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The political police in Bavaria, 1919-1936

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The political police in Bavaria, 1919-1936
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McGee, James Heard, 1950-
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Cities ( jstor )
Civics ( jstor )
Communism ( jstor )
Conservatism ( jstor )
Nazism ( jstor )
Police ( jstor )
Political organizations ( jstor )
Political parties ( jstor )
Political power ( jstor )
Political systems ( jstor )
History -- Bavaria (Germany) -- 1918-1945 ( lcsh )
Police -- Germany -- Bavaria ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Bavaria (Germany) -- 1918-1945 ( lcsh )
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theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 300-322).
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Typescript.
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Vita.
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by James H. McGee, III.

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THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936


BY

JAMES H. MCGEE, III










A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1980

































Copyright 1980

by

James H. McGee, III



































Dedicated to the memory of

Prof. Dr. Thilo Vogelsang

-- gentleman, scholar, friend --
















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


During the five years of research and writing which has gone into

this work, I have incurred a long series of debts to be acknowledged.

I would first like to thank the three scholars who supervised this

work in its various stages, Dr. Max H. Kele, Dr. Alan Beyerchen, and

Dr. Charles F. Sidman. Dr. Kele provided the inspiration for this

work and guided it through its beginnings. In a larger sense, his

standards of scholarship have served me as a model throughout my

graduate career. Dr. Beyerchen's advice and assistance helped carry

me past critical obstacles in the intermediate stages of the work.

Dr. Sidman supervised the completion of my study. Through his

extensive knowledge of Bavarian history and his unfailing insistence

upon precision in interpretation and expression, he exerted a profound

influence upon every aspect of the work. My gratitude to these three

men goes far beyond what can be expressed in this brief compass.

Many others also contributed to this work. I am very grateful to

Professors David Bushnell, Geoffrey Giles, Helga Kraft, Neill Macaulay,

Harry Paul, Claude Sturgill, and Norman Wilensky, all of the University

of Florida, for their help, encouragement, and interest in my work.

A similar debt of gratitude is owed to Professor James M. Diehl of

Indiana University-Bloomington.

A number of German schoLars and archivists assisted me during the

course of my research. I am indebted to Prof. Dr. Karl Bosl of the













University of Munich for his advice based upon years of involvement

with the issues of Bavarian history. Dr. Hermann-Joseph Busley,

Dr. Joseph Lauchs, and Dr. Hermann Rumschottel, all of the Bavarian

State Archives staff, helped me to chart a path through the maze of

sources related to my topic. Their assistance was, quite literally,

invaluable. I would also like to thank Dr. Martin Broszat for

permission to use the unmatched facilities of the Institut fur

Zeitgeschichte in Munich.

Personal friends, both in the United States and in Germany,

helped in a variety of ways: in Germany, Paul Hoser, Edita Marx,

and Sarah Westphal; in the United States, Tina Komaniecka, Rosemary

and Gary Brana-Shute, and Blair and Vicki Turner. In this context I

would also like to thank my parents for their encouragement and support

over many years.

My research in Germany was made possible by a Fulbright-Hays

grant in 1976-1977. I would like to thank Dr. Ulrich Littman and

Dr. Barbara Ischinger of the Fulbright Office in Bonn for their

assistance, which went far beyond the simple provision of financial

support. At other times during my graduate school years the Departments

of History and Humanities at the University of Florida provided

financial support.

My greatest debt is to my wife, Sandy, whose love, understanding,

and support has sustained me throughout the years of research and

writing. I had originally intended to dedicate this work to her, an













intention which reflects the depth of her contribution. Her contribu-

tions, however, are ongoing; I will, I trust, have occasion in the

future to measure them in a dedication. The contributions of another,

however, have been stilled. I will never again have the occasion to

thank him for the many personal and professional kindnesses he showed

to me during my year in Munich, or to appropriately recognize his

influence upon my work. This work is therefore dedicated to the late

Prof. Dr. Thilo Vogelsang.

These individuals have helped make this a better work, and I am

deeply grateful to them all. In no way, however, should any of them

be held liable for the results of their assistance. The interpretations

are my own, and so are the errors they contain.

















TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.......................................................................... iv

ABSTRACT........... ......................... ........ ...................... vii

INTRODUCTION
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936.................... 1
Notes..................................................... 12

CHAPTER 1
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN THE PiHNER ERA, 1919-1921.............. 13
Notes................ ............ ........ .......... 55

CHAPTER 2
A CASE OF POLITICAL MURDER..................................... 62
Notes................................ ................. .... 104

CHAPTER 3
THE POLITICAL POLICE AND THE BEER HALL PUTSCH, 1921-1923....... 112
Notes..................................................... 162

CHAPTER 4
THE EXPANSION OF THE POLITICAL POLICE SYSTEM, 1923-1930........ 169
Notes................................ .................. .. 215

CHAPTER 5
THE WAY TO THE GESTAPO, 1930-1936.............................. 223
Notes.................................... ........ ........ 280

CONCLUSIONS......... ... ........................................ 288

BIBLIOGRAPHIC ESSAY................................................ 293

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY...................... .... ................ 300
Archival Sources......................................... 300
Published Sources....................................... 316

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH......................................... .......... 323













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936

By

James H. McGee, III

March 1980

Chairman: Charles F. Sidman
Major Department: History

This study examines the administrative, personal, and operational

history of the political police in the German State of Bavaria from

the end of the 1919 revolutions through the first years of the Third

Reich. It relates the Nazi political police organization, the Gestapo,

to one of its most important Weimar era predecessors. During the

Weimar years Bavaria was a focal point of political activity in Germany.

This was particularly true during the first years of the republic's

existence. The German radical right made Munich, the capital of

Bavaria, its headquarters in the period from 1919 to 1923. The

initial successes of the radical right were, in part, made possible

by the sympathetic attitude of the political police in Bavaria. After

the Nazi takeover in 1933, officers schooled in the Bavarian political

police formed an important part of the leadership cadre of the Gestapo.

Thus, the first theme of this work is the connection between the

Bavarian political police and the emergence of the powerful radical


viii













right-wing movement in Germany after the First World War. The second

theme is that of the ties between the political police as it existed

prior to 1933 and the post-1933 Nazi police state apparatus. It has

been argued that the changes in the Bavarian political police

instituted after the National Socialist takeover comprised a revolution

in political police organization and practice and that this revolution

formed the basis of the Nazi police state. The present study contends,

in contrast, that the changes introduced in Bavaria in 1933 and after

represented an extension and an intensification of tendencies within

the political police system which dated back to 1919. In other words,

the changes which took place were evolutionary, rather than revolu-

tionary, and grew out of a pattern which predated the Nazi seizure of

power by many years. This study will also indicate how these two

main themes intersect, for the role of the political police in the

emergence of the radical right in Bavaria was related to the evolution

of the political police system both before and after 1933.

In a larger sense, this work is a case study in the evolution of

a bureaucratic agency within a particular historical framework. It is

meant not only as a contribution to the understanding of recent German

history, but also as a contribution to the study of bureaucracies.

It is a work of history, not social science, and is thus concerned

with the particular, the immediate, in some instances with the unique.

It makes no attempt to generalize systematically from the example of

the political police in Bavaria to other bureaucratic organizations,













even other political police bureaucracies. It should, however, in

the company of other studies from different historical and geographical

settings, provide a basis for more meaningful generalizations. This

study suggests, from the example of the political police in Bavaria,

that the historical development of state bureaucracies is as much

governed by dynamics internal to the bureaucracy itself--in this

case the political beliefs of the police bureaucrats--as by

external events.
















INTRODUCTION
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936



This study examines the administrative, personal, and operational

history of the political police in the German state of Bavaria from

the end of the 1919 revolutions through the first years of the Third

Reich. It relates the Nazi political police organization, the Gestapo,

to one of its most important Weimar era predecessors. During the

Weimar years Bavaria was a focal point of political activity in

Germany. This was particularly true during the critical first years

of the republic's existence. The German radical right made Munich,

the capital of Bavaria, its headquarters in the period from 1919 to

1923. The Nazi party had its real beginnings in Munich, and Hitler

made his entry into politics there. The initial successes of the Nazi

movement in Bavaria were, in part, made possible by the sympathetic

attitude of the political police. After the Nazi takeover in 1933,

officers schooled in the Bavarian political police formed an important

part of the leadership cadre of the Gestapo; the head of the Gestapo,

Heinrich MUller, was only the most notable among many Bavarian political

policemen who built successful careers in the service of the Nazis.

The story of Nazism, from its birth amidst the hatreds of a defeated

nation to its death in battle against an aroused world, is central to












the history of the 20th Century. The story of the political police in

Bavaria, in turn, was a significant part of the larger drama of Nazism.

Thus, the first theme of this work is the study of the connection

between the Bavarian political police and the emergence of the powerful

radical right-wing movement in Germany after the First World War. The

second theme is that of the ties between the political police as it

existed prior to 1933 and the post-1933 Nazi police state apparatus. It

has been argued that the changes in the Bavarian political police

instituted in the aftermath of the National Socialist takeover comprised

a revolution in political police organization and practice. This

revolution formed the basis of the Nazi police state.1 The present

study will contend, in contrast, that the changes introduced in Bavaria

in 1933 and after represented an extension and an intensification of

tendencies within the political police system which dated back to 1919.

In other words, the changes which took place were evolutionary, rather

than revolutionary, and grew out of a pattern which predated the

Nazi seizure of power by many years. This study will also indicate

how these two main themes intersect, for the role of the political

police in the emergence of the radical right in Bavaria was not unrelated

to the later service of many political police officers in the Nazi regime.

In a larger sense, this work is a case study in the evolution of

a bureaucratic agency within a particular historical framework. It is

meant not only as a contribution to our understanding of recent German













history, but also as a contribution to the understanding of bureau-

cracies. It.is a work of history, not social science, and is thus

concerned with the particular, the immediate, in some instances with

the unique. It makes no attempt to generalize systematically from

the example of the political police in Bavaria to other bureaucratic

organizations, even other political police bureaucracies. It should,

however, in the company of other studies from different historical

and geographical settings, provide a basis for more meaningful

generalization.

The lack of such a basis is particularly evident in the realm

of the political police. By their very nature political police

institutions elude careful scholarly study. The standard synonym

for "political" police is "secret" police, and, in most societies,

the secrets of the political police are well-kept. Even long after

these secrets have passed from the sphere of current policy, they

customarily remain closely protected. For this reason, Germany in

the years prior to 1945 presents a special case and a rare opportunity.

The circumstances which surrounded the collapse of the Third Reich

and the generally held desire for a reckoning with the Nazi experience--

a desire evident within Germany as well as without--have combined to

make the records of the political police in Germany for this period

more accessible than those of any other modern nation. In virtually

no other case can one examine the operations of the political police

in a modern society from the inside, from its own records and secret













documents. Even in the case of Germany conditions are not ideal; many

important documents were destroyed or lost at the end of the Second

World War. What remains, however, is a collection of unparalleled

scope, more material, indeed, than any one scholar could absorb in a
2
lifetime. The extent of the available materials dictates the need

for a limited geographic and temporal focus. Studies which concentrate

upon the national level must, perforce, be limited in detail about

the pattern of specific developments. A regional study, however,

permits this kind of close analysis. Coupled with the intrinsic

historical importance of the political police in Bavaria during the

years in question, this practical consideration suggested the choice

of Bavaria as a case study.

The term "political police" admits of many definitions. In this

work, the political police will be viewed as the agency or agencies

specifically charged by the state with the surveillance of political

activity and the investigation and prosecution, as the executive arm

of the justice system, of political crime. As we shall see, the lines

between these specially constituted agencies and the regular, non-

political police frequently become blurred when one moves away from

Tables of Organization and into actual operations. Is the patrolman

who intervenes to stop a fight between political gangs a political

policeman? Is the homicide detective who investigates a political

murder doing political police work? This study will concentrate upon












the political police as a special part of the overall police force,

but it will also be attentive to these points of overlap. The political

police will be viewed as a police institution, not strictly as a

political agency.

The study of the political police, nonetheless, is intimately

related to political questions. One cannot understand the nature of

political police work or the attitudes which shape the behavior of

political policemen in isolation from the political context in which

political police operations take place. This study is not meant as

a history of Bavarian politics during the years from 1919 to 1936,

but, at the same time, the basic narrative would make little sense if

divorced from a consideration of larger political events. An attempt

has therefore been made to integrate the story of the political police

into a broader narrative of political developments.

A second set of definitions arises from the need for a shorthand

form for separating the various contending political groups into

meaningful categories. For simplicity's sake I have adopted the form

customarily used by the Bavarian political police themselves, which

followed popular usage in placing the different parties and political

groups along the conventional left to right political continuum. The

middle point is represented by those groups loyal to the Weimar republic

and to the republican constitution. The extremes are defined by those

groups fundamentally and violently opposed to the republic's existence,












with their placement to the left or right dependent upon the actual

terms of their opposition. Figure 1 provides a schematic representation

of this pattern of placement. Parties and other political groups are

identified on this table by their standard designations. Their actual

political positions will be discussed, where necessary, in the text.

It should be noted that Figure 1 records tendencies and not fixed

positions. Party positions shifted from issue to issue, and individual

attitudes shifted within parties. Moreover, there was a regular slippage

from one party or group to another. Thus, an Independent Socialist

might become a Communist, or a member of the right-wing DNVP might slip

into the Nazi camp. This slippage usually took place between adjacent

parties. Still, the extremists always had their extremism in common,

which provided a basis for movement between the extreme right and left.

The term "fascism" is avoided throughout, on the grounds that

it generates more heat than light. The term "radical right" is used to

describe that varied collection of political groups, some nationalist,

some particularist, some reactionary, and some revolutionary, which were

united by a common hatred of the republic and of the political left.

Little consideration is given to the "liberal" parties, because these

parties in Bavaria were extremely weak after 1919 and did little to

influence the political environment. The two main parties in Bavaria

were the SPD and the BVP. These parties dominated the Bavarian political

landscape during the period 1919-1933, and were thus the parties which

did most in shaping the political context for political police operations.










































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The structure of this study has been dictated by the need to

combine the basic narrative of political and organizational developments

affecting the political police system with a close examination of the

actual operations of the political police and the formative professional

experiences of political police personnel. Chapter 1 sets the political

scene in the spring of 1919, explains the basic organization of the

political police at that time, and carries the political and organi-

zational narrative forward to the fall of 1921. Chapter 2 is a detailed

excursion into one of the special problems of the period 1919-1922,

the relationship of the political police to the phenomenon of political

murder in Bavaria. This chapter serves several distinct, but inter-

related purposes. It provides a close look at the inner workings of

the political police organization during this early period; it highlights

the links between the political police and the worst features of

radical right-wing extremism; it introduces a subsidiary theme of the

work, the exploration of the process of "indirect police terror" as a

method of political repression. Most of all, it fixes firmly the

tendencies of professional and political conditioning experienced by

political police officers in Bavaria in the first years of the Weimar

republic. Chapter 3 advances the narrative through the year 1923,

relating the changes in the political police organization to the

momentous political events of that year. The chapter culminates with

the Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923. The events of the putsch













itself have been thoroughly discussed elsewhere, and thus the chapter

confines itself to the impact of the putsch upon the political police.

Chapter 4 outlines in detail the evolving political police organization

in Bavaria and explains through a consideration of illustrative examples

the workings of that organization after 1923. It parallels, in this

sense, Chapter 2 for the earlier period. If the examples considered

in Chapter 2 are lurid, then those in Chapter 4 are more mundane. The

combination of the lurid and the mundane, however, is characteristic

of political police activities, indeed, of all police work. In Chapter

2, I have endeavored to present the lurid aspects of political police

work with restraint, while at the same time making explicit the harsh

brutality of the era in political assassination. In Chapter 4, I

have tried to enliven the mundane without doing violence to the tenor

of much political police work. The concluding chapter, Chapter 5,

completes the narrative by relating the political police organization

of the Weimar years to its Nazi successors. The narrative concludes in

1936 with the formal integration of the Bavarian political police into

the national Gestapo system. My conclusions are summarized at the end

of the work. In addition to a formal bibliography and the running

historiographical commentary provided in the notes appended at the

end of each chapter, a bibliographic essay has been included as a

further guide to the sources upon which this work is based.













Many individual characters will pass through the following pages.

Two among them have been singled out for special attention, Ernst Pohner

and Benno Martin. The choice of Pbhner reflects his importance in the

growth of the political police system in Bavaria and his imprint upon

its values and attitudes. Martin is presented as an example of the

contradictory qualities of this system in the years after 1933.

The world has grown accustomed, perhaps too much so, to the political

police as a basic institution of the modern state. Liberal democratic

theorists have generally condemned the very .existence of the political

police as destructive to the exercise of political freedom. Yet few

modern states, no matter how liberal or democratic their pretensions,

have been able to do without some form of political police. A study

of one such institution, bound to a particular historical setting, cannot

answer all of the questions which arise from a consideration of the

role of the political police in modern society. It can, however, suggest

refinements to these questions and lead to their more precise formulation..

It is hoped that this study will contribute to this process.





12







Notes

1Shlomo Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Fruhgeschichte von
Gestapo und SD (Stuttgart, 1971), p. 94.

2See the bibliographic essay for a more detailed discussion of
these sources.
















CHAPTER 1
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN THE POHNER ERA, 1919-1921


In his blanket condemnation of the Weimar Republic's civil

servants, Adolf Hitler allowed only two exceptions, Ernst Pohner,

the Police President of Munich from 1919 to 1921, and Pohner's right-

hand man, Wilhelm Frick. Of PShner Hitler wrote:


Ernst Pbhner and Wilhelm Frick, his faithful
advisor, were the only high state officials who
had the courage to be first Germans and then
officials. Ernst Pihner was the only man in a
responsible position who did not curry favor with
the masses, but felt responsible to his nationality
and was ready to risk and sacrifice everything, even
if necessary his personal existence, for the
resurrection of the German people whom he loved
above all things.1


Hitler's words were not the only tribute paid by the Nazis to Ernst

Pohner. The party provided the honor guard at Pohner's funeral on
2
April 16, 1925. Two and one-half years later, on the occasion of the

transfer of Pohner's body to a new resting place, the leading figures

of the Nazi movement appeared to pay their further respects. At the

climax of the ceremony Adolf Hitler delivered a speech in which he

echoed the lavish praise bestowed upon Pihner in Mein Kampf. In a

ringing peroration Hitler declared: "Pohner sought the creation of a

nation of brothers, in order to smash the ch which bound us."
nation of brothers, in order to smash the chsa;.s which bound us.












Hitler's extravagance may well have been a product of the propa-

ganda opportunities offered by the occasion, but the debt which the

Nazi movement owed Pohner was real. As Police President, Pohner extended

a "sheltering hand" to protect the activities of the nascent Nazi

movement. In doing so he ensured its survival and gave it an oppor-

tunity for future growth. This passive image, however, does little

to convey the full dimensions of Pohner's commitment to both the radical

right in general and the Nazis in particular. As a key figure in

Bavarian politics during the post-war period, Pohner actively aided the

volkisch movement and occupied a central position in its highest

councils. At the time of the Beer Hall Putsch he threw in his lot

with Hitler, and after its failure stood trial alongside him. But

Pohner's contribution did not stop there. In shaping the post-war

Bavarian political police, he influenced both the spirit and the struc-

ture of that institution and of its successor, the Gestapo.

Ernst Pihner was born on January 11, 1870, in the small north-

eastern Bavarian city of Hof. After the traditional legal training

he entered the civil service, and rose through the ranks to a senior

judicial position.5 The Germany of Pbhner's youth and early manhood

was undergoing rapid and dramatic changes. Contemporaries frequently

identified the acceleration of economic growth and social changes with

the unification of 1870. In reality it was much more the other way

around, for the process of economic and social transformation had begun












much earlier and had contributed materially to the drive for political

unification. The years after 1870 were years of pride and of national

self-assertion.

For Bavarians of Pihner's generation, however, the unification of

Germany produced a certain ambivalence. The preceding generation could

grow old and remain comfortably unequivocal in its hostility to a

Prussian-dominated German Reich. The following generation would

combine local pride with an acceptance of the Reich as part of the

natural order of things. Pohner's generation, however, faced in two

directions at once. While partaking of the general pride in things

German which was characteristic of the era, its members could not

help but know that Bavaria was different--German, and yet, something

both more and less than German.

During the years before the First World War, Bavaria changed along

with the nation as a whole, but at a slower pace. As Germany became

a nation of "smokestack" barons and industrial laborers, Bavaria

remained predominantly agrarian. In 1907 46.3% of those employed

in Bavaria worked in agriculture or in forestry; only 26.1% worked

in industry. As late as 1925 the figure for employment on the land

in Bavaria was 43.8%, in contrast to an average for Germany as a

whole of 30.5%. Moreover, the industries which did exist in Bavaria

tended to be smaller in scale or more traditional in structure than

in the rest of Germany. In 1907 36.6% of those Bavarians employed in

industry worked in large businesses, 24.8% in medium-sized businesses,













and 38.6% in small businesses; the comparable figures for the nation

as a whole were 45.5%, 25.0%, and 29.5%. Urbanization similarly lagged.

Although Munich and Nuremberg experienced substantial growth in the

two decades prior to the First World War, neither city witnessed the

population explosion which transformed Berlin and the cities of the

Ruhr. As Germany leaped headlong into the 20th Century, Bavaria ambled

comfortably out of the 19th.

Different political and social attitudes accompanied these struc-

tural differences. Bavarians tended to be more conservative than other

Germans. Bavarian Social Democracy, which had become a significant

political force by the turn of the century, had its own highly distinc-

tive "white-blue" cast. Remarking upon this in 1903, August Bebel

described Munich as the "Capua of German Social Democracy," and

expressed his fear for the political soul of any Social Democrat who

went wandering in the land of the beer mugs.7 The role and influence

of the Catholic church further helped to maintain the distance between

Bayaria and the Protestant north. In short, Bavaria remained an entity

in many ways unto itself, and Bavarians of the pre-war generation grew

up with a sense of "otherness" to conflict with their sense of being

German. This attitude had a vital impact on politics in Bavaria in the

years to follow.



*The preceding discussion does not take into account local vari-
ations within Bavaria. Some areas, particularly in Franconia, departed
from this pattern. In the very special case of the Rhenish Palatinate
these variations were substantial. Such variations will be discussed
in greater detail as they bear on the narrative.












With the outbreak of war in 1914, Ernst Pohner joined in the

general rush to the colors, accepting a commission as an infantry officer.

He successively commanded a company, a battalion, and a regiment.

As was the case for many Bavarians who saw military service, Pihner

found that the shared experience of front-line action brought him

closer to Germans from other regions. Similarly, the mobilization of

resources on the home front brought economic and social conditions

in Bavaria more closely into line with those prevalent throughout the

rest of Germany. The pace of industrialization accelerated in the

leading cities of Bavaria. Munich's pre-war industry, heavily

oriented toward the production of specialty items for the export

market, underwent a severe dislocation at the war's outbreak. This

soon gave way, however, to the growth which accompanied the establish-

ment of heavy industries for war production. The growth of war

industry, in turn, brought to Munich a steady flow of skilled workers

from the north, altering both the social and political make-up of

the city's population. Even before the war the pace of industrial-

ization in Nuremberg had been high, more comparable, indeed, to that

of cities in other states than to those of Bavaria. The war reinforced

this tendency, confirming Nuremberg's place among the leading industrial

cities of Germany.0 The other major cities in Bavaria all followed,

in broad outline, this overall pattern.1 But if the war brought

Bavaria more closely into step with the rest of Germany, the revolutions

of November 1918 and the months of upheaval which followed badly

disturbed the rhythm of the march.













On the afternoon of November 7, 1918, a large crowd assembled on

Munich's Theresienwiese, the meadow-park just south of the city's center.

The crowd had gathered to demonstrate for peace. By evening the demon-

stration had grown into a revolt, and by the following morning the

revolution was an accomplished fact. King Ludwig III had disappeared

into the night, and the state authority had been taken into the unlikely

hands of Kurt Eisner, the leader of the Independent Social Democratic

Party (USPD) in Bavaria. Working in ill-fitting harness with the

Majority Social Democrats (SPD) under the leadership of Erhard Auer,

Eisner sought to establish a republic in Bavaria. The initial

transformation had taken place with a minimum of bloodshed. The state

bureaucracy placed itself, however grudgingly, at the service of the

new regime. Amidst the echoes of change emanating from every corner

of Germany, Eisner, Auer, and their respective followers set out to

mold the old Bavaria in a new image.12

From the perspective of years the subsequent tale assumes the

dimensions of tragedy. Eisner's support had been based upon widespread

unity on a single issue--the desire for peace. With the Armistice this

unity dissolved, and the old party structures of Bavarian politics

re-emerged to test the changed political conditions. By mid-January it

had become apparent that Eisner was a leader without followers. The

state parliamentary elections held on January 12 demonstrated that

real popular support rested with Auer's SPD and with the Bavarian



*These two socialist factions issued from the 1917 split in the
German Social Democratic Party.












People's Party (BVP), the reconstituted Bavarian branch of the Center

Party.13 These parties had dominated state politics since the beginning

of the century, and seemed ready to resume their old roles in the new

republican setting. With the Landtag elections over, the prospects for

an early return to business as usual, the moderate Right against the

moderate Left, were encouraging. And then disaster struck.

On the morning of February 21, 1919, as Kurt Eisner was making

his way to the Landtag to announce his resignation, he was assassinated

by Count Anton Arco-Valley. An hour later a partisan of Eisner strode

into the parliament building and shot down Ernard Auer, leaving him

seriously wounded. The motives which led Arco-Valley to the murder of

Eisner have never been revealed. Certainly, he was in no way a

supporter of Auer and the Social Democrats; the shots of revenge which

took Auer out of politics for almost two years were aimed in the

wrong direction.

If the causes of the crime remained unclear, its effects were

only too easy to see. On the eve of the assassination a coalition

cabinet headed by Auer and the Social Democrats was ready to assume

power, with the BVP as its principal opposition. For these parties

the revolution had only served to confirm the process of reform which

had been brought to fruition in the last days of the monarchy. But

Auer's wounds deprived this coalition of an effective and moderate

leader, one who could have held his own forces together while dealing













reasonably with the conservative opposition. And Eisner's martyrdom

rejuvenated the radical Left, destroying all hope for a speedy return

to normality. The first attempts to form a government after the

assassination ended in failure. Auer's successor, Johannes Hoffmann,

finally assumed the leadership of an SPD-dominated cabinet on March 19.14

By.then it was too late.

The assassination of Eisner had worked as a solvent upon the

political consensus, such as it was, in Bavaria. The Hoffmann

government found itself caught between the advance of radicalism on

both the right and the left. The first round in the struggle went to

the radical Left. No longer able to maintain itself in Munich, the

Hoffmann government decamped on April 7, eventually coming to rest in

the northern Bavarian city of Bamberg. Authority in Munich was assumed

successively by two councils, the first led by an ill-assorted collection

of Independent Socialists and anarchists, the second by the Communists.

For the month of April Munich was ruled by these "Soviets" (the German

word Rate, for "councils," was adopted in direct emulation of the

Russian model).15

Outside Munich, and particularly to' the north, conservative forces,

army and Free Corps, gathered to overthrow the Communist regime in

Munich. Although nominally the agents of the Hoffmann government, they

were much more its masters, the sole possessors of effective power.1

The contestants in the struggle for power, the radical Left and the

radical Right moved to center stage, reducing the duly-constituted

Hoffmann government to a spectator's role.













By the end of April the feeble Red forces had been pressed back

into the environs of Munich itself. At this moment, with their backs

to the wall, elements of the "Red Army" executed ten hostages. Some

of the hostages were members of the right radical Thule Society; others

appeared to have been selected almost at random. None of the ten,

however, had done anything to earn so terrible a retribution. With

one gratuitous act, the leftist defenders of Munich had opened the

floodgates of violence. The aroused White forces poured into the city

on May 1, bent upon the eradication of the Bavarian Soviet Republic

and its supporters--in the most literal sense imaginable. The hardened

Free Corps and army troops coursed through the streets of the city,

shooting anyone who appeared even remotely suspicious. The orgy of

execution did not stop until May 7, when it was discovered that the

White forces had mistakenly murdered a group of 21 Catholic schoolboys.

These schoolboys were by no means the only innocents who fell before the

guns. Before this first wave of killing had come to an end over six

hundred individuals had been slain, many of them individuals with

no connection to the "Red Army" or the Soviet Republic.17 The revolution

which had begun so peacefully six months before had ended in a blood

bath; "order" had returned to Bavaria.

The events of April and May 1919 set the tone of Bavarian

politics in the years to follow. A rightward tendency had already

become evident during the war years; the Soviet episode and its













traumatic consequences brought this tendency into the political

mainstream. Although the most salient horrors of the period had been

committed by the White "liberators" of Munich, responsibility for the

tragedy was laid by most Bavarians at the feet of the leftist parties.

Little distinction would be made between the actual adherents of the

Soviet Republic and other leftists, including those moderate Social

Democrats who had actively opposed the Soviet excesses. Such distinc-

tions were too fine for the popular mood. In the aftermath of

revolution Bavaria became the center of counter-revolutionary

radicalism in Germany and the focal point around which hostility to

the new republic would gather. The moderate Hoffmann government would

remain in office for almost another year, but real power would reside

in the military and paramilitary forces and the political organizations

of the moderate and radical right. These groups would determine the

course of Bavarian politics for the next four years, and their

influence would be felt for many years thereafter. The lodestar in

the new Bavarian political constellation would be fear and hatred of

Marxism, of all forms of international socialism, and of republicanism,

along with a festering anti-Semitism--several leaders of the Soviet

Republic had been Jewish. In short, the dominant attitude in Bavarian

politics after 1919 would be hostility to the revolution in all of its

political and social manifestations.18

At this moment, when "order" headed the list of Bavarian political

desiderata, Ernst Pohner stepped to the center of the political stage.












Returning from military service to a world turned topsy-turvy by

revolution, Pihner's reaction had been one of rage. He despised

those officials who continued to serve under the Eisner regime. Yet,

ironically, P8hner soon found himself in the same position as the

director of Munich's Stadelheim prison--a position he would hold

from January 10, 1919 until the demise of the Soviet Republic. One

may accept Pihner's claim that he assumed the post only at the behest

of a trusted old friend and civil service superior, as well as his

claim to have carried out his duties in a spirit of defiance to the

party in power. But Pihner's ability to advance such justifications

for himself, while denying their validity for others, offered an

insight into the character of the man. Pohner, at age forty-nine,

was a man of imposing stature and austere coutenance, of formidable

intelligence, iron will, and unquestioned personal courage. He was

also politically single-minded to the point of self-righteousness,

doggedly anti-Marxist, and virulently anti-Semitic. These qualities

commended Pohner to the military authorities in charge of liquidating

the Soviet Republic and led them to appoint him to head the Polizei-

direktion Munchen (the Munich police force, hereafter PDM).19

On May 5, 1919 Pohner took up his position as Police President.

In so doing he attained control over the most important police agency

in the entire state and an impressive base of personal political power.

The PDM originated in the first decades of the 19th Century, but only













began to assume its modern structure toward the end of that century.

Prior to 1861 the PDM consisted of little more than an urban gendarmerie.

Only a tiny "Security Bureau" performed the specialized detection

and intelligence functions of a modern police organization. In 1867

this office still had fewer than a dozen personnel. Expansion and

successive internal reorganizations in 1873, 1879, and 1896 established

the general organizational patterns which would dominate into the Weimar

era. These patterns were set in the table of organization of September
20
1, 1913, which remained in effect, with amendments, until 1932. In

assessing the dimensions of PBhner's new domain, this 1913 table of

organization deserved careful attention.

The 1913 decree called for the subdivision of the PDM into eight

departments. Department I was the Kriminalpolizei, the criminal

detective squad. Its primary task was the investigation of murder,

robbery, and other crimes against persons and property. Department II

supervised a variety of internal administrative tasks, including the

operation of the police lock-up. It was also charged with the control

of male beggars and vagrants. Department III dealt with morals

offenses and juvenile delinquency, an administrative unity common in

European police practice. Its responsibilities included the supervision

and control of female beggars and vagrants, of prostitutes and pimps,

and of homosexuals. It was also concerned with the location and return



*The term used in the 1913 table of organization is Referat; the
term Abteilung was substituted later. In both instances the best English
equivalent equivalent is "department," which will be used throughout.












of missing children and runaways, with combatting the traffic in

children and other forms of white slavery, and with all other police

matters relating to minors. Department IV had as its primary task

the maintenance of records, including the registration of addresses

(again in accordance with normal Continental practice whereby all

residents must register their address and all changes of address with

the police), the provision of passports, and the supervision of

resident aliens and tourists. Health and medical matters, including

the collection and transport of corpses, were handled by Department V.

Department VII dealt with traffic, building permits, and other

miscellaneous chores. Department VIII was the Schutzmannschaft, the

body of uniformed patrolmen. Department VI was the political police.21

The tasks of the political police, as defined by the 1913 decree,

were threefold: the observation of political activity, the administrative

control of this activity, and the investigation of crimes of a political

nature. Specific assignments included the observation and control of

the press, or demonstrations and public gatherings and of the theaters

(in conjunction with other departments); the control of political

activity among resident aliens, of strikes (in the 1913 decree these

were still termed "worker revolts") and of lockouts; counter-espionage

in cooperation with the military authorities; and the investigation of

treason cases. During the First World War and the years following,

tasks were added to the list: the supervision of the Border Police,













undercover surveillance of rail and air passengers, desertion, and

the police radio service, which connected the PDM with other police
22
agencies in Bavaria and the other German states.

To facilitate the performance of its mission, PDM VI was sub-

divided into five Dienststellen, identified by the letters a, b, c, d,

and N. The various duties of the department were apportioned among

the five Dienststellen (hereafter "desks," the closest equivalent in

standard English or American police usage). Desk VIa provided the

headquarters staff for the entire department, coordinated the work of

the political police with the other departments of the PDM and with

other police agencies, and carried out the actual investigation of

political crimes, in all cases save espionage, the special province of

the counterespionage police of Desk VIb. Desk VIc performed the more

mundane function of administrating the various regulations governing

the press. Perhaps appropriately, the activities of this desk consisted

largely of routine paperwork. Desk VId maintained the register of

political parties and organizations--all such groups had to be registered

in conformance with statute law. It supervised public and private

political gatherings and controlled all political demonstrations.

Under this heading it also concerned itself with those cultural, economic,

and business organizations whose activities had a political dimension.

The fifth desk, VI/N, was a creation of the Pghner era. VI/N was the



*The use of lower-case letters for the first four and an upper-case for
the fifth follows the standard practice at the PDM for the period
1919-1932.












political intelligence service, charged with the overt and covert

observation of the radical political movements and with the preparation

of regular reports concerning the activities of these movements.23

Under the leadership of the Police President, his principal

subordinate, the Police Director, and the presidial staff, the eight

main departments of the PDM performed the primary police functions

within the city of Munich. But the role of the PDM was not limited

to Munich alone. Although its formal position remained that of a simple

municipal agency until 1933, theoretically in no way superior to any

other such agency in Bavaria, in practice it had already by 1913 begun

to acquire the status of a central coordinating office for police

matters throughout the state. In 1899 it had become the central office

for the surveillance of gypsies. In 1911 it became the state-wide

collection center for fingerprints. A 1912 decree gave the PDM similar

responsibility in the area of counterfeiting. The most important of

these measures, however, came in 1904, with a decree establishing the

PDM as the Bavarian central office for counterespionage activities, a

step presaging the extension of the PDM's political police role through-
24
out the entire state.2

The outbreak of the First World War lent a special significance

to the counterespionage mission, and helped accustom Bavarian authorities

at every level to the extraordinary position of the PDM. In wartime

the tasks of the counterespionage officers of PDM VIb were many and













varied. Working alongside the counterespionage section of military

intelligence, the central office devised strategems to expose the

operations of Entente spies and saboteurs. It served as a clearing-

house for counterespionage information, and coordinated the efforts

of police agencies in every part of the state. Finally, as the

war dragged on and war weariness increased, the central office

received orders to investigate the leakage of government documents

whose publication might harm public morale, lead to political disorders,

or diminish Germany's image in the eyes of neutrals. The measures

undertaken by PDM VIb pursuant to this order established an important

precedent for the use of the counterespionage central office as the

executor of explicitly political tasks. This precedent would contribute

materially to the postwar expansion of the PDM's political police
25
role in other areas.

The importance of the office of Police President found its

basis in developments such as this. Ernst Pohner was well aware of

the potential power of his new position. But before this potential

could be fully realized, a purging and rebuilding operation would

have to take place. If the war had strengthened the powers of the

Munich police, it had also weakened it in terms of personnel, as

scores of experienced officers were drawn away into military service.

The successive regimes of the revolutionary period had further weakened

the PDM, by introducing politically undesirable officers. The political












police had suffered a particularly heavy blow during the last days of

the Soviet Republic. As the White forces pressed to the outskirts

of Munich, the police headquarters building was torn inside out, at

least partially in an effort by the Soviet authorities--insofar as

authority can be said to have existed in this final stage of collapse--

to destroy or disorder the personal files accumulated over a score

of years by the political police.26 Pbhner took immediate steps to

put his new house in order. The destruction within the headquarters

building was repaired, and the police files were laboriously

reconstituted. Officers suspected of too-ready collaboration with

the revolutionary regimes--including, ironically, the regime of

Johannes Hoffmann, still nominally the ruling government in Bavaria--

were removed from their posts. PShner moved quickly to fill key

administrative positions with politically reliable and experienced

civil servants. He gave particular attention to his choice of an

officer to head Department VI--the leader of the political police,

after all, would be his most important single subordinate.27 Within

a week of assuming office he entrusted this post to Dr. Wilhelm Frick.

Frick, like Pihner, had come up through the ranks of the royal

civil service. From 1907 to 1917 Frick had been a county assessor

(Bezirksamtsassessor) in the town of Pirmasens. In 1917 he was trans-

ferred to the PDM to head the War Profiteering Office. He stayed at

the PDM throughout the remainder of the war and during the revolutionary

period which followed. Frick, nonetheless, made little secret of his













hostility to the revolution, and thus earned the enmity of the

revolutionary authorities--a powerful endorsement in Pohner's eyes.

The two men soon found that they had much else in common. Both were

ambitious. Both shared the same political views. Later, when Frick

had become a leading Nazi and Hitler's Minister of the Interior, he

would be satirically described as the "Royal Bavarian Nazi," a

characterization which captured the combination of traditional

conservativism and counterrevolutionary radicalism exemplified by Frick

and Pohner. Together these two men would shape the political department

of the PDM in their own image.28

Even as the rehabilitation of the PDM continued, Pohner and Frick

joined the military in eliminating the last vestiges of the Soviet

Republic. With the passing of the first week of May, wholesale and

often indiscriminate massacre gave place to a more systematic process

of suppression. Department VI of the PDM, working alongside a

specially created political police section of the military headquarters

staff, undertook the job of sifting through the mountains of denunciatory

letters, identifying and locating those adherents of the Soviet Republic

still at large, and coordinating the work of the soldiers and policemen

who made the actual arrests. Serving as liaison officer between the

military headquarters and the PDM was a pre-war member of the Munich

political police, Dr. Christian Roth--the first of his many appearances

in the role of ally to P8hner and Frick. The flood of arrests proceeded

apace. The number of prisoners taken into custody far exceeded the












capacity of Munich's jails and prisons, and not even the highly summary

course of justice could move rapidly enough to reduce the overcrowded

conditions. Temporary prisons were erected in schools and other

public buildings. The treatment of prisoners was at best callous and

frequently viciously brutal. When room could no longer be found in

Munich, prisoners were transported to the city of Ingolstadt, a

garrison town some fifty miles away. Still the denunciations, house

searches, and arrests continued, abating only gradually during the month
29
of June.29 Finally, by the end of the summer, the new regime had

firmly established itself. The Hoffmann government returned from

Bamberg to Munich; the real masters in Bavaria would tolerate its

existence for yet a while longer.

In looking back to the events of the summer of 1919, Wilhelm

Frick took particular pride in two of the PDM's accomplishments. One

was, of course, its contribution to cleansing Munich of undesirable

political elements.30 The other was the creation of the fifth desk

within Department VI, the political intelligence service. This desk,

created in response to the needs of the summer, had proved its worth.

With it, Frick expressed confidence in his ability to prevent the

recurrence of another Soviet episode.31 For his own part, Pohner

professed himself highly pleased with the performance of Frick and his

political policemen. In a year-end report to the Bavarian Ministry of

Interior, Pohner expressed his pride in the work of the political police

and his confidence that this organization would continue to grow in

significance.32












This confidence was scarcely misplaced. Before such growth could

occur, however, certain obstacles had to be removed. The suppression

of the Soviet Republic had spawned a welter of political information

services in Munich and other parts of Bavaria. Allies though these

agencies might be in the struggle against the Left, they were frequently

bitter rivals in the bureaucratic struggle for authority. To understand

this struggle, one must first of all understand something of the

competitors and of the bureaucratic field on which the game was played.

Although Bavarian officials made much of the federalist idea in

their dealings with the national government, authority within Bavaria

itself was highly centralized. The people elected the Landtag or state

parliament; the Landtag selected the governing ministry. This cabinet,

in turn, stood at the head of an extensive administrative bureaucracy,

which conducted the actual business of governing. The most important

agency of internal administration was the Ministry of the Interior,

which stood at the apex of the bureaucratic pyramid. The intermediate

administrative unit was the province (Regierungsbezirk), at whose head

stood an appointive provincial president; Bavaria was divided into eight

such provinces. At the base of the pyramid were the Bezirksgmter, the

offices which administered the smallest unit of governmental authority,

roughly equivalent to an American county. The larger cities stood to

one side of this administrative pyramid, with their own elective

municipal governments and their own police forces (rural areas were

policed by the gendarmerie, a state agency which for executive purposes












was normally controlled from the county offices). Final authority in

internal security matters, however, rested with the Ministry of the

Interior and, ultimately, with the cabinet. The Ministry of the Interior

could assume control of the municipal police forces during a state of

emergency by appointing a special commissioner for this purpose.

Similar emergency powers could be vested in the provincial presidents.

Although the PDM's position conformed outwardly to this overall pattern,

its special relationship to the Ministry of the Interior was assured

through its assigned central office functions and the practice of

designating the Police President as a special commissioner.33

Each of the above mentioned agencies performed certain political

police functions. In addition to their regular duties, the gendarmerie

stations in the countryside were responsible for observing political

activities in their area and reporting on such activities to the

respective county offices. Each county office had a political officer

(in the smaller offices, of course, this duty might be one of several

performed by a single official), who reported, in turn, to the political

officer in the provincial presidium. Each of the presidia prepared

fortnightly reports on the political situation in the province for

the Ministry of the Interior. These fortnightly reports were

customarily general situation reports--in a sense, a form of public

opinion research. Only rarely did they draw upon covert sources. Still,

such basic research was an indispensable component of political police
34
operations.













The various municipal police agencies also possessed political

police sections, whose functions on the municipal level paralleled

those already outlined for the PDM. In theory, the political police

in the cities were responsible to the elected city governments;

outside of Munich, practice corresponded with theory. After 1919,

however, the Interior Ministry would use the device of the special

commissioner to remove the political police from the control of a

city council whose politics differed from that of the state government.

The most noteworthy example of this practice occurred in Nuremberg

in 1920.35 In the case of Munich, Police President Pbhner rarely

recognized any power higher than himself, and never the power of the

left-leaning city government.36 His successors, while more willing

to acknowledge their dual responsibility to city and state, also tended

to exploit the special status of the PDM to retain their independence

vis-a-vis the city authorities--easy to do since the police section of

the Ministry of the Interior preferred this arrangement.37

Other state agencies, the armed forces, and a variety of private

and semi-private groups also conducted political police operations.

