had been expressly created to satisfy [their] own private desires.” One woman wanted papers so she could get married; a man wanted to force his landlord to remit his rent; a group of self-professed revolutionaries demanded that Toller arrest their personal enemies. There were also legions of cranks offering advice for the betterment of humanity. Variously, they proposed that the world’s evil resided in cooked food, the gold standard, unhygienic underwear, technology, the lack of a universal language, department stores, or birth control. A Swabian shoe- maker submitted avoluminous pamphlet proving (inToller’s words) that “modern man owed his moral sickness to the fact that he satisfied his ele- mentary needs in closed rooms and with the aid of artificial paper; where- as ifhe spent these daily moments out in the woods and availed himself of the natural moss all spiritual poisons would also evaporate into the sur- rounding air, and he would be at the same time bodily and spiritually purified, returning to his work with a strengthened social conscience and a diminished egoism; true love of humanity would be awakened and the Kingdom of God on Earth would be at hand.” Alas, Toller and his colleagues did not adopt any of these possibly path- breaking ideas. What they did do, however, was outlandish enough to horrify most Bavarians. In a blizzard of decrees the new government set about conjuring up the Socialist millennium. Banks and large industrial concerns were ordered nationalized. Restaurants and cafés were closed, save for the Stefanie, which served as an unofficial headquarters for the revolution. Landauer declared that henceforth the Bavarian universities would be run by the students, and professors would give up their titles. He placed the press under the jurisdiction of anew censorship board com- posed exclusively of Schwabing literati. He also ordered the end of “legal- istic thinking” and required newspapers to print the poems of Holderlin and Schiller on their front pages. The commissar for justice, taking a leaf from the French Revolution, established “revolutionary tribunals” with the aim of rooting out counterrevolutionary activity. The finance com- missar, in an effort to halt the flight of capital, prohibited depositors from RED MUNICH #® 111  removing more than two hundred marks per day from their bank accounts. The agriculture commissar announced plans for a sweeping col- lectivization of Bavaria’s farms. The housing commissar froze all rents, ordered that unused lofts in the city be turned over to artists for studio space, and decreed that henceforth all houses must be built with the liv- ing rooms above the kitchen. In an effort to prevent bourgeois Miinchners from hoarding food, gov- ernment troops sporadically searched homes of the well-to-do. On one occasion a soviet patrol invaded the villa of Professor Erich Marks, noted biographer of Bismarck. Finding the pantry shockingly bare, one of the soldiers whispered to Marks’s wife: “Listen, I can give you an address where you can get some things—eggs, butter, and bacon.” Amid all this activity, someone in the government found time to decree that henceforth the German name for Bavaria, Bayern, should be spelled with an rather thanay. Odd and unsettling as many of these measures were, they seemed almost ordinary compared with the activities of the new commissar for foreign affairs, Dr. Lipp. In response to a congratulatory message from Soviet Russia’s foreign minister, Georgi Chicherin, Lipp sent a telegram to Lenin saying that the proletariat of South Bavaria was “firmly joined together as a hammer” but complaining that the “fugitive Hoffmann took the toilet key to my ministry with him.” He went on to say that “the hairy gorilla hands of Gustav Noske [military minister in the Reich govern- ment] are dripping in blood” and signed off with references to Kant’s plea for eternal peace. In case Lenin was indifferent, he sent a copy of this mis- sive to the pope, whom he addressed as an intimate friend. The pope did not respond, but Lenin, obviously worried about what was going on in Munich, wrote back to inquire about the revolution’s specific accomplish- ments, tactfully ignoring the toilet key crisis. Learning of Lipp’s busy international correspondence, his colleagues did some checking on him and discovered that he had recently been released from an insane asylum. They concluded that he must be removed from office immediately. Toller ordered Lipp to come see him. When he appeared, Lipp asked Toller: “Have you seen the King’s bathroom? I tell you it’s a scandal. I found a little boat there and the lackey told me that instead of governing King Ludwig used to sit in a hot bath for hours on end playing with his little boat.” Exasperated, Toller handed Lipp a copy of the lost privy key telegram and asked him ifhe was responsible for it. Lipp replied proudly that he had written it with his own hand. Toller then handed him a letter of resignation to sign. Lipp rose somberly from his chair, smoothed the lapels of his frock coat, stroked his Henri IV 112 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  beard, and signed. “Even this I do for the Republic,” he said with a sigh. However, that afternoon he was back in his office dispatching more tele- grams, and he had to be “kindly but firmly taken away.” Lipp’s dismissal, while obviously necessary, was oflittle moment, since the Schwabing Soviet was now under heavy attack from allsides. Among the attackers were the Communists, who decided that they could not allow this pack of coffeehouse intellectuals to stay in business. In an abrupt change of tactics, Leviné declared on 8 April that ifMunich were to have a soviet, itmust be a genuine one. On the following day, at ahuge rally in the Mathaserbrau, he tried unsuccessfully to convince Toller to turn over power to him. The Hoffmann government in Bamberg, meanwhile, was searching for ways to bring down the Munich soviet. Hoffmann rejected an offer of federal troops from the Reich government, fearing that their use even against an unpopular regime would inflame particularist hatreds against the “Prussians.” He therefore began to assemble a militia from native stock, and while these forces were gathering for amarch on Munich, he did all he could to isolate the capital. Farmers loyal to Hoffmann stopped delivering food; telephone, postal, and rail service was cut; and the central bank in Berlin suspended money transfers to Munich. At the same time, Hoffmann’s people made contact with elements inside the capital that were prepared to help overthrow the soviet. Key to Bamberg’s fifth col- umn was the Republican Security Force, which maintained an outpost in Munich’s central train station. The Thule Society meanwhile was busy recruiting anti-Soviet forces among the right-wing fraternities. Hoffmann probably could have destroyed the soviet by slowly starving it to death, but with the Reich government demanding a quick solution, he decided to unleash his fifth column. At dawn on Palm Sunday, 13 April, the security force staged a surprise attack on the Wittelsbach Palace, arresting many of the soviet leaders and conveying them to the railroad station. Confident that they would soon receive additional sup- port from Hoffmann, they put up posters declaring that the Zentralrat had been overthrown and the legitimate government reinstated. Like so many ambitious pronouncements in those chaotic days, this decree expressed a wish rather than a reality. The Palm Sunday Putsch had indeed eliminated the Schwabing Soviet, but this simply opened the way for the Communists to make their own grab for power. After gath- ering at the Theresienwiese, heavily armed soldiers loyal to the KPD marched into the Old City. Sunday strollers ducked for cover as bullets started whizzing around the Marienplatz. A sailor playing pool in a restau- rant took a fatal shot in the head; several other people were wounded. RED MUNICH &® 113  Then the leftists attacked the security force barricaded in the train station. According to a witness, the opposing forces exchanged sporadic machine- gun bursts, small-arms fire, and grenades for several hours; the large metal train schedules were riddled with holes. By 9:00 P.M., with their ammunition exhausted and no relief in sight, the security force fled the building through the rear by rail. While the train station firefight was still in progress, Eugen Leviné was presiding over a meeting at the Hofbrauhaus. The men to whom he spoke, all veterans of the Council of Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants, agreed to establish themselves as the “legislature” of anew Bavarian sovi- et, this time a real one under the leadership of a four-man Vollzugsrat (Executive Committee) controlled by the Russian-born Communists Leviné, Levien, and Towien Axelrod. Leviné declared that the new regime would represent “the genuine rule of the proletariat” and that it would carry on its “unavoidable struggle like its Russian brothers.” “We Bavarians Are Not Russians!” Munich’s Communist-dominated soviet began with brave words, but its situation was bleak. Talk of fraternal ties to Russia and Hungary notwith- standing, the new rulers could expect no support from either of those places, since Russia was racked with civil war and the Hungarian soviet was collapsing. Furthermore, the Reich government and most of the rest of Bavaria resolutely opposed Munich’s latest and most alarming political experiment. Aware of the hostility surrounding them, but confident that the wheels of history were rolling irrevocably in their direction, the soviet leaders immediately took steps to extend and protect the revolution. They pro- claimed a general strike of indefinite duration and threatened to shoot anyone who did not abide by it. They disarmed the Munich police and distributed weapons among workers who pledged loyalty to the new regime. To ward off attacks from outside, they began building a Red Army composed of demobilized soldiers, radical trade unionists, and some leftover Italian and Russian prisoners of war. Commandant of the Red Army was one Rudolf Egelhofer, a twenty-six-year-old North German sailor who been active in the naval mutiny in Kiel in November 1918. An admirer described him as “a comet in the revolutionary sky.” But he was a dark star, fond of complaining that there were as yet no lampposts in Munich with reactionary generals hanging from them. It was one thing to recruit a new army, quite another to feed, equip, 114 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  and pay for it. Isolated as it was, the new regime was virtually without material resources. To get what it needed, the Vollzugsrat decided to shake down the bourgeois population of Munich. Soldiers combed the wealthier parts of town, collecting foodstuffs, linens, clothing, and silver- ware. Fearing that his own house would be hit, Thomas Mann practiced what he would say to potential looters: “Look, boys, I am not a Jew, or a war-profiteer, or anything else that’s bad. I’m just a writer who built this house with money earned from intellectual labor. Ihave 200 marks inmy desk drawer, which Ill give you. Divide itamong yourselves, but don’t take away my furnishings and books.” Not content with informal plundering, the Vollzugsrat also required citizens to turn over all their cash in exchange for credit slips. When peo- ple showed little interest in emptying their pockets for the regime, they were ordered to open their safety-deposit boxes and private safes. Of course, Miinchners balked at this too, and these measures netted only about fifty thousand marks. Thus the new government resorted to the dangerous tactic ofits predecessors: It ordered a printing firm to turn out millions of marks in “emergency currency.” Since the Bavarian soviet was to be a “dictatorship of the proletariat,” the new regime openly encouraged class warfare. It put up posters in the poorer districts saying, “Come out of your slums! Flats are available! Help yourselves!” It promised to distribute food confiscated from bour- geois and aristocratic hoarders. In one much-celebrated instance Red guards handed out a bathtub full of eggs that they had commandeered from a countess. But because the Red Army had priority access to all con- fiscated items, Munich’s poor got little of the takings. Indeed, food shortages had become more acute than ever, as Munich was effectively blockaded by the Hoffmann government and hostile peas- ants. The soviet nominally controlled some farming regions in the imme- diate vicinity of the city, but the farmers ignored injunctions to deliver food to the “Red swine.” Milk was in particularly short supply. When dairy deliveries fell to one tenth of normal, the Vollzugsrat declared that churning milk into butter or cheese was “sabotage of the Soviet Republic” and punishable by death. Next, the regime outlawed the consumption of milk by anyone but small children who were certified by a doctor to be in immediate danger of death from malnutrition. Leviné, however, was not overly distressed by the milk crisis because he saw itas a long-term gain for the revolution. “What does it matter if fora few weeks less milk reachesMunich?” heasked.“Mostofitgoestothechildrenofthebour- geoisie anyway. We are not interested in keeping them alive. No harm if they die—they’d only grow into enemies of the proletariat.” RED MUNICH &® 115  Horror stories from Munich about hungry children and plundering soldiers put the Hoffmann government in a bind. The soviet’s days were clearly numbered, but given the brutality of Leviné and company, the col- lapse might not come until after many innocent citizens had starved. It was imperative, therefore, to employ armed force against the soviet and to do so on a scale large enough to accomplish the task in short order. Yet Hoffmann still hoped to keep this operation Bavarian, or at least South German, so his enemies could not play the ever-effective anti-Prussian card. Thus he urged his fellow Bavarians to join one of the many paramil- itary Freikorps (Free Corps) units that were being organized to march on Munich. He also accepted neighboring Wiirttemberg’s offer of Free Corps volunteers. The appeals his government issued deserve quotation for their nativist tone. “Russian terror reigns in Munich,” declared Transportation Minister Heinrich von Frauendorfer. “Led by alien insur- gents, Communists have seized power. . .Ifwe do not want to experience the fate of Russia, we must protect our threatened Bavarian land to the last man. Volunteers from all parts of the state must report immediately to assembly points and gather weapons. Not an hour of hesitation!” On the following day Hoffmann himself added an appeal: Bavarians! Countrymen! In Munich there rages a Russian terror, directed by alien elements. This insult to Bavaria cannot be allowed to last another day, another minute. All Bavarians must do their part, irrespective of party. ... You men of the Bavarian mountains, Bavarian plains, Bavarian forests, rise up as one, gather in your villages with weapons and equipment, select your lead- ers... .Munich calls for your aid. Step forward! Now! The Munich disgrace must be wiped out. That isthe honorable duty ofall Bavarians! Honorable, perhaps, yet also highly problematical, for the Free Corps units Hoffmann was gathering were not just fiercely anti-Communist but also, for the most part, militantly antidemocratic and racist. Their ranks were filled with ex-soldiers who had served on the front, as well as with younger men who yearned for military experience. The most important of the Bavarian Free Corps was led by Franz Ritter von Epp, a former commander of the Bavarian Life Guards, who despised the new Weimar Republic and dreamed of bringing back the monarchy. Epp’s right-hand man was Ernst Rohm, a swashbuckling army captain who was soon to gain notoriety as chief of Hitler’s storm troopers. Like many of the other Free Corps units, Epp’s group had ties to the Thule Society, which smug- gled money and men out of beleaguered Munich to the forces massing in the hinterlands. 116 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  While the various Free Corps and militia groups were gathering for the assault on Munich, conditions in the city became ever more desperate. There was now no food in the stores, nor gas or coal to be had. Berlin’s representative in Munich reported that even the local workers were becoming fed up with the constant strikes and military maneuvers. On 10 April Munich’s moribund city council sent a secret missive to Bamberg complaining that the soviet was running the city into the ground and bru- talizing the citizenry. It promised a rebellion from within if Hoffmann would send soldiers. On 14 April a skirmish broke out between a unit of the Red Army and some Hoffmann troops deployed around Dachau. Commanding the Red forces was Ernst Toller, who had decided to ally himself with the new soviet despite some serious reservations about its Russian leaders. Toller’s outfit managed to win this engagement, but only because the enemy forces were even more incompetent and ill led. This minor Red victory was sufficient to convince Hoffmann that he needed a more effective force to liberate the capital. Breaking his vow to do without Reich assis- tance, he requested federal troops from Berlin’s military minister, Gustav Noske. The latter promptly promised twenty thousand men, including several thousand Prussians. But he insisted as a condition that overall command of the assault force must rest with General Ernst von Oven, a Prussian. Hoffmann’s acceptance of this condition signaled a new humil- iation of Bavaria by Prussia. In fact, one might say that Noske achieved following the defeat of 1918 what Bismarck had not risked after the vic- tory of 1871; his intervention in the old Wittelsbach realm crowned the work of the Iron Chancellor. As the vise around Munich continued to tighten, divisions split the ranks of the town’s defenders. While the Communist leadership grimly adopted a siege mentality, some of the other soviet leaders, notably Ernst Toller, developed second thoughts about greasing the wheels of history with massive quantities of blood. Toller had already gotten himself in trouble with Leviné and Egelhofer by refusing to bombard Dachau and by protesting the gang rape ofa young girl by thirty Red soldiers. He had also gone out of his way to prevent his colleagues from adding Thomas Mann to their cache of bourgeois hostages. Now, with the Whites closing in, he argued that “We had no right to call the workers to battle when the only prospect was certain defeat; no right to call the workers to shed their blood for no purpose at all.” Toller found some allies within the Council of Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants, which had continued to meet daily in the Hofbrauhaus. A young bank clerk who had been made to serve as the regime's finance RED MUNICH #® 117  118 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED minister charged that the confiscation of private goods and bank accounts was “political theft.” At a council meeting on 26 April the clerk and Toller accused the Communists of using their Russian revolutionary credentials to intimidate the local radicals. “The great feat of the Russian Revolution lends to these men a magic luster,” said Toller. “Experienced German Communists stare at them as ifdazzled.” Determined, at this late hour, to break free of the Russian spell, the council passed a vote of censure against the Vollzugsrat and formed a countergovernment of its own. It justified its action with the stirring declaration “We Bavarians are not Russians!” Yet the council’s liberation was purely rhetorical, for the Vollzugsrat refused to recognize its coup and promptly placed Munich under the direct control of the Red Army. The Reds set about barricading the city for the coming Armageddon, tacking up posters warning that if the “Prussians” were allowed to triumph, the streets would run in blood. By 30 April an unnatural quiet reigned in the city, broken only by occa- sional alarm bells ringing in comandeered church towers. Munich’s bour- geoisie stayed off the streets in hopes that their deliverers would soon appear. In their impotence people quietly cursed the “aliens” who had taken over their city. They also cursed Jewish fellow citizens who alleged- lyaided the Soviets. Rumor had it,noted Hofmiller in his diary, that an anti-Soviet strike by civil servants could not be carried out because Jewish lawyers and judges would continue to serve the regime. Jewish doctors would also continue to work, “allegedly out of reasons of humanity, but actually to steal the patients of non-Jewish colleagues.” Hofmiller was unsure if these rumors were true, but he was certain of one point: The Galizier (Eastern Jews) who had “corrupted our workers” deserved to be summarily shot. Thomas Mann agreed: “I hope those scoundrelly heroes of the ‘masses’ ...can be seized and given over to exemplary judgment.” White Terror The reckoning that came over the next few days was as bloody as even the most fervent anti-Communists could have wished. Itwas animated by thirst for vengeance; racial, religious, and class hatred; and an atavistic love of butchery. The mentality that governed itwas perhaps best summed up by the Free Corps officer Manfred von Killinger, who wrote in his memoirs: “Munich was under the rule of the Red hordes. Levien, Leviné-Niessen, Miihsam, etc., what kind of people were these? Were they Bavarians? No! Jewish, internationalist riff-raff, Schwabing intellectuals. ...” On 30 April the Munich suburbs of Starnberg and Dachau fell to the  Whites. At Starnberg the Free Corps massacred twenty medical orderlies, and at Dachau they executed eight unarmed Red soldiers. When news of the killings reached Munich, soldiers of the First Red Infantry Division asked permission from Egelhofer to exact revenge by executing some of the hostages they were guarding in the Luitpoldgymnasium, a local high school. The prospective victims included two Prussian hussars who were said to have participated in the murder of Liebknecht and Luxemburg in Berlin, seven Thule Society members, and a Jewish painter who had torn down a revolutionary poster. After personally interrogating the hostages, Egelhofer consented to their execution. In pairs the victims were taken into the school courtyard, placed against a wall, and shot. News of the Geiselmord (hostage murder) inspired horror and revul- sion throughout Munich, even among non-Communist officials of the soviet. As soon as he learned what had happened, Toller rushed to the Luitpoldgymnasium to prevent more loss of life. He was able to liberate six hostages who were cowering behind a locked door, and he ordered that the ten bodies he found piled in a shed be taken away and buried. “The very sight of them would be enough to lash the Whites into an orgiastic frenzy of revenge,” he knew. His order to bury the bodies, how- ever, was not carried out; the corpses were left where they lay, next to garbage cans containing parts of slaughtered pigs. This led to the asser- tion, splashed across Munich newspapers after the liberation, that the Reds had hacked off their victims’ penises and thrown them in the garbage. As it turned out, the Whites did not need to see the results of the Geiselmord be be whipped into a frenzy for revenge. Reports about the murder induced their leaders to move up their attack on Munich from 2 May to May Day, the traditional workers’ holiday. They expected to encounter a staunch and well-coordinated defense. But the Red Army, contrary to its own propaganda, was in no position to put up effective resistance. It numbered only about two thousand men, of whom only a few hundred were actually prepared to fight. The Gezselmord, moreover, unnerved the Reds as much as itenraged the Whites. According to one Red officer, “panic and revulsion spread through the ranks; men threw down their weapons, and morale collapsed entirely.” The result was that most White units encountered little or no opposi- tion as they entered the city on the morning of 1 May. When they marched into Schwabing, people cheered and showered them with pre- sents. Along the Maximilianstrasse, residents displayed blue and white cloths (the Bavarian colors) to welcome their liberators. On the Ludwidgstrasse swastika-helmeted members of the Ehrhardt Brigade, a RED MUNICH &® 159  120 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED notoriously brutal Free Corps unit, marched to the Feldherrnhalle singing “Swastika on helmet, black-white-red [the old imperial colors] band. ...” The troops were “good-looking and well disciplined,” observed Thomas Mann. There were, however, a few places where Red soldiers, aided by civil- ians, put up a spirited, if doomed, fight. In the Karlsplatz some Reds fought on for several hours before being burned out of their positions by Prussian flamethrowers. The nearby Mathaserbrau became a battlefield when Red soldiers who had been defending the adjacent Palace of Justice took refuge there among the heavy tables and wooden kegs. When that bastion fell too, the Reds made their last stand in the central train station, holding out until the next morning. Among the survivors of that battle was Commandant Egelhofer. Captured, he was taken away for interro- gation and summarily shot. The relative ease with which the anti-Soviet forces took Munich allowed Free Corps men like Manfred von Killinger to have the sport they had been hoping for. When Killinger’s boys encountered a young woman—“a typical Schwabing painter-bitch”—who dared insult them, Killinger ordered her stripped and beaten with a riding crop “until there was not a white spot left on her backside.” Taking over the tattered Residenz, Killinger railed at the “Spartacist pigs” who had defaced an ornate table by putting a machine gun on it. However, the Free Corps leader could only laugh indulgently when his group’s mascot, a dog named Putsch, soiled the throne of the Wittelsbachs. There was nothing comical or sporting about the fate suffered by Gustav Landauer, Whitmanesque poet of nonviolent revolution. Though he had not been a member of the second Munich soviet, he was seen as a major criminal by the government troops who found him hiding in the home of Eisner’s widow on May Day morning. He was taken to Stadelheim Prison, where someone had scrawled: “This is where we make sausages of Spartacists.” After being made to run a gauntlet of sol- diers slapping him and shouting, “Smash him to a pulp!” he was knocked to the floor by an officer’s riding crop. Then some of the soldiers kicked him and hit him with rifle butts. Finally, one of the officers fired several rounds into his prostrate body. The corpse was stripped and thrown into a washhouse. “The Munich communist episode isover,” wrote Thomas Mann in his diary on the evening of 1 May. “I, too, cannot resist the feeling oflibera- tion and cheerfulness. The pressure was abominable.” The papal nuncio in Munich, Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII), declared that the “bestial hostage murder” demanded harsh retribution.  The federal troops and Free Corps now in control of Munich needed no such encouragement to clean out “the Red nest.” Operating under martial law, the troops summarily shot 142 prisoners, among them 55 Russian POWs. Another 186 were executed after lightning-fast court- martial proceedings. The Free Corps, for its part, simply killed at ran- dom. On 5 May the Freikorps Liitzow murdered 12 workmen who had been denounced as troublemakers bya local priest. Another group killed a chimney sweep caught carrying the red flag of his profession. Now that itwas safe to do so, many Munich burghers also joined in the “cleansing” of their city. They formed a Munich militia for this purpose. Oskar Maria Graf described them at work: “Suddenly the burghers came out of hiding and ran around importantly with rifles slung over their ... shoulders and militia armbands on their coats. They searched eagerly for prey, and when they found one, they bawlingly sprang on him, spit on him, punched him like wild men, and proudly carried their half-dead vic- tim to the soldiers.” Arrests often occurred because ofanonymous denunciations, and itis significant that one of the denouncers was Adolf Hitler. The future Fiihrer had been in Munich since late February, attached to the Second Infantry Regiment. Contrary to his assertion in Mein Kampf that he had avoided arrest in late April by scaring off some Red “scoundrels” with his leveled carbine, he had done nothing to attract attention to himself dur- ing the entire time the revolution swirled around him. A few days after the suppression of the soviet he was called before a military commission to report on the activities of his regiment during the revolution. Asked to identify soldiers who had sided with the leftists, he fingered a number of his comrades. By 6 May Munich was quiet enough for middle-class citizens to walk freely through the streets. A military band played waltzes in the Lenbachplatz. But some of the Free Corps were still in a mood to kill. That evening a group of them, thoroughly drunk, raided an alleged Spartacist gathering, herded thirty prisoners into a cellar, and proceeded to shoot, trample, and bayonet twenty-one of them to death. It turned out, however, that the “Spartacists” in question were members of the St. Josef Society (aCatholic workers’ club affiliated with the BVP), who had gath- ered for a theatrical performance. Even revenge-hungry Miinchners were sickened by this episode, which posters around town blamed on “the . Prussians.” It now remained only to try to punish the revolutionary leaders who had as yet escaped judgment. Max Levien managed to flee to Austria, but his colleague Eugen Leviné was quickly captured and put on trial. RED MUNICH #® 121  122 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Convicted of high treason, he was executed on 5 June as “an alien infil- trator who had pursued his aims with total disregard for the welfare of the population.” His sometime rival Ernst Toller evaded capture for a time by hiding out in Schwabing. In searching for him at his apartment, the authorities found copies of poems by Rilke, which caused them to search Rilke’s flat as well. The poet fled Munich, never to return. Toller, however, was captured after five weeks and thrown into Stadelheim Prison, where he was manhandled by his guards. In his subsequent trial for treason the prosecutor was careful to note that though he claimed to be “confessionless,” he had Jewish ancestry. Toller might have shared Leviné’s fate had not a number of prominent literary figures, including Thomas Mann, sent in testimonials on his behalf. He was sentenced to five years in prison, without parole. As the White Terror finally waned, Munich returned to a superficial normality. The period ofextraordinary revolutionary chaos, however, had left the city a simmering kettle of bitterness and fear, ready to boil over at the slightest provocation. And itwould soon become evident that there were plentyofagitatorsanxious tolightfreshfiresunder thepot.Among them were Adolf Hitler and the angry young men who began flocking to his side in the early years of the new republic. Hitler’s skill at manipulat- ing the revolutionary legacy prompted contemporary observers to expound the simple shorthand “Without Eisner, no Hitler.” This view is far too facile, for itvastly simplifies Hitler’s rise to power and ignores the importance of developments preceding the revolution. It is also too sim- ple to assert, as has the historian Georg Franz, that the radicalism and vio- lence of the Munich revolution meant that “nowhere could and must the counterswing of the pendulum be more violent than in Munich.” Historical developments do not necessarily unfold according to the physics of pendular motion, and Munich’s postrevolutionary political development was not a simple yin to the soviet yang. Nonetheless, the duration and intensity of the revolutionary experience in Munich made many of those who felt victimized by itespecially receptive to the politics of hatred served up by rightist agitators like Hitler. More than ever, trau- matized Miinchners found reasons to distrust “aliens” and to place blame for continuing tribulations on convenient scapegoats. More than ever, they regarded liberal cultural and political ideals as sources of potential disruption. In the end, therefore, the revolutionary experience did indeed serve as a crucial milestone on Munich’s road to the Third Reich.  Birthplace ofNazism “ONCE, THE HANDSOME and comfortable city attracted the best minds of the Reich. How did ithappen that they were now gone, and that in their place everything that was rotten and unable to maintain itself elsewhere was magically pulled toward Munich?” So asked Lion Feuchtwanger in his roman 4 clef of Munich in the early twenties, Erfolg (1930). A Miincher himself, Feuchtwanger was appalled that his native city, in the first years of the Weimar Republic, became a haven for right- istagitators and vélkisch organizations. Whereas Berlin emerged asone of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, Munich embraced virulent national- ism, racism, and provincialism. Of course, conservative Miinchners had their own bohemian and rad- ical past to react against, and the vehemence with which they embraced 123  authoritarian solutions in the postrevolutionary era stemmed in part from a desire to bury all remnants of this troubling legacy. As we have seen, however, Munich’s bohemian culture itself harbored darker admixtures of racism, insularity, and hero-worship. Now war and revolution had generated a climate of hatred and anxiety in which the darker dimensions of Munich’s prewar culture and society could come to the fore. Among the welter of rightist groups that jockeyed for influence in postrevolutionary Munich, one eventually grew powerful enough to deliver on its promise to change the world: the Nazi movement. Unlike some ofits competitors, the fledgling Nazi Party was homegrown, “made inMunich.” While itseemed atthetimeofitsbirthadistinctlyunlikely candidate for future prominence, after about three years ithad emerged as the most credible of all the vé/kisch groups in the city, and some local journalists were already calling its leader, Adolf Hitler, the king of Munich. How did a party that began so inauspiciously move so rapidly to the front of the pack? How did Hitler go so quickly from being an unknown corporal in the Bavarian Army toa serious contender for power in Bavaria’s capital? The answers must be sought in the politically charged milieu in which the party was born and experienced its first cru- cial growth. Versailles and Weimar: A Double Indemnity On 9 May 1919, three days after the Munich soviet was suppressed, the Western Allies announced the terms of the Versailles Treaty. Expecting bad news, Germans were nonetheless horrified at the harshness of the provisions. Germany was toloseallitscolonies, 13percent ofits home ter- ritory, and 10 percent ofits population. The easternmost province of East Prussia would be cut off from the rest of the Reich by the Polish Corridor. These territorial sacrifices were aggravated by military and economic concessions. Germany’s new army, the Reichswehr, would be limited to one hundred thousand officers and men, all volunteers. Germany’s famous General Staff was to be eliminated, and its officers’ schools were to be closed. To guarantee fulfillment of the military provisions, the Reich’s westernmost territory, the Rhineland, was to be occupied by Allied forces for ten years and kept “demilitarized” indefinitely after that. On the economic front, Article 231 of the treaty stated that Germany and its allies bore responsibility for all the losses and damages incurred by their enemies during the war. As the guilty party Germany would have to pay reparations and hand over for trial those of its citizens whom the a!=laQuastotee FEesathe:(Oe;“peigrekynatheVayesr 124 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Quilt omfhey7#4 E\MAC DaVvNCS CgGLo) Math  Allies suspected of having committed acts in violation of the laws and cus- toms ofwar. Germans everywhere screamed in rage, but the outcry was especially loud in Munich. Bavarians complained bitterly that the Rhenish Palatinate, Bavaria’s outpost on the Rhine, would be occupied by French troops. They protested that itwas unfair that Crown Prince Rupprecht, a “peace-loving man,” was being lumped together with “militaristic Prussians” as a candidate for Allied punishment. But most of all, they protested that the Allied demands for reparations in kind, such as dairy cattle and timber, fell disproportionately on an agricultural state like Bavaria. Munich’s politicians, press, and leading cultural figures lashed out at the Entente powers. The city council passed a resolution condemning the treaty. Simplicissimus insisted that President Wilson had engineered a peace settlement from which only capitalist America would profit. By contrast, Simpl’s sometime contributor Thomas Mann focused his hatred on France’s Georges Clemenceau, behind whose anti-German policy he pre- sumed a deep-seated ethnic hatred. He wrote to a German friend on 12 May 1919: “About the Entente peace there’s little to say. Itreveals the godly blindness of the victors. That poisonous antique [Clemenceau] who con- cocted the treaty in his insomniac old-man nights has slant eyes. Perhaps he has the right-by-blood to dig the grave of Western civilization and bring about the triumph of Kirgistentum [Mann’s term for the Slavic East].” Bavarian conservatives were also highly critical of the Socialist-domi- nated government in Berlin for agreeing to the terrible terms. They per- sisted in this charge despite their own admission that resistance would have been futile. Meanwhile, some particularists held the Hoffmann regime in Munich accountable for yet another “disgrace”: the newly announced Weimar Constitution, which significantly reduced Bavaria’s autonomy within the republic. Hoffmann’s representatives at the consti- tutional negotiations, the particularists charged, had made no concerted effort to protect Bavarian rights because they were centralists at heart. The opprobrium with which the Hoffmann government was saddled severely undermined its legitimacy in the chaotic aftermath of the 1918-1919 revolution. The Civil Guards While Miinchners seethed over the Versailles Treaty and the Weimar Constitution, the streets of their city continued to resemble an armed BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM 8® 125  126 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED camp. With Hoffmann still in Bamberg (the cabinet and parliament did not return until 17 August 1919), control over the capital remained with General von Oven and his Prussian troops, assorted Free Corps units, and the Bavarian branch of the Reichswehr (Group Command Number 4) under General Arnold von Mohl. But the presence of troops was not enough to reassure bourgeois Miichners that their lives and property were safe. The army, after all, was in a state of flux as it began to reduce its ranks to the ceiling established by the Entente. Some of the Free Corps units were breaking up or were being diluted by new members who, in the words of Ernst Réhm, had “watched the [anti-Communist forces’] entry into Munich from their windows in their nightshirts.” Against this backdrop, some middle-class citizens decided to take “law and order” into their own hands. They joined units of Einwohnerwehren (Civil Guards), established to avert a possible resurgence of communism. The Civil Guards had the blessing of theHoffmann government but were accountable only to their own leaders. Funded primarily by private donors, they obtained arms and munitions from war surplus stockpiles made available by the Reichswehr. The Bavarian Einwohnerwehr’s head- quarters in Munich’s Ring Hotel resembled a fortress, complete with artillery and armed patrols. The group’s commander, a forestry official named Georg Escherich, presided over an organization that within a year of its founding embraced almost three hundred thousand men, thirty thousand of them stationed in Munich. While the Bavarian Civil Guards often claimed to be nothing more than a nonpolitical peacekeeping agency, they were in reality as ideologi- cally motivated as the Free Corps units they largely supplanted. They were militantly anti-Socialist and antidemocratic and pined for the revival of an authoritarian regime. They institutionalized Bavaria’s rejec- tion of the Versailles settlement and its hatred for the Weimar Republic. Above all, they despised Berlin as Germany’s new mecca of left-wing pol- itics, multiethnic society, and avant-garde culture. By reaching out to similarly inclined groups elsewhere in Germany and in neighboring Austria, the Bavarian Einwohnerwehr created a large counterrevolutionary network with Munich atitscenter. Escherich head- ed an umbrella association called Orgesch, which included Civil Guard formations in central and northern Germany. His aide Rudolf Kanzler set up another association, called Orka, which embraced self-defense groups in western Austria and maintained close ties to rightist factions in Hungary and the Ukraine. Taken together, these organizations amount- ed to a kind of White International, the militant Right’s answer the Red International based in Moscow.  “ITCould Speak” In spring 1919 the Bavarian Reichswehr established a military intelligence bureau in Munich called Abteilung I b/P. Its main job was to monitor morale among the troops and to expose any hints of subversive activity. It also had the task of infiltrating the more than fifty political organizations that had sprouted up in the Bavarian capital since the end of the war. Commanding this unit was Captain Karl Mayr. On Mayr’s initial listof “political education agents,” compiled in late May 1919, stood the name Hittler, Adolf (sic). It is probable that Hitler made the list on the basis of his earlier work as a political snitch. However, in an article he wrote in 1941 for an American magazine, Mayr maintained that he had selected Hitler partly out of pity. “When I first met him he was like a stray dog looking for a master,” he recalled. The future Fiihrer, Mayr claimed, was “ready to throw in his lot with anyone who would show him kindness” and “would have worked for a Jewish or a French employer as readily as for an Aryan.” ’ Whether or not this assessment is accurate, Hitler undoubtedly welcomed his new job because itallowed him to postpone returning to civilian life. Hitler and his fellow agents were enrolled, as part of their training, in a special indoctrination course at the University of Munich in summer 1919. According to the Reichswehr leadership, the course would give its partici- pants understanding of the basic political ideas of the era and help them develop trust and confidence in the nation. Teachers included the conser- vative editor and diarist Josef Hofmiller; Karl Alexander von Miiller, the nationalist historian; and Miiller’s brother-in-law Gottfried Feder, a self- taught economist who lectured on the evils of “interest slavery.” In Mein Kampf Hitler described this university course as another crucial milestone on his road to becoming a politician. “For me the value of the whole affair was that Inow obtained an opportunity ofmeeting afew like- minded comrades with whom Icould thoroughly discuss the situation of the moment.” In addition to encountering such colleagues, Hitler received his first sustained education in economics from Feder, who illuminated the differences between capital based on “productive labor” and that generat- ed by speculation and interest, which the lecturer insisted was the province of the Jews. “Right after listening to Feder’s first lecture,” wrote Hitler, “the thought ran through my mind that I had now found the way to one ofthemostessentialpremisesfortheformationof anewparty.” In fact, there is no evidence that Hitler was thinking of starting a new party at this point, but Feder’s lectures, and those of Hofmiller and Miiller, did present him with some of the phrases and ideas that he soon BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM & UEZ7,  128 B= WHERE GHOSTS WALKED employed in his political work. They helped him to crystallize his think- ing, to harden inchoate anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist impulses into an all- embracing conspiracy theory and crusading ideology. At the same time, the courses gave him the confidence to speak his mind to his fellow stu- dents and to hone his famous oratorical skills. When another student dared to speak on behalf of the Jews, Hitler rebuffed him and (at least according to his own account of the incident) convinced “the overwhelm- ing majority of the students.” Hitler’s forensic abilities caught the attention of Professor von Miller. One day the professor noticed a group of students engaged in spirited dis- cussion. As he recalled in his memoirs, “The men seemed spellbound by a man in their midst, who railed at them uninterruptedly in a strangely guttural yet passionate voice. Ihad the unsettling feeling that their excite- ment was his work and simultaneously the source of hisown power. Isaw a pale, thin face under an unsoldierly shock of hanging hair, and striking large light blue eyes that glittered fanatically.” After the next lecture Miiller waited to see ifthis strange man would raise his hand to ask a question, but he did not. Still, the professor’s inter- est was piqued. “Do you know that you have a natural orator among your group?” he asked Mayr. Upon learning whom the professor meant, Mayr said, “Oh, that’s our Hitler from the List Regiment.” Twenty-five years later Miller commented: “I could not have known that here I was face- to-face with the bloody man of destiny who would soon mesmerize an entire people for two decades with his obsessive oratory, pulling them through a maelstrom of sacrifice, heroism, hopes, crimes, and endless mis- ery into a horrific collapse, compared to which the upheaval and destruc- tion we had previously experienced seemed a harmless prelude.” In July 1919 Captain Mayr assigned Hitler to lecture in the barracks around Munich. Excited to have a captive audience, Hitler enlightened the soldiers on the manifold evils of the international Marxist—Jewish— big-capitalist conspiracy. Enthusiastic responses from the troops con- vinced him that he was indeed an effective orator, especially before large groups. “[The] thing that Ihad always presumed from pure feeling with- out knowing itwas now corroborated: Icould ‘speak.’ ” Mayr next sent his prize speaker on a mission to a military transit camp outside Munich, where soldiers were waiting to be discharged. Hitler’s job was to turn these men, many of whom had become radicalized, into good patriots. He went about this task by giving them new targets for their anger. Rather than the former kaiser and his generals, they should learn to hate the “November criminals” who (in 1918) had “stabbed the German army in the back.” It is impossible to know how many soldiers  Hitler actually converted, but his superiors were again impressed. The commander ofthetransitcampwrote:“HerrHitler,if|mightputitthis way, is the born people’s speaker, and by his fanaticism and his crowd appeal he clearly compels the attention of his listeners, and makes them think his way.” Hitler returned to Munich in late August and promptly took another important step toward a career in politics: He wrote his first position paper. The occasion was a request from Mayr to reply to a letter he had received from a former army agent named Adolf Gemlich regarding “the Jewish question.” Why were the Jews such a curse? In his response Hitler argued that the Jews represented more than a social, economic, or reli- gious problem; they were a “race tuberculosis.” They must be combated with a “methodical legal struggle” culminating in their “deliberate removal.” Because the current government in Berlin could not be expect- ed to carry out such a policy, Germany needed a new “government of national strength” led by “national personalities possessing leadership and profound inner feelings of responsibility.” At about the time that Hitler wrote this revealing letter—mid- September 1919—he was ordered by Mayr to shift his focus from investi- gating internal military matters to monitoring the political scene in Munich. The army leadership wanted to keep watch on the welter of new organizations in the Bavarian capital. These ran the gamut from the Society of Communistic Socialists to the radical rightist Schutz- und Trutzbund (League for Defense and Attack). Some of these groups, the army reasoned, merited encouragement; others might have to be under- mined or suppressed. On 12 September Hitler was sent by Mayr to investigate one of the least imposing of the new parties, the Deutsche Arbeiterparte1 (German Workers’ Party), which we recall had been founded in January 1919 by Anton Drexler and Karl Harrer. Since then the party had not made much progress. Even now ithad only a few dozen members and no significant financial backing. Yet who knew? It might eventually amount to some- thing. TheDAP meetingthatHitlerattendedwasheldinadingybackroom of the Sternecker brewery. He arrived in a baggy suit rather than his mil- itary uniform, and he had trimmed his drooping mustache to the tidy lit- tle patch that became his trademark. He did not, however, try to hide his army affiliation, truthfully signing the guest book as Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler, Second Infantry Regiment. The main speaker that evening was Feder. As usual, he belabored the evils of unproductive capital and interest slavery. More interesting for BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM & 129  130 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Hitler was the discussion that followed. He was supposed to monitor this carefully for clues to the nature and potential usefulness of the little party. ButHitlercouldnotsimplysitbackandtakenotes.When oneofthedis- cussants, a professor from the university, argued that Bavaria should secede from Germany and form a union with Austria, Hitler (according to his account in Mein Kampf) demanded the floor and gave “the learned gentleman my opinion on this point.” Bavaria, he contended, must remain an integral part of the Reich and help lead it out of its current predicament. Hitler conveyed this message so effectively that Anton Drexler, sitting on the platform, whispered to one of his colleagues, “This one has a big mouth! We could use him!” Before Hitler left, Drexler made sure that the visitor picked up a copy of his pamphlet My Political Awakening, which related how he had seen through the subterfuges of Marxism and awakened to the dangers of Jewish financial manipulation. The pamphlet also urged class reconciliation in the name of national revival and called for an authoritarian government to replace the parlia- mentary regime in Berlin. Hitler read Drexler’s little work with interest, for the mechanic’s awakening seemed to mirror his own. He was also intrigued by Drexler’s “national Socialist” mixture of anticapitalist and nationalistic motifs. The notion of winning over the workers for the nation was something that Hitler was also coming to see as imperative. On the other hand, Hitler was not overly impressed by the DAP; itwas just “a new organization like somany others.” He was therefore taken aback when, about a week later, he received a postcard saying that he had been “accepted” for membership in the DAP and requesting his presence at a leadership committee meeting a few days hence at a tavern called the Altes Rosenbad. What a way for a party to win new members! he said to himself. Nonetheless, he decided he would take a closer look at the party. At the Altes Rosenbad Hitler found conditions even worse than he had expected. Drexler and the other men were sitting in a shabby room under “the murky light of a broken gas lamp.” Drexler introduced Hitler to Harrer, a clubfooted sportswriter who described himself as “chairman of the national organization.” From the minutes of the previous meeting Hitler learned that the party had a total of seven marks and fifty pfennigs to itsname. As the meeting progressed, he also discovered that the DAP had no formal program, no printed propaganda (save Drexler’s little book), not even a rubber stamp. Yet Hitler began to sense that the very weaknesses of this group offered him opportunities for advancement. As he recalled in Mein Kampf, “This  absurd little organization with its few members seemed to me to possess the one advantage that ithad not frozen into an ‘organization’ but left the individual an opportunity for real personal activity.” Thus, instead of throwing Drexler’s invitation back in his face, he formally confirmed his membership on 19 September 1919. “It was,” he later wrote, “the most decisive resolve of my life.” Hitler’s description of this moment failed to mention that he had to obtain special dispensation from Captain Mayr to join the DAP since Reichswehr personnel were not supposed to become members of political parties. In his 1941 memoir Mayr claimed that he made an exception in Hitler’s case to please General Ludendorff, who had recently returned to Germany from exile in Sweden. Ludendorff and his allies, wrote Mayr, were shopping around “like Hollywood scouts” for someone who had the talent to win over the German masses for the nationalist cause. At first they were thinking along the lines of a“German Joan of Arc” and “hunt- ed diligently through the Bavarian mountains for a red-headed peasant girl who could be sold as a goddess, a divine messenger sent straight from Valhalla to wake up the Germans and save them from their bondage by leading them to victory and everlasting glory.” But finding no such crea- ture, they turned to Mayr for help. He concluded (so he says) that his own Adolf Hitler, the little corporal with the big mouth, might do nicely in this role. He could certainly incite fanatical passions, and he was lowly enough to be held in check by his masters. Mayr therefore gave Hitler his blessing to join the DAP, along with a stipend of twenty gold marks per week to be used to help the little party get on its feet. Although the imagery is pleasing, it is highly doubtful that Mayr offered his prize speaker to Ludendorff as Germany’s best answer to Joan of Arc. At this time Ludendorff was still in Berlin and not in regular con- tact with Mayr. The captain’s account was clearly aided by hindsight and a lively imagination, not to mention a desire to inflate his own importance as “Hitler’s boss.” The reality is that Mayr and the Bavarian Reichswehr command wereanxioustoslipHitlerintotheDAP becausetheirintrepid investigator—his self-serving account in Mein Kampf notwithstanding— had made the group sound like something the army ought to further in its effort to influence the political climate in Munich. Munich's “Wolf” As Hitler was making his momentous decision to join the DAP, the city in which the fledgling party was headquartered continued to toss about BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM #® 131  1352 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED on the rough waters of economic misery and political anxiety. In mid-July General von Oven and his troops left the city, on |August martial law was lifted, and shortly thereafter the state government returned to Munich. But these outward signs of normality did nothing to diminish popular anxieties about public security. The Civil Guard movement grew apace, padding its ranks with such pillars of the community as Miiller, Spengler, and Thomas Mann. Bourgeois insecurity was heightened by economic distress and social dislocation. Food costs continued to soar. In early summer a police report expressed alarm over the “fantasy prices” for many items, especially the fresh fruit sold by “unscrupulous street peddlers.” In August the food office warned that there was only enough corn and wheat on hand for another fourteen days. A little later Thomas Mann’s wife, Katia, reported a“depressing airofcrisisintown” astheresultofadoubling oftheprice of bread and a decline of the value of the mark. Of course, all Germany was having to cope with high inflation, but Munich was especially hard hit because ithad a high percentage of the most vulnerable groups: small producers and retailers, civil servants, white-collar employees, and retired people living on fixed pensions. Escalating socioeconomic miseries generated a wave of anti-Semitic agitation. A police report of 22 November 1919 spoke of Judenhetze (attacks on Jews) attributable to the belief that this group was behind the “increased usury, profiteering, and smuggling.” At the turn of the year factory workers distributed flyers proclaiming: “Our misery isdue entire- ly to the Jews who have infested our fatherland. They should be sum- marily expelled. On Silvester [January 1],Munich’s work force will make good on its threat—‘Out with the Jews, or Down with the weak-willed government.’ ” This threat turned out to be beer hall bravado, but it illus- trated that in allegedly “classless” Munich one thing really was classless: militant anti-Semitism. The number of anti-Semitic incidents, moreover, continued to mount with the inflation curve. In early 1921 a Jewish syna- gogue on the Rudolfstrasse was vandalized, and members ofaJewish club were attacked and beaten. The Bavarian Ministry of the Interior pleaded with the Munich police to take a firmer line against the perpetrators of racist attacks, “so as to dampen the impression that the authorities take less seriously outrages committed by anti-Semites than those committed by the Left.” One of the realities of life in Munich, in fact, was that the authorities were severe with offenders having left-wing credentials, while practicing benign neglect when itcame to offenders from the Right. The trials of the Reds accused of participating in the Luitpoldgymnasium hostage mur-  ders took place in fall 1919. The six defendants were found guilty and immediately executed. Alois Lindner, the would-be assassin of Erhard Auer, was arrested in Austria and extradited to Munich on condition that he would not be sentenced to death. Convicted of attempted murder and manslaughter, he was sentenced to fourteen years’ imprisonment (five of which he served before he died). All in all, Bavarian courts handed down some 1,809 prison sentences in connection with the revolution; the pris- oners on average served three quarters of their terms. By contrast, none of the Free Corps men who had committed murders or other atrocities dur- ing the “liberation” of Munich had to pay for their crimes, and the police habitually turned a blind eye to the ongoing attacks against Jews or mem- bers of leftist organizations. Indeed, the Munich police president called for the wholesale expulsion of Eastern Jews and the “internment” of rad- icals, especially “intellectual, academic trash.” Another telling index of official sensibility was the judicial fate of Count Arco, the murderer of Kurt Eisner. His trial took place in January 1920. Because he did not refute the charges against him, the court had no choice but to convict him of first-degree murder and to sentence him to death. The judges, however, passed this sentence knowing it would be revised. Indeed, on the very next day the Bavarian Landtag commuted Arco’s sentence to life imprisonment, with the possibility of further revi- sions later on. Justifying its intervention, the parliament argued that Arco had acted “out of patriotic motives” and was free’of any “personal feeling ofhatred” toward hisvictim. Arco was sent to Landsberg Fortress, where he enjoyed a comfortable suite of rooms, the opportunity to entertain guests, and the freedom to take walks in town. But he did not have to endure even this comfortable confinement for long. On 13 April 1924 the Bavarian government par- doned him and allowed him to return to Munich, where he became active in Nazi politics. ay ~AsArcowasbeginninghissentenceinLandsberg,AdolfHitlerwas busy trying to turn the little party he had just joined into something more formidable than an obscure coterie of beer hall malcontents. The first order of business, he decided, was to make the group better known to the public. In early November he convinced his colleagues in the DAP’s lead- ership committee to advertise an upcoming meeting in the press, instead of relying merely on posters and word of mouth. The meeting in question was held in a basement room of the Hofbrauhaus that could hold 130 people. To the party’s delight, 111 appeared. This was the largest crowd the DAP had ever attracted, and it seemed to prove that Hitler knew what he was doing. A few days later, at \ 2Q)- Acreos mo Pieri as eug 4Sly J BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM #® 133  134 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED the Eberlbraukeller, he harangued some 300 people about the Versailles Treaty, which he called an iron yoke that could be broken only by German iron. By all accounts, his speech was effective, but the DAP meetings held biweekly during the next month did not fill the halls Hitler had rented. Harrer became nervous about the costs, accusing Hitler of overextending the party in his drive for public attention. Hitler, for his part, saw Harrer as an “eternal doubter” whose caution was holding the party back. With the support of the new members he was bringing in, Hitler managed to force Harrer out of the party leadership in December 1919. At about the same time Hitler secured a headquarters for the party in aroomattheSterneckerbrewery,wherehehadwitnessedhisfirstDAP meeting. For its shabby quarters the party paid fifty marks a month, or about one dollar at the steadily decreasing rate of exchange. To meet this and other expenses, including a typewriter and some rubber stamps (finally), the party collected modest dues. To judge from Munich newspapers and police records, the DAP in late 1919 was still an obscure bunch. By far the largest force on the right was the Einwohnerwehr, which paid little attention to the DAP. The most prominent vélkisch organization was the Schutz- und Trutzbund, which was rich enough to rent the largest beer halls for its meetings. Hitler was sometimes invited to these meetings, but he was never the principal speaker. When he did speak, he tried to make himself stand out by draw- ing distinctions between his own position and that of his hosts. For exam- ple, addressing the “Jewish question,” he declared that “the greatest scoundrels” were not the Jews themselves but “Germans who place them- selves at the disposal of Jews.” He also emphasized the DAP’s radicalism, declaring, “We fight the Jews because we fight big capitalism.” A little later, in a more systematic effort to give the DAP a coherent image, Hitler and Drexler drew upa party platform consisting oftwen- ty-five points. Among other issues the program demanded that “incomes unearned by work” be eliminated; all war profits be confiscated and busi- ness trusts nationalized; and large industries be made to share profits. To help maintain a “healthy middle class,” the platform advocated turning over department stores to small retailers and granting most state contracts to little producers. Shortly after the new platform had been drawn up, the DAP, at Hitler’s urging, changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP)—in popular parlance, Nazis. The new name, with its inclusion of the term national, was meant to show that the group’s radicalism must not be confused with Marxism. This was to be a  Germany-first enterprise, totally hostile to traditional leftist internation- alism. The Twenty-five Points and the new name were announced at a meet- ing in the Hofbrauhaus on 24 February 1920, three days after leftists in the city had commemorated the first anniversary of Eisner’s death. This time Hitler had rented the hall’s huge banquet room. Worried about fill- ing this cavernous space, he had covered Munich with posters printed in brilliant red, a provocation both to the Marxist Left and to the traditional “black” Right. But the tactic proved a good one, for the meeting drew more than two thousand people. Not all of them, however, were there to cheer. As Hitler began to speak, some in the audience began to throw their beer steins at him, a traditional Munich way of expressing disagree- ment. Deftly ducking the steins, Hitler paused to allow his hardier sup- porters to attack the protesters with rubber truncheons, whips, and steins of their own. Eventually he was able to resume his speech and announce the party platform, which brought warm applause. As he called the meeting to a close a little later, Hitler had reason to feel satisfied. The unprepossessing outfit he had joined four months previous- lynow had an ambitious program and anew name; ithad staged itsfirst “mass meeting” and showed that itcould defend itself in the stein wars. The large turnout suggested that it was beginning to make a mark in Munich. Later Hitler could write with some justification: “When I final- ly closed the meeting, I was not alone in thinking that a wolf had been born that was destined to break into the herd of deceivers and misleaders of the people.” The Kapp Putsch Of course, Munich was not the only city in Germany to harbor groups of embittered men who could not reconcile themselves to the new republi- can system. The national capital itself had its share of dedicated counter- revolutionaries. In winter 1919-1920 a number of local rightists formed an organization called the Nationalist Association, whose goal was to destroy the democratic order. Leaders of the group were Walther von Liittwitz, commander of the Berlin Military District, and Wolfgang Kapp, a Prussian government official and veteran of the wartime Fatherland Party. The association’s patron saint was‘General Ludendorff, who after returning to Germany from his brief Swedish exile was hold- ing court in Berlin’s opulent Hotel Adlon for a motley circle of rightist desperadoes. BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM & 135  136 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED The Nationalist Association’s frustrations reached a boiling point in February 1920, when the central government ordered the demobilization of sixty thousand soldiers to accommodate the Allies’ demilitarization edict. Among the units to be disbanded was the Second Naval Brigade under Captain Ehrhardt, which in an earlier incarnation had helped sup- press the Munich soviet. After being absorbed into the provisional. Reichswehr, the brigade had set up headquarters at Déberitz outside Berlin, where itimpatiently awaited a new call for action. When the order to disband came instead, Ehrhardt and his allies tried to persuade Defense Minister Noske to rescind it;when that proved fruitless, they decided to move against the regime. On the night of 12 March the Ehrhardt Brigade marched into Berlin preceded by an assault company of heavy artillery. The men wore their trademark swastika helmets and chanted: “Worker, worker, what’s to be your plight /When the Ehrhardt Brigade’s ready to fight? /The Ehrhardt Brigade smashes everything to bits /So woe, woe, woe to you, you work- er son of a bitch!” Learning of the brigade’s approach, the central government appealed to the army leadership to defend the republic, but General Hans von Seeckt, chief of the Reichswehr Truppenamt (the new equivalent of the outlawed General Staff), responded that “troops do not fire on troops... . When the Reichswehr fires on Reichswehr, then all comradeship within the officer corps has vanished.” Deprived of military support, the cabinet fled to Dresden and later to Stuttgart. As the government was leaving, Ehrhardt’s men marched through the Brandenburg Gate to be greeted by Ludendorff, Liittwitz, and Kapp, who was decked out in top hat and tails as the titular head of the new regime. From all appearances, the Kapp Putsch was a resounding success. In fact, however, like so many putschists before and since, Kapp and his allies were unprepared to govern what they had so boldly seized. The first sign of confusion was their inability to find anyone to type the man- ifesto announcing their seizure of power. Eventually, after two days had been lost, Kapp’s daughter consented to do it.Other necessary paperwork was held up because President Ebert’s officials, in a cruel but brilliant act of sabotage, had hidden all the rubber stamps before fleeing. The new rulers also had no money to pay their troops. Kapp instructed Ehrhardt to take the necessary funds from the State Treasury, but the latter refused on the ground that he was “an officer, not a bank robber.” Most of the gov- ernmental bureaucracy stayed loyal to Ebert, resolutely ignoring the putschists. Seeckt, though unwilling to mobilize troops against the coup, also refused to work for it.  While the Kappists wallowed in ineptitude and Seeckt sat warily on the fence, the workers of Berlin took matters in hand by staging the most effective general strike in German history. Trams stopped running; facto- ries emptied; stores closed; waiters took off their aprons. A regime that had difficulty typing its own manifestos could hardly stay afloat in such circumstances, and after just four days of chaos and irresolution Kapp decided to call itquits. Grandly announcing that he had accomplished all his aims, he hopped on a plane bound for Sweden, Ludendorff’s refuge in 1918. As for the latter, he felt obliged to flee once again, but this time he headed south: to Bavaria. Ehrhardt’s disgruntled soldiers marched back to Déberitz but not before venting their frustration on the Berliners. As they were leaving, a young boy mocked them. Two of the men broke ranks and clubbed him to death. A crowd assembled to protest, whereupon the soldiers fired point-blank into the mass of people, killing and wounding more than a dozen. The putsch attempt was also causing bloodshed in other parts of the republic. In the Ruhr area, Germany’s most industrialized region, a “Red Army” cited the danger from the Right as an excuse to wage pitched bat- tles with the Reichswehr. In industrial Saxony a short-lived “soviet” threatened to slaughter the middle classes. These events were an ugly foretaste of things to come. As the sharp-witted Berlin journalist Kurt Tucholsky surmised at the time, the Kapp Putsch was an “unsuccessful dress rehearsal” for a drama whose opening night was merely postponed. In Munich the opening night came sooner. Expecting to liberate not just Berlin but the entire Reich, the Kappists had made contact with rightist elements throughout the country, including Munich. Liittwitz maintained ties to Mohl, while Kapp was close to Julius Lehmann and the racist publicist Dietrich Eckart (about whom more below). Nevertheless the northerners had failed to inform the southerners of their exact plan of action, and the putsch caught Munich by surprise. Once they had learned of the takeover in Berlin, however, rightist forces in Munich were quick to voice their support. Some army officers and Civil Guards called for an extension of the coup to Bavaria. To pre- empt any such action, Munich’s Socialist workers staged a general strike. General von Mohl, though in sympathy with some of the Kappists’ ideals, was unwilling to see Munich taken over by the northern rebels. He declared that the Bavarian Reichswehr would protect the Hoffmann gov- ernment ifthe Kappists tried to move south. Yet ifthe Kappists were warned away from Munich, some of the local counterrevolutionaries saw that the tumultuous events in Berlin provided BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM S&S 1s)7  138 ®TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED an opportunity to rid Bavaria ofits Social Democratic government. In the early hours of 14 March a delegation consisting of Civil Guard leader Escherich, Munich Police Chief Pohner, and Dr. Gustav von Kahr, presi- dent of the Upper Bavarian government, paid a call on General von Mohl at Reichswehr headquarters. The men told Mohl that he must declare martial law and take over the government; otherwise a bloody civil war would erupt. Mohl understood this to mean that ifhe did not take action to guarantee “law and order,” the Civil Guards might try to do so them- selves. Acquiescing, he accompanied the men to see Minister President Hoffmann, who was told that the security forces could not keep the peace unless he turned over all power to the military. Unwilling to participate in this charade, Hoffmann resigned, just what his callers had wanted him to do. His cabinet, thoroughly cowed by the military and Civil Guards, voted to give Mohl the powers he asked for, then resigned en masse. Two days later, on 16 March, the Landtag appointed Gustav von Kahr Bavaria’s new premier. He took over with the promise that his government, backed by the army and guards, would ensure that tranquillity reigned in Bavaria. Thus, whereas the Kapp Putsch was a fiasco in Berlin, something like itsucceeded in Munich. The Bavarian capital, famous a year earlier as the center of Communist sub- version, now could hold itself up as amodel of conservative order. Adolf Hitler had voiced his support for the Kappists as soon as they announced their putsch. But when credible information about the coup’s further progress failed to reach Munich, Captain Mayr, who also support- ed the putsch, asked Hitler to go to Berlin to see what was happening. Hitler immediately agreed. Indeed, he was so eager to undertake this mis- sion that for the first time in his life he flew in an airplane. Lamentably for him, the craft in question was a tiny biplane that pitched about vio- lently throughout the flight, making him repeatedly sick. Accompanying Hitler on the trip was Dietrich Eckart, a well-known poet, playwright, and man-about-Munich. In looks and mannerisms, Eckart fitted the stereotype of the earthy Bavarian. Totally bald, he had an enormous paunch that bespoke many happy hours in the beer halls. He was always ready with bawdy jokes and whacks on the lederhosen. But equally true to type, he was a great hater. His “sworn enemies” were Jews and Marxists, whom he blamed for Germany’s plight, as well as for the bad reviews he received for his plays and poems. He vented his hatreds in a racist sheet he published called Auf gut Deutsch (In Plain German). Here he expressed the hope that a “German savior” would soon appear on the horizon. The savior would have to be a “man of the people” as well as a bachelor. “Then we'll get the women!” predicted Eckart, a ladies’ man.  When Eckart met Hitler in late 1919, he seems to have thought that the Austrian visionary might be the redeemer he had in mind. Hitler, for his part, saw that he could profit from an association with Eckart, who had many influential friends in Munich. He also had substantial funds at his disposal from patrons like Kapp and Mayr and from his well-known translation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt. He was happy enough to spend a few marks on his new friend, taking him around to restaurants and buying him a trench coat. Eckart was the first of many well-placed Miinchners who tried to make the unsophisticated Hitler a little more worldly. On their trip to Berlin Eckart hoped to introduce Hitler to the Kappists, some of whom he knew personally. Alas, the men landed in Berlin just as the putsch was collapsing and the leaders were fleeing. Hitler would have liked to stay in town for a while, but Eckart insisted upon returning immediately to Munich. Hitler’s only consolation was that he was able to return by train. “Traitors Fall to the Feme!” Gustav von Kahr, Bavaria’s new premier, liked to contrast himself with Kurt Eisner, and indeed, the two seemed polar opposites. The scion of a Protestant family that for generations had advised Bavaria’s Catholic kings, Kahr was a short, powerfully built man with rough facial features, close-cropped hair, and a prim goatee. He favored black suits and old- fashioned high-collared shirts. Full of pious rectitude, he lacked imagina- tion, striking contemporaries as “colorless.” His goal, however, was not to be exciting but to render Munich and Bavaria safe once again for people of his tastes and values. Like many conservative Bavarians, he also hoped that his capital might become the springboard for a monarchist revival throughout Central Europe. His tragedy was that in trying to make Munich a bastion of conservative order, he helped further the rise of the radical Right. Following the Kapp Putsch, extreme right-wingers and disgruntled nationalists from all over Germany descended upon Munich as if, as Feuchtwanger proposed, itpossessed some “magical” attraction. Munich’s allure for counterrevolutionaries was not, however, very mysterious: Because of the influence of Prime Minister von Kahr, Police Chief Péhner, and the local Reichswehr command, rightist agitators and putschists on the lam from the law could operate openly on the banks of the Isar. Among the first to find refuge in Munich was Captain Ehrhardt, BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM & ish)  140 TM® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED wanted by the Berlin police for his part in the Kapp affair. Invited to the Bavarian capital by Péhner, Ehrhardt established a new headquarters on Franz-Josef-Strasse. Through the good offices ofJulius Lehmann and the Thule Society, he was able to find seasonal employment for members of his demobilized Naval Brigade in farms outside town. To keep their mil- itary skills intact, Ehrhardt’s men joined the Einwohnerwehr or the more radical Bund Oberland, an outgrowth of the Freikorps Oberland, which had fought against the Munich soviet. Another Kapp refugee was Dr. Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, a prissy little man who wore a pince-nez and immaculately tailored suits. A native of the Baltic region, he became the liaison between Munich’s volkisch leaders and its large community of White Russians. While the native rightists plotted the downfall of the Weimar system, the expatriate Russians dreamed of expelling the Bolshevists from their homeland. The major figure among Munich’s burgeoning community of rightist refugees was General Ludendorff, who, as we noted, had come south as soon as the Kapp adventure turned sour. He took up residence ina villa in the Munich suburb of Ludwigshéhe. His new quarters became a kind of vdlkisch Lourdes, with rightist pilgrims hastening there in search of inspiration. Among them was Adolf Hitler, who was now a private citi- zen, having been released from the army on 31 March 1920. Ex-Corporal Hitler was overjoyed to meet Ludendorff face-to-face. He became con- vinced that he and the general must work together to save Germany. Some of the men who congregated around Ludendorff and Ehrhardt in Munich established a shadowy outfit called Organisation Consul (the name derived from an alias, Consul Eichmann, used by Ehrhardt), which dedicated itselftoa brutal terror campaign against “enemies of the Reich.” Headquartered in Ehrhardt’s offices on Franz-Josef-Strasse, the OC was made up primarily of ex-Naval Brigade personnel and Oberland veterans. The group’s unofficial leader was Manfred von Killinger, the ex- Freikorps thug who had taken such delight in the suppression of the Munich soviet. Members of the OC took oaths of secrecy and pledged their loyalty unto death. Any member who betrayed the organization could count on being murdered himself. Their motto was “Traitors Fall to the Feme,” Feme being the code word for the hit squad attached to the group. Although obsessed with secrecy, the OC did not have to worry that the authorities in Munich would give itmuch trouble. Itenjoyed support and protection from Police Chief Péhner, who provided its members with fake identification papers and allowed them to use his own office for espe- cially sensitive business. The army too provided support, as it did for many of the radical rightist organizations in Munich.  