The Stab-in-the-Back Myth

Some of the Red Republic soldiers were executed with swift brutality by the Freikorps troops. Here these men appear to have been executed by firing squad with this picture taken shortly after. The perpetrators in many of the execution incidents claimed to be avenging the previously mentioned execution by the Communists. 

Red Republic soldiers are led into captivity by Freikorps soldiers in the above and below photos. Notice the presence of many people in non military uniforms. In particular the preponderance of soldiers in traditional Bavarian dress. 

During the fighting to end the Red Republic in Munich twenty one individuals were massacred in Munich by the Communists. The photo collage above features those victims. 

Source:  Monacensia, Literaturarchiv und Bibliothek, M√ľnchen. For Munich materials

These two photos show two separate angles of the exact location at which Kurt Eisner was assassinated on Februrary 21st 1919. He was shot in the back by Anton Graf von Arco auf Valley. Arco Valley was a disgruntled veteran of the Bavarian army in the First World War. His main motivation for killing Eisner was the fact that Eisner was for him: a "Jewish/Bolshevist with no patriotic beliefs."


It is likely that Arco valley (pictured on the left) was strongly influenced by Dolchstosslegende related propaganda which played on the fact that many of the revolutionaries were both Communist and Jewish (at least purported to be). Go to the resources section under 'German language' to see a Nazi example of this propaganda.  Later the two would be regularly conflated in the minds of right wing radicals. This was called the 'Jewish/Bolshevik conspiracy.'  Hitler was a strong advocate of this theory; more details can be found in the edited volume. 

The troops sent to put down the revolution were well armed. In this photo is pictured a Freikorps armored car with a mounted machine gun. Notice the skull motif on the front which can be attributed to the 'Storm trooper' units on the Western Front, who were heavily armed and well trained small groups, who assaulted trenches at night. This symbol would later be used by the SS. 

In this photo the Freikorps von Epp marches into Munich to put down the Red Revolution. Their leader Franz Ritter von Epp was a career German Imperial Army officer who later became dictatorial leader of Bavaria under Hitler. 

Red Republic revolutionaries defend an improvised street barricade in Munich. Small detachments like this were easily defeated by regime forces and Freikorps (militia armies made of mostly former soldiers). 

These are two photos of Kurt Eisner during his time as the first leader of Bavaria after the overthrow of the monarchy and organizer of the Munich Red Revolution. 

This postcard satirizes the fact that the Red Revolution in Munich happended overnight transforming a highly conservative monarchy into the "Red Republic." The building pictured is one of Munich's major churches which is being shown to now have the stereotypical hat of the revolutionaries. This same hat can be seen in the DNVP poster on the volumes cover and the websites banner.

A group of sailors at rest who participated in the Kiel mutiny an early part of the revolution.     1918