The first of these agencies was the Polizeistelle Nordbavern ("Police

Office for Northern Bavaria," hereafter PSNB). The flight of the

Landtag and the Hoffmann cabinet from Munich to Bamberg had created

special police problems in that city. The security of the state

government itself had to be assured. Having, in effect, been evicted

from its own capital, with its hold on state authority tenuous at best,













the government wanted to avoid being caught by another revolution. Cut

off from the PDM, the Ministry of the Interior set about the task of

creating a temporary replacement in Bamberg. Thus, a special political

police section was established within the Ministry, charged with

overseeing the actual physical security of the government, with

the surveillance of the political situation in the Bamberg area, and,

most important of all, with anticipating any further revolutionary
38
disturbances. During the government's Bamberg exile, these tasks

were successfully performed.

Plans for the government's return to Munich on August 15, however,

raised the question of the office's continued existence. After a series

of discussions during the month of July, a special commission appointed

by the Interior Minister recommended the authorization of a permanent

state police office in Bamberg, to carry on the work of the police
39
section.39 The arguments advanced by the commission revealed much about

the government's current conception of the political police mission.

The report first called attention to the circumstances which had led

to the government's transfer to Bamberg, and expressed concern for the

possibility of yet another leftist uprising in Munich. With this fear

before them, the commission's members suggested that the government

should take special care to ensure the continued availability of

Bamberg as a place of refuge. The report concluded that the existing

police agencies in northern Bavaria were unsuited to the task of

controlling the activities of left-wing radicals in the region. A secret












police intelligence service, capable of operating throughout the area

and of coordinating the information from city, county, and military

sources, could better fill this need. For administrative purposes this
40
office would be regarded as a branch of the PDM. The Ministry of the

Interior concurred in the commission's findings, and on September 13 the
41
PSNB was officially established by ministerial decree. Within two

months the new office was producing regular weekly reports on the

activities of the radical movements in northern Bavaria. These reports

were circulated to the PDM, the police referent in the Ministry of the

Interior, Josef Zetlmeier, and the military staffs in Munich and Nuremberg.

Although professionally objective in tone, the reports reflected in

content the government's predominant concern with the revolutionary Left.42

Yet another state agency maintained a political police service,

the state Polizeiwehr, reorganized some months after its creation in

1919 and renamed Landespolizei. The Landespolizei, or LaPo as it was

usually called, was organized along military lines in companies,

battalions, and regiments, and equipped with military small arms and

machine guns. Its primary purpose was the preservation of public

order, and it was specifically viewed as the state's main line of defense

against armed insurrection. In pursuit of this mission the LaPo built

its own intelligence service, which operated both internally, as a

check against political subversion within the ranks of the LaPo, and

in the community at large through its own network of informers.43












Military endeavors in this field grew out of the army's deployment

in this suppression of the Soviet Republic. The existing intelligence

staffs merely redirected their efforts toward a new enemy. Later,

special sections for political police purposes were attached to the

General Staff of Army Group 4 in Munich and the staff of the 24th

Brigade in Nuremberg. These sections, too, combined an interest in

the threat of subversion within the ranks with activities directed at

the civilian community. They contributed still another set of weekly

situation reports to the already extensive list, reports based upon
44
the information supplied by yet one more string of agents.

Were this not enough, the Civic Guard, a semi-official militia

of distinctly right-wing orientation, added more agents and more reports.45

This boom market in political intelligence was further served by a

variety of private entrepreneurs, such as the Wirtschaftspolitische

Nachrichtenstelle Tank (Economic and Political Information Service Tank).

"Tank," as it was usually called, supplied economic and political

intelligence to the political section at Army Group 4 headquarters, which

then distributed copies to the PDM and other state agencies. Although

"Tank" prepared conventional situation reports, it was unique in that

it also allowed the circulation of the actual agents' reports, a

noteworthy lapse from accepted professional standards. These agent

reports allowed an outsider a glimpse at the underworld of political

police operations, the world of the paid informer.46












"Tank" began its work in June 1919; its reports, in a sense,

may be viewed as a more ordered continuation of the wave of political

denunciations in May. Some of the reports were simply sordid stories

of betrayal. Others were dull and inconsequential. Occasionally, a

"Tank" report would be ludicrous to the point of black humor. A July

1919 report chronicled the actions of an agent in Munich's Schwabing

district, then renowned as the home of the city's artists and literati.

The denizens of this district were regarded with deep suspicion by

the conservative officers and civil servants in power, a fact that the

agent apparently chose to exploit. After much cloak and dagger

derring-do, lovingly chronicled in the agent's report, the agent

concluded that he had uncovered three "undoubted members of the

Bolshevik elite." The evidence he managed to produce in this report,

however, admitted of a variety of alternative conclusions, ranging

from the possibility that the three men were simply army officers in

mufti, out for a night on the town, to the equally likely conclusion

that they were agents of one of the other political intelligence services.

Certainly, with the number of agents and informers being run by various

groups at this time, the odds in favor of their tripping over one another
47
were great.

Not surprisingly, the professional political policemen viewed the

work of "Tank" with considerable skepticism, and sometimes outright

contempt. One generously observed that the reports had, at first, been

useful, but had quickly deteriorated in quality; another officer dismissed












them as "not to be taken seriously."4 A third political policeman

saw the "Tank" reports as symptomatic of a larger problem, the growing

traffic in agents' reports, a traffic fed by the venality of many

informers and the competition among the intelligence agencies.4

Informers would sell the same information to more than one agency,

or milk their controlling officer with reports conjured out of thin

air. Worse, the plethora of competing intelligence services meant

that no secrets were safe--including the secrets of these services

themselves.

Political intelligence flowed from too many sources and was of

too varied quality and reliability. Systematic evaluation of

material and the careful coordination of action suffered as well.

Finally, the responsible authorities could not count upon the timely

receipt of the kind of information upon which decision could be made.

In the aftermath of the revolutionary upheaval, when too many tasks

claimed attention, no steps were taken to rectify this problem. But

ongoing crisis and fear kept perceptions of the need for a more central-

ized political police network alive.

One of Police President Pohner's preoccupations during this phase

was the elimination of the Social Democrats from the government of

Bavaria. The continuation of the Hoffmann government at the head of a

state whose actual policies were determined by anti-socialist officers

and civil servants was, for Pohner and his compatriots, an anomaly

which cried out for removal. After months of behind-the-scenes













machination, the Kapp putsch provided the occasion for a move against

the remaining symbol of the November revolution. The attempt by

monarchist-conservative elements to overthrow the republican government

in Berlin foundered on the rock of a general strike led by the republic's

defenders. This strike, so effective in routing the Kapp conspirators

in the north, had precisely the reverse effect in Munich. Under pressure

from Pohner and Gustav von Kahr, the Provincial President of Upper

Bavaria, the army leadership delivered a vote of no confidence to

Hoffmann, claiming that it could no longer be responsible for security

and order so long as his government remained in office. Hoffmann

bowed to this representation and resigned from office. With the support

of Pohner, the Civic Guard, and the eminence rise of the BVP,

Dr. Georg Heim, Kahr became the new Minister President of Bavaria.

This step ushered in a new era in Bavarian politics, an era frequently

identified through its two leading political figures--the Kahr-Pohner
50
era.

In the midst of his involvement with high politics, Pohner did not

forget about the political police--quite the contrary. He recognized

fully their importance to his own power position. Writing on April 5,

1920,to the Ministry of the Interior, he commended the staff of the

PDM's political department for its outstanding performance during the

Kapp putsch. The precise nature of this "outstanding performance" was

unspecified in Pohner's commendation, although Pohner's own activities

at the time might suggest that it had to do with the overthrow of the












Hoffmann cabinet. That Pohner attached a special value to the contri-

bution of Department VI, however, was beyond question, for his

commendation was accompanied by a request to the Ministry for extra

funds with which to reward his political policemen.51

Having established himself more firmly at the center of power,

Pohner could devote more attention to putting right the problems which

beset the political intelligence service. These problems, evidently,

had not receded with the consolidation of the new regime. On October

18, 1920 Wilhelm Frick circulated a letter on the subject to his

counterpartss in the provincial presidia and at the PSNB. In it he

raised the issue of reorganizing the political intelligence services

in Bavaria, and issued an invitation to a meeting on this subject to be

hosted by the PDM.52 Six weeks later, on December 7, Pohner convened

this meeting in the library of the PDM. Gathered under conditions of

tight security were representatives of the provincial governments, the

LaPo, the PSNB, and the PDM's Department VI.

Pohner opened the meeting with a few remarks concerning the weak-

nesses in the existing system of gathering and evaluating political

information. The present structure, in his view, could not supply the

necessary information when and where it was needed. He proposed

substantial changes, the details of which would be explained by his

aide, Frick. With a reminder that the proposal about to be presented

was highly confidential, he yielded the floor to Frick. After a short

historical summary, in which he laid the blame for the revolutionary












disturbances of 1918-1919 upon the lack of effective political

surveillance, Frick turned to a discussion of the contemporary situation.

The PDM had already consolidated its own efforts under Desk VI/N.

This, however, had not solved the main problem--too many agencies had

their fingers in the intelligence pie. Until the duplication of effort

had been eliminated, the quality of the political intelligence product

could not be improved. The military, in particular, had caused

problems through its invasion of the civilian sphere of responsibility.

In the future military operations would have to be confined to the

control of subversion within the ranks. This measure by itself, however,

would not achieve the desired result. Frick thus proposed the creation

of a new statewide political intelligence network.53

Frick's proposal placed PDM VI/N, the political information

service, at the center of the new organization. It would serve as the

coordinating body for the entire state and simultaneously as the

collection and dissemination center for the three provinces of southern

Bavaria. It would, of course, also retain direct responsibility for

Munich proper. Between the political information service of the PDM

and the four provinces of northern Bavaria stood the main state police

office in that region, the PSNB. It would serve as the collection and

dissemination center for these four provinces. The local agencies

would gather information through the overt observation of public

political activity and through covert surveillance with paid agents and

voluntary informers. Local agencies, naturally, could act directly on












information of purely local significance, but all information was to

be passed to the designated collection centers. There it would be

evaluated and then distributed throughout the system in a regular

series of comprehensive situation reports. Requests for information

from the Ministry of the Interior or from the various local agencies

would likewise be routed through the centers.54

After completing his proposal Frick invited discussion. All

participants agreed on the importance of centralization. The discussion

revolved around the prospect of continued liaison difficulties with

the military, the question of cooperation with the LaPo, and the

problem of finding suitable agents. The last of these provoked the

most concern. The representative of the Provincial President of Upper

Franconia piously suggested that dealing with paid undercover agents

was beneath the dignity of the provincial authorities; the PSNB could

adequately handle this dirty business in northern Bavaria. Frick pointed

to the existence of private political information groups, employed by

industrial concerns--an obvious reference to the "Tank" organization--

and complained that such groups often prepared intelligence reports

only to earn money. They would frequently accept employment from

more than one master at the same time. In order to avoid these

intelligence mercenaries, it would be absolutely essential that the

identities of all agents be filed with the Munich center. The problem

was not simply one of wasting secret funds; more seriously, the

reports of such agents could not be relied upon for accuracy, nor could













one fully trust such an agent--an agent who would serve two masters

might also serve three, and the third one might be the political

enemy. Pohner underscored Frick's observations with the sententious

pronouncement that in these matters the watchword must be "For the

Fatherland." The meeting closed with a number of issues left open,

not least among them the question of finances.55 Nothing definite had

been decided, but the issues had been thoroughly aired. With few

reservations the new organizational plan had been found acceptable.

Significantly, no one at the meeting challenged the assumption

that the police should keep a close watch upon political activity. Only

three years before, in the midst of war, revelations concerning

police surveillance of private citizens had provoked a furor in Munich,

and forced the government into a defensive posture.56 This, in part,

accounted for the secrecy of the December 7 meeting. More fundamentally,

the political climate had changed since 1917--what had been controversial

before the revolution had since gained widespread acceptance. It was

likewise significant that the central role assigned to the PDM in the

new proposal went unchallenged at the meeting; implementation of the

proposal would deliver unparalleled power into the hands of Pbhner and

Frick, since all political intelligence would be filtered through their

hands, and theirs alone. One can only conclude that those present at

the meeting shared fully the political goals of Pihner and Frick, and

were willing to accept their accretion of power.












Despite Frick's insistence that the issue was "burning," two

years elapsed before the centralization proposal received formal

ministerial sanction. This, however, was scarcely necessary--the

informal agreement reached among the parties at the December 7 meeting

sufficed as a basis for further developments.57 Pohner and Frick

could thus concentrate on their other political goals.

Gustav von Kahr's accession to power in March 1920 soon

brought the Bavarian government into direct conflict with the national

government in Berlin. The issue frequently appeared in the guise of

disagreement between Bavarian federalism and the unitary impulses of

the Reich leadership. Kahr thus presented himself as a defender of

the rights of the states against the encroachment of the central

government. This constitutional conflict, however, masked in high-

flown rhetoric the substantive issues of the struggle. Kahr and

his political allies--most notably P6hner and the state Minister of

Justice, Christian Roth--despised the moderate left-wing government

in Berlin as a creature of the revolution and an affront to the

sensibilities of all right-thinking Germans. If this government could

not be readily toppled, as the Kapp putsch had proven, then at least

its influence could be halted at the borders of Bavaria.58

Matters came to a head over the issue of the Civic Guard. The

Reich government, pressed by the Entente powers, insisted upon the

disarmament of this paramilitary body. The Kahr regime, whose political

base in Bavaria in part rested upon the allegiance of the Civic Guard,













repeatedly refused to comply. While Kahr argued with Berlin, Pohner

and Roth exploited their positions at the center of the police and

judicial administrations to frustrate fulfillment of the national laws

mandating disarmament--even to the extent of aiding and abetting murder.

For more than a year the battle continued, reaching its climax in the
59
summer of 1921.5

At the end of January German representatives had signed the Paris

agreement governing fulfillment of the Versailles Treaty disarmament

provisions. Kahr immediately condemned this step. Throughout the winter

and spring he hardened his position in defense of the Civic Guard. To

have done otherwise would have cost Kahr the support of his most

important political followers. The Civic Guard in Bavaria, unlike the

parallel organizations in other states, was a large and highly

centralized body with a substantial headquarters staff. As such, it

provided congenial employment to scores of former General Staff officers.

These officers had helped Kahr come to power; without their support

his days in office would be numbered. Naturally, these men regarded

the idea of dissolution with the utmost hostility and did everything

in their power to mobilize public opinion in Bavaria behind the hard

line approach. Kahr's other main base of support, the BVP, reacted

to the crisis with less unity. A minority in the party wanted the Kahr

government to yield, in order to prevent the application of sanctions.


*This aspect is examined in greater detail in Chapter 2.












The majority, however, adhered to a position of pushing the issue to

its limits, although few among them could agree on the probable

consequences of such a policy. Kahr's personal views mirrored those

of his hard line supporters.60

On May 5, the Entente powers presented the German government with

an ultimatum demanding the prompt dissolution of the Civic Guard. A

week later the Kahr government issued a strong statement calling for

the rejection of this ultimatum, a step which met with widespread

public approval.1 But as the crisis wore on Kahr's obduracy began

to lessen. On May 23, Kahr indicated to the Civic Guard leadership

that some sort of public accommodationwould be necessary.62 On June 1,

the British General Consul in Munich warned the Bavarian government

that failure to comply with the dissolution order would bring about

sanctions. That same day the Civic Guard leadership offered to disband

voluntarily. At the end of the month the Bavarian Civic Guard was

officially dissolved.63

On the surface the move for dissolution appeared to be an abrupt

about-face for the Kahr regime. The dissolution order, however, had

been a sham. Even as the leaders of the Civic Guard were offering

the voluntary disbandment of their organization, secret measures were

undertaken to ensure the continuity of a strongly-armed and politically

reliable force. The day after the Civic Guard was officially dissolved,

the secret Organisation Pittinger came into existence. The members of

the Civic Guard passed directly into the new formation or into one of













the many right-wing paramilitary bands, taking with them their carefully
64
protected stocks of weapons.64 The Civic Guard, in effect, had gone

underground. The Entente powers had been deprived of a pretext for

sanctions, but the substance of right-wing political and military

power in Bavaria remained intact.

Kahr had apparently weathered the storm. Then, on August 26, members

of the Organisation Consul, a Munich-based right-wing organization,

assassinated the former Reich Finance Minister, Matthias Erzberger.

Three days later the President of the republic issued a state of

emergency decree which granted wide-ranging powers to the central

government and temporarily nullified the independent police powers of

the states. The Bavarian government immediately protested. To concede

a power of intervention to the hated "socialists" in Berlin would

destroy everything that Kahr, Pohner, and Roth had worked to achieve.

It would undermine any further attempt to circumvent disarmament by

permitting agents of the national government to operate within Bavaria,

and would allow these same agents to proceed legally against a variety

of important right-wing figures. Some of these, most notably Hermann

Ehrhardt, the leader of the Organisation Consul, had evaded trial for

treason after the Kapp putsch by taking refuge in Munich, where Pohner's

police could protect them.65

Worst of all, the new national emergency decree called into question

the legal basis of the Bavarian state of emergency, which had existed

since the time of the Soviet Republic. The Kahr government had taken this













Bavarian decree and used it as the basis for its repressive measures

against the left. Neither Kahr nor Pohner wished to sacrifice such a

useful legal instrument. Kahr resolved to fight the new decree.66

But this time he had overreached himself. Kahr's defiant stand

won him further credit with the extreme right, but separated him from

the moderate element within the BVP. Although no less jealous of

Bavarian rights and no more sympathetic to the republic than Kahr, the

BVP was not willing to continue the fight with Berlin without at least

exploring the path of negotiation. The BVP moderates pushed through

a resolution offering the sacrifice of the Bavarian state of emergency

if the national government would agree in return to leave the fulfillment

of the national state of emergency in the hands of the state authorities.

Such a compromise would preserve the principle of states' rights and,

of greater significance, prevent the unwanted intervention of national

agents within Bavaria. Kahr himself had resolved the Civic Guard

issue in a similar manner, yielding in form to the national government

while retaining the substance. This time, however, Kahr allowed himself

to be influenced by the extremists, who wanted all or nothing. The

BVP withdrew its support from his government. Having opened a gulf

between himself and the dominant party in the state, Kahr took the only

course left open to him and resigned. Ten days later, on September 22,

1921, Count Hugo Lerchenfeld, the choice of the moderates, formed a

new government in Munich.67












Pbhner's fall followed close upon the eclipse of Kahr. No political

figure as strong-willed and as free with expressions of contempt as

P8hner could avoid making enemies, and Pohner had collected his share.

His relations with the socialist majority in the Munich city council

had been frigid at the best of times; by September 1921, a state of

open warfare existed between them. The PDM's special position as a

joint state-municipal agency meant that the city of Munich, according

to an 1898 agreement, bore one-half of the costs for its upkeep. In

1921 the city council refused to vote its share of the expenses, as

an emphatic protest against Pohner's continuance in office. On August

26, 1921, the SPD, USPD, and KPD members of the council gave their

unaminous approval to a resolution condemning Pihner's conduct in office

in the strongest possible terms. Even the representatives of the

moderate parties of the middle, however, were by this time ready to

censure Pohner--not, to be sure, on account of the one-sided political

interventions of the PDM, but because Pihner had insulted the city
68
government.

None of this, in itself, would have led to Pihner's removal; the

new government, like its predecessors, was little inclined to follow the

lead of a leftist influenced city council. Pohner's real problem lay

with the new Minister of the Interior, Franz Schweyer. Kahr had

combined the office of Interior Minister with that of Minister President,

and in the former capacity had acknowledged Pohner's independence.

Schweyer, however, embodied more moderate political course, one which













varied sharply with Pbhner's own extreme right-wing sentiments.

Schweyer was no leftist--his statements at the time and later made

clear his unalterable opposition to socialism in any of its forms--but,

because of his moderation and his suspicion of the radical right, he

was regarded as "left-leaning" by his colleagues in the BVP.69 Deep

political differences thus separated the two men. Furthermore,

Schweyer, as the former senior State Secretary in the Ministry of the

Interior, knew well Pbhner's habits and his tendency to evade or defy

unwelcome attempts at outside control. The new Interior Minister had

little desire to work with such an unruly subordinate. On the eve of

his assumption of office Schweyer summoned Pohner and Frick for a

discussion. He bluntly informed them that their attitudes toward the

radical right and on the Jewish question did not coincide with his own,

and left them to draw the proper conclusions.70

On September 28, 1921, Pohner resigned his position at the PDM and

returned to his permanent civil service station in the judiciary.

Although Schweyer had wanted PNhner to leave the PDM, he could scarcely

have been pleased at the manner of Pihner's departure. As a parting

blow against the new government Pohner had the text of his letter of

resignation printed as a placard and posted throughout the city. In it

he condemned the Lerchenfeld cabinet and the BVP for yielding on the

issue of the Bavarian state of emergency. Calling attention to the

exceptional police powers that the emergency decree had permitted, he

hinted broadly that their removal portended the imminent revival of













the Soviet Republic. With memories of 1919 still fresh in the public

mind, such an appeal was a carefully calculated attempt to undermine

support for the Lerchenfeld government.7

Frick remained at the PDM, but gave up his post as head of the

political police. He was succeeded by his deputy, Friedrich Bernreuther.

Bernreuther, one of Pbhner's 1919 appointees, shared Frick's political

views and had been deeply involved in some of the most questionable

political police activities, He would, nonetheless, prove himself

more flexible than Frick and more capable of moving with the political
72
currents.

To replace PShner, Schewyer appointed Eduard Nortz, who had served

as Commissioner for Disarmament during the Civic Guard crisis. Having

conscientiously--albeit ineffectually--discharged this thankless task,

Nortz now embarked upon a similar endeavor: making the PDM responsive

to the demands of the new regime. Nortz, although an able man and a

dedicated worker, was unfortunately neither the man for a critical post

in troubled times, nor a man capable of effacing Pihner's imprint upon

the PDM. The events of 1923 would prove Nortz's weakness in the face of

political pressure and demonstrate his regime's lack of impact upon

the political attitudes of the Munich police. Long before Nortz was

dismissed in May 1923, Schweyer would rue the day he had placed this

man in charge of the PDM.73

The passing of Pohner from the PDM gave the Bavarian public cause for

uneasy reflection. Months before, in the midst of a Landtag debate on












P~hner's performance as Police President, Kahr had defended PShner

against leftist attacks by describing him as the man who had brought

order out of chaos in Munich. Expanding on this theme, Kahr credited

P8hner with having rebuilt the PDM, making it a powerful and effective

instrument of the state authority. Kahr's statement prompted stormy
74
applause from the right-wing delegates. This applause was echoed

widely throughout Bavaria. On the day after Pohner's resignation,

the representative of the government of Wirttemberg in Bavaria, a keen

observer of the Bavarian political scene, took time to reflect upon

the significance of P3hner's departure. In earlier reports he had

characterized Pohner's personality and recounted specific actions which

demonstrated the political one-sidedness of Pihner's conduct in office.

On this occasion, however, the observer approached Pihner's behavior

from the standpoint of its impact upon popular opinion in Bavaria.

P~hner, in the popular view, had been very much as Kahr had described

him, the man who had supervised the restoration of order and who

symbolized Bavaria's triumph over the horrors of the Soviet Republic.

Without Pohner, a prevention of the recurrence of 1919 seemed less

assured; the public regarded the future with unease.7

But in its anxiety the public could well have found comfort in Kahr's

earlier reflections on Pihner's work at the PDM. Pihner had indeed

rebuilt the Munich police force and shaped it in his own image. He had

strengthened the political police and initiated measures giving PDM VI

a powerful tool for the repression of the political enemy. These measures,












moreover, would serve as guidelines for all future developments in this
76
area. The political police would remain largely as Pohner and

Frick had made them. And Pihner's departure in no way meant his

withdrawal from political life. He moved instead from the forefront

into the political background, where his talents for intrigue would

find even greater opportunity for fulfillment.7 As his enemies and

friends alike would discover, Ernst Pihner had merely resigned an office;

he had not given up the fight for his own conception of "order."













Notes

Adolf Hitler, Meim Kampf, trans. by Ralph Manheim (Boston,
1943), p. 367.

2Hans Buchheim, "The SS--Instrument of Domination," trans. by
Richard Barry, in Helmut Krausnick, Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat,
and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Anatomy of the SS State (New York, 1968),
p. 141.

See the 1927 collection of documents relating to the transferral
of P~hner's body in M Inn 71881.

The reference to the "sheltering hand" comes from Frick's
testimony during the 1924 Hitler-Putsch trial. See H. Francis
Freniere, Lucie Karcic, and Phillip Fandek, trans., The Hitler Trial,
Vol. 1 (Arlington, Va., 1976), p. 319. This three volume translation
of the complete stenographic report of the Hitler trial will hereafter
be cited as Hitler Trial, Vol. 1, 2, or 3.

5See the 1925 collection of Pihner materials in M Inn 71880.

The figures cited are from Falk Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte
der nationalsozialistische Machtubernahme in Bayern, 1932-1933 (Berlin,
1975), pp. 48-49. The most detailed analyses of Bavarian social and
economic development down through 1918 are the following works, upon
which the general conclusions in this paragraph are based: Axel
Schnorbus, "Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft in Bayern vor dem Ersten
Weltkrieg," in Karl Bosl, ed., Bayern im Umbruch (Munich, 1969),
pp. 97-164; Hans Fehn, "Das Land Bayern und seine Bevolkerung seit 1800,"
pp. 679-708; and Pankraz Fried, "Die Sozialentwicklung im Bauerntum
und Lankvolk," pp. 751-775, and Wolfgang Zonr, "Bayerns Gewerbe, Handel,
und Verkehr, 1806-1970," all in Max Spindler, ed., Handbuch der
bayerischen Geschichte, Vol. IV/2 (Munich, 1975). Hereafter, Spindler,
Handbuch, Vol. IV/1 or IV/2.

Ernst Deuerlein, ed., Der Hitlerputsch: Bayerische Dokumente
zum 8./9. November 1923 (Stuttgart, 1962), p. 12.

8Hitler Trial, Vol. 3, pp. 254-255.

Heinrich Hillmayr, "Minchen und die Revolution von 1919/1919,"
in Bosl, Bayern im Umbruch, pp. 463-465.












1Klaus-Dieter Schwarz, Weltkrieg und Revolution in Nurnberg
(Stuttgart, 1971), p. 274.

11Hans Fehn, "Das Land Bayern und seine Bevdlkerung seit 1800,"
in Spindler, Handbuch, Vol. IV/2, pp. 679-684.

12Allan Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria (Princeton, 1965),
pp. 92-109.

13Ibid, pp. 213-230.

14Ibid, pp. 271-290.

1Albert Schwarz, '"Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Erster Teil:
Der Sturz der Monarchie. Revolution und Ratezeit. Die Einrichtung
des Freistaates (1918-1920)," in Spindler, Handbuch, Vol. IV/1,
pp. 425-434.

16Horst G. W. Nusser, "Militarischer Druck auf die Landesregierung
Johannes Hoffmann vom 1919 bis zum Kapp-putsch," in Zeitschrift fur
bayerische Landesgeschichte 33 (1970), pp. 818-850.

1Heinrich Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror in Bayern nach 1918
(Munich, 1974), pp. 21-23, 164-167, 131-132.

18Hans Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, in Bayern
nach 1918 (Bad Homburg, 1969), pp. 62-63.

19For the circumstances surrounding Pohner's appointment to the
Stadelheim position, see his own statement in Hitler Trial, Vol. 1,
pp. 91-92. The remarks on Pihner's appearance are based upon contemporary
photographs; concerning Pohner's height, see Konrad Heiden, Der Fuehrer
(Boston, 1969), p. 189. Further descriptions of Pohner may be found in
Kurt G. W. Ludecke, I Knew Hitler (New York, 1937), pp. 80-81. Ludecke
also describes the first meeting between Hitler and Pohner, at which
he was present. Pihner gave expression to his anti-Semitism in his
various utterances during the 1924 Hitler trial and in the attitude he
adopted toward the Ostjuden. For the attitude of the military
authorities toward P6hner, see Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror,
pp. 164-167.
20
2This summary is based upon an historical sketch by Reg. Assessor
Dr. Jacob, prepared in 1915 for internal use at the PDM, M Inn 71880.
Many of the 19th Century documents relating to the early developments of
the PDM may be found in two other files, RA 58111 and RA 58113.

211913 PDM Table of Oganization, M Inn 71880.












23
2Compare the 1913 PDM Table of Organization cited above with the
1929 and 1932 Tables of Organization in M Inn 71881.

24"Verzeichnis--Die Polizeidirektion Miinchen als bayerische
Landeszentrale," M Inn 71880.
25
2See the series of 1916 and 1917 documents concerning PDM
counterespionage activities during the First World War in M Inn 71789.

2"Zusammenfassender Bericht der Polizeidirektion Minchen an die
Staatsanwaltschaft Minchen I fiber die Umsturzbewegung in MUnchen 1919,"
StAnw. MU. I 3124.
27PDM to M Inn, Dec. 14, 1919, M Inn 71880.

28
2Frick biographical material, BDC--NSDAP Hauptarchiv Mappe 1221.
See also, Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial, Vol. 1, pp. 317-318;
the phrase "Toyal Bavarian Nazi" comes from the thumbnail sketch by
Albert Krebs in William S. Allen, ed. and trans., The Infancy of Nazism:
The Memoirs of Ex-Gauleiter Albert Krebs, 1923-1933 (New York, 1976),
pp. 259-262.
29
29Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror, pp. 123-131.

3Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial, Vol. 1, p. 318.
31
3See the "Protokoll liber die am y. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den
Ausbau des Nachrichtendienstes," Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.

32PDM to M Inn, Dec. 14, 1919, M Inn 71880.

33The basic points of Bavarian administrative structure atthis time
are conveniently summarized in Harold J. Gordon, Jr., Hitler and the
Beer Hall Putsch (Princeton, 1972), pp. 165-166. The institution of the
special commissioner is discussed in Heinrich von Jan, Verfassung und
Verwaltung in Bayern, 1919-1926 (Munich, 1927), pp. 39-44.
34
3For examples of these reports for the period covered in this
chapter see MA 102 135 and MA 102 136.

35Provincial President of Middle Franconia to M Inn, April 16, 1920,
M Inn 71879.

3For Pohner's relations with the Munich city council, see Peter
Steinborn, Grundlage und Grundzige Munchner Kommunalpolitik in den
Jahren der Weimarer Republik (Munich, 1968), pp. 229-230.












37Aronson, Reinhard Heydrick und die Fruhgeschichte von Gestapo
und SD, pp. 94-95.

38Special police commission to M Inn, Aug. 5, 1919, PDN-F 108/1.

39Ibid.

40Ibid.

4PSNB to Police President Pihner, Sept. 19, 1919, PDN-F 108/1.

42For background material relating to the preparation and circulation
of the PSNB weekly reports, see PDN-F 331. For the reports themselves,
see PDN-F 332-337/2.
43
For the LaPo in general, see the two standard works: Georg
Sagerer and Emil Schuler, Die bayerische Landespolizei von 1919-1935
(Munich, 1964), pp. 1-32. These works have not been superseded by
Johannes Schwarze, Die bayerische Polizei, pp. 10-49, although Schwarze
covers much the same ground. For the LaPo's political police work
see the December 1923 correspondence in M Inn 71786 and the circular
letter from M Inn to the Provincial Presidia, the Police President in
Munich, and the Police Director in Nuremberg, Dec. 5, 1923, in Reg. v.
Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
44
4Deuerlein, Der Hitlerputsch, p. 27; Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte
der NS-MachtUbernahme in Bayern, p. 71; Friedrich Rau, Personalpolitik
und Organisation in der vorlaufigen Reichswehr (Munich, 1970),
pp. 158-171. For difficulties between the civilian and military political
police, see PDM to PSNB, May 11, 1921, in PDN-F 316. For an example of
the military performing civilian political police functions, see Bayer.
Gruppenkmdo 4, Abt. Ia to BA Starnberg, Oct. 24, 1919, in RA 57804.
Examples of the military situation reports may be found in MA 102 135
and PDN-F 318.

4Civic Guard leaders frequently claimed not to have an intelligence
service, citing their close relationship with PDM VI/N as a reason why
this would be superfluous. For this claim, see Testimony of Walter
Schenk, July 28, 1924, St Anw. MU I 3081d/l. The Civic Guard,
nonetheless, prepared political situation reports, copies of which are
collected in PDN-F 318.

46See the collection of "Tank" reports in PDN-F 407.

4"Tank report, July 31, 1919, PDN-F 407.

48Testimony of Heinrich Mayer, October 1, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3;
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3.












4Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mi. I 3081d/3.

5Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Zweiter Teil: Der vom
BUrgertum gefUhrte Freistaat in der Weimarer Republik (1920-1933),"
in Spindler, Handbuch, Vol. IV/1, pp. 454-457.

51PDM to M Inn, April 5, 1920, M Inn 71996.

52PDM to the Provincial Presidia and the PSNB, Oct. 18, 1920, Reg.
v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
53
5"Protokoll fiber die am 7. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den Ausbau des
Nachrichtendienstes," Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.

54Ibid.

55Ibid.

56For this episode, see the March 12-March 22, 1917 collection of
documents on political surveillance in M Inn 80352.

5The PSNB, as a branch of the PDM, came under the ultimate control
of P6hner and Frick. Thus, the willingness of the provincial authorities
to allow the PSNB to handle the running of agents in northern Bavaria
placed this vital activity directly in their hands. In southern Bavaria,
the manifold contacts of the PDM were similarly sufficient. The key
issue at this juncture was agreement in principle, which was attained
at the Dec. 7, 1920 meeting. As Fenske points out, one of the most
important bases of Pohner's political power was his monopoly over control
of effective political intelligence. The only competing sources of
intelligence of any consequence were the fortnightly reports of the
provincial presidia, but these were neither so detailed, nor so
influential as the political police reports. By filtering political
intelligence according to his own political lights, Pihner could shape
the political responses of his ministerial superiors. See Fenske,
Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, p. 141.
58
5Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Sweiter Tell," in Spindler,
Handbuch, Vol. IV/1, pp. 454-465.

5Ibid., pp. 462-464.

60These conclusions are based upon the observations of the diplo-
matic representative of the state of Wirttemberg in Bavaria, Carl Moser
von Filseck. Moser's judicious reports to his superiors in Stuttgart
are among the most useful and important sources for the political
developments of the period. Many of the most worthwhile reports from
Moser have been gathered in a published volume edited by Wolfgang Benz.
The reports cited here are from Wolfgang Benz, ed., Politik in Bayern,












601919-1933: Berichte des wurttembergischen Gesandten Carl Moser
von Filseck (Stuttgart, 1971), pp. 77-80.

61Ibid, pp. 81-82.

62Horst G. W. Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande in Bayern,
Preussen, und dsterreich, 1918-1933 (Munich, 1973), p. 209. Nusser's
work is the best single study of the Bavarian Civic Guard and its
related organizations. Although frequently strident in tone and marred
by occasional exaggerations, this study compels attention simply by
virtue of the massive research it reflects.

6An overview of this sequence of events may be gained from the
political chronology appended to Karl Schwend, Bayern zwischen Monarchie
und Diktatur (Munich, 1954), pp. 553-557.
64
6Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, pp. 208-212. See also Fenske,
Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 144-145.
65
6Gotthard Jasper, Der Schutz der Republik: Studien zur staatlichen
Sicherung der Demokratie in der Weimarer Republik, 1922-1930 (Tubingen,
1963), pp. 43-45.

66Ibid.

67Ibid.

6Steinborn, Grundlage und GrundzGge MUnchner Kommunalpolitik,
pp. 229-230.

69For Schweyer's attitude toward the left, see Fenske, Konserva-
tivismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 62-63. For the BVP perception of
Schweyer as left-leaning, see Deuerlein, Der Hitlerputsch, pp. 46-47.

70Frick described this interview in his testimony during the 1924
Hitler Putsch trial. See Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial,
Vol. 1, p. 319.

71The text of Pohner's resignation announcement is reproduced in
Benz, Politik in Bayern, p. 87.
72
7For Bernreuther's appointment to the PDM, see the M Inn order
of Oct. 26, 1919 in RA 58128. Some of Bernreuther's activities as
Frick's deputy are chronicled in Chapter 2; his role in the events of
the Beer Hall Putsch is discussed in Chapter 3. Despite his close
association with Frick, however, Bernreuther managed to remain as head
of PDM VI until his promotion in 1929 to head the newly-created
Polizeidirektion Regensbure.












73The events leading to Nortz's 1923 dismissal are discussed in
detail in Chapter 3.
74
74Kahr's remarks are taken from a copy of the published transcript
of the Landtag debates for March 15, 1921. This copy may be found in
M Inn 71880.

7Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 85-88.

76The relationship between the guidelines established at the meeting
to discuss the future of the political information on Dec. 7, 1920 and
subsequent developments in this area is discussed in Chapter 3.

77Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, p. 141.

















CHAPTER 2
A CASE OF POLITICAL MURDER



On the afternoon of March 4, 1921, a farmer named Josef

Kuchenbauer went to work in his field just north of the Bavarian

village of Zusmarshausen. Shortly before four in the afternoon,

he took a break from his labors and walked down to the banks of the

nearby river Zusam to look for duck eggs. As he poked through the

bushes at the water's edge he noticed something white shimmering in the

water. Looking more closely, he saw what appeared to be an old jacket

floating just below the murky surface of the stream. Then he

recognized the white object as a human hand. With his pitchfork he

speared the jacket and attempted to draw it toward the bank. As the

jacket surfaced so too did the corpse to which it was attached. Kuchen-

bauer called for help from friends in a neighboring field, and with

their assistance succeeded in dragging the body to the bank of the

river. A combined effort was necessary, for the corpse had been weighted

with two fifteen-pound paving stones, strapped to the neck and to the

legs with wire.1

Kuchenbauer's discovery opened the investigation of a murder case

which would come to exemplify, in the popular view, the flaws in the

Bavarian system of justice during the Kahr-Phner era. The inquiry
Bavarian system of justice during the Kahr-Pahner era. The inquiry












into the death of Hans Hartung (for such was the victim's name), along

with the subsequent disposition of the case, illustrated the ties

between right-wing politics and political police activity which charac-

terized this period. In the company of other, similar cases, it

fostered the impression that the PDM had become, under Pohner, a

"central office for murderers." The strongest criticisms of the PDM

came, not surprisingly, from Pohner's enemies on the left. But the

pattern of events was sufficiently disturbing to worry thoughtful

conservatives and to embarrass the less stridently right-wing officers

of the Munich police.3

The brutalization of Bavarian politics arose from the experiences

surrounding the suppression of the Soviet Republic. The language of

political discourse during the Kahr-Pbhner era was the language of war,

which reflected directly the animating sentiments of political action.

The leading figures of the Kahr regime saw themselves as occupying a

beleaguered outpost in the war against the left, against the leftist-

tainted Reich government in Berlin, and against the recent wartime

enemy, France. In this they represented the sentiments of many ordinary

Bavarian citizens.

The Kahr regime rested upon three bases of support: the BVP, the

Bavarian branch of the DNVP, which served with the BVP in Kahr's

coalition cabinet, and the Civic Guard. The broadly-based BVP embraced

a wide variety of political opinion; it included both moderate conser-

vatives and radical right extremists in an ever-shifting internal












balance. The Bavarian DNVP, represented in the Kahr cabinet by the

Justice Minister, Christian Roth, aligned itself more closely with

the radical right, as did the Civic Guard. Behind the scenes many

leading officers of the Bavarian Reichswehr lent their support to Kahr;

the ties between the army and the Civic Guard in particular were close,

for most Bavarian staff officers shared the political attitudes of those

former colleagues and wartime comrades who provided the Guard with its

leadership cadre. Each of these groups differed with the others on a

variety of specific issues. All, however, were united in their hostility

to the left and in their distaste for a central government which,

in their eyes, was both the product and the prisoner of the hated

socialists. And all of these groups shared a single, overriding

political goal--the transformation of Bavaria into a "cell of order"

(Ordnungszelle Bayern). Bavaria, purged of all traces of the socialist

interregnum, would become the base from which the counterrevolution would

be launched.

Attainment of this ultimate goal presupposed the fulfillment of

two conditions, the preservation of the Bavarian base and the accumulation

of power at that base. "Power," in this context, meant military power;

the Bavarian leadership, anticipating a later philosopher of politics,

believed that political power grew out of the barrel of a gun. Pohner

himself expressed this attitude best. In an interview with a visiting

Prussian civil servant he presented his own model of political

negotiation in his customary, pithy fashion:













He who resists, must be shot, not the masses, but
the leaders. Then resistance ceases. If your
Berlin government is confronted with a strike, what
does it do? It negotiates. One must do it dif-
ferently. One calls the strike leaders to a con-
ference and demands that the next morning their fol-
lowers be back at work. If the first one says no,
then shoot him and ask the second. If he says no,
then shoot him as well. The third will most cer-
tainly say yes. But one must shoot, not just
threaten. When we came into Munich after the Soviet
terror, I had these Red hounds shot. When one
of these dogs comes, one must be ready to shoot.5


Pbhner's approach to labor relations reflected his, and his political

compatriots beliefs about the way to deal with their political enemies.

With such a political conception, their desire for control of a strong

military force was logical.

This desire, however, brought Kahr, Pohner, and their allies

squarely into conflict with the less sanguinary leaders of the republic

in Berlin. The Reich government faced a quandry. The centrist and

moderate socialist leaders who shaped policy there did not wish to

see Germany reduced to a 100,000 man army, and to this end had supported

the creation of citizen militias. But the Bavarian Civic Guard had

grown far beyond the strength of the militias in other states, and

its political leadership was virulently hostile to the republic itself.

The weapons in the hands of the Civic Guard might not be reserved,

as intended, for use against a foreign enemy.

Indeed, one foreign enemy already shared the republican leadership's

fear of the Bavarian Civic Guard. The French, after struggling for the

inclusion of drastic limitations on German military power in the Versailles













treaty, observed the formation of a powerful militia in Bavaria with

considerable dismay. In the French view, such an organization subverted

the entire structure of armaments limitation, and presented the spectre

of resurgent German military power. In this the French were not far

wrong, for the more far-seeing among the right-wing Bavarian leaders

were already looking beyond the showdown with the republic to the great

war of revenge against the enemy across the Rhine. In response, the

French exerted heavy pressure upon the Reich government to do something

about these militias. In those states where the state government stood

loyal to the republic, accommodation was reached on the militia question.

In Bavaria, however, the issue led to an open conflict between the state

government and the Reich.

It was common knowledge that massive quantities of weapons left

over from the army's wartime stocks were in the possession of the

Civic Guard and other right-wing paramilitary groups--the National

Socialists, for example, had their own small share. The French

government threatened sanctions if the Reich government did not live

up to its treaty obligations and disarm the militias, and the French

military officers on the Entente Disarmament Commission were prepared

to insist that the letter of the treaty be observed. To meet this

demand and to insure itself against the growing threat from the armed

legions of the right, the republican leadership resolved to act. In

August 1920, the Reich government passed laws mandating the confiscation

of military weapons in private hands and the supervised destruction of













these weapons. Other laws required each citizen to report the discovery

of illegal caches of arms to the proper authorities.8

The paramilitary organizations, not surprisingly, were unwilling

to cooperate in their own disarmament. Nor was the Kahr government

willing to allow its own power base to erode in such a manner. The

government therefore resisted the enforcement of the disarmament laws

with every legal means at its disposal, while covertly supporting the

efforts of the Civic Guard and the Bavarian Reichswehr to illegally

circumvent the enforcement of these laws. The instrument of this covert

support was Pohner's political police.

In theory, one of the first tasks of the political police under

the disarmament law would have been to seek out and confiscate illegal

arms caches. In practice, this was done only when the caches belonged
9
to leftist groups. From the outset close ties existed between the

political police and the Civic Guard; for example, membership appli-

cations for the Civic Guard were customarily vetted by the political

police.0 This close cooperation extended to the protection of the

Civic Guard's weapons. Once an illegal arms collection was brought

to public attention little could be done to preserve it. The law was

clear, the Social Democrat press stood ready to cry "foul" should a

cover-up be attempted, and the French loomed in the background to insist

that the law was observed. The trick was to prevent discovery in the

first place.