The OC’s plans called for the assassination of the republic’s top offi- cials, but as if warming up for this task, it began its murder campaign with smaller fryinitsown backyard. InOctober 1920 theOC murdered a young servant girl named Marie Sandmeier, who had apparently informed the Allied Disarmament Commission that a former employer was hiding illegal arms on his estate. Just after she turned over this infor- mation, a man describing himself as amember of the commission called on her and (according to one of her housemates) asked her to go for a walk in Foérstenried Park to discuss her revelations. Her strangled body was found in the park under a sign saying: “You lousy bitch; you have betrayed your Fatherland. The Black Hand has judged you.” Shortly thereafter a waiter named Hartung who had worked for the Civil Guard as a spy made the mistake of threatening to expose a guard arms cache if he did not get a higher salary. Instead he got a trip to the bottom of the Isar with stones tied to his legs and eleven holes in his head. The Munich police learned the identity of the murderers of Sandmeier and Hartung from Civil Guard members, who boasted of having enlisted the OC to get rid of these “traitors.” A conscientious detective planned to arrest the killers, but Police Chief Péhner delayed the investigation long enough for the men to flee the country. Thereafter he automatically gave the OC the names of citizens who brought compromising information about its activities to the police. When one citizen came to Péhner and asked ifhe was aware that there were “political murder gangs” operating in Munich, he replied, “Yes, but not enough of them.” Emboldened by its apparent license to kill, the OC next gunned down the leader of the Independent Socialists in Bavaria, Dr. Karl Gareis. He had dared call for a crackdown on political terror. In celebration of his murder, rightist thugs strolled through Schwabing, where Gareis had been killed, singing, “O hero brave whose shot made Gareis fall / And brought deliverance to all /From the Socialist swine. ...” In August 1921 Munich’s OC moved farther afield and sent two of its killers to southwestern Germany to assassinate the prominent Center Party politician Matthias Erzberger, who was vacationing in the Black Forest. Erzberger was seen by the Right as one of the prime “November criminals” because he had signed the armistice agreement in 1918. Hitler had demanded that he be hanged, since shooting was too “honorable” for him. Unconcerned with such fine points, the OC assassins dispatched their man by pumping twelve bullets into him as he was taking a stroll. The police in Baden were soon able to establish the identities of the killers as Heinrich Tillissen and Heinrich Schulz, both former members of the Ehrhardt Naval Brigade. They also learned that the men had BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM ® 141  142 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED returned to Munich after the murder. But when officials of the Baden police traveled to the Bavarian capital to arrest the killers, they discovered that their quarry had taken flight to Hungary. Itseems that Péhner him- self had provided them with false passports. The only figure to be arrest- ed in connection with the assassination was Manfred von Killinger, accused of masterminding the plot. Tried for murder in Munich by sym- pathetic judges, he was acquitted of the charge and set free. Among the first to congratulate Killinger was Hitler, who saw to itthat the old free- booter found a new political home in the Nazi Party. The Erzberger murder focused national attention on Munich as a breeding ground of right-wing terrorism. A Baden newspaper fumed that the Bavarian authorities were so primitive that in comparison with them “niggers in the bush seemed like carriers of high civilization.” Leftist and liberal groups all over Germany demanded that the central government in Berlin do something to combat the “reactionary tide” ema- nating from Bavaria. In response the republican regime appealed to Kahr to impose some checks on the rightist groups congregating in Munich. Kahr, not surprisingly, rejected this appeal as “interference” in Bavarian affairs. He proposed that Berlin could learn by Munich’s example and purge itsown house ofsubversive and unpatriotic elements. Munich versus Berlin The troubled relationship between Munich and Berlin was further strained by a prolonged battle over the fate of Bavaria’s Civil Guards. At the Spa Conference in July 1920 the Allies demanded the dissolution of Germany’s paramilitary self-defense groups on the ground that they could facilitate mobilization. Most of the units were disbanded over the next few months. Aware of how sensitive this issue was in Bavaria, how- ever, the central government tried for a time to persuade the Allies to make an exception for that state. When these efforts failed, Berlin joined the powers in demanding the dissolution of the Bavarian units. Kahr, prodded by Escherich, refused to comply. The Allies therefore threatened to send troops into Germany. Determined to avoid such an intrusion, Berlin issued a new ultimatum to Munich: Disband the guards or face occupation by military forces from the North. Escherich declared that he would not bow to force and bragged that the Einwohnerwehr was so strong that no one would dare thwart it. Referring to the news that Prussian troops might help disarm the local Civil Guards, he warned that any Prussian who tried this had better have made out his will. Kahr  offered his “personal protection” to guard members who disobeyed the disarmament edict. Hitler, for his part, declared that without its Civil Guards Bavaria would be “defenseless” against enemies from within. In the end, however, Kahr was not foolhardy enough to plunge Bavaria into a military conflict with Berlin. Nor was the Bavarian Reichswehr anxious to take on its northern counterparts. In late spring 1921 the pre- mier put pressure on Escherich to comply with the dissolution order, at least outwardly. The Civil Guard leader, for all his bluster, could not resist this pressure, since behind it stood the Reichswehr. On 4 June 1921 the Bavarian Einwohnerwehr, the largest of postwar Germany’s self-defense organizations, was officially dissolved. The dissolution, however, was only superficial. Most Civil Guard members hid their guns rather than turn them in to the Allied Disarmament Commission. Many others simply switched over to other paramilitary groups that continued to operate in Munich—most notably the Bund Bayern-und-Reich, which, like the Civil Guard, combined regionalist and nationalist motifs. Still others drifted into radical groups like the Nazis’ new party army, the Sturmabteilung (SA). The Einwohnerwehr’s dissolution in fact turned out to be a windfall for Hitler because in addition to bringing him new personnel, itsomewhat reduced the competition for influence in Munich’s cluttered right-wing scene. For Kahr, the necessity of giving in to Berlin was a humiliation, and he suffered another one shortly thereafter, when the republican government successfully forced Munich to terminate the martial law arrangements under which local officials were disregarding citizens’ civil rights. Losing the backing of the Bavarian parliament and his own party, the BVP, Kahr resigned in September 1921. Péhner too stepped down but in compensa- tion was allowed to become a judge on Bavaria’s highest court. Not long thereafter he also found his his way into the Hitler camp. With the departure of Kahr and Péhner, and the advent of a less stri- dently confrontationalist Bavarian government under Count Hugo von Lerchenfeld, tensions between Munich and Berlin relaxed somewhat. Popular sentiment in the Bavarian capital, however, remained bitterly anti-Berlin. Extreme particularist factions like the Monarchist Party agi- tated for secession from the republic. Munich’s top religious leader, Archbishop Michael von Faulhaber (who was promoted to cardinal in October 1921), admonished his fellow priests to keep their “consciences clean and free relative to the republic,” which he said was born out of the “sin of the revolution” and stood “under the curse of God.” No one in Munich, however, shouted the antirepublican message loud- er than Adolf Hitler. In speech after speech he railed about the “Berlin BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM ® 143  144 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Asiatics” who were bent on making Bavarians do their bidding. By no means a Bavarian particularist, not to mention a separatist, Hitler nonetheless understood that in Munich hatred of the republic was inti- mately connected with hostility toward Berlin and its centralizing bureaucrats. As long as Germany was ruled by the Saupreussen, he was eager to project himself as a Son of the South. Soon Hitler was also feeling confident enough to challenge Munich’s best-known rightists on questions of strategy. On 14 June 1922 the Nazi leader attended a meeting with Ludendorff, Kahr, Epp, and Georg Pittinger, who headed the Bavarian Bloc for the Maintenance of Public Order. When some at the meeting suggested that strategic compromises with the Berlin government offered the surest route to German revival, Hitler protested vehemently, insisting instead on a tactical alliance with the Communists “for the purpose of delivering them from the hands of the Jews and of making use of them later to get the power into our own hands.” Hitler’s heretical suggestion provoked his expulsion from the meeting. Before storming out, he shouted, “You will live to regret the treachery which you are committing against the German race today; you will recognize too late what a power I have behind me.” Hitler was getting ahead of himself here—his “power” was not yet all that evident—but his behavior at the meeting showed that he was already restless under the tutelage of his more established colleages and was will- ing to stand up against all of them—even the exalted Ludendorff. Yet Hitler’s go-it-alone bravado was also partly bluff; he knew that he could not make genuine headway on the national scene without help from Munich’s influential community ofconservative nationalists. In June 1922, shortly after Hitler’s stormy confrontation with Kahr and company, President Ebert paid an official visit to Munich. The president had been scheduled to come a month earlier to open the German Trades Exhibition but had canceled his appearance at the last moment because of a scandal over political symbolism. To honor his visit, the Lerchenfeld government had agreed to fly the flag of the republic at the train station and exhibition building. However, rioters had torn down and burned the first banner, while the second one, in the words ofa local newspaper, had been blown down by “the patriotic wind of Bavaria.” When, after promis- es of enhanced security, Ebert announced he would come to Munich after all, Hitler issued a proclamation declaring that the visit was “an insult to Bavaria,” and he threatened to use force to disrupt it. In the end Ebert was able to make his visit without being attacked, but he could hardly have enjoyed his stay. As the British consul general reported, “The President arrived yesterday morning and was given a  chilly reception .... He had the unpleasant experience of being hooted at wherever he went. There was no display of troops or bunting in the President’s honour, and probably most foreign tourists here were entirely unaware that the head of the German State was visiting Munich.” On 24 June 1922 Germany was shaken by another political assassina- tion, that of Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau. As a Jew and as one of the officials responsible for fulfilling the terms of the Versailles Treaty, Rathenau was a prime target for the right-wing hit squads. The killers came from the Berlin cell of the OC and carried out their bloody mission in the republican capital itself. It was an especially brazen affair: The murderers pulled up alongside Rathenau’s open car as he was driving to work and sprayed him with machine-gun fire, then finished him off with a grenade. The Rathenau murder galvanized the Bavarian capital as much as any city in the republic. The Munich City Council sought to pass a resolution condemning the killing; itwas unable to do so, however, because the SPD and BVP delegates could not agree on appropriate wording. The Socialists’ text called on the central government to adopt tough new mea- sures aimed at preventing further attacks on republican officials. The conservatives merely urged that “responsible authorities” do all they could to combat “efforts to disturb law and order, from whatever direc- tion they might come.” While the Socialists sponsored a rally honoring the murdered minister, the Nazis distributed flyers saying, “Rathenau, now he’s dead!! Ebert and Scheidemann, however, are still alive. To the gallows with the Jew government!” Hitler was not among the Nazi demonstrators, for he was in Stadelheim Prison serving a month’s sentence for breach of the peace. It seems that he and his followers had been a little too forceful in breaking up a rival political rally. The Lerchenfeld government wanted to show that even rightists had to respect the law. Hitler’s sentence, however, was ridiculously light, and he received many privileges in jail, including a pri- vate toilet. While he welcomed the Rathenau murder, he had no illusions that a few assassinations would substantially change the picture. He was working for the day when the courts themselves would execute “10,000 of the criminals responsible for the November treason.” As the Munich Socialists hoped, the Reichstag hastily passed a Law for the Protection of the Republic, which contained restrictions on antire- publican groups and new penalties to be imposed on those who urged vio- lence against the republic or its officials. One of its provisions required that all cases of treason and political murder be tried in a new central court in Leipzig. Bavarian conservatives opposed this measure because it BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM & 145  146 B= WHERE GHOSTS WALKED undercut their state’s own People’s Courts. Thus, on 24 July 1922, three days after the Reichstag’s law was published, the Bavarian Landtag passed a Decree for the Protection of the Republic, which would “replace nation- al law” in instances of political transgressions. Bavaria’s rightists backed up their government’s stand on states’ rights with a massive demonstration on Munich’s Kénigsplatz. The sponsors were a loose coalition of right-wing groups calling themselves the Fatherland Front. Among the speakers was Adolf Hitler, recently released from jail. Addressing the largest crowd he had ever faced, some fifty thousand people, he declared that Bavaria was “the most German land in Germany!” The “November criminals in Berlin,” he said, must not be allowed to invade sanctuaries of patriotism in their efforts to per- secute the true defenders of the national cause. He urged the assembled masses to take an oath “to save Germany in Bavaria from Bolshevism.” According to one witness, Hitler’s words were electrifying, his “mag- netism holding these thousands as one.” A Raw and Brutal Bunch Now calling himself a “writer” and living in a flat near the Isar River, Hitler saw to it that hardly a week went by without a Nazi meeting or rally. According to Munich police reports, by June 1920 the NSDAP counted eleven hundred members. A few months later Mayr could brag to the exiled Kapp about the progress the Nazis were making under Hitler: The nationalist workers’ party isthe basis for the strong commando troop we lead. Its program isstill a little awkward and fragmentary, but we will ampli- fyit.The fact isthat under this flag we have won quite a few supporters. Since July of last year I’ve been trying to strengthen the group. . .I’ve managed to bring some very competent young people to the fore. A Herr Hitler, for exam- ple, has become a dynamic force, a people’s tribune of the first rank. In the local Munich chapter we now have over 2,000 members, while in September li.e.,ayear earlier] itwas only 100. However, while the party continued to grow, the progress was not sub- stantial enough to satisfy Hitler. What the group needed, he believed, was a more effective advertising vehicle. Thus when he learned in December 1920 that the Vélkischer Beobachter (formerly the Méinchener Beobachter) was for sale, he set out to buy it. To procure the 120,000-mark asking  price, he turned to Dietrich Eckart, who squeezed half the necessary sum from Ritter von Epp and the Reichswehr, the other half from friends. Hitler was also convinced that his fledgling party needed more effec- tive ways of defending itself in the volatile atmosphere of postwar Munich. Many of the parties, especially those on the Left, maintained bands of toughs to protect their rallies and to rough up opponents. Determined that the Nazis would not be outdone in this area, Hitler set out to organize a paramilitary force that could put rival thugs to shame. The resulting Storm Troop, or SA, grew out of a “gymnastics and sports”sectionestablishedintheDAP soonafterHitlerjoinedthegroup. Its first leader was a twenty-three-year-old watchmaker named Emil Maurice, who also served as Hitler’s chauffeur. Maurice was soon suc- ceeded by Hans Ulrich Klintzsch, a veteran of the Ehrhardt Brigade and a member of the OC. In its early phase the group was dominated by demobilized soldiers and ex-Freikorps men, along with nationalistic stu- dents, artisans, and white-collar employees. Most of the men were young and rowdy since the outfit’s purpose was to fight, not to discuss fine points of party dogma. And fight they did. Starting in fall 1920, the “gymnastic section” was on hand at every Nazi rally, bouncing hecklers with use of their “life pre- servers” —rubber truncheons and wooden clubs. They also broke up rival rallies and attacked opponents in the streets. Not surprisingly, they were especially keen on beating Jews. As they marched through the streets looking for victims, they sang: “The Jew with flat feet and hooked nose and crinkly hair /He dare not breathe our German air? Throw him out!” Munich’s police did little to deter the SA from its brutal business. Maurice bragged that “despite the presence of six policemen,” his SA boys beat senseless aman in the train station who had dared call them “fresh fellows.” According to one of Hitler’s aides, Police Chief Pohner’s “toler- ance” was absolutely crucial, for without it the SA might have been banned before itcould properly establish itself. Hitler himself was aware of the importance of staying on the police’s good side. He instructed his thugs not to call the cops “Jew lackeys,” for “they hate the Jews too.” He promised that ifthe SA kept its“discipline,” itwould soon have the run of Munich. Yet Hitler was also well aware that the SA could not be too fastidious ifitwas effectively to terrorize the party’s enemies. His desire was for controlled and orchestrated violence, not for genuine restraint. Indeed, to symbolize his commitment to radical, racist politics, Hitler adopted the red-white-black swastika flag as the official emblem for the party and its fighting arm. Explaining this choice at an SA meeting, he said, “Our flag is red, because we are ‘social,’ the circle is white, because BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM #® 147  148 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED we are ‘national,’ and the swastika means that we are anti-Semitic.” The Nazis’ colors and menacing hate symbol now became commonplace in the streets of Munich. Hitler soon had cause to be thankful for the ready fists of his bullyboys. On 4 November 1921, during a Nazi rally in the Hofbrauhaus, the SA, now some three hundred strong, rose to defend their leader when he came under attack by some leftists. According to Hitler’s later account, his storm troopers threw themselves “like wolves in packs of eight or ten again and again on their enemies, and little by little thrashed them out of the hall.” In reality itwas the Munich police who cleared the hall, though the SA split some heads and thus proved its reliability. After the Hofbrauhaus imbroglio Hitler told an assembly of SA men: “We have won a major battle. You have survived a baptism of fire despite being outnumbered.” He exulted in the fact that Miinchners were calling the SA a “raw and brutal bunch who are afraid of nothing.” He also announced proudly that he had recruited the “master boxer Haymann” to give boxing lessons to selected SA members. By the next spring he hoped to have sixty to eighty trained boxers in the SA ranks, “so that the oppo- sition parties will fill their pants whenever they hear the SA name.” For all his tough talk and pugilistic fantasies, however, Hitler knew that the SA could not become a credible force without assistance from the Reichswehr, which had indicated a willingness to help support paramili- tary groups at a time when its own numbers were held in check by the Versailles Treaty. The key figure here was Ernst Rdhm, who took over from Captain Mayr as the Bavarian Reichswehr’s chief liaison with the vélkisch com- munity. A decorated war veteran, Réhm thought of himself as the sol- dier’s soldier. “I am a soldier,” he wrote in his memoirs. “I look at the world from my perspective as a soldier. A soldier cannot compromise. All my activities must be seen from this standpoint.” The captain’s military experience was written in his face, which featured a nose that had been partly shot away and a cheek deeply creased by a bullet scar. Since the end of the war he had put a lot of flesh on his short frame, the result of doing his politicking over endless steins of beer. He had joined the DAP in late 1919 and was providing itwith small subsidies from a secret Reichswehr fund at his disposal. When the DAP grew into the NSDAP and created its SA, Réhm took the fighting group under his wing, sending regular subsidies its way, along with demobilized officers, Freikorps acquain- tances, and even some active-duty soldiers. Réhm and Hitler, fellow for- mer trench rats, became such fast friends that they used the intimate Du form of address, something the stiff Hitler did with very few people.  Whether Hitler knew then that his new friend was a homosexual is unclear; ifhe did, he did not let itimpede what was obviously an invalu- able relationship. Hitler's Munich Helpers With support from the regular army, Hitler’s party was able to make its presence felt on the Munich scene, but it could not have elevated itself over competing vélkisch groups had itnot been able to grasp other help- ing hands in the Bavarian capital. Hitler himself would undoubtedly have remained a minor rabble-rouser without a little help from his friends. Perhaps themost important liftcame from elements ofMunich’s social and business elites. It may seem surprising that some wealthy citizens wished to associate with a bunch of brawlers like the Nazis. Yet it was precisely the Nazis’ reputation for brutality that made them attractive to people still terrified of the radical Left. As for Hitler, his very marginali- ty, his redolence of the seamy underside of life enhanced his appeal to bored socialites anxious to spice up their lives with the whiff of danger. Hitler’s contacts with members of Munich’s elites did not come imme- diately. In the first year or so after the NSDAP’s foundation, he had no relationship with Bavaria’s industrial and business circles because his rhetoric sounded too radical. As we have seen, as late as June 1922 he could propose a tactical alliance with the Communists. But by this time, with his growing party in need of new sources of funding, he was trying to make his message more suitable to people of wealth and standing. In an address to the conservative National Club of Berlin in May 1922, he focused on the need to fight Bolshevism, claiming that only the NSDAP was capable of wooing workers from Marxism. Among his audience was a malt coffee maker from Munich named Hermann Aust. Upon his return to Munich, Aust arranged for Hitler to meet members of the League of Bavarian Industrialists and the Herrenklub, Munich’s most fashionable men’s club. These meetings led to an invitation to address an audience of prominent businessmen in Munich’s Hall of Merchants Guild. Hitler must have impressed his listeners, for after the talk a number of them gave money to Aust with the request that he pass iton to the Nazi leader. However, the sums in question were relatively small. One cannot speak, as some leftist journalists were doing, of Hitler’s supping copiously at the well-laid table of “Big Business.” Munich was simply not the place where this kind of largess would have been forthcoming; despite its industrial growth, the BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM & 149  150 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED city still lacked a commercial establishment on the scale of Berlin or the Ruhr, and the business barons who resided there were notoriously frugal with their political donations. Hitler himself latercomplained that Munich was dominated by a “stingy petite-bourgeois mentality.” Nevertheless, these modest contributions were important, for they enabled the Nazis to stay afloat when some of the other vélkisch groups were sinking. Hitler next managed to penetrate some of Munich’s most exclusive pri- vate homes and salons. The ex-corporal could not have waltzed unintro- duced into the inner precincts of Munich high society; he needed go-betweens to drop his name and smooth his path. Hitler’s first contacts in this realm were facilitated by Dietrich Eckart, who took the young Austrian to meet his friends in the local artistic and literary community. But an even more useful social cicerone was Ernst F. Sedgwick (“Putzi”) Hanfstaengl, perhaps the most colorful personality to lend the Nazi lead- er a patrician hand. Tall, lanky, and lantern-jawed, Putzi Hanfstaengl descended on his father’s side from well-heeled Bavarian art patrons and on his mother’s from illustrious German-American stock. Hanfstaengl senior was heir to the family’s Munich-based art reproduction business, which maintained branches in Rome, Paris, Berlin, London, and New York. To prepare Putzi to take over the business, his father sent him to Harvard, where he joined the Hasty Pudding, rowed crew, and played piano at college par- ties. After graduating from Harvard, he ran his family’s art shop on Fifth Avenue, but the upsurge of anti-German sentiment during World War I convinced him to return to Germany. In 1921 he was back in Munich, working as a partner in the family business. According to his (not always reliable) memoir, Unheard Witness, Putzi met Hitler about a year after his return to Munich. As he tells the story, a former Harvard classmate serv- ing as a senior official in the American Embassy in Berlin called to say that he was sending down the embassy’s military attaché, Captain Truman Smith, to reconnoiter the political scene in Munich. Putzi agreed to show Smith around “in spite of the fact that the captain was a Yale man.” He gave Smith letters of introduction to Kahr, Ludendorff, and Count von Lerchenfeld. But Smith cast his net wider than this: One day he called Putzi to say he had met “a most remarkable fellow” named Adolf Hitler and asked if Putzi could “have a look at him.” Putzi duly went to hear Hitler speak at the Kindl beer hall and was, as he put it, “really impressed beyond measure.” He was so impressed indeed that he pledged one dollar (then worth about six thousand marks) a month to the Nazi Party and a little later turned over fifteen hundred dollars to the party from his share of the proceeds generated by the family art shop in  New York. The money was used to buy a rotary press for the Vélkischer Beobachter, allowing the paper to appear on a daily rather than weekly basis. Soon Putzi was an integral part of Hitler’s small circle of cronies in Munich. In addition to supplying much-needed cash, he ingratiated him- self with Hitler by pounding out passages from Wagner’s operas on the piano; Hitler was so smitten with Wagner than even Putzi’s rough rendi- tions sent him into ecstasy. Hanfstaengl also claims to have taught Hitler some Harvard fight songs and cheerleading drills, which allegedly so enthralled the Nazi leader that he ordered the SA to adopt them for its own use. “ ‘Rah, rah, rah!’ became ‘Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil!’ ” boasted Putzi, no doubt somewhat fancifully. The SA hardly needed Putzi Hanfstaengl to learn to march, and the young Harvard man’s value to Hitler and the party was less as a direct influence (all his efforts to enlighten the untraveled Austrian on the real- ities of life in the United State fell flat) than as an intermediary. In 1922 he helped Hitler break into Munich’s circle of wealthy Wagnerians by putting him in contact with the Bechstein and Bruckmann families. Edwin Bechstein headed the great piano firm, while his wife, Helene, presided over fashionable salons in both Munich and Berlin. Hugo Bruckmann was a publisher whose authors included Wagner’s son-in- law, Houston Stewart Chamberlain. His wife, Elsa, was a Romanian princess who spent much of her time looking down her nose at Helene Bechstein. With his intimate knowledge of Wagner, Hitler tremendously impressed his society hosts. Frau Bechstein was so taken by the young man that she tried to get him to marry her daughter, Lotte. Hitler polite- ly demurred, believing (with Eckart) that men with political ambitions should remain single. Unable to snare Hitler as a son-in-law, Helene treated him like a needy son, showering him with affection, food, and advice. On one occasion she also gave his cause a generous material shot in the arm. At a dinner party she threw for Hitler and Putzi, the latter tactlessly observed that the Nazi movement could survive for several months just on the jewelry she was wearing that evening; taking the hint, she gave Hitler some valuable objets d’art. As for motherly advice, she convinced him that an up-and-coming politician could not go around without a dinner jacket, broad-brimmed hat, and patent leather shoes, all of which she procured for him. Hitler was now. suitably attired for the Bechsteins’ salons, where he could rub shoulders with the “artistic” ele- ments of Munich’s reactionary high society. Here, to his great joy, he met Richard Wagner’s son, Siegfried, and his English-born wife, Winifred. BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM #® 154  152 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Both (especially Winifred) were to become strong backers, giving him and his movement valuable cultural respectability. As ifaware of his growing social cachet, Hitler did not confine himself to the Bechsteins’ embrace but allowed himself to be courted by their bit- ter rivals, the Bruckmanns. He dropped in at Elsa Bruckmann’s salon, which had once been graced by Nietzsche and Rilke but now attracted volkisch zealots like Rudolf Hess, Alfred Rosenberg, and Baldur von Schirach (the Nazis’ future youth leader). Another regular guest was Alfred Schuler, formerly of the Cosmic Circle, who enjoyed holding forth on the sexual symbolism of the swastika. While Herr Bruckmann helped Hitler with (probably modest) finan- cial contributions, Elsa Bruckmann, like Helene Bechstein, took itupon herself to make him salonfihig, fitfor high society. Noticing, for example, that he had no idea how to eat an artichoke or a lobster, she instructed him in these gastronomical mysteries. Seeing his awkwardness upon meeting women, she taught him how to kiss a lady’s hand. Again like her rival, Elsa outfitted Hitler in smoking jackets and fancy shoes. Perhaps inevitably Frau Bruckmann and Frau Bechstein fell into bit- ter dispute in their simultaneous efforts to housebreak Hitler. Each claimed to be the primary influence; each swore that he cared only for her. Thus Frau Bruckmann became livid over reports that Frau Bechstein had given Hitler the leather dog whip he carried on his rounds. She had given him the whip, she said. The truth was that both ladies had presented Hitler with whips, and he had cavalierly allowed each patroness to assume that she was his sole benefactress. Comical as such situations could be, they were part of a social makeover whose importance should not be underestimated. Through the solicitous instruction of his society backers, Hitler learned to move more comfortably in fashionable circles. This skill proved invaluable as he began to expand his influence beyond his original coterie of Bavarian low- brows. One might say that Hitler’s path to power was paved not only with broken heads and fiery speeches but also with properly eaten artichokes. Another important, though less socially prominent collaborator was Heinrich Hoffmann, a photographer and amateur painter. Hoffmann’s father had been court photographer to Prince Regent Luitpold and King Ludwig III; the son became court photographer to Adolf Hitler, and no modern prince could have wished for a more skillful Velazquez. Hoffmann began taking studio photos of Hitler in late 1922, placing him in poses designed to suggest a many-sided personality: brooding deep thinker; nature lover; fiery orator; SA brawler; even dashing charmer in lederhosen beefcake. Hitler actively disliked some of these shots, forbid-  ding their use for propaganda purposes. Yet on the whole Hoffmann’s work was instrumental in at once glorifying and humanizing Hitler. One of the portraits, printed on millions of postcards, became a valued icon among the faithful. Flattering photography, however, was not the only service that Hoffmann rendered to Hitler. He welcomed the Nazi leader into his comfortable home in Schwabing, where Hitler could chat with the pho- tographer’s many friends, including Ernst Rohm and an ex-Jesuit priest named Bernhard Stempfle, who edited a scurilous racist rag called the Miesbacher Anzeiger. According to Hoffmann, Hitler was at first suspi- cious of Stempfle, thinking he might be a “spy of the church party.” However, Stempfle gradually gained Hitler’s confidence and was allowed to instruct him on the inner workings of the church. Stempfle was a sometime professor at the University of Munich, whose faculty and student body constituted another important repository of support for Hitler in the early 1920s. Having emerged in the previous century as one of Germany’s leading centers of learning, the university was increasingly falling victim to racist bigotry, nationalistic mania, and intellectual provincialism. Although Munich was hardly unique among German universities in showing these tendencies, it had the reputation for harboring the most decidedly vélkisch professors and students in the republic. The signs of the times were abundant at the institution’s sprawl- ing Schwabing campus. In 1920 the great sociologist Max Weber was driven from his classroom for objecting to the clemency for Eisner’s killer, Count Arco auf Valley. In the same year university officials can- celed a guest lecture by Albert Einstein because of threatened “anti- Jewish demonstrations” by the students. Meanwhile, the association of fraternities voted overwhelmingly to exclude Jewish groups from their federation. With rising anti-Semitism and extreme nationalism came open decla- rations of enthusiasm at the university for Hitler. Karl Alexander von Miiller pushed his cause among the historians and social scientists; Stempfle rallied the theologians; Max von Gruber (of the Institute for Racial Hygiene) led an avid coterie of doctors and scientists; and Karl Escherich, brother of the Einwohnerwehr leader, took his entire Forestry Institute to hear Hitler’s lectures. What impressed the professors was the Nazi leader’s ability to articulate his message to ordinary people, a com- mon touch that most of them lacked. Later Professor von Gruber (who became somewhat wary of the Nazis) commented: “We of the middle classes were grateful for Hitler’s ability to find a following among the lit- tle people and thus to undermine the Social Democrats; in our enthusi- BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM & 13035  154 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED asm, we overlooked the dangers inherent in his demagogy. We drove out the devil with Beelzebub.” Another key Hitler supporter among the Munich professoriate was the geographer Karl Haushofer. A former military officer who became a pro- fessor in 1921, Haushofer was known for his theory of Lebensraum. Put simply, this theory argued the life-or-death necessity of physical expan- sion by culturally dominant but “land-starved” states. The geographer insisted that Germany’s destiny lay in expansion to the east. Haushofer’s ideas came to Hitler’s attention through the professor’s student assistant, Rudolf Hess, who brought the two men together in 1922. After that Haushofer became one of Hitler’s informal advisers on foreign affairs, and his theories, much watered down and vulgarized, found their way into Mein Kampf. Much as Hitler profited from his association with professors and high society types, he did not really enjoy their company and tended to spend more of his time with people whose tastes and backgrounds were closer to his own. As one of his confidants wrote: “Hitler’s associates were for the most part simple souls from the most modest homes, like his own, men who knew nothing of the great world beyond their own towns, but were enthusiastic, loyal, looking upon Hitler as not only a genius but an inspired prophet.” Itwas tempting for Hitler’s more sophisticated follow- ers to dismiss these men—as Hermann Goring later did—as “a bunch of beer-swillers and rucksackers with a limited, provincial horizon.” Yet that very provincialism could be an asset in the early 1920s because it helped Hitler plant a firm footing in the local soil. Sitting night after night in the Café Neumayr with cronies who hung on his every word, Hitler gained a stronger sense of mission. These men were the “backbone of Munich”; ifhe could conquer them so readily, why not the entire town? And then why not Germany? Aside from their collective influence as a group, several members of Hitler’s original inner circle performed key tasks for their leader and the party. For personal protection, Hitler could rely on his chief bodyguard, Christian Weber, whom another confidant described as “a typical Munich roughneck, good-hearted and naive, but of colossal nerve and strength in the Nazi cause.” A prodigious beer drinker, Weber was what the Germans call a “flesh mountain,” almost broader than tall, and a fright- ening figure when seen pitching down the street in his bulging lederho- sen and Tyrolean hat. With Weber by his side, Hitler could move around Munich with the swagger of a small-time gangster. While Weber was fast with his fists, Hermann Esser was talented with  mouth and pen. The twenty-two-year-old journalist had an instinctive feel for the moods and aspirations of ordinary Miinchners. In knowing exactly which hot buttons to push, he kept the Nazis in the news and effectively spread the word that Hitler was the last best hope for Germany. With his fine sense of the local terrain, Esser also had the job of personally meeting with individual Nazis throughout the city to explain why itwas necessary for Hitler to assume sole leadership over the party. He elucidated the new Fiihrerprinzip (leadership principle), which held that (asHitler put it)“The best organization isnot that which inserts the greatest, but that which inserts the smallest, intermediary apparatus between the leadership of amovement and itsindividual members.” Esser was so effective at this task that by the summer of 1921 Hitler was unquestioningly accepted as sole Fiihrer by all the Munich cadres. Another member of the inner circle who helped Hitler consolidate his control over the fledgling movement was Max Amann, who had been Hitler’s sergeant in the war. He retained his sergeant’s mentality, which came in handy in his efforts to impose a modicum of efficiency on the undisciplined Nazis. Hitler had given up none of his bohemian ways, and Amann hadtosummon allhisdrillmasterskillstogethimtoshowupon time at meetings and appointments. Hitler found a devoted personal helpmate and amanuensis in young Rudolf Hess, the Munich University student who introduced him to Haushofer. Like his future master, Hess had served in World War I,ris- ing to corporal and winning the Iron Cross, Second Class. During the rev- olution he had fought against the Munich soviet and had narrowly escaped being grabbed as a hostage by the Reds. After the revolution he had met Eckart, who led him to Hitler. A born follower, the tall, buck- toothed, and morbidly shy Hess decided then and there to devote himself to Hitler’s cause, a vow that he doggedly kept throughout his long life. Another young intellectual who significantly helped Hitler in the early days was Alfred Rosenberg. He was a Baltic German who had fled to Munich at the time of the Russian Revolution. Like Hess, he had joined the Thule Society and befriended Dietrich Eckart, for whose journal Auf gut Deutsch he contributed prolix pieces about race and art. He had also translated “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” an infamous forgery concocted by the czar’s police to prove that the Jews were engaged in a vast conspiracy to enslave the world. A perpetually glowering, arrogant, and surly young man, Rosenberg soon alienated many of his colleagues. His unfortunate personality, along with his failure to understand that Nazism was more about power than “philosophy,” eventually pushed him to the sidelines of the Nazi movement. In the early days, however, he BIRTHPLACE OF NAZISM 8 E55  156 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED made his mark on Hitler by aggressively arguing that Russia was an arch- foe that Germany needed to conquer in order to acquire necessary living space. Rosenberg may have been, as one commentator has noted, a “man of profound half-culture,” but it was precisely this quality that qualified him for his unofficial title as “Hitler’s co-thinker.” Years later, after Hitler had assumed power in Germany and moved to Berlin, he liked to reminisce about the early days of the party in Munich. He considered these days among the best in his life. They heightened his affection for the Bavarian city because he believed that Munich’s political and cultural atmosphere had been crucial for his own ideological forma- tion and the growth of the Nazi movement. For once the historian can only agree. Hitler’s real political education began after the suppression of the Bavarian soviet. He had been exposed to various right-wing dogmas and doctrines before coming to the Isar city in 1913, but he did not weave these notions into a coherent Weltanschauung until he started grappling with the demands of his new political vocation amid fellow vélkisch agitators in postrevolutionary Munich. Itwas alsointhisheady environment thathefirstdiscovered and honed his famous “voice,” his ability to sweep away mass audiences in a cascade ofwords. In its earliest manifestation Hitler’s chosen political vehicle was essen- tially a Munich phenomenon, with smaller offshoots elsewhere in Bavaria. The fledgling Nazi movement enjoyed crucial protection from local authorities, who, if not members of the group themselves, looked favorably on its aspirations. As Munich Police Chief Péhner later explained, “[We] were convinced from the start that [the Nazi movement] was the one most likely to take root among workers infected with the Marxist plague and win them back into the nationalist camp. That iswhy we held our protecting hands over the National Socialist Party and Herr Hitler® Hitler understood that if he could mobilize the rightist forces in Munich under his own banner, he would have a tremendous advantage not only over the leftists but also over right-wing groups elsewhere in the Reich. The Nazis would have a base of operations from which they could expand across the nation and to which they could repair and regather their strength ifthe need arose. As he put it,Munich would be the Nazis’ “Mecca or Rome,” the physical and spiritual representation of their “inner unity.”  