When Bavaria was a Commie State

Oberanger, Munich

This very day 99 years ago, Bavaria was – albeit for a very short time – pretty close to being a communist state. Which is astonishing, as now it is probably the German equivalent to Texas, firm in the hands of a really conservative party, with the exception of the 2 biggest Bavarian cities, which have been almost continually ruled by the social democrats. But at the end of WWI there was unrest and upheaval all over Germany, and on that Nov 8th of 1917, Bavaria became a free state (which at that time meant free of monarchy), and Kurt Eisner, who is commemorated in the memorial shown above, was Bavaria’s first premier. Due to the terrible slaughter of WWI, he was a pacifist with all his heart, and the inscription aptly cites him: “Every human life shall be holy”. But his engagement did not serve him well – only 3 months after becoming premier he was assassinated by a right-wing, antisemitic aristocrat. Subsequently the left wing government was overthrown, and many were killed by mercenaries, right wing partisans and the army.

When first plans were made to name a street after Eisner in 1969, the Bavarian ruling party objected that the feelings of his assassinator’s widow would be hurt if she was to encounter a street named after her husband’s victim. You see, there is sensitivity everywhere.


  1. Neither me, Martina. I tried to verify it in the newspaper archive, but up to now in vain. So I am left with wikipedia as the single source for that.

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