The munich government in the french sky

The munich government in the french sky

When a central council set up by the council congress in february 1919 took power in munich, writers and literary figures such as ernst toller and erich muhsam initially set the tone. But the debate in munich soon became rougher. The revolution that took place in the kingdom of bavaria on 8. November 1918 and proclaimed by kurt eisner (USPD – independent social democrats) "free state came into crisis after eisner, the first minister-president of the bavarian republic, was elected on 21. February 1919 had been assassinated. Conditions in the state capital became very unstable. The state parliament voted in its session on 17. March an SPD-led minority government under minister president johannes hoffmann (MSPD – majority social democrats). The central council resisted further sessions of the state parliament and called a meeting on 7 december. April the council republic of. The government and state parliament then fled to bamberg.

On wikipedia the end of this republic is described like this: "the munich republic had to defend itself from the beginning against paramilitary attacks of the freikorpsverbande mobilized from bamberg, which were strengthened a little later by regular army units set in motion by the reichsregierung". By 2. May 1919, the council republic finally succumbed to their military superiority. Around 2,000 alleged or actual adherents of the raterepublik were sanctioned with prison sentences in the following weeks, sentenced to death by state courts or directly murdered."

Seat of government bamberg

The new residence in bamberg was the seat of the bavarian government during the five months of exile. The session of the landtag in which the new bavarian constitution was adopted was held in the harmoniesaal. There, the state parliament came from 7. April to 17. August. On 14. August, the new bavarian constitution – also called the bamberg constitution – was signed; it convened on 15. September in force.

So much for the political environment in the spring and summer of 1919. During the 133 days that bavaria was governed from bamberg, ministers, members of parliament and state parliament staff also had time off. They undertook excursions into the surrounding countryside – including to the staffelberg mountain.

Visitors’ books provide information

Ernst paul wagner has analyzed the 23 foreign books from the period between 1881 and 1939, which were on display for visitors in the staffelbergklause. Several years ago, the now 87-year-old meticulously listed which celebrities from richard strauss to ernst thalmann visited the mountain. "The staffelberg became famous when scheffel’s frankenlied was set to music by valentin becker and thus became known in academic circles", says the local historian, who now lives in bamberg. Thereupon the tourism at the staffelberg had begun. During his time as director of the staffelsteiner milchhof, wagner climbed the staffelberg 1819 times between 1973 and 1986, as can be seen from his records. The mountain was always something special for him.

Deciphering the difficult to read

So it is not surprising that ernst paul wagner studied the fremdenbucher with great dedication and deciphered the entries, which were often difficult to read or hastily scribbled down. He transcribed the sutterlin first by hand, then by typewriter, and finally by computer, so that the signatures and notations are legible to today’s normal burghers. He has given several lectures on these books at the CHW (colloquium historicum wirsbergense) historical society in the past years. Well, to the 100th. Jubilee of the bavarian constitution, he searched his records with a view to discovering members of the government and the state parliament who had fled to bamberg. Several delegates and members of the state parliament probably took the train to staffelstein and hiked up the mountain from the train station.

It must have been an illustrious crowd that once climbed the mountain, for the fremdenbucher are illustrated throughout the ages with drawings and cartoons.

100 years ago on the mountain

Here is an excerpt from those who climbed the mountain 100 years ago: friedrich von volckamer auf kirchsittenbach, first lieutenant bayerisches freikorps, 5. April 1919; dr. Phil. Franz A. Pfeiffer with wife, secretary general of the bavarian people’s party, 11. May 1919; maria rohrer and emmy riehl, secretaries of the bayerische volkspartei and paula unger, secretary of caritasburo, all on 11. May 1919; mrs. State minister speck, munich, 13. July 1919 (her husband, karl friedrich speck, was bavarian finance minister); dr. Erich muller, privy councillor of munich z. Zt. Bamberg, 20. July 1919; august bruch, member of the state parliament from ludwigshafen, z. Zt. Bamberg, 4. August 1919; dr. H. Rabel, k. Grammar school professor, member of the bavarian state parliament, oberfrank. County council, 2. Burgermeister of forchheim, 7. August 1919.

The payment is not complete. One, however, is missing in 1919: minister-president johannes hoffmann. His name only appears with the date 17. May 1922. Whether he did not have time in 1919 to climb the mountain that others told him about and that he wanted to make up for three years later?

Ernst paul wagner it is important to remember "that many people visited the staffelberg at that time". But there is one thing that escapes his knowledge: "where the books are today, i don’t know. I had them and have also returned them." But his researches, where the volumes are located today, failed. Fortunately, he has made numerous copies and photographed the most original pages with the drawings.

Unfortunately not yet digitized

A call to district local historian prof. Dr. Gunter dippold brings clarity: "the books are where they belong – in the archives of the archbishopric of bamberg." He would like to see the books digitized, says dippold, "so that people can leaf through them – then more people will simply look at them and searched to see if they might discover the name of a relative.

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