chapter  5
34 Pages

“We Don’t Want Gratitude, We Want Our Rights:” Demobilization, Violence, and Politics in Munich, 1919

On October 9, 1919, the Munich chapter of the National Federation of War Wounded met in a large hall in the north of the city. Cold War historians in the divided Germany and in the English-speaking world struggled to contextualize the influence of international communism in Munich's postwar politics. The last days of the First World War in Munich were a chaotic scene, out of which eventually emerged a fragile republic. The physical demobilization of the Bavarian Army on the Western Front, as with much of Germany's armed forces, combined the fruits of years of dedicated staff work with the improvisation that came from the suddenness of defeat. For the anti-Semitic Right, demobilization offered opportunities to tie Jewish influence in with broader concerns about the future of German society. Increasingly, the voices of radical anti-Semitic and anti-Republican thought were drawn together in the miasma of Munich politics.