To the Feldherrnhalle IN DECEMBER 1922 Adolf Hitler told the Bulgarian consul in Munich that parliamentary government was finished in Germany because ithad no following among the people. A dictatorship would soon be installed; the only question was whether itwould come from the Left or the Right. If that decision were left up to the German North, contin- ued Hitler, a leftist regime would inevitably result, for the large northern cities had fallen under the sway of Socialists and Communists. But in Munich conditions were different; there the Nazi Party had been grow- ing steadily and was “on the verge of taking power.” The Reich’s rescuers  158 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED must therefore come from the healthy South, not from the corrupt North. Holding a wetted finger to the political winds, Hitler was confident that the moment was drawing nigh for him to step forth from his “city of des- tiny” as the savior of Germany. “Egyptian Darkness” In a report on the atmosphere in Munich during the Carnival season of 1922, William Dawson, the outgoing American consul, noted that there was much “wanton extravagance in food and drink.” The debauchery, he said, was “very characteristic” of the Miinchners, who had “always been noted for their love of pleasure and the whole-hearted manner in which [they] plunge into the Carnival gaieties.” The consul’s assessment was true enough, but the celebration this season was forced. Like the rest of Germany, Munich was caught up in a dizzying spiral of inflation. The mark had been losing value since the war, but the decline accelerated dra- matically in the summer of 1922 following the assassination of Foreign Minister Rathenau. A week after the murder the mark stood at 401 to the dollar; ten days later itwas 527. In September a Munich professor wrote that “things political and economical here are in a bigger mess than ever, the future wrapped in Egyptian darkness. As money isdaily debased and sinking, no one is inclined to save, for 10,000 marks saved in April will only be worth 2000 marks in September. So you have an artificial and unhealthy spending of money; and to the superficial spectator it might seem as ifmost people were rolling in wealth.” An important symbolic watershed was reached at the end of the year, when the largest bill then in circulation, the thousand-mark note, plunged to the point where itbare- ly sufficed to cover a tram ticket. “With the belief in this venerated sym- bol of wealth and security,” wrote Franz Schoenberner, editor of Simplicissimus, “the whole moral order of the little bourgeois had broken down.” But in truth the crumbling was only beginning. In the following year the currency lost value so fast that by autumn it was hardly worth the paper itwas printed on. The Berlin Dadaists Kurt Schwitters and L4szlé Moholy-Nagy used billion-mark notes to make collages of the national symbol, the eagle, which they turned into a vulture. This hyperinflation was ignited by Germany’s response to the Franco- Belgian occupation of the Ruhr district in January 1923. In protest against the measure, taken because Germany had defaulted on some reparations payments, workers walked out of the factories. Berlin supported such  “passive resistance” by covering lost wages and social benefits, which required cranking up the printing presses as never before. Soon more than thirty mills and some two thousand presses were working around the clock to produce paper bills that appeared in ever-higher denomina- tions. In September 1923 the Reichsbank issued a 50-million-mark note; in October it followed with 1-, 5-, and 10-billion-mark bills; on 2 November a 100-trillion-mark note. By early November the mark had fallen to a value of 320,000,000,000 to the dollar; by the end of that month it stood at 4,210,500,000,000. The new American consul in Munich, Robert Murphy, recalled that playing poker that autumn was a heady experience: “It was quite a thrill to raise a trillion.” Most Miinchners had no time to play games; all their efforts went into securing the necessities of life. In November 1923 the shortest tram ride cost 250 billion marks; an egg came to about 80 billion; a glass of beer 150 billion; and a sour pickle 4 billion. Prostitutes were able to command 6 bil- lion marks and a cigarette for the “mistress-slave perversion.” Everyone got rid of cash quickly, for it was likely to lose much of its value in the time ittook to cart it(people actually used handcarts and wheelbarrows) from pay window to store. There were other dangers as well. Awoman waiting in line to pay for groceries with a basket of money turned her back to chat with a neighbor; when she turned around, she discovered that someone had tipped out the money and stolen her basket. The disintegration of the mark put tremendous strain on state and municipal governments. In Munich twelve supplemental budgets totaling nine times the original outlay had to be passed during the fiscal year 1922. Beginning in October 1923, at the height of the inflation, amechanism was introduced to adjust spending to currency hikes on a daily basis. In that month the city budget totaled 35 million billion marks; dozens of extra clerks had to be hired simply to keep track of the twenty-two-zero sums. The city’s Chamber of Commerce reported dolefully: “The fake blossoming of our economy has long since wilted, leaving behind nothing but dead leaves of paper.” Of course, as is always the case in socioeconomic catastrophes, some lucky or clever souls managed to profit from the disaster. People with access to foreign currency or gold could live like kings amid the destitute multitudes. Simpl’s Schoenberner recalled how some friends of his lived for many weeks in a fashionable Munich hotel on the proceeds from a deceased grandmother’s golden denture. The social tensions attending the Great Inflation were especially severe in Munich because the city’s proximity to a rich agricultural hinterland had traditionally guaranteed relatively plentiful and inexpensive food- TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE &® iey)  160 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED stuffs. Now, however, the lure of huge gains caused farmers to deal only on the lucrative black market, as they had in the war. Once again city folk were pillaging farms. Observing this development, the Saxon delegate in Munich thought he detected a degree of selfishness and rapaciousness that went beyond the general level of German nastiness. “One can understand why officials here are uneasy,” he wrote, “when one considers the psy- chology of the Southern Bavarians, who are absolutely unwilling to suffer and to cope as the rest of the German population has to do.” An important concomitant of the Great Inflation was an invasion of tourists, flaunting their hard currency. Munich, always one of Germany’s most popular destinations, experienced an influx of visitors in the early 1920s. “Munich isacquiring again much of the old-time charm and isof all the German cities the favorite for visitors to the fatherland. And the beer has the same old-time charm, too,” wrote a local booster in 1922. The tourists, however, encountered not just good beer and old-fashioned charm but sullen resentment and opportunistic gouging. The American consul lamented: Persons recognized as foreigners by language or dress are frequently the object of hostile glances and may occasionaly be apostrophized in an insulting manner on the street or in public places. In a number of local hostels and restaurants, foreigners appear to receive less favorable treatment and less courteous attention from the management and employees than do German guests. A considerable number of local stores collect a so-called “Valutaufschlag” or extra charge on account of currency from nationals of countries possessing a high exchange, while a few merchants have been known to refuse to sell to foreigners. Munich physicians have entered into an agreement to charge for services to foreigners in the currency of their respec- tive countries and in certain cases have presented to American patients bills which even in the United States would have been considered exorbitant. The Miinchners did not confine their discrimination to foreign nation- als; they also targeted German visitors from outside Bavaria. The Berlin journalist Kurt Tucholsky complained that the Munich authorities applied special restrictions and fees to non-Bavarian travelers. “They impose upon travelers onerous rules and punishments, require entry and registration documents that are harder to come by than a visa to Nicaragua, and harass [non-Bavarian] Germans in unbelievable ways. Anyone who does not have a national beer belly of Bavarian provenance isa ‘foreigner.’ ... What one finds down there isstupid Prussian bashing and a political narrow-mindedness of the worst sort.”  A “German Mussolini”? The despair generated by the Great Inflation proved a political godsend for Adolf Hitler and his young Nazi movement. “Things are so bad,” admitted amember of the liberal Bavarian Democratic Party, “that thou- sands of decent and honest people are streaming to the Nazis.” In his speeches Hitler harped on the horrors of the economic collapse, which he laid directly at the feet of the government in Berlin. The terrible “distress of the small rentier, pensioner, and war cripple,” he cried, “stems from the policies of this weak republic, [which] throws its pieces of worthless paper about wildly in order to enable its party functionaries and like-minded good-for-nothings to feed at the public trough.” The only salvation, he said, was a “patriotic dictatorship” that would rule in the interest of the hard-working German people and not kowtow to foreigners. “Already,” he added, “millions feel that redemption isto be found in our movement. That has already become almost a new religious belief.” But how might that belief be translated into the reality of power? Fortunately for Hitler, there was a model ready to hand: Benito Mussolini, who had come to power in Italy in October 1922 after his Blackshirts’ successful March on Rome. Impressed by the Duce’s accom- plishment, Hitler began to cast himself as aGerman Mussolini, ready to make his own march on the national capital. Speaking at a Nazi rally in mid-November 1922, he declared: “Mussolini has shown what a disci- plined minority can do, ifwell organized, and ifsupported by the holy feeling of patriotism. In our country we shall have to do the same ifwe want to avoid ruin.” Hitler’s colleague Hermann Esser echoed dutifully: “What a band of courageous men was able to do in Italy, that we can do in Bavaria also. We, too, have [a] Mussolini. His name is Adolf Hitler.” The Nazis’ threat to emulate the Italian Fascists brought the party added prominence, along with a new influx of young men anxious to break heads for Hitler. Yet the Bavarian authorities remained compla- cent. The state’s new premier, Eugen von Knilling (BVP), told Consul Murphy in November 1922 that he did not feel that Hitler “is of large enough calibre to advance beyond the point of popular agitator. He does not partake of the qualities of aMussolini, nor will he attain the measure of success of Kurt Eisner. He has not the mental ability and furthermore the government isnow on guard as was not the case in 1918.” The authorities’ underestimation of Hitler was all the more problem- atic because sociopolitical developments all seemed to be conspiring 1n his favor. France’s occupation of the Ruhr, in addition to stimulating hyper- inflation, engendered a new wave of aggressive self-pity in Munich. TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE ® 161  1 62 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Thomas Mann reported to his brother Heinrich that the “anger here is terrible—deeper and more unified as that which brought Napoleon down. It is difficult to say what the future will bring.” The immediate future brought attacks on the French Consulate, which had to be guard- ed around the clock by Bavarian police. Hitler was quick to respond to France’s move. On the first evening of the occupation he told an overflow crowd in the Zirkus Krone: “France thinks less of Germany than she does of a nigger state.” Yet he devoted most of his speech to an attack on the central government, not France. He insisted that Paris would never have dared to march into the Ruhr had not the “treacherous Jewish-Marxist regime in Berlin” so weakened the country that itwas vulnerable to every act of extortion. Rather than waste time denouncing the French, he cried, the Germans should run the “November criminals” out of Berlin. While Hitler ranted about the November criminals in Berlin, anum- ber of conservative groups organized an anti-French rally in the K6nigsplatz from which the Nazis were excluded. They were kept out because local conservatives were beginning to believe that Hitler might be dangerous to Bavarian regional interests. The influential Christian Peasants Union worried that ifhe ever came to power, he would bully the states and impose price and production controls on agriculture. The Nazi leader was also chastised for proposing that Italy’s postwar annexation of the Austrian South Tyrol (which was culturally close to Bavaria) should be accepted in the interest of smooth relations with Rome. Bavarian cler- icals feared (rightly, as it turned out) that he might not be a friend of the church. “In a word,” wrote the British consul, “Hitler is no longer con- sidered a Bavarian.” Hitler insisted that he was not offended by his exclusion from an event that seemed to him a worthless farce. “Protests by a defenseless people are completely useless,” he told a Nazi meeting at the Café Neumayr on 15 January. “If a nation cannot accompany its protests with the flash of its sword, then the protest is merely a flash in the pan.” The French would be a lot more impressed, he went on, ifthey were to learn that the German people, instead of shouting harmless slogans, were “hanging their traitorous leaders one after another.” Only the Nazis, he concluded, were prepared to take such drastic measures, and they would do so alone ifnec- essary. “We are powerful enough to proceed by ourselves. One can exclude us from the Kénigsplatz but that will only speed up the day when we make Munich our own.” Hitler's expression of go-it-alone bravado brought in a wave of fresh recruits. So many young men now wanted to join that the Nazi business  office had to close down for a few days to process the applications. As rewarding as this development was for Hitler, however, italso carried a danger: Expecting him to deliver quickly on his promises of violent action, the new recruits were likely to grow restless ifhe dithered. As the British consul shrewdly observed, “[Hitler’s] followers are rapidly getting out of hand; he will find itimperative to justify himself somehow, and the temptation to let himself be rushed into violent action will be hard to resist.” When Hitler announced in mid-January that the Nazis would hold a Party Day rally in Munich at the end of that month, many thought that the moment of reckoning had already come. According to the scenario, Nazis from all over Germany, as well as Austria and Czechoslovakia, would converge in the Bavarian capital for a weekend of meetings and marches. There would be an SA maneuver and rallies at every major beer hall. “The general expectation,” cabled the British consul, “is that Sunday [28 January] will see a National Socialist outbreak.” The Bavarian government certainly harbored this fear, and its unease was compounded by news that the Social Democrats would stage a rally of their own to coincide with the Nazi demonstration. The Nazis could be counted upon to show their manhood by attacking the Socialists; more- over, they might even use the Red rally as the pretext for a coup. Determined to avert such a possibility, the Knilling government declared a state of emergency and banned both rallies. Hitler learned of the ban just two days before the Party Day was set to begin. He told Police Commissioner Eduard Nortz that the rally would go on regardless of the prohibition. Ifthe police decided to shoot when the storm troopers marched, he, Hitler, would “place himself at the head of the group, and they could shoot him down.” But the first shot “would unleash a red flood,” and two hours later “the government would be fin- ished.” Despite such bloodthirsty rhetoric, Hitler did not want an armed con- frontation with the government at this point; he sensed that his undisci- plined forces would be no match for the police and army. At the same time, he believed that his rally must go on as advertised, or he would lose credibility with his own people. He therefore turned to some ofhis friends in high places for help in getting the ban reversed. With the assistance of Ernst Réhm he managed to secure an audience with General Otto von Lossow, chief of the Reichswehr garrison in Munich. During their meet- ing Hitler gave his “word of honor as a former soldier” that he would not attempt a putsch. A number of military officers, including Ritter von Epp, also vouched for Hitler, assuring Lossow that the Nazi leader was as good TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE 8 163  164 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED as his word. R6hm then took Hitler to see Gustav von Kahr, the former premier who now served as president of the government of Upper Bavaria. Hitler made the same promises to him. Neither Lossow nor Kahr fully trusted Hitler, but both believed that the Nazis could be more effectively controlled ifallowed to hold their ral- lies under the watchful supervision of the police. Moreover, both men frankly shared many of Hitler’s sentiments, especially regarding the evils of Marxism and the perfidy of the central government in Berlin. They therefore agreed to intercede on Hitler’s behalf with Premier von Knilling. In a matter of hours the prohibition was rescinded, with the pro- viso that there be only six beer hall meetings, no outdoor rallies, and no marches through the center of town. Although Hitler had accepted the government’s conditions, once the Nazi Party Day got under way on 27 January he reverted to his original plan of action. During the next three days the Nazi Party essentially took over Munich. It rented twelve of the largest beer halls for rallies, and it commandeered the Marsfeld (Field of Mars) for aceremonial “consecra- tion” of the swastika flags carried by its new SA units. The streets of the city reverberated to the sounds of Nazis marching, singing, and chanting. Hitler himself seemed everywhere at once, speeding from event to event inanew redMercedes convertible. In his speeches—he spoke at every one of the meetings—Hitler ridiculed the Knilling government, mocking itsfears of aNazi putsch. “Yes, Herr Minister, how do you know that we National Socialists want to make a putsch?” he jeered. “Oh, the milkmaid told you so! A streetcar conductor saidso,atelephone operator heard it,and itiswritten intheManchener Post!” The Nazis, he said, had no fear that the Knilling cabinet might cause them any difficulties: “The gentlemen of the government cling too tightly to their ministerial chairs to take the responsibility for firing on defenseless men. ...This evening shows us that we have triumphed. Despite the exceptional law and state of siege our rallies take place, and our flag dedication will be held tomorrow.” Karl Alexander von Miiller, the conservative historian, attended one of the Party Day rallies in the Lowenbriukeller on the Suiegelmayer Platz. In his memoirs he described the scene on that fevered night. “I had wit- nessed a lot of political rallies in this hall, but neither in war nor in revo- lution did I, upon entering the place, encounter such a hot breath of hypnotic mass enthusiasm. It went beyond the overcharged tension of these weeks, these days.” Miiller was impressed by the fact that the Nazis had their own “special battle songs, their own flags, symbols, and greet- ings” (the thrusting right arm salute, a variation on the Italian Fascists’  greeting, had just been introduced). Miller saw “military-style ushers, a forest of bright screaming red flags with black swastikas against a white background.” He experienced “a strange mixture of the soldierly and the revolutionary, of nationalist and socialist.” The audience—“primarily downwardly mobile middle classes in all their variety’—seemed fully swept up in the spirit of the moment. Would they, he wondered, “be fused together permanently” by this movement? Like rock concert fans sitting through interminable warm-up acts, the crowd waited impatiently for the headline event, an appearance and brief speech by Hitler. Finally he materialized at the main entrance and made his way toward the podium. “Every one of us,” recalled Miiller, “jumped up and shouted, ‘Heil!’ ”Down through the middle ofthe shouting mass- es came the Nazi leader with his entourage, stepping briskly, his right arm raised stiffly in salute. “He passed very close to me,” gushed the professor, “and I saw that this was a different person from the one I had met here and there in private houses: his narrow, pale features were concentrated in wrath, cold flames leaped from his piercing eyes, which seemed to search right and left for possible enemies, as ifto cast them down. Was it the mass audience that gave him this uncanny power? Or did he empow- er the audience with his own inner strength?” Hitler indeed knew just what these excited people wanted to hear, knew that they needed to be told that their moment of glory and triumph was nigh. At the same time, however, he sought to discourage aspirations for an immediate coup. “We are a movement that lives and grows,” he declared. “We can allow ourselves to be a little patient. We grow each week in numbers and power. One day soon our moment will certainly come—the moment when we make a putsch? No, not a putsch, but rather a trumpet blast, and then the walls will come crumbling down.” On the following day Hitler presided over the consecration of the swastika flags presented to the party’s four new SA regiments. The ban- ners hung Roman style from long poles and featured the phrase “Germany Awaken!” coined by Dietrich Eckart. The SA men standing in review wore old military uniforms or the alpine outfits of the Freikorps Oberland (the trademark brown shirts would come later). All sported swastika arm- bands and gray ski caps, which made them look as ifthey were about to embark on a jolly winter outing. But, of course, their purpose was much more solemn, as Hitler made clear when handing them their precious flags. “No member of that race which isour foe and which has led us into this most abject misery, no Jew shall ever touch this flag,” he intoned. “It shall wave before us throughout all of Germany in the march to victory, and pave the way for the flag of our new German Reich.” TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE & 165  The Munich authorities noted full well that Hitler had violated the conditions under which he had been allowed to hold his Party Day rally. However, in their relief that the event had passed without significant vio- lence (the ban on the Socialists’ counterrally had remained in force), they did not call the Nazis to account. Their passivity was reminiscent of the royal regime’s behavior in the face of Kurt Eisner’s assault on the monar- chy in November 1918. Once again the authorities failed to respond deci- sively to a brazen challenge. As Carl Moser von Filseck, neighboring Wiirttemberg’s delegate in Munich, aptly observed, “The dominant view here is that the government has been made to look foolish; as a result its prestige has suffered a considerable blow, as seen both by the Left and the Right.” “A War Ace with the Pour le Mérite” In the excitement of Party Day Hitler was again overreaching himself: the swastika flag could not wave over Germany until itwaved over Munich, which, despite the Nazis’ gains, was still controlled by a conservative gov- ernment that was unlikely to line up dutifully behind him when he final- lygave the signal to march on Berlin. One of the later Nazi fighting songs proclaimed “Today Germany, Tomorrow the Whole World.” In mid- 1923 a more appropriate slogan would have been: “Today Munich, Tomorrow Germany.” As part of his efforts to strengthen the Nazis’ position in Munich and Bavaria, Hitler sought to beef up the SA, which for all its bright new ban- ners remained an undisciplined band of roustabouts. Leadership was a particularly pressing problem, for the head of the group, Hans Ulrich Klintzsch, was not a commanding figure. Hitler was determined to replace him as soon as a suitable candidate could be found. It was “a stroke of fate,” Hitler later said, that just as he was casting about for a new SA head, a young man named Hermann Goring walked into Nazi headquarters and offered his services. Twenty-seven years old, Goring already had a colorful and varied life behind him. He had spent part of his childhood with a foster family in Fiirth, near Nuremberg, while his parents went off to Haiti, where his father was stationed as a consular official. Later his mother became the mistress of a flamboyant physician named Hermann Ritter von Epenstein, who had been ennobled by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Epenstein installed the Goring family in an opulent castle north of Nuremberg. Hermann came to idolize Epenstein so thor- oughly that he chose him when asked to write a school essay on “The Man 166 B= WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  I Admire Most in the World.” Only when the essay was returned with the comment that one ought not write in praise of Jews did young Hermann learn that his godfather was Jewish. Although shocked, he remained loyal to Epenstein and got into fistfights with classmates who taunted him. Determined to become a soldier, he fled as soon as he could, undertaking military training in Karlsruhe and then in the Prussian cadet school at Gross Lichterfelde near Berlin. At the outbreak of World War I Goring was a lieutenant in the infantry, but he soon left that branch to join the air corps, whose aviators jousted like latter-day knights high above the trenches. He soon estab- lished himself as one of the great aces of the air war, claiming twenty- seven kills. So skilled was he that he was appointed to succeed Manfred von Richthoven as commander of the Flying Circus squadron when the legendary “Red Baron” fatally crashed behind enemy lines in April 1918. Like Richthoven, Géring won the coveted Pour le Mérite, Germany’s highest award for valor. GG6ring’s honors and fame, however, were more a liability than an asset in the revolutionary atmosphere of postwar Germany. Moving to Red Munich, he ran afoul of the city’s revolutionary leaders. He was saved from arrest (and possible execution) by a British member of the Allied Disarmament Commission whom he had chivalrously befriended during the war. Disgusted by the turn of events in Munich and Germany, Goring decamped for Scandinavia in the spring of 1919. There he worked as a stunt flier, Fokker airplane salesman, and pioneering commercial pilot. His work was poorly paid, but to the young adventurer it was the next best thing to aerial combat. When flying a charter route in the far north, Géring was forced to make an emergency landing near a castle in the Swedish countryside. Entering the castle, which was decorated with hunting trophies and Nordic battle scenes, he encountered a tall blond woman who might have stepped out of the Nibelungen Saga. She was Carin von Foch, sister of the castle owner’s wife. Hermann was immediately smitten by her, and she by him. Alas, Carin was married to a Swedish army officer and had an eight- year-old child. For a time she and Goring carried on a clandestine affair, but soon they decided to marry. While Carin set about arranging a divorce, Hermann enrolled at the University of Munich, hoping to learn a profession that was more lucrative than barnstorming. As soon as Carin’s divorce came through, she joined him in Munich, and they married. In the bleak, inflation-ridden winter of 1922, Hermann found himself together with Rudolf Hess in Karl Alexander von Miiller’s German his- TO THE FELDHERRNGAALLE & 167  168 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED tory class. The professor later recorded the following description of the future second-in-command of the Third Reich: “He was not yet corpulent or possessed of that strange Neronian femininity that marked his later years;onthecontrary,hehadthetautbodyofacombat flier,withamas- sive chest that jutted out like a knight’s breastplate over the tiny classroom desk. ... Compared to the earlier officers, he was like an exuberant farm- hand. When he said something, itwas decisive, intelligent, often not with- out humor, and almost invariably overemphatic.” Despite the adulation of nationalist professors, Géring did not enjoy his historical studies, for he was by nature a man of the sword (or the joystick), not of the pen. Increasingly he cut class and started investigating the polit- ical gatherings around town, window-shopping for a purpose in life. On one occasion he wandered into a Nazi meeting at the Café Neumayr—in fact, into the very meeting where Hitler blasted the Bavarian conservatives for not being prepared to put their guns where their mouths were in their response to the French occupation of the Ruhr. “That was the kind of talk I wanted to hear,” said Goring to himself; “that’s the party for me! Down with the Treaty of Versailles, God damn it! That’s my meat!” Yet it was not just tough talk that attracted him to the Nazis. Like Hitler, he gravitated to the group because itwas still small and inchoate enough for him to become, as he put it,“a big man in it.” When Goring presented himself at party headquarters, Hitler was ecstatic: here, amid the beer bellies and trolls, was someone who looked the way Nazis were supposed to, who was a decorated war hero, and who, to make matters perfect, was married to a Nordic beauty with a large for- tune. “Splendid, a war ace with the Pour le Mérite!” cried Hitler. “Excellent propaganda! Moreover, he has money and doesn’t cost me a cent.” The Nazi leader immediately put his new acquisition in charge of the SA with orders to pound some discipline into the outfit. “You Have Mighty Things toAccomplish” Not long after Goring took over the SA, Hitler thought he saw a new opportunity to flex the Nazi Party’s muscles. Learning that the Bavarian government had given permission to Munich’s leftists to hold their tradi- tional May Day march in Munich, Hitler threatened to attack the parade if the government did not ban it. The leftist celebration, he explained, would be “an insult to the overwhelming majority of the city, who saw in the red flag of 1May the blood of the hostages of 1919 and the painful symbol of the collapsing fatherland.” This date, moreover, also had  become sacredtotheRight,sinceitwason1May 1919thattheFreikorps had “liberated” Munich from soviet control. Hitler further claimed that the leftist parties intended to use the march to launch a coup. When the government nonetheless refused to ban the leftist festival, Hitler ordered his SA to redouble its training in preparation for ashowdown. As the Red holiday dawned, SA units and various armed bands belonging to the recently established Task Force of Patriotic Combat Groups assembled at the Oberwiesenfeld north of the city. Aside from the SA, there were units of the Reichskriegflagge (Reich War Flag, a paramil- itary outfit run by Ernst Réhm), the Bund Oberland, and the Bund Wiking, a successor to the disbanded Organisation Consul. Their total numbers were estimated from between twelve hundred and two thou- sand, and they were equipped with rifles, machine guns, and a few horse- drawn cannon. In preparation for their anticipated confrontation with the Reds, they staged military maneuvers and practiced assault tactics. All the while, however, elements of the Bavarian State Police, backed up by the Reichswehr, were surrounding the Oberwiesenfeld. Having been humiliated by Hitler during the recent Party Day rally, the govern- ment was determined to show him who ran Munich. It had no desire, moreover, to allow the Nazis to turn the May Day festivities into a bloody civil war. Alerted about the government’s actions, Hitler was at once outraged and indecisive. Wearing a steel helmet and his Iron Cross, he stalked around the field, trying to figure out what to do. As his colleague Otto Strasser described the scene: “The sun climbed into the sky—eight o'clock... nine... ten... eleven.... Adolf Hitler paced a jittery path before his lieutenants, occasionally removing his steel helmet to wipe the rivulets of perspiration from his face and forehead, gazing long and often toward Munich, the scene-to-be of his great triumph.” Shortly after eleven o'clock a detachment of Reichswehr troops marched onto the field, flanked by units of the state police. R6hm, who had tried unsuccessfully to win the army over to the Nazi cause, was with the troops. The military unit’s commander demanded that Hitler and his allies surrender their weapons and disperse immediately. Some ofHitler’s colleagues urged him to fight rather than submit to this humiliation, but the Nazi leader, aware that violent resistance might mean the quick and bloody end to all his dreams, rejected their pleadings. “He sulked, taci- turn and glowering, but he wouldn’t listen to those of his leaders who favored a pitched battle,” reported Strasser disappointedly. After a few minutes of tense standoff, the would-be saviors of Munich handed over their weapons and retreated from the field. Marching TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE ® 169  170 B® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED through Schwabing, Hitler and some SA men encountered a pair of Communists with a red flag, which they confiscated and burned. Hitler declared that this was but a small token of the fires to come. But there was no serious fighting that day between the rightists and the Reds, who cele- brated peacefully on the Theresienwiese. According to the Left, this proved that the streets of Munich were not the exclusive possession of the Nazi hordes, whatever their claims. Hitler tried to put the best face on the May Day fiasco. As his men were handing over their weapons, he assured them that since the city was apparently calm, no action was needed anyway. He even tried to claim that the Nazi mobilization had effectively intimidated the Reds. To cheer his troops further, he promised defiantly: “Our day will come soon.” His defiance rang hollow to some observers, who saw the May Day defeat as the beginning of the end for Hitler. Consul Murphy, for one, cabled Washington that the Nazi movement was “on the wane,” because young radicals were tired of an enterprise that seemed to offer nothing but rhetoric, while the rowdy conduct ofhis men had antagonized “order- lovingmembers ofthecommunity.” For a time after the May Day debacle. Hitler himself seemed discour- aged about his prospects. He spent several weeks in seclusion in the alpine town of Berchtesgaden, southeast of Munich, living under the name Herr Wolf in a humble pension. He blew off steam by regaling the pension owner’s wife about the evils of Berlin, decrying its “luxury, perversion, iniquity, and wanton display of Jewish materialism.” Evoking Christ’s encounter with the money changers in the temple, he promised one day to drive out these worshipers of the Golden Calf. For the moment, how- ever, he seemed content to enjoy the beauty of the landscape. Later he was to build his own retreat in this region and, like a latter-day King Ludwig IT,escape to itwhenever he could. While Hitler licked his wounds and planned his next moves, the city from which he hoped to launch his cleansing crusade seemed itself in need of a purge. The galloping inflation was bringing out the worst in everybody. Bands of young toughs roamed the streets, rolling old folks for their watches and rings. A journalist called the city “a witches’ cauldron of conspiracy, terror, and treason.” In such an atmosphere itseemed only appropriate that the Residenztheater premiered Bertolt Brecht’s Im Dickicht der Stédte (In the Jungle of Cities) in May 1923. Albeit set in Chicago, the play struck many Miinchners as a commentary on their own cityinitshour ofdisorder. The atmosphere in Munich became even nastier in the early fall when the Reich government, under newly appointed Chancellor Gustav  Stresemann, decided to abandon the costly policy of passive resistance to the French occupation of the Ruhr. In Bavaria and Munich, as indeed throughout Germany, this concession was denounced as a craven submis- sion to foreign pressure. Hitler, having in the meantime returned to Munich and the political fray, led the crusade against the Stresemann regime. In weekly speeches at the Zirkus Krone he branded the new government traitorous succes- sors to the “November criminals.” Again he urged a Mussolini-style solu- tion to