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Munich 1919: Diary of a Revolution

Munich 1919: Diary of a Revolution

Victor Klemperer

ISBN: 978-1-509-51058-0

Jul 2017, Polity

220 pages

In Stock



Munich 1919 is a vivid portrayal of the chaos that followed World War I and the collapse of the Munich Council Republic by one of the most perceptive chroniclers of German history. Victor Klemperer provides a moving and thrilling account of what turned out to be a decisive turning point in the fate of a nation, for the revolution of 1918-9 not only produced the first German democracy, it also heralded the horrors to come.

With the directness of an educated and independent young man, Klemperer turned his hand to political journalism, writing astute, clever and linguistically brilliant reports in the beleaguered Munich of 1919. He sketched intimate portraits of the people of the hour, including Erich Mühsam, Max Levien and Kurt Eisner, and took the measure of the events around him with a keen eye. These observations are made ever more poignant by the inclusion of passages from his later memoirs. In the midst of increasing persecution under the Nazis he reflected on the fateful year 1919, the growing threat of antisemitism, and the acquaintances he made in the period, some of whom would later abandon him, while others remained loyal.

Klemperer's account once again reveals him to be a fearless and deeply humane recorder of German history. Munich 1919 will be essential reading for all those interested in 20th century history, constituting a unique witness to events of the period.

Foreword. By Christopher Clark
Notes on the text
Munich 1919
Diary of a Revolution
Politics and the Bohemian World
February 1919
Two Munich Ceremonies
February 1919
Munich After Eisner’s Assassination
February 22, 1919
The Events at the University of Munich
April 8, 1919
The Third Revolution in Bavaria
April 9, 1919
Revolutionary Diary
April 17, 1919
April 18, 1919
Revolutionary Diary
April 19, 1919
Revolutionary Diary
April 20, 1919
April 21, 1919
April 22, 1919
Revolutionary Diary
April 30, 1919
Revolutionary Diary
May 2, 1919
May 4, 1919
May 10, 1919
Munich Tragicomedy
January 17, 1920
The German Revolution of 1918-9. A Historical Essay. By Wolfram Wette
About this edition
Picture credits
"Klemperer guides us through the confusion of those troubled days in Munich with empathy, subtlety and a perceptive eye." - Christopher Clark, University of Cambridge, UK

"Klemperer has once again proven himself to be a brilliant reporter and an intelligent essayist. A sensational testimony. - Die Zeit

"With his talent for dramatic portrayals, for reflection, and his knack for boiling things down to their essence, Munich 1919 gives us a more intimate view of Klemperer than we've ever seen before." - Die Welt

"Klemperer's ability to grasp moods and attitudes has a truly Dickensian quality." - Los Angeles Times

"A message in a bottle, with real immediacy." - Sydney Morning Herald

A compelling chronicle" -  The Times Literary Supplement

“This account needs to be read for itself and its dramatic descriptions of chaos and political madness. But it also needs to be read as a harbinger of the future — and attitudes that shaped German acquiescence in, and belief in, the violent antisemitism of Nazi ideology" - The Jewish Chronicle

"Klemperer’s diary provides an invaluable, unique perspective on the creation and suppression of the Munich Soviet Republic. Observing and recording how events unfolded from his university perch, Klemperer’s account conveys the sense of confusion, of isolation, and of uncertainty that pervaded… Born in Prussia to Jewish parents, Klemperer uneasily records how Bavarian particularism blurred anti-Prussianism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Bolshevism into a toxic brew of resentment, fear, and loathing. Klemperer’s Munich 1919. Diary of a Revolution will become essential reading for those interested in the Weimar Republic, Bavarian identity, and the backstory to the rise of Hitler and National Socialism." - H-Net: Humanities & Social Sciences Online