To accomplish this subversion of the law, the political police

resumed their wartime counterespionage role against the French, and













added to this a close watch against spies from Berlin and from the

various leftist groups. In one recorded instance, PDM VI even placed

an informer in the Munich office of the Entente Disarmament Commission.

Reserve Lieutenant-Colonel Hermann Kriebel, the senior military figure

in the Civic Guard, described the results of such police activity in

the following terms:



Close cooperation existed between the police and
the Civic Guard in the matter of preventing the
betrayal of weapons to the Entente Commission. As
soon as the police discovered that a weapons cache
had been betrayed, this information was communi-
cated to us. We then had time to remove the weapons
to a new hiding place. The police also warned us
whenever they discovered hostile informers in our
midst.12



Evading the consequences of betrayal, however, was not enough. The

betrayers had to be deterred through effective punishment.

The price one paid for obeying the Reich laws governing illegal

armaments was only too frequently arrest by the Bavarian police and

trial for treason in a Bavarian court. During the Kahr-Pohner era

five individuals were convicted of treason on these grounds and received,
13
on the average, prison sentences in excess of four years apiece. Yet

these were the lucky ones; for others, a more summary form of "justice"

awaited.

On October 6, 1920,the body of a nineteen year-old woman was found

in a forest preserve south of Munich. The young woman, identified as

Maria Sandmayer, had been brutally strangled. The political motivation













of the crime was unmistakable, for the perpetrators had left a note

above the body proclaiming that Maria Sandmayer had been executed for

treason. Her act of treason had begun with a compound error. Trained

as a cook and a house servant, the young woman had come to Munich from

her home in the country, searching, in the time-honored way, for better

prospects. Shortly after arriving in the city, she came upon a placard

on the street, calling all citizens to report all illegal arms caches

to the Reich government's disarmament commission. Here she made her

first error, for she decided to obey the law and report the arms hidden

at her former place of employment in the country. Her second error

followed immediately upon the first. Misreading the placard, she

reported her information not to the office of the disarmament commission,

but to the printers who had prepared the placard. The foreman there

passed her report and her identity to friends in the Civic Guard. On

October 6 a young man called for her at her new place of employment

in Munich, presenting himself as a member of the disarmament commission

interested in her information concerning illegal weapons. Shortly

thereafter she departed with him, never to be seen alive again.14

Only a little more than a week passed before a similar incident

occurred. A Reichswehr soldier by the name of Dobner reported an

illegal arms hoard to the Entente Disarmament Commission. Unfortunately,

the translator who received his report there was also in the pay of the

political police. Several days later, on October 20, 1920, Dobner was













picked up by three men in a car and, in the course of a wild ride

through the streets of Munich, leapt from the automobile just in time

to escape from being beaten to death.15

In the Sandmayer case, witnesses identified her mysterious caller

as a certain Lieutenant Schweighart, a member of the Civic Guard.

The police investigation proved that a car belonging to the Civic

Guard had been used in the killing.6 Schweighart could produce no

alibi for the night in question. Nonetheless, Kriminal-Kommissar

Friedrich Glaser, the head of PDM VI/N, ordered the preparation of a

passport for Schweighart. Passport in hand, Schweighart fled the

country.7

Justice was done in even more topsy-turvy fashion in the Dobner

case. Learning that Dobner had escaped the clutches of his would-be

assassins, the informer who had betrayed him to the police, a man

named Pracher, panicked. To clear himself, he turned to a Social

Democratic Landtag deputy, Karl Gareis, who had made a name for himself

through his outspokenness in the matter of illegal armament. After

hearing Pracher's story, with its implication that the political police

had been accessories in a murder attempt, Gareis demanded proof. He

prevailed upon Pracher to call his contact man in the PDM's Department

VI, tell his story, and ask for protection. As Gareis listened, Pracher

telephoned his contact, who proved to be none other than Kriminal-

Kommissar Glaser. Telling Glaser that Dobner had been "eliminated,"

Pracher then asked that he be protected by the police from the consequences












of his role in the affair. Glaser gave his assent to the request, not

suspecting that the entire exchange was being recorded by a third

party. With this confirmation of police complicity, Gareis and his

colleagues brought the matter before the Landtag--a step which would

eventually lead to Gareis's own assassination. Dobner, Pracher, and

Glaser all testified before the hastily assembled investigatory

commission, the latter only after extreme pressure had been exerted

by the Commission in the name of the Landtag. After a promising

start, however, the work of the Commission was thwarted by a withdrawal

of support on the part of the BVP delegation--a gesture of unmistakable

political significance. In the court case growing out of the attempt

on Dobner's life, the court chose to accept without question the

testimony of Dobner's assailants, who were charged with assault rather

than attempted murder, and who, upon conviction, received only nominal

punishment. Dobner, in turn, was charged with perjury, although the

charge could not be made to stick. Pracher's final reward in the

matter was a fifteen year sentence for treason--the authorities did

not forgive him for turning to Gareis.18

Despite ongoing pressure from Berlin and Paris, the efforts of the

Civic Guard and the Bavarian authorities to circumvent disarmament

continued. And despite the object lessons provided in the Sandmayer

and Dobner cases, certain individuals continued to make the error of

reporting, or threatening to report, illegal weapons to the disarmament

officials. One such individual was the waiter Hans Hartung.













Hans Hartung arrived in Munich from his home in Halle in

February 1921. After service as a non-commissioned officer during

the war, Hartung had returned to Halle in time to participate, as

an active Communist, in the political disturbances which marked the

winter and spring of 1919. He then turned upon his comrades, betraying

several of the leading local Communists to the police. In revenge,

a group of his former compatriots fell upon him and subjected him to

a severe beating. His cuts and bruises, however, provided ample

endorsement of his political change of heart, and solidified his

position with his new-found friends of the political right. Hartung

thus came to Munich with letters of recommendation and introduction

from his political friends in Halle.19

In February 1921, Hans Hartung was twenty-four years old, a young

man of impressive height (over six feet, three inches) and correct

manners, whose bearing convinced at least one Munich acquaintance
20
that before him stood a former army officer.20 Armed with the right

manner and his introductions from Halle, Hartung quickly won access

to leading right-wing circles in Munich. He first approached Reserve

Lieutentant Otto Braun, the head of the Civic Guard's Economic Office--

the office concerned with illegal weapons transactions--and asked for

employment. In applying to Braun, Hartung demonstrated clearly that he

had not come to Munich to continue his earlier career by waiting on

tables. He had discovered in Halle that the right-wing groups, amply

provided with money, paid well for confidential information. Unwilling












to work for a living, he slid readily into the life of a professional

informer, the lesson of his beating at the hands of the Communists

evidently unlearned.21

Braun gave Hartung money and introduced him to other leading
22
figures in the Civic Guard.22 On his own initiative Hartung endeavored

to widen his field of activity by presenting himself to various Munich
23
industrialists with an offer to spy upon their employees.23 Sometimes

he presented Braun as a reference; on other occasions he intimated that

he worked for the Political Information Section of the PDM.24 His

varied and sometimes conflicting self-representations, however, soon

undermined the initial impressions of trustworthiness fostered by his

manner and outward appearance. After receiving several approaches from

Hartung, one businessman, who also happened to be a leading figure

in the Civic Guard, called a friend at PDM VI to report Hartung's

behavior and ask for information concerning his bona fides.25 This,

and other questions from Civic Guard representatives concerning

Hartung's activities led to an order by the political police for the

arrest and interrogation of Hartung on March 5.26 But by this point

Hartung was already past questioning.

On March 2 Hartung had called once again upon Lieutenant Braun at

the latter's office in the headquarters of the Civic Guard. Having failed

in his efforts to broaden his connections, Hartung asked for more money

from Braun. Braun refused. To this Hartung responded, "Herr Lieutenant,













I know a great deal; are you not afraid?" Confronted with this scarcely

veiled attempt at blackmail, Braun ordered Hartung out of his office.27

That evening Hartung assisted another right-wing paramilitary

group in the clandestine transport of illegal weapons to a hiding place

near Bad Tolz. The following day he spent sitting with friends in the

'Cafe Bristol. During the course of the conversation he bragged that,

of all the participants in the previous night's exercise, he had been

the only one not to have held commissioned officer's rank in the recent

war. To underscore this self-important pronouncement, he hinted broadly

that he would be participating again that evening in yet.another secret

transferral of weapons.2

The body found the following afternoon by farmer Kuchenbauer was

not immediately identified as that of Hartung. After the corpse had

been pulled to the bank of the Zusam, one of Kuchenbauer's companions

ran to the local gendarmerie station to report the discovery. The

gendarmerie station in Zusmarshausen was very small, manned by only

three officers. Thus the leader of the station himself, Sicherheits-

kommissar Josef Zghnle, responded to the call. He searched the body

for some form of identification, but found only a pocket comb. Soon he

was joined by the local judge, who brought with him a photographer to

take pictures at the scene of the crime. After conducting a rudimentary

examination of the area and seeing that the requisite photographs had

been made, the two officials supervised the removal of the body to the

local clinic.29













On the following day the autopsy was performed in Zusmarshausen.

Present at the inquest were the local officials from Zusmarshausen and

the Public Prosecutor from Augsburg, Wilhelm Krick, to whom responsibility

for the prosecution of the case would fall.30 The autopsy revealed

six bullet wounds, two in the head and four in the chest. The bullets

recovered from the body indicated that pistols of 7.65 mm and 9 mm had

been used in the murder. The results further suggested that Hartung

had been shot down with a fusillade of five shots, all delivered more

or less simultaneously, and then finished off with a shot fired from

a range of a few inches into the inner edge of the right eye, alongside

the nose. There was no indication that he had struggled to defend

himself.3

Several clues were immediately evident. The river Zusam was,

in the area around Zusmarshausen, quite shallow; along most of its

course a body submerged in the river would not disappear completely

from view. Only at several scattered points did it deepen sufficiently

to adequately conceal a corpse. The body had been disposed of at one

of these points--only the failure of the murderers to toss the heavily-

weighted body far enough out from the bank prevented it from disappearing
32
in the muck at the bottom of ten feet of water.32 No stranger to the

locality could have selected such a suitable spot. Moreover, only

some three hundred-fifty meters away, at the edge of the main road from

Munich to Ulm, stood a small cluster of buildings, used at that time

by the Civic Guard for the storage of illegal munitions. These buildings












provided a place where a vehicle could easily be screened from the view

of a passerby along the highway, and a nearby wooded hill offered
33
further concealment.

But if these indicia pointed clearly in the direction of local

involvement, others pointed equally clearly against it. The paving

stones had not come from the Zusmarshausen area. Nor had the corpse.

Although no positive identification had been made, it was unquestionably
34
that of an outsider.3

Yet another clue was discovered on the morning of March 5. A

railway worker walking along the tracks of the rail line connecting

Munich with Ulm found a cheap leather briefcase lying discarded along-

side the tracks. Inside the briefcase, wrapped in a newspaper, was a

blood-soaked soldier's cap. Both the briefcase and the cap were later

identified as items that Hartung had carried with him everywhere.35

With these clues Public Prosecutor Krick, who had been placed

in charge of the investigation by his superior, Kraus, ordered a number

of measures. In the company of the local gendarmes he conducted a more

precise examination of the areas where the various clues had been found.

He ordered an inquiry into the source of the paving stones. Finally,

in the absence of a positive identification of the body--this would

have to wait until fingerprints could be taken and sent to the experts

at the PDM--he attempted to identify any strangers or strange vehicles

which had passed through Zusmarshausen on the night in question.3












With the assistance of the Schutzmannschaft in Augsburg, which

routinely examined the papers of all vehicles passing through the city,

and with confirmation provided by other witnesses, Krick determined

that three motor vehicles had driven through Zusmarshausen during the

night of March 3. The testimony of two local witnesses quickly called

special attention to one of these vehicles. The witnesses, one of them

a local gendarme, testified independently of one another to having heard

a truck pass through the village heading in the direction of Ulm.

One witness has noted the time of its passage at 2:30 in the morning.

Both witnesses agreed that it had sounded very much like one of the

military vehicles which frequently passed through Zusmarshausen carrying

illegal weapons--the clandestine activities of the Civic Guard and

other paramilitary groups were an open secret to the villagers, who

lived along one of the most heavily employed routes for the transfer

of weapons. A few minutes after the truck had passed out of hearing--

which placed the truck approximately at the buildings near where the

corpse would be found--both witnesses heard the sound of a shot from

that direction.37

The forensic examination of the paving stones suggested that they

came from Munich; later investigations would confirm this and demonstrate

that the stones had probably been taken from a construction site in
38
the courtyard of a Munich army barracks.38 On March 8, an Augsburg

police detective contacted the headquarters of the Civic Guard in

Munich to check on the Schutzmannschaft report that the military truck

which had been checked through Augsburg travelling toward Ulm had












belonged to the Civic Guard. The call was taken by Lieutenant Braun,
39
who answered in the affirmative. A further comparison of witness

reports indicated that this had been the truck heard passing through
40
Zusmarshausen in the early morning hours of March 4.4

On the morning of March 9 the fingerprints taken from the corpse

in Zusmarshausen arrived at the office of the Criminal Investigation

Service (Department Ib) of the PDM. Within a couple of hours the

experts at Ib identified the prints as belonging to the missing Hans

Hartung, who had been wanted by the political police for questioning

since March 5.

At that time Kriminaloberkommissar Eduard Seubert of PDM VIa had

issued orders that Hartung be taken into custody and questioned about

his activities in Munich. Seubert's initiative came in response to a

letter from the leadership of the Civic Guard given to him by Frick,

the head of PDM VI. Hartung was suspected of spying on the Civic Guard
42
for the benefit of the Communists. Seubert detailed three officers

from VIaF, Kriminalsekretar Johann Gehauf, Kriminalsekretar Johann

Feil, and Oberwachtmeister Heinrich Becher. Gehauf and Feil were

experienced political policemen, "old cops" in the customary sense of

the term. Becher was younger, a member of the Schutzmannschaft detached

for temporary duty with VIaF. After securing Hartung's address, a

pension only a few blocks from police headquarters, the three officers

went to bring him into custory. Hartung, of course, was not to be

found. The officers searched Hartung's belongings, confiscated some of













his papers, and questioned the hotel porter concerning his whereabouts.

The porter, who had just finished reading the article in the morning

paper about the discovery of an unidentified murder victim in

Zusmarshausen, remarked to the officers that the description of the

victim in the paper could be that of Hartung. Although the remark

aroused Feil's immediate interest, the lead was not followed up at

that time. The three officers returned to police headquarters where

the two officers turned to more pressing tasks, leaving Becher to write

up the report of their morning's work.43

The political police inquiry into Hartung's affairs continued

in a desultory fashion until the morning of March 9. With the identi-

fication of Hartung as the murder victim, however, the investigation

immediately accelerated. That afternoon Kriminalsekretar Gehauf

returned to Hartung's pension to question the staff. The following

morning he was confronted by the appearance of Lieutentant Braun of

the Civic Guard, who came to police headquarters with a prepared

memorandum concerning his relations with Hartung. At the instructions

of his superior, Seubert, Gehauf questioned Braun more closely about

his connection to Hartung. During the course of this interrogation

Braun admitted that Hartung had threatened him and the secrets of the

Civic Guard. But the most suspicious item of all--the passage of a

truck belonging to the Civic Guard through Zusmarshausen on the night

of the murder--remained unexplored; Gehauf had not yet received the

information from Augsburg concerning this matter and unwittingly let












it pass. Still, the session with Braun caused Gehauf and Seubert to

look more closely at the links between Hartung and Braun. In Seubert's

words: "After the interrogation Gehauf and I agreed that Braun had to

be involved one way or another."44

The news that a Civic Guard truck had been within a few hundred

meters of the murder site and that its occupants all had ties to Braun
45
fortified Gehauf's suspicions.45 His colleague Fell believed that Braun

should be recalled and grilled vigorously.46 The three political

policemen on the case-Seubert, Gehauf, and Feil--all shared the
47
conviction that they were on the threshold of breaking the case.

At that juncture, however, Police President Pohner intervened to take

the case out of their hands.

The first steps in this direction had been taken within hours of

the identification of the murder victim. At eleven in the morning on

March 9, the head of the political police, Pohner's close associate

Frick, contacted Carl von Merz, the director of the homicide squad in

Department I, and communicated Pohner's order that the homicide squad

assume responsibility for the case in cooperation with the Public

Prosecutor in Augsburg. Merz immediately objected. While recognizing

that the ramification of the case into Munich made the active involve-

ment of the PDM necessary, he believed that the Munich end of the case

should remain in the hands of PDM VI. The political police, after

all, already had their investigation underway--as a matter of procedural

principle a transfer would be a mistake, causing needless delay and













complicating the rapid apprehension of suspects. Merz made these

objections clear, not only to Frick, but also to PBhner himself. In

response Pohner insisted that Merz take over the case on a temporary

basis until such time as a permanent solution could be found. Merz

acquiesced and left that same afternoon for Augsburg to consult with
48
Public Prosecutor Krick.4

The political policemen involved in the case were likewise dis-

contented with this turn of events. Upon hearing that they had been

taken off the case, Feil and Gehauf were angered and frustrated. Gehauf

went directly to Seubert and asked him to arrange an interview with

Pbhner; he wanted to make certain his complaints were known. Pbhner,

however, denied the request. Not willing to give up the case completely,

Gehauf continued for several days thereafter to follow up certain leads
49
on his own initiative.

Merz's conversation with the Public Prosecutor in Augsburg eased

his objections to the transferral--the Public Prosecutor appeared to

be cooperative, and offered Merz essentially a free hand. Upon his

return to Munich he brought Franz Ott, the PDM's leading homicide

specialist, into the case and proceeded with the investigation. The

political policemen also swallowed their anger and worked with Merz

and Ott to ease the problems of transition. On the morning of March 11
50
Pohner made the temporary transfer to Department I permanent. The

common interest of the lower officers in seeing the case brought to a

successful conclusion had overcome the threat of delay. Merz, Ott, and












Krick, the latter having come to Munich to participate in the wider

investigation, set up shop in Ott's office and proceeded with the

interrogation of suspects.5

With some reluctance--Ott was himself a member of the Civic Guard,

and Merz sympathized politically with the Guard's aims--the three

officials agreed with Gehauf and Fell that the track of the murderers

led in the direction of the Ringhotel, the Munich headquarters of the

Civic Guard. Suspicion centered upon the occupants of the Civic Guard

truck which had passed through Zusmarshausen. The police inquiry

yielded a list of five names representing the occupants of the truck:

Richard Bally, August Beurer, Franz Brandl, Max Neunzert, and Jakob

Schwesinger. All were active in the Civic Guard and had served with

the army or one of the Freikorps; Neunzert held the post of Disarmament

Commissioner with the Civic Guard, and had played a leading role in

preventing weapons from being surrendered to the Berlin authorities.

Beurer and Neunzert were questioned on March 11 and 12. On March 13

Brandl was brought in for questioning. At the very outset Merz won

the impression that Brandl was holding something back. Merz pressed

him further with a combination of sympathy and firmness which disarmed

Brandl's resistance. The young man then confessed that he had not

been among the participants in the ride to Ulm on the night of March 3,

and that he had been pushed by his friends into presenting himself

thusly in order to cover the participation of yet another individual,

Hermann Berchtold.52












The mere mention of Berchtold's name quickened the interest of

the interrogators. Berchtold had been implicated in the Sandmayer

affair and had been identified as one of Dobner's assailants--as had

Neunzert, who had driven the car used in the abduction of Dober.

Beurer and Neunzert, moreover, had been caught in a direct lie

concerning their activities on the night of March 3, and their pressure

on Brandl to present himself in place of Berchtold took on the

dimensions of a deliberate conspiracy of silence. Beurer was immediately

brought back in and, confronted with Brandl's statement, conceded

that Berchtold had in fact been the fifth member of the group. Both

Ott and Merz believed that a milestone in the case had been passed.

Merz later went so far as to say, "With the mention of the name

Berchtold, the case was, for me, as good as broken."53

Prosecutor Krick evidently agreed; that same day he signed

warrants for the arrest of Bally, Berchtold, Beurer, Neunzert, and

Schwesinger. Later that same day Lieutenant Braun's name was added

to the list--the leads developed by Gehauf and Feil had finally born

fruit. The next morning Krick returned to Augsburg, leaving what now

appeared to be merely a follow-up investigation in the hands of Merz.54

At this point the case against the six suspects rested firmly

upon the juristical pillars of motive and opportunity. Hartung's threat

to Braun, coupled with the more generalized doubts which had gathered

around Hartung in Civic Guard circles, provided a clear motive. The

evidence of opportunity was equally transparent. The five main












suspects--the arrest warrant against Braun had named him only as an

accomplice--had departed by truck from Munich on the night in question

and had been in the immediate vicinity of the murder scene during the

course of the evening. All five had been armed with pistols of the

calibers used in the murder. Their truck was at the murder scene at

approximately the time that two witnesses identified the sound of a

shot coming from that direction. The paving stones used to weight

the body came from Munich, quite probably from a barracks courtyard,

to which they all had access on the afternoon of their departure. One

of the suspects, Beurer, was a native of Zusmarshausen. Known through-

out the village as a zealous duck hunter, he was thoroughly familiar

with the course of the Zusam and undoubtedly capable of locating those

rare spots where its depth permitted the concealment of a body.

Moreover, Beurer had repeatedly used the cluster of buildings at the

murder scene as a hiding place for illegal weapons-his affinity for

the spot was virtually a byword in the village. Finally, Bally,

Beurer, Berchtold, and Schwesinger had returned by train to Munich on

March 4 along the route where Hartung's blood-soaked cap and briefcase

were found.55 Granted, some of this evidence was circumstantial. Still,

coupled with the known involvement of Braun and Berchtold in the Sand-

mayer case, the grounds for arresting the six and holding them in

investigative custody appeared overwhelming.

Nonetheless, within twenty-four hours of having signed the arrest

warrants, Public Prosecutor Krick returned to the PDM and countermanded

them. The suspects were allowed to go free. Krick's new directive, to













be sure, required that they hold themselves available for further

questioning, but, once they were free there was no effective means

of enforcing this provision. The suspects could flee, or go underground,

as some of them ultimately did.5 If PBhner's earlier transferral of

the case from PDM VI to PDM I had threatened to delay the investigation,

this latest move threatened to destroy it completely.

What accounted for Krick's change of heart? Shortly after his

return to Augsburg on the morning of March 14, a certain Dr. Gademann

called at his home. Gademann explained that he had come by car from

Munich to fetch Krick and take him back to the Ministry of Justice.

Gademann indicated that the Minister desired a consultation on the

progress of the Hartung case. Gademann evidenced a great need to

hurry, against which Krick protested that he had just come from the

train and was preparing to sit down to lunch. After some discussion

Gademann agreed to come back at one-thirty in the afternoon. Gademann

returned at the appointed time, drove Krick by his office to get some

papers on the case, and then picked up the other Public Prosecutor,

Kraus, on their way out of town.5

Both Krick and Kraus had assumed that Gademann was a representative

of the Ministry of Justice. During the drive back to Munich, however,

Gademann remarked that he was the legal advisor to the Civic Guard and

that the car belonged to Georg Escherich, the head of the Civic Guard.

Krick felt a certain surprise at this--his assumptions about Gademann's

connection with the Ministry had been based upon the latter's evident












familiarity with Krick's work on the Hartung case. His colleague Kraus,

however, saw nothing untoward in Gademann's mission. The Civic Guard,

after all, was a semi-official organization--in his own Augsburg

jurisdiction Guard volunteers served on the staff of the local jail,

and Kraus himself felt a great deal of admiration for Escherich's

work. More impressed than uneasy, Kraus thought nothing more about

the possible impropriety as the car pulled up at the Palace of Justice
58
in Munich.5

Once inside, both Kraus and Krick experienced disappointment.

They had been led to expect an interview with the Justice Minister

himself, Dr. Roth. Instead, they were ushered into the presence of

Oberregierungsrat GUrtner, Roth's deputy and later successor. Krick

presented his report to GUrtner and then departed in the direction of

police headquarters, leaving Kraus to consult further with GUrtner.59

Krick went directly to Merz and, after hurriedly recounting the

events of the afternoon, walked over to a lectern in the corner of

Merz's office and wrote out the order lifting the warrants for arrest.

Merz protested with all the vigor he could muster. Nothing had changed

since the night before, when the warrants had been issued; their

withdrawal would destroy the prospects for further progress in the case;

this sudden step made no sense. Krick listened stonily, and then

reaffirmed his order.6

For Merz, the memories of this episode would still rankle years

later. The case had been thrust upon him by P6hner, against his













professional objections. And now, with success within his grasp,

the basis of the investigation had been cut from under him. If the

case failed now, it would most certainly be a black mark against him

and against the reputation of Department I, hitherto unbesmirched by

charges of political bias. Throughout the next day he mulled matters

over and then went to Police Director Ramer, second-in-command at the

PDM and head of Department I, stated his feelings, and asked to be

removed from the case. Ramer promised to take this request under

advisement. The next day Merz was summoned to Ramer's office, where

he found Ramer and Krick's superior, Kraus. Ramer explained that he had

already conveyed the substance of Merz's objections to Kraus. Kraus

then sternly reminded Merz that, as a police officer, he was duty-bound

to obey the instructions of the prosecutor's office. He professed

himself satisfied with Merz's conduct of the case up to that point,

but wanted to make certain Merz would continue in the right direction;

this final remark passed without further explanation. Ramer then

warned Merz not to hurt himself and his career by doing something stupid

(". .. Ramer redete mir zu und meinte, ich solle keine dienstliche

Dummheit machen ."). The interview concluded with a direct order

from Ramer to Merz to continue as head of the investigation.61

But the case had clearly collapsed. Hamstrung in his efforts to

move against the most likely suspects, Merz soon lost interest in

pursuing the futile exercise.62 The investigation continued in













desultory fashion into 1922 and then faded into nothingness, only to

be revived when political circumstances changed some years later.

The case against the suspected slayers of Hans Hartung had been

murdered, just as surely as Hartung himself. But why? And by whom?

The proximate cause had been the prosecutor's unwillingness to uphold

the arrest warrants. Krick's sudden change of heart, however, had not

come unbidden. Here was the real mystery in the case.

Both Krick and Kraus later swore that Gurtner had made no attempt

to influence their disposition of the case. Questioned later about the

interview at the Justice Palace, Krick insisted that Gurtner had only

requested a progress report and had made no attempt to influence the

course of the investigation. His impression had been that the dispatch



*In the summer of 1924 the investigation was reopened under the
supervision of Investigating Judge Kestel of the Landgericht MUnchen I.
In March 1925, Max Neunzert and Richard Bally were formally tried for
the murder of Hans Hartung. The other four suspects were also sought
for trial, but could not be brought before the court. Beurer had
successfully gone underground; Berchtold, who in the meantime has been
sought by the Austrian police for yet another murder, had likewise
disappeared. Schwesinger was hiding out in the Saarland. Braun had
found asylum in Admiral Horthy's Hungary, where he effectively resisted
extradition in connection with the Hartung case by presenting himself
as the victim of political persecution--the request for extradition had
also been based on a second indictment against Braun, issued for his
complicity in the Sandmayer case.
In its verdict the court concluded that it was "highly probable"
that "as participants in the truck ride to Ulm, the two defendants had
participated in the murder of Hartung." Neunzert and Bally were none-
theless set free--high probability not being adequate for a conviction.
One may respect the court's adherence to strict standards of law in
this case, while at the same time noting that such strict standards had
not often been demanded when leftists were being tried in Bavarian
courts. One may also question the court's treatment of evidence in
expressing its reasons for doubt. For example, in rejecting the indict-
ment, the court laid great stress on the fact that no traces of blood













of Gademann to Augsburg to bring back the two prosecutors was the simple

consequence of GUrtner's desire for fresh information. Kraus described

the incident in much the same language. To explain his sudden volte-

face in the matter of the arrest warrants, Krick stated that it had not

been sudden at all, that he and Kraus had agreed on this measure shortly

before leaving for Munich that afternoon. The discussion took place

when Gademann and Krick stopped at the door of Kraus's home to pick him

up for the ride to Munich. Krick walked to the door, leaving Gademann

to wait with the chauffeur. Walking back to the car with Kraus, Krick

reported briefly on the developments during his three-day stay in

Munich. In the course of the discussion he began to wonder if he had

acted too hastily in issuing the arrest warrants--perhaps Kraus

expressed certain reservations on this score. The evidence against the

suspects was not absolutely conclusive. Worse, all of the suspects were



had been found on the clothing of the defendants--this in spite of
the fact that a week elapsed between the night of the crime and the
first examination by the police of any of the suspects, and in spite
of the further fact that Neunzert himself admitted under oath that he
and his four co-riders had all taken changes of clothing with them on
the trip. The court also dismissed out of hand a statement of Bally's
to a friend that he had participated in the murder of Hartung,
largely on the grounds that Bally had been drunk at the time of this
confession. In vino veritas clearly did not count for much with the
court. For these and other details of the later case against Neunzert
and Bally see the verdict of March 30, 1925, in the case in StAnw.
Mu. I 3018d/7.













respectable individuals and members of the Civic Guard, an organization

with close ties to the state. One would have to proceed very carefully,

for a mistake could have a serious effect on public opinion.

Krick's version of this exchange was the only one available--

Kraus recalled later that Krick had made his report, but could remember

nothing of its content.3 Nonetheless, Kraus's version of the interview

with Giirtner suggested that he and Krick had already come to have

second thoughts on the subject of the arrest warrants before the inter-

view began. As Kraus recalled the interview, it began with a general

report by Krick. At the conclusion of the report the question of the

arrest warrants arose. Apparently without being pressed by Girtner

on the matter--Kraus refused to attribute any comment to Girtner--Kraus

indicated that he was well aware of the significance of the case, that



*The original of Krick's statement read as follows:

".. Ich berichtete meinem Amtsvorstand fiber meine
Tatigkeit in MUnchen und den Gang der Erhebungen in grossen Ziigen.
Hiebei werde ich auch gegussert haben, dass ver Verdacht auf die
Beschuldigten gefallen ist, gegen die ich Haftbefehl erlassen hatte,
dass aber noch kein abschliessender Beweis da sei, well man noch nicht
wisse, wo Hartung ermordet wurde und ob er iberhaupt lebend auf dem
gleichen Lastauto fuhr, wie die ibrigen Beschuldigten. Die Annahme,
dass er in MUnchen ermordet wurde und in einen Personenkraftwagen als
Leiche zur Zusam befordert wurde, war meines Erachtens nicht ganz
ausgeschlossen. Ich weiss nun nicht mehr, ob bei dieser Unterredung
mir Bedenken aufstiegen, ob ich mit meinem Haftbefehl nicht etwa
deneben getappt hatte, oder ob vielleicht Staatsanwalt Kraus derartige
Bedenken aussprach. Ich glaube eher, dass das letztere der Fall
gewesen sein mag. Die Bedenken mogen nach der Richtung gegangen sein,
dass die Beschuldigten anstandige Leute und Angeh6rige der Einwohnerwehr,
also einer sozusagen staatlichen Einrichtung waren, und das man wegen
des Eindrucks, den in diesem Fall ein Misgriff auf die iffentliche
Meinung machen misse, Grund zu besonderer Vorsicht habe. ." Testi-
mony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l.




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THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936
BY
JAMES H. MCGEE, III
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF. FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1980

Copyright 1980
by
James H. McGee, III

Dedicated to the memory of
Prof. Dr. Thilo Vogelsang
gentleman, scholar, friend

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
During the five years of research and writing which has gone into
this work, I have incurred a long series of debts to be acknowledged.
I would first like to thank the three scholars who supervised this
work in its various stages, Dr. Max H. Kele, Dr. Alan Beyerchen, and
Dr. Charles F. Sidman. Dr, Kele provided the inspiration for this
work and guided it through its beginnings. In a larger sense, his
standards of scholarship have served me as a model throughout my
graduate career. Dr. Beyerchen's advice and assistance helped carry
me past critical obstacles in the intermediate stages of the work.
Dr. Sidman supervised the completion of my study. Through his
extensive knowledge of Bavarian history and his unfailing insistence
upon precision in interpretation and expression, he exerted a profound
influence upon every aspect of the work. My gratitude to these three
men goes far beyond what can be expressed in this brief compass.
Many others also contributed to this work. I am very grateful to
Professors David Bushnell, Geoffrey Giles, Helga Kraft, Neill Macaulay,
Harry Paul, Claude Sturgill, and Norman Wilensky, all of the University
of Florida, for their help, encouragement, and interest in my work.
A similar debt of gratitude is owed to Professor James M. Diehl of
Indiana University-Bloomington.
A number of German scholars and archivists assisted me during the
course of my research. I am indebted to Prof. Dr. Karl Bosl of the
iv

University of Munich for his advice based upon years of involvement
with the issues of bavarian history. Dr. llcrniann-Joseph Busley,
Dr. Joseph Lauchs, and Dr. Hermann Rumschottel, all of the Bavarian
State Archives staff, helped me to chart a path through the maze of
sources related to my topic. Their assistance was, quite literally,
invaluable. I would also like to thank Dr. Martin Broszat for
permission to use the unmatched facilities of the Institut fur
Zeitgeschichte in Munich.
Personal friends, both in the United States and in Germany,
helped in a variety of ways: in Germany, Paul Hoser, Edita Marx,
and Sarah Westphal; in the United States, Tina Komaniecka, Rosemary
and Gary Brana-Shute, and Blair and Vicki Turner. In this context I
would also like to thank my parents for their encouragement and support
over many years.
My research in Germany was made possible by a Fulbright-Hays
grant in 1976-1977. I would like to thank Dr. Ulrich Littman and
Dr. Barbara Ischinger of the Fulbright Office in Bonn for their
assistance, which went far beyond the simple provision of financial
support. At other times during my graduate school years the Departments
of History and Humanities at the University of Florida provided
financial support.
My greatest debt is to my wife, Sandy, whose love, understanding,
and support has sustained me throughout the years of research and
writing. I had originally intended to dedicate this work to her, an
v

intention which reflects the depth of her contribution. Her contribu¬
tions, however, nrc ongoing; T will, T trust, have occasion in the
future to measure tliem in a dedication. The contributions of another,
however, have been stilled. I will never again have the occasion to
thank him for the many personal and professional kindnesses he showed
to me during my year in Munich, or to appropriately recognize his
influence upon my work. This work is therefore dedicated to the late
Prof. Dr. Thilo Vogelsang.
These individuals have helped make this a better work, and I am
deeply grateful to them all. In no way, however, should any of them
be held liable for the results of their assistance. The interpretations
are my own, and so are the errors they contain.
vi

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Pase
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv
ABSTRACT vii
INTRODUCTION
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936 1
Notes 12
CHAPTER 1
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN THE POHNER ERA, 1919-1921 13
Notes 55
CHAPTER 2
A CASE OF POLITICAL MURDER 62
Notes 104
CHAPTER 3
THE POLITICAL POLICE AND THE BEER HALL PUTSCH, 1921-1923 112
Notes 162
CHAPTER 4
THE EXPANSION OF THE POLITICAL POLICE SYSTEM, 1923-1930 169
Notes 215
CHAPTER 5
THE WAY TO THE GESTAPO, 1930-1936 223
Notes 280
CONCLUSIONS 288
BIBLIOGRAPHIC ESSAY 293
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 300
Archival Sources 300
Published Sources 316
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 323
vii

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936
By
James H. McGee, III
March 1980
Chairman: Charles F. Sidman
Major Department: History
This study examines the administrative, personal, and operational
history of the political police in the German State of Bavaria from
the end of the 1919 revolutions through the first years of the Third
Reich. It relates the Nazi political police organization, the Gestapo,
to one of its most important Weimar era predecessors. During the
Weimar years Bavaria was a focal point of political activity in Germany.
This was particularly true during the first years of the republic's
existence. The German radical right made Munich, the capital of
Bavaria, its headquarters in the period from 1919 to 1923. The
initial successes of the radical right were, in part, made possible
by the sympathetic attitude of the political police in Bavaria. After
the Nazi takeover in 1933, officers schooled in the Bavarian political
police formed an important part of the leadership cadre of the Gestapo.
Thus, the first theme of this work is the connection between the
Bavarian political police and the emergence of the powerful radical
\ iii

right-wing movement in Germany after the First World War. The second
theme is that of the tics between the political police as it existed
prior to 1933 and the post-1933 Nazi police state apparatus. It has
been argued that the changes in the Bavarian political police
instituted after the National Socialist takeover comprised a revolution
in political police organization and practice and that this revolution
formed the basis of the Nazi police state. The present study contends,
in contrast, that the changes introduced in Bavaria in 1933 and after
represented an extension and an intensification of tendencies within
the political police system which dated back to 1919. In other words,
the changes which took place were evolutionary, rather than revolu¬
tionary, and grew out of a pattern which predated the Nazi seizure of
power by many years. This study will also indicate how these two
main themes intersect, for the role of the political police in the
emergence of the radical right in Bavaria was related to the evolution
of the political police system both before and after 1933.
In a larger sense, this work is a case study in the evolution of
a bureaucratic agency within a particular historical framework. It is
meant not only as a contribution to the understanding of recent German
history, but also as a contribution to the study of bureaucracies.
It is a work of history, not social science, and is thus concerned
with the particular, the immediate, in some instances with the unique.
It makes no attempt to generalize systematically from the example of
the political police in Bavaria to other bureaucratic organizations,
ix

even other political police bureaucracies. It should, however, in
the company of other studies from different historical and geographical
settings, provide a basis for more meaningful generalizations. This
study suggests, from the example of the political police in Bavaria,
that the historical development of state bureaucracies is as much
governed by dynamics internal to the bureaucracy itself—in this
case the political beliefs of the police bureaucrats—as by
external events.
x

INTRODUCTION
THE POLITICAL POLICE FN BAVARIA, 1919-1936
This study examines the administrative, personal, and operational
history of the political police in the German state of Bavaria from
the end of the 1919 revolutions through the first years of the Third
Reich. It relates the Nazi political police organization, the Gestapo,
to one of its most important Weimar era predecessors. During the
Weimar years Bavaria was a focal point of political activity in
Germany. This was particularly true during the critical first years
of the republic's existence. The German radical right made Munich,
the capital of Bavaria, its headquarters in the period from 1919 to
1923. The Nazi party had its real beginnings in Munich, and Hitler
made his entry into politics there. The initial successes of the Nazi
movement in Bavaria were, in part, made possible by the sympathetic
attitude of the political police. After the Nazi takeover in 1933,
officers schooled in the Bavarian political police formed an important
part of the leadership cadre of the Gestapo; the head of the Gestapo,
Heinrich Muller, was only the most notable among many Bavarian political
policemen who built successful careers in the service of the Nazis.
The story of Nazism, from its birth amidst the hatreds of a defeated
nation to its death in battle against an aroused world, is central to
1

2
the history of the 20th Century. The story of the political police in
Bavaria, in turn, was a significant part of the larger drama of Nazism.
Thus, the first theme of this work is the study of the connnection
between the Bavarian political police and the emergence of the powerful
radical right-wing movement in Germany after the First World War. The
second theme is that of the ties between the political police as it
existed prior to 1933 and the post-1933 Nazi police state apparatus. It
has been argued that the changes in the Bavarian political police
instituted in the aftermath of the National Socialist takeover comprised
a revolution in political police organization and practice. This
revolution formed the basis of the Nazi police state.'*' The present
study will contend, in contrast, that the changes introduced in Bavaria
in 1933 and after represented an extension and an intensification of
tendencies within the political police system which dated back to 1919.
In other words, the changes which took place were evolutionary, rather
than revolutionary, and grew out of a pattern which predated the
Nazi seizure of power by many years. This study will also indicate
how these two main themes intersect, for the role of the political
police in the emergence of the radical right in Bavaria was not unrelated
to the later service of many political police officers in the Nazi regime.
In a larger sense, this work is a case study in the evolution of
a bureaucratic agency within a particular historical framework. It is
meant not only as a contribution to our understanding of recent German

3
history, but also as a contribution to the understanding of bureau¬
cracies. It is a work of history, not social science, and is thus
concerned with tlie particular, the immediate, in some instances with
the unique. It makes no attempt to generalize systematically from
the example of the political police in Bavaria to other bureaucratic
organizations, even other political police bureaucracies. It should,
however, in the company of other studies from different historical
and geographical settings, provide a basis for more meaningful
generalization.
The lack of such a basis is particularly evident in the realm
of the political police. By their very nature political police
institutions elude careful scholarly study. The standard synonym
for "political" police is "secret" police, and, in most societies,
the secrets of the political police are well-kept. Even long after
these secrets have passed from the sphere of current policy, they
customarily remain closely protected. For this reason, Germany in
the years prior to 1945 presents a special case and a rare opportunity
The circumstances which surrounded the collapse of the Third Reich
and the generally held desire for a reckoning with the Nazi experience
a desire evident within Germany as well as without—have combined to
make the records of the political police in Germany for this period
more accessible than those of any other modern nation. In virtually
no other case can one examine the operations of the political police
in a modern society from the inside, from its own records and secret

4
documents. Even in the case of Germany conditions are not ideal; many
important documents were destroyed or lost at the end of the Second
World War. What remains, however, is a collection of unparalleled
scope, more material., indeed, than any one scholar could absorb in a
2
lifetime. The extent of the available materials dictates the need
for a limited geographic and temporal focus. Studies which concentrate
upon the national level must, perforce, be limited in detail about
the pattern of specific developments. A regional study, however,
permits this kind of close analysis. Coupled with the intrinsic
historical importance of the political police in Bavaria during the
years in question, this practical consideration suggested the choice
of Bavaria as a case study.
The term "political police" admits of many definitions. In this
work, the political police will be viewed as the agency or agencies
specifically charged by the state with the surveillance of political
activity and the investigation and prosecution, as the executive arm
of the justice system, of political crime. As we shall see, the lines
between these specially constituted agencies and the regular, non¬
political police frequently become blurred when one moves away from
Tables of Organization and into actual operations. Is the patrolman
who intervenes to stop a fight between political gangs a political
policeman? Is the homicide detective who investigates a political
murder doing political police work? This study will concentrate upon

5
the political police as a special part of the overall police force,
but it will also lio attentive to these points of overlap. The political
police will be viewed as a police institution, not strictly as a
political a go n cy.
The study of the political police, nonetheless, is intimately
related to political questions. One cannot understand the nature of
political police work or the attitudes which shape the behavior of
political policemen in isolation from the political context in which
political police operations take place. This study is not meant as
a history of Bavarian politics during the years from 1919 to 1936,
but, at the same time, the basic narrative would make little sense if
divorced from a consideration of larger political events. An attempt
has therefore been made to integrate the story of the political police
into a broader narrative of political developments.
A second set of definitions arises from the need for a shorthand
form for separating the various contending political groups into
meaningful categories. For simplicity's sake I have adopted the form
customarily used by the Bavarian political police themselves, which
followed popular usage in placing the different parties and political
groups along the conventional left to right political continuum. The
middle point is represented by those groups loyal to the Weimar republic
and to the republican constitution. The extremes are defined by those
groups fundamentally and violently opposed to the republic's existence,

6
with their placement to the left or right dependent upon the actual
terms of their opposition. Figure 1 provides a schematic representation
of this pattern of placement. Parties and other political groups are
identified on this table by their standard designations. Their actual
political positions will be discussed, where necessary, in the text.
It should be noted that Figure 1 records tendencies and not fixed
positions. Party positions shifted from issue to issue, and individual
attitudes shifted within parties. Moreover, there was a regular slippage
from one party or group to another. Thus, an Independent Socialist
might become a Communist, or a member of the right-wing DNVP might slip
into the Nazi camp. This slippage usually took place between adjacent
parties. Still, the extremists always had their extremism in common,
which provided a basis for movement between the extreme right and left.
The term "fascism" is avoided throughout, on the grounds that
it generates more heat than light. The term "radical right" is used to
describe that varied collection of political groups, some nationalist,
some particularist, some reactionary, and some revolutionary, which were
united by a common hatred of the republic and of the political left.
Little consideration is given to the "liberal" parties, because these
parties in Bavaria were extremely weak after 1919 and did little to
influence the political environment. The two main parties in Bavaria
were the SPD and the BVP. These parties dominated the Bavarian political
landscape during the period 1919-1933, and were thus the parties which
did most in shaping the political context for political police operations.