the German problem: a march on Berlin. From the size and enthusiasm of his audiences, it seemed that thousands of Miinchners agreed with him. Hoping to undercut Hitler’s appeal and to discourage any attempts at a coup, Knilling’s government declared a state of emergency based on Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution. (This was technically illegal, for that article gave the right to issue emergency decrees to the national gov- ernment, not to the states.) In addition, on 26 September Knilling called on former Premier Gustav von Kahr to serve as “general state commissar” of Bavaria. Kahr’s new office was vaguely defined, but he was assured that he would have a “free hand in the exercise of executive power.” Because Kahr was widely detested for his earlier repressive policies as premier, this was a provocative move. Recalling Berlin’s feud with Kahr over the Civil Guards, Stresemann’s government rightly sensed new trou- ble in the wind. It worried that under Kahr the southerners might even attempt a coup against the Weimar system. But if that should happen, Stresemann promised, he would not flee Berlin as the Socialist-led gov- ernment had done during the Kapp Putsch. The putschists could “shoot me down right here, in the place where I have every right to sit,” he declared. Kahr’s old enemies at home were also horrified to see him back at the helm. Commenting on his appointment, the Times (London) observed that it was “not calculated to maintain peace in Bavaria, where his party has done as much as any to inflame the political passions and anti-Semitism. ... Not only the Communists, but the Socialists and even the Republican Democrats, are among his bitterest enemies, and his own fanatical supporters will be unappreciative should he hold the balance at all fairly.” The Nazis and their allies were also unenthusiastic about the monarchist Kahr; they regarded him as among the worst of the old-fash- ioned “high collar politicians.” Kahr’s supporters need not have worried that he would show balance or fairness in his dealings with the various political factions contending for power in Bavaria. True, he banned some mass meetings planned by the Nazis, but he was much harder on the Left, dissolving the paramili- TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE & peeda|  172 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED tary organizations of the SPD and KPD and forbidding all strikes. More ominously, he launched a crusade against foreign-born Jews as part of an ostensible effort to improve the economy. More than one hundred Jewish immigrants who had been charged (though not convicted) of usury or war profiteering were given fourteen days to get out of Bavaria. Kahr justified this action on the ground that “the Jewish element [was] responsible for much of the German misfortune and economic distress since the war.” This, of course, was an old story, and Kahr hoped to consolidate his new regime by dipping into the deep well of popular anti-Semitism. The crackdown on foreign Jews caused Kahr no difficulties with the central government, but the Bavarian commissar soon found himself at war with Berlin on other issues, above all on his handling of the always troublesome Nazi Party. Shortly after Kahr’s appointment the Nazis’ Volkischer Beobachter ran some vituperative attacks on Stresemann and Reichswehr General Hans von Seeckt. The latter, said the paper, did not enjoy the support of the army because he (like Stresemann) had a Jewish wife who influenced him politically. Seeckt, the ultimate bemonocled Prussian general, was not used to this kind of gutter attack and immediately ordered the Reichswehr chief in Munich, General Otto von Lossow, to suppress the Nazi paper. Concerned that ifhe obeyed this order, the streets of Munich might erupt in violence, Lossow turned to Kahr for advice. The commissar was no friend of the Nazis, but he was always anxious to display Bavarian inde- pendence vis-a-vis Berlin. He therefore instructed Lossow to defy Seeckt’s order, as the former proceeded to do. Once again Munich stood toe to toe against itsnorthern rival. Adolf Hitler was delighted to be the immediate cause for this latest flare-up in the old antagonism between North and South. There was a certain irony here, for the Nazi leader was at heart an archcentralizer who had no use for Bavarian particularism. But as we have noted before, he also understood that he could manipulate Bavarian hatred of the central government to solidify his own standing in the South. Indeed, he now believed that the rift between Munich and Berlin was so severe that he might garner support from local conservatives, perhaps even from Kahr and Lossow, for his long-promised putsch against the Weimar order. To fortify himself spiritually in this sharpening test of wills, Hitler went to Nuremberg on 30 September for a German Day celebration marking the anniversary of the Prussian victory over France in 1870 at Sedan. The Nazi chief joined other nationalist leaders in forming a new coalition called the Kampfbund (Battle League), which was meant to bring more coherence to the patriotic camp. Speaking before a mass audi-  ence at the beginning of the rally, Hitler again raised his followers’ hopes for quick and decisive action. “In a few weeks the dice will roll. What is in the making today will be greater than the World War. It will be fought out on German soil for the whole world.” As soon as the Nuremberg rally ended, Hitler drove to nearby Bayreuth, the small Franconian town in which his idol Richard Wagner had spent his last years and built his famous festival theater. Stopping in at Wahnfried, the imposing Wagner villa, Hitler was received by the composer’s widow and heirs: eighty-six-year-old Cosima, her son, Siegfried, and her daughter-in-law, Winifred. He then spent some time standing alone at Wagner’s grave in the backyard, no doubt soliciting sup- port from the Master’s spirit. Finally, he went across the street to see Houston Stewart Chamberlain, who was now partially paralyzed and unable to speak. This was just as well, for it gave Hitler the chance to expound without interruption his plans for building a new Germany. Chamberlain must have been impressed, for after Hitler’s return to Munich he sent him a letter saying that the visit had “changed the state of my soul” and given him new hope for Germany. “You have ahead of you tremendous things to accomplish,” he declared. Nothing that transpired in Munich over the course of the next few weeks altered Hitler’s conviction that he was a man of destiny, but he also became increasingly aware that he must act soon. Shortly after his return to the capital in early October, he was told by Wilhelm Briickner, chief of the Munich SA, that the storm troopers were getting restless for lack of serious action. They had expended their “last ten pfennings on SA train- ing” in the expectation that through a successful putsch they could be taken into the regular army “and be out of the entire mess.” He added: “If nothing happens now the men will sneak away.” At the same time, the political confrontation between Munich and Berlin took on added urgency when General von Seeckt, losing his patience over Lossow’s failure to ban the Vélkischer Beobachter, ordered him to resign his position as head of the Bavarian Reichswehr. Torn between his duty to obey Seeckt and his loyalty to Bavaria, Lossow again turned to Kahr for guidance. The latter not only insisted that Lossow retain his command but also ordered the Reichswehr’s Seventh Division, stationed in Bavaria, to take an oath of allegiance to that state. This was open rebellion against the framework of national unity devised by Bismarck and confirmed by the Weimar Constitution. Old- line Bavarian particularists toasted Kahr as the next best thing to a Wittelsbach king. Members of the Infantry Cadet School in Munich showed their contempt for Berlin by wearing the cockades on their hats TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE &® HhS  174 B® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED reversed, which, according to Putzi Hanfstaengl, was the accepted for- mula for saying “Kiss my ass!” Other Miinchners demonstrated their feel- ings by pasting stamps of President Ebert upside down on envelopes. Kahr himself, however, did not seem to know whether he wanted to lead Bavaria into some kind of regional autonomy or to remake the German nation in the image of “healthy Bavaria.” Popular sentiment in Munich was also divided between those screaming “Los von Berlin|” (Break away from Berlin!) and those demanding “Auf nach Berlin!” (On to Berlin!) To confuse the situation further, just as Kahr was thumbing his nose at Seeckt and the central government, he was also making life more dif- ficult for the Nazis in Bavaria. On 5 October he closed down the Volkischer Beobachter for ten days because ithad run an SA recruiting ad that sounded like an invitation to a putsch. So no one would get the wrong idea, however, he made it clear that this ban had nothing to do with the Reich’s request for action against the paper. But as far as Hitler was concerned, anti-Nazi measures from Kahr were more dangerous than decrees from Berlin. If Kahr could consolidate his power by simul- taneously defying the Reich and holding the Nazis at bay, then he, not Adolf Hitler, would most likely be the one to define how the conflict with Berlin found itsresolution. Hitler could not afford to acquiesce, but he also had to be careful not to alienate Kahr and his key lieutenants, Lossow and State Police Chief Hans von Seisser. For a time he tried to wean Lossow and Seisser from Kahr by promising them high offices in the new national dictatorship he planned to establish. But the two officials had more faith in Kahr than in Hitler and kept their distance from the Nazi leader. Kahr and his lieu- tenants, moreover, now began holding private meetings with various rightist figures in Munich, while pointedly excluding Hitler. On 6 November the Bavarian triumvirate conferred with Kampfbund leaders about a possible move against the national capital. They made no concrete plans for such action, however, and the Bavarian leaders stated their oppo- sition to any independent ventures on the part of the radical nationalists. Hitler immediately got word of this meeting, as he was meant to. The message he drew from it,however, was not what Kahr had intended. Instead of concluding that he would have to wait until the Bavarian offi- cials were ready to act, he decided he must move on his own and pull the others along. He must grab power in Munich and then invite his rivals to accompany him to Berlin. “Wir miissen die Leute hineinkompromittieren” (We must coax these people into complicity) was the way he put it. He seems to have believed that when presented with a successful coup in their  own backyard, the Bavarian leaders would have no choice but to go along with it. This was the word he communicated to his top aides at a hastily con- vened meeting in the evening hours of 6 November. The Nazis could delay their strike no longer, he said; they would move as early as 11 November, the fifth anniversary of the armistice ending World War I.A Nazi victory in Munich would be the first step in reversing that humilia- tion. This historic day had the added advantage of falling on a Sunday. Hitler explained to Putzi Hanfstaengl that the only time to launch a putsch was over a weekend. “All the people in the administration are then away from their offices and the police are only at half strength. That isthe time to strike.” Beer Hall Baby No sooner had the Nazis settled on their Sunday putsch than they were obliged to alter their plans. News arrived at party headquarters that General Commissar von Kahr would host a meeting in the Biirgerbraukeller on the evening of 8November to outline his political agenda for the immediate future. The suddenness of the announcement led Hitler to suspect that what Kahr really had in mind was a preemptive strike of his own, probably the proclamation of a Wittelsbach restoration under Crown Prince Rupprecht. This was a frightening prospect, for a successful restoration would undoubtedly dash Hitler’s hopes of making Munich the springboard for his “national revolution.” He decided that he could not risk allowing Kahr to have his say; he would make his move at the same gathering, where he could not only outflank Kahr but, ifneces- sary, arrest him and the entire Bavarian government. Fortunately the date 8 November also had symbolic significance, for itwas the anniversary of Eisner’s proclamation of the Bavarian republic, another humiliation Hitler hoped to reverse. Because Hitler made his decision to strike so precipitously, he had lit- tle time to prepare his move. He also had to be careful not to alert the gov- ernment to his intentions. He therefore began mobilizing the SA, along with other paramilitary units belonging to the Kampfbund, without telling the men exactly what was afoot. The troopers were called to their assembly areas via white notices, which indicated.mere training sessions, rather than with red ones, which signaled a serious action. As ithappened, the mobilization was not so unobtrusive as to go unnoticed by the Munich police, but Kahr and Seisser decided not to order any special security mea- TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE ® 175  176 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED sures. Paramilitary maneuvers and mobilizations, after all, were by now a commonplace on the Munich scene, and in any event Kahr did not want to give the impression that he feared his own citizenry. The Biirgerbraukeller, site of the scheduled meeting, was east of the Isar River about a mile from the city center. Like the more famous Hofbrauhaus, it had a number of dining rooms serving the inevitable oxen flanks and pigs’ feet, as well as a vast banquet hall that could be used for political gatherings and other ceremonial purposes. The hall was packed that evening of 8 November, mostly with prosperous-looking burghers in suits and furs. One observer got the feeling, however, that some in the audience had not been invited, and indeed, there were quite a few Nazi gate-crashers sprinkled among the crowd. At about eight Kahr mounted the podium and began to deliver a speech about the evils of Marxism; his pedantic oration seemed designed more for a university lecture hall than a beer hall. The performance was so boring that many in the audience, already well sedated with meat and drink, fell off into merciful slumber. While Kahr droned on inside the hall, ared Mercedes pulled up out- side. Hitler, dressed in his ubiquitous trench coat, stepped out and entered the lobby, where a small group of his supporters waited impatiently. “Minutes seemed like hours. After all, we were all aware that a fateful moment was at hand, which would spell either victory or jail,” recalled Johann Aigner, an aide to Scheubner-Richter. To help kill time, Putzi Hanfstaengl handed out beers. “I remember that they cost a billion marks apiece,” he wrote later. “I took a swig at one myself and handed the oth- ers to our group; Hitler took a thoughtful draught. In Munich, I thought, no one will suspect a man with his nose in a stein of beer of having sinis- ter motives.” After a few more minutes a number of trucks arrived and unloaded their cargo of heavily armed SA men. They surrounded the building and blocked all the exits. Shortly thereafter, according to Putzi, the “front door burst open and in tumbled Géring, looking like Wallenstein on the march, with all his orders clinking, plus about twenty-five brownshirts with pistols and machine guns. What an uproar.” Within seconds Goring’s men had mounted a heavy machine gun in the doorway of the main hall, pointed directly at the audience. “The philistines got quite a shock at the sight of the machine gun and other weapons,” recalled Aigner. Hitler and his band now started to plow through the crowd, knocking over tables as they went. Karl Alexander von Miiller, sitting near the mid- dle of the hall, recalled what, happened next:  Steel helmets became visible above the crowd. People jumped up on benches to see what was going on. Suddenly, right in front of me, I saw Adolf Hitler heading down the main aisle toward the podium, bent over, face pale, dark strands of hair hanging down. On either side of him came storm troopers with red armbands, holding pistols above their heads. To the left of me and about ten paces in front of Kahr, Hitler stopped, climbed on a chair, and gave the man to his right a sign. A shot rang out and ripped a hole in the ceiling. “The German revolution has broken out!” he screamed in the sudden quiet. “This hall issurrounded!” Despite his theatrical bravado, Hitler did not seem very impressive at this moment. Many in the audience were shocked by his crude interrup- tion of their evening. Shouts of “South America” and “Mexico” rang through the hall. Hitler stripped off his trench coat to reveal a cutaway; in the words of one witness, he looked like “a cross between Charlie Chaplin and a headwaiter.” Yet it would not do to mock him, for he clearly had the firepower on his side. Hitler got down from his chair and strode to the speakers’ platform, where Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser stood motionless. The Nazi leader demanded that the three men accompany him toa side room, where he asked their forgiveness for proceeding in such a fashion. “It is done and cannot now be undone,” he mumbled, as ifcontrite. Then he told the tri- umvirate that he was creating a new Bavarian government in preparation for an assault on Berlin. Each of the men would have to accept the post assigned him in the new order. Brandishing a pistol, he declared that ifhis plan failed, he would shoot the “traitors” and himself. Despite Hitler’s histrionics, Kahr, Seisser, and Lossow did not imme- diately promise their support. Instead they forced him to spend a good quarter hour lecturing them on their patriotic duty. Back in the main hall, meanwhile, the audience was becoming restless. Some tried to leave but were turned back at gunpoint by SA men. To restore order, Goring mounted the podium and fired a second shot into the ceiling. He told the crowd that Kahr and company were not in danger and that everyone must be patient while a new Germany was being born. “And anyway,” he added, “you've got your beer. What are you worrying about?” Eventually Hitler returned to the podium. He still seemed unsure of himself, demanding attention with yet another shot into the ceiling. As he began to speak, however, he recovered his form. According to Miiller, his performance was an “oratorical masterpiece, which any actor might envy.” He said that a new government was being formed in which Bavaria’s present leaders would all have a place. General Ludendorff TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE #® Wahav  178 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED would takeover thearmy and return ittoitsformer glory.The goalofthe provisional government would be “to begin the march against Berlin, that sink of iniquity, with all the might of this state and the accumulated power ofevery province ofGermany.” His words had an electrifying effect. Miiller reported that within a few minutes the audience, originally surly and suspicious, “had fully reversed itself. Hitler had turned them inside out, as one turns a glove inside out, with a few sentences. . .Loud approval roared forth, no further opposi- tion was to be heard.” Once he had the crowd securely in his hands, Hitler announced dra- matically: “Outside are Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser. They are struggling hard to reach a decision. May I say to them that you will stand behind them?” “Yes, yes!” roared the crowd. Part of their enthusiasm, however, undoubtedly derived from the magic of that moment, from the sense, skillfully encouraged by Hitler, that they were present at the creation of a new Germany. Once away from the excitement, many in the crowd would have second thoughts about what they had so heartily approved. In the meantime, Hitler still faced the task of parlaying the crowd’s approval into an endorsement of his plan on the part of the Bavarian tri- umvirate, who remained sequestered in the side room. When he related to them what had happened in the main hall, they continued to resist his blandishments. He was fast losing patience with them when Ludendorff and former Police Chief Péhner showed up and added their entreaties to those of Hitler. Their intervention was crucial, for they carried much more credibility with the Bavarian leaders. Finally, after another quarter hour or so of arguing, Lossow and Seisser agreed to join the enterprise. A little later Kahr also gave in, although he insisted upon interpreting the action as preparation for a restoration of the Wittelsbach dynasty. Hitler was happy enough to allow Kahr his little illusion; he knew that this putsch had nothing to do with the restoration of a discredited monarchy. Having reached their ostensible agreement, Hitler and his new part- ners went back into the main hall and jointly mounted the podium. Kahr announced that he would serve as Bavarian regent pending a monarchi- cal restoration, while Lossow and Seisser also registered their endorse- ments. Hitler shook hands repeatedly with the three men as the crowd once again roared itsapproval. The prevailing atmosphere of harmony in the Biirgerbraukeller did not, however, prevent Hitler and his men from behaving like the rene- gades they were. Even while the Nazi leader was negotiating with Kahr and company, an SA troop under Scheubner-Richter was rounding up  members of Knilling’s cabinet who were present in the hall and packing them off to house arrest in Julius Lehmann’s villa. Another band of SA men under Rudolf Hess spirited some officials into the mountains and repeatedly threatened them with hanging. Yet another SA contingent broke into the offices of the Socialist Mtinchener Post and smashed every- thing in sight, including doors, desks, and typewriters. The group then went to the apartment of the Post’s editor, Erhard Auer, in hopes of smashing him too. Finding him not at home, they ransacked the place and terrorized his family. Not surprisingly the Nazis also took this opportunity to go after Munich’s Jewish population. A number of Jews among the crowd at the Birgerbrdukeller were singled out through an identity check and detained in the basement after the rest of the audience was allowed to leave. At the same time, SA thugs combed the city for Jews and arrested them in the name of the new Reich. Most of them, including men and women in their seventies, were marched to the Biirgerbraéu and locked in the basement with their compatriots. Some were badly beaten. Goring prevented an overly zealous SA man from summarily executing the cap- tives by barking: “We do not have the right or authority to execute—yet.” In another part of town a detachment of SA men looted a Jewish-owned printing press of some 14,605 trillion marks. The money was later dis- tributed to the SA men in the Biirgerbraukeller, each of whom got the equivalent ofabout two dollars. After a shaky beginning the putsch seemed to be proceeding well enough for Hitler to conclude that he could leave the Biirgerbraukeller to deal with other matters relating to his national revolution. As a precau- tion, however, he ordered that the Bavarian triumvirate be held in the hall. General Ludendorff took the responsibility for guarding them. No sooner had Hitler left than the men asked Ludendorffifthey could depart. They gave him their word of honor that they would do nothing to thwart the enterprise, which they again claimed to support. This was good enough for Ludendorff, since two of the men were fellow officers. He letthem go. While the Biirgerbraukeller remained the focal point of the putsch that evening, another beer hall across town, the giant Lowenbraukeller, served as the staging ground for a second band of rebels under the command of Ernst Réhm. With Réhm were troops of the Reich War Flag, an SA detachment, and a few Reichswéhr soldiers who had decided to join with the mutinous captain. Their task (at that point known only to Réhm) was to keep themselves amused with drink and speeches until word came from the Biirgerbraukeller that Hitler had accomplished his part of the TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE ® A799  180 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED coup; then they were to take control of the District Military Headquarters on the Schénfeldstrasse. After what seemed to Réhm an eternity, a coded message came through from Hitler. It said: “Gldcklich entbunden” (Child successfully delivered). R6hm announced to his now well-oiled followers that the national revolution had begun and that Adolf Hitler had taken power in Munich. The hall exploded in joy. One of the most excited members of Réhm’s entourage was an inof- fensive-looking fellow with a spindly frame, no chin, a round face, and bottle-bottom glasses; this was Heinrich Himmler, future leader ofthe SS. Then twenty-three and the assistant manager ofa fertilizer company, Himmler was the son of a high school teacher who had served as tutor to Prince Heinrich of Bavaria, after whom young Himmler was named. Heinrich’s life, while secure and comfortable, had been a series of disap- pointments in terms of the nationalist creed he embraced. He had entered the army too late to see fighting in World War I,had failed to gain a com- mission, and had missed out on the liberation of Munich. His rightist col- leagues often made fun of his physical ineptitude and unathletic body. Desperate to show that despite his failures and infirmities, he was amem- ber in good standing of the master race, Himmler had become an avid fol- lower of Captain Réhm, apparently unaware that the captain himself was no model of Aryan manhood. At any rate the young man now had the chance to make up for all the slights and miseries, for he was given the honor of carrying the Reich War Flag behind Réhm as the troopers set out for the military headquarters. Once they arrived at their destination, Réhm and his men confronted the resident commander with news of the putsch and ordered him to sur- render the building. Thoroughly intimidated by the famous captain, the man did as he was instructed. Without having to fire a shot, the rebels occupied the building and surrounded itwith barbed wire. Itappeared as ifall Munich would soon be in Hitler’s hands, just as Rohm had claimed. But the takeover of the military headquarters proved an anomaly. At other Reichswehr installations the putschists found a much different reception. Rdhm himself was unable to make any headway at the Stadtkommandantur (City Command), where the officer in charge threatened to shoot the captain ifhe tried to gain entry. Réhm did not press the point. The putschists were also thwarted at the city’s various bar- racks complexes, above all at the home of the Nineteenth Infantry Regiment, which became one of the command posts of the government resistance. In all these cases rebel troopers proved reluctant to launch full- scale assaults because most of them hoped one day to be taken into the  Reichswehr, a goal not likely to be furthered by firing upon Reichswehr soldiers. The one barracks where the putschists had success belonged to the infantry officers training school. The young cadets had fallen under the influence of a swashbuckling former Free Corps officer who sided with Hitler. Under his leadership, the whole unit marched smartly to the Biirgerbraukeller, where Ludendorff welcomed them as heroes of the new Germany. The enthusiasm of the cadets, however, was hardly enough to counterbalance the putschists’ obvious inability to bring the rest of the Reichswehr behind their revolution. Just as fatal to Hitler’s plan was the rebels’ failure to capture most of the key governmental, communication, and transportation centers. Despite the efforts of ex-Police Chief Péhner, the Police Directory on the Ettstrasse did not support the cause. On the contrary, Péhner himself was arrested and locked up in the building he had once controlled. Jailed with him was his former aide Wilhelm Frick (later the Nazis’ minister of the interior). A band of infantry school cadets tried to take over Kahr’s offices in the Upper Bavarian government building but dispersed upon encoun- tering a cordon of state police with orders to shoot. Strangely enough, none of the putschists made an effort to occupy the telephone office and the railroad station, which should have been among their earliest targets. Instead they wasted time spinning plans to sell off Munich’s art treasures to finance their invasion of the North. The beer hall putschists, in other words, were quickly revealing them- selves as poor practitioners of the art of insurrection. Certainly they seemed less adept than the followers of Kurt Eisner, whose 1918 revolu- tion they had meant to reverse. Indeed, their operation was beginning to look like an inglorious repeat of the Kapp Putsch three years earlier. Bumbling as the putschists were, however, they might have had more successhaditnotbeenforLudendorffs fatefuldecisiontolettheBavarian triumvirate leave the Biirgerbraukeller in the early hours of the action. As soon as they had gained their freedom, Lossow and Seisser started to work against the putsch, issuing calls for reinforcements from outside the city and coordinating resistance at the various military and police installations. They made clear from the outset that their promised complicity with Hitler meant nothing since ithad been gained at gunpoint. Kahr, for his part, took somewhat longer to adopt any antiputsch mea- sures; the probable reason is that contrary to his later assertions, he had not been entirely faking his declaration of support at the Biirgerbrau. He seems really to have believed—at least for a time—that he could use Hitler’s initiative to bring about his cherished Wittelsbach restoration. However, he learned shortly after his release that Crown Prince TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE &®181  Rupprecht wanted nothing to do with the putsch and would never accept a restoration under its auspices. Cardinal Faulhaber too instructed Kahr on the folly of trying to work with Hitler. Pressured by these influential men, Kahr agreed in the middle of the night to issue a proclamation con- demning the putsch. Appearing on posters that went up around the city, Kahr’s announcement said that all “agreements” attested to at the Biirgerbraukeller had been extorted by force and were invalid. Hitler, meanwhile, was back in the Birgerbraukeller, livid at Ludendorff for letting the triumvirate go but still trying to believe that he could prevail. Most of his men also remained keen on the enterprise, part- ly,no doubt, because they had plenty to eat and drink. The Biirgerbrau management later presented the Nazi Party with a huge bill for its activ- ities that evening. In addition to charges for heroic quantities of beer and food, the statement demanded compensation for the breakage or disap- pearance of 143 steins, 80 glasses, 98 stools, 2 music stands, and 148 sets of cutlery. (Oddly, there was no mention of the holes in the ceiling.) A triv- ial document, perhaps, but one that tells us quite a bit about the men who were planning to become the new rulers of Germany on that cold November night. * Getting drunk ina beer hall was ultimately no method for taking over Germany, and as the night wore on with no orders to move out, Hitler’s men started to become restless. So did Hitler himself, for as news of Kampfbund failures elsewhere in Munich reached him back at the beer hall, he knew he had been “betrayed.” Again he talked of shooting him- self. But at other moments he allowed himself flashes of hope. He insist- ed that his enterprise might yet succeed ifhe could only get word to the people of Munich about what was going on. The overwhelming majority of the citizenry, he was sure, would come to his rescue if they could be effectively mobilized. He knew that the Nazi efforts in this direction so far had been inadequate: just a few posters around town announcing the national revolution. How might he better reach out to the Miinchners and pull them behind his cause? This was the question he pondered as the milky light of dawn slowly spread over the city. ~ | geryed 3ByYeacs tn +he (l <e Aasmy Pr believe Ais shoe nNdiers ould ton an yth ina they .ashy Ge “Kahrfreitag” It was Ludendorff who came up with the answer: “Wir marschieren! [We'll march!]” The Nazis and their allies, the general decided, must emerge from their beer hall bunker and advance upon the heart of the city. His experience as a military man told him that offensives were the 182 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  best recourse in a tight situation, and furthermore, he believed that no Germans could resist the glorious sight of marching columns. Surely they would join in and the day would be won! Hitler was dubious about the prospects for such a maneuver. He knew from reports filtering back to the beer hall that the bridges over the Isar were now guarded by state police; he knew too that police and Reichswehr units had blockaded Rohm in the District Military Headquarters, making any help from that quarter unlikely. Aside from threatening suicide, Hitler’s instinctive response to these bitter realities was to try to overcome them through the power of the spoken word. He therefore sent Hermann Esser, Gottfried Feder, and other Nazi orators into the city center to talk up the revolution among the townspeople, most of whom were setting off to work as ifnothing were happening. Hitler also sent an emissary to Crown Prince Rupprecht with orders to win him over. This move was entirely futile, showing once again the Nazi leader’s penchant for wishful thinking. Only as the morning wore on, with more bad news coming in by the minute, did Hitler finally allow himself to be convinced by Ludendorff’s argument for a march. The more he came around to the idea, the more he adopted itas his own, refining itaccording to his personal vision. He per- sonally would join Ludendorff at the head of the column; there would be flags and a brass band and marching songs. He could envisage crowds tagging along so that the column became one’ massive testimonial to Munich’s enthusiasm for the Nazi cause. Hitler later described what he had in mind that day: “We would go to the city to win the people to our side, to see how public opinion would react, and then to see how Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser would react to public opinion. After all,those gentle- men would hardly be foolish enough to use machine guns against a gen- eral uprising of the people. That’s how the march into the city was decided on.” Hitler’s glowing vision aside, 9November 1923 was not a good day for a demonstration. Dark clouds hung over the city and flurries of wet snow swept down from the Alps. Hitler succeeded in finding a brass band, but the players were surly because they had had no breakfast; they made a hash of the “Badenweiler March,” Hitler’s favorite, which they played as the column began to assemble outside the beer hall. Nonetheless, most the men who joined the column on that miserable November morning were happy enough to be leaving the Biirgerbraukeller, where by now all the beer and food had been exhaust- ed. They were pleased too to be finally undertaking some action, even if they were not quite sure what that would entail. “No one can describe the TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE &®& 183  ainjooy sistyosynodr©eur Joy[ayneiqiosing  sense of dedication we felt at that moment,” wrote one participant later. “The deep joyful enthusiasm. The uniform, elevated, holy seriousness with which we set out. We: workers, students, officers, burghers, crafts- men, old and young. We sang ‘Oh Germany, High in Honor.’ The song of Germany’s honor rose thunderously to the heavens.” The column that set out from the Biirgerbraukeller at about noon con- tained some two thousand men. There might have been more, but a con- tingent of the Bund Oberland stayed too long at lunch and got left behind. Most of the marchers wore improvised uniforms of surplus army gear combined with civilian odds and ends, such as feathered hats and muf- flers. One of the marchers thought that the group looked like “a defeated army that hadn’t fought anybody.” Another worried that the column’s unimposing appearance would not inspire much confidence among the citizenry. But what could people expect? The men had not known that they were going to be marching through town, and they had spent the previous night with no sleep and lots of beer; some were suffering from painful hangovers. One marcher who stood out from the rest through his distinguished bearing was Theodor von der Pfordten. A high official of the Bavarian judiciary, he had joined the Nazis because he found Bavaria’s traditional conservatives insufficiently nationalistic and racist. On instructions from Hitler, he had drawn up a constitution for the new order. It called, among other things, for the elimination of parliamentary government, the firing of all Jewish officials, and the incarceration of “subversive persons and superfluous consumers” in special camps. This too was a revealing docu- ment, one that was a harrowingly accurate harbinger of the Nazi future. The column that presently wound its way westward down the Rosenheimerstrasse had eight rows. Hitler, Ludendorff, Scheubner- Richter, Goring, Hermann Kriebel (military head of the Kampfbund), Friedrich Weber (head of the Bund Oberland), Ulrich Graf (Hitler’s bodyguard), and Wilhelm Briickner marched in front. Directly behind them came the Stosstrupp Hitler, a special unit of the SA. Unlike most of the marchers, these men looked convincingly military, with gray-green uniforms and steel helmets, carbines over their backs, and hand grenades hanging from their belts. The other marchers carried guns too, but many were nonfunctional for lack of firing pins. All the weapons were supposed to be unloaded, for Hitler wanted to avoid a shoot-out with the authori- ties. As ifexpecting that all might not go smoothly, however, he instruct- ed Dr. Walter Schultze, the Munich SA’s physician, to trail the column in his yellow Opel car, with a red cross painted on the side. The putschists displayed ominously aggressive tactics early in the TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE #® 185  186 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED march when they encountered a small force of state police stationed at Ludwigsbriicke on the Isar. Under orders to prevent the column from crossing the bridge, the police ordered the marchers to turn back. The policemen, however, were heavily outnumbered and understandably frightened. The putschists pressed their advantage with a charge directly into the police ranks. No one was shot, but the rebels jabbed at the police with bayonets and beat them with rifle butts. The police line collapsed as officers scampered for safety. Those who did not get away were escorted to the Biirgerbrau, where they were spit upon and beaten by the contin- gent guarding the building. Later, as they built up a convenient mytholo- gy about the putsch, the Nazis claimed that they had “fraternized” with the police at Ludwigsbriicke. In reality, they had shown their true colors, the true extent of their respect for “law and order.” Cheered by their easy rout of the police, the marchers swarmed across the Ludwigsbriicke and proceeded up the broad Tal toward the Marienplatz in the city center. Now their crusade began to pick up some of the popular momentum Hitler had hoped for. Hundreds of spectators on both sides of the street shouted their support. Clots of onlookers— clerks, students, and even some workers—fell in behind the column, swelling itssize. So large was the group that iteasily pushed aside anoth- er small cordon of police arrayed across the Tal. It truly seemed as if, as Johann Aigner later claimed, “the mood of the city was thoroughly in favor of the putsch.” Ludendorff and Hitler were still in the lead. Although the former wore a wrinkled civilian suit rather than his military uniform, he com- manded respect, even awe. The ubiquitous Professor von Miiller, watch- ing from a corner, considered the admiration for Ludendorff understandable; the man was, after all, “one of the greatest generals of the old German army, the architect and victor of glorious battles.” But Miiller found the men behind Ludendorff distinctly less impressive: They were “a motley gang with helmets and military caps, a bunch of civilians with- out order, all higgledy-piggledy.” From the Tal the swelling horde entered the Marienplatz, Munich’s great central square, and swept past the Mariensaule, a seventeenth-cen- tury column topped by a bronze Madonna overlooking four cupids rep- resenting Hunger, War, Plague, and Heresy—evils very much still present. In anticipation of the marchers’ arrival, an advance guard of SA men had stormed the Rathaus on the north side of the square and arrest- ed a number of city councillors and the Socialist mayor, Eduard Schmid. A huge swastika flag now flew from a balcony of the building. The scene in front resembled more a street festival than a putsch. Buskers competed  with food vendors for the attention of the huge crowd, which carpeted the square from end to end, totally enveloping some streetcars from the Sendlingen line. People sang patriotic songs until their voices gave out. Beneath the Mariensdule, gnomelike Julius Streicher, personification of Munich’s new political plague, claimed that Hitler’s Germany would hang Jewish profiteers from the lampposts, shut down the stock exchange, and nationalize the banks. Any who opposed the movement would be eliminated, whereas those who cooperated could look forward to a glorious German future, he declared. As they entered the square, the putschists were swallowed up by the mass of celebrants. Understandably many of the marchers assumed that their cause was now triumphant and began to celebrate with the crowd. Munich was theirs, they believed, and Berlin would soon follow. Yet Hitler knew full well that most of Munich’s military and governmental installations were still under the control of the police or army and that Réhm’s contingent was surrounded by Reichswehr troops. Faced with the conundrum of how to translate the energy and enthusiasm of the Marienplatz crowd into an actual takeover of the city, Hitler wallowed once again in doubt and indecision, giving no orders at all. Again itwas Ludendorff who took control. The column must, he said, continue on to rescue Réhm and his men at the military headquarters. This prospect excited the former general, for now the march had a mili- tary goal, not just a propagandistic one. He therefore barked acommand to move out, and the column slowly began to push on once again behind the Hero of Tannenberg and his somewhat reluctant ally, former Corporal Adolf Hitler. To get to Réhm on the Schénfeldstrasse, the marchers had to proceed through another square, the Odeonsplatz, which was connected to the Marienplatz by a pair of small streets on either side of the vast Rathaus. Ludendorff at first selected the larger one, Theatinerstrasse, but when he saw a contingent of state police blocking its end, he swung the column to the right onto the Perusastrasse and then to the left up the Residenzstrasse, which ran like a narrow canyon between the hulking Residenz and some commercial buildings. At the left end of this architec- tural Thermopylae loomed the Feldherrnhalle, Ludwig I’s Italianate monument to Bavaria’s greatest generals. Beneath the hall, blocking the street, was another cordon of green-coated state police, small in number but supported by heavy machine guns and an armored car. If they wished to reach R6hm, the marchers now had no option but to push past this cordon, as they had done at the Ludwigsbriicke. Yet this batch of police looked altogether more resolute, and they were quickly TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE ® 128.97  188 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED reinforced by men from the Theatinerstrasse contingent. As if to give themselves courage, the marchers started singing, and some of them shouted to the police to put down their weapons and join the crusade. In front of the column Ludendorff hardly slowed his pace, while Hitler, much less sure of himself, locked arms with Scheubner-Richter. After only a few steps the marchers made contact with the first police guards, whom they successfully pushed aside. But then the police began to fight back, working, as their commander, Lieutenant Michael von Godin, put it,“with rifle-butt and night stick.” Suddenly, according to Godin, a putschist fired his pistol and hit a police sergeant. This may or may not have been the first shot that was fired that day; postputsch inves- tigations remained inconclusive. Itiscertain only thatsomeone fired ashot and that immediately thereafter both sides began shooting in earnest (sug- gesting, of course, that Hitler’s order regarding unloaded weapons had not been followed). The police, with their machine guns and superior position, had the advantage, and amid a hail of bullets putschists in the front rows began hitting the pavement or stampeding backward, hurling themselves against men farther back in the column. Géring was among the first to be hit. He took a shot to the groin and crawled for protection beneath the central gateway of the Residenz. Eventually one of the putschists carried him into a nearby apartment building, where he was given first aid by the wife of a Jewish furniture dealer. Soon he managed to slip over the border to the Austrian Tyrol, where he convalesced from his wound with the help of morphine, to which he became hopelessly addicted. He did not return to Germany for four years. Hitler also went down, but not because he was hit. As the first shots rang out, he instinctively threw himself toward the pavement. At that very moment Scheubner-Richter, still intertwined with him, dropped with a bullet through his lungs. Hitler hit the ground with such force that his shoulder was separated. Further injury was prevented by the self-sac- rificing action of bodyguard Ulrich Graf, who covered Hitler with his bulk, absorbing in the process eleven bullets in his own body. Hitler lay under Graf for the duration of the firefight, which lasted about thirty sec- onds. Then, while confusion reigned and wounded men screamed in agony, he limped into a side street, where he was spotted by the SA physi- cian Dr. Schultze. The doctor helped Hitler to his car, which was filled with medical supplies. On the way to the car the men picked up a young boy who had been wounded in the crossfire. Before speeding out of town, they delivered the boy to his home. Later Nazi spin doctors transformed this episode into the useful myth that “the Fiihrer had left the scene of  action in order to carry a little child to safety.” According to Johann Aigner, this gesture also showed “the great love the Fiihrer harbored for Germany’s youth.” While Hitler clearly needed a cover story for his less-than-heroic behavior on that November afternoon. General Ludendorff had nothing, save his usual dim impetuosity, to be ashamed of. He too had instinctive- ly thrown himself down when the shooting started but then had picked himself up and continued to march, seemingly oblivious of the chaos around him. Walking right through the main police line, he reached the Odeonsplatz, where an officer approached him and said sheepishly, “Excellency, Imust take you into protective custody.” Ludendorff chival- rously replied, as if he were back on the battlefield. “You have your orders, and Iwill follow you.” The scene behind on the Residenzstrasse really did resemble a battle- field, with bloody corpses sprawled here and there, discarded flags and clothing scattered over the pavement, wounded men calling for help. Among the corpses was the jurist Pfordten, in whose pocket the police found a bloodstained copy of the Nazis’ intended constitution. Pfordten’s obituary, published the next day in the Bayerische Staatszeitung, lamented the loss to Bavarian justice of “a genuine German man full of glowing love for his fatherland.” Including Pfordten, the putschists lost thirteen men at the foot of the Feldherrnhalle. Another body in the street belonged to one Karl Kuhn, a waiter who happened to be walking home along the south side of the Residenz when a stray bullet caught him in the head. Two more putschists fell in the less extensive fighting at the military headquarters, where Roéhm was forced to surrender. A total of four policemen died at both battle scenes. Dozens of wounded received treatment at Munich University’s teaching hospital by Professor Sauerbruch, who now saved the lives of Nazis as he had once saved Count Arco auf Valley, Kurt Eisner’s assassin. Even before the dead and wounded had been carted away, arrest war- rants went out for the Nazi and Kampfbund leaders who had escaped the scene. The Nazi Party was outlawed, and its offices were occupied by the police. Gustav von Kahr and the other Bavarian leaders swore that Hitler’s legions would never again be allowed to terrorize the streets of Munich; the Nazis were finished, they said. “The Munich Putsch defi- nitely eliminates Hitler and his National Socialist followers,” agreed the New York Times. Breathing a sigh of relief, some anti-Nazi Miinchners began speaking of November 9 as “Kahrfreitag” (Kahr Friday), apun on Kar-Freitag (Good Friday). The general commissar, they said, had nailed TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE ® 189  190 =" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED his enemies on a cross of gunfire at the Feldherrnhalle. The problem with this metaphor was that it implied a resurrection on the part of the chief victim, who in any event was always happy enough to compare himself with Christ. The anti-Nazis in Munich who thought that they had seen the last of Hitler and his party had little reason to be satisfied with the behavior of their town during the chaotic events of 8-9 November 1923. Unlike the similarly abortive Kapp Putsch of March 1920, the Beer Hall Putsch (as it soon came to be known) had been suppressed not by an outraged popu- lace but by the police and military. Indeed, a significant number of towns- people (one can never know exactly how many) had registered their support for the putschists as they sought to take control of Munich in preparation for their long-promised assault on Berlin. The people’s enthusiasm raises the question of what might have hap- pened had the putsch attempt been better prepared and organized, if, more specifically, the rebels had had the time to mobilize all factions in the city that supported them. In that case mobs of citizens might have taken over key municipal and state institutions, as Eisner’s supporters had done in November 1918. This would have forced the military and state police to decide if they wanted to engage in a full-scale civil war. Of course, a Nazi victory in Munich—if indeed, this was even possible—would have shifted the conflict to the national level, where the struggle would have been considerably more challenging. Aftermath and Trial Following the putsch failure, Munich was ina rebellious and angry mood. In the late afternoon of 9November pro-Nazi groups ran through the streets vilifying Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser for not going along with Hitler. State police had to use force to clear demonstrators from the Odeonsplatz, Karlsplatz, and the Tal. Charged by the police, the crowds fought back with fists, clubs, and pieces of pavement. Sometimes they isolated an indi- vidual policeman and beat him bloody. According to one of the officers, the most violent assailants were members of the “so-called better classes.” The situation did not improve on subsequent days; indeed, the atmo- sphere remained so menacing that Kahr moved his office into the main military barracks. On the afternoon of 10 November a crowd gathered on the Odeonsplatz screaming, “Down with the traitor Kahr! Up with Hitler!” This time the police had to use live ammunition to clear the square. Meanwhile, at the university about two thousand nationalist stu-  dents staged a violent demonstration against the government. When Professor Sauerbruch, fresh from the operating table, tried to calm the students, they assaulted him, sending him back to his clinic as a patient. In their attacks on “the traitor Kahr,” pro-Nazi elements in Munich were animated not just by frustration but also by hopes that the results of 9 November might be reversed. Rumors floating around Munich had it that Hitler was holed up somewhere in the mountains preparing for a new assault on the Bavarian government. The reality was considerably less promising—at least from the pro- Nazi perspective. Hitler had found refuge at Putzi Hanfstaengl’s home at Uffing on the Staffelsee, about thirty miles south of Munich. Putzi’s wife took him in, for Putzi himself had fled to Austria as soon as the putsch collapsed. A story later circulated that Hitler had spent his brief time at the Hanfstaengl house having furious sex with Putzi’s beautiful sister, Erna, but Putzi insisted that Erna was not present and that, in any event, Hitler was in too much pain from his injury to “behave like Tannhauser in the Venusberg.” No matter how he deported himself at Hanfstaengl’s, Hitler under- stood that this could only be a short-term refuge since the police were cer- tain to come there in search of him. The Nazi leader therefore telephoned the Bechsteins to send a car to pick him up and take him toa safer hide- out. In his choice of helpers in a crisis, Hitler showed once again how dependent he was on Munich high society. On 11 November, before the Bechstein car could arrive, adetachment of state police appeared at the Hanfstaengl house. Apparently they had been tipped off by a gardener that Hitler was there. As the police sur- rounded the house, Hitler pulled out a pistol and shouted to Putzi’s wife: “This is the end. I will never let these swine take me. I will shoot myself first.” Frau Hanfstaengl, according to the account she later gave Putzi, used a jujitsu trick to wrestle the gun away from Hitler. If this account is true, the Nazi leader had survived his second close brush with death in the space of three days. Hitler and his primary coconspirators appeared before a special tri- bunal in Munich on 26 February 1924, exactly four years after the Nazis’ pioneering mass meeting in the Hofbrahaus. The formal charge was Hochverrat (high treason). In the interval between his arrest and trial, Hitler was detained in cell number 7 at Landsberg Fortress, Arco auf Valley’s room, while Eisner’s assassin was moved to other quarters. By all rights, Hitler and his colleagues should not have been tried in Munich at all. Since they were charged with high treason, they should have gone before the new National Court for the Protection of the TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE & 09et  92 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Republic in Leipzig. But the Knilling government refused to give the cen- tral court jurisdiction in this case. Partly this maneuver was another asser- tion of states’ rights, but Munich was also acting out of fear that a trial under Reich auspices would reveal the extent to which the Bavarian tri- umvirate, especially Kahr, had collaborated with Hitler in the period leading up to the putsch. Before the trial began, Hitler once again threatened suicide but settled instead for a brief hunger strike. He worried that the regime he had tried so hard to overthrow was now prepared to treat him as the dangerous political criminal he was. In fact, however, he had little to fear from the Bavarian authorities who took charge of his case. Bavaria’s minister of justice, Franz Giirtner, did not try to hide his sympathy for the Nazi cause. The chairman of the Munich court that tried the case, Georg Neithardt, was a rightist who in his earlier handling of the Arco trial had shown that abstract justice was not his highest priority (later he became a high judicial official under the Nazis). When Reich officials proposed that Hitler be deported under the Law for the Protection of the Republic, Neithardt declared that this law “should not apply to a man so German in his thinking as Adolf Hitler.” Once the trial began, Neithardt made sure that the prosecution had little room for maneuver. By contrast, the defense was given every advantage, and as star defendant Hitler was allowed to turn his time in the dock into an extended explication of Nazi ideology. Hitler and his fellow putschists got more propagandistic exposure from the trial than from the putsch itself. The Nazi leader’s defense, in essence, was that he and his colleagues had not committed treason in the true sense because the Weimar Republic itself was a treasonous enterprise. But ifhe was to be branded a traitor, he declared, so too must the Bavarian leadership. “The fact was that for the whole time [before the putsch] Seisser and Kahr shared the same goal as we; namely, the removal of the Reich government... and its replacement by an absolute, nationalistic, antiparliamentary government—a dictator- ship. .Ifinfactourundertakingwashightreason,thenKahr,Lossow, and Seisser also must have committed high treason because for months on end they agitated for nothing other than that for which we sit in the dock.” Hitler’s aggressive rhetoric threw his accusers on the defensive, Lossow responded by denouncing the Nazi leader as a harebrained adventurer with delusions of grandeur; he flew into a rage when Hitler called him a turncoat. Kahr seemed hapless in the witness box, refusing to answer questions and claiming he could not remember crucial facts about the  period before the putsch. In the opinion of the British consul, a witness at the trial, Kahr “cut an extremely poor figure.” While Hitler attacked the Bavarian government, his coconspirator Ludendorff argued that he had participated in the undertaking only because Hitler convinced him that it had the backing of the army. He implied that he should have known better than to trust a foreign agitator like Hitler. Clearly the Hero of Tannenberg and the Austrian ex-corporal would no longer be marching side by side toward a glorious German future. In smaller ancillary trials involving members of the Stosstrupp Hitler, defendants insisted that they had believed they were acting in collabora- tion with the Bavarian authorities and simply following orders. For example, Karl Fiehler, who became mayor of Munich in the Nazi era, noted that the Kampfbund forces had gotten most of their weapons and training from the Bavarian Reichswehr. Throughout the entire judicial spectacle, members of the public stormed the courtroom to show their support for the defendants. Some of Hitler’s female followers sought permission to take baths in his tub (pre- sumably with him absent). There were frequent demonstrations in Munich on behalf of the men in the dock. The city’s leading nationalist paper, the Miinchener Neueste Nachrichten, editorialized: “We make no bones about the fact that our human sympathies lie on the side of the defendants and not with the November criminals of 1918.” Down at the Hofbrauhaus, the folk singer Weiss Ferdl provided his own commentary on the trial to the cheers of his stein-thumping audience: “German men stand today at the bar of the court /Courageously they confess their deed; they’ve nothing to conceal / Tell me, what have they done wrong? / Can it really be a crime to try to save one’s fatherland from disgrace and despair?” The verdicts and sentences were handed down on | April 1923. Ludendorff, who had had more to do with the final shape of the putsch than any of the other conspirators, was acquitted. Hitler and the other putsch leaders were found guilty of treason with “extenuating circum- stances.” The court declared that the men had acted out of “pure patriot- ic motives and the most noble selfless ideals.” They had “believed that they were rescuing the fatherland from its terrible plight.” The judges also concluded that the defendants had honestly thought they were “act- ing in concert with the leading men of Bavaria.” Hitler, Weber, Kriebel, and Péhner got the lightest sentences the court could issue for their crime: “fortress arrest” for a period not to exceed five years. Five other putschists, including Réhm and Frick, each received a sentence of fifteen months but TO THE FELDHERRNHALLE & PERS  He9r4 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED were allowed to spend their sentences on probation. As they left the court- room, the defendants were given a standing ovation. “Munich is chuck- ling over the verdict, which is regarded as an excellent joke for All Fools Day,” commented the London Times. But the mood in the city remained anything but lighthearted. Five days after the verdict, in new elections for the Bavarian Landtag, a party call- ing itself the National Socialist Freedom Movement, a front for the out- lawed Nazis, won 17.1 percent of the vote statewide and more than 50 percent in Munich. Its total of twenty-three mandates equaled that of the SPD. Bavarian authorities interpreted this result as a reaction to the pro- pagandistic effects of the Beer Hall Putsch trial. As a Munich police report observed, “The popularity of Hitler and the other leaders was only increased by their conviction and their quasi-martyrdom.” As Hitler returned to Landsberg Fortress to begin serving his sentence, he had time to contemplate the meaning of the Beer Hall Putsch. He con- cluded that ithad failed because the army and police had not been drawn into the effort. Never again would he try to grab power by force, and he would make every attempt to win over the armed forces for his movement. Later, after becoming chancellor, Hitler came to see the putsch not as a failure but as a useful stepping-stone on his path to power. “Before the march to the Feldherrnhalle,” he said, “I had seventy or eighty thousand followers. After this march I had two million.” As so often, Hitler was grossly bending the facts, but itiscertainly true that the failed putsch had its uses for him, not the least of which was an even firmer bond with the city where the drama had taken place. Having fought and survived this battle in the streets of Munich, he was convinced more than ever that the Bavarian capital was his city of destiny. No wonder he later made the Feldherrnhalle the central shrine of the Nazi movement, the sacred place to which he and the other Old Fighters returned time and again in ritual reenactment of the historic march of 9November 1923.  “The Dumbest City in Germany ~ IN 1932 THOMAS Mann,whohadbythenshedhisunpoliticalcon- servatism to become a vocal defender of the republican order, proposed that the town in which he had chosen to live for the past thirty-eight years might serve as a “world-German” city combining the best German tradi- tions with an openness to the world. As Mann himself well knew, how- ever, Munich in the Weimar period harbored neither the healthiest German traditions nor much inclination toward cosmopolitanism. On the contrary, itcombined extreme conservatism with adefensive parochial- ism. And far from being touted for its sophistication, the erstwhile Isar £955  196 Athens was being lampooned by many non-Bavarians (especially by lib- erals and leftists in Berlin) as “the dumbest city in Germany.” Hitler and the Nazis contributed their share to the dumbing of Munich, but they had plenty of help from the political and religious estab- lishment, which waged a bitter crusade against what was left of the city’s avant-garde culture. In matters of the intellect, Nazis and Bavarian con- servatives found plenty of common ground. As their antiliberal campaign gathered momentum, modernist artists and progressive intellectuals who had weathered earlier storms of cultural backlash and nativist hostility left for friendlier climes, particularly for Berlin. Despite being among the winners in this cultural war, the Nazis had their own troubles in the middle years of the Weimar era, which was a time of relative economic and political stability, inimical to a party that fed on chaos and despair. The Nazi movement, moreover, was racked with dissension in the wake of the Beer Hall Putsch. The sources of friction included a growing hostility among the northern branches of the party to domination by the Nazi bureaucracy in Munich. It took all of Hitler’s leadership skills to pull the party back together and to keep itcentered in the Bavarian capital. Hitler’s tenacity regarding his favorite city turned out to be a piece of sound political thinking, for Munich continued to provide a secure oper- ational base even as the national organization suffered repeated internal crises, government restrictions, and a loss of momentum that led some observers to write the party off as a credible threat. Munich’s “dumbness,” in other words, was yet another godsend for Hitler. The Landsberg Interregnum True to their word, Hitler’s followers did not forget their leader simply because he was sitting in Landsberg Fortress. At Christmas in 1923 a group of artists in Schwabing put on a tableau called “Adolf Hitler in Prison.” Against a backdrop of falling snowflakes and a choral rendition of “Silent Night,” a sallow-faced prisoner sat in a cell with his head in his hands. As an angel delivered a Christmas tree to the cell, the inmate—a spitting image of Hitler hired by Heinrich Hoffmann-slowly turned his face to the audience. According to Hoffmann, “a half-sob went through the hall.” The following April, on Hitler’s thirty-fifth birthday, some three thousand Miinchners held a rousing demonstration in the Biirgerbratikeller, demanding their leader’s immediate release and the rehabilitation of the Nazi Party. =" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  Since Hitler could not come to Munich, Munich came to him. Sympathizers trooped down to Landsberg to spend a few hours with him in his cell, a spacious suite connected to a common room, which was fes- tooned with Nazi insignia. Among the visitors were Carin Géring, who relayed good wishes from her fugitive husband; Winifred Wagner, who promised to “fight like a lioness” for the Nazi cause; and Helene Bechstein, who got extra time with her hero by claiming to be his adoptive mother. The pilgrims to Landsberg found a scene that, according to one witness, was “more like an officers’ casino than a prison.” When not entertaining visitors, the captive putschists “played cards, smoked, and ordered refined gourmet meals from the warden.” They supplemented their prison fare with food shipments from their friends in Munich. Putzi Hanfstaengl, a frequent visitor, said that one “could have opened up a flower and fruit and wine shop with all the stuff” stacked in Hitler’s quarters. The Nazi leader was putting on so much weight as a result of his prison diet that Putzi advised him to take up some kind of sport. “No,” replied Hitler emphatically, “I keep away from such things. It would be bad for discipline if I took part in physical training. A leader cannot afford to be beaten in games.” Hitler claimed that he could lose weight just by talking, and that may have been true, since he did so much of it. He lectured his colleagues on political and cultural themes, illustrating his points with episodes from his own life. Even these devoted disciples eventually tired of Hitler’s harangues. According to Otto Strasser, they hit upon a “Machiavellian” means to divert the flood of words: They encouraged their chief to write his mem- oirs. Hitler did not need much persuading to embark on this project, for he was anxious to show the world that despite his minimal formal educa- tion, he was a serious thinker. Accordingly, he began spending several hours a day dictating his life story and political ideas to the dutiful Rudolf Hess, who typed itup on an old Remington machine. (The reams of paper used for this purpose, inci- dentally, came from Winifred Wagner.) Hitler’s working title was “Four and a Half Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice,” but Max Amann wisely convinced him to go with the pithier Mein Kampf. Virtually completed by the time Hitler left Landsberg, the manuscript was so badly written that several colleagues, notably Father Stempfle, had to rework itbefore sending iton to the Nazi-owned Eher Press in Munich for publication. A first volume appeared in July 1925, and a second vol- ume about a year and a half later. In 1930 the volumes were combined in an inexpensive edition that soon became de rigueur on every good German bookshelf. (By the end of the Third Reich Hitler’s memoir had “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” &@ PS,  198 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED been published in sixteen languages, as well as in braille, and had sold more than ten million copies. Yet within months of the end of World War II the book had become so rare in Germany that the American occupation government had difficulty finding copies for its Amerika Haus libraries. In 1949 the Bavarian government, which took over the copyright, pro- hibited further publication or dissemination of the book in Germany, making the remaining copies quite valuable on the black market.) Hitler attracted new followers even as he sat in prison. One of them was a frustrated young literary intellectual from the Rhineland named Josef Goebbels. Dwarfish, clubfooted, and full of venom, Goebbels was like a personification of Thomas Hobbes’s definition of life: “nasty, brutish, and short.” But he was also an intelligent and complex figure: a rationalist who hungered for faith and overarching certainties; a skeptic who managed to convince himself that itmattered not so much what one believed as that one believed. He also possessed brilliant oratorical gifts and an oily charm that enchanted the ladies. Goebbels had not met Hitler at the time of the Beer Hall Putsch, though he, like most of the men who came to rule the Third Reich, had spent time in Munich in the immedi- ate aftermath of the war. He had gone there from his native Rhineland to study literature at Munich University and was in residence at the time of the Eisner assassination, which he heartily applauded. Yet as a self-pro- claimed “Socialist” Goebbels was not yet attracted to the fledgling Nazi movement, which struck him as hopelessly reactionary. He registered his contempt by doodling a cartoon depicting a child sitting on a chamber pot, saying “Seh ich nur ein Hakenkreuz, kriege ich schon zum Kacken Reiz [Just thinking of a swastika while I sit, gives me the urge to shit].” Goebbels did not begin to see possibilities in Hitler until he read accounts of his testimony in the Beer Hall Putsch trial. Convinced that Germany needed a savior, he began to think that the Nazi chief might be the answer to his hopes. “If only [Hitler] were free,” he wrote in his diary, he might “fill me with new courage and new self-confidence. Things can’t go on this way.” Two years later he wrote that Hitler had expressed at his trial not just his “own pain and struggle” but “the suffering of an entire generation who were yearning for real men, for meaningful tasks.” Yet Goebbels continued to worry that Hitler was too caught up in the provincial, petit bourgeois world of his Munich entourage. Like Goring, the Rhinelander believed that this “backward” element was preventing Hitler from reaching out beyond the geographic and class confines of the movement. The Bavarian cadres, in response, began patronizing Goebbels as “our little doctor” (he received a Ph.D. in German literature from Heidelberg University in 1922). Characteristically they also made  fun of his physical deformity, belittling his pathetic claim to have acquired his affliction in the war. The Goebbels-Munich antagonism reflected a North-South division in the volkisch movement. While Hitler was in prison, some of the Munich Old Guard, above all Gottfried Feder and Hermann Esser, complained that the remnants of the National Socialist Party were falling under the pernicious influence of “Prussians” like Ludendorff, on whom they blamed the failure of the Beer Hall Putsch. A contingent of northerners, meanwhile, countered that the Munich cadres had isolated Hitler. In August 1924 a faction of northerners connected to the German Nationalist Freedom Party (an offshoot of the outlawed Nazis) pro- claimed Ludendorff their leader in Hitler’s absence. Their spokesman, Adalbert Volck, heaped abuse on Esser, calling him a “destructive and disintegrative influence.” Hitler, Volck declared, should move to the North and surround himself with “men of Nordic blood ... who want and are able to do something.” Volck later added a stock North German prejudice toward the Bavarian character: “The South is easy to inflame but has no staying power; that was seen in the war, when the Bavarian was brilliant in the attack but weak in holding a position; down there ‘Rome’ inhibits their striking force; only in the North can a real vélkisch assault be generated.” Kurt Ludecke, a playboy and international travel- er who helped raise funds for the Nazis, proposed moving the party head- quarters to Thuringia, which was more centrally located. But Hitler would not hear of abandoning Munich; the people there, he claimed, were “devoted to me, to me and to nobody else.” Just because the movement was threatened in its home base, he added, was no reason to retreat. “The most sacred place iswhere one has suffered most.” With the exception of the Munich question, Hitler tried to stay out of internal feuds while he was in prison. He believed that itmade no sense to back a particular faction when he could not personally enforce his deci- sion. From his point of view, moreover, there was a hidden blessing in the squabbles: They kept his lieutenants occupied and prevented any one of them from grabbing total control in his absence. To maintain his Olympian distance, he informed his followers in the summer of 1924 that he had decided to “withdraw from active politics until my restored free- dom offers me the possibility of being a real leader.” In the meantime, he said, no one should presume to act on his behalf. Hitler was scheduled to be released from Landsberg in late 1924, after having served a little more than a year behind bars (counting his pretrial detention). The decision to release him early came as no surprise, for the Munich court had never intended to hold him for the full five years of his “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” & 199  200 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED sentence. Perhaps his cause was also helped by glowing reports from the Landsberg warden, who wrote that Hitler had shown himself to be “a man of strict discipline and order.” The court could also justify its action onthegroundthatintherecentReichstagelections(7December 1924)the radical Right had slipped dramatically from its success of the previous May, garnering only 907,000 votes, or about 5 percent of the total. The vilkisch fever seemed to have peaked right after the Beer Hall trial; now the rightist radicals were in retreat. Nonetheless, the Munich police and the Bavarian government pre- ferred to deport Hitler to Austria as soon as he got out of Landsberg. They worried that he would again become a menace to state security, as well as to the tourist industry, which had bitterly complained that Hitler was bad for business. In September 1924 an official of the Bavarian Ministry of Interior raised the issue with Austrian Chancellor Ignaz Seipel, but Seipel made clear that Austria did not want Hitler back. Indeed, the Austrians indicated that they would return him to Bavaria if Munich tried to dump him over the border. (Later, in August 1925, Hitler himself sought to make an expulsion to Austria impossible by formally asking Vienna to revoke his Austrian citizenship, as Vienna was happy to do. This meant that Hitler, who did not obtain German citizenship until 1932, was legally stateless for almost seven years.) On 20 December 1924 Hitler became a free man. Looking almost like a real Bavarian, with a pair of let-out lederhosen hugging his prison paunch, he posed outside Landsberg’s gates for aHoffmann photograph before rushing back to Munich. A small group of disciples, led by Hermann Esser and Julius Streicher, awaited him in his apartment on Thierschstrasse. His shabby room was filled with flowers and food, but the mood was somber. Hitler immediately left for Putzi Hanfstaengl’s residence, where he asked his friend to welcome him home with a rendi- tion of Wagner’s “Liebestod.” Stabilization The political climate in Munich had changed substantially while Hitler was out of action. General Commissar Gustav von Kahr, whose ambigu- ous role in the Beer Hall Putsch had made him (in the words ofthe British consul) “the best-hated man in Bavaria,” had resigned his position in early 1924. The nationalist Right could not forgive Kahr for “betraying Hitler,” while the Left believed, with considerable justice, that he had actually egged Hitler on. The ineffectual Eugen von Knilling had also left office  and was replaced by Heinrich Held. Although not a Bavarian by birth, Held had been one of the founders of the BVP and was a former presi- dent of the German Catholic Assembly. He was a strong federalist who did all he could to promote states’ rights. Yet he ended the Kahr-Knilling regime’s “state of emergency” and allowed the local Reichswehr to resume taking its oath of allegiance to the nation. Above all, he proved an adept and popular leader, bringing continuity to the political scene by remaining in office for nine years. Held’s counterpart in Munich municipal politics was Karl Scharnagl (BVP), who was elected lord mayor in the communal elections of 1924. A former baker and Center Party Landtag delegate, Scharnagl made palat- able political pastry out of a mixture of Bavarian pride and traditional conservative nationalism. As a veteran of the annexationist Fatherland Party and a convinced federalist, he could never fully accept the Weimar Republic. Thus he refused to beflag municipal buildings when Paul von Hindenburg, who was elected Reich president in 1925 after Ebert’s death, swore allegiance to the Weimar Constitution. On the other hand, Scharnagl saw to it that the president became an honorary citizen of Munich when he paid an official visit to the city in the same year. Like Held, Scharnagl was a figure of continuity, holding his office until the Nazi takeover in 1933 (and again after the collapse of the Third Reich). Accompanying these political changes was a gradual and always pre- carious stabilization of the economic situation. In mid-November 1923 the central government introduced a new currency, the Rentenmark. Backed by mortgages on real estate, rolling stock, gold, and foreign exchange reserves, the new currency soon became widely accepted, bring- ing the terrible days of hyperinflation to an end. Germany’s financial sit- uation was also benefited by the introduction in spring 1924 of the Dawes Plan (named after the American banker Charles Dawes), which reduced the Reich’s annual reparation payments and made foreign loans available to help the country meet its treaty obligations. In early 1924 Munich’s Chamber ofCommerce noted that currency sta- bilization had brought “a calming tendency” and a “sense of relief” since businessmen now sensed “firm ground” beneath their feet. A year later the British consul, newly arrived from England, was surprised to find less poverty and economic insecurity in Munich than in London; he wished “the people of London looked as contented as those I encountered in and around Munich.” Yet ifthe consul had looked more closely, he would have found plenty oflingering malaise in the Bavarian capital. Many citizens had been so dev- astated during the Great Inflation that they could not recover their finan- “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 201  202 =" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED cial footing. Those who had held on to their savings accounts and govern- ment securities found that these assets were now virtually worthless. Moreover, like many German cities, Munich suffered from a lack of available capital in the wake of the currency reform. In an effort to alle- viate the situation, Mayor Scharnagl took the extraordinary step of lead- ing a delegation of local politicians and businessmen to the international mecca of