chapter  3
36 Pages

An Immeasurable Sacrifice of Blood and Treasure: Munich at War, 1917–18

Munich's tumultuous path after the First World War had its roots in the transformation of the city and urban life that came with the mobilization of its population and resources for the trials of industrial war. The mobilization of society and the German war economy was, at least ostensibly, firmly under the control of military authorities. Under the 1851 Law of Siege, oversight in wartime passed to Deputy Commanding Generals based in regional 'fortresses', which in theory had complete and clear authority over their civilian counterparts. The city's Food Committee was staffed by some of the most energetic and capable politicians in Munich, including the future mayor Eduard Schmid, who was the SPD's food expert. The attempts to mold the political imagination of Munich's citizenry intensified during the hardest days of the war. Planning for the eventual end of the war went on in public and private even as the mobilization efforts proceeded.