Michael Brenner

The Long Shadow of the Revolution - Jews and Anti-Semites in Hitler’s Munich 1918–1923

Michael Brenner
Foto: Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner, born in Weiden in 1964, is Professor for Jewish History and Culture at the university of Munich and Director of the Center for Israel Studies at the American University in Washington, D.C. He is the International President of the Leo Baeck Institute and a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. His many books, which have been translated into more than ten languages, include The Renaissance of Jewish Culture in the Weimar Republic and A Short History of the Jews.

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On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the proclamation of the Bavarian Soviet Republic in Munich


After the First World War, Munich became the scene of unusual political constellations: in November 1918, Kurt Eisner became the first ever Jewish prime minister of a German state, while in April 1919, Jewish writers like Gustav Landauer, Ernst Toller and Erich Mühsam became involved with the Bavarian Soviet Republic. The Jewish community was rather conservative, and even the Orthodox members liked to visit the Hofbräuhaus after going to the synagogue. But the beginning of the ‘20s already saw a Nazi police president, anti-Jewish tendencies in politics, the press and the church as well as Jewish expulsions and open violence against Jewish citizens on the streets.

The »City of Hitler« as Thomas Mann called the later »Capital of the Movement« in July 1923, was to become the point of departure for the unprecedented rise of the National Socialist Party, which had been founded there.

»That beautiful, cosy city had once attracted the best minds of the empire. How did it come to be that, now that they were gone, everything which was rotten and corrupt in the empire and which could not get a foothold anywhere else was magically drawn to Munich?« Lion Feuchtwanger


»It is the accomplishment of this book to both free the Munich Revolution from misjudgments and to capture the milieu in which the villain of German history began his rise.« Bernhard Schulz, Der Tagesspiegel

»One of the particular achievements of Brenner’s book is tracing the division of the Jewish community by the revolution as far as the family level.« Judith Leister, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»Michael Brenner draws an enlightening, disturbing panorama of Munich in the early 1920s.« Franz Adam, Münchner Feuilleton

»Brenner shines a light on the history of Munich after the war, which was so defining for Germany, […] from a new perspective and thus also broadens the focus to include an important chapter of the history of the Jewish people in Germany.« Engelbrecht Boese, ekz.bibliotheksservice