Figure 1
The political structure in Bavaria

RADICAL LEFT
MODERATE LEFT
MIDDLE
MODERATE RIGHT
RADICAL RIGHT
SPD
DVP
DNVP
KPD
DDP
NS DAP
USPD
BVP
ZENTRUM
PATRIOTIC
ASSOCIATIONS
1. KPD—Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands—Communist Party of Germany
2. USPD—Unabhangige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands—Independent
Social Democratic Party of Germany
3. SPD—Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands—Social Democratic Party of
Germany
4. DDP—Deutsche Demokratische Partei—German Democratic Party
5. Zentrum—Center Party
6. DVP—Deutsche Volkspartei—German People's Party
7. BVP—Bayerische Volkspartei-Bavarian People's Party
8. DNVP—Deutschnationale Volkspartei-German Nationalist People's Party
(During the first years of its existence, the Bavarian branch of the
DNVP went by the name Bayerische Mittelpartei. To avoid confusion the
abbreviation DNVP will be used throughout.)
9. NSDAP—Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei—National
Socialist German Worker's Party, or Nazi Party
Patriotic Associations—see text
10

9
The structure of this study has been dictated by the need to
combine the basic narrative of political and organizational developments
affecting the political police system with a close examination of the
actual operations of the political police and the formative professional
experiences of political police personnel. Chapter 1 sets the political
scene in the spring of 1919, explains the basic organization of the
political police at that time, and carries the political and organi¬
zational narrative forward to the fall of 1921. Chapter 2 is a detailed
excursion into one of the special problems of the period 1919-1922,
the relationship of the political police to the phenomenon of political
murder in Bavaria. This chapter serves several distinct, but inter¬
related purposes. It provides a close look at the inner workings of
the political police organization during this early period; it highlights
the links between the political police and the worst features of
radical right-wing extremism; it introduces a subsidiary theme of the
work, the exploration of the process of "indirect police terror" as a
method of political repression. Most of all, it fixes firmly the
tendencies of professional and political conditioning experienced by
political police officers in Bavaria in the first years of the Weimar
republic. Chapter 3 advances the narrative through the year 1923,
relating the changes in the political police organization to the
momentous political events of that year. The chapter culminates with
the Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923. The events of the putsch

10
itself have been thoroughly discussed elsewhere, and thus the chapter
confines itself to the impact of the putsch upon the political police.
Chapter 4 outlines in detail the evolving political police organization
in Bavaria and explains through a consideration of illustrative examples
the workings of that organization after 1923. It parallels, in this
sense, Chapter 2 for the earlier period. If the examples considered
in Chapter 2 are lurid, then those in Chapter 4 are more mundane. The
combination of the lurid and the mundane, however, is characteristic
of political police activities, indeed, of all police work. In Chapter
2, I have endeavored to present the lurid aspects of political police
work with restraint, while at the same time making explicit the harsh
brutality of the era in political assassination. In Chapter 4, I
have tried to enliven the mundane without doing violence to the tenor
of much political police work. The concluding chapter, Chapter 5,
completes the narrative by relating the political police organization
of the Weimar years to its Nazi successors. The narrative concludes in
1936 with the formal integration of the Bavarian political police into
the national Gestapo system. My conclusions are summarized at the end
of the work. In addition to a formal bibliography and the running
historiographical commentary provided in the notes appended at the
end of each chapter, a bibliographic essay has been included as a
further guide to the sources upon which this work is based.

11
Many individual characters will pass through the following pages.
Two among them have been singled out for special attention, Ernst Pohner
and Benno Martin. The choice of Pohner reflects his importance in the
growth of the political police system in Bavaria and his imprint upon
its values and attitudes. Martin is presented as an example of the
contradictory qualitites of this system in the years after 1933.
The world has grown accustomed, perhaps too much so, to the political
police as a basic institution of the modern state. Liberal democratic
theorists have generally condemned the very existence of the political
police as destructive to the exercise of political freedom. Yet few
modern states, no matter how liberal or democratic their pretensions,
have been able to do without some form of political police. A study
of one such institution, bound to a particular historical setting, cannot
answer all of the questions which arise from a consideration of the
role of the political police in modern society. It can, however, suggest
refinements to these questions and lead to their more precise formulation.
It is hoped that this study will contribute to this process.

12
Notes
Shlomo Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Fruhgeschichte von
Gestapo nnd SD (Stuttgart, 1971), p. 9A.
2
“See the bibliographic essay for a more detailed discussion of
these sources.

CHAPTER 1
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN THE POHNER ERA, 1919-1921
In his blanket condemnation of
servants, Adolf Hitler allowed only
the Police President of Munich from
hand man, Wilhelm Frick. Of Pohner
the Weimar Republic's civil
two exceptions, Ernst Pohner,
1919 to 1921, and Pohner's right-
Hitler wrote:
Ernst Pohner . . . and Wilhelm Frick, his faithful
advisor, were the only high state officials who
had the courage to be first Germans and then
officials. Ernst Pohner was the only man in a
responsible position who did not curry favor with
the masses, but felt responsible to his nationality
and was ready to risk and sacrifice everything, even
if necessary his personal existence, for the
resurrection of the German people whom he loved
above all things.^
Hitler’s words were not the only tribute paid by the Nazis to Ernst
Pohner. The party provided the honor guard at Pohner's funeral on
2
April 16, 1925. Two and one-half years later, on the occasion of the
transfer of Pohner's body to a new resting place, the leading figures
of the Nazi movement appeared to pay their further respects. At the
climax of the ceremony Adolf Hitler delivered a speech in which he
echoed the lavish praise bestowed upon Pohner in Mein Kampf. In a
ringing peroration Hitler declared: "Pohner sought the creation of a
3
nation of brothers, in order to smash the chains which bound us."

14
Hitler's extravagance may well have been a product of the propa¬
ganda opportunities offered by the occasion, hut the debt which the
Naxi movement owed Pointer was real. As Police President, Pointer extended
a "sheltering hand" to protect the activities of the nascent Nazi
4
movement. In doing so he ensured its survival and gave it an oppor¬
tunity for future growth. This passive image, however, does little
to convey the full dimensions of Pohner's commitment to both the radical
right in general and the Nazis in particular. As a key figure in
Bavarian politics during the post-war period, Pohner actively aided the
volkisch movement and occupied a central position in its highest
councils. At the time of the Beer Hall Putsch he threw in his lot
with Hitler, and after its failure stood trial alongside him. But
Pohner's contribution did not stop there. In shaping the post-war
Bavarian political police, he influenced both the spirit and the struc¬
ture of that institution and of its successor, the Gestapo.
Ernst Pohner was born on January 11, 1870, in the small north¬
eastern Bavarian city of Hof. After the traditional legal training
he entered the civil service, and rose through the ranks to a senior
judicial position.^ The Germany of Pohner's youth and early manhood
was undergoing rapid and dramatic changes. Contemporaries frequently
identified the acceleration of economic growth and social changes with
the unificiation of 1870. In reality it was much more the other way
around, for the process of economic and social transformation had begun

15
much earlier and had contributed materially to the drive for political
unification. The years after 1870 were years of pride and of national
sel f-a.ssert ion .
for Bavarians of I’ohner's generation, however, the unification of
Germany produced a certain ambivalence. The preceding generation could
grow old and remain comfortably unequivocal in its hostility to a
Prussian-dominated German Reichâ–  The following generation would
combine local pride with an acceptance of the Reich as part of the
natural order of things. Pohner's generation, however, faced in two
directions at once. While partaking of the general pride in things
German which was characteristic of the era, its members could not
help but know that Bavaria was different—German, and yet, something
both more and less than German.
During the years before the First World War, Bavaria changed along
with the nation as a whole, but at a slower pace. As Germany became
a nation of "smokestack" barons and industrial laborers, Bavaria
remained predominantly agrarian. In 1907 46.3% of those employed
in Bavaria worked in agriculture or in forestry; only 26.1% worked
in industry. As late as 1925 the figure for employment on the land
in Bavaria was 43.8%, in contrast to an average for Germany as a
whole of 30.5%. Moreover, the industries which did exist in Bavaria
tended to be smaller in scale or more traditional in structure than
in the rest of Germany. In 1907 36.6% of those Bavarians employed in
industry worked in large businesses, 24.8% in medium-sized businesses,

16
and 38.6% in small businesses; the comparable figures for the nation
as a whole were 45.5%, 25.0'%, and 29.5%.^ Urbanization similarly lagged.
Although Munich and Nuremberg experienced substantial growth in the
two decades prior to the First World War, neither city witnessed the
population explosion which transformed Berlin and the cities of the
Ruhr. As Germany leaped headlong into the 20th Century, Bavaria ambled
comfortably out of the 19th.
Different political and social attitudes accompanied these struc¬
tural differences. Bavarians tended to be more conservative than other
Germans. Bavarian Social Democracy, which had become a significant
political force by the turn of the century, had its own highly distinc¬
tive "white-blue" cast. Remarking upon this in 1903, August Bebel
described Munich as the "Capua of German Social Democracy," and
expressed his fear for the political soul of any Social Democrat who
went wandering in the land of the beer mugs.^ The role and influence
of the Catholic church further helped to maintain the distance between
Bavaria and the Protestant north. In short, Bavaria remained an entity
in many ways unto itself, and Bavarians of the pre-war generation grew
up with a sense of "otherness" to conflict with their sense of being
German. This attitude had a vital impact on politics in Bavaria in the
years to follow.
*The preceding discussion does not take into account local vari¬
ations within Bavaria. Some areas, particularly in Franconia, departed
from this pattern. In the very special case of the Rhenish Palatinate
these variations were substantial. Such variations will be discussed
in greater detail as they bear on the narrative.

17
With the outbreak of war in 1914, Ernst Pohner joined in the
general rush to the eolors, accepting a commission as an infantry officer,
lie successively commanded a company, a battalion, and a regiment.
As was the case for many Bavarians who saw military service, Pohner
found that the shared experience of front-line action brought him
closer to Germans from other regions. Similarly, the mobilization of
resources on the home front brought economic and social conditions
in Bavaria more closely into line with those prevalent throughout the
rest of Germany. The pace of industrialization accelerated in the
leading cities of Bavaria. Munich's pre-war industry, heavily
oriented toward the production of specialty items for the export
market, underwent a severe dislocation at the war's outbreak. This
soon gave way, however, to the growth which accompanied the establish¬
ment of heavy industries for war production. The growth of war
industry, in turn, brought to Munich a steady flow of skilled workers
from the north, altering both the social and political make-up of
9
the city's population. Even before the war the pace of industrial¬
ization in Nuremberg had been high, more comparable, indeed, to that
of cities in other states than to those of Bavaria. The war reinforced
this tendency, confirming Nuremberg's place among the leading industrial
cities of Germany. The other major cities in Bavaria all followed,
in broad outline, this overall pattern.^ But if the war brought
Bavaria more closely into step with the rest of Germany, the revolutions
of November 1918 and the months of upheaval which followed badly
disturbed the rhythm of the march.

18
On the afternoon of November 7, 1918, a large crowd assembled on
Munich's Thcresienwicse, the meadow-park just south of the city's center.
The crowd had gathered to demonstrate for peace. By evening the demon¬
stration had grown into a revolt, and by the following morning the
revolution was an accomplished fact. King Ludwig III had disappeared
into the night, and the state authority had been taken into the unlikely
hands of Kurt Eisner, the leader of the Independent Social Democratic
Party (USPD) in Bavaria. Working in ill-fitting harness with the
Majority Social Democrats (SPD) under the leadership of Erhard Auer,
k
Eisner sought to establish a republic in Bavaria. The initial
transformation had taken place with a minimum of bloodshed. The state
bureaucracy placed itself, however grudgingly, at the service of the
new regime. Amidst the echoes of change emanating from every corner
of Germany, Eisner, Auer, and their respective followers set out to
12
mold the old Bavaria in a new image.
From the perspective of years the subsequent tale assumes the
dimensions of tragedy. Eisner's support had been based upon widespread
unity on a single issue—the desire for peace. With the Armistice this
unity dissolved, and the old party structures of Bavarian politics
re-emerged to test the changed political conditions. By mid-January it
had become apparent that Eisner was a leader without followers. The
state parliamentary elections held on January 12 demonstrated that
real popular support rested with Auer's SPD and with the Bavarian
*These two socialist factions issued from the 1917 split in the
German Social Democratic Party.

19
People's Party (BVP), the reconstituted Bavarian branch of the Center
13
Party. These parties had dominated state politics since the beginning
of the century, and seemed ready to resume their old roles in the new
republican setting. With the Landtag elections over, the prospects for
an early return to business as usual, the moderate Right against the
moderate Left, were encouraging. And then disaster struck.
On the morning of February 21, 1919, as Kurt Eisner was making
his way to the Landtag to announce his resignation, he was assassinated
by Count Anton Arco-Valley. An hour later a partisan of Eisner strode
into the parliament building and shot down Ernard Auer, leaving him
seriously wounded. The motives which led Arco-Valley to the murder of
Eisner have never been revealed. Certainly, he was in no way a
supporter of Auer and the Social Democrats; the shots of revenge which
took Auer out of politics for almost two years were aimed in the
wrong direction.
If the causes of the crime remained unclear, its effects were
only too easy to see. On the eve of the assassination a coalition
cabinet headed by Auer and the Social Democrats was ready to assume
power, with the BVP as its principal opposition. For these parties
the revolution had only served to confirm the process of reform which
had been brought to fruition in the last days of the monarchy. But
Auer's wounds deprived this coalition of an effective and moderate
leader, one who could have held his own forces together while dealing

20
reasonably with the conservative opposition. And Eisner's martyrdom
rejuvenated the radical Left, destroying all hope for a speedy return
to normality. The first attempts to form a government after the
assassination ended in failure. Auer's successor, Johannes Hoffmann,
14
finally assumed the leadership of an SPD-dominated cabinet on March 19.
By then it was too late.
The assassination of Eisner had worked as a solvent upon the
political consensus, such as it was, in Bavaria. The Hoffmann
government found itself caught between the advance of radicalism on
both the right and the left. The first round in the struggle went to
the radical Left. No longer able to maintain itself in Munich, the
Hoffmann government decamped on April 7, eventually coming to rest in
the northern Bavarian city of Bamberg. Authority in Munich was assumed
successively by two councils, the first led by an ill-assorted collection
of Independent Socialists and anarchists, the second by the Communists.
For the month of April Munich was ruled by these "Soviets" (the German
word Rate, for "councils," was adopted in direct emulation of the
Russian model).^
Outside Munich, and particularly to the north, conservative forces,
army and Free Corps, gathered to overthrow the Communist regime in
Munich. Although nominally the agents of the Hoffmann government, they
were much more its masters, the sole possessors of effective power. ^
The contestants in the struggle for power, the radical Left and the
radical Right moved to center stage, reducing the duly-constituted
Hoffmann government to a spectator's role.

21
By the end of April the feeble Red forces had been pressed back
into the environs of Munich itself. At this moment, with their backs
to the wall, elements of the "Red Army" executed ten hostages. Some
of the hostages were members of the right rad teaL Thule Society; others
appeared to have been selected almost at random. None of the ten,
however, had done anything to earn so terrible a retribution. With
one gratuitous act, the leftist defenders of Munich had opened the
floodgates of violence. The aroused White forces poured into the city
on May 1, bent upon the eradication of the Bavarian Soviet Republic
and its supporters—in the most literal sense imaginable. The hardened
Free Corps and army troops coursed through the streets of the city,
shooting anyone who appeared even remotely suspicious. The orgy of
execution did not stop until May 7, when it was discovered that the
White forces had mistakenly murdered a group of 21 Catholic schoolboys.
These schoolboys were by no means the only innocents who fell before the
guns. Before this first wave of killing had come to an end over six
hundred individuals had been slain, many of them individuals with
no connection to the "Red Army" or the Soviet Republic.^ The revolution
which had begun so peacefully six months before had ended in a blood
bath; "order" had returned to Bavaria.
The events of April and May 1919 set the tone of Bavarian
politics in the years to follow. A rightward tendency had already
become evident during the war years; the Soviet episode and its

22
traumatic consequences brought this tendency into the political
mainstream. Although the most salient horrors of the period had been
committed by the White "liberators" of Munich, responsibility for the
tragedy was laid by most Bavarians at the feet of the leftist parties.
Little distinction would be made between the actual adherents of the
Soviet Republic and other leftists, including those moderate Social
Democrats who had actively opposed the Soviet excesses. Such distinc¬
tions were too fine for the popular mood. In the aftermath of
revolution Bavaria became the center of counter-revolutionary
radicalism in Germany and the focal point around which hostility to
the new republic would gather. The moderate Hoffmann government would
remain in office for almost another year, but real power would reside
in the military and paramilitary forces and the political organizations
of the moderate and radical right. These groups would determine the
course of Bavarian politics for the next four years, and their
influence would be felt for many years thereafter. The lodestar in
the new Bavarian political constellation would be fear and hatred of
Marxism, of all forms of international socialism, and of republicanism,
along with a festering anti-Semitism—several leaders of the Soviet
Republic had been Jewish. In short, the dominant attitude in Bavarian
politics after 1919 would be hostility to the revolution in all of its
18
political and social manifestations.
At this moment, when "order" headed the list of Bavarian political
desiderata, Ernst Pohner stepped to the center of the political stage.

23
Returning from military service to a world turned topsy-turvy by
revolution, Pohner's reaction had been one of rage. He despised
those officials who continued to serve under the Eisner regime. Yet,
ironically, Pohner soon found himself in the same position as the
director of Munich's Stadelheim prison—a position he would hold
from January 10, 1919 until the demise of the Soviet Republic. One
may accept Pohner's claim that he assumed the post only at the behest
of a trusted old friend and civil service superior, as well as his
claim to have carried out his duties in a spirit of defiance to the
party in power. But Pohner's ability to advance such justifications
for himself, while denying their validity for others, offered an
insight into the character of the man. Pohner, at age forty-nine,
was a man of imposing stature and austere coutenance, of formidable
intelligence, iron will, and unquestioned personal courage. He was
also politically single-minded to the point of self-righteousness,
doggedly anti-Marxist, and virulently anti-Semitic. These qualities
commended Pohner to the military authorities in charge of liquidating
the Soviet Republic and led them to appoint him to head the Polizei-
19
direktion München (the Munich police force, hereafter PDM).
On May 5, 1919 Pohner took up his position as Police President.
In so doing he attained control over the most important police agency
in the entire state and an impressive base of personal political power.
The PDM originated in the first decades of the 19th Century, but only

24
began to assume its modern structure toward the end of that century.
Prior to 1861 the PDM consisted of little more than an urban gendarmerie.
Only a tiny "Security Bureau" performed the specialized detection
and intelligence functions of a modern police organization. In 1867
this office still had fewer than a dozen personnel. Expansion and
successive internal reorganizations in 1873, 1879, and 1896 established
the general organizational patterns which would dominate into the Weimar
era. These patterns were set in the table of organization of September
20
1, 1913, which remained in effect, with amendments, until 1932. In
assessing the dimensions of Pohner's new domain, this 1913 table of
organization deserved careful attention.
The 1913 decree called for the subdivision of the PDM into eight
*
departments. Department I was the Kriminalpolizei, the criminal
detective squad. Its primary task was the investigation of murder,
robbery, and other crimes against persons and property. Department II
supervised a variety of internal administrative tasks, including the
operation of the police lock-up. It was also charged with the control
of male beggars and vagrants. Department III dealt with morals
offenses and juvenile delinquency, an administrative unity common in
European police practice. Its responsibilities included the supervision
and control of female beggars and vagrants, of prostitutes and pimps,
and of homosexuals. It was also concerned with the location and return
*The term used in the 1913 table of organization is Referat; the
term Abteilung was substituted later. In both instances the best English
equivalent equivalent is "department," which will be used throughout.

25
of missing children and runaways, with combatting the traffic in
children and other forms of white slavery, and with all other police
matters relating to minors. Department TV had as its primary task
the maintenance of records, including the registration of addresses
(again in accordance with normal Continental practice whereby all
residents must register their address and all changes of address with
the police), the provision of passports, and the supervision of
resident aliens and tourists. Health and medical matters, including
the collection and transport of corpses, were handled by Department V.
Department VII dealt with traffic, building permits, and other
miscellaneous chores. Department VIII was the Schutzmannschaft, the
21
body of uniformed patrolmen. Department VI was the political police.
The tasks of the political police, as defined by the 1913 decree,
were threefold: the observation of political activity, the administrative
control of this activity, and the investigation of crimes of a political
nature. Specific assignments included the observation and control of
the press, or demonstrations and public gatherings and of the theaters
(in conjunction with other departments); the control of political
activity among resident aliens, of strikes (in the 1913 decree these
were still termed "worker revolts") and of lockouts; counter-espionage
in cooperation with the military authorities; and the investigation of
treason cases. During the First World War and the years following,
tasks were added to the list: the supervision of the Border Police,

26
undercover surveillance of rail and air passengers, desertion, and
the police radio service, which connected the POM with other police
22
agencies in Bavaria and the other German states.
To facilitate the performance of its mission, PDM VI was sub¬
divided into five Dienststellen, indentified by the letters a, b, c, d,
and N. The various duties of the department were apportioned among
the five Dienststellen (hereafter "desks," the closest equivalent in
standard English or American police usage). Desk Via provided the
headquarters staff for the entire department, coordinated the work of
the political police with the other departments of the PDM and with
other police agencies, and carried out the actual investigation of
political crimes, in all cases save espionage, the special province of
the counterespionage police of Desk VIb. Desk Vic performed the more
mundane function of administrating the various regulations governing
the press. Perhaps appropriately, the activities of this desk consisted
largely of routine paperwork. Desk VId maintained the register of
political parties and organizations—all such groups had to be registered
in conformance with statute law. It supervised public and private
political gatherings and controlled all political demonstrations.
Under this heading it also concerned itself with those cultural, economic,
and business organizations whose activities had a political dimension.
The fifth desk, VI/N, was a creation of the Pohner era. VI/N was the
*The use of lower-case letters for the first four and an upper-case for
the fifth follows the standard practice at the PDM for the period
1919-1932.

27
political intelligence service, charged with the overt and covert
observation of the radical political movements and with the preparation
23
of regular reports concerning the activities of these movements.
Under lite leadership of the Police President, his principal
subordinate, the Police Director, and the presidial staff, the eight
main departments of the PDM performed the primary police functions
within the city of Munich. But the role of the PDM was not limited
to Munich alone. Although its formal position remained that of a simple
municipal agency until 1933, theoretically in no way superior to any
other such agency in Bavaria, in practice it had already by 1913 begun
to acquire the status of a central coordinating office for police
matters throughout the state. In 1899 it had become the central office
for the surveillance of gypsies. In 1911 it became the state-wide
collection center for fingerprints. A 1912 decree gave the PDM similar
responsibility in the area of counterfeiting. The most important of
these measures, however, came in 1904, with a decree establishing the
PDM as the Bavarian central office for counterespionage activities, a
step presaging the extension of the PDM's political police role through-
, . 24
out the entire state.
The outbreak of the First World War lent a special significance
to the counterespionage mission, and helped accustom Bavarian authorities
at every level to the extraordinary position of the PDM. In wartime
the tasks of the counterespionage officers of PDM VIb were many and
<*

28
varied. Working alongside the counterespionage section of military
intelligence, the central office devised strategems to expose the
operations of Entente spies and saboteurs. It served as a clearing¬
house for counterespionage information, and coordinated the efforts
of police agencies in every part of the state. Finally, as the
war dragged on and war weariness increased, the central office
received orders to investigate the leakage of government documents
whose publication might harm public morale, lead to political disorders,
or diminish Germany's image in the eyes of neutrals. The measures
undertaken by PDM VIb pursuant to this order established an important
precedent for the use of the counterespionage central office as the
executor of explicitly political tasks. This precedent would contribute
materially to the postwar expansion of the PDM's political police
i • u 25
role m other areas.
The importance of the office of Police President found its
basis in developments such as this. Ernst Pohner was well aware of
the potential power of his new position. But before this potential
could be fully realized, a purging and rebuilding operation would
have to take place. If the war had strengthened the powers of the
Munich police, it had also weakened it in terms of personnel, as
scores of experienced officers were drawn away into military service.
The successive regimes of the revolutionary period had further weakened
the PDM, by introducing politically undesirable officers. The political

29
police had suffered a particularly heavy blow during the last days of
the Soviet Republic. As the White forces pressed to the outskirts
of Munich, the police headquarters building was torn inside out, at
least partially in an effort by the Soviet authorities—insofar as
authority can be said to have existed in this final stage of collapse—
to destroy or disorder the personal files accumulated over a score
2 6
of years by the political police. Pohner took immediate steps to
put his new house in order. The destruction within the headquarters
building was repaired, and the police files were laboriously
reconstituted. Officers suspected of too-ready collaboration with
the revolutionary regimes—including, ironically, the regime of
Johannes Hoffmann, still nominally the ruling government in Bavaria—
were removed from their posts. Pohner moved quickly to fill key
administrative positions with politically reliable and experienced
civil servants. He gave particular attention to his choice of an
officer to head Department VI—the leader of the political police,
27
after all, would be his most important single subordinate. Within
a week of assuming office he entrusted this post to Dr. Wilhelm Frick.
Frick, like Pohner, had come up through the ranks of the royal
civil service. From 1907 to 1917 Frick had been a county assessor
(Bezirksamtsassessor) in the town of Pirmasens. In 1917 he was trans¬
ferred to the PDM to head the War Profiteering Office. He stayed at
the PDM throughout the remainder of the war and during the revolutionary
period which followed. Frick, nonetheless, made little secret of his

30
hostility to the revolution, and thus earned the enmity of the
revolutionary authorities—a powerful endorsement in Pohncr's eyes.
The. two men soon found that they had much else in common. Both were
ambitious. Both shared the. same political views. Later, when Frick
had become a leading Nazi and Hitler's Minister of the Interior, he
would be satirically described as the "Royal Bavarian Nazi," a
characterization which captured the combination of traditional
conservativism and counterrevolutionary radicalism exemplified by Frick
and Pohner. Together these two men would shape the political department
2 8
of the PDM in their own image.
Even as the rehabilitation of the PDM continued, Pohner and Frick
joined the military in eliminating the last vestiges of the Soviet
Republic. With the passing of the first week of May, wholesale and
often indiscriminate massacre gave place to a more systematic process
of suppression. Department VI of the PDM, working alongside a
specially created political police section of the military headquarters
staff, undertook the job of sifting through the mountains of denunciatory
letters, identifying and locating those adherents of the Soviet Republic
still at large, and coordinating the work of the soldiers and policemen
who made the actual arrests. Serving as liaison officer between the
military headquarters and the PDM was a pre-war member of the Munich
political police, Dr. Christian Roth—the first of his many appearances
in the role of ally to Pohner and Frick. The flood of arrests proceeded
apace. The number of prisoners taken into custody far exceeded the

31
capacity of Munich's jails and prisons, and not even the highly summary
course of justice could move rapidly enough to reduce the overcrowded
conditions. Temporary prisons were erected in schools and other
public buildings. The treatment of prisoners was at best callous and
frequently viciously brutal. When room could no longer be found in
Munich, prisoners were transported to the city of Ingolstadt, a
garrison town some fifty miles away. Still the denunciations, house
searches, and arrests continued, abating only gradually during the month
29
of June. Finally, by the end of the summer, the new regime had
firmly established itself. The Hoffmann government returned from
Bamberg to Munich; the real masters in Bavaria would tolerate its
existence for yet a while longer.
In looking back to the events of the summer of 1919, Wilhelm
Frick took particular pride in two of the PDM's accomplishments. One
was, of course, its contribution to cleansing Munich of undesirable
30
political elements. The other was the creation of the fifth desk
within Department VI, the political intelligence service. This desk,
created in response to the needs of the summer, had proved its worth.
With it, Frick expressed confidence in his ability to prevent the
31
recurrence of another Soviet episode. For his own part, Pohner
professed himself highly pleased with the performance of Frick and his
political policemen. In a year-end report to the Bavarian Ministry of
Interior, Pohner expressed his pride in the work of the political police
and his confidence that this organization would continue to grow in
32
significance.

32
This confidence was scarcely misplaced. Before such growth could
occur, however, certain obstacles had to be removed. The suppression
of the Soviet Republic had spawned a welter of political information
services in Munich and other parts of Bavaria. Allies though these
agencies might be in the struggle against the Left, they were frequently
bitter rivals in the bureaucratic struggle for authority. To understand
this struggle, one must first of all understand something of the
competitors and of the bureaucratic field on which the game was played.
Although Bavarian officials made much of the federalist idea in
their dealings with the national government, authority within Bavaria
itself was highly centralized. The people elected the Landtag or state
parliament; the Landtag selected the governing ministry. This cabinet,
in turn, stood at the head of an extensive administrative bureaucracy,
which conducted the actual business of governing. The most important
agency of internal administration was the Ministry of the Interior,
which stood at the apex of the bureaucratic pyramid. The intermediate
administrative unit was the province (Regierungsbezirk), at whose head
stood an appointive provincial president; Bavaria was divided into eight
such provinces. At the base of the pyramid were the Bezirksamter, the
offices which administered the smallest unit of governmental authority,
roughly equivalent to an American county. The larger cities stood to
one side of this administrative pyramid, with their own elective
municipal governments and their own police forces (rural areas were
policed by the gendarmerie, a state agency which for executive purposes

33
was normally controlled from the county offices). Final authority in
internal security matters, however, rested with the Ministry of the
Interior and, ultimately, with the cabinet. The Ministry of the Interior
could assume control of the municipal police forces during a state of
emergency by appointing a special commissioner for this purpose.
Similar emergency powers could be vested in the provincial presidents.
Although the PDM's position conformed outwardly to this overall pattern,
its special relationship to the Ministry of the Interior was assured
through its assigned central office functions and the practice of
33
designating the Police President as a special commissioner.
Each of the above mentioned agencies performed certain political
police functions. In addition to their regular duties, the gendarmerie
stations in the countryside were responsible for observing political
activities in their area and reporting on such activities to the
respective county offices. Each county office had a political officer
(in the smaller offices, of course, this duty might be one of several
performed by a single official), who reported, in turn, to the political
officer in the provincial presidium. Each of the presidia prepared
fortnightly reports on the political situation in the province for
the Ministry of the Interior. These fortnightly reports were
customarily general situation reports—in a sense, a form of public
opinion research. Only rarely did they draw upon covert sources. Still,
such basic research was an indispensable component of political police
34
operations.

34
The various municipal police agencies also possessed political
police sections, whose functions on the municipal level paralleled
those already outlined for the PDM. In theory, the political police
in the cities were responsible to the elected city governments;
outside of Munich, practice corresponded with theory. After 1919,
however, the Interior Ministry would use the device of the special
commissioner to remove the political police from the control of a
city council whose politics differed from that of the state government.
The most noteworthy example of this practice occurred in Nuremberg
35
in 1920. In the case of Munich, Police President Pohner rarely
recognized any power higher than himself, and never the power of the
3 6
left-leaning city government. His successors, while more willing
to acknowledge their dual responsibility to city and state, also tended
to exploit the special status of the PDM to retain their independence
vis-a-vis the city authorities—easy to do since the police section of
37
the Ministry of the Interior preferred this arrangement.
Other state agencies, the armed forces, and a variety of private
and semi-private groups also conducted political police operations.
The first of these agencies was the Polizeistelle Nordbavern ("Police
Office for Northern Bavaria," hereafter PSNB). The flight of the
Landtag and the Hoffmann cabinet from Munich to Bamberg had created
special police problems in that city. The security of the state
government itself had to be assured. Having, in effect, been evicted
from its own capital, with its hold on state authority tenuous at best,

35
the government wanted to avoid being caught by another revolution. Cut
off from the PDM, the Ministry of the Interior set about the task of
creating a temporary replacement in Bamberg. Thus, a special political
police section was established within the Ministry, charged with
overseeing the actual physical security of the government, with
the surveillance of the political situation in the Bamberg area, and,
most important of all, with anticipating any further revolutionary
38
disturbances. During the government's Bamberg exile, these tasks
were successfully performed.
Plans for the government's return to Munich on August 15, however,
raised the question of the office's continued existence. After a series
of discussions during the month of July, a special commission appointed
by the Interior Minister recommended the authorization of a permanent
state police office in Bamberg, to carry on the work of the police
39
section. The arguments advanced by the commission revealed much about
the government's current conception of the political police mission.
The report first called attention to the circumstances which had led
to the government's transfer to Bamberg, and expressed concern for the
possibility of yet another leftist uprising in Munich. With this fear
before them, the commission's members suggested that the government
should take special care to ensure the continued availability of
Bamberg as a place of refuge. The report concluded that the existing
police agencies in northern Bavaria were unsuited to the task of
controlling the activities of left-wing radicals in the region. A secret

36
police intelligence service, capable of operating throughout the area
and of coordinating the information from city, county, and military
sources, could better fill this need. For administrative purposes this
40
office would be regarded as a branch of the PDM. The Ministry of the
Interior concurred in the commission's findings, and on September 13 the
41
PSNB was officially established by ministerial decree. Within two
months the new office was producing regular weekly reports on the
activities of the radical movements in northern Bavaria. These reports
were circulated to the PDM, the police referent in the Ministry of the
Interior, Josef Zetlmeier, and the military staffs in Munich and Nuremberg.
Although professionally objective in tone, the reports reflected in
42
content the government s predominant concern with the revolutionary Left.
Yet another state agency maintained a political police service,
the state Polizeiwehr, reorganized some months after its creation in
1919 and renamed Landespolizei. The Landespolizei, or LaPo as it was
usually called, was organized along military lines in companies,
battalions, and regiments, and equipped with military small arms and
machine guns. Its primary purpose was the preservation of public
order, and it was specifically viewed as the state's main line of defense
against armed insurrection. In pursuit of this mission the LaPo built
its own intelligence service, which operated both internally, as a
check against political subversion within the ranks of the LaPo, and
43
in the community at large through its own network of informers.

37
Military endeavors in this field grew out of the army's deployment
in this suppression of the Soviet Republic. The existing intelligence
staffs merely redirected their efforts toward a new enemy. Later,
special sections for political police purposes were attached to the
General Staff of Army Group 4 in Munich and the staff of the 24th
Brigade in Nuremberg. These sections, too, combined an interest in
the threat of subversion within the ranks with activities directed at
the civilian community. They contributed still another set of weekly
situation reports to the already extensive list, reports based upon
44
the information supplied by yet one more string of agents.
Were this not enough, the Civic Guard, a semi-official militia
of distinctly right-wing orientation, added more agents and more reports.
This boom market in political intelligence was further served by a
variety of private entrepreneurs, such as the Wirtschaftspolitische
Nachrichtenstelle Tank (Economic and Political Information Service Tank).
"Tank," as it was usually called, supplied economic and political
intelligence to the political section at Army Group 4 headquarters, which
then distributed copies to the PDM and other state agencies. Although
"Tank" prepared conventional situation reports, it was unique in that
it also allowed the circulation of the actual agents' reports, a
noteworthy lapse from accepted professional standards. These agent
reports allowed an outsider a glimpse at the underworld of political
46
police operations, the world of the paid informer.
45

38
"Tank" began its work in June 1919; its reports, in a sense,
may be viewed as a more ordered continuation of the wave of political
denunciations in May. Some of the reports were simply sordid stories
of betrayal. Others were dull and inconsequential. Occasionally, a
"Tank" report would be ludicrous to the point of black humor. A July
1919 report chronicled the actions of an agent in Munich's Schwabing
district, then renowned as the home of the city's artists and literati.
The denizens of this district were regarded with deep suspicion by
the conservative officers and civil servants in power, a fact that the
agent apparently chose to exploit. After much cloak and dagger
derring-do, lovingly chronicled in the agent's report, the agent
concluded that he had uncovered three "undoubted members of the
Bolshevik elite." The evidence he managed to produce in this report,
however, admitted of a variety of alternative conclusions, ranging
from the possibility that the three men were simply army officers in
mufti, out for a night on the town, to the equally likely conclusion
that they were agents of one of the other political intelligence services.
Certainly, with the number of agents and informers being run by various
groups at this time, the odds in favor of their tripping over one another
47
were great.
Not surprisingly, the professional political policemen viewed the
work of "Tank" with considerable skepticism, and sometimes outright
contempt. One generously observed that the reports had, at first, been
useful, but had quickly deteriorated in quality; another officer dismissed

39
them as "not to be taken seriously." A third political policeman
saw the "Tank" reports as symptomatic of a larger problem, the growing
traffic in agents' reports, a traffic fed by the venality of many
49
informers ¿md the competition among the intelligence agencies.
Informers would sell the same information to more than one agency,
or milk their controlling officer with reports conjured out of thin
air. Worse, the plethora of competing intelligence services meant
that no secrets were safe—including the secrets of these services
themselves.
Political intelligence flowed from too many sources and was of
too varied quality and reliability. Systematic evaluation of
material and the careful coordination of action suffered as well.
Finally, the responsible authorities could not count upon the timely
receipt of the kind of information upon which decision could be made.
In the aftermath of the revolutionary upheaval, when too many tasks
claimed attention, no steps were taken to rectify this problem. But
ongoing crisis and fear kept perceptions of the need for a more central¬
ized political police network alive.
One of Police President Pohner's preoccupations during this phase
was the elimination of the Social Democrats from the government of
Bavaria. The continuation of the Hoffmann government at the head of a
state whose actual policies were determined by anti-socialist officers
and civil servants was, for Pohner and his compatriots, an anomaly
which cried out for removal. After months of behind-the-scenes

40
machination, the Kapp putsch provided the occasion for a move against
the remaining symbol of the November revolution. The attempt by
monarchist-conservative elements to overthrow the republican government
in Berlin foundered on the rock of a general strike Led by the republic's
defenders. This strike, so effective in routing the Kapp conspirators
in the north, had precisely the reverse effect in Munich. Under pressure
from Pohner and Gustav von Kahr, the Provincial President of Upper
Bavaria, the army leadership delivered a vote of no confidence to
Hoffmann, claiming that it could no longer be responsible for security
and order so long as his government remained in office. Hoffmann
bowed to this representation and resigned from office. With the support
of Pohner, the Civic Guard, and the eminence grise of the BVP,
Dr. Georg Heim, Kahr became the new Minister President of Bavaria.
This step ushered in a new era in Bavarian politics, an era frequently
identified through its two leading political figures—the Kahr-Pohner
50
era.
In the midst of his involvement with high politics, Pohner did not
forget about the political police—quite the contrary. He recognized
fully their importance to his own power position. Writing on April 5,
1920,to the Ministry of the Interior, he commended the staff of the
PDM's political department for its outstanding performance during the
Kapp putsch. The precise nature of this "outstanding performance" was
unspecified in Pohner's commendation, although Pohner's own activities
at the time might suggest that it had to do with the overthrow of the

41
Hoffmann cabinet. That Pohner attached a special value to the contri¬
bution of Department VT, however, was beyond question, for his
commendation was accompanied by a request to the Ministry for extra
funds with which to reward his political policemen.
Having established himself more firmly at the center of power,
Pohner could devote more attention to putting right the problems which
beset the political intelligence service. These problems, evidently,
had not receded with the consolidation of the new regime. On October
18, 1920 Wilhelm Frick circulated a letter on the subject to his
counterparts in the provincial presidia and at the PSNB. In it he
raised the issue of reorganizing the political intelligence services
in Bavaria, and issued an invitation to a meeting on this subject to be
52
hosted by the PDM. Six weeks later, on December 7, Pohner convened
this meeting in the library of the PDM. Gathered under conditions of
tight security were representatives of the provincial governments, the
LaPo, the PSNB, and the PDM's Department VI.
Pohner opened the meeting with a few remarks concerning the weak¬
nesses in the existing system of gathering and evaluating political
information. The present structure, in his view, could not supply the
necessary information when and where it was needed. He proposed
substantial changes, the details of which would be explained by his
aide, Frick. With a reminder that the proposal about to be presented
was highly confidential, he yielded the floor to Frick. After a short
historical summary, in which he laid the blame for the revolutionary

42
disturbances of 1918-1919 upon the lack of effective political
surveillance, Frick turned to a discussion of the contemporary situation.
The PDM had already consolidated its own efforts under Desk VT/N.
This, however, had not solved the main problem—too many agencies had
their fingers in the intelligence pie. Until the duplication of effort
had been eliminated, the quality of the political intelligence product
could not be improved. The military, in particular, had caused
problems through its invasion of the civilian sphere of responsibility.
In the future military operations would have to be confined to the
control of subversion within the ranks. This measure by itself, however,
would not achieve the desired result. Frick thus proposed the creation
53
of a new statewide political intelligence network.
Frick's proposal placed PDM VI/N, the political information
service, at the center of the new organization. It would serve as the
coordinating body for the entire state and simultaneously as the
collection and dissemination center for the three provinces of southern
Bavaria. It would, of course, also retain direct responsibility for
Munich proper. Between the political information service of the PDM
and the four provinces of northern Bavaria stood the main state police
office in that region, the PSNB. It would serve as the collection and
dissemination center for these four provinces. The local agencies
would gather information through the overt observation of public
political activity and through covert surveillance with paid agents and
voluntary informers. Local agencies, naturally, could act directly on

43
information of purely local significance, but all information was to
be passed to the designated collection centers. There it would be
evaluated and then distributed throughout the system in a regular
series of comprehensive situation reports. Requests for information
from the Ministry of the Interior or from the various local agencies
54
would likewise be routed through the centers.
After completing his proposal Frick invited discussion. All
participants agreed on the importance of centralization. The discussion
revolved around the prospect of continued liaison difficulties with
the military, the question of cooperation with the LaPo, and the
problem of finding suitable agents. The last of these provoked the
most concern. The representative of the Provincial President of Upper
Franconia piously suggested that dealing with paid undercover agents
was beneath the dignity of the provincial authorities; the PSNB could
adquately handle this dirty business in northern Bavaria. Frick pointed
to the existence of private political information groups, employed by
industrial concerns—an obvious reference to the "Tank" organization—
and complained that such groups often prepared intelligence reports
only to earn money. They would frequently accept employment from
more than one master at the same time. In order to avoid these
intelligence mercenaries, it would be absolutely essential that the
identities of all agents be filed with the Munich center. The problem
was not simply one of wasting secret funds; more seriously, the
reports of such agents could not be relied upon for accuracy, nor could

44
one fully trust such nn ajjcnt—an agent who would serve two masters
might also serve three, and the third one might he the political
enemy. Pohner underscored Prick's observations with the sententious
pronouncement that in these matters the watchword must be "For the
Fatherland." The meeting closed with a number of issues left open,
not least among them the question of finances. Nothing definite had
been decided, but the issues had been thoroughly aired. With few
reservations the new organizational plan had been found acceptable.
Significantly, no one at the meeting challenged the assumption
that the police should keep a close watch upon political activity. Only
three years before, in the midst of war, revelations concerning
police surveillance of private citizens had provoked a furor in Munich,
5 6
and forced the government into a defensive posture. This, in part,
accounted for the secrecy of the December 7 meeting. More fundamentally,
the political climate had changed since 1917—what had been controversial
before the revolution had since gained widespread acceptance. It was
likewise significant that the central role assigned to the PDM in the
new proposal went unchallenged at the meeting; implementation of the
proposal would deliver unparalleled power into the hands of Pohner and
Frick, since all political intelligence would be filtered through their
hands, and theirs alone. One can only conclude that those present at
the meeting shared fully the political goals of Pohner and Frick, and
were willing to accept their accretion of power.