money, New York City, in 1926. There they arranged for a loan of $8.9 million. In the following year Scharnagl brokered another sub- stantial loan from the British. There was something fitting about this: American and British visitors had long led the parade of foreign tourists to Munich; now the Anglo-Saxons were giving something back to their favorite German city. But, of course, the loans were not motivated by altruism, and the need to repay them accelerated the city’s financial tail- spin once the Great Depression hit in the early 1930s. In the meantime the outside help allowed Scharnagl to undertake some needed socioeconomic projects. Describing Munich’s chronic hous- ing shortage as the “chief misery of our people,” the mayor pushed the construction of approximately three thousand new apartment complexes. He also presided over the expansion of the public transportation network and the development of a commercial airport on the Oberwiesenfeld. In the late twenties Munich got its first skyscraper, the twelve-story Technical City Hall, as well as its first traffic light. Yet such innovations could not disguise the fact that in the realm of urban sophistication, Munich was falling ever farther behind Berlin, which was advertising itself as the “New York of Europe.” “The Moscow ofOur Movement” Upon his return to Munich following his enforced leave of absence, Hitler turned to the task of getting the Nazi Party relegalized. Fourteen days after his release he met with Prime Minister Held to discuss the terms under which the party’s prohibition in Bavaria might be lifted. Warily the premier asked if the Nazis would henceforth eschew attacks on the church and the conservative establishment. Hitler replied that these insti- tutions had never been his target: his “only enemy” was Marxism, and he would support any government that combated this plague. He also apol- ogized for the Beer Hall Putsch, blaming iton Ludendorff, with whom he promised to have no more traffic. Held was skeptical but agreed to lift the ban on the party and its newspaper, the Volkischer Beobachter, as of 16  February 1925. “The wild beast is checked,” he said; “we can afford to loosen the chain.” There was more to this move, however, than a grudging willingness to give Hitler the benefit of the doubt. Like other Bavarian leaders before him, Held apparently hoped that the Nazi beast, ifproperly domesticat- ed, could actually become a wholesome influence in the state. Justifying the legalization of the party to the Landtag, Held explained that he had told Hitler he would “place no obstacles in the path of orderly action and agitation [by the Nazis], since I myself see the great need for the patriotic development of our people, especially the youth.” Almost immediately Held had reason to regret his decision to unfetter theNazis.TomarktherefoundingoftheNSDAP on27February1925, Hitler delivered a vitriolic speech before three thousand followers at the Biirgerbraukeller. In his two-hour harangue, entitled “Germany’s Future and Our Movement,” he claimed that only the Nazis were capable of dealing with Marxism and “the intellectual carriers of this world plague, the Jews.” The Nazis would take up the battle “with all means necessary,” he declared. “Either we walk over the dead bodies of our enemies, or they will walk over ours.” Hitler also ridiculed the Reichstag, likening itto a beer hall where people babbled on endlessly. Obviously these remarks did not show much evidence of a domesticat- ed Hitler, and the Bavarian authorities moved quickly to slap him down. Effective March 1925, Hitler was banned from addressing public meet- ings in Bavaria. Interior Minister Karl Stutzel, who orchestrated the ban, explained that it was necessary to protect the security of the state and (once again) the tourist industry. Bavaria’s action inspired similar restric- tions in many other German states, including Prussia, Saxony, and Baden. It is significant, however, that the punitive measures applied only to mass meetings addressed by Hitler. The authorities apparently saw Hitler, not his fragmented party, as the primary danger. The speaking ban was a source of great frustration for Hitler, inas- much as itcame just as he was trying to rebuild the Nazi Party in the face of fractious internal disagreements over policy and direction. Among the internecine challenges was a new push by some of his followers to move the Nazi headquarters out of Munich. Unable to address this issue in mass meetings, Hitler used small gatherings of regional leaders to reinforce his determination to keep the Nazi base in the Bavarian capital. In Saxony in June 1925 he declared: “Rome—Mecca—Moscow! Each of these places embodies a world view. Let us remain with the city that witnessed the first blood martyrs of the movement; itmust become the Moscow of our “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 203  204 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED movement!” A little later, in Stuttgart, he repeated this theme: “Our movement isinseparably tied to Munich because itwas born there and lost its first martyrs there. The city is... holy ground.” In Rosenheim, east of Munich, where the first party branch after Munich had been founded, Hitler acknowledged that the Held government was making life difficult for the Nazis, but he argued that it was imperative to make a stand “where we are opposed most fiercely.” Hitler’s decision to keep the party headquarters in Munich fueled other controversies, for many in the vdlkisch camp tended to see his Munich entourage as soft on Catholicism and all too inclined to make deals with the Bavarian federalists. Ludendorff argued that Hitler had become so corrupted by his Bavarian followers that he had “sold out” to Held in order to get the party rehabilitated. Captain Ehrhardt, now thoroughly estranged from Hitler, summed up the northerners’ distrust when he acidly commented: “Don’t forget, the man isan Austrian!” Even Hitler’s old colleague Ernst Réhm began denouncing the Nazi leader for abandoning the putsch as a means to power. Rdhm had estab- lished a new paramilitary unit called the Frontbann, to which he wanted to subordinate the SA in preparation for another putsch attempt. Hitler would have none of this; in April 1925 he gave Rohm the choice of accept- ing the new policy or resigning his leadership of the SA. Choosing the lat- ter, Réhm sulked in semiretirement for the next four years before accepting an offer to move to Bolivia as a military adviser. Within the newly reconstituted Nazi Party there was little direct criti- cism of Hitler but plenty of carping at the Munich central bureaucracy. Goebbels, who had earlier grumbled about the “reactionaries” around Hitler, played a key role in the anti-Munich campaign from his new posi- tion as business manager of the North Rhineland Gau (district) in Elberfeld. He was joined by Gregor Strasser, aformer pharmacist from Landshut, who was in charge of building up the party in northern and central Germany. Strasser, like Goebbels, was convinced that the Nazis must take their programatic socialism more seriously ifthey hoped to win over the industrial workers. He argued for the nationalization of banks and large firms. This policy could not be effectively pursued from Munich, he believed, for the city lacked a large manufacturing base and a militant work force. Furthermore, he said, the Miinchners were lazy, small-minded, and intent upon imposing their petty bureaucratic regula- tions on the rest of the movement. When Strasser outlined his objections to Goebbels, the doctor fully agreed. He confided to his diary on 21 August 1925: “[Strasser] brought much sad news from Munich. About that abdominable and wretched management of the central office. Hitler  is surrounded with the wrong people. I believe Hermann Esser is his undoing. With Strasser we shall now organize the entire west. .. That will give us a weapon against those sclerotic bosses in Munich. I am sure we shall convince Hitler.” To coordinate their campaign to wean Hitler from Munich, Strasser and a number of other dissidents calling themselves the Working Group of Northern and Western Gauleiters met at the Hanover home of Gauleiter Bernhard Rust on 25 January 1925. Hitler was not present, but he was represented by Feder. During the meeting most of the conferees expressed support for aCommunist proposal in the Reichstag to expro- priate the property of the former royal houses of Germany, a move that Hitler was known to oppose. Blaming Hitler’s position on his Munich entourage, Goebbels went so far as to suggest that “the petit bourgeois Hitler” be expelled from the party unless he broke free of the pernicious southern influence. When Feder objected to Strasser’s “Socialist” pro- gram, Goebbels denounced him as a “servant of capital and interest.” Feder’s report to Hitler on the Hanover meeting convinced the latter that he had to act quickly to pull the party together. In February 1926 he invited all the regional leaders to Bamberg, where the southern influence predominated. Goebbels hoped that he and his northern allies would be able to convince Hitler to take a more Socialist path. “In Bamberg we'll play the coy beauty and lure Hitler onto our turf. In all the cities I observe to my joy that our spirit, i.e.,the Socialist spirit, ison the march. No one believes in Munich anymore. Elberfeld will become the Mecca of German socialism.” But Hitler quickly dispelled the doctor’s illusions. Speaking in an authoritarian tone, he said he would brook no further disagreements about the location of party headquarters or the direction of Nazi policy. The National Socialist movement, he declared, must act as a disciplehood of true believers fighting together for a sacred cause. Just as Munich had to remain the center of Nazism because of the holy sacrifices that had transpired there, the original party dogma could not be revised, for it“was the foundation of our ideology.” The northern dissidents were disappointed with what they heard, but they were unwilling to stand up for their beliefs in the presence of Hitler and his strong southern contingent. Strasser concluded that his faction was too weak to overpower the Miinchners or to start a separate party. Suffering in silence, Goebbels fumed in his diary over having to put up with the “swine from down under.” Aware that complete cooperation on the part of his northern lieutenants was by no means secured, Hitler traveled around the Reich, stroking the “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” ® 205  206 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED egos of regional potentates. He concentrated on Goebbels, for he under- stood how useful the little man might be. In a move reflecting a good appreciation of Goebbels’s character, Hitler invited him to Munich for a speaking engagement in April 1926. The Nazi chiefs red Mercedes picked up Goebbels at the train station and drove him past signs proclaiming that “Dr. Goebbels” would speak at the Biirgerbraukeller. As Hitler’s personal guest Goebbels toured party headquarters and saw the place where the Beer Hall martyrs had fallen. He attended Hitler’s thirty-seventh birthday party and had dinner with Geli Raubal, a pretty twenty-year-old who was the daughter of Hitler’s half sister, Angela. Geli, disparaged by Putzi Hanfstaeng]l as “an empty-headed little slut,” flirted with Goebbels, throw- ing him into transports of delight. After his two-and-a-half-hour speech at the Biirgerbrdukeller, which was warmly applauded, Hitler tearfully embraced him, evoking the effusive admission “I am really happy.” Goebbels’s bliss continued when Hitler treated him to a lengthy explana- tion of his ideas on foreign policy. “We had a meeting of minds,” wrote Goebbels in his diary. “He talked brilliantly. I love him thoroughly. ... He has thought everything through. Iam totally reassured. ...Ibow before the greater man, a political genius!” Leaving the Bavarian capital, Goebbels gushed: “Farewell, Munich, Ilove you very much!” “No Madamoiselle, You Will Not Dance in Munich” With economic stabilization and relative political stability prevailing in the land after 1923, the Nazis searched for controversial issues that they could exploit to keep themselves in the public eye. Cultural politics pro- vided a key to this strategy, and the Nazis made Munich’s ongoing cul- tural wars one of their primary battlegrounds in the “Golden Twenties.” Aside from keeping their cause in the headlines, their zealotry helped lower the tone ofintellectual debate. Yet they could not have polluted the waters so effectively without help from Munich’s political and cultural leadership. When the Nazis breached the Munich City Council and the Bavarian Landtag in 1925, they made attacks on Jews in Munich’s cultural life cen- tral to their agenda. One of their Landtag delegates, for example, fulmi- nated against “the seduction of the people by the Jewish Operetta, with one hundred women turning their legs up in the air, and by the Jewish movie house.” Nazi city councillors demanded the ouster of State Opera con-  ductor Bruno Walter on the ground that as a Jew he was not fit to con- duct German music. The Nazis’ house organ, the Vélkischer Beobachter, complained that Jews got all the best building contracts, while “good German architects” were going hungry. The Nazis combined their demand for “racial purity” in cultural mat- ters with a crusade for moral probity and patriotic virtue in the arts. Official censorship in Munich had softened after the collapse of the monarchy, but the Nazis took itupon themselves to be the city’s unofficial guardians of family and national values. To promote their cultural vision, they relied not just upon speeches and publications but on violent demon- strations and physical intimidation. Favorite tactics included setting loose packs of rats in theaters and throwing stink bombs during performances. When they wished to run the Jewish author Lion Feuchtwanger out of town, they laid siege to his house, screaming anti-Semitic slogans and pelting him with stones whenever he ventured out. Their brutal tena- ciousness paid off: Feuchtwanger fled to Berlin in 1925. (His novel Erfolg, published five years later, contained cutting caricatures of Hitler and his followers.) The Nazis focused much of their wrath on Munich’s theatrical scene, which in the early twenties still showed fitful signs of its old exuberance. Their prime target in the early twenties was the radical young playwright Bertolt Brecht, who had moved to Munich from his native Augsburg in 1918. As a political leftist and cultural rebel (Wedekind was his idol), Brecht believed that Munich would be an ideal place to work. For a time he felt at home there, but the Nazis soon put an end to his idyll. When his In the Jungle of Cities opened at the Residenztheater in May 1923, a group of SA men tried to drown out the performance with foot stomping and chants. The play went on only because Brecht’s followers, who outnum- bered the Nazis, shouted them down. During the third performance, however, the Nazis set offa stink bomb, which shut down the production for good. Calling the SA “the excrement of Adolf Hitler,” Brecht left for Berlin in 1924. On several occasions the Nazis received support from the Munich establishment in their drive to “cleanse” the city. For example, Frank Wedekind’s play Pandora’s Box was canceled because the Nazis were joined in their protest by the police, the church, and the BVP. A Nazi campaign against performances by Tilla Durieux, a Jewish actress from Berlin, was effective because, on the advice of the conservative Bayerische Kurier, some members of the audience emptied chamber pots in the hall. Sometimes the police summarily suspended performances that the SA disrupted. After closing Arthur Schnitzler’s sexually evocative play Der “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” ® 207  208 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Reigen (La Ronde) in the wake of a Nazi riot, the police chief declared: “The police are not in the position, without neglecting more important tasks, to place a large contingent at the constant disposal of the business director [of the theater], in order to ensure the orderly performance of a play that mocks all healthy sensibilities of the people, and that therefore has rightly awakened heavy protests in wide circles.” Mayor Scharnagl, though condemning the Nazis’ more violent tactics, shared their views on art and culture. In his inaugural address in 1925 he defined his cultural agenda as “the furthering of noble, elevated expres- sions of human life among all sectors of the population; the perpetuation of old customs and traditions; the suppression of modernist, un-German, and demoralizing practices and views through the cultivation of indige- nous, fully native and rooted inheritances.” In this spirit he chastised the Kammerspiele’s talented director, Otto Falckenberg, for mounting plays that explored “the sexual and sensual side of human nature [without offering] any joy or nobility.” He also saw to itthat a prominent square in Schwabing was named after Max von Feilitzsch, the archconservative interior minister who had led the Catholics’ charge against cultural mod- ernism in the Prince Regency period. Munich’s city council did its best to keep the town free from what the mayor called “cheap fads, degrading extravagances, and works of ques- tionable political import.” Thus, when the African American dancer Josephine Baker, famous across Europe for appearing in a banana skirt and little else, sought to include Munich in one of her tours, the council replied: “No mademoiselle, you will not dance in Munich, a city that respects itself.” (By contrast, Baker was a great hit in Berlin, despite Nazi demonstrations calling her “inhuman.”) On grounds of “questionable political import,” the council banned Alfred Eisenstein’s great film on the Russian revolution of 1905, Battleship Potemkin. Later in the decade the council blocked the installation ofastatue on the Sendlingerplatz because the work featured a naked fisherman figure. “Christian-thinking circles in Munich,” said a vigilant councilman, “would consider ita provocation ifwe proceeded in this direction.” Important segments of the artistic community were just as anxious as the Nazis and conservative political leaders to keep Munich free from alien influences. Shortly after the war, at a Glaspalast demonstration against the Versailles Treaty, local artists urged their colleagues “not to lose their German face.” There seemed little chance of this, for the artists who controlled the exhibition space generally kept out works that might have been considered “un-German” or aesthetically subversive. Paul Klee’s iconoclastic abstractions were unwelcome in this environment, and  the artist leaped at the chance to join the new Bauhaus school in Weimar in 1921. Even Expressionism, though eminently German in inspiration, was initially unacceptable in Munich. When Ludwig Gies’s Expressionist crucifix found its way into the German Arts and Crafts Exhibition of 1922, a group of artists, backed by the Catholic press, ensured its quick removal. The Bavarian capital’s literary scene also showed tendencies toward parochialism. A popular anthology of contemporary Munich writers, published in 1926, asserted that the artists included therein were deter- mined that their city “should not constitute one of those foreigner-ridden literary centers [i.e., Berlin], where business acumen and suspect progress determined the intellectual current of the day.” Rather, they would engage in a “creative restoration” defined by the rediscovery of “nature and home, the holy world of childhood, Christian belief, and German history.” Literary upholders of these principles could take comfort in a growing exodus of socially critical writers: in addition to Feuchtwanger and Brecht, the old bohemians Ernst Toller and Erich Miihsam left for Berlin, as did Johannes Becher, Ricarda Huch, Odén von Horvath, and Heinrich (but not Thomas) Mann. The city that had once attracted hundreds of writers and artists from the chilly German North was now actively repelling them. Munich’s famed institutions of higher education—the Ludwigs- Maximilians Universitat and the Technische Hochschule—were also suf- fering a creative hemorrhage. The schools still boasted prestigious faculties, but some of the most respected professors were leaving because they could no longer stomach the atmosphere of extreme nationalism and anti-Semitism. Significant losses included the physician Sauerbruch, the historian Hermann Oncken, the art historian Heinrich WOfflin, and the chemist Richard Willstatter. (After resigning his chair in 1924, Willstatter, a Jew, stayed on in Munich almost until it was too late, escaping only in 1939.) Like Max Weber, whose death in 1920 was a crucial loss for the uni- versity, these men were all German nationalists, but they were also humanistic and broad-minded, and as such they were forced to suffer repeated attacks from superpatriotic colleagues and students. In 1926, when the university celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of its move from Landshut to Munich, Rector Karl Vossler warned of a “grow- ing danger of provincialism and intellectual intolerance” at the institu- tion. He was right to do so; in the following year Baldur von Schirach, future leader of the Hitler Youth, became head of the Student Association at the university. Napeleon Gt and the Rhine , Causes ef the War of (870-ig7! bu: Hermann On oleER ye DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” ® 209 : (t420)  210 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED Munich’s embrace of traditionalist culture in the 1920s occasioned con- siderable derision outside the Bavarian capital. Writing in 1922, an observer from Berlin argued that Munich, previously “overestimated” as an art center, was now nothing but a “provincial town without an intel- lectual core.” Another debunker declared that Munich’s previous sophis- tication, “shallow and imported,” had entirely evaporated in the wake of a “postwar revival of Ur-Bajuwarentum [Ur-Bavarianism].” Yet another insisted that Munich, having fallen into “ever-sharper antagonism with the rest of Germany and the world,” could be revived only “in opposition to the spirit of Miinchnertum.” Lion Feuchtwanger agreed, insisting that art in his former hometown was “academic and philistine,” maintained by “a stubborn, stunted, mentally-stale populace, mainly for reasons of tourism.” Comparing Munich with Berlin, the Manchester Guardian pro- posed that whereas the national capital was “the city of today and tomor- row, Munich had become “the city of yesterday and the day before.” These were harsh words, but they paled in comparison with a 1924 article in the Berlin periodical Das Tagebuch, which identified Munich as indisputably “The Dumbest City in Germany.” Munich earned this dis- tinction, said the article, because ithad the Reich’s most backward lead- ers, cretinous population, reactionary press, xenophobic atmosphere, and brutal police. Tongue only partly in cheek, the article went on to attribute these qualities to the enormous amount of beer consumed yearly by the average Munich male, a figure it estimated at five hundred liters. “Naturally that does something to the brain,” said the paper. “Hitlerism, von Kahr, hate-filled judges, the Mdinchener Neueste Nachrichten—all these are easily explained by 500 liters of beer.” Munich’s officials and boosters were of course indignant over these insults and sought to disprove them with well-orchestrated displays of cultural prowess. The grand opening in 1925 of the German Museum for Technology and Industry, planned by Ludwig III but delayed by war and revolution, offered agood opportunity forself-congratulation. Itwas cel- ebrated with a play by Gerhart Hauptmann and an opera by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss. In his dedication Mayor Scharnagl reminded the world that Munich was a leader in industry as well as in art and learning. “To the realm of the arts, which we cultivate so lovingly, and to the domain of the sciences, which we hold in such high esteem, we now add technology, which for some time has provided a solid base for our cultural and intellectual life,” he proclaimed. Concerned to counter the view that their town was no longer the cap- ital of German art, city officials acquired Franz von Lenbach’s villa and turned itinto a municipal gallery of art in 1925, An advisory board drawn  from the art community was appointed to help shape the collection. Its mandate was to feature the works of important Munich-based painters and sculptors. As it turned out, however, most of the museum’s budget went to the procurement of relatively conventional works by artists long dead. (Only after World War II did the gallery develop its impressive col- lection of the Blue Rider school.) When itcame to honoring Munich’s literary achievements, there was also a strong tendency to look to the past. In 1928, on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of Ibsen’s birth, Mayor Scharnagl recalled the Norwegian dramatist’s twenty-three-year association with the city, insist- ing that its easygoing atmosphere had been crucial to his artistic develop- ment. In the same year the municipality established a Literature Prize of the City of Munich. The selection of the earliest winners was revealing. Thomas Mann, who sat on the jury, proposed Karl Wolfskehl, the mer- curial veteran of the Cosmic Circle, but Wolfskehl had no chance of win- ning because he was Jewish. Oskar Maria Graf, another candidate, could not be honored because he was a notorious leftist who had been highly critical of his native city. It stood to reason, then, that the first recipient of the prize should be Hans Carossa, and the second Hans Brandenburg. Neither writer could be faulted for modernistic tones or positive views of democracy. The writer who brought the greatest glory, but also the greatest chal- lenges, to the Isar city was Thomas Mann. His star burned all the brighter because so many of his colleagues had left. He too threatened to leave but could not bring himself to do so. Pleased to have such a celebrity in resi- dence, the city council sent him a congratulatory telegram on his fiftieth birthday, in 1925, to which Mayor Scharnagl personally added ten bottles of excellent wine “so the greeting would not be too dry.” Yet throughout this period Thomas Mann was deeply disturbed by what was happening in Munich. He worried that the city was sinking into a swamp of provincialism and boorishness. His concerns on this score were embedded in a larger change of outlook that took him increas- ingly away from the “unpolitical” conservatism he had championed in the war and revolutionary era. As early as October 1922, in a speech enti- tled “On the German Republic,” Mann urged his audience to defend Germany’s beleaguered experiment in democracy. He proposed that if the Germans came to understand that the concepts of culture, republic, and humanism were interdependent, they would know that “they must become republicans.” Mann continued on this new tack in an article he wrote in spring 1923 for the Dial, an American publication that paid him welcome hard cur- “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 211  212 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED rency for his observations on the situation in Germany. Here the writer addressed forthrightly the alarming conditions in his adopted city. He lamented the absence of “the literary-critical spirit of European democra- cy”—a spirit that in Germany was “most prominently represented by Jews.” Through its hostility toward this spirit, he said, Munich had become “the city of Hitler, of German fascism, and of the swastika... .” Well aware that local university students were among the most fervent backers of Nazism, and hoping to encourage those who resisted this trend, Mann addressed a prorepublican group at the university on 22 June 1923. Because this was the anniversary of the murder of Walther Rathenau, Mann spoke out on the mentality behind the crime. Political hatred, he said, was not generated by the much-maligned values of indi- vidualism and liberalism, but by their opposite: “collectivism, iron social ties, unconditional obedience.” These values admittedly had “seductive appeal,” but they were “frightful” in the human sense, pushing confused young people into the deceptive consolations of obscurantism and abso- lutism. The only genuine “idea of the future,” Mann concluded, was humanism. At the time he was delivering this address, Mann was composing the crucial “Snow” chapter in his seminal novel The Magic Mountain. The novel isset in the pre-World War Iera and concerns, among other things, Europe’s plunge into the irrationalism of war, but it can also be under- stood as an indictment of the dark forces ravaging postwar Europe. This borne in mind, itissignificant that the key sentence in the “Snow” chap- ter reads: “For the sake of goodness and love, man shall let death have no sovereignty over his thoughts.” In his campaign against the forces of darkness, Mann not only lectured widely on the importance of cultivating humanistic values but fought against the ongoing efforts in his hometown to curtail artistic and intel- lectual freedom. In 1926 he joined a small group of fellow writers in protesting a new Law for the Protection of Youth from Smut and Filth. The ordinance ordained a kind of secular “index” through which the authorities could remove from circulation any works that they considered obscene or immoral. Mann denounced the measure as an “inquisition” that could have currency only in an “atmosphere of repression.” In November of the same year Mann joined a group called Miinchener Gesellschaft 1926, whose purpose was to help Munich recover its cultural and intellectual strength. Addressing the group, Mann noted sadly that Munich had been “poisoned” by anti-Semitism and extreme nationalism. Taking up the Munich-Berlin dichotomy (which he had raised to Berlin’s disfavor in his wartime Reflections ofaNonpolitical Man), he suggested  that whereas Munich had once stood for the free intellect and Berlin for political authoritarianism, now the relationship was reversed. True, Munich had a new “German Academy,” but this was “an institution 1n which, alongside many professors, military officers, and businessmen, exactly two [of which he was one] German authors have the honor of being represented.” Yet for all his criticism of the Munich scene and for all his despair over its increasing provincialism, Mann continued to believe that the place retained powers of the intellect and spirit that, ifaggressively reasserted, might alter the political climate for the better. Thus in November 1926, with five other Munich intellectuals and artists, he participated in a forum entitled “Struggle for Munich as a Cultural Center.” The forum was sponsored by the Left-liberal German Democratic Party, but Mann insist- ed it involved everyone concerned with the fate of Munich, “this beauti- ful city whose honor and happiness is so close to our hearts. . . .” The gathering, he said, should be taken as a signal that there were still those who “stood at Munich’s side” at a time when its “soul” hung in the bal- ance. The challenge was great, for the Bavarian capital had degenerated into “a center of reaction, [a] hotbed of resistance against the [democratic] will of the age, an essentially stupid city.” Yet he still saw reason to hope: “There is an intellectual revolution in the air. Munich is restless. It wants to throw offa yoke that has weighted itdown and besmirched itsname in Germany and abroad—a name that once stood for goodness, openness, freedom, and joyousness.” Heinrich Mann, whose republican politics had earlier helped estrange him from his brother, also appeared at the “Struggle for Munich” forum. He had become even more despairing over the city’s postwar evolution than Thomas. In June 1923 he had written a friend: “You would not believe how desolate Munich has become in spiritual and artistic matters.” At the forum in 1926 Heinrich focused on Munich’s theatrical scene, lamenting recent disruptions of modernist plays and an alarming number of suicides among actors and dramatists. Yet he, like Thomas, chose to see a brighter side. Noting that the majority of Munich’s population belonged to parties that were “neither nationalistic nor unconditionally reac- tionary,” he proposed that the “once so hospitable city” might become so again. Heinrich may truly have believed this, but at the time he said ithe was spending most of his time in Berlin, and two years later he established his residence there. The Mann brothers’ hope proved illusory that events like the “Struggle for Munich” forum would generate a broad movement for liberal cultur- al renewal. As the leader of the prorepublican forces and an apostate from “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 213  214 TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED his earlier conservatism, Thomas Mann now came in for special abuse. The Miéinchener Neueste Nachrichten, assessing his comments at the forum, condemned his “fatal error” of holding up artists and intellectuals as worthy judges of politicians and businessmen. Did Mann not realize that intellectual creativity could exist only “in an orderly and prosperous environment”? the paper asked. The nationalistic Stddeutsche Monatshefte accused Mann of seeking to blunt the conservative thrust of his wartime Reflections by excising some of the more aggressively patriot- ic passages from a recent edition of that book. Mann’s effort to touch up his past, said the journal, was a genuine travesty, for the unadulterated Reflections had been a work of brilliance compared with his recent prodemocratic babblings. The most meanspirited and ugly attack, how- ever, came from the Nazis, who had followed Mann’s political odyssey in the Weimar era with derision. Now, in the wake of his “Struggle for Munich” speech, the Vélkischer Beobachter combined mockery of his polit- ical stance with slurs against his family. Referring to him throughout as “Mann-Pringsheim” (a reference to his Jewish wife, Katia), the paper noted that he had a young son (Klaus) who “precociously worked his deep-seated sexual problem [homosexuality] into his adolescent dramas.” Mann’s familial ties, the paper proposed, were behind his hand-wringing about anti-Semitism and alleged cultural provincialism. Stagnation If Thomas Mann found himself under pressure on his home turf during the middle years of the “Golden Twenties,” so did his nemesis, Adolf Hitler. The Nazi leader knew that he needed to rekindle his movement's momentum initsBavarianbase,wherecrucialgroundhadbeenlostsince the abortive putsch of 1923. Once again he had to make people aware that there was a viable alternative to the current rulers. Banned from address- ing mass audiences in Bavaria, he turned back to his old society friends in Munich for help in making his presence felt. Elsa Bruckmann hosted a series of dinners with influential figures from the local artistic, business, and academic communities. Here Hitler explained that the central gov- ernment’s policy of fulfillment toward the Western powers was a betray- al of legitimate German interests. In the judgment of one witness, the Nazi leader seemed tougher and more focused than ever: “He was much changed from the years before the putsch and prison. The small, pale, sickly, often almost empty-seeming face was more powerfully concentrat- ed; his facial bones, from forehead to chin, stuck out more prominently;  where earlier there had been dreaminess, there was now an unmistakable strain of hardness.” For all of Hitler’s efforts, however, the Nazi Party was having difficul- ty reestablishing itself as a political contender. In 1926 Hitler allowed Strasser and Goebbels to launch an “urban plan” designed to strengthen the party in the industrial regions and large cities of the North and cen- ter. The idea here was to win workers to the Nazi cause by emphasizing the anticapitalist dimensions of the party program. Goebbels, appointed Gauleiter of Berlin, took on the demanding job of turning the “Red” cap- ital into a “brown” bastion. He employed so much violence in his crusade that the Nazi Party was banned in Berlin and Brandenburg between May 1927 and April 1928. Even before the ban, however, the party was having difficulty attracting industrial workers because Hitler was unwilling to countenance independent unions. In March 1927 the Reich commissioner for the protection of public order could report: “In general, the [Nazi] party has not made great progress. It has not been able to bring its mem- bership anywhere near the level ithad in 1923.” The Nazis were having difficulties even in Munich, their would-be Moscow, where the combined effects of sociopolitical stabilization and a resurgence of the BVP were thwarting the movement's progress. In early 1927, two years after legal- ization, the Munich branch had only 1,600 members, of whom 150 were in danger of being expelled for nonpayment of dues. The party was also having financial difficulties. Traditionally it had raised much of its revenue through admission charges to Hitler’s speech- es, an avenue now closed in much of the Reich. Expenses were piling up, for Hitler was never one to economize. In 1925 he moved the party’s headquarters into new offices at 50 Schellingstrasse, in the heart of Schwabing. An innovative plan to finance renovation of the headquarters by “selling” bricks to individual donors did not get very far. In the year after the move party income exceeded expenditures by a mere 534 marks. In 1927 party headquarters registered an income of 254,000 marks and expenditures of 252,000; largely because of election campaign costs from previous years, the party carried a debt of 14,000 marks. Against this backdrop of relative stagnation in Nazi Party fortunes, the Bavarian government (though not that of Prussia) thought itsafe to lift the speaking ban on Hitler. As Interior Minister Stutzel explained to the Reich’s envoy in Munich, “In Upper Bavaria and especially in Munich National Socialism is almost completely ruined and even Hitler has lost his old attraction for the Bavarian population.” While Stutzel and his colleagues may have had reason to believe that the Nazis were moribund, that condition was at least partly caused by the “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 215  216 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED very factor they now elected to remove, the muzzling of Hitler. By unmuzzling the Nazi leader, they made iteasier for the party to survive the “stable” years of the mid-twenties and to revive their fortunes once circumstances again turned in their favor. Hitler staged his oratorical return on 9 February 1927 at Munich’s mas- sive Zirkus Krone, scene of so many earlier Nazi rallies. The streets were plastered with red posters announcing the event. SA men, now dressed in their characteristic brown shirts (they were leftovers from the defunct German colonial service, purchased on the cheap) paraded around the area, singing fight songs and intimidating passersby. The Krone filled up fast despite a relatively high entrance fee of one mark (twenty pfennigs for the unemployed). The crowd was “excited and filled with high expectations,” reported a police observer. There was a large contingent of women, who were “as always very enthusiastic about Hitler.” On the whole the audience looked to be petty bourgeois, but there was also a sizable sampling of the “better classes,” including “representa- tives of the intelligentsia.” As people took their seats, SA men went down the aisles hawking tiny swastika flags, which sold briskly. A “deep long- ing for sensation hung in the hot sticky air,” noted the police observer. Eventually Hitler entered, dressed in his brown trench coat. He strode to the stage, right arm outstretched, surrounded by party luminaries and SA guards. He sat down to one side as Dr. Rudolf Buttmann, a recent convert from the German National People’s Party, assured the faithful that Hitler had not submitted to any “conditions” in order to get the speaking ban lifted. Then Hitler began to speak. His performance, in the judgment of the police observer, was not terribly