Biography of Kurt Eisner

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk



Kurt Eisner (1867-1919)


In February of 1919, Kurt Eisner was murdered on the street in Munich (München) as he was on his way to present his resignation from the position of prime minister of Bavaria to the Bavarian parliament.

Eisner had only been in office for a few months. He had gained the leading position in Bavarian politics on November 7th, 1918 by forcing the king of Bavaria, Louis III of the Wittelsbach family to leave the country. Louis died in exile.

Those not acquainted with German history may find it surprising that Bavaria, the largest state (27,000 sq. m.) in the German Federation (New York has 54,000 sq. m.), had its own king. This was true of almost all the German states who became part of the German Empire when the King of Prussia, Wilhelm I, was crowned emperor at Versailles, near Paris, in 1870. The Germans had defeated the French in 1870 and crowned Wilhelm at Versailles in order to “rub it in”.

Bavaria gained its name from the Bauoarii, a Siberian tribe who invaded the area in the 6th century. The Germans call it Bayern. The Bavarian form of German is nearer to Yiddish than any other German dialect.

Now, Eisner was not born there. He was a native of Berlin, the son of Emanuel and Hedwig (Levenstein). Then as now, he, like all Jewish boys and girls, attended university and became a newspaper editor and theater critic. Influenced by Marx and Nietzsche, he was critical of both. Eisner joined the Social Democratic Party in 1917 and opposed the German aggression which led to the First World War. The Social Democrats had been outlawed during the Kaiser's rule but governed Germany directly after the First World War when its leader, Friedrich Ebert, became Germany’s first democratic president. Again outlawed by Hitler, the party has been in an out of office in Germany since 1949, having relinquished power to the conservatives only one year ago this month.

During the war Eisner organized a strike by munitions workers, for which he was arrested and convicted of treason . Released because of a general amnesty for all political prisoners, Eisner now joined the German Communist party and then organized the revolution which gave him control of Bavaria. He governed Bavaria as a Social Democrat, having rejected the extremism of the Communists. During the few months before he was defeated at the next election, Eisner handed the Allied enemies of Germany evidence that the Germans had deliberately provoked the war. Eisner also attempted to give Bavaria more power within the German Federation so as to limit the influence of Prussia.

All this came to nought when he was shot to death on a Munich street by Anton Graf (Count) von Arco auf Valley. Arco was motivated by nationalist sentiment and anti-Jewish bigotry , despite his own Jewish mother, who was a descendant of the bankers family Oppenheim.

Shortly after Arco murdered Eisner, he was also shot but survived. He was then tried for murder in Munich but received a light sentence on the grounds that he had been motivated by love of Germany. He spent 3 years in a minimum security prison and, like Hitler in 1923, was treated more like a hero for killing the Jew Eisner than like a murderer.

During the Nazi years, Arco was viewed as a forerunner of Nazi policies and honored by the Nazi bosses despite his Jewish mother.

Eisner was also a prolific writer, as that was his profession. He wrote a book about Nietzsche, another book called Die Neue Zeit or New Times, and a vast number of essays and political tracts, all published in 1919.

Although Eisner was the first Social Democrat to govern in Germany, his party gained a considerable following after the Second World War. He is therefore remembered as a fighter for German democracy. He is also an example of the Jewish delusion that Germany could somehow become hospitable to Jews if only a democratic government could be established there. This was of course done in 1918 and again in 1949. Yet the German Jews now living there live on a packed suitcase because the anti-Jewish hate mongering is still there. Only recently, the German population reported to public opinion researchers that “the most dangerous country on earth is Israel.” Anti-Jewish conduct is so common in Germany that all synagogues have to be surrounded by barbed wire fencing even as the police watch Jewish establishments day and night.

We, who have the good fortune to live here, should therefore do what we can to maintain a government friendly to Israel and to us. That government is the present government under George W. Bush and the Republican party. May they win in November so that Israel will not be abandoned by the friends of Jimmy Carter, the Jew baiter number one.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including The Restoration of Israel (2006).

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