45
Despite Frick's insistence that the issue was "burning," two
years elapsed before the centralization proposal received formal
ministerial sanction. This, however, was scarcely necessary—the
informal agreement reached among the parties at the December 7 meeting
sufficed as a basis for further developments."^ Pohner and Frick
could thus concentrate on their other political goals.
Gustav von Kahr's accession to power in March 1920 soon
brought the Bavarian government into direct conflict with the national
government in Berlin. The issue frequently appeared in the guise of
disagreement between Bavarian federalism and the unitary impulses of
the Reich leadership. Kahr thus presented himself as a defender of
the rights of the states against the encroachment of the central
government. This constitutional conflict, however, masked in high-
flown rhetoric the substantive issues of the struggle. Kahr and
his political allies—most notably Pohner and the state Minister of
Justice, Christian Roth—despised the moderate left-wing government
in Berlin as a creature of the revolution and an affront to the
sensibilities of all right-thinking Germans. If this government could
not be readily toppled, as the Kapp putsch had proven, then at least
58
its influence could be halted at the borders of Bavaria.
Matters came to a head over the issue of the Civic Guard. The
Reich government, pressed by the Entente powers, insisted upon the
disarmament of this paramilitary body. The Kahr regime, whose political
base in Bavaria in part rested upon the allegiance of the Civic Guard,

46
repeatedly refused to comply. While Kahr argued with Berlin, Pohner
and Roth exploited their positions at the center of the police and
judicial administrations to frustrate fuffillment of the national laws
mandating disarmament—even to the extent of aiding and abetting murder.
For more than a year the battle continued, reaching its climax in the
59
summer of 1921.
At the end of January German representatives had signed the Paris
agreement governing fulfillment of the Versailles Treaty disarmament
provisions. Kahr immediately condemned this step. Throughout the winter
and spring he hardened his position in defense of the Civic Guard. To
have done otherwise would have cost Kahr the support of his most
important political followers. The Civic Guard in Bavaria, unlike the
parallel organizations in other states, was a large and highly
centralized body with a substantial headquarters staff. As such, it
provided congenial employment to scores of former General Staff officers.
These officers had helped Kahr come to power; without their support
his days in office would be numbered. Naturally, these men regarded
the idea of dissolution with the utmost hostility and did everything
in their power to mobilize public opinion in Bavaria behind the hard
line approach. Kafir's other main base of support, the BVP, reacted
to the crisis with less unity. A minority in the party wanted the Kahr
government to yield, in order to prevent the application of sanctions.
*This aspect is examined in greater detail in Chapter 2.

47
The majority, however, adhered to a position of pushing the issue to
its limits, although few among them could agree on the probable
consequences of such a policy. Ruhr's personal views mirrored those
r 60
of his hard line supporters.
On May 5, the Entente powers presented the German goverment with
an ultimatum demanding the prompt dissolution of the Civic Guard. A
week later the Kahr government issued a strong statement calling for
the rejection of this ultimatum, a step which met with widespread
public approval.^ But as the crisis wore on Kahr's obduracy began
to lessen. On May 23, Kahr indicated to the Civic Guard leadership
6 2
that some sort of public accommodation would be necessary. On June 1,
the British General Consul in Munich warned the Bavarian government
that a failure to comply with the dissolution order would bring about
sanctions. That same day the Civic Guard leadership offered to disband
voluntarily. At the end of the month the Bavarian Civic Guard was
6 3
officially dissolved.
On the surface the move for dissolution appeared to be an abrupt
about-face for the Kahr regime. The dissolution order, however, had
been a sham. Even as the leaders of the Civic Guard were offering
the voluntary disbandment of their organization, secret measures were
undertaken to ensure the continuity of a strongly-armed and politically
reliable force. The day after the Civic Guard was officially dissolved,
the secret Organisation Pittinger came into existence. The members of
the Civic Guard passed directly into the new formation or into one of

48
the many right-wing paramilitary bands, taking with them their carefully
6 4
protected stocks of weapons. The Civic Guard, in effect, liad gone
underground. The Entente powers had been deprived of a pretext for
sanctions, hut the substance of right-wing political and military
power in Bavaria remained intact.
Kahr had apparently weathered the storm. Then, on August 26, members
of the Organisation Consul, a Munich-based right-wing organization,
assassinated the former Reich Finance Minister, Matthias Erzberger.
Three days later the President of the republic issued a state of
emergency decree which granted wide-ranging powers to the central
government and temporarily nullified the independent police powers of
the states. The Bavarian government immediately protested. To concede
a power of intervention to the hated "socialists" in Berlin would
destroy everything that Kahr, Pohner, and Roth had worked to achieve.
It would undermine any further attempt to circumvent disarmament by
permitting agents of the national government to operate within Bavaria,
and would allow these same agents to proceed legally against a variety
of important right-wing figures. Some of these, most notably Hermann
Ehrhardt, the leader of the Organisation Consul, had evaded trial for
treason after the Kapp putsch by taking refuge in Munich, where Pohner's
6 5
police could protect them.
Worst of all, the new national emergency decree called into question
the legal basis of the Bavarian state of emergency, which had existed
since the time of the Soviet Republic. The Kahr government had taken this

49
Bavarian decree and used it as the basis for its repressive measures
against the loft. Neither Kahr nor Pohner wished to sacrifice such a
useful legal instrument. Kahr resolved to fight the new decree.
But this time he had overreached himself. Kahr's defiant stand
won him further credit with the extreme right, but separated him from
the moderate element within the BVP. Although no less jealous of
Bavarian rights and no more sympathetic to the republic than Kahr, the
BVP was not willing to continue the fight with Berlin without at least
exploring the path of negotiation. The BVP moderates pushed through
a resolution offering the sacrifice of the Bavarian state of emergency
if the national government would agree in return to leave the fulfillment
of the national state of emergency in the hands of the state authorities.
Such a compromise would preserve the principle of states' rights and,
of greater significance, prevent the unwanted intervention of national
agents within Bavaria. Kahr himself had resolved the Civic Guard
issue in a similar manner, yielding in form to the national government
while retaining the substance. This time, however, Kahr allowed himself
to be influenced by the extremists, who wanted all or nothing. The
BVP withdrew its support from his government. Having opened a gulf
between himself and the dominant party in the state, Kahr took the only
course left open to him and resigned. Ten days later, on September 22,
1921, Count Hugo Lerchenfeld, the choice of the moderates, formed a
67
new government in Munich.

50
Pohner's fall followed close upon the eclipse of Kahr. No political
figure as strong-willed and as free with expressions of contempt as
Pohner could avoid making enemies, and Pohner had collected his share.
His relations with the socialist majority in the Munich city council
had been frigid at the best of times; by September 1921, a state of
open warfare existed between them. The PDM's special position as a
joint state-municipal agency meant that the city of Munich, according
to an 1898 agreement, bore one-half of the costs for its upkeep. In
1921 the city council refused to vote its share of the expenses, as
an emphatic protest against Pohner’s continuance in office. On August
26, 1921, the SPD, USPD, and KPD members of the council gave their
unaminous approval to a resolution condemning Pohner's conduct in office
in the strongest possible terms. Even the representatives of the
moderate parties of the middle, however, were by this time ready to
censure Pohner—not, to be sure, on account of the one-sided political
interventions of the PDM, but because Pohner had insulted the city
68
government.
None of this, in itself, would have led to Pohner's removal; the
new government, like its predecessors, was little inclined to follow the
lead of a leftist influenced city council. Pohner's real problem lay
with the new Minister of the Interior, Franz Schweyer. Kahr had
combined the office of Interior Minister with that of Minister President,
and in the former capacity had acknowledged Pohner's independence.
Schweyer, however, embodied a more moderate political course, one which

51
varied sharply with Pohner's own extreme right-wing sentiments.
Sc.hwoycr was no leftist—his statements at the time and later made
clear his unalterable opposition to socialism in any of its forms—but,
because of his moderation and his suspicion of the radical right, he
6 9
was regarded as "left-leaning" by his colleagues in the BVP. Deep
political differences thus separated the two men. Furthermore,
Schweyer, as the former senior State Secretary in the Ministry of the
Interior, knew well Pohner's habits and his tendency to evade or defy
unwelcome attempts at outside control. The new Interior Minister had
little desire to work with such an unruly subordinate. On the eve of
his assumption of office Schweyer summoned Pohner and Frick for a
discussion. He bluntly informed them that their attitudes toward the
radical right and on the Jewish question did not coincide with his own,
and left them to draw the proper conclusions.^
On September 28, 1921, Pohner resigned his position at the PDM and
returned to his permanent civil service station in the judiciary.
Although Schweyer had wanted Pohner to leave the PDM, he could scarcely
have been pleased at the manner of Pohner's departure. As a parting
blow against the new government Pohner had the text of his letter of
resignation printed as a placard and posted throughout the city. In it
he condemned the Lerchenfeld cabinet and the BVP for yielding on the
issue of the Bavarian state of emergency. Calling attention to the
exceptional police powers that the emergency decree had permitted, he
hinted broadly that their removal portended the imminent revivial of

52
the Soviet Republic. With memories of 1919 still fresh in the public
mind, such an appeal was a carefully calculated attempt to undermine
support Tor the Lcrchcnfcld government.^
Frick remained at the PDM, but gave up his post as head of the
political police. He was succeeded by his deputy, Friedrich Bernreuther.
Bernreuther, one of Pohner's 1919 appointees, shared Frick's political
views and had been deeply involved in some of the most questionable
political police activities, He would, nonetheless, prove himself
more flexible than Frick and more capable of moving with the political
72
currents.
To replace Pohner, Schewyer appointed Eduard Nortz, who had served
as Commissioner for Disarmament during the Civic Guard crisis. Having
conscientiously—albeit ineffectually—discharged this thankless task,
Nortz now embarked upon a similar endeavor: making the PDM responsive
to the demands of the new regime. Nortz, although an able man and a
dedicated worker, was unfortunately neither the man for a critical post
in troubled times, nor a man capable of effacing Pohner's imprint upon
the PDM. The events of 1923 would prove Nortz's weakness in the face of
political pressure and demonstrate his regime's lack of impact upon
the political attitudes of the Munich police. Long before Nortz was
dismissed in May 1923, Schweyer would rue the day he had placed this
73
man in charge of the PDM.
The passing of Pohner from the PDM gave the Bavarian public cause for
uneasy reflection. Months before, in the midst of a Landtag debate on

53
Pohner's performance as Police President, Kahr had defended Pohner
against leftist attacks by describing lrim as the man who had brought
order out of chaos in Munich. Expanding on this theme, Kahr credited
Pohner with having rebuilt the PDM, making It a powerful and effective
instrument of the state authority. Kahr's statement prompted stormy
74
applause from the right-wing delegates. This applause was echoed
widely throughout Bavaria. On the day after Pohner's resignation,
the representative of the government of Württemberg in Bavaria, a keen
observer of the Bavarian political scene, took time to reflect upon
the significance of Pohner's departure. In earlier reports he had
characterized Pohner's personality and recounted specific actions which
demonstrated the political one-sidedness of Pohner's conduct in office.
On this occasion, however, the observer approached Pohner's behavior
from the standpoint of its impact upon popular opinion in Bavaria.
Pohner, in the popular view, had been very much as Kahr had described
him, the man who had supervised the restoration of order and who
symbolized Bavaria's triumph over the horrors of the Soviet Republic.
Without Pohner, a prevention of the recurrence of 1919 seemed less
assured; the public regarded the future with unease.^
But in its anxiety the public could well have found comfort in Kahr's
earlier reflections on Pohner's work at the PDM. Pohner had indeed
rebuilt the Munich police force and shaped it in his own image. He had
strengthened the political police and initiated measures giving PDM VI
a powerful tool for the repression of the political enemy. These measures,

54
moreover, would serve as guidelines for all future developments in this
area.^ The political police would remain largely ns Pohner and
Frick had made them. And Pohner's departure in no way meant his
withdrawal from political life. He moved instead from the forefront
into the political background, where his talents for intrigue would
find even greater opportunity for fulfillment.^ As his enemies and
friends alike would discover, Ernst Pohner had merely resigned an office
he had not given up the fight for his own conception of "order."

55
Notes
1 Adolf Hitler, Meim Kampf, trans. by Ralph Manheim (Boston,
.1943), p. 367.
2
Hans Buchheim, "The SS—Instrument of Domination," trans. by
Richard Barry, in Helmut Krausnick, Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat,
and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Anatomy of the SS State (New York, 1968),
p. 141.
3
See the 1927 collection of documents relating to the transferral
of Pohner's body in M Inn 71881.
4
The reference to the "sheltering hand" comes from Frick's
testimony during the 1924 Hitler-Putsch trial. See H. Francis
Freniere, Lucie Karcic, and Phillip Fandek, trans., The Hitler Trial,
Vol. 1 (Arlington, Va., 1976), p. 319. This three volume translation
of the complete stenographic report of the Hitler trial will hereafter
be cited as Hitler Trial, Vol. 1, 2, or 3.
^See the 1925 collection of Pohner materials in M Inn 71880.
^The figures cited are from Falk Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte
der nationalsozialistische Machtübernahme in Bayern, 1932-1933 (Berlin,
1975), pp. 48-49. The most detailed analyses of Bavarian social and
economic development down through 1918 are the following works, upon
which the general conclusions in this paragraph are based: Axel
Schnorbus, "Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft in Bayern vor dem Ersten
Weltkrieg," in Karl Bosl, ed. , Bayern im Umbruch (Munich, 1969),
pp. 97-164; Hans Fehn, "Das Land Bayern und seine Bevolkerung seit 1800,"
pp. 679-708; and Pankraz Fried, "Die Sozialentwicklung im Bauerntum
und Lankvolk," pp. 751-775, and Wolfgang Zonr, "Bayerns Gewerbe, Handel,
und Verkehr, 1806-1970," all in Max Spindler, ed., Handbuch der
bayerischen Geschichte, Vol. IV/2 (Munich, 1975) . Hereafter, Spindler,
Handbuch, Vol. IV/1 or IV/2.
^Ernst Deuerlein, ed., Der Hitlerputsch: Bayerische Dokumente
zum 8,/9. November 1923 (Stuttgart, 1962), p. 12.
O
Hitler Trial, Vol. 3, pp. 254-255.
9
Heinrich Hillmayr, "München und die Revolution von 1919/1919,"
in Bosl, Bayern im Umbruch, pp. 463-465.

56
Klaus-Dieter Schwarz, Weltkrieg und Revolution in Nürnberg
(Stuttgart, 1971), p. 274.
Hans Fchn, "Das Land Bayern und seine Bevolkerung seit 1800,"
in Spindler, ll.indhucli, Vul. IV / 2, pp. 679-684.
12
Allan Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria (Princeton, 1965),
pp. 92-109.
13Ibid, pp. 213-230.
14Ibid, pp. 271-290.
^^Albert Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Erster Teil:
Der Sturz der Monarchie. Revolution und Ratezeit. Die Einrichtung
des Freistaates (1918-1920)," in Spindler, Handbuch, Vol. IV/1,
pp. 425-434.
^^Horst G. W. Nusser, "Militarischer Druck auf die Landesregierung
Johannes Hoffmann vom 1919 bis zum Kapp-putsch," in Zeitschrift fur
bayerische Landesgeschichte 33 (1970), pp. 818-850.
^Heinrich Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror in Bayern nach 1918
(Munich, 1974), pp. 21-23, 164-167, 131-132.
Hans Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, in Bayern
nach 1918 (Bad Homburg, 1969), pp. 62-63.
19
For the circumstances surrounding Pohner's appointment to the
Stadelheim position, see his own statement in Hitler Trial, Vol. 1,
pp. 91-92. The remarks on Pohner's appearance are based upon contemporary
photographs; concerning Pohner's height, see Konrad Heiden, Der Fuehrer
(Boston, 1969), p. 189. Further descriptions of Pohner may be found in
Kurt G. W. Ludecke, I Knew Hitler (New York, 1937), pp. 80-81. Ludecke
also describes the first meeting between Hitler and Pohner, at which
he was present. Pohner gave expression to his anti-Semitism in his
various utterances during the 1924 Hitler trial and in the attitude he
adopted toward the Ostjuden. For the attitude of the military
authorities toward Pohner, see Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror,
pp. 164-167.
20
This summary is based upon an historical sketch by Reg. Assessor
Dr. Jacob, prepared in 1915 for internal use at the PDM, M Inn 71880.
Many of the 19th Century documents relating to the early developments of
the PDM may be found in two other files, RA 5811] and RA 58113.
21
1913 PDM Table of Oganization, M Inn 71880.
22
Ibid.

57
23
Compare the 1913 PDM Table of Organization cited above with the
1929 and 1932 Tables of Organization in M Inn 71881.
24
"Verzeichnis—Die Polizeidirektion München als bayerische
Landeszentrale," M Tnn 71880.
25
See the series of 1916 and 1917 documents concerning PDM
counterespionage activities during the First World War in M Inn 71789.
2 6
"Zusammenfassender Bericht der Polizeidirektion München an die
Staatsanwaltschaft München I über die Umsturzbewegung in München 1919,"
StAnw. MÜ. I 3124.
27
PDM to M Inn, Dec. 14, 1919, M Inn 71880.
2 8
Frick biographical material, BDC—NSDAP Hauptarchiv Mappe 1221.
See also, Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial, Vol. 1, pp. 317-318;
the phrase "Toyal Bavarian Nazi" comes from the thumbnail sketch by
Albert Krebs in William S. Allen, ed. and trans., The Infancy of Nazism:
The Memoirs of Ex-Gauleiter Albert Krebs, 1923-1933 (New York, 1976),
pp. 259-262.
29„.
30
Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror, pp. 123-131.
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial, Vol. 1, p. 318.
31
See the "Protokoll uber die am y. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den
Ausbau des Nachrichtendienstes," Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
32
PDM to M Inn, Dec. 14, 1919, M Inn 71880.
33
The basic points of Bavarian administrative structure at this time
are conveniently summarized in Harold J. Gordon, Jr., Hitler and the
Beer Hall Putsch (Princeton, 1972), pp. 165-166. The institution of the
special commissioner is discussed in Heinrich von Jan, Verfassung und
Verwaltung in Bayern, 1919-1926 (Munich, 1927), pp. 39-44.
34
For examples of these reports for the period covered in this
chapter see MA 102 135 and MA 102 136.
35
Provincial President of Middle Franconia to M Inn, April 16, 1920,
M Inn 71879.
36
For Pohner's relations with the Munich city council, see Peter
Steinborn, Grundlage und Grundzüge Münchner Kommunalpolitik in den
Jahren der Weimarer Republik (Munich, 1968), pp. 229-230.

58
37
Aronson, Reinhard Heydrick und die
und SD, pp. 94-95.
38
39
Special police commission to M Inn
Ibid,
40
Ibid.
Fruhgeschichte von Gestapo
Aug. 5, 1919, PDN-F 108/1.
41
PSNB to Police President Pohner, Sept. 19, 1919, PDN-F 108/1.
42
For background material relating to the preparation and circulation
of the PSNB weekly reports, see PDN-F 331. For the reports themselves,
see PDN-F 332-337/2.
For the LaPo in general, see the two standard works: Georg
Sagerer and Emil Schuler, Die bayerische Landespolizei von 1919-1935
(Munich, 1964), pp. 1-32. These works have not been superseded by
Johannes Schwarze, Die bayerische Polizei, pp. 10-49, although Schwarze
covers much the same ground. For the LaPo's political police work
see the December 1923 correspondence in M Inn 71786 and the circular
letter from M Inn to the Provincial Presidia, the Police President in
Munich, and the Police Director in Nuremberg, Dec. 5, 1923, in Reg. v.
Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
44
Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch, p. 27; Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte
der NS-Machtiibernahme in Bayern, p. 71; Friedrich Rau, Personalpolitik
und Organisation in der vorlaufigen Reichswehr (Munich, 1970),
pp. 158-171. For difficulties between the civilian and military political
police, see PDM to PSNB, May 11, 1921, in PDN-F 316. For an example of
the military performing civilian political police functions, see Bayer.
Gruppenkmdo 4, Abt. Ia to BA Starnberg, Oct. 24, 1919, in RA 57804.
Examples of the military situation reports may be found in MA 102 135
and PDN-F 318.
Civic Guard leaders frequently claimed not to have an intelligence
service, citing their close relationship with PDM VI/N as a reason why
this would be superfluous. For this claim, see Testimony of Walter
Schenk, July 28, 1924, St Anw. Mu I 3081d/l. The Civic Guard,
nonetheless, prepared political situation reports, copies of which are
collected in PDN-F 318.
46
See the collection of "Tank" reports in PDN-F 407.
47
"Tank report, July 31, 1919, PDN-F 407.
48
Testimony of Heinrich Mayer, October 1, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3;
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3.

59
49
Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3.
“^Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Zweiter Teil: Der vom
Bürgertum geführte Freistaat in der Weimarer Republik (1920-1933),"
in Spindler, Handhuch, Vol. TV/1, pp. 454-457.
51PI)M to M Inn, April 5, 1920, M Inn 71996.
52
PDM to the Provincial Presidia and the PSNB, Oct. 18, 1920, Reg.
v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
53
"Protokoll uber die am 7. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den Ausbau des
Nachrichtendienstes," Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
54
Ibid.
55
Ibid,
For this episode, see the March 12-March 22, 1917 collection of
documents on political surveillance in M Inn 80352.
^The PSNB, as a branch of the PDM,. came under the ultimate control
of Pohner and Frick. Thus, the willingness of the provincial authorities
to allow the PSNB to handle the running of agents in northern Bavaria
placed this vital activity directly in their hands. In southern Bavaria,
the manifold contacts of the PDM were similarly sufficient. The key
issue at this juncture was agreement in principle, which was attained
at the Dec. 7, 1920 meeting. As Fenske points out, one of the most
important bases of Pohner's political power was his monopoly over control
of effective political intelligence. The only competing sources of
intelligence of any consequence were the fortnightly reports of the
provincial presidia, but these were neither so detailed, nor so
influential as the political police reports. By filtering political
intelligence according to his own political lights, Pohner could shape
the political responses of his ministerial superiors. See Fenske,
Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, p. 141.
5 8
Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Sweiter Teil," in Spindler,
Handbuch, Vol. IV/1, pp. 454-465.
~^Ibid., pp. 462-464.
6 0
These conclusions are based upon the observations of the diplo¬
matic representative of the state of Württemberg in Bavaria, Carl Moser
von Filseck. Moser's judicious reports to his superiors in Stuttgart
are among the most useful and important sources for the political
developments of the period. Many of the most worthwhile reports from
Moser have been gathered in a published volume edited by Wolfgang Benz.
The reports cited here are from Wolfgang Benz, ed., Politik in Bayern,

60
6 0
1919-1933: Berichte des wurttembergischcn Gesandten Carl Moser
von Filseck (Stuttgart, 1971), pp. 77-80.
Ibid, pp. 81-82.
Horst C. W. Nusser, Konservatlve Wchrvorb.'inde in Bayern,
I'reusscn, und i3s tor rolcli, 1918-1933 (Munich, 1973), p. 209. Nusscr's
work is the best single study of the Bavarian Civic Guard and its
related organizations. Although frequently strident in tone and marred
by occasional exaggerations, this study compels attention simply by
virtue of the massive research it reflects.
An overview of this sequence of events may be gained from the
political chronology appended to Karl Schwend, Bayern zwischen Monarchie
und Diktatur (Munich, 1954), pp. 553-557.
64
Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, pp.
Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp.
208-212.
144-145.
See also Fenske,
^Gotthard Jasper, Per
Sicherung der Demokratie in
1963) , pp. 43-45.
66
Ibid.
Schütz der Republik:
der Weimarer Republik
Studien zur staatlichen
1922-1930 (Tubingen,
67
Ibid.
Steinborn, Grundlage und Grundziige Munchner Kommunalpolitik,
pp. 229-230.
69
For Schweyer's attitude toward the left, see Fenske, Konserva¬
tivismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 62-63. For the BVP perception of
Schweyer as left-leaning, see Deuerlein, Der Hitlerputsch, pp. 46-47.
^Frick described this interview in his testimony during the 1924
Hitler Putsch trial. See Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial,
Vol. 1, p. 319.
The text of Pohner's resignation announcement is reproduced in
Benz, Politik in Bayern, p. 87.
72
For Bernreuther's appointment to the PDM, see the M Inn order
of Oct. 26, 1919 in RA 58128. Some of Bernreuther's activities as
Frick's deputy are chronicled in Chapter 2; his role in the events of
the Beer Hall Putsch is discussed in Chapter 3. Despite his close
association with Frick, however, Bernreuther managed to remain as head
of PDM VI until his promotion in 1929 to head the newly-created
Polizeidlrektion Regensburg.

61
The events lending to Nortz's 1923 dismissal nre discussed in
detail in Chapter 3.
74
Kahr's remarks are taken from a copy of the published transcript
of the hand tag debates for March 15, 1921. This copy may be found in
M inn 71880.
^JBenz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 85-88.
7 6
The relationship between the guidelines established at the meeting
to discuss the future of the political information on Dec. 7, 1920 and
subsequent developments in this area is discussed in Chapter 3.
77
Fenske,
Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus,
p. 141.

CHAPTER 2
A CASE OF POLITICAL MURDER
On the afternoon of March 4, 1921, a farmer named Josef
Kuchenbauer went to work in his field just north of the Bavarian
village of Zusmarshausen. Shortly before four in the afternoon,
he took a break from his labors and walked down to the banks of the
nearby river Zusam to look for duck eggs. As he poked through the
bushes at the wTater's edge he noticed something white shimmering in the
water. Looking more closely, he saw what appeared to be an old jacket
floating just below the murky surface of the stream. Then he
recognized the white object as a human hand. With his pitchfork he
speared the jacket and attempted to draw it toward the bank. As the
jacket surfaced so too did the corpse to which it was attached. Kuchen¬
bauer called for help from friends in a neighboring field, and with
their assistance succeeded in dragging the body to the bank of the
river. A combined effort was necessary, for the corpse had been weighted
with two fifteen-pound paving stones, strapped to the neck and to the
legs with wire."'"
Kuchenbauer's discovery opened the investigation of a murder case
which would come to exemplify, in the popular view, the flaws in the
2
Bavarian system of justice during the Kahr-Pohner era. The inquiry
62

63
into the death of Hans Hartung (for such was the victim's name), along
with the subsequent disposition of the case, illustrated the ties
between right-wing politics and political police activity which charac¬
terized this period. In the company of other, similar cases, it
fostered the impression that the PDM had become, under Pohner, a
"central office for murderers." The strongest criticisms of the PDM
came, not surprisingly, from Pohner's enemies on the left. But the
pattern of events was sufficiently disturbing to worry thoughtful
conservatives and to embarrass the less stridently right-wing officers
3
of the Munich police.
The brutalization of Bavarian politics arose from the experiences
surrounding the suppression of the Soviet Republic. The language of
political discourse during the Kahr-Pohner era was the language of war,
which reflected directly the animating sentiments of political action.
The leading figures of the Kahr regime saw themselves as occupying a
beleagured outpost in the war against the left, against the leftist-
tainted Reich government in Berlin, and against the recent wartime
enemy, France. In this they represented the sentiments of many ordinary
Bavarian citizens.
The Kahr regime rested upon three bases of support: the BVP, the
Bavarian branch of the DNVP, which served with the BVP in Kahr's
coalition cabinet, and the Civic Guard. The broadly-based BVP embraced
a wide variety of political opinion; it included both moderate conser¬
vatives and radical right extremists in an ever-shifting internal

64
balance. The Bavarian DNVP, represented in the Kahr cabinet by the
Justice Minister, Christian Roth, aligned itself more closely with
the radical right, as did the Civic Guard. Behind the scenes many
leading officers of the Bavarian Retchswchr lent their support to Kahr;
the ties between the army and the Civic Guard in particular were close,
for most Bavarian staff officers shared the political attitudes of those
former colleagues and wartime comrades who provided the Guard with its
leadership cadre. Each of these groups differed with the others on a
variety of specific issues. All, however, were united in their hostility
to the left and in their distaste for a central government which,
in their eyes, was both the product and the prisoner of the hated
socialists. And all of these groups shared a single, overriding
political goal—the transformation of Bavaria into a "cell of order"
(Ordnungszelle Bayern). Bavaria, purged of all traces of the socialist
interregnum, would become the base from which the counterrevolution would
4
be launched.
Attainment of this ultimate goal presupposed the fulfillment of
two conditions, the preservation of the Bavarian base and the accumulation
of power at that base. "Power," in this context, meant military power;
the Bavarian leadership, anticipating a later philosopher of politics,
believed that political power grew out of the barrel of a gun. Pohner
himself expressed this attitude best. In an interview with a visiting
Prussian civil servant he presented his own model of political
negotiation in his customary, pithy fashion:

65
He who resists, must be shot, not the masses, but
the leaders. Then resistance ceases. ... If your
Berlin government is confronted with a strike, what
does it do? Tt negotiates. One must do it dif¬
ferently. One calls the strike leaders to a con¬
ference and demands that the next morning their fol¬
lowers be back at work. If the first one says no,
then shoot him and ask the second. If he says no,
then shoot him as well. The third will most cer¬
tainly say yes. . . . But one must shoot, not just
threaten. When we came into Munich after the Soviet
terror, I had these Red hounds shot. . . . When one
of these dogs comes, one must be ready to shoot.
Pohner's approach to labor relations reflected his, and his political
compatriots beliefs about the way to deal with their political enemies.
With such a political conception, their desire for control of a strong
military force was logical.
This desire, however, brought Kahr, Pohner, and their allies
squarely into conflict with the less sanguinary leaders of the republic
in Berlin. The Reich government faced a quandry. The centrist and
moderate socialist leaders who shaped policy there did not wish to
see Germany reduced to a 100,000 man army, and to this end had supported
the creation of citizen militias. But the Bavarian Civic Guard had
grown far beyond the strength of the militias in other states, and
its political leadership was virulently hostile to the republic itself.
The weapons in the hands of the Civic Guard might not be reserved,
as intended, for use against a foreign enemy.^
Indeed, one foreign enemy already shared the republican leadership's
fear of the Bavarian Civic Guard. The French, after struggling for the
inclusion of drastic limitations on German military power in the Versailles

66
treaty, observed the formation of a powerful militia in Bavaria with
considerable dismay. In the French view, such an organization subverted
the entire structure of armaments limitation, and presented the spectre
of resurgent German military power. In this the French were not far
wrong, for the more far-seeing among the right-wing Bavarian leaders
were already looking beyond the showdown with the republic to the great
war of revenge against the enemy across the Rhine. In response, the
French exerted heavy pressure upon the Reich government to do something
about these militias. In those states where the state government stood
loyal to the republic, accommodation was reached on the militia question.
In Bavaria, however, the issue led to an open conflict between the state
government and the Reich.^
It was common knowledge that massive quantities of weapons left
over from the army's wartime stocks were in the possession of the
Civic Guard and other right-wing paramilitary groups—the National
Socialists, for example, had their own small share. The French
government threatened sanctions if the Reich government did not live
up to its treaty obligations and disarm the militias, and the French
military officers on the Entente Disarmament Commission were prepared
to insist that the letter of the treaty be observed. To meet this
demand and to insure itself against the growing threat from the armed
legions of the right, the republican leadership resolved to act. In
August 1920, the Reich government passed laws mandating the confiscation
of military weapons in private hands and the supervised destruction of

67
these weapons. Other laws required each citizen to report the discovery
g
of illegal caches of arms to the proper authorities.
The paramilitary organizations, not surprisingly, were unwilling
to cooperate in their own disarmament. Nor was the Kahr government
willing to allow its own power base to erode in such a manner. The
government therefore resisted the enforcement of the disarmament laws
with every legal means at its disposal, while covertly supporting the
efforts of the Civic Guard and the Bavarian Reichswehr to illegally
circumvent the enforcement of these laws. The instrument of this covert
support was Pohner's political police.
In theory, one of the first tasks of the political police under
the disarmament law would have been to seek out and confiscate illegal
arms caches. In practice, this was done only when the caches belonged
9
to leftist groups. From the outset close ties existed between the
political police and the Civic Guard; for example, membership appli¬
cations for the Civic Guard were customarily vetted by the political
police. This close cooperation extended to the protection of the
Civic Guard's weapons. Once an illegal arms collection was brought
to public attention little could be done to preserve it. The law was
clear, the Social Democrat press stood ready to cry "foul" should a
cover-up be attempted, and the French loomed in the background to insist
that the law was observed. The trick was to prevent discovery in the
first place.
To accomplish this subversion of the law, the political police
resumed their wartime counterespionage role against the French, and

68
added to this a close watch against spies from Berlin and from the
various leftist groups. Tn one recorded instance, PDM VI even placed
an Informer In the Munich office of the finiente I) I sa rmatnen L Comm I ss I tin .
Reserve Lieutenant-Colonel Hermann Kriebel, the senior military figure
in the Civic Guard, described the results of such police activity in
the following terms:
Close cooperation existed between the police and
the Civic Guard in the matter of preventing the
betrayal of weapons to the Entente Commission. As
soon as the police discovered that a weapons cache
had been betrayed, this information was communi¬
cated to us. We then had time to remove the weapons
to a new hiding place. The police also warned us
whenever they discovered hostile informers in our
midst.12
Evading the consequences of betrayal, however, was not enough. The
betrayers had to be deterred through effective punishment.
The price one paid for obeying the Reich laws governing illegal
armaments was only too frequently arrest by the Bavarian police and
trial for treason in a Bavarian court. During the Kahr-Pohner era
five individuals were convicted of treason on these grounds and received,
13
on the average, prison sentences in excess of four years apiece. Yet
these were the lucky ones; for others, a more summary form of "justice"
awaited.
On October 6, 1920,the body of a nineteen year-old woman was found
in a forest preserve south of Munich. The young woman, identified as
Maria Sandmayer, had been brutally strangled. The political motivation

69
of the crime was unmistakable, for the perpetrators had left a note
above the body proclaiming that Maria Sandmayer had been executed for
treason. Her act of treason had begun with a compound error. Trained
as a cook and a house servant, the young woman had come to Munich from
her home in the country, searching, in the time-honored way, for better
prospects. Shortly after arriving in the city, she came upon a placard
on the street, calling all citizens to report all illegal arms caches
to the Reich goverment's disarmament commission. Here she made her
first error, for she decided to obey the law and report the arms hidden
at her former place of employment in the country. Her second error
followed immediately upon the first. Misreading the placard, she
reported her information not to the office of the disarmament commission,
but to the printers who had prepared the placard. The foreman there
passed her report and her identity to friends in the Civic Guard. On
October 6 a young man called for her at her new place of employment
in Munich, presenting himself as a member of the disarmament commission
interested in her information concerning illegal weapons. Shortly
14
thereafter she departed with him, never to be seen alive again.
Only a little more than a week passed before a similar incident
occurred. A Reichswehr soldier by the name of Dobner reported an
illegal arms hoard to the Entente Disarmament Commission. Unfortunately,
the translator who received his report there was also in the pay of the
political police. Several days later, on October 20, 1920, Dobner was

70
picked up by three men in a car and, in the course of a wild ride
through the streets of Munich, leapt from the automobile just in time
to escape from being beaten to death.^
In the Sandmayer case, witnesses identified her mysterious caller
as a certain Lieutenant Schweighart, a member of the Civic Guard.
The police investigation proved that a car belonging to the Civic
16
Guard had been used in the killing. Schweighart could produce no
alibi for the night in question. Nonetheless, Kriminal-Kommissar
Friedrich Glaser, the head of PDM VI/N, ordered the preparation of a
passport for Schweighart. Passport in hand, Schweighart fled the
17
country.
Justice was done in even more topsy-turvy fashion in the Dobner
case. Learning that Dobner had escaped the clutches of his would-be
assassins, the informer who had betrayed him to the police, a man
named Pracher, panicked. To clear himself, he turned to a Social
Democratic Landtag deputy, Karl Gareis, who had made a name for himself
through his outspokenness in the matter of illegal armament. After
hearing Pracher's story, with its implication that the political police
had been accessories in a murder attempt, Gareis demanded proof. He
prevailed upon Pracher to call his contact man in the PDM's Department
VI, tell his story, and ask for protection. As Gareis listened, Pracher
telephoned his contact, who proved to be none other than Kriminal-
Kommissar Glaser. Telling Glaser that Dobner had been "eliminated,"
Pracher then asked that he be protected by the police from the consequences

71
of his role in the affair. Glaser gave his assent to the request, not
suspecting that the entire exchange was being recorded by a third
party. With this confirmation of police complicity, Gareis and his
colleagues brought the matter before the Landtag—a step which would
eventually lead to Gareis's own assassination. Dobner, Pracher, and
Glaser all testified before the hastily assembled investigatory
commission, the latter only after extreme pressure had been exerted
by the Commission in the name of the Landtag. After a promising
start, however, the work of the Commission was thwarted by a withdrawal
of support on the part of the BVP delegation—a gesture of unmistakable
political significance. In the court case growing out of the attempt
on Dobner's life, the court chose to accept without question the
testimony of Dobner's assailants, who were charged with assault rather
than attempted murder, and who, upon conviction, received only nominal
punishment. Dobner, in turn, was charged with perjury, although the
charge could not be made to stick. Pracher's final reward in the
matter was a fifteen year sentence for treason—the authorities did
18
not forgive him for turning to Gareis.
Despite ongoing pressure from Berlin and Paris, the efforts of the
Civic Guard and the Bavarian authorities to circumvent disarmament
continued. And despite the object lessons provided in the Sandmayer
and Dobner cases, certain individuals continued to make the error of
reporting, or threatening to report, illegal weapons to the disarmament
officials.. One such individual was the waiter Hans Hartung.

72
Hans Hartung arrived in Munich from his home in Halle in
February 192]. After service as a non-commissioned officer during
the war, Hartung had returned to Halle in time to participate, as
an active Communist, in the political disturbances which marked the
winter and spring of 1919. He then turned upon his comrades, betraying
several of the leading local Communists to the police. In revenge,
a group of his former compatriots fell upon him and subjected him to
a severe beating. His cuts and bruises, however, provided ample
endorsement of his political change of heart, and solidified his
position with his new-found friends of the political right. Hartung
thus came to Munich with letters of recommendation and introduction
19
from his political friends in Halle.
In February 1921, Hans Hartung was twenty-four years old, a young
man of impressive height (over six feet, three inches) and correct
manners, whose bearing convinced at least one Munich acquaintance
20
that before him stood a former army officer. Armed with the right
manner and his introductions from Halle, Hartung quickly won access
to leading right-wing circles in Munich. He first approached Reserve
Lieutentant Otto Braun, the head of the Civic Guard's Economic Office—
the office concerned with illegal weapons transactions—and asked for
employment. In applying to Braun, Hartung demonstrated clearly that he
had not come to Munich to continue his earlier career by waiting on
tables. He had discovered in Halle that the right-wing groups, amply
provided with money, paid well for confidential information. Unwilling

73
to work for a living, he slid readily into the life of a professional
informer, the lesson of his boating at the hands of the Communists.
. . , ,21
evidently unlearned.
Braun gave Hartung money and introduced him to other leading
_. 22
figures in the Civic Guard. On his own initiative Hartung endeavored
to widen his field of activity by presenting himself to various Munich
23
industrialists with an offer to spy upon their employees. Sometimes
he presented Braun as a reference; on other occasions he intimated that
24
he worked for the Political Information Section of the PDM. His
varied and sometimes conflicting self-representations, however, soon
undermined the initial impressions of trustworthiness fostered by his
manner and outward appearance. After receiving several approaches from
Hartung, one businessman, who also happened to be a leading figure
in the Civic Guard, called a friend at PDM VI to report Hartung's
25
behavior and ask for information concerning his bona fides. This,
and other questions from Civic Guard representatives concerning
Hartung's activities led to an order by the political police for the
26
arrest and interrogation of Hartung on March 5. But by this point
Hartung was already past questioning.
On March 2 Hartung had called once again upon Lieutenant Braun at
the latter's office in the headquarters of the Civic Guard. Having failed
in his efforts to broaden his connections, Hartung asked for more money
from Braun. Braun refused. To this Hartung responded, "Herr Lieutenant,

74
I know a great deal; are you not afraid?" Confronted with this scarcely
27
veiled attempt at blackmail, Braun ordered Hartung out of his office.
That evening Hartung assisted another right-wing paramilitary
group in the clandestine transport of illegal weapons to a hiding place
near Bad Tolz. The following day he spent sitting with friends in the
Café Bristol. During the course of the conversation he bragged that,
of all the participants in the previous night's exercise, he had been
the only one not to have held commissioned officer's rank in the recent
war. To underscore this self-important pronouncement, he hinted broadly
that he would be participating again that evening in yet another secret
transferral of weapons.^
The body found the following afternoon by farmer Kuchenbauer was
not immediately identified as that of Hartung. After the corpse had
been pulled to the bank of the Zusam, one of Kuchenbauer's companions
ran to the local gendarmerie station to report the discovery. The
gendarmerie station in Zusmarshausen was very small, manned by only
three officers. Thus the leader of the station himself, Sicherheits-
kommissar Josef Zahnle, responded to the call. He searched the body
for some form of identification, but found only a pocket comb. Soon he
was joined by the local judge, who brought with him a photographer to
take pictures at the scene of the crime. After conducting a rudimentary
examination of the area and seeing that the requisite photographs had
been made, the two officials supervised the removal of the body to the
29
local clinic.

75
On the following day the autopsy was performed in Zusmarshausen.
Present at the inquest were the local officials from Zusmarshausen and
Lhe Public Prosecutor from Augsburg, Wilhelm Krick, to whom responsibility
30
for the prosecution of the case would fall. The autopsy revealed
six bullet wounds, two in the head and four in the chest. The bullets
recovered from the body indicated that pistols of 7.65 mm and 9 mm had
been used in the murder. The results further suggested that Hartung
had been shot down with a fusillade of five shots, all delivered more
or less simultaneously, and then finished off with a shot fired from
a range of a few inches into the inner edge of the right eye, alongside
the nose. There was no indication that he had struggled to defend
, . ,, 31
himself.
Several clues were immediately evident. The river Zusam was,
in the area around Zusmarshausen, quite shallow; along most of its
course a body submerged in the river would not disappear completely
from view. Only at several scattered points did it deepen sufficiently
to adequately conceal a corpse. The body had been disposed of at one
of these points—only the failure of the murderers to toss the heavily-
weighted body far enough out from the bank prevented it from disappearing
32
in the muck at the bottom of ten feet of water. No stranger to the
locality could have selected such a suitable spot. Moreover, only
some three hundred-fifty meters away, at the edge of the main road from
Munich to Ulm, stood a small cluster of buildings, used at that time
by the Civic Guard for the storage of illegal munitions. These buildings

76
provided a place where a vehicle could easily be screened from the view
of n passerby along the highway, and a nearby wooded hill offered
33
further concealment.
But if these indicia pointed clearly in the direction of local
involvement, others pointed equally clearly against it. The paving
stones had not come from the Zusmarshausen area. Nor had the corpse.
Although no positive identification had been made, it was unquestionably
34
that of an outsider.
Yet another clue was discovered on the morning of March 5. A
railway worker walking along the tracks of the rail line connecting
Munich with Ulm found a cheap leather briefcase lying discarded along¬
side the tracks. Inside the briefcase, wrapped in a newspaper, was a
blood-soaked soldier's cap. Both the briefcase and the cap were later
35
identified as items that Hartung had carried with him everywhere.
With these clues Public Prosecutor Krick, who had been placed
in charge of the investigation by his superior, Kraus, ordered a number
of measures. In the company of the local gendarmes he conducted a more
precise examination of the areas where the various clues had been found.
He ordered an inquiry into the source of the paving stones. Finally,
in the absence of a positive identification of the body—this would
have to wait until fingerprints could be taken and sent to the experts
at the PDM—he attempted to identify any strangers or strange vehicles
3 6
which had passed through Zusmarshausen on the night in question.