impressive. At times he spoke so fast that his words were jumbled. He “gestured wildly with his arms and hands and jumped around excitedly to get the crowd’s atten- tion.” His central argument was that only the Nazis could deal effective- ly with Germany’s socioeconomic problems, which he said were as severe as ever. He compared his own “oppression” by the Bavarian government with the trials of Christ, who had also been forced to spend time in the wilderness. To the disgust of the police observer, the crowd responded enthusiastically to this “stale evangelism.” Toward the end of Hitler’s speech, however, the applause was getting a little thinner, leaving the wit- ness to wonder “what sort of echo” the event might have. A tentative answer began to emerge at Hitler’s second public appear- ance, also at the Krone, on 30 March 1927. This time there was no rush for admission and tickets were readily available at the door. Their price had been reduced to fifty pfennigs to promote a large turnout: Hitler was on sale! Yet the hall remained only two-thirds full, the rear benches total-  ly unoccupied. SA men again peddled swastika flags, as well as subscrip- tions to the Vélkischer Beobachter and autographed pictures of the Nazi leader. “The whole thing gave the impression of a need for money,” reported the police observer. This time almost all the spectators seemed to come from the less pros- perous classes. When Hitler made his appearance, he seemed desperate to whip up enthusiasm. In addition to his wild gestures, he made “cheap jokes.” The serious part of his performance was devoted to the strategies through which Germany could become a “world power like England.” To achieve this end, he said, Germany must divide the constellation of powers arrayed against itand find new allies. Neither France nor Russia could serve this role; the former would always oppose Germany, and the latter was a “Jew state” bent on expanding to the West. Britain and Italy were the only possibilities: Britain was not determined to keep Germany weak, and Italy was ruled by a man who did “not bow to the Freemasons and the Jews.” Germany would be “lucky,” Hitler added, ifithad a “statesman like Mussolini.” This last comment reaped applause from the audience, but lavish praise of Mussolini was not likely to sell very well in Munich as a whole. Too many Miinchners recalled how the Fascist leader had been a fervent backer of Italian intervention against Germany in World War I and had pushed for annexation of the ethnic German South Tyrol. He was also infamous for his assertion that Rome had built a great empire while Germans were still baying at the moon. Hitler’s effort to wrap himselfin the Duce’s toga was not one of his more inspired gambits. Lack ofinspiration was again a problem at Hitler’s next appearance at the Krone a couple of weeks later. It happened to be raining, but that alone could not have explained the low turnout. “The earlier mass enthu- siasm is definitely missing,” reported the police observer. Hitler was not pleased by the poor turnout. Before beginning his prepared speech, he shouted that the people of Munich had better “take off their sleeping caps.” But the Nazi rallies in Munich over the next few months continued to attract relatively small crowds. Moreover, most of the meetings orga- nized by the party’s district branches were so sparsely attended that two of the twelve sections (Sendlingen and Thalkirchen) had to be merged, and the Neuhausen branch was incorporated into the Gern- Nymphenburg section. In 1926 financial difficulties, combined with restrictions on activities imposed by the party leadership, plunged the Munich SA into crisis. SA activists complained bitterly that they lacked funds to carry on propagan- “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 217  218 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED da campaigns and that “cowardice” in the central bureaucracy was keep- ing them from engaging in their usual street demonstrations and head bashing. To calm them down, Hitler personally assured them that his “whole heart” was with them and that once he came to power, he would turn them loose. Even Hitler’s promises, however, could not generate much sense of momentum, and the group had to be reorganized because ofmembership losses. Elsewhere in Bavaria, the party seemed equally stagnant. Observing these developments, the Munich Police Headquarters concluded in January 1928: “Hitler’s repeated claims that the National Socialists are making progress do not hold water, especially in Bavaria. In reality, inter- est in the movement isdeclining in the countryside as well as in Munich. Branch meetings that drew 300 to 400 people in 1926 now bring in 60 to 80 at the most.” National and state elections in May 1928 largely confirmed the Nazis’ difficulties. In the Reichstag elections the party won only 10.7 percent of the votes in Munich, putting them in third place behind the SPD and BVP, which won 32.6 percent and 23.1 percent respectively. The Nazis’ most successful candidate was General Ritter von Epp, who was really a Bavarian monarchist. In the Landtag elections the Nazis captured only 6.1 percent across the state and 10.3 percent in Munich, which gave them a total of nine seats. These showings were especially disappointing in view of the elaborate and expensive campaigns the party had run all across Bavaria. To make matters worse, high debts accrued during the elections forced Hitler to call off the 1928 party rally scheduled for Nuremberg. These difficulties were real enough, but the relatively low turnout at rallies and the indifferent electoral results distorted the group’s actual condition, at least in its birthplace. A recent statistical analysis of the Munich branch of the party in the period between 1925 and 1930 reveals that the organization retained a number of important strengths, even in this difficult time. The local contingent actually grew, albeit very slowly, over these years. Perhaps more important, itsdemographic base was more diverse than many thought. Audiences at rallies might have looked over- whelmingly lower middle class, but in reality only about one third of the Munich membership came from this socioeconomic group. One fourth was comprised of workers, and the rest belonged to the solid middle and upper classes. As for the party’s gender breakdown, women were, as the rally audiences suggested, prominent in the movement; in 1925 almost half theMunich membership was female. Over the next few years, how- ever, female membership fell off sharply, which may have been a relief to party propagandists, who had always touted the movement as a bastion of  manliness. Throughout this period the age of the membership conformed fairly accurately to Nazi claims that theirs was a youth movement. The average age was only thirty-one, and that made the Nazis the youngest party on the Munich scene. It was also unusual in having footholds in vir- tually every part of the city, though it was strongest in the middle-class districts. The most solid bastion was Schwabing, the old bohemian quar- ter that Hitler had always favored, where disgruntled artists joined stu- dents, teachers, civil servants, and white-collar workers in placing their faith in the failed painter from Austria. Taken together, these demographic and geographical factors helped the party weather the tough times in the postputsch era. Because the movement was not confined to one social group or urban district, itwas harder to isolate or contain. As a party of youth it remained resilient despite setbacks and could aspire to represent the future. The Nazis had always claimed that they were not a traditional political party but a Volksbewegung, a popular movement representing broad crosscurrents of the people. Albeit still an exaggeration at this stage, the boast had a cer- tain validity in Munich. “Munich Must Again Become the Hope of Germany” On 12 November 1929 the Swedish Academy announced that Thomas Mann had won the Nobel Prize for Literature. In December, after he had returned from the award ceremony in Stockholm, Munich honored him with a banquet in the Rathaus. The writer took this opportunity to declare that contrary to persistent rumors, he was not leaving his adopted city. Still, Mann could not have been heartened to notice that in his home- town, as in the rest of the Reich, Hitler’s Mein Kampf was now outselling both Buddenbrooks and The Magic Mountain. Also in Mann’s Nobel year, Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg founded a Munich-based cultural organization called the Combat League for German Culture. Its declared aim was “to arrest the disintegration of our cultural foundations.” Although it recruited artists and scholars from around the country, its composition was strongly Bavarian. The Combat League for German culture was formed just in time to help the Nazis contest Munich’s municipal elections held in early December 1929. The Nazis campaigned intensely, adopting the slogan “Munich Must Again Become the Hope of Germany.” Hitler brought in speakers from all over the Reich for mass rallies, one of which he claimed “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 219  220 = WHERE GHOSTS WALKED attracted thirty thousand people. On 1 December 1929 two thousand SA men marched for five hours through all parts of the city save “Red” Giesing. A couple of days later the party mounted twenty rallies in Munich beer halls. Hitler scurried from rally to rally, whipping up enthu- siasm. According to a shocked Mayor Scharnagl, Munich had never wit- nessed a more hateful and unscrupulous campaign. But the hatefulness paid off. The Nazis won 51,226 votes, or 15.4 percent of the total. They were still behind the SPD and BVP, but they had more than doubled their seats in the city council, now holding eight (out of fifty). Even as Miinchners were going to the polls in late 1929, the precarious economic recovery that had so hindered the Nazis’ progress during the mid-1920s was collapsing in a heap of layoffs and bankruptcies. The immediate cause was the American stock market crash of October 1929, which plunged much of the industrialized world into deep depression. Germany was especially hard hit by the crash because of its dependence on short-term American loans and because parts of its economy had remained semidepressed even in the “recovery” years between 1924 and 1929. Unemployment had remained relatively high (in 1926 reaching 10 percent), and the agricultural sector had long been struggling against intense foreign competition, high production costs, dwindling sources of credit, and falling prices. The worst off were small farmers specializing in meat and dairy production. The Great Depression was the final blow for many of these marginal operators, as itwas for thousands of small busi- nesses and craft shops in the towns. In 1930 bankruptcies occurred with twice the frequency of 1928. Unemployment rose accordingly: By January 1930, just two months after the American crash, the jobless count in Germany had increased to three million, 200 percent higher than in 1928. Regionally the hardest-hit areas were the northern and central parts of the Reich, especially the industrial region of Saxony and the small farm- ing sections of Schleswig-Holstein and Hesse. But the Depression quick- ly engulfed Bavaria as well, for this state too had many small companies, and a number of its larger manufacturing firms were now controlled by banks and holding companies in the North. Not surprisingly the economic crisis quickly segued into a political cri- sis. The Miiller cabinet in Berlin fell apart over disagreements regarding welfare and unemployment compensation payments. President Hindenburg called upon the Center Party politician Heinrich Bruning to form a new national government “above parties.” Bruning attempted to deal with the worsening economic crisis by raising taxes and reducing government spending. When the Reichstag refused to accept his austeri- ty budget (the Nazis and Communists joined to vote it down), Bruning  dismissed the Reichstag and called for new elections, to be held in September 1930. In the meantime, he imposed his austerity measures through Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which allowed the gov- ernment to take emergency actions without going through parliament. Given the mood in the nation, Bruning’s decision to call new elections was a terrible mistake. The Nazis had been gaining in regional elections in late 1929 and early 1930. Their gains had come largely at the expense of the liberal centrist and conservative parties. Undoubtedly they had ben- efited from growing economic insecurity and from a decision to tailor their propaganda to discontented rural voters. Pointing toward the usual scapegoats, they explained to angry farmers that their troubles were caused by unscrupulous Jewish middlemen and predatory international bankers. Now, with the September Reichstag elections impending, they mounted theirmost vitrioliccampaign todate,allofittightlycontrolled from Munich. On the Nazis’ home turf the Held government tried to hold them down with some new regulations, but these were pathetically petty. In the larger towns, including Munich, the beer halls that hosted most of the Nazi (and many of the Communist) meetings were prohibited from serv- ing alcohol and food on the ground that few Bavarians would attend meetings where they could not eat and drink. The government also ordered the removal of ashtrays at political gatherings to prevent their being used as missiles. In June 1930 Held’s regime imposed a ban on the public wearing of uniforms by political factions. This was aimed primar- ily at the SA, whose members were thought to be more inclined to cause trouble when dressed in their fighting colors. But such regulations were little more than irritants to the Nazis. They dealt with the beer and food ban by filling up before meetings, and in response to the uniform ban they paraded around in white shirts with black ties. Absence of their fighting brown did not discourage them from engaging in a bloody brawl with members of the German State Party in the Biirgerbraukeller on 23 August. A little later the entire Nazi delegation to the Landtag, claiming immunity from the new regulations, showed up in brown uniforms. Although its efforts to curb the Nazis were ineffectual, the Bavarian government was justified to try to slow them down. In the September electionstheNSDAP scoredastunningvictory,winning6.4millionvotes nationwide and 104 (out of 577) seats in the Reichstag, up from 12 (out of 491) in 1928. They were now the second-largest party in the nation after the SPD. The only consolations for the Bavarian government were that the Nazi vote in that state (17.3 percent) fell a little below the national average of 18.3 percent, and the Catholic BVP also did well. The some- “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” what larger Nazi success in the center and North was primarily due to a breakthrough with rural voters in places like Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. Aside from their economic troubles, these regions were heavily Protestant, and their swing to the Nazis suggested that German Protestantism, lacking a coherent political organization of its own, was more vulnerable to the appeal of National Socialism than was Catholicism. In fact, a similar tendency was evident in Bavaria itself, where the predominantly Protestant areas of Middle and Upper Franconia recorded the highest Nazi votes in the state. Heavily Catholic Upper Bavaria had the lowest Nazi support. But Catholicism was no infallible inoculation against the brown plague. Arch-Catholic Passau (the city later made infamous by the film The Nasty Girl, about a young woman who caused a furor by exposing her town’s Nazi past) gave the Nazis a hefty 31 percent. Munich itself, still roughly 80 percent Catholic, polled 21.8 percent for the Nazis, significantly higher than the national average. Anti-Nazis in Munich were legitimately alarmed. As Pastor Rupert Mayer, later a victim of Nazi persecution, warned, “It is incredible but nevertheless true that the Hitler swindle has laid hold of the widest, even Catholic, circles of the people; and not merely in the towns has the move- ment gained ground but to an enormous degree in the country.” Thomas Mann was shaken enough by the election to give a rousing anti-Nazi speech in Berlin in mid-October. He compared the Hitler movement with orgiastic nature cults and the worship of pagan gods; the Nazis were bent on seducing Germany with “high-flown, wishy-washy cant, full of mysti- cal euphoria with hyphenated prefixes like race- and folk- and fellow- ship-. . .”His words were almost drowned out in a wave of heckling led by the novelist Arnold Bronnen, formerly a friend of Brecht’s but now an avid Nazi. The results of the September elections were made even more worri- some by the fact that the Great Depression, which had influenced them, was settling in ever more tenaciously across the land. Munich, which Hitler continued to regard as his springboard to power, was once again full of misery and fear. “Where once 3600 workers stood at machines,” reported the Maffei factory in December 1930, “there are now only a cou- ple of hundred, and every one of them waits daily for the fateful blue let- ter, which tells them that they are no longer needed.” Hardly a worker in Munich did not have reason to fear the dreaded blue letter, According to a report of the Industrial and Trade Chamber of Munich in 1931, in the preceding year and a half the local construction industry had shrunk by  one half, wood production by one quarter, optics by one third, while machine manufacturing had collapsed entirely. Jobless workers roamed the streets and lined up outside unemploy- ment centers, public shelters, and soup kitchens. By early 1933 the Employment Office in Munich listed 85,933 people out of work, almost a third of the entire work force. In November 1931 municipal soup kitchens fed 37,000 hungry persons daily. Since the shelters were jammed beyond capacity, people slept in the streets or erected makeshift settle- ments on the edges of town. Oskar Maria Graf noticed in summer 1931 that “all the park benches were occupied by hungry unemployed. Some tried to peddle shoestrings or combs or pencils that nobody wanted, but most threw dice or played tarok for a few pennies day after day. Occasionally they went on demonstrations against new cuts in public assistance.” Many people simply gave up; the number of suicides rose from 182 in 1926 to 321 in 1932. Because of dramatic declines in tax income—city revenues sank 22.2 percent between 1929 and 1932—Munich’s government was in worse financial straits than ever. Following his reelection as mayor in December 1929, Karl Scharnagl was obliged to cut back severely on municipal pro- grams. Deep cuts came not just in social services but also in cultural out- lays. Most of the cultural expenditures were locked in to a few relatively expensive projects, like the symphony orchestra and the Lenbach Gallery. When the famous Glaspalast burned down in 1931, the city had no funds to replace it. In the following year the municipal government cut all spending in the plastic arts deemed not absolutely essential. The consequence was a new pauperization of the art community and further grievous losses for Kunststadt Miinchen. In 1930, 350 professional musicians were on the dole. To help them out, the local Employment Office established a clearinghouse for musical jobs around the city, so that classically trained musicians could, on occasion, earn a few marks by play- ing weddings or birthday parties. Yet the musicians were better off than the performers at Munich’s famous Puppet Theater, whose entire subsidy was canceled in 1932. The puppeteers appealed the decision by pointing out that their theater was widely recognized as “one of Munich’s cultural jewels,” whose closing would be “an irreparable loss for the city.” The appeal was fruitless; henceforth the only puppets to perform on Munich’s stage were political ones. Keen to exploit the mounting crisis, the Nazis sent propaganda speak- ers to employment offices, mounted vigils outside failing factories, ran various charity functions for the destitute, and even set up their own Employment Office for the Protection of the National Work Force. On “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 223  the basis of such opportune activism, the party grew substantially. In 1929 it had about 100,000 members nationwide; between 1930 and 1932 it added 720,000 new members. The Munich membership grew from 1,600 in 1927 to more than 20,000 in 1931. The SA, now under the leadership of Ernst Réhm, who at Hitler’s request had returned from Bolivia to reorganize the group, also made great headway. Largely self-financed through the sale of party newspa- pers, along with such consumer items as Stiirmer razor blades, Kampf margarine, and Sturm cigarettes, itbecame a kind of paramilitary welfare operation, offering its members clothing, food, insurance policies, and occasional small stipends. Reich-wide, the SA counted 77,000 members in January 1931; by August 1932 the figure had risen to 471,000. In Munich alone the Brownshirts now totaled over 5,000 active members. The group grew despite attempts by the Bavarian government to restrict its activities, and despite some internal scandals, notably the revelation by the Munchener Post that Rohm was a practicing homosexual. In January 1931 the party moved into a bombastic new national head- quarters, the Brown House. Formerly the Barlow Palace, the building was located on the fashionable Brienerstrasse. Purchased in 1930 with a loan from the industrialist Fritz Thyssen and a tax of two marks on every party member, the building had been thorougly renovated by the pro- Nazi architect Professor Paul Ludwig Troost. A tour de force of Nazi vulgarity, it boasted a grand entrance with swastikas on either side of a giant bronze door. On the first floor was a Flag Hall containing banners from the early years of the party, including the sacred Blood Flag from the shooting during the Beer Hall Putsch. On the second floor were the offices of the party leadership, the national SA chief, national treasurer, and—sanctum sanctorum—Hitler’s private study. Hitler, however, spent little time in his fancy new headquarters; instead, like the bohemian he was, he continued to hold court in his favorite Munich cafés, such as the Café Heck in the Hofgarten and the posh Carlton Tea Room on the Briennerstrasse. Klaus Mann chanced upon him at the Carlton in early 1932. Watching Hitler stuff himself with strawberry tarts, Mann found him “surprisingly ugly, much more vulgar than I had anticipated.” He could not understand the “secret of his fasci- nation” or how he managed to “make people lose their minds.” Such a creature, he was sure, could never come to power in Germany. “You have no chance, silly little mustache,” he mumbled in Hitler’s direction. “Five years from now, nobody will know your name... .” Among Hitler’s frequent companions on his café crawls was his pretty miece Geli Raubal, now twenty-one and studying medicine at Munich 224 TM WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  University. “Uncle Alf” installed her in one of the nine rooms of his new luxury apartment on Prinzregentenplatz, to which he had moved in late 1929 with the financial help of his wealthy Munich backers. According to Putzi Hanfstaengl, Hitler “hovered at [Geli’s] elbow with a moon-calf look in his eyes in a very plausible imitation of adolescent infatuation.” Most of Hitler’s inner circle believed that his relationship with his niece was “not strictly avuncular,” and Putzi claimed to have seen drawings of her made by Hitler that were “depraved, intimate ... with every anatom- ical detail.” Clearly he loved her deeply—as deeply as he could love any- one. With that love, however, went a need for total control and domination. Determined that she not go out with anyone but him, he kept her tightly cloistered in the Prinzregentenplatz apartment. This soon drove her to rebellion and a secret affair with her uncle’s chauffeur, Emil Maurice. When Hitler learned of the affair, he fired Maurice and confined Geli even more strictly to her golden cage. She managed some- how to stike up a liaison with another young man, an artist from her native Austria, but Hitler squelched that relationship as well. At the same time, he made clear to Geli that he could never marry her, for that would reduce his attractiveness to his female supporters. “Women,” he liked to say, “have a disastrous influence in politics. Look at Napoleon. And the dancer Lola Montez who was the ruin of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Without her he would have made an excellent monarch.” Hitler’s treat- ment of his niece, one historian has noted aptly, “reveals, in miniature, what Germany, Hitler’s future bride, could expect from a liaison with this man.” While keeping Geli cloistered, Hitler was beginning to pay court to another woman, the vivacious young Miinchnerin Eva Braun. Eva worked for Hitler’s photographer Heinrich Hoffmann. They met when Hitler came into Hoffmann’s studio and noticed Eva standing in a short skirt on top of a ladder. Although Eva’s aesthetic tastes ran toward “hot jazz” and romantic movies, she allowed Hitler to take her to the opera and to tea at the Carlton. On these occasions, according to one of her girl- friends, “Eva would stuff her brassiere with handkerchiefs in order to give her breasts the fullness they lacked and which seemed to appeal to Hitler... .” After one of their assignations she wrote Hitler a polite note thanking him for “a memorable evening.” She could not have known that this note would be found by Geli Raubal, who made a point of going through her uncle’s pockets. The next day, 17 September 1931, Hitler left on a campaign trip to Hamburg. Refusing to take Geli along, he also forbade her to go to Vienna to visit friends. Shortly after his departure she locked herself in “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” ® 225  226 ®TM® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED her room and shot herself above the heart with Hitler’s Walther pistol. No one in the building heard the shot, and Geli slowly bled to death on the floor. Upon hearing the news of Geli’s death, which was relayed to him by Rudolf Hess, a devastated Hitler broke off his campaign trip and hurried back to Munich. There he and his aides arranged with Justice Minister Franz Girtner to forgo an inquest so that Geli’s body might be shipped immediately to Vienna for burial. Then Hitler went into seclusion for two days at a friend’s house at Tegern Lake south of town. He threatened to withdraw from politics and (once again) to kill himself. His aides hid his gun to preclude the latter option. Eventually he bestirred himself to make a secret trip to Geli’s grave in Vienna. Upon returning to Munich, he ordered Geli’s room locked up and allowed no one to enter but his house- keeper, who was instructed to place fresh flowers each day next to a bust of Geli that Hitler had commissioned from a local artist. Thereafter, on anniversaries of the tragedy, Hitler would sit alone in the room for hours. While Hitler grieved, his enemies in Munich tried to make the most of the incident. The Mdainchener Post reported that Hitler had violently quar- reled with Geli on the day before her suicide; iteven suggested that he had broken her nose. Other loose tongues circulated stories that Hitler had ordered Geli killed because she had become impregnated by a Jew or because she was carrying his child. Presumably there was no truth to these rumors, and they quickly faded away. Hitler, however, remembered them, and they certainly inflamed his determination to get revenge on such calumniators once he came to power. AS THE GREAT Depression continued to deepen, the streets of Munich once again became a stage for violent political confrontations. There were bloody fights between the SA and the paramilitary forces of the Communists and Socialists. Brazenly the Nazis even attacked gov- ernment officials. In June 1932 some 6,000 uniformed SA men marched through Munich and laid siege to the home of Prime Minister Held. The police intervened and arrested 470 Nazis, but they were released shortly thereafter. As one frustrated legal official complained, the state could hardly expect the Nazis to obey the law when the system proved unwill- ing “to harm a hair on their heads.” In the midst ofideological strife and economic misery, Munich, like the rest of Germany, tried to find refuge and hope in a much-ballyhooed national celebration, the one-hundredth anniversary, in 1932, of Goethe’s  death. By now Goethe had become a comfortable household icon, quoted by everyone and understood by few. In his centennial year, wrote the Berlin journalist Carl von Ossietzky, he was celebrated “not as a poet and prophet, but above all as opium.” Goethe had never had much to do with Munich, but the city had no intention of being left out of this pious occa- sion. As Mayor Scharnagl explained, the “Goethe Year” could be a source of renewed cultural pride, not to mention tourist revenues. A city council report entitled Munich’s Place in the Goethe Year agreed that Goethe’s lega- cy should be honored not only in cities (like Frankfurt and Weimar) where he had spent considerable time but—since he was a great German artist—also in cities strongly identified with German genius. Goethe’s last years, after all, had “coincided with the extraordinarily rich cultural and intellectual flowering in Munich under Ludwig I,” an effervescence that had enlivened “all other cultural centers in Germany.” Breakthrough? In spring 1932 new presidential elections were held because Hindenburg’s seven-year term had expired. Pressured by Goebbels, Hitler decided to challenge the old field marshal’s bid for reelection. To do so, he had to become a German citizen, which he finally managed to accomplish in February 1932. Interestingly he obtained his citizenship not via Bavaria, which as late as December 1929 had rejected his application (citing his treason conviction in 1924), but through Nazi-controlled Brunswick, where he got himself appointed a state councillor. (According to law, cit- izenship in any German state automatically conferred Reich citizenship.) Citizen Hitler campaigned hard for the presidency in hopes that he might be swept into office on a tide of popular emotion. Yet, when the results came in on 13 March, Hitler had lost by a considerable margin to Hindenburg (whose 49.6 percent, however, was just short of the absolute majority necessary to avoid a runoff contest among the leaders). The Nazi chief received 30.1 percent of the votes nationwide, 29.9 percent in Bavaria, and 24.4 percent in Upper Bavaria, the electoral district in which Munich was located. The seven electoral districts that he had won were all located in the Protestant North and center. His relative difficulty in Bavaria can be explained largely by the BVP’s decision to back the Protestant Hindenburg over Hitler, whose devotion to the Catholic faith was rightly seen as questionable. Angered by this rebuff but encouraged by the fact that he had won almost one third of the votes, Hitler declared that he would campaign even harder for the runoff. “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 227  228 ®TM" WHERE GHOSTS WALKED This he did, although he was distracted in the midst of the campaign by another revelation about Réhm from the Ménchener Post. It published some letters between R6hm and a psychologist in which the two men dis- cussed their mutual interests in homosexuality and astrology. Hitler was livid at both the Post and Réhm but decided not to repudiate his SA chief as long as he confined his sexual attention to grown men. The runoff election for the presidency, held on 10 April, brought the necessary majority for Hindenburg, who received 53 percent of the tally. Hitler improved his showing to 36.8 percent nationwide but won only 32.3 percent in Bavaria and 24.9 percent in Upper Bavaria. Again, his strongest support was in the Protestant North, and the Upper Bavarian result was the second worst that the Nazi leader achieved in the entire Reich. Munich voted more heavily Nazi than the surrounding country- side, but its core of BVP voters was holding firm. Many of the city’s con- servative Catholics, it seemed, continued to see the Nazis as a threat to states’ rights and the interests of the church. Trends exposed in the national elections since 1930 were partly con- firmed in the Bavarian Landtag elections held on 24 April 1932. Winning 32.5 percent across the state and 28.5 percent in Munich—impressive gains—the Nazis drew roughly even with the BVP. Yet they still could not banish the Catholic party to the historical dustbin, as Hitler had hoped to do. Bavaria’s regionalist conservatism was proving to be a barrier to Nazism, just as it had earlier been to liberalism and socialism. As for Munich itself, Hitler might call it abrown city, but itstill had strong com- ponents of black and red. The Nazi Party’s apparent inability to break down these bastions of opposition despite the misery of the Great Depression suggested that Hitlerism might be exhausting its potential in the city of its birth. In midsummer 1932 Hitler was obliged to turn his attention once again to the national arena because new Reichstag elections were scheduled for 31 July. The restless Nazis had helped make this test necessary by refus- ing to back the new government of Franz von Papen unless he dissolved parliament and called elections. Hitler was counting on the worsening Depression and increasing street violence to bring him yet another influx of voters. His hopes proved well founded. Nationwide the Nazis garnered 37.3 percent of the vote, enough to make them, for the first time, the largest party in the Reich. In most of Germany their success came at the expense of the middle and center-Right bourgeois parties, which were now incomplete disintegration. In Bavaria and Munich, however, the Catholic center-Right still held its own against the Nazis, who won 32 percent statewide, 28.9 percent in  the capital. This was embarrassing for the Bavarian Nazis because the performance at home, though credible, was below the national average. Once again the North (though not Berlin, where the Nazis received only 28.6 percent of the vote) was showing more enthusiasm for Nazism than the South. The Nazi pope did not seem able to dominate his own Vatican. Frustration over the showing in Munich and Bavaria prompted some local SA men to call for a new putsch. But Hitler, who had learned his les- son in 1923, told a rebellious audience at the Zirkus Krone on 15 September that since the Nazis had been struggling for power for fifteen years, itwould not hurt to wait a little longer. Yet in truth Hitler was also restless. While convinced he must come to power “legally,” he believed that the breakthrough had to come soon, for he knew that followers quickly won could be just as quickly lost. Therefore, on the basis of controlling the largest party in the Reichstag, he demanded to be appointed chancellor of the republic. The current chan- cellor, Franz von Papen, rejected this bid, as did old President von Hindenburg, who gave the former corporal a stern lecture on his “duty” to support the existing government. Deeply angered by this rebuff, Hitler got revenge on Papen by team- ing up with the Communists to force yet another dissolution of the Reichstag and new national elections, set for November 1932. Again Hitler hit the campaign trail, or rather the campaign skies, flying from rally to rally in a lightplane. Just as he was hitting his stride, however, he was called back to Munich by another personal crisis. Like the recently departed Geli Raubal, Eva Braun, his new mistress, had come to resent Hitler’s Victorian strictures and his busy schedule, which kept him away from Munich for long per- ods. To show her frustration, she shot herself in the chest with a pistol, inflicting a serious but not fatal wound. This was becoming an ugly pat- tern, not to mention a nuisance. Eva Braun’s suicide attempt was a minor setback compared with the election of November 1932. The Nazis had campaigned hard across the Reich, but they dropped substantially from their performance in July. Losing a total of two million votes, the party had to give up thirty-four Reichstag seats, while their arch enemies the Communists gained eleven. The party declined even in some of its former strongholds, like Schleswig-Holstein. This was a significant reversal, suggesting that peo- ple were becoming weary of waiting for Hitler to take power and were drifting off to other alternatives. In Bavaria and Munich the Nazis had put another major effort into the elections, which Upper Bavarian Gauleiter Adolf Wagner boasted would “THE DUMBEST CITY IN GERMANY” #® 229  be contested with “brutality and force.” Yet they managed to win only 30.5 percent statewide, 24.9 percent in Munich. Here too the party was in decline. The November elections generated a new wave of frustration and bit- terness among the party faithful in Munich. By contrast, the Nazis’ oppo- nents were quick to cite the election results as proof that the Nazis were not the wave of the future after all. Of course, Hitler did not share this verdict, though he now began to doubt the efficacy of the ballot box as the sole key to power. He would have to find some new tactic to reach his goal. And given the difficulties he was having in the city and state where his movement had originated, he had to wonder whether the last leg of his journey to Berlin would, after all, run through Munich. 230 ® WHERE GHOSTS WALKED  Capital ofthe Movement IN JULY 1935, two anda half years after becoming chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler officially designated Munich Capital of the Movement. In fact, the city had been using this title informally since Hitler took power, and the chancellor’s action simply legitimized the practice. Now city officials commissioned a new municipal coat of arms, in which the Third Reich eagle and swastika replaced the Bavarian lion. At the same time, local leaders drew attention to Munich’s prominent role in the early history of Nazism by installing amuseum in the Sternecker beer hall, where the party had its first headquarters. They also put up  plaques at sacred sites like the Hofbrauhaus, the Feldherrnhalle, and the buildings in which Hitler had lived. It was impossible after 1933 to walk around Munich without being reminded that this was the cradle of the Nazi movement. Hitler bestowed upon his favorite city another honorary title: Capital of German Art. Like a latter-day Ludwig I, he was determined that Munich should again be the focal point of the German art world, the place to which people had to come to understand the aesthetic dimensions of the new order. This commitment to artistic rejuvenation may seem at odds with the Nazi movement’s notorious anti-intellectualism and dis- dain for high culture, an aversion best summed up in Hermann Géring’s famous boast: “When I hear the word ‘culture,’ Ireach for my revolver.” Yet top Nazi leaders (including Goring) saw themselves as defenders of genuine national culture. From the outset, they were as committed to reshaping Germany’s cultural terrain as they were to transforming its political landscape. Their vaunted political revolution was based in part on a calculated refusal to acknowledge any clear boundaries between pol- itics and art. The Nazis understood, better than most parties of the mod- ern era, the advantages of embedding political issues in elaborate spectacle and self-dramatization. That this impulse would find its most character- istic expression in Munich should hardly surprise us; after all, the city had long been famous for its theatricality and love of pomp. Ironically, Munich’s cultural elevation came at a ime when the city’s actual power was diminishing. Munich remained the headquarters of the Nazi Party and the SA, but Berlin was the undisputed capital of the Nazi Reich, a Reich that was more centrally controlled than its Weimar and imperial predecessors had been. The emphasis on Munich’s cultural prowess and importance to party history served partly as compensation for a la