77
With the assistance of the Schutzmannschaf t in Augsburg, which
routinely examined the papers of all vehicles passing through the city,
and with confirmation provided by other witnesses, Krick determined
that three motor vehicles had driven through Zusmarshausen during the
night of March 3. The testimony of two local witnesses quickly called
special attention to one of these vehicles. The witnesses, one of them
a local gendarme, testified independently of one another to having heard
a truck pass through the village heading in the direction of Ulm.
One witness has noted the time of its passage at 2:30 in the morning.
Both witnesses agreed that it had sounded very much like one of the
military vehicles which frequently passed through Zusmarshausen carrying
illegal weapons—the clandestine activities of the Civic Guard and
other paramilitary groups were an open secret to the villagers, who
lived along one of the most heavily employed routes for the transfer
of weapons. A few minutes after the truck had passed out of hearing—
which placed the truck approximately at the buildings near where the
corpse would be found—both witnesses heard the sound of a shot from
, .37
that direction.
The forensic examination of the paving stones suggested that they
came from Munich; later investigations would confirm this and demonstrate
that the stones had probably been taken from a construction site in
38
the courtyard of a Munich army barracks. On March 8, an Augsburg
police detective contacted the headquarters of the Civic Guard in
Munich to check on the Schutzmannschaft report that the military truck
which had been checked through Augsburg travelling toward Ulm liad

78
belonged to the Civic Guard. The call was taken by Lieutenant Braun,
39
who answered in the affirmative. A further comparison of witness
reports indicated that this had been the truck heard passing through
40
Zusmarshausen in the early morning hours of March 4.
On the morning of March 9 the fingerprints taken from the corpse
in Zusmarshausen arrived at the office of the Criminal Investigation
Service (Department lb) of the PDM. Within a couple of hours the
experts at lb identified the prints as belonging to the missing Hans
Hartung, who had been wanted by the political police for questioning
since March 5.^
At that time Kriminaloberkommissar Eduard Seubert of PDM Via had
issued orders that Hartung be taken into custody and questioned about
his activities in Munich. Seubert's initiative came in response to a
letter from the leadership of the Civic Guard given to him by Frick,
the head of PDM VI. Hartung was suspected of spying on the Civic Guard
42
for the benefit of the Communists. Seubert detailed three officers
from VlaF, Kriminalsekretar Johann Gehauf, Kriminalsekretar Johann
Feil, and Oberwachtmeister Heinrich Becher. Gehauf and Feil were
experienced political policemen, "old cops" in the customary sense of
the term. Becher was younger, a member of the Schutzmannschaft detached
for temporary duty with VInF. After securing Hartung's address, a
pension only a few blocks from police headquarters, the three officers
went to bring him into custory. Hartung, of course, was not to be
found. The officers searched Hartung's belongings, confiscated some of

79
his papers, and questioned the hotel porter concerning his whereabouts.
The porter, who had just finished reading the article in the morning
paper about the discovery of an unidentified murder victim in
Zusmarshausen, remarked to the officers that the description of the
victim in the paper could be that of Hartung. Although the remark
aroused Feil's immediate interest, the lead was not followed up at
that time. The three officers returned to police headquarters where
the two officers turned to more pressing tasks, leaving Becher to write
43
up the report of their morning's work.
The political police inquiry into Hartung's affairs continued
in a desultory fashion until the morning of March 9. With the identi¬
fication of Hartung as the murder victim, however, the investigation
immediately accelerated. That afternoon Kriminalsekretar Gehauf
returned to Hartung's pension to question the staff. The following
morning he was confronted by the appearance of Lieutentant Braun of
the Civic Guard, who came to police headquarters with a prepared
memorandum concerning his relations with Hartung. At the instructions
of his superior, Seubert, Gehauf questioned Braun more closely about
his connection to Hartung. During the course of this interrogation
Braun admitted that Hartung had threatened him and the secrets of the
Civic Guard. But the most suspicious item of all—the passage of a
truck belonging to the Civic Guard through Zusmarshausen on the night
of the murder—remained unexplored; Gehauf had not yet received the
information from Augsburg concerning this matter and unwittingly let

80
it pass. Still, the session with Braun caused Gehauf and Seubert to
look more closely at the links between Hartung and Braun. In Seubert's
words: "After the interrogation Gehauf and I agreed that Braun had to
i • -i i ,«.44
be uivoived one way or another.
The news that a Civic Guard truck had been within a few hundred
meters of the murder site and that its occupants all had ties to Braun
45
fortified Gehauf's suspicions. His colleague Feil believed that Braun
46
should be recalled and grilled vigorously. The three political
policemen on the case—Seubert, Gehauf, and Feil—all shared the
r 47
conviction that they were on the threshhold of breaking the case.
At that juncture, however, Police President Pohner intervened to take
the case out of their hands.
The first steps in this direction had been taken within hours of
the identification of the murder victim. At eleven in the morning on
March 9, the head of the political police, Pohner's close associate
Frick, contacted Carl von Merz, the director of the homicide squad in
Department I, and communicated Pohner’s order that the homicide squad
assume responsibility for the case in cooperation with the Public
Prosecutor in Augsburg. Merz immediately objected. While recognizing
that the ramification of the case into Munich made the active involve¬
ment of the PDM necessary, he believed that the Munich end of the case
should remain in the hands of PDM VI. The political police, after
all, already had their investigation underway—as a matter of procedural
principle a transfer would be a mistake, causing needless delay and

81
complicating the rapid apprehension of suspects. Merz made these
objections clear, not only to Frick, but also to Pohner himself. In
response PUhner insisted that Merz take over the case on a temporary
basis until such time as a permanent solution could be found. Merz
acquiesced and left that same afternoon for Augsburg to consult with
48
Public Prosecutor Krick.
The political policemen involved in the case were likewise dis¬
contented with this turn of events. Upon hearing that they had been
taken off the case, Feil and Gehauf were angered and frustrated. Gehauf
went directly to Seubert and asked him to arrange an interview with
Pohner; he wanted to make certain his complaints were known. Pohner,
however, denied the request. Not willing to give up the case completely,
Gehauf continued for several days thereafter to follow up certain leads
, . .... 49
on his own initiative.
Merz's conversation with the Public Prosecutor in Augsburg eased
his objections to the transferral—the Public Prosecutor appeared to
be cooperative, and offered Merz essentially a free hand. Upon his
return to Munich he brought Franz Ott, the PDM's leading homicide
specialist, into the case and proceeded with the investigation. The
political policemen also swallowed their anger and worked with Merz
and Ott to ease the problems of transition. On the morning of March 11
Pohner made the temporary transfer to Department T permanent.^ The
common interest of the lower officers in seeing the case brought to a
successful conclusion had overcome the threat of delay. Merz, Ott, and

82
Krick, the latter having come to Munich to participate in the wider
investigation, set lip shop in Ott's office and proceeded with the
, . . 51
mterrogatjon of suspects.
With some reluctance—Ott was himself a member of the Civic Guard,
and Merz sympathized politically with the Guard's aims--the three
officials agreed with Gehauf and Feil that the track of the murderers
led in the direction of the Ringhotel, the Munich headquarters of the
Civic Guard. Suspicion centered upon the occupants of the Civic Guard
truck which had passed through Zusmarshausen. The police inquiry
yielded a list of five names representing the occupants of the truck:
Richard Bally, August Beurer, Franz Brandi, Max Neunzert, and Jakob
Schwesinger. All were active in the Civic Guard and had served with
the army or one of the Freikorps; Neunzert held the post of Disarmament
Commissioner with the Civic Guard, and had played a leading role in
preventing weapons from being surrendered to the Berlin authorities.
Beurer and Neunzert were questioned on March 11 and 12. On March 13
Brandi was brought in for questioning. At the very outset Merz won
the impression that Brandi was holding something back. Merz pressed
him further with a combination of sympathy and firmness which disarmed
Brandi's resistance. The young man then confessed that he had not
been among the participants in the ride to Ulm on the night of March 3,
and that he had been pushed by his friends into presenting himself
thusly in order to cover the participation of yet another individual,
52
Hermann Berchtold.

83
The mere mention of Berchtold's name quickened the interest of
the interrogators. Berchtold had been implicated in the Sandmayer
affair and had been identified as one of Dohner's assailants—as had
Neunzert, who liad driven the car used in the abduction of Dober.
Beurer and Neunzert, moreover, had been caught in a direct lie
concerning their activities on the night of March 3, and their pressure
on Brandi to present himself in place of Berchtold took on the
dimensions of a deliberate conspiracy of silence. Beurer was immediately
brought back in and, confronted with Brandi's statement, conceded
that Berchtold had in fact been the fifth member of the group. Both
Ott and Merz believed that a milestone in the case had been passed.
Merz later went so far as to say, "With the mention of the name
53
Berchtold, the case was, for me, as good as broken."
Prosecutor Krick evidently agreed; that same day he signed
warrants for the arrest of Bally, Berchtold, Beurer, Neunzert, and
Schwesinger. Later that same day Lieutenant Braun's name was added
to the list—the leads developed by Gehauf and Feil had finally born
fruit. The next morning Krick returned to Augsburg, leaving what now
54
appeared to be merely a follow-up investigation in the hands of Merz.
At this point the case against the six suspects rested firmly
upon the juristical pillars of motive and opportunity. Hartung's threat
to Braun, coupled with the more generalized doubts which had gathered
around Hartung in Civic Guard circles, provided a clear motive. The
evidence of opportunity was equally transparent. The five main

84
suspects—the arrest warrant against Braun had named him only as an
accomplice—had departed hy truck from Munich on the night in question
and had been in the immediate vicinity of the murder scene during the
course of the evening. All five had been armed with pistols of the
calibers used in the murder. Their truck was at the murder scene at
approximately the time that two witnesses identified the sound of a
shot coming from that direction. The paving stones used to weight
the body came from Munich, quite probably from a barracks courtyard,
to which they all had access on the afternoon of their departure. One
of the suspects, Beurer, was a native of Zusmarshausen. Known through¬
out the village as a zealous duck hunter, he was thoroughly familiar
with the course of the Zusam and undoubtedly capable of locating those
rare spots where its depth permitted the concealment of a body.
Moreover, Beurer had repeatedly used the cluster of buildings at the
murder scene as a hiding place for illegal weapons—his affinity for
the spot was virtually a byword in the village. Finally, Bally,
Beurer, Berchtold, and Schwesinger had returned by train to Munich on
March 4 along the route where Hartung's blood-soaked cap and briefcase
were found.Granted, some of this evidence was circumstantial. Still,
coupled with the known involvement of Braun and Berchtold in the Sand-
mayer case, the grounds for arresting the six and holding them in
investigative custody appeared overwhelming.
Nonetheless, within twenty-four hours of having signed the arrest
warrants, Public Prosecutor Krick returned to the PDM and countermanded
them. The suspects were allowed to go free. Krick's new directive, to

85
be sure, required that they hold themselves available for further
questioning, but, once they were free there was no effective means
of enforcing this provision. The suspects could flee, or go underground,
as some of them ultimately did.jf> If Pohner's earlier transferral of
the case from PDM VI to PDM I had threatened to delay the investigation,
this latest move threatened to destroy it completely.
What accounted for Krick's change of heart? Shortly after his
return to Augsburg on the morning of March 14, a certain Dr. Gademann
called at his home. Gademann explained that he had come by car from
Munich to fetch Krick and take him back to the Ministry of Justice.
Gademann indicated that the Minister desired a consultation on the
progress of the Hartung case. Gademann evidenced a great need to
hurry, against which Krick protested that he had just come from the
train and was preparing to sit down to lunch. After some discussion
Gademann agreed to come back at one-thirty in the afternoon. Gademann
returned at the appointed time, drove Krick by his office to get some
papers on the case, and then picked up the other Public Prosecutor,
„ . . , 57
Kraus, on their way out of town.
Both Krick and Kraus had assumed that Gademann was a representative
of the Ministry of Justice. During the drive back to Munich, however,
Gademann remarked that he was the legal advisor to the Civic Guard and
that the car belonged to Georg Escherich, the head of the Civic Guard.
Krick felt a certain surprise at this—his assumptions about Gademann's
connection with the Ministry had been based upon the latter's evident

86
familiarity with Krick's work on the Hartung case. His colleague Kraus,
however, saw nothing untoward in Gademann's mission. The Civic Guard,
after all, was a semi-official organization—in his own Augsburg
jurisdiction Guard volunteers served on the staff of the local jail,
and Kraus himself felt a great deal of admiration for Escherich's
work. More impressed than uneasy, Kraus thought nothing more about
the possible impropriety as the car pulled up at the Palace of Justice
in Munich.
Once inside, both Kraus and Krick experienced disappointment.
They had been led to expect an interview with the Justice Minister
himself, Dr. Roth. Instead, they were ushered into the presence of
Oberregierungsrat Giirtner, Roth's deputy and later successor. Krick
presented his report to Giirtner and then departed in the direction of
59
police headquarters, leaving Kraus to consult further with Giirtner.
Krick went directly to Merz and, after hurriedly recounting the
events of the afternoon, walked over to a lectern in the corner of
Merz's office and wrote out the order lifting the warrants for arrest.
Merz protested with all the vigor he could muster. Nothing had changed
since the night before, when the warrants had been issued; their
withdrawal would destroy the prospects for further progress in the case;
this sudden step made no sense. Krick listened stonily, and then
reaffirmed his order.^
For Merz, the memories of this episode would still rankle years
later. The case had been thrust upon him by Pohner, against his

87
professional objections. And now, with success within his grasp,
the basis of the investigation had been cut from under him. If the
case failed now, it would most certainly be a black mark against him
and against the reputation of Department I, hitherto unbesmirched by
charges of political bias. Throughout the next day he mulled matters
over and then went to Police Director Ramer, second-in-command at the
PDM and head of Department I, stated his feelings, and asked to be
removed from the case. Ramer promised to take this request under
advisement. The next day Merz was summoned to Ramer's office, where
he found Ramer and Krick's superior, Kraus. Ramer explained that he had
already conveyed the substance of Merz's objections to Kraus. Kraus
then sternly reminded Merz that, as a police officer, he was duty-bound
to obey the instructions of the prosecutor's office. He professed
himself satisfied with Merz's conduct of the case up to that point,
but wanted to make certain Merz would continue in the right direction;
this final remark passed without further explanation. Ramer then
warned Merz not to hurt himself and his career by doing something stupid
(". . . Ramer redete mir zu und meinte, ich solle keine dienstliche
Dummheit machen . . The interview concluded with a direct order
from Ramer to Merz to continue as head of the investigation.^
But the case had clearly collapsed. Hamstrung in his efforts to
move against the most likely suspects, Merz soon lost interest in
6 2
pursuing the futile exercise. The investigation continued in

88
desultory fashion into 1922 and then faded into nothingness, only to
be revived when political circumstances changed some years later.
The case against the suspected slayers of linns Hartung liad been
murdered, just as surely as Hartung himself. But why? And by whom?
The proximate cause had been the prosecutor's unwillingness to uphold
the arrest warrants. Krick's sudden change of heart, however, had not
come unbidden. Here was the real mystery in the case.
Both Krick and Kraus later swore that Gürtner had made no attempt
to influence their disposition of the case. Questioned later about the
interview at the Justice Palace, Krick insisted that Gurtner had only
requested a progress report and had made no attempt to influence the
course of the investigation. His impression had been that the dispatch
*In the summer of 1924 the investigation was reopened under the
supervision of Investigating Judge Kestel of the Landgericht München I.
In March 1925, Max Neunzert and Richard Bally were formally tried for
the murder of Hans Hartung. The other four suspects were also sought
for trial, but could not be brought before the court. Beurer had
successfully gone underground; Berchtold, who in the meantime has been
sought by the Austrian police for yet another murder, had likewise
disappeared. Schwesinger was hiding out in the Saarland. Braun had
found asylum in Admiral Horthy's Hungary, where he effectively resisted
extradition in connection with the Hartung case by presenting himself
as the victim of political persecution—the request for extradition had
also been based on a second indictment against Braun, issued for his
complicity in the Sandmayer case.
In its verdict the court concluded that it was "highly probable"
that "as participants in the truck ride to Ulm, the two defendants had
participated in the murder of Hartung." Neunzert and Bally were none¬
theless set free—high probability not being adequate for a conviction.
One may respect the court's adherence to strict standards of law in
this case, while at the same time noting that such strict standards had
not often been demanded when leftists were being tried in Bavarian
courts. One may also question the court's treatment of evidence in
expressing its reasons for doubt. For example, in rejecting the indict¬
ment, the court laid great stress on the fact that no traces of blood

89
of Gademann to Augsburg to bring back the two prosecutors was the simple
consequence of Ciirtner’s desire for fresh information. Kraus described
the incident in much the same language. To explain his sudden volte-
face in the matter of the arrest warrants, Krick stated that it had not
been sudden at all, that he and Kraus had agreed on this measure shortly
before leaving for Munich that afternoon. The discussion took place
when Gademann and Krick stopped at the door of Kraus's home to pick him
up for the ride to Munich. Krick walked to the door, leaving Gademann
to wait with the chauffeur. Walking back to the car with Kraus, Krick
reported briefly on the developments during his three-day stay in
Munich. In the course of the discussion he began to wonder if he had
acted too hastily in issuing the arrest warrants—perhaps Kraus
expressed certain reservations on this score. The evidence against the
suspects was not absolutely conclusive. Worse, all of the suspects were
had been found on the clothing of the defendants—this in spite of
the fact that a week elapsed between the night of the crime and the
first examination by the police of any of the suspects, and in spite
of the further fact that Neunzert himself admitted under oath that he
and his four co-riders had all taken changes of clothing with them on
the trip. The court also dismissed out of hand a statement of Bally's
to a friend that he had participated in the murder of Hartung,
largely on the grounds that Bally had been drunk at the time of this
confession. In vino veritas clearly did not count for much with the
court. For these and other details of the later case against Neunzert
and Bally see the verdict of March 30, 1925, In the case in StAnw.
Mil. I 3018d/7.

90
respectable individuals and members of the Civic Guard, an organization
with close ties to the state. One would have to proceed very carefully,
ft
for a mistake c.ou]d have a serious effect on public opinion.
Krick's version of this exchange was the only one available—
Kraus recalled later that Krick had made his report, but could remember
63
nothing of its content. Nonetheless, Kraus's version of the interview
with Gürtner suggested that he and Krick had already come to have
second thoughts on the subject of the arrest warrants before the inter¬
view began. As Kraus recalled the interview, it began with a general
report by Krick. At the conclusion of the report the question of the
arrest warrants arose. Apparently without being pressed by Gürtner
on the matter—Kraus refused to attribute any comment to Gurtner—Kraus
indicated that he was well aware of the significance of the case, that
*The original of Krick's statement read as follows:
". . . . Ich berichtete meinem Amtsvorstand .... über meine
Tatigkeit in München und den Gang der Erhebungen in grossen Zügen.
Hiebei werde ich auch geaussert haben, dass ver Verdacht auf die
Beschuldigten gefallen ist, gegen die ich Haftbefehl erlassen hatte,
dass aber noch kein abschliessender Beweis da sei, weil man noch nicht
wisse, wo Hartung ermordet wurde und ob er überhaupt lebend auf dem
gleichen Lastauto fuhr, wie die übrigen Beschuldigten. Die Annahme,
dass er in München ermordet wurde und in einen Personenkraftwagen als
Leiche zur Zusam befordert wurde, war meines Erachtens nicht ganz
ausgeschlossen. Ich weiss nun nicht mehr, ob bei dieser Unterredung
mir Bedenken aufstiegen, ob ich mit meinem Haftbefehl nicht etwa
deneben getappt hatte, oder ob vielleicht Staatsanwalt Kraus derartige
Bedenken aussprach. Ich glaube eher, dass das letztere der Fall
gewesen sein mag. Die Bedenken mogen nach der Richtung gegangen sein,
dass die Beschuldigten anstandige Leute und Angehorige der Einwohnerwehr,
also einer sozusagen staatlichen Einrichtung waren, und das man wegen
des Eindrucks, den in diesem Fall ein Misgriff auf die offentliche
Meinung machen müsse, Grund zu besonderer Vorsicht babe. . . ." Testi¬
mony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l.

91
he was not completely certain of the charges against the six suspects,
and that he intended to do everything in his power to avoid the
appearance of having acted over-liastily. On these ground he could not
see fit to uphold the arrest warrants, particularly since, given the
kind of people involved, he did not fear that they would take flight
upon release.
Viewed against this background, Gürtner's promise that Kraus would
be given a free hand in the case assumed a different role. Had Gürtner
wanted to influence the case in favor of the six suspects, he could
scarcely have asked for more than Kraus offered voluntarily. Both Kraus
and Krick were noticeably reticent about attributing statements to
Gürtner in the course of their later testimony.^ This was hardly
surprising, for when their testimony was given on the case in 1924,
Gürtner was Minister of Justice in Bavaria, with the power to make
or break the careers of men in Kraus's and Krick's position.
Gürtner, further, was a clever and astute politician, as his
/C
later career made evident. He was not the kind of man who needed to
make things explicit in order to get his point across. Indeed, the
entire sequence of events on March 14 may be viewed as a carefully
orchestrated attempt to influence the two prosecutors. The arrest
warrants had been signed on the evening of March 13. By morning this
— p,
«Gürtner managed the quite remarkable feat of remaining in the
Bavarian cabinet until 1932, despite frequent differences with the
dominant BVP. He then managed a dexterous move to national politics
as Reichminister of Justice in the cabinets of Papen and Hitler,
holding this post until his death in 1941.

92
fact would have been known at the Ministry of Justice and at the
headquarters of the Civic Guard. Minister Roth immediately attempted,
through Ciirtner, to contact Krick in Munich, but the phone call reached
the PDM moments after the latter's departure for Augsburg. Then,
instead of phoning Kraus and arranging for the two prosecutors to
come by train to Munich, he sent Gademann, the legal advisor of the
Civic Guard, in a car belonging to the head of the Civic Guard,
to fetch them. Nothing could have been more unusual—Kraus, for example,
had never ridden in an automobile before—and more calculated to
impress the two with the special nature of the Civic Guard's relation¬
ship with the state. The comments of Kraus and Krick on this gesture
confirm its effect.^
In a later attempt to justify his actions, Krick called attention
to a report implying that Hartung had been murdered by Communists from
6 7
Halle. Yet this report did not surface until three days after the
decision to cancel the arrest warrants. Furthermore, the professional
policemen working on the case, men such as Seubert and Merz, dismissed
this report with contempt. Merz termed it "Agentengeschwatz," the
6 8
childish babble of agents.
No disclaimer could conceal the obvious. A cover-up had taken
place. The left-wing press, of course, had no doubts on the subject.
Nor did many of the policemen involved. In the words of detective Ott,
69
"Someone must have dropped a hint." With its reputation already
burdened by the Sandmayer and Dobner affairs, the government had taken

93
out yet another mortgage. The alternative, however, was worse. To
allow the six suspects to be placed before a court—even a Bavarian
court—would have invited exposure of its most important secrets. It
could have compromised key figures such as Pohner and, perhaps, have
brought down the government itself. At the very least it would have
undermined Kahr's position in the fight with Berlin over disarmament.
To understand the politics of the Hartung case, one must examine
more closely the ties between Pohner, the political police, and the
Civic Guard. Had Pohner himself ordered the deaths of Sandmayer, Dcbner,
and Hartung? And even were this not the case, had he used his position
to protect the murderers and assist them in evading justice?
The ties between Pohner's political police and the Civic Guard
were extremely close. In working together against the threat of
disarmament leading figures in the two organizations came into regular
contact. Reserve Captain Walter Schenk, in 1921 the head of the Civic
Guard's own intelligence service, thought nothing of picking up the phone
and calling Frick's deputy, Regierungsrat Bernreuther, whenever he
needed information from the political police.^ Adam Stiimpfig, another
member of the Civic Guard headquarters staff, received a warning against
a leftist agent from Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser of PDM VI/N.^ The
words of Lieutenant-Colonel Kricbel on the subject of this cooperation
have already been cited. Whenever measures effecting state security
were discussed at the PDM, representatives of the army and the Civic
72
Guard were invited.
And the professional ties between the police and

94
the guard were frequently reinforced by personal ties as well. This
extended to at least some of the defendants in the Hartung case,
notably Max Neunzert.
After four years at the front and service with a Freikorps in the
summer of 1919, Max Neunzert worked as an intelligence agent for the
staff of the VII. Corps in Munich. In June 1920, he left the army
to work for the Civic Guard, serving as a contact man between the latter
and Captain Ernst Rohm, the Reichswehr officer in charge of circumventing
weapons controls. From then until the night of the Hitler Putsch,
in which he was an active participant, Neunzert worked closely with
73
Rohm. At the same time he cooperated with PDM VI.
Although acquainted with many police officers, including Pohner
himself, Neunzert spent most of his time with the political policemen.
In the year prior to the murder of Hartung he appeared in the offices
of Department VI on an almost daily basis. In addition to sharing
information on weapons matters with his opposite numbers there, he
also, on occasion, worked as an undercover agent for the political
police. In the summer of 1920 he worked for Bernreuther as an agent
provocateur, travelling throughout the countryside in the guise of
a French officer from the Disarmament Commission and trying to entice
various individuals to betray weapons caches to him. He baited his
offers with money provided for the purpose by Bernreuther. Then, when
the trap was set, he turned these "traitors" over to an officer of
74
PDM Via, who arrested them. Not surprisingly, the comments of many

95
political police officers on Neunzert read almost like character
references.^ Significantly, the officers most interested in bringing
the murderers of Hartung to justice did not belong to Neunzert's circle
of acquaintance at the PI)M.^
Emotions ran high on the weapons issue. Popular right-wing
newspapers such as the Miesbacher Anzeiger condemned the betrayal of
weapons to the Entente in the strongest possible terms and repeatedly
denounced the betrayers as traitors.^ This sentiment extended to
its logical conclusion meant the death penalty for Waffenverrat, and
few on the right shrank from drawing this conclusion. General Franz
Ritter von Epp, the hero of the war against the Soviet Republic,
spoke for many when he said:
I regard the steps taken by patriotic groups against
the weapons-traitors as acts of self-defense and morally
right, because they serve as a deterrent. Patriots
approve the murder of these traitors.78
Kriebel ratified Epp's sentiment and added that he could readily
understand how "brave, responsible, young veterans" would want to
79
get rid of these "traitors and Schweinehunde." Neunzert, one of
80
these young veterans, agreed. So, too, did many officers of the
political police, from Pbhner and Frick on down. Pohner expressed
his personal attitude on the issue of giving up weapons in the
following terms:

96
I am a simple Civic Guardsman. In the Civic Guard,
an ordinary sergeant is my superior. I do my duty—
I have five rifles and two pistols at home. . . . The Red
hound who comes to take my rifle away will get a bullet
through the head.^l-
Frick related this attitude to the actions of the weapons-traitors,
saying, "The failure to impose the death penalty against such indi-
82
viduals represented a sin of omission on the part of the state."
Pohner, according to Frick, proposed to rectify this omission
8 3
through the introduction of the death penalty for such acts. This,
however, was impossible; even in Bavaria one could not condemn a person
to death for obeying the law of the land! One could, nonetheless,
ensure that the same result was achieved unofficially. If the police
and justice authorities refused to move against right-wing political
murderers, the public would soon understand that obeying the national
laws on the reporting of weapons meant exposing oneself to an untimely
end. The spectre of a powerful underground organization, aided and
protected by the executive organs of the state, was a calculated
deterrent. After contemplating the fates of Sandmayer, Dobner, and
Hartung, few individuals would be willing to report illegal weapons
caches to the disarmament officials of the Reich. In this context,
the very insignificance of these victims was important, for others
could see that not only prominent public figures were exposed; even
the "little man," or woman could not evade discovery and punishment.
With the police on the side of the murderers, there was no place to

97
hide and no protector to whom one could appeal. The political police
protected the murderers—and the murderers protected the police. Tn
the face of public complaints in the press and in the Landtag, the
police could contend that they were trying to find the murderers.
However dark the rumors might be, Pohner and his subordinates could
respond that leads in a case were lacking, that adequate proof could
not be found, or that administrative problems had intervened--Pdhner's
own action in the Hartung case suggested just how such administrative
problems might be manufactured. A reign of terror could be fostered
and yet, because the terrorists themselves were not policemen, no direct
84
responsibility could be attached to the police.
Still, the rumors of police complicity persisted. One widespread
allegation, never categorically denied, traced the murders of Sandmayer,
Hartung, and others to a policy developed at a meeting held in Pohner's
office at the PDM. The regular appearance of Civic Guard leaders at
police headquarters, Pohner's close ties with the Civic Guard—despite
PShner's claim to have been only a simple Civic Guardsman, he was deeply
involved in its innermost councils—and the unquestioned implication of
the Civic Guard in the political murders all combined to reinforce
85
this allegation. Further indirect confirmation came in the later
testimony of Oberinspektor Reingruber, who claimed to have been present
in Pohner's home at a meeting where Pohner himself ordered a political
8 6
murder. No written evidence substantiated these allegations; then
again, Pohner was much too clever to commit something so potentially
87
incriminating to paper.

98
But even if Pohner were absolved of such active participation,
there remained the question of other forms of complicity. The points
of cooperation between Lite political police and the Civic Guard were
manifold, extending far beyond PUhner's connections with the Civic
Guard leadership—witness Neunzert's work as a police undercover agent.
The work of the political police in identifying weapons-traitors, and
the willingness of the political police to share this information
freely with the Civic Guard, made the PDM an active, if silent,
partner in the measures of the Civic Guard against the betrayal of
weapons. In particular, the role of Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser was
suspicious. Glaser had used his official position to assist the escape
of a suspect in the Sandmayer case. In the Dobner case he had been
caught offering protection to one of the conspirators. His imprint
was also detected on a variety of other illegal acts of a political
88
nature.
Although Glaser claimed to enjoy no special relationship with
Pohner, the evidence spoke heavily against him. Glaser was one of only
three PDM officers present at the secret meeting of December 7, 1920,
concerning the political intelligence service. In 1921, at the time
of the murder of Hartung, he headed the political intelligence
service in PDM VI, a position described by Pbhner himself as one of
extreme sensitivity and responsibility. Even more revealing, he had
been promoted past colleagues ten years his senior, a sure sign of
c 89
favor.

99
One of the devices used by the police to assist political
murderers was the provision of false passports, with which the assassins
could flee to a foreign asylum—usually Hungary—until the case was
forgotten. Testifying before an investigative commission of the
Reichstag in 1927, Glaser claimed that in providing such passports
90
he was following Pohner's express orders. This claim may have been,
on Glaser's part, a bald attempt to evade personal responsibility for
his actions. At this point the combination of Pbhner's death two
years before and Glaser's own precarious legal position had dissolved
the one-time trusted subordinate's bonds of loyalty to his former
master. This testimony, nonetheless, clearly linked the political
police with illegal political activity. And, given Glaser's close
ties with Pohner, his claim had a certain credibility.
The relationship between the political police and the Civic Guard,
the pattern of political interference in favor of right-wing political
murderers, and Pohner's own frankly-avowed approval of such acts
suggested strongly that the PDM was deeply involved in the reign of
terror which gripped Munich in 1921. Hans Hartung had foolishly
placed himself afoul of the most powerful forces in Bavarian politics.
For this he paid with his life.
Others, less foolishly, ventured a challenge to these powerful
forces and met with a similar end. Throughout the year the socialist
Landtag deputy, Karl Gareis, had waged a public battle against the
illegal weapons transactions of the Civic Guard and against the wave

100
of political terror in Bavaria. Gareis's involvement with the Dobner
case and his attempts to bring light upon the nefarious activities of
Glaser and the political police had made him one of the most prominent
and most hated enemies of the radical right. In the midst of the
crisis surrounding the dissolution of the Civic Guard, on the night of
June 10, 1921, Gareis was murdered on his own doorstep. Coming in the
wake of the other political murders, the assassination of Gareis cast
further suspicion on the Civic Guard and other radical right-wing
groups in Munich. The evidence turned up by the police also pointed
in that direction. But no suspect was ever convicted of the murder.
Glaser, however, was once again implicated in the case, through his
. 91
connection with the escape of a prime suspect.
The reign of terror went on, extending outward from the Bavarian
"cell of order" to embrace all of Germany. On August 26 Matthias
Erzberger, a moderate leader of the Center Party and a strong supporter
of the republic, was gunned down during a visit to the south-west
German state of Baden. Erzberger, perhaps more than any other single
individual in German political life, was hated by the radical right.
Erzberger had been one of the first prominent German politicians to break
openly with the wartime dictatorship of Ludendorff and Hindenburg and
call for peace. He had participated actively in the negotiations
leading to the armistice, and had led the parliamentary efforts culmi¬
nating in the ratification of the Versailles treaty. As Reich Finance
Minister during 1919 and 1920 he had pushed for a greater centralization

101
of political authority in the new republic, at least partly in order
to create a fiscal basis for dealing with Germany's manifold economic
problems. In pursuing these various policies Erzberger had come to
embody virtually everything that the right found repugnant in the
republic. For this he paid twice over, the first time by being driven
from public life by his many enemies, the second time, on the eve of
92
his political comeback, with his life. What had begun with the
random terror of 1919 had become, through stages marked by the murders
of such minor figures as Maria Sandmayer and Hans Hartung, a concerted
attack upon the political leaders of the republic.
Erzberger's assassins, two young former officers, Heinrich Schulz
and Heinrich Tillessen, fled from the scene of the crime to Munich,
where they could expect the protection of the police authorities. In
this they would not be disappointed. The police in Baden followed the
assassins' trail to Munich. There, in keeping with standard practice,
the officers from Baden placed themselves in contact with the PDM and
asked for cooperation. Tillessen had already crossed the Austrian
border, but Schulz was still in Munich. Informed by contacts within
the PDM that the net was closing, Schulz's Munich friends spirited him
across the border to Salzburg. There Schulz and Tillessen were reunited.
They then proceeded to safe asylum in Hungary, conveyed across Austria
in a car belonging to the Police President of Salzburg, a gesture once
93
again attributable to the friendly intervention of the PDM.

102
In the course of their investigations in Munich, the police from
Baden uncovered evidence of links between Schulz and Tillessen and
the secret Organisation Consul. This underground right-wing society,
based upon the former Ehrhardt Naval Brigade, lias its headquarters in
Munich, where Ehrhardt and his henchmen had enjoyed the protection of
Pohner's police after their participation in the abortive Kapp putsch.
Further investigation suggested that the assassination of Erzberger
had been carried out at the command of the O.C. leadership. Confounded
by a continuing lack of cooperation from the Munich police, the Baden
authorities were unable to establish a firm case tying the O.C. as an
organization to the Erzberger murder—this would come only with the
trial of Schulz and Tillessen after the Second World War. But the
behavior of the PDM prompted bitter criticisms from the state government
94
in Baden.
The assassination of Erzberger provoked a nationwide wave of
public indignation. While many had been prepared to condemn Erzberger's
policies, only his most bitter enemies had wished to see him dead. In
Bavaria, the BVP position had been one of marked hostility to Erzberger—
the split of the BVP from the national Center Pary had been, in part,
a response to Erzberger's leadership role in the national party. The
BVP moderates, however, condemned the assassination, and, when Kahr's
policies appeared to place Bavaria in a position of condoning the
95
murderers, withdrew their support from him. A second wave of public
outrage would follow the June 1922 assassination of Walter Rathenau,

103
the Reich Foreign Minister, by members of the Organisation Consul. This
time, however, the right-wing terrorists had definitely overreached
themselves. The Reich government passed a series of stringent new
laws against such acts of violence. Although these laws would be
ultimately rendered toothless by the rightward bias of the Weimar
judiciary, the political climate turned against blatant right-wing
terrorism. In Munich, the dissolution of the Civic Guard, the fall of
the Kahr government, and the resignation of Pohner from the PDM had
already signaled the beginning of a new era. Politics would continue
to bedevil the Munich police. But, if only for a decade, the time of
the assassins had passed.

104
Notes
Testimony of Josef Kuchenbauer, October 29, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/3. Kuchenbauer's statement, like all the other testimony from
file 3081d cited in this chapter, was made under oath to Investigating
Judge Kestel during the 1924 investigation into the Hartung case.
2
Wilhelm Hoegner, Die verratene Republik (Munich, 1958), p. 86.
Hoegner, a Social Democrat Landtag deputy in the 1920's and, after
the Second World War, Minister President of Bavaria, was an active
participant in several of the parliamentary investigations into the
Bavarian political murders, and his commentary is based upon these
investigations. Hoegner's work is one of the two most heavily used
sources for the topic of political murder. The other is the body of
work compiled by Emil Julius Gumbel. Gumbel's work in the early 1920's
led to a Reichstag investigation into the political murder issue. The
results of this investigation, in turn, form the basis of Gumbel's
summary work on the subject, Verrater verfallen der Feme: Opfer, Morder,
Richter, 1919-1929 (Berlin, 1929). Because of the influence these works
have exerted upon the subsequent historical treatment of the political
murder question, and because both are subject to the charge of being
politically biased in favor of the left, they deserve to be carefully
checked against the available archival sources. The detailed analysis
of the murder of Hans Hartung which forms the basis of this chapter,
in addition to its other purposes, represents an attempt to check the
treatments by Hoegner and Gumbel in one of the few Bavarian Feme-Mord
cases where a comprehensive collection of primary documents exists.
My comparison of Hoegner's and Gumbel's respective treatments of the
Hartung case with the material available in the seven volume, one
thousand plus page collection of documents from the Munich Public
Prosecutor's office suggests that the accounts of Hoegner and Gumbel
are correct save in minor details. The reader is invited to compare the
treatment in this chapter with these works. Similar comparisons for
the Sandmayer and Dobner cases, although based upon much more limited
archival material, tend to confirm the general accuracy of the Hoegner
and Gumbel treatments. Nonetheless, I have adopted the practice of
not citing these works unless convinced by independent sources that
the treatments are unaffected by political bias.

105
After the murder of Maria Sandmayer and the attempted murder
of Hans Dobner, the phrase "Morderzentrale in der Ettstrasse (the address
of the PDM)" became a Munich commonplace. See the report of Carl von
Merz to the Police President, Munich, September 19, 1924, M Inn 71525.
A
Albert Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Zweiter Teil,"
in Spindler, Handbuch, Vol. IV/1, pp. 454-465.
^Pohner's statement was made to Arnold Brecht during the latter's
visit to Munich in February, 1921, only weeks before the murder of Har-
tung. See Arnold Brecht, Aus nachster Nahe: Lebenserinnerungen, 1884-
1927 (Stuttgart, 1966), p. 332.
Ajames M. Diehl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany (Blooming¬
ton, Indiana, 1977), pp. 91-92. See also Benz, Politik in Bayern,
pp. 74-85.
8
Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, pp. 131-135.
Ibid, pp. 136-137, 140.
Ibid, pp. 131-140.
"^Testimony of Christian Leibenzeder, October 31, 1924, StAnw.
Mü. I 3081d/3; Testimony of Joseph Kern, July 14, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
3081d/l.
11
12
13
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, p. 85.
Testimony of Hermann Kriebel, July 24, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, p. 139.
14
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, pp. 84-85, and Nusser, Konser¬
vative Wehrverbande, p. 141.
^The basic source for the Dobner affair is the transcript of
the Landtag hearings on the case from October, 1920, which may be
found in StAnw. Mü. I 3123. Convenient summaries are contained in
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, pp. 85-86, and Nusser, Konservative
Wehrverbande, pp. 141-142.
16
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, pp. 84-85.
^Ibid. For Claser's acknowledgment before a 1927 Reichstag
committee that he had provided passports, see Nusser, Konservative
Wehrverbande, pp. 140-141. But compare Testimony of Friedrich Glaser,
November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mü. T 3081d/5.

106
18
Transcript of Landtag hearings, October 1920, StAnw. Mii. I 3123.
See also Hoegner, Die verratene Kepublik, pp. 85-86.
19
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. Mii. I 3081 ci/7 .
Investigating Judge Kestel to the State Police Office in
Mannheim, January 27, 1925, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/5; Testimony of Alfred
Zeller, September 13, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/2.
21
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/7.
Investigating Judge Kestel to the District Court in Vilshofen,
September 24, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/3.
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/7. Hartung's actual relationship to PDM VI
remains a matter of mystery. Late in February 1921, Hartung appeared
several times in the offices of PDM VI. On one occasion Hartung
called on Kriminaloberkommissar Mayer of Desk Via to ask for infor¬
mation concerning the activities of various Communist speakers in
Munich, apparently as part of Hartung's effort to establish himself
as a private intelligence agent for the Civic Guard. Mayer sent
him along to Desk VId, which was unable to help. In the same matter
Hartung also called upon Regierungsrat Bernreuther, deputy head of
Department VI. Bernreuther professed to recall little about the
actual encounter. The suspicion that Hartung had actually been
employed as an informer by PDM VI/N was emphatically denied by the
head of that desk, Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser. See Testimony of
Heinrich Mayer, October 1, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3; Testimony of
of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/3;
Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/5.
25
Testimony of Alfred Zeller, September 13, 1924, StAnw. MU.
I 3081d/2.
26
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. MU.
I 3081d/3.
27
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/7.
28
Ibid.
29
Testimony of Josef Zahnle,
October 29, 1924, StAnw. Mii. T 3081d/3.

107
30
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
31
Testimony of Adolf Heinsen, September 18, 1924, StAnw. Mil. T
3081d/2; Institute of Legal Medicine at the University of Munich to
Investigating Judge Kcstel , November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
Heinsen was the physician who performed the original autopsy.
32
Testimony of Josef Kuchenbauer, October 29, 1924, StAnw. Mü.
I 3081d/3.
33
Ibid. See also the Testimony of Josef Zahnle, October 29,
1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
34Ibid.
35
Investigating Judge Kestel to the Gendarmerie Station Friedberg,
November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/5.
36
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
37
Testimony of Anton Messerer, October 29, 1924, and Testimony of
Georg Gareis, October 29, 1924, both StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
38
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/7.
39
Testimony of Lorenz Link, September 18, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/2.
40
Testimony of Johann Feil, October 2, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
41
Testimony of Friedrich Stein, October 23, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
3081d/3.
42
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/3.
43
Testimony of Johann Gehauf, September 25, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/2; Testimony of Johann Feil, October 2, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3;
Testimony of Heinrich Becher, October 25, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
44
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/3; Testimony of Johann Gehauf, September 25, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I
3081d/2.
45
46
Ibid.
Testimony of Johann Feil, October 2, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.

108
47Ibid.
48
Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mii. T
3081d/3.
49
Testimony of Johann Celiauf, September 25, 1924, StAnw. Mil. 1
308Id/2.
"^Report of Carl von Merz to the Police President, Munich,
September 19, 1924, M Inn 71525.
'^Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
3081d/3.
52
Ibid. See also Testimony of Franz Ott, October 20, 1924,
StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
53•j
Ibid.
54
Ibid. See also Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, July 29, 1924,
StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.
"^Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/7; Testimony of Josef Kuchenbauer, October
29, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
"^Testimony 0f Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/3; Testimony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/l; Arrest Warrant f or Hermann Berchtold, November 4, 1924,
StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3. See also Hoegner, Die verratene Republik,
p. 88.
"^Testimony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.
58
Ibid. See also Testimony of Hermann Kraus, July 31, 1924,
StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.
59T, . ,
Ibid.
60
Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.
6ln -a
Ibid,
62
63
Ibid.
Testimony of Hermann Kraus, July 31, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.

109
64
Ibid.
^Tbid. See also Testimony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924,
StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/l.
66 .
Ibid.
^Wilhelm Krick to Investigating Judge Kestel, September 10,
1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/2.
6 8
Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
308Id/3; Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mii.
I 3081d/3.
69
70
71,
Testimony of Franz Ott, October 20, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/3.
Testimony of Walter Schenk, July 28, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/l.
Testimony of Adam Stiimpfig, July 22, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
72
Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw.
Mii. I 3081d/3.
73
Testimony of Max Neunzert, September 26, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
3081d/2.
74
Ibid.
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I
3081d/3; Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw.
Mü. I 3081d/3; Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw.
Mii. I 3081d/5; Testimony of Ernst Pohner, July 18, 1924, StAnw. Mii.
I 3081d/l.
^Testimony 0f Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I
3081d/3; Testimony of Johann Gehauf, Septmeber 25, 1924, StAnw. Mii.
I 3081d/2; Testimony of Johann Feil, October 2, 1924, StAnw. Mii.
I 3081d/3.
^Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mii.
I 3081d/5.
78
Testimony of Frank Ritter von Epp, September 23, 1924, StAnw.
Mii. I 3081d/2.
79
Testimony of Hermann Kriebel, July 24, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
80_
Testimony
3081d/2.
of Max Neunzert,
September 26, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I

110
Pohner's statement is from Brecht, Aus nachster Nahe, pp. 332-333.
See also Testimony of Ernst Pohner, July 18, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l;
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mü. T 3081(1/5;
Testimony of Friedrich (¡laser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mii. 1 3081d/5.
Pohner's most widely reported comment on the subject of political murder
comes from Ernst Rohm. Responding to the breathless comment that there
were political murderers in Munich, Pohner reportedly remarked, "Yes,
yes, but too few." Rohm is not always a reliable source, but the comment
coincides with many other statements by Pohner, both in form and
substance.
82
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/5.
83
Ibid.
The student of Latin American affairs will recognize similarities
between the "indirect police terror" described here and practices
followed by the current regime in Argentina.
8 5
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
3081d/5; Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw.
Mü. I 3081d/3. The signif icant point is that neither Frick nor
Bernreuther take the opportunity to deny this rumor categorically,
but instead confine themselves to insisting that they were not present
at such a meeting.
8 6
Cited in Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, p. 140.
87
See Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 140-141
for Pohner's aptitude in protecting his background position. Although
Pohner's off-the-record language gave the appearance of carelessness,
his responses for the record on specific cases were always phrased in
a manner calculated to prevent self-incrimination. Typically, phrases
such as "That could have happened, but I don't recall" abound in
Pohner's statements whenever the issue appears to be either self¬
incrimination or perjury. For an example of Pohner in fine legalistic
form, see Testimony of Ernst Pohner, July 18, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
88
Report to Reich Chancellor Dr. Wirth, August 31, 1922, BAK
R43I/2731. This report, prepared by Social Democrat sources in Munich,
contains a comprehensive indictment of the PDM's abuse of power. It
discusses all the political murder cases with detailed accuracy, if
somewhat stridently. It further describes an illegal break-in orche¬
strated by Glaser. The description deserves to be quoted in full: "Im
Bayerischen Landtag musste nach Vorhalt der Sozialdemokraten der
Staatsminister des Innern zugeben, dass ein Polizeibeamter vermeintlich
politische Akten aus einer Privatwohnung entwenden wollte, dass der
Mann vom Wohnungsinhaber dabei abgefasst und an eimen stillen Ort
eingesperrt wurde, dass Herr Glaser auf telephonischen Anruf, in der

Ill
Meinung, es sei der betreffende Beamte, seine Freude zum Ausdruck
gebracht hatte, dass der Einbruch gelungen sei." Watergate on the
Tsar!
89
Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mil. T
3081d/5. Compare Glaser's age and rank with that of other PDM officers
whose testimony is cited in this chapter. For Glaser's presence at the
December 7, 1920 meeting, and for Pohner's evaluation of the sensi¬
tivity of the post Glaser would occupy, see "Protokoll iiber die am
7. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den Ausbau des Nachrichtendienstes," Reg.
v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
90
Cited in Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, pp. 140-141. On
the passport question, see also Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechts-
radikalismus, pp. 140-141, and Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik,
pp. 123-124.
91
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, pp. 88-89. The Gareis murder
case was never solved. Later evidence pointed to the participation
of Erwin Kern, a member of the Organisation Consul and one of the
murderers of Walter Rathenau. See Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik,
p. 112. An extensive, but inconclusive collection of police materials
on the case may be found in StAnw. Mü. I 3088. These materials,
which represent an investigation of a connection between the Gareis
and Erzberger murders do not permit the identification of a prime
suspect, but do serve to illustrate the amount of time the Munich
police put in trying to pin the crime on an acquaintance of Gareis's.
The circumstantial evidence in the case, nonetheless, pointed clearly
to right-wing involvement.
For Erzberger's political career from 1917 onward, see Klaus
Epstein, Matthias Erzberger and the Dilemma of German Democracy (Prince¬
ton, 1959), pp. 182-389. For the right-wing campaign against Erzberger,
see the files collected on this subject by the Reich government,
BAK R43I/936-937.
93
Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik, pp. 123-125. Jasper's treatment
of the Erzberger assassination is based upon the files of the Baden
public prosecutor in charge of the case, and is the most thorough and
carefully documented historical treatment of the subject. A good
summary treatment in English is that of Diehl, Paramilitary Politics,
pp. 107-115, especially p. 112.
94
For the impact of PDM actions on relations between Baden and
Bavaria, see Wolfgang Benz, Stiddeutschland in der Weimarer Republik
(Berlin, 1970), pp. 312-313. For the Organisat ion Consul, see Jasper,
Der Schütz der Republik, pp. 109-125. On 124-126 Jasper also reports
in detail upon the reponses of the Baden police officers to the
behavior of the PDM.
95t
Jasper,
Der Schütz der Repubilk,
pp.
44-45.

CHAPTER 3
THE POLITICAL POLICE AND THE BEER HALL PUTSCH, 1921-1923
The Lerchenfeld era opened with a promise of change in the
political climate within Bavaria and with the hope of better future
relations between Bavaria and the republic. The new Minister
President's middle of the road stance pleased the moderate element
in the BVP, the DDP, which participated in the new government, and
the Social Democrats. For the first time since 1919 the chance
existed for a shift in the Bavarian political balance from the right
to the center of the political spectrum. Lerchenfeld's professional
background as a diplomat in the service of the Reich government
suggested a capacity for dealing with the problems which divided
Munich and Berlin."*- The promise of change within Bavaria could
not be kept, however, and the hope for an improvement in relations
with the republic would soon be dashed.
The same qualities which commended Lerchenfeld to the moderates
made him anathema to the radical right. The formal dissolution of
the Civic Guard had not reduced the role of right-wing paramilitary
organizations in Bavaria. The Guard's own direct successor, the
Organisation Pittinger—in 1922 renamed Bund Bayern und Reich—
continued its predecessor's influence upon the Bavarian political
situation. The new leader, Pittinger, however, represented a more

113
traditionally conservative element within the overall composition
of the radical right. The younger and more avowedly radical elements
from the old Civic Cuard thus drifted away into a variety of other
paramilitary groups, the Bund Oberland, the Bund Wiking, a successor
to the Organisation Consul, the Nazi party's SA, the "Storm Troopers,"
and a number of other, lesser organizations. The composition of
these groups, labelled collectively the Vaterlandische Verbande, or,
"Patriotic Associations," changed constantly as individual members
sought the most congenial organizational environment for their own
particular political views. But despite differences on specific
issues, the Patriotic Associations came increasingly to resemble
one another and to share a common political line vis-a-vis the
Lerchenfeld government. That line was one of unremitting hostility.
The Patriotic Associations, from the Organisation Pittinger to the
most extremely radical splinter group, all regarded the BVP's
withdrawal of support from Kahr and the choice of Lerchenfeld to
succeed him as a betrayal of the nationalist struggle against the
2
republic. In this they were joined by the Bavarian DNVP, and the
3
more radical element within the BVP itself. From the very beginning
the Lerchenfeld government came under bitter attack from these
strong and, as events would prove, implacable enemies.
Rumors of a putsch in support of Kahr had accompanied the final
days of his administration. These rumors were never confirmed by
a revelation of concrete putsch plans, however, although the Pittinger

114
group had, at the very least, attempted to pressure the Landtag to
retain Kahr through a show of force. This attempt to replicate the
Civic Guard's political success in March 1920 nonetheless failed
A
to prevent the election of Lerchenfeld. The Patriotic Associations
drew back briefly to regroup before opening a new round in the
battle for political dominance in Bavaria. While the paramilitary
groups hovered threateningly in the background, more immediate
problems for Lerchenfeld surfaced within the ranks of his own party.
Having successfully rid itself of Kahr, the BVP soon discovered
that this step had won little favor with the Bavarian public. It
became clear that, given the temper of the times, Kahr's intransigence
was more appealing than the moderation of Lerchenfeld. The Patriotic
Associations and the DNVP gathered around Kahr in his new capacity
as Provincial President of Upper Bavaria—the province which
included Munich—and from this base began a campaign to discredit
Lerchenfeld and build support for Kahr's return to statewide power.
This campaign fed popular discontent with Lerchenfeld and strengthened
the position of the radical right-wing element within the BVP
itself. The efforts of Interior Minister Schweyer to increase
control over the Patriotic Associations received little support from
the party. In March 1922, the BVP tried to bring the DNVP back into
the governing coalition, in order to foreclose any further movement
toward the center. The BVP's trust in Lerchenfeld was rapidly
declining.^

115
The Lerchenfeld government could not live comfortably with the
radical right yet, given the power relations in Bavaria at the time,
it could not live without it either. The result was constant
fluctuation, an unsteady course which elicited contempt from all
quarters and promoted dissension within the government's nominal
base of support, the BVP. Under such conditions the government could
achieve little more for itself than survival.
The deepening economic crisis added to Lerchenfeld's already
difficult task. Although the collapse of political stability in
Germany was often associated with the runaway inflation in 1923,
the damage had largely been done by the autumn of 1922. Inflation
had increased steadily since the beginning of the First World War.
After the war the increase accelerated. The man who had put aside
50,000 Marks in the prewar period found that in the middle of 1922
this amount would purchase only 5,000 Marks worth of goods and
services; by the end of 1922 the value had sunk to 20 Marks. In
other words, inflation had transformed a comfortable nest egg, an
individual's dream of secure retirement, into a week's pocket money.
The wild inflation of the year 1923 only represented the monetary
system's final reduction to absurdity.^ To put the matter in terms
every Bavarian could understand, in 1918 a glass of beer cost only
17 Pfennig; by the end of 1922 the price had risen to 60 Marks, or
300 times as much. At such prices an evening at the beer hall gave
little cause for Gemutlichkeit.

116
Even the political police suffered from the increase in the
price of beer. On September 26, 1922, the PDM addressed a plaintive
request for more funds to the Ministry of the Interior, justifying
its plea in the following terms:
.... Today the price of beer already exceeds 30
Marks. The officers assigned to observe political
gatherings in beer halls frequently must remain
on duty for four to six hours, often until well
past midnight. It is hard for them to make out
without something to eat and to drink. In some
places an officer cannot bring his own food
and drink without calling unwanted attention to
himself. Further, to the essential outlays for
food and drink must be added increased entrance
costs, clothing expenses, etc. The political
situation .... makes the close surveillance of
public political gatherings absolutely essential.
This duty creates impossible demands for the
assigned officers, who find it necessary to dip
into their own pockets to meet these substantial
expenses.8
The Ministry, however, needed little reminder of such problems,
for the consequences of inflation, not only for the political
police, but throughout all of society, were only too easy to see.
The problems facing the government did not end with the increase
in operational expenses. More fundamentally, the deepening economic
crisis heightened political tensions in Munich and throughout
Bavaria, adding a bitter edge to the already acrimonious political
atmosphere. Popular opinion linked the deteriorating economic
situation to Germany's reparations obligations under the Versailles
treaty and attached the hlame for these conditions to the republican

117
leadership. The Reich government's efforts to make the best of a bad
bargain won little public credit. Both the radical left and the
radical right sought to exploit tills widespread discontent. In
March 1921, the Communists had attempted a rising in northern
Germany, and although the rising had been suppressed, their influence
in states such as Saxony and Thuringia appeared once again to be on
9
the ascendant. The radical right, in turn, used this Communist
threat to build further support for its own cause, adding the
Communist menace in its resurgent form to the already lengthy list
of sins attributed by the right to the republican leaders.
Until his assassination in 1921, the focal point of this
hostility had been Matthias Erzberger. After Erzberger's death, the
right increasingly fixed its hatred upon the republic's Foreign
Minister, Walter Rathenau. Rathenau's vital services to the German
cause during the First World War counted little with the right-wing
against the fact that Rathenau had become a leading exponent of the
policy of "fulfillment," the attempt to improve Germany's position
through cooperation with its former enemies, and against the fact
that Rathenau was Jewish. The attitude of the radical right found
expression in a popular ditty, which ended with the following couplet:
Knallt ab den Walter Rathenau,
die gottverfluchte Judensau
or, literally:

118
Shoot down Walter Rathenau,
the god-damned Jewish pig.
On June 24, 1922, four days before the third anniversary of the
signing of the Versailles treaty, a group of young rightists, led
by two members of the Organisation Consul, carried out the sentiment
of this ugly song. They lay in wait for Rathenau's car on its way
from his home in a Berlin suburb to his office in the city and, as
it passed, sprayed it with a fusillade from a submachine gun.^ The
two murderers fled in the direction of Bavaria. Shortly before
crossing the Bavarian border, they were trapped in an isolated castle
by the pursuing Berlin police and were killed in the subsequent
shoot-out. Their accomplices, however, were captured, tried, and
. 12
convicted.
The bullets which felled Walter Rathenau also struck down the
Lerchenfeld government. In the face of a rising tide of anti-
Semitic and anti-republican feeling in Bavaria, Count Lerchenfeld
had taken a strong personal stand. Several months before Rathenau's
assassination, in a major speech before the Landtag, Lerchenfeld
had condemned the right's anti-Semitism and called for a more
reasonable attitude toward the republican government in Berlin.
Lerchenfeld's courageous speech won applause from moderates and
vilification from the radical right. In addition to their public
attacks on Lerchenfeld, the radical right now initiated a whispering
13
campaign of character assassination against him. With his Landtag

119
speech Lerchenfeld had irremediably identified himself with all that
was hated by the right in Bavaria, and, in the crisis which followed
the Rathenau assassination, he would find that the right could no
longer be conciliated short of his own resignation.
Buoyed by a tide of public feeling even greater than that
provoked by the murder of Erzberger, the Reich government announced
a series of emergency measures for the defense of the republic. The
decree permitted the ban of all meetings and demonstrations at which
individuals might be incited to illegal actions against the
republican state or to acts of violence against members of the
government. It set stiff penalties for acts of violence against
the republic and its political leaders. The decrees established
a special court for the trial of these cases. These measures, in
their original form, all depended upon the support of the police
14
authorities of the various states for their effectiveness. The
government, however, had recognized this flaw—previous experience
had taught them that local police cooperation could not be counted
upon. To free itself from dependence upon the woodwill of the state
governments and the local police forces, the republican leadership
resolved to push the passage of a law creating a federal police
agency, with broad political police powers. Coupled with the other
emergency decrees, which the government also wanted to transform
into permanent laws, the new federal police would allow a strong
counterattack against the enemies of the republic, left and right.

120
In the aftermath of the Rathenau assassination little thought
was given to the possible application of these measures to the radical
left. On .June 30, the Reich Chancellor, Josef Wirth of the Center
Party, had stood before the Reichstag and made his government's
position in the crisis clear: "The enemy stands on the right.
His words set the tone for the introduction of the new federal police
law, the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz, one week later. With the
introduction of this proposal a new and violent debate broke out,
within the Reichstag, between the states and the central government,
in the press, and in the streets.
A first attempt to create such an agency had been ventured in
1920. At that time Prussia had led a successful fight against the
federal police law, while Bavaria, seeing the utility of a national
political police in the fight against Communism, had strongly sup¬
ported it. With the reintroduction of the law in the summer of
1922, the tables were turned. Lerchenfeld himself might be willing
to negotiate, but for the radical right there could be no negotiation.
The "Law for the Defense of the Republic" was an attack upon their
position of power. And the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz, with its
provision for a political police force responsive to the government
in Berlin, threatened their secure base in Bavaria. The radical
right in Munich had been spoiled by the Pohner regime. It expected
the indulgence of the political police, at the very least. Without
such indulgence, the "cell of order" could not be maintained.

121
Lerchenfeld realized that such an attack upon the position of the
radical right in Bavaria would be met with violence. In his own
words, "If a federal police office is set up in Munich, then there
will be murder."*^ And as Lerchenfeld well knew, if he allowed such
an office to be set up in Munich, his own days in office would be
numbered as well.
On July 21, 1922, the "Law for the Defense of the Republic"
took effect throughout Germany. The next day the political leaders
of the BVP joined with Count Lerchenfeld and other members of his
cabinet to decide upon a Bavarian response. Lerchenfeld proposed
a battle of attrition, in which Bavaria would make no specific
countermove, but rather drag its feet in carrying out the new law.
Instead, the party leaders opted for the hard line advocated by the
party right-wing. Surprisingly, even the normally moderate Schweyer
aligned himself with the hard line position. Only by taking a strong
stance against the new law, it was believed, could the BVP preserve
itself from a further loss of popular support. The party had been
hurt by the rightward shift of public opinion after Kahr's resigna¬
tion; it did not intend to be caught to the left of its supporters
. 18
once again.
To counter the "Law for the Defense of the Republic," the
Bavarian government announced its own "Decree for the Defense of the
Constitution of the Republic" on July 24. The Bavarian decree
reproduced most of the provisions of the national law, but with one

122
salient difference. Enforcement would be the province of the state
and not national authorities. Police agents of the Kcich were
forbidden to act independently within the borders of Bavaria. So
structured, the Bavarian decree made the issue appear to be a matter
of state versus national rights in an area traditionally regarded
as the preserve of the states. The title of the Bavarian decree and
its preamble, which attacked the constitutionality of the "Law for
the Defense of the Republic," were meant to underscore this interpre-
19
tation of the Bavarian gesture. With memories of the behavior
of the PDM in the Erzberger case still fresh, few moderates, either
within Bavaria or without, were prepared to accept the sincerity of
the Bavarian government's argument that the issue was constitutional.
Although Lerchenfeld's own personal integrity was widely recognized,
it was equally clear that his government stood under heavy pressure
from the radical right and that, without that pressure, his government
would have followed a more accommodating course. The issue, squarely
put, was whether Bavaria would be allowed to continue as a privileged
r- . , .20
sanctuary for right-wing terrorists.
Seeing this, the representative of the moderate DDP resigned
from the Lerchenfeld cabinet. The BVP political leadership seized
the chance to revive their efforts of the previous spring to bring
the DNVP back into the Bavarian government. This time they were
successful and, with the entry into the cabinet of the DNVP's
Franz Gurtner as Justice Minister, the long-sought creation of a

123
right-wing counterbalance to the moderate Lerchenfeld was completed.
Lerchenfeld was now even more dependent on the extreme right.^
With the promulgation of the Bavarian counter-decree on July
24, the Lerchenfeld government had challenged the very basis of the
"Law for the Defense of the Republic." The leftists, united for
once on an issue, now began to exert pressure upon the Reich
government. In the midst of this pressure President Ebert directed
a conciliatory letter to Lerchenfeld. While the extremists on both
sides were girding for battle, the moderates sought a negotiated
resolution to the conflict. The Reich government, to be sure, had
already taken the position that the Bavarian decree was unconstitu¬
tional. It chose, however, not to press the issue for fear of
undermining Lerchenfeld's position—under no circumstances did the
22
national leadership wish to see Lerchenfeld replaced with Kahr.
On August 9 Lerchenfeld led a Bavarian delegation to Berlin to open
negotiations. Two days later, a tentative agreement was reached.
The Bavarian government would retract its own decree; in return, it
received assurances that only the most important political cases would
be tried before the special court created under the "Law for the
Defense of the Republic," that a second such court would be created
in cooperation with the south German state governments to try cases
arising in that region, and that no federal police officers would
opperate within a state without the express consent of that state,
except when in cases of the most urgent national interest. Lerchenfeld
23
was content with these results.

124
Upon returning to Munich, however, he discovered that the
coalition parties were unwilling to ratify the results of his
negotiations. On August 17 the assembled Landtag deputies of the
BVP and the DNVP voted to reject the Berlin agreement, on the grounds
that the assurances of the Reich government were not strong enough.
This gesture to public opinion resulted in yet a further round of
negotiations before agreement was finally reached. On August 25
the Bavarian government withdrew its own decree and allowed the "Law
24
for the Defense of the Republic" to take effect in Bavaria.
Lerchenfeld's compromise, in fact, was a noteworthy victory
for the Bavarian government. Bavaria would have a say in the compo¬
sition of any court empowered to try cases arising from events in
the state. Moreover, the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz had been
rendered toothless. As the police from Baden had discovered in the
Erzberger case, any attempt to operate with the consent and cooperation
of the Bavarian police was tantamount to simply giving up the matter—
at least when the suspect had right-wing connections. The law
creating a federal police office, although passed by the Reichstag,
25
would never be implemented.
But Lerchenfeld's victory still looked too much like a defeat
to the radical right. On August 16, the day before the BVP and DNVP
Landtag delegations voted to reject the original compromise with
Berlin, the Patriotic Associations had mustered a crowd of 50,000
demonstrators at Munich's Konigsplatz to protest the agreement; this

125
demonstration was very much on the minds of the deputies as they
voted. The further assurances attained by Lerchenfeld from the Reich
government likewise failed to please the radical right—nothing
less than a firm rejection of the "Law for the Defense of the
Republic" and its accompanying legislation would do. On August 25 the
Patriotic Associations staged yet another massive demonstration in
Munich. By this point their tone, indeed, had become so threatening
that the government was forced to reckon with a possible putsch
attempt. Under orders from the cabinet, Police President Nortz
banned the August 25 demonstration; the ban, however, was issued too
late to prevent the demonstration from taking place, even had the
Patriotic Associations been willing to comply. The ban produced
nothing save an increase in hostility between the radical right and
, 26
the government.
The government's fears of a putsch attempt had not been far
wrong. Ernst Rohm, an army staff officer with manifold connections
to the Patriotic Associations, Pohner, and Pittinger sought to
organize just such a stroke. Their first efforts proved fruitless.
General von Mohl, the commander of the Bavarian Reichswehr, showed
interest, but was unwilling to act without the cooperation of the
BVP circles around Georg Heim. When approached by the conspirators,
Heim, too, showed interest, but could not be moved to an open commit¬
ment. With this, the military concluded that the time was not yet
ripe for action. Pittinger and Pohner then turned to Hitler, hoping

126
with his help to transform the August 25 demonstration into a toppling
blow against the Lerc.henfeld government. The matter was left until
too late, and nothing could be done. The only concrete result was
a break between Rohm and Pittinger. Disgusted with Pittinger's
apparent indecisiveness, Rohm now placed his not inconsiderable
27
influence in the service of the more radical patriotic associations.
The crisis had passed, but the situation remained tense. The
National Socialists were growing stronger, and Hitler was rapidly
emerging as a spokesman for the entire radical right. The Patriotic
Associations would now settle for nothing less than the destruction
of the Lerchenfeld government. The government itself saw the danger
only too clearly. A spokesman close to the cabinet remarked after
the disturbances of August 25 that, "If it comes to a putsch by the
right, we can count on neither the army, nor the police, much less
the elements of the former Civic Guard to protect us; they would more
28
likely support the putsch."
Despite this uneasiness, however, the political police remained
the government's first line of defense. Confronted by the pressing
danger of a right-wing revolt and the ever deteriorating economic
situation, the government resolved to improve the existing political
police network. The informal agreement reached during the December 7,
1920, meeting at the PDM had sufficed as a means of coordinating
political intelligence so long as the leading police officials were
of one mind on the purposes of political intelligence and so long as

127
a strong hand—Pohner's hand—guided its overall operations. With
the fall of Pohner and the break between the government and the
radical right, this unity no longer existed. Only a formal regulation
of the political intelligence service, accompanied by a strong
statement of intention on the part of the government, could establish
a political intelligence service in any way responsive to the govern¬
ment's needs. In the face of a possible putsch on August 25 the
government had been dependent upon rumors; the next time this might
not be enough.
To meet this need, the Ministry of the Interior issued a secret
decree on October 24, 1922, creating a statewide political police
intelligence service. In its preamble the decree referred explicitly
to the August disturbances and both the preamble and the body of the
decree laid great stress upon the careful surveillance of the radical
right as well as the radical left. The objects of surveillance were
to be the radical movements in Bavaria. The plural "movements"
marked a departure from previous language, and few who read the
decree could mistake the government's intent. The left might remain
as the long-range enemy—the decree gave no indication of a change
of heart there—but, in the midst of the current crisis atmosphere,
Lerchenfeld and Schweyer were telling the police that the most active
29
enemy stood on the right.
The actual provisions of the decree followed closely the guidelines
established by Frick in December 1920. The decree specified that

128
the political information desk at the PDM, desk VI/N, would serve
as the central intelligence office for the entire state. It would
simultaneously serve as the intermediate collection and dissemination
center for the three provinces of southern Bavaria and the Rhine
Palatinate. For the four northern Bavarian provinces, the State
Police Office Nuremberg-Fiirth, which had replaced the Polizeistelle
Nordbayern in Bamberg, would perform the same role. All contacts
with political police agencies outside of Bavaria would be routed
through the Ministry of the Interior or PDM VI/N—with the contro¬
versy over outside police agents in Bavaria fresh in its memory, the
government had no intention of allowing itself to be circumvented
through any backdoor arrangement. In the normal course of events the
two central offices in Munich and Nuremberg were to operate through
the police sections of the provincial district officer (Bezirksamter),
except, of course, in their own local spheres of responsibility.
But, whenever necessary, the political intelligence officers in
30
Munich and Nuremberg could intervene directly anywhere in the state.
The decree called for the weekly provision of situation reports
by the central offices in Munich and Nuremberg to the Ministry of the
Interior and to the provincial presidia. Without the express
permission of the Ministry of the Interior, these reports were not to
*The creation of the State Police Office Nuremberg-Furth will be dis¬
cussed in detail in Chapter 4, as part of the larger discussion of the
issue of Verstaatlichung, the state take-over of the municipal police.

129
be circulated to other agencies—another broad reference to the fear
of outsiders. The situation reports, further, were not to duplicate
the regular political reports of the provincial presidia, which
presented a general overview of the political situation. The situation
reports of the political intelligence service were to concentrate
upon specific events and action, especially those of a subversive
•k
nature. Information of special urgency was to be reported immediately
31
to the Ministry, without regard for the normal reporting interval.
With the decree of October 24, 1922, the government had provided
itself, at least formally, with an instrument which could help it
anticipate a putsch threat. As events soon proved, the government
faced an even more basic threat to its continued existence from
within the ranks of its nominal supporters. Without waiting for
more violent action, Lerchenfeld's enemies resolved to drive him
from office with a political smear campaign. The campaign did not
stop with the usual political criticisms; in a calculated attempt to
discredit Lerchenfeld in the eyes of the BVP's Catholic following,
his enemies exploited the proceedings of a divorce case to spread
rumors about the marital discretions of his wife. The perpetrators
*The quality of intelligence reportage produced by the political
intelligence network during 1923 will be discussed in the context of
specific events throughout the remainder of the chapter. An overall
evaluation of the political police intelligence, based upon the reports
themselves, will be presented during the discussion of organizational
developments in Chapter 4.

DISTRICT OFFICE POLICE SECTIONS DISTRICT OFFICE POLICE SECTIONS
Figure 2
Organizational plan for the political police intelligence service, October 24, 1922
130

131
of this viciousness were not just Lerchenfeld's sworn enemies in the
Patriotic Associations. Influential figures within the 11VI’ .leadership
32
itself also contributed to this campaign of slander.
Lerchenfeld's personel situation had become impossible. Drawing
the only possible conclusion from the manifest hostility of his
erstwhile political backers, Lerchenfeld resigned on November 2.
The radical right rejoiced, convinced that the way was now clear for
the return to power of Kahr. But the BVP was not yet prepared to
go that far. In choosing Lerchenfeld the party had evinced its
desire for a man it could control. This attitude did not change,
even when Lerchenfeld himself proved to be a political liability.
Kahr was too independent of the BVP and too dependent upon the
Patriotic Associations to find much favor with the party. The party
likewise rejected the idea of placing one of its own political
leaders, someone such as Heim or the head of the Landtag delegation,
Heinrich Held, in the Minister President's chair. Instead the party
selected Eugen von Knilling, another former civil servent, to lead
the cabinet. The remaining positions in the cabinet went unchanged.
Schweyer continued to head the Ministry of the Interior—a con¬
siderable disappointment to the Patriotic Associations, who hated
him even more than Lerchenfeld. Gurtner also retained his position,
preserving the influence of the more decidedly right-wing DNVP in the
33
government.
The substitution of Knilling for Lerchenfeld was just that—a
substitution—and not the sign of a major change in policy. The

132
divisions of opinion within the BVP prevented that party from speaking
with one voice. The moderates within the party had acquired a
suspicion of the radical right to go with their established fear of
the radical left, while the party's right wing shared many of the
sentiments of the radical right. Moreover, the BVP, despite its
generally conservative and monarchist-authoritarian ideology, was
democratic in the sense of being responsive to public feeling.
Popular attitudes, as the party had discovered during the previous
year, were heavily influenced by the Patriotic Associations and the
parties of the radical right. While the radicals were also divided
on many issues, they had, in Adolf Hitler, a powerful spokesman for
their general position. Hitler's unquestionable rhetorical skills
gave his party a place within the right-wing movement out of all
proportion to its actual strength. The memories of 1919, seasoned by
the subsequent years of political and economic crisis and kept fresh
by the propaganda activities of Hitler and other radical leaders,
held public opinion on a rightward course. Although many within the
party might struggle against it, the party was being pulled along
with the tide. Knilling, as a moderate, found himself to the left of
his own party, no better placed than Lerchenfeld to control the onrush
, 34
of events.
The radical right's disappointment with the selection of Knilling
kept the danger of a putsch alive. The centralization of the political
police carried out under the Lerchenfeld government now had to be

133
implemented, which required careful consultation between the affected
agencies. To this end a conference was called on November 24, 1922,
at the PDM. The roster of those attending revealed many names
familiar from the earlier meeting of December 7, 1920. Pohner and
Frick were, of course, absent, but they were represented, in a sense,
by the new head of PDM VI, Friedrich Bernreuther. Bernreuther had
assisted Frick at the December 1920 meeting and had been deeply
involved in the informal political intelligence service which had
been established as a result of that meeting. By experience he was
eminently qualified to explain to the conference participants how the
newly-formalized system would work.
Bernreuther began the discussion by recalling the previous
gathering and outlining the developments which had taken place since
that time. He then briefly reviewed the substance of the new decree
before moving to a more detailed discussion of the goals and methods
of police surveillance under the new system. By closely following
the activities of the radical political movements, the political
intelligence service would materially assist the government in
preventing disturbances and anticipating threats to the security of
the state. Having made this nod in the direction of the government's
own intentions, as expressed in the October decree, Bernreuther then
35
introduced a measure not mentioned in the decree.
The Ministry of the Interior had envisaged only an occasional
intervention by the Munich and Nuremberg central offices in the business

134
of running agents and collecting information, except within these
offices on local spheres of responsibility. The decree, to be sure,
had empowered the central offices to intervene in other local
jurisdictions when necessary, but its language had clearly suggested
that these were to be temporary, emergency interventions. Bernreuther
now proposed that, in addition to the efforts of the various pro¬
vincial district offices, the two central offices would assign special
detachments to the most important localities. These detachments
would operate independently of the police sections in the local
district offices, maintaining their own separate network of informers.
Although the special detachments would cooperate with local police
officials and share information, they would not disclose the indentities
of these informers to their local opposite numbers. Only the two
central offices would have a master list of all the political informers
3 6
serving the political police throughout the state. The central
offices thus assumed authority for the "tactical" employment of agents
in all politically sensitive jurisdictions, in addition to the
"strategic" role of coordination assigned to these offices in the
Ministry's decree.
Bernreuther's proposal found general agreement in the discussion
which followed. As in the case of the 1920 meeting, no one appeared
alarmed at the aggrandizement of power by the central offices. Partly
this reflected the distaste expressed by certain provincial officials
for the actual business of running undercover agents. Then, too, the

135
Ministry had promised additional funding only for the two central
offices—the provincial and district authorities were relieved not
to have to add the cost of paying informers to their already strained
budgets. Most of all, the consensus of opinion attained by Pohner and
Frick in 1920 concerning the goals and methods of the political
intelligence service remained intact. The officials involved in the
political intelligence service had trusted the leadership of Pohner
and Frick, and were pepared to extend a similar trust to their former
subordinate. Despite the Ministry of the Interior's evident desire
to make the political intelligence service more responsive to the
government's political needs, the atmosphere at the November 24, 1922,
meeting was one of business as usual.^
With agreement reached on Bernreuther's basic proposal, the
conference turned to the question of which localities would receive
special political police detachments. Twenty-seven cities and towns
were identified as political danger centers requiring such installa-
38
tions. With detachments in so many different areas throughout the
state, the new power of the central offices would be extensive indeed.
The political intelligence offices in Munich and Nuremberg would be
largely independent of other agencies for their sources of informa¬
tion. Without direct control over the informer system in their own
jurisdictions and, thus, with little incentive to actually run
informers, the provincial authorities would place increasing reliance
upon overt sources—the analysis of the local press and the

136
observation of public political meetings—as a basis for their own
reports to the Ministry. The tendency of these reports to become
little more than opinion surveys, already evident since 1920, would
become even more pronounced. The central offices' effective monopoly
over the collection, analysis, and dissemination of secret political
39
intelligence would likewise become more pronounced. And Bernreuther
would stand at the center of the system as head of PDM VI.
The significance of PDM VI within the political intelligence
system would have been great even without these organizational
developments, for Munich was the center of political activity in the
state. With the onset of the new year, the pace of this activity
became even more feverish. On January 11, 1923, French and Belgian
troops occupied the Ruhr region, the heartland of German industry.
French dissatisfaction over the reparations question had increased
steadily during the preceding year. Now the Poincare government hoped
to force the issue to a successful conclusion. The French action
released a storm of nationalist and anti-French feeling in Germany.
The German government responded to the French step with a call for
passive resistance; the public would settle for nothing less, and
many radical leaders of both the left and right—the Communists
chose to exploit national feeling on this issue as a means of winning
support for their cause—demanded an even stronger response. On
the eve of the Ruhr invasion, Minister President Knilling presented
his own views upon the impact of the French action in Bavaria. If the

137
Reich government yielded to French pressure, he could no longer hold
the radical right in check in Bavaria. Rumors of a National Socialist
putsch already dominated political conversation in Munich. Knilling
himself regarded the rumors as exaggerated, but the situation would
change if the national government did not stand firm against the
40
French.
The Ruhr crisis carried the prevailing political and social
unrest to new heights. Its economic consequences destroyed the last
semblance of fiscal stability in Germany. In 1922 a thick wallet
full of Marks was required to buy a loaf of bread or a glass of
beer; in the months following the Ruhr occupation, a wheelbarrow load
41
of currency would become necessary for the same purpose. The radical
right was convinced that its hour had struck. Political observers
in Bavaria noted a dramatic increase in support for Hitler and his
party. Everywhere there was talk of Mussolini's successful march
k
on Rome the previous October or of Kemal Ataturk's "Ankara solution."
Everywhere Bavarian right-wing leaders measured themselves for the
vestments of a German Mussolini or Ataturk. The idea of a march on
Berlin from Munich, implicit from the very beginning in the activities
*Instead of attempting to seize power in the traditional Turkish capi¬
tal, Constantinople, Ataturk and his followers had established them¬
selves in the provincial city of Ankara, and then worked outward to
extend the revolution across Turkey. The parallels between "decadent"
Constantinople and "decadent" Berlin, and the idea of using the "cell of
order" centered upon Munich as the basis of a national revolution,
proved seductive to many German rightists.

138
of the Patriotic Associations, gained increasing popular support with
42
every passing day. Outside of Bavaria, the radical left showed an
increase in strength. In the Ruhr the Communists initiated a guerrila
campaign aimed simultaneously at the French and at the "bourgeois"
Reich government; in Saxony and Thuringia moderate socialist governments
came under increasing pressure from the Communists. At the end of
January the moderate Social Democratic regime in Saxony fell, to be
replaced some months later by a more decidedly radical administration,
one which would provide sanctuary for a revolutionary Communist
43
buildup. In every part of Germany the political situation
deteriorated as both extreme elements won increasing support.
To underscore his party's growing political strength, Adolf Hitler
announced its first Reichsparteitag, or "national party rally," for
January 27 through January 29 in Munich. The level of preparation
suggested to the Knilling government that Hitler was in fact planning
something more than a rally. On January 24 the Knilling cabinet
resolved to ban all outdoor marches and demonstrations proposed by
the National Socialists for the following weekend, a measure which
44
would, in effect, ban the rally itself. PDM VId received the cor¬
responding orders from the Ministry of the Interior and informed the
NSDAP headquarters in Munich of the decision the next day. That same
evening two representatives of the party appeared at the PDM to protest
this decision. They were shown into the office of Police President
Nortz and allowed to make their case. It was no longer possible, they

139
said to Nortz, for the party to comply with the ban. The rally
participants from outside Munich were already on their way to the
city. Once they arrived, there was no way in which they could be
moved from the railway station to the quarters being prepared for
them except in closed columns. To forbid marches from the station
would result in the worst kind of disorder. Further, the main
ceremony of the rally, a dedication of flags, could only take place
outdoors, since many members of the other Patriotic Associations
would want to take part; no building in Munich was large enough to
hold the expected crowd. Nortz expressed understanding for their
problems, and suggested that they go to the Ministry of the Interior
and make the same case. Nortz then picked up the phone and called
Ministerialrat Josef Zetlmeier, the ministry official directly
responsible for police matters, and asked him to wait at his office
45
for the delegation from the NSDAP.
Just as Nortz was replacing the receiver, Adolf Hitler hurried
into Nortz's office. Hitler was obviously upset. He complained
bitterly about the decision to ban outdoor demonstrations. His party
was completely patriotic in its aims, said Hitler, but the Bavarian
government persisted in torturing it with these pinpricks
(Nadelstichen). Now the government had gone too far. As Hitler
spoke he became more and more aroused. Nortz tried to calm him by
repeating his suggestion that the party's complaints be laid before
the responsible officials at the Ministry of the Interior. To this

140
Hitler responded sharply. No, he would not go to the Ministry of the
Interior. Instead he would do nothing at all, and allow events to
take their course. He had tried to hold his forces in check, parti¬
cularly the Storm Troopers, but he would try no longer. He would stage
his flag dedication and the police could do whatever they liked.
If it came to shooting, then well and good—within two hours of the
first shot the government would be finished. And the Red flood was
coming. The government might soon stand in need of the Nazi party's
help, but, if it did nothing to help him now, then it could expect
nothing from him later. Again Nortz tried to pour oil upon the
waters, and again he failed. Hitler curtly broke off the conversation
and departed. ^
Faced with the threat of force, Nortz asked the cabinet to
declare a state of emergency. After two lengthy meetings the next
47
day, the cabinet agreed. In the meantime Hitler, with the assistance
of Ernst Rohm, sought out the aid of the local military authorities.
Ritter von Epp secured for Hitler and Rohm an audience with General von
Lossow, the new commander of the Bavarian Reichswehr. Hitler promised
that, if the government would allow him to hold his rally without
hindrance, he would promise that no disturbances would take place.
To emphasize this, he gave Lossow his word of honor that no putsch
was planned. Next, Hitler and Rohm went to Kahr and secured his
promise to help. Lossow and Kahr both intervened in Hitler's favor
48
with Minister President Knilling.

141
Later that afternoon Hitler made a return visit to Nortz. Rohm,
still an active army officer, came along to lend his support. This
time Hitler had himself under control. He repeated once again his
promise that the party rally would produce no disturbances. He
advanced the same practical arguments presented by the party representa¬
tives the day before. Using all of his considerable persuasive skills,
Hitler managed to efface the bad impression he had made the day before
and convinced Nortz that he could be trusted to keep his word and
behave. Nortz concluded that an accommodation with Hitler might
now be wise. Accordingly, he approached Interior Minister Schweyer
and requested greater freedom of action in enforcing the provisions
49
of the ban.
At this juncture both Hitler and Nortz viewed their freedom
of action as limited. Having staked his own and the party's reputation
on a great rally, Hitler was compelled to deliver—to allow otherwise
would mean a substantial blow to his position within the patriotic
movement. Nortz, for his own part, had begun to doubt his ability
to enforce the ban if Hitler chose a defiant course. The appearance
of Rohm with Hitler, coupled with Hitler's earlier discussion with
General von Lossow, gave Nortz the impression that the army would
stand aside if the confrontation between the police and the Nazis
should turn violent. Moreover, he was uncertain of the reliability
of his own police force in such an event; disturbing rumors had reached
50
him about the attitude of the lower ranks toward the Nazis.

142
Nortz's own attitude, indeed, was ambivalent. He respected the
"sound nationalist core" of the National Socialist movement—a
phrase which recurred again and again in the statements of government
leaders—but feared that it was becoming a danger to public order.
In the preceding weeks the Nazis had frequently been the cause of
serious disturbances in the city. Worse, he feared that the movement
intended to exploit the current conditions to "go over the head of the
government"—Nortz, too, had heard the rumors of a march on Berlin.
Nortz had no fear of the Nazi party itself, but worried that it
was being dominated by a politically immature element, an element
given to unruliness and precipitate measures. He thought that the
government should act decisively against this element, while at the
same time giving reassurances that it respected the Nazi movement
as a whole. Only through such a step could the government ensure
its place "at the head of the entire nationalist movement." A failure
to do this would encourage a continued rivalry between the Nazis and
the government, which could only end in an open struggle for power.
Nortz spoke with the voice of a prophet. Unfortunately, his own
next step showed just how such prophesies could become self-fulfilling.
Using the freedom granted him by Schweyer, he approved six of the
twelve proposed Nazi gatherings and the great dedication of flags on
the March Field. The approval came with a variety of small restric¬
tions—once again, the "pinpricks" about which Hitler had com¬
plained—but essentially granted the party most of what it wanted.

143
At the same time Nortz used his powers to ban a Social Democratic
counter-demonstration planned for the same weekend. Nortz justified
this last measure in terms of the threat of violence should opposing
demonstrators come together in the streets and because the enforcement
of restrictions against the right required a similar enforcement
against the left—although the difference between a total ban on
the left and a partial ban on the right suggested a somewhat singular
definition of the term "similar." The Social Democrats would not
be allowed to demonstrate until the Nazi rally was over and its
52
participants had returned to their homes.
Nortz's attempt to restrict the disorderly element in National
Socialism while reassuring its "sound nationalist core" met with
little success. The party rally ran its course without significant
incidents, but the entire affair had been an embarrassment to the
government. The initial ban had angered not only the Nazis, but
the entire right-wing movement. Nortz's subsequent relaxation of the
ban made the government appear weak and aroused contempt, without
relieving the anger of the radical right. The Social Democrats saw
themselves as having been discriminated against and took the ban of
their own demonstration as yet another sign that the authorities were
maintaining a double standard. The search began for a scapegoat.
Although there was blame enough to go around—the cabinet itself
had offered little clear guidance and Lossow and Kahr had also made
their unfortunate contributions—the name of Nortz was linked with
r u . . . ' 53
most of the criticism.

144
In February the most militant Patriotic Associations united in
the "Working Coalition of Patriotic Battle Associations"
(Arbeitsgemeinschaft der vaterlándischen Kampfverbande). The driving
force behind this coalition, Ernst Rohm, wanted to provide the radical
right with a powerful and united military force in anticipation of
crises to come; Rohm had not forgotten the opportunity lost in August
1922, because of Pittinger's unpreparedness. Formal military leadership
was entrusted to Hermann Kriebel, formerly the military head of the
Civic Guard. Christian Roth assumed the post of senior political
leader. Not all the Patriotic Associations joined the "Working
Coalition." A number of smaller and more traditionally conservative
groups clustered around Kahr. Now the radical right was split into
rival factions, each dedicated to the overthrow of the republic, but
divided as to the means through which this was to be achieved and to
the form that a successor regime should take. Each faction would now
compete with the other for the leadership of the entire right-wing
movement, in a rivalry which would force the pace of political
54
developments in the months to come.
The Ruhr crisis worsened. Violence by German underground groups
prompted increasingly repressive responses by the French. The French
occupation authorities encouraged separatist movements in the
Rhineland, including the Bavarian Rhine Palatinate. French agents
also stepped up their activities in the other parts of Bavaria. The
threat from the leftist-dominated states of Saxony and Thuringia

145
mounted, a threat which affected in particular the northeastern
provinces of Bavaria. The radical right within B¿iravia became ever
more obstreperous.
To meet these varied threats, the Ministry of the Interior
ordered yet a further extension of the powers of the political police.
A Ministry of Justice decree on November 3, 1922, had made the Public
Prosecutor for the Main State Court in Munich (Landesgerichte München
I) responsible for all treason and espionage cases occurring in
Bavaria, insofar as these did not fall within the jurisdiction of the
Reich courts in Leipzig. For the investigation of such crimes the
Ministry of Justice requested that the Ministry of the Interior
expand the role of the counterespionage desk of the PDM, desk VIb,
*
beyond the terms established in 1904. The Ministry of the Interior
met this request on March 16, 1923, by giving PDM VIb responsibility
for investigating and combatting all threats to the internal and
external security of the state, including treason, espionage, and,
a significant addition to the original 1904 decree, political subver¬
sion. In the context of the times this brought many of the activities
of the radical political movements, particularly the KPD and the NSDAP,
*This desk was normally designated the Zentralstelle, or "central
office," during the early 1920's. Later it was referred to by the
actual desk designation, PDM VIb, or an abbreviated combination of the
two, i.e. PDM VIb Z.St. Since there were several "central offices" at
the PDM during this period, including two within PDM VI—VIb and the
political intelligence service central office at VI/N—the abbreviation
PDM VIb will be used throughout to avoid confusion.

146
squarely within the province of the counterespionage police. To
assist in this task, a special political intelligence service was
erected alongside the more general political intelligence service
created the previous October. This service would work directly with
the Public Prosecutor's office in the actual criminal prosecution of
treason, espionage, and subversion cases. Taking information developed
by the larger political intelligence service under PDM Vl/N, the
special service within VIb would combine this information with its
own investigations to prepare cases for indictment by the Public
_ 55
Prosecutor.
Had the decree halted at this point, it would already have
represented a substantial extension of PDM VIb's activities, for,
while the counterespionage police had always worked for the Public
Prosecutor, they had never before had a formal brief to intervene in
cases. But the decree went further. Local police authorities were
required to inform PDM VIb whenever a case of subversion or espionage
was uncovered in their jurisdictions. The Munich counterespionage
could then, if it so chose, intervene directly without additional
authorization. All communications concerning such cases between the
local authorities and police or military agencies outside Bavaria
were to be passed through desk VIb, except in instances of extreme
urgency. Since final responsibility for the prosecution of these
cases rested with PDM VIb, it was empowered to operate throughout the
entire state and to maintain its own agents in any jurisdiction,
independent of the local police.^

147
Coupled with the earlier decree of October 24, 1922, creating the
political intelligence service, this new measure made PDM VT the central
political police agency for the entire state. As of the spring of
1923, the state not only had a central network for the surveillance
of political activity, but also an executive body whose radius of
action was limited only by the boundaries of the state itself. These
measures gave the Bavarian government powerful instruments for the
control and domination of political radicalism. These steps alone
could not be considered an adequate response to the extremist threat.
So long as the government's own position remained ambivalent, the new
tools could not be used effectively. More fundamentally, if the
political attitudes of the officers who made up the new political
police networks were at variance with the position of the government,
the system might actually work against the government's interests.
The government could rely upon the political police to move effectively
against the radical left. The government's own policies in this
respect were clear and completely consonant with the prevalent attitudes
within the political police. So effective, indeed, had been the
political police response to the threat from the Communists, that the
KPD left Bavaria entirely out of its preparations for the coming
"German October Revolution.""^ The muddle which had surrounded the
recent Nazi party rally, however, showed that neither the government
nor the police was certain of its course vis-a-vis the radical right.
This became even more clear at the end of April. On April 17 the
Social Democratic trade union organization requested permission to hold

148
a large-scale May Day demonstration. The step came as something
of a surprise to the police, since, although May Day was the traditional
socialist holiday, no such festivities had been staged in Munich in
the years following 1919. May 1, 1919, of course, had since become
an anniversary of another sort in Bavaria—the anniversary of the
entry of White forces into Munich, a date few socialists, moderate
or radical, would gladly recall. News of the government's approval
of the socialist celebration aroused the Patriotic Associations to
new heights of fury. In Neuhausen, a working class neighborhood of
Munich, a shootout between National Socialists and Communists on
April 26 left four wounded. Work that the newly-created Socialist
self-defense organization, a leftist answer to the Patriotic Associa¬
tions, would have a prominent role in the May Day parade gave rise to
rumors that a leftist putsch was being planned. The Communist announce¬
ment that they, too, would participate in the May Day demonstrations
added further fuel to the flames. On April 27 the government issued
an order banning the main May Day parade planned by the left and
requiring them to substitute for this seven separate, smaller
58
parades. This step, however, was not enough to satisfy the leaders
of the Working Coalition of Patriotic Associations, who now proposed
their own counterdemonstration. Preparations for the counter¬
demonstration soon took on the dimensions of a military campaign, as
59
the radical right resolved to attack the leftist parades.
Despite the threats from the right, the government resolved to
allow the planned May Day activities authorized on April 27. Kriebel

149
approached Nortz on April 30 and threateningly predicted bloodshed.
Nortz responded that, if it came to such a pass, the police would fire
on hotti the left and the right. Earlier that day the local leaders
of the less radical Patriotic Associations had visited Nortz and
requested that he call up the "Emergency Police" (Notpolizei). The
"Emergency" Policewas an organization based upon the Patriotic
Associations, in effect a device through which the Patriotic Associa¬
tions could be called into state service as a police auxiliary. It
represented an extension of the Civic Guard idea and, given the
relationship between the old Civic Guard and the Patriotic Associa¬
tions, could be regarded as an official successor to the Civic Guard.
While potentially useful to the government in the event of a leftist
uprising, its attitude in the event of a conflict between the govern¬
ment and the right was uncertain—some Patriotic Associations might
support the government, and some might stand to one side, but the
majority would be against the government. At first Nortz refused to
call up the "Emergency Police," but, as the day wore on, he began to
have second thoughts. After several conversations with various key
figures in the patriotic camp, he decided on his own initiative to
authorize the unarmed assembly of the "Emergency Police" for five
o'clock the following morning. He justified this decision with the
remark that, ". . . .it seemed advisable .... in order that the
leadership in this matter not slip completely out of the hands of the
„60
government.

150
But this decision belied Nortz's earlier resolve to shoot both
"left and right." During the course of his second meeting with
Patriotic Association leaders, one of them had asked if the "Emergency
Police" would be permitted to go to the aid of the Nazis in the event
of violence between the Nazis and the Communists. Nortz refused to
grant such a blank check, insisting that the assembled "Emergency
Police" take no action of any sort without the express orders of the
PDM. But the question itself suggested the attitude of the Patriotic
Association leaders. Although unintentionally, by authorizing the callup
of the "Emergency Police," Nortz had given official sanction to the
assembly of the radical right's counterforce.^ Schweyer, more
perceptive in these matters, issued orders cancelling the callup as
soon as it came to his attention. But by then it was too late. The
muddle generated by Nortz's original order further confused an already
confusing situation and undermined the government's efforts to maintain
i 62
a neutral posture.
The government, nonetheless, remained the master of the situation.
Officers of the PDM and the LaPo successfully kept the left-wing and
right-wing demonstrators apart. Although the Patriotic Associations
gathered on the Oberwiesenfeld received arms through Rohm's assistance,
these arms were not used. Granting that neither the left nor the
right had forced the issue, the government's firmness had nonetheless
contributed to a peaceful conclusion to the crisis. Moreover, the
police had performed well. During the night of April 30, LaPo and

151
Schutzpolizei units had patrolled the streets, with PDM VI guiding
their movements according to the inflow of intelligence about the
situation in the city.^ Teams of detectives from PDM Via investigated
reports from various parts of the city concerning the distribution of
64
weapons. The performance of the police could, undoubtedly, have
been better; too much time and energy was dissipated chasing will-o'-
the-wisps.^^ Still, the government had reason for reassurance.
Nortz's actions with respect to the "Emergency Police" had been
the last straw for Schweyer. The Police President's handling of the
Nazi party rally in January had raised serious questions about his
suitability for the post. In February yet another incident had
undermined Schweyer's confidence in Nortz, an incident still very
much on the minds of the Knilling cabinet. This was the Fuchs-
Machhaus affair, a conspiracy, supported by French secret funds, to
overthrow the Bavarian government, establish a right-wing dictatorship
in Munich, and withdraw Baravia from the Reich. The trial of the
conspirators, which took place in June and early July 1923, lifted
one corner of the veil which covered an especially murky chapter in
Bavarian political history.
As part of its overall strategy aimed at reducing Germany's
future warmaking potential, the French government had encouraged
a variety of German separatist movements. Most of this activity was
concentrated in the occupied Rhineland, where French military and
civil authorities could exert a powerful influence, but, from the very

152
beginning, the French also gave attention to Bavarian separatist
impulses. In 1919 and 1920 the French government entered into an
agreement with the influential Georg Heim to support a movement which
would declare Bavaria's independence from the Reich, pave the way
for a Wittelsbach restoration, and, in conjunction with other measures
in neighboring Austria, lead ultimately to the establishment of an
independent Danubian confederation. This conspiracy broke down when
the French representatives realized that Heim's plans were not really
separatist at all, but instead envisaged only a temporary break with
socialist Prussia as a prelude to the revival of the pre-Bismarckian
Greater Germany—that is, with German Austria included—under the
leadership of the Bavarian royal house. This variation on the emerging
"cell of order" theme did not at all coincide with French policy
, 66
needs.
The Civic Guard crisis and the Ruhr occupation further lessened
the desires of the Bavarian right to work with the French. After
1920, no major figure dared venture such a step, at least not without
some form of protective coloration. In the winter of 1922-1923,
however, two lesser figures of the radical right, the author Georg Fuchs
and a former editor of the Nazi Volkischer Beobachter, Hugo Machhaus,
attempted with the help of a French agent, Franz Richert, to organize
a putsch which would separate Bavaria from the "Jewish-Socialist"
north and prepare the way for a nationalist .dictatorship. The plan
was thus a direct expression of the "Ankara solution" which fascinated

153
the radical right. The French connection, however, made the decisive
leaders of the radical right wary of any direct involvement in the
scheme of Fuchs and Machhaus. Crown Prince Rupprecht likewise rejected
their direct approaches.^
The conspiracy finally came to the surface in late February
1923. Karl Mayr, a former Bavarian staff officer and one of the men
who had helped launch Hitler's political career in 1919, had worked
his way into the plot, ostensibly as a military advisor. Although
Mayr had long been enmeshed in a variety of right-wing machinations,
at the beginning of 1923 he had already taken the first steps which
would bring him to the leadership of the socialist-republican para¬
military organization, the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold. The Fuchs-
Machhaus affair was one of the first major stations along Mayr's
journey from the political right to the left. Through intermediaries,
Mayr saw that the entire conspiracy was laid before Interior Minister
Schweyer. Schweyer reacted cautiously, sensing himself on the verge
of a political minefield. The involvement of a French agent in the
affair necessitated some sort of action; to allow the man to escape
would raise anew the old rumors of official Bavarian involvement with
the French if the matter became public. The conspiracy also appeared
to involve various important Bavarian political figures and could be
embarrassing to the government. Schweyer drew Nortz into the matter,
only to discover that Nortz himself was little prepared to deal with
it and evidently was not possessed of any worthwhile evidence on the

154
conspiracy. Given that Nortz stood at the head of the entire political
police system in the state as Police President, this did little to
enhance Nortz's appearance in Schweyer's eyes, particularly as it
rapidly became clear that the conspirators had done little to protect
their secret. The political police should have known about the matter
68
and kept Schweyer informed.
Schweyer had already had reason to complain of the performance
of the political police in connection to the similar Leoprechting
69
case the summer before. Now, despite the warning issued by him
at that time, he had been caught off guard once again. Quite likely,
the political police had indeed known about the Fuchs-Machhaus
conspiracy. Fuchs's original contacts with the French agent Richert
had taken place on behalf of Kahr and Pohner in 1921. Fuchs had moved
in the same right-wing circles as Pohner and had carried out a variety
of political missions for Pohner during the latter's tenure as Police
President. From this period Fuchs also had close contacts with Frick,
contacts which continued through the period of the conspiracy itself.
Fuchs himself claimed similarly good connections with Frick's
successor, Bernreuther, and credited Bernreuther with protecting the
conspirators from earlier betrayals. Mayr's decision to approach
Schweyer directly with his revelations concerning Fuchs, Machhaus,
and their co-conspirators reflected his awareness that an approach to
the police was fruitless.^
With obvious reluctance and great caution the government allowed
Fuchs and three other conspirators to come to trial; two further

155
conspirators, including Hugo Machhaus, had committed suicide before
the trial could begin. The lesser figures were acquitted, but Fuchs
was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment, despite Frick's protestation
that Fuchs was really a patriotic German and had acted out of the
best motives. The other main conspirator, the French agent Richert,
had escaped late in February, while Schweyer and Nortz were trying
to decide how to proceed with the case. This further burdened the
relations between the two men. The trial itself ran its course
without implicating Pohner or any other major figure in the actual
conspiracy, largely because the prosecution took great pains to limit
the scope of the proceedings.^
Coming after the mishandling of the Nazi party rally in January
and the lack of control over the political police demonstrated in the
Fuchs-Machhaus affair, Nortz's actions during the events surrounding
the May 1 episode destroyed whatever confidence Schweyer retained
in Nortz. On May 11 Nortz was transferred to another civil service
position and replaced by Karl Mantel. The government hoped that
Mantel would offer the strength and resolution that Nortz had lacked,
qualities which would be needed both in dealing with the general
demands of the office and in making the police force itself more
, . . 72
responsive to the government s policies.
The summer passed without further major incidents. The political
police, nonetheless, remained extremely busy, so much so that in July
it became necessary to turn routine political cases over to the regular

156
police for investigation because of the heavy workload. With the
beginning of September, however, the pace of events quickened once
again. The "Deutsche Tag" in Nuremberg on September 1 and 2, an
immense nationalist rally which brought together right-wing groups from
all over Germany, became the occasion for a further consolidation
of the most radical Bavarian Patriotic Associations as the Deutsche
Kampfbund, or "German Fighting League." Hitler was the political
leader of this grouping; Kriebel, once again, the military leader.
The Kampfbund represented the most extreme segment of the Bavarian
radical right. As such, it was fully prepared to attack the Bavarian
government should the latter try to stand between it and its reckoning
«
with the "Judeo-Marxist" republic. The Knilling government, for its
part, acknowledged the Kampfbund as an emeny; while it did not see
itself in the role of the republic's defender, it would not allow the
Kampfbund to go over its head. More than ever before, the government
authorities distinguished between the Kampfbund radicals and the less
extreme elements of the radical right. Hitler, in Schweyer's view,
had fallen completely under the influence of the former "Communist"
k
Hermann Esser. Although Knilling still hoped to exploit the growing
divisions within the radical right and draw the more moderate elements
74
behind the government, Schweyer was skeptical of such a course. The
*For a brief period in 1919 Hermann Esser had supported the SPD. He was
never a Communist. Early in 1920 he joined the Nazi party. See Benz,
Politik in Bayern, p. 127n.

157
Knilling approach, however, prevailed. As before, the government and
the parties of the governing coalition, the BVL’ and DNVP, could not
afford to draw a clear line between themselves and the entire radical
right, for fear of losing popular support. Whatever its flaws, the
attempt to isolate the forces behind Hitler and to win the support of
the remaining radical groups was the only workable policy open to the
government in the fall of 1923.
The collapse of the national government headed by Wilhelm Cuno
and the formation of a new cabinet under Gustav Stresemann in August
led to the final renunciation of the policy of passive resistance to
the French occupation of the Ruhr. The new government in Berlin, a
grand coalition including the Social Democrats, saw nothing left but
a negotiated end to the crisis. The Mark had become almost literally
worthless, and Germany stood on the threshhold of complete political
and economic chaos. On September 26 the Stresemann government made
the end of passive resistance official.
Now the full fury of a defeated, frustrated, and angry nation
exploded against the republic. The leftist regimes in Saxony and
Thuringia scarcely recognized the authority of Berlin. In Bavaria
Gustav von Kahr returned to power in the newly-created post of General
State Commissar. ALthough nominally the agent of the Knilling govern¬
ment, Kafir's wide-ranging emergency powers made him a virtual dictator
within the state. The "strong man" so long demanded by the Patriotic
Associations had finally come. In the weeks which followed Bavarian

158
politics become a rivalry between Hitler and Kahr for the leadership
of the radical right, with the Knilling cabinet progressively reduced
to a spectator's role. Kahr proceeded vigorously against the left.
Acting upon the recommendation of PDM VI, he dissolved the Social
Democratic paramilitary organization.^ He challenged Berlin. When
the Social Democratic Defense Minister attempted to replace General von
Lossow as head of the Bavarian Reichswehr Kahr refused to accept the
nominated successor and, in effect, defined the authority of the
Berlin government in Bavaria.^ At the same time Kahr developed his
own plans for a march on Berlin. The Kampfbund, under Hitler, pushed
forward its own parallel plans.
These simultaneous and sometimes overlapping efforts came to a
climax on the evening of November 8. Hoping to steal a march—almost
literally, given the ultimate object of the exercise—on Kahr,
Hitler and his forces announced the overthrow of the existing govern-
7 8
ment and the beginning of the "national renewal."
Having seized the initiative, Hitler pressed Kahr and his two
main allies, General von Lossow and Colonel von Seisser of the LaPo,
to join in the revolution. At least partially under duress—the
point was much debated later—Kahr, Lossow, and Seisser gave their
agreement. As soon as possible, however, the trio turned against
Hitler and began organizing their forces against him. By the dawn
of November 9 the initiative had passed from Hitler's hands. His
attempt to retrieve the situation with a march through Munich ended in
79
the bloody fiasco before the Feldherrnhalie.

The role of the political police in the events of November 8 and
9 was ignominious. PDM VI had failed to provide either Kahr or the
Knilling cabinet with any advance warning of Hitler's plans. To
compound this embarrassment, leading members of the government and of
the PDM itself, including both Mantel and Bernreuther, were surprised
with Kahr at the Burgerbraukeller on the evening of November 8 and
taken into custody by the National Socialists. This cleared the way
for Pohner and Frick, who had allied themselves with Hitler, to go to
police headquarters and assert command. The officers present, ac¬
customed to the leadership of these two men and with little reason
to doubt that they were in fact acting under Kahr's orders, placed
themselves under Frick's command. Not until the early morning hours
of November 9 would the confusion clear and the PDM again become
responsive to the duly-constituted authorities. The political police
were not a factor in the suppression of the putsch later in the day;
80
that task was fulfilled by the LaPo.
The major failure, however, was the failure to anticipate the
putsch. Such warningwas one of the main justifications for the
existence of the political police, and all of the organizational
measures undertaken during the preceding year had been meant to
enhance the political police force's ability to carry out this
mission. The failure revealed on the evening of November 8 had many
causes. For months PDM VI had been besieged with putsch rumors, which
had proven false. With every such false alarm, the tendency to

160
discount the actual putsch threat grew. Kahr's policies with regard
to the radical right also complicated the political police task. It
was widely known that Kahr was in close contact with the radical right
leaders and that Kahr himself was planning some sort of dramatic
step. Yet as General State Commissar Kahr possessed the final police
authority in the state. The political police could hardly take active
steps to prevent a putsch when its author might prove to be their
superior. In the confused political atmosphere of the time it was
difficult to distinguish between Kahr's machinations and those of his
rivals. Finally, Hitler himself did not decide definitely to act
until November 6 and kept this decision secret from all save his most
intimate associates. Even the highly-placed and usually well-informed
police agents within the Nazi movement could have had little chance
of securing this information in time.^
This said, one aspect of the political police failure on
November 8 still could not be explained away. Many members of the
regular police and the political police were National Socialist
sympathizers; some were even party members. Their actions during the
course of the Beer Hall Putsch ranged from active support of Hitler
to the assumption of a passive bystander's position. In either case,
this represented a significant dereliction of duty. The role of
Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser was once again suspect; although Glaser could
not be proved an active participant in the putsch, his presence
outside the Burgerbraukeller as a passive observer suggested an

161
indifference to his responsibilities toward the state. Bernreuther,
too, had acted questionably in not following up a report some weeks
earlier concerning Frick's possible involvement in putsch pre¬
di
parations.
The basic problem was simple. Under Pohner and Frick the PDM had
been shaped as an instrument of right-wing political policy. Suc¬
cessive changes in the PDM leadership had not produced corresponding
changes in the attitudes of its subordinate officers. Only a
thoroughgoing purge could eradicate the influence of Pohner and
Frick, but as Police President Mantel himself realized, such a purge
was impossible. The most that could be done was to fire that handful
of officers who could be proven to have actively participated in the
, 84
putsch.
A year of effort to make the political police an effective
instrument of state police had ended in disappointment. The organi¬
zational measures introduced in the course of the year had enhanced
PDM Vi's position within the overall system of state authority and
had contributed to the state's continued success in controlling
leftist activities in Bavaria. But in the conflict with the radical
right these measures proved of little value. In this conflict the
political policemen were invited to stand with the government or, as
it proved, to stand with their former master, Pohner. Such a choice
was more than most officers could make.

162
Notes
'Benz, Politik in_Bayern, p. 86.
2
Diehl, Paramilitary Politics In Weimar Germany, pp. 100-109,
121-124; Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 143-171.
3
For the shifting attitude of these parties toward Lerchenfeld,
see Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 86-110 and Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch,
pp. 41-47.
Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 177-179.
~*For the unwillingness of the BVP to back Schweyer's approach,
see Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch, p. 47; for the attempt to renew the
coalition with the DNVP and the motives behind this attempt, see
Benz, Politik in Bayern, p. 93.
Helmut Heiber, Die Republik von Weimar (Munich, 1966), pp. 97-
99.
Hans Hubert Hofmann, Per Hitlerputsch: Krisenjahre deutscher
Geschichte, 1920-1924 (Munich, 1961), p. 311.
8
PPM to M Inn, Sept. 26, 1922, M Inn 71996.
For the March uprising, see Werner T. Angress, Stillborn
Revolution: The Communist Bid for Power in Germany, 1921-1923
(Princeton, 1963), pp. 137-166.
10_
Piehl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany, pp. 133-136.
11
Jasper, Per Schütz der Republik, pp. 56-57, 106-108.
12Ibid.
13
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 94-95.
14
Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik, pp. 56-59, 74-76.

163
15
Ibid.
16
Tb Id, p. 59,
The basic documents for the background to the creation of the
Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz are collected in BAK R43I/2689. My
conclusions on this issue are based upon this collection, Jasper,
Per Schütz der Republik, pp. 74-76, 97-98, reaches conclusions which
agree with my own, working from a different set of documents, the
reports of Württemberg's representative in the Reichsrat. Lerchenfeld's
attitude and his comment on the federal police force were reported by
Moser von Filseck, See Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 99-100.
18
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 102-103.
19Ibid, pp. 102-104,
20
Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik, pp. 92-105.
21
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 105-107.
22
Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik, pp. 93-94.
23
Ibid, pp. 95-96.
24
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 106-108.
25
The post-1922 controversies surrounding the implementation of
the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz and the law's ultimate reduction to a
dead letter may be traced in the latter half of the collection
BAK R43I/2689. See also the Bavarian collection MA 100 447.
2 6
Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 177-185.
See also Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 107-108.
27
Ibid.
28
Benz, Politik in Bayern, p. 108.
29
M Inn decree, Oct. 24, 1922, M Inn 71879.

164
Ibid
]Tbid
The campaign against Lerchenfeld is reported in a variety of
sources. See Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 108, llOn. Benz does not
name the leading BVP participants, but describes them as "massgebliche
Manner der BVP." See also Hofmann, Per Hitlerputsch, p. 59; Schwend,
Bayern zwischen Monarchie und Diktatur, p. 197; Deuerlein, Der
Hitlerputsch, p. 47.
33
Deuerlein, Der Hitlerputsch, p. 47.
^Ibid, pp. 40-51.
35
"Protokoll uber die am 24.
des Nachrichtendienstes," Reg. v.
Nov. 1922 Sitzung betr. den Ausbau
Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
36
Ibid.
37
Ibid.
38
Ibid.
This conclusion is based upon a reading of the reports of the
Provincial Presidium of Upper Bavaria for the period 1921-1932. These
reports are contained in MA 102 136, MA 102 137, and MA 102 138.
These may be compared with the political situation reports of the PDM
for the period after the decree went into effect. For the period
1924-1932, when the political intelligence service's reporting
patterns were well established, see MA 101 235/1-3.
40
Walter A. McDougall, France’s Rhineland Diplomacy, 1914-1924
(Princeton, 1978), pp. 233-251. For Knilling's views, see Benz,
Politik in Bayern, pp. 119-120.
41
The progression of the inflation rate is illustrated by the
increases in price for the most influential Munich newspaper, the
"Munchener Neueste Nachrichten," for the year 1923. On January 2 the
paper cost 40 Marks—an already substantial sum. On July 2 it cost
800 Marks, on September 2, 150,000 Marks, on October 1, 25,000,000
Marks, and on November 8, 8,000,000,000 Marks. The figures are from
Heinrich Bennecke, Hitler und die SA (Munich, 1962), pp. 70, 76.

165
42
DeuerleIn,Per Hitlerputsch, p. 50.
43
Angress, Stillborn Revolution, pp. 380-387.
44
M Inn to PDM, Jan. 24, 1923, 11A 20/385.
45
Statement of Richard Dingeldey to Public Prosecutor Dresse,
Jan. 29, 1923, HA 20/385. Dingeldey was one of the Nazi party
representatives at the meeting with Nortz.
46
Ibid.
47
Statement of Eduard Nortz to Public Prosecutor Dresse,
Jan. 30, 1923, HA 20/385.
48
Ibid.
49
Ibid.
“^Ibid. See also Werner Maser, Die Frühgeschichte der NSDAP:
Hitlers Weg bis 1924 (Frankfurt, 1965), pp. 374-377.
51
Ibid.
52
Ibid.
53
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 120-121,
54
Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 188-190;
Diehl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany, pp. 125-130.
55
11/228.
M Inn decree, March 16, 1923, Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968,
56tk. ,
Ibid,
Angress, Stillborn Revolution, pp. 418-419. The effectiveness
of the political police, of course, did not account solely for this KPD
decision, which also reflected the basic weakness of the party
organization in Bavaria and a recognition of the strength of the
Patriotic Associations.

166
PP •
58
PDM to M Inn, May 3, 1923, cited in Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch,
713-715.
59
Eduard Nortz to Public Prosecutor Dresse, May 23, 1923, HA 4/104.
60
Ibid.
61
Ibid.
Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 191-196;
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 125-126.
63
PDM—Kmdo der LaPo München,
der Nacht v. 30.4/1.5 und am 1.5.23,
"Ubersicht über die Vorgange in
" HA 4/104.
64
PDM VlaF 858/20/ internal report, May 3,
1923, HA 67/1488.
^Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch, pp. 197-198.
6 6
McDougall, France's Rhineland Diplomacy, pp. 116-122.
McDougall's work, based upon a careful analysis of official French
documents, has the best treatment of Heim's contacts with the French.
Official Bavarian sources, in contrast, are notably reticent on this
matter, mute testimony to Heim's behind-the-scenes influence. The
reports of Heim's French contacts make clear the limits of Heim's
"separatism" and its similarity to the "cell of order" idea common
to the Bavarian radical right.
The Fuchs-Machhaus affair remains, after over fifty years, one
of the least understood incidents in this otherwise intensively studied
period. Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch, pp. 209-120,
dismisses the entire matter with several jocular references to its
comic-opera aspects. Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus,
pp. 134-141, treats the case altogether more seriously and thoroughly;
his account is the best historical treatment available. My own treat¬
ment of this case is based upon Fenske, supplemented by a consideration
of the available primary sources. These include the basic collection
of official documents on the case, MA 100 446, which contains, among
a number of useful items, a transcript of the trial of Fuchs and his
cohorts; the comprehensive collection of contemporary newspaper ac¬
counts of the case in M Inn 71785; and Fuchs's own account of the
case, a 216-page manuscript prepared for the Nazi party and dated
May 17, 1936. The last of these is obviously tendentious and must be
used to round out the picture of the case. The Fuchs manuscript may
be found In IIA 4/113 and 11A 5/113.

167
68
See
67
above.
69w. . „
Minister President s
Internal evidence summer of
office to M Inn, no date
1922), MA 100 446a.
(but from
70
See
67 above.
Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 140-142.
72
For Mantel's appointment, see Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall
Putsch, p. 204.
73
The head of PDM VI, Bernreuther, commented on this overload
in connection with one such case. See Schutzmannschaft Abt. I to
the Police President, July 20, 1923, HA 67/1489.
74
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 126-128.
^For these developments as viewed from the vantage point of the
Knilling cabinet, see the excerpts from the cabinet meetings of
Aug. 17, Sept. 11, Sept. 20, and Sept. 26, cited in Deuerlein, Per
Hitlerputsch, pp. 159-161, 165-166, 178-179, 180-182.
^Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 132-133.
^The Lossow affair, as it came to be called, has generated a
certain degree of controversy. Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall
Putsch, p. 229, reduces the case to an argument between Bavaria and
the Reich over their relative constitutional powers. It may be, as
Gordon says, that the Bavarian government was not particularly
interested in protecting the Nazi movement—the case had arisen
out of Reich reactions to an article in the Nazi newspaper, the
Volkischer Beobachter. It is, nonetheless, misleading to see the case
as simply an argument over constitutional principle. As Kahr himself
described the issue in the case, it had nothing to do with General
Lossow, nothing to do with the Bavarian or the Reich governments. It
was instead a struggle between these governments to determine if the
destiny of all Germany was to be "international-Marxist-Jewish" or
"national-German." This statement is from a speech of Kafir's to the
senior army officers in Munich, Oct. 19, 1923, cited in Deuerlein,
Per Hitlerputsch, pp. 237-238. The point here is, once again, that
it is an over-simplification to view the many controversies between
Bavaria and the Reich as genteel philosophical disagreements about state
versus national authority. They contained such elements, to be sure,
but they were also a part of the oftentimes brutally ugly struggle
between the political left and rig,lit being waged during the period.

168
7 8
The Beer Hall Putsch of November 8/November 9, 1923, has been the
subject of a number of scholarly studies. The best of these is still
found in Ernst Deuerlein's introduction to his edited collection of
documents relating to the putsch. See Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch,
pp. 9-113. Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 185-
223, contains an excellent sunmuiry of the events leading to the putsch
and is the best treatment of Kahr's policies during these events.
Hofmann's Per Hitlerputsch is less satisfactory. The only major
study in English is that of Harold J. Gordon, Hitler and the Beer
Hall Putsch. Gordon's work is in many ways admirable. It contains the
most careful and thorough narrative of the putsch events themselves
to be found in any language, and it is one of those rare works of
general history to recognize the importance of the police. Gordon's
tendency to interpret early Nazism in terms of American student
radicalism in the 1960's, however, is highly questionable and leads
to some strange judgements. My summary of the putsch events is based
upon a comparative reading of these several works, the transcripts
of the putsch trial, already cited as Hitler Trial, Vols. 1-3, and
the transcripts of the 1927 Landtag inquiry into these events in
MA 103 476/1-3.
79
See 78 above.
80
PPM to General State Commissar Kahr, Pec. 7, 1923, cited in
Peuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch, pp. 469-477. This report summarizes the
activities of the PPM during the putsch.
81
PPM to M Inn, March 25, 1924, HA 67/1491. This report presents
the basic defense of the political police role in the putsch events.
82
For the behavior of many PPM officers during the putsch see
the 1924 statements collected in HA 68/1494. The statements of
Matthaus Hofmann, Siegfried Herrmann, and Friedrich Glaser are of
particular interest.
83
Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, Hitler Trial, Vol. 1,
pp. 382-386. Pespite Bernreuther's arrest by the putschists, his
testimony suggested a continuing loyalty to his former superior, Frick.
84
Mantel's reflections are contained in PPM to M Inn, April 5,
1924, HA 67/1491.

CHAPTER 4
THE EXPANSION OF THE POLITICAL POLICE SYSTEM, 1923-1930
The failure of the Beer Hall Putsch marked the end of an era
in Bavarian politics. Successive Bavarian governments had lived
under the shadow of the armed radical right, their every move toward
a more moderate course threatened by the fear of a putsch. Now the
long-gathering storm had finally broken, leaving the government with
the task of sweeping up the detritus left in its wake. Although the
days immediately following the putsch were filled with tension, the
LaPo and the PDM's Schutzmannschaft remained in control of the Munich
streets. The major participants in the putsch—including, among
others, Hitler, Pohner, Frick, Kriebel, and the famous General Erich
Ludendorff—had been taken into custody and were awaiting trial.
The Nazi party and its allied organizations had been banned. After
a decent interval, the Knilling government rid itself of Kahr, whose
presence in a position of authority had become a considerable burden.
The one-time "strong man" had little support left. The radical right
now despised him for having "betrayed" the putsch, while moderates
viewed his policies as having led directly to the November debacle.
Given the tangled relationship between Kahr and the radical right,
the government could not hope to see a successful prosecution of the
leading putschists so long as Kahr continued as General State
Commissar.

170
The trial of Hitler and his compatriots, which took place in
February and March of 1924, helped revive the fortunes of the radical
right. The defendants took advantage of the court's lenient disposition
to turn the proceedings into a propaganda circus, in which the charges
were, in effect, reversed. In the court of public opinion the
defendants placed the government on trial for treason to the "true,
national Germany." At the end of the trial the defendants received
uniformly mild sentences, in recognition of their "patriotic motives"
and in sharp contrast to the judgements meted out to participants
in the Soviet Republic of 1919. The government itself received a
stiffer verdict in the larger trial before the voters of Bavaria.
Less than a week after the conclusion of the putsch trial, on
April 6, 1924, a new Landtag was elected. Virtually every major
party lost seats; the parties of the governing coalition, the BVP
and the DNVP, lost twenty-four of their eighty-one seats in the old
Landtag. The SPD and the DDP experienced similar losses. The only
victors in the election were the adherents of the Volkischer Block,
an electoral coalition of radical right-wing groups, who jumped from
a miniscule two seats to a substantial twenty-three. The Block's
greatest successes came in those Protestant regions of northern
Bavaria which had long been strongholds of radical sentiment and in
Munich, where the propaganda influence of the putsch trial had its
greatest impact. Despite the setback on November 9, 1923, the
radical right clearly remained a force to be reckoned with in Bavarian
, . . 1
politics.

171
The political maneuvering which led to the formation of the new
Bavarian government proved a measure of the radical right's continued
influence. The Knilling cabinet, in accordance with the constitution,
had resigned from office following the Landtag elections. The
election results, although a disappointment for the BVP, had confirmed
that party's position as the strongest political party in the state.
The BVP, as before, would clearly take the leading role in the new
government. It could not, however, rule alone; coalition partners
were necessary. One possibility, at least theoretically, was a
centrist government similar to the coalition which ruled in Berlin,
a coalition consisting of the BVP, the SPD, and the DDP. Together
these parties would have a comfortable majority in the new Landtag.
This solution, however, had little appeal for the BVP leadership.
Five years had passed since the end of the Soviet Republic. The
radical right had only recently attempted the armed overthrow of the
Bavarian government. Still, the gulf which separated the BVP from
the moderate left remained as deep as ever; the party still tended to
make little distinction between the moderate left, represented by the
SPD, and the radical Communists. Thus, the BVP turned once again to
the DNVP with an offer to continue the conservative coalition.
By refusing to consider the centrist alternative, the BVP gave
the DNVP a decisive say in the political bargaining which followed.
Mindful of the radical right-wing sympathies among its own supporters,
the DNVP leadership insisted that the Volkischer Block be invited to

172
join the coalition discussions. The Peasants' League, the third
party essential to the formation of a conservative coalition, supported
the DNVP's demand. These talks, not surprisingly, came to nothing.
The BVP's rightward orientation did not extend to an open embrace
of the radical right, nor did the radical right show any great
willingness to cooperate with the BVP. Finally, the DNVP and the
Peasants' League agreed to the formation of a new government without
the participation of the Block. Heinrich Held, the leader of the BVP's
Landtag delegation, became the new Minister President. Despite
opposition from both the moderate wing of the BVP and the radical
right supporters within the DNVP, Franz Giirtner continued as Minister
of Justice; the former regarded him as too lenient toward the
Patriotic Associations, the latter as not lenient enough, but the DNVP
leadership insisted upon his retention. In contrast, the BVP was
compelled to sacrifice Interior Minister Schweyer, whose consistent
2
efforts to control the radical right had earned its lasting hatred.
The era of constant putsch threats had ended, but, as the
negotiations for a renewed coalition demonstrated, little else had
changed. Burned by the failure of the Beer Hall Putsch, the radical
right would embark upon a parliamentary course as a means of exerting
its influence. Unwilling to open a door to its left, the BVP invited
the continued pressure of the right. To be sure, responsibility for
the enmity between the SPD and the BVP could not be laid solely at
the doorstep of the latter; the Social Democrats had given their share

173
to the accumulation of Ill-feeling. Moreover, in its day-to-day
dealings, the liVl* tacitly acknowledged that the Bavarian SIM), which
had traditionally adhered to the conservative position within German
Social Democracy, was not as evil as the national SPD. The BVP,
nonetheless, did little to heal these divisions and much to exacerbate
them. Held himself tended to lump all shades of socialism together,
making little allowance for the distinctions between the SPD and the
KPD and giving little recognition to the SPD's own role in the sup¬
pression of Communism in 1919. In the election campaign of 1924,
which preceded the formation of the Held government, the BVP condemned
the SPD as anti-Christian, a cruel and unfair blow against a party
nurtured in the tradition of Georg von Vollmar, whose socialism was
combined with a devout Catholicism and an equal devotion to the special
place of Bavaria within Germany. Worse, in the same campaign, BVP
propagandists characterized the republican and centrist DDP as the
"protectress of big capital under Jewish leadership," a phrase which
3
aped the worst features of radical right-wing anti-Semitism. Held
himself, while disclaiming a personal anti-Semitism, was capable of
remarking:
Is it not, perhaps, correct, that the German
people have been led into the morass (in den Sumpf
geführt worden ist) through more than a hundred
years under the influence in the spiritual and
moral sphere of Jewish philosophers, poets, and
writers?^
Compared with the flaming rhetoric of Hitler and his associates,

174
Held's statement was relatively mild; compared with the resolute
rejection of any anti-Semitism expressed by Lerchenfeld in his great
speech of April 5, 1922, a speech which added little to Lerchenfeld's
political support in Bavaria, Held's remarks on the Jewish question
rang harshly. Mild or harsh, such remarks did little to promote
tolerance of Bavaria's Jewish minority or to retard the growth of
ethnic hostility.
While unwilling to allow distinctions between the various
socialist groups, the BVP showed a much finer sensibility with
respect to the radical right. In 1922, Fritz Schaffer, already
the rising star among the BVP's younger generation and later to
become the party's political chairman and chief spokesman, expressed
understanding and sympathy for the Nazis' energetic anti-Marxism
and their attitude on the Jewish question. Schaffer's reservations
about Nazism were limited to his fear of the "socialism" in National
Socialism and his concern about unitarist tendencies within Hitler's
movement—the Nazis needed to be better Bavarians'. Even Schweyer
c
made allowance for the "sound nationalist core" of the radical right.'
The events of 1923 taught the BVP to distrust the Nazis and made the
government extremely wary of Hitler personally. The increasing
evidence of Nazi anti-clericalism deepened the hostility between the
BVP and the NSDAP. The displacement of Nazism's main sphere of
activity to northern Germany, coupled as it was with increasing
evidence of the "leftward" tendencies within National Socialism,

175
raised further doubts in the minds of BVP representatives. After
1923 there could he little question that the IWP, with Its traditional-
conservative outlook, its commitment to Catholicism, and its special
sense of the Bavarian role, stood in opposition to Hitler and his
followers. The depth of this opposition, however, would fluctuate
during the years down to 1933. Within Bavaria, Nazi propagandists
took great care to minimize the differences between their position
and that of the Catholic church and to emphasize their party's
hostility to Marxism and to the Marxist-tainted Weimar Republic.
The Nazi party likewise wrapped itself in the Bavarian "white-blue"
colors on every possible occasion, exploiting its connection to such
popular Bavarian figures as General Franz, Ritter von Epp. Such
tactics clouded the distinctions between Nazism and the BVP, if not
in the minds of the BVP leadership, then at least for many of the
party's ordinary supporters. The BVP was a broadly-based political
party which represented a shifting balance of political opinions.
If these shifts sometimes took the party away from the radical right,
they also sometimes carried it in the opposite direction.^
This ambivalent posture found reflection in an area of great
importance to the development of the political police, the government's
stance on the political participation of civil servants. In contrast
to other German states, where civil servants had been prohibited from
joining the Nazi party, the Bavarian government confined itself to
warning its servants about possible conflicts of loyalty and took

176
action only on a case-by-case basis. The attitude which prevailed
until the early 1930's found expression in a 1931 Ministry of Finance
memorandum:
This much seems in any case clear, that the
question (of civil servants participating in
party activities) concerning the NSDAP is more
doubtful than that of the KPD, for in contrast
to the latter the former's hostile attitude to
the state does not follow directly from the party
programme, and the general attitude of the party
authorities is not so clear-cut as that of the
KPD.7
During the crisis years immediately preceding the Nazi takeover in
Germany, the BVP and the Bavarian government would show increasing
uneasiness about the ties connecting many civil servants to the Nazi
movement, ruefully discovering that its earlier tolerance had been
rewarded with the creation of a state machinery which could not be
fully trusted in the conflict with Nazism.
The contradictions working beneath the surface of Bavarian
politics would only become obvious after 1930, when the effects of
the Great Depression began to spread and the Weimar Republic began
to collapse at the center. The Held government would remain in
office until the Nazi takeover in 1933 and enjoyed, until 1930, a
secure position of power. An improved economic situation during the
*The comments of Interior Minister Karl Stutzel, Schweyer's successor
and the cabinet member most directly concerned with the loyalty
problem, are discussed in Chapter 5.

177
years 1924 to 1929 contributed to political stability within Bavaria,
as in Lbe rest of Germany. The suppression by the Kelchswehr of the
serious Communist disturbances in October 1923, temporarily eased
fears of a recurrence of 1919. The legal, parliamentary course
adopted by the Nazi party and other radical right-wing groups
masked the very real differences which existed between the radical
right and the Bavarian state. In Bavaria and throughout the rest of
Germany, the accumulated hostilities of the immediate post-war years
continued to burble just below the surface. The republic, by and
large, was tolerated rather than actively supported. It was neither
respected nor loved. The divisions between left and right still set
the tone of political discourse.
It was in this political environment that the political police
in Bavaria evolved as an institution over the next six years. The
surface relaxation of the political atmosphere lent a routine air
to the actual day-to-day operations of the political police. The
direct influence of Pohner and Frick upon their former subordinates
in the political police system had been ended in 1923 with the
removal of Frick from the PDM. Frick went on to an active political
career in the Nazi party; Pohner followed a similar course until his
untimely death in an automobile accident in 1925. Their indirect
influence upon the political police, however, remained strong, finding
expression in the continued prominence of Bernreuther and other
like-minded products of the Pohner era within the system. No

178
wholesale purge of radical right sympathizers in the ranks of the
political police had been conducted after the Beer Hall Putsch.
Police President Mantel, unlike Iris Immediate precedessor, Nortz,
proved himself strong enough to hold the PDM on a course loyal to the
government, but, given the absence of clear directives from above
and the legal difficulties inherent in firing a tenured civil servant,
could do little to change the personal composition of the PDM.
Within the political police system, the period from 1923 to
1930 was a time of expansion, an expansion built upon the organiza¬
tional developments which had taken place prior to 1923. The founda¬
tion for the political police system in Bavaria remained in the PDM's
Department VI. Its five desks performed much of the political
police work for the entire state, particularly until 1929. It co¬
ordinated the work of other agencies in the political police field.
Most of all, it set the standards for the political police in Bavaria
and served as a model for the new political police offices which
would be created during this period.
These standards arose out of concrete experiences. The
professionalization of the political policeman took place in the
political department itself. The individual officer usually came
to the political police with a background in ordinary police work, or
from another branch of the civil service. He learned his new job
on the job, under the supervision of more experienced officers. The
initial investigations into the Hartung case by officers Gehauf, Feil,

179
and Becher illustrated how older officers helped younger ones to
learn the ropes. Like Becher, these younger officers would later
become fullfledged members of the political police, and, in turn,
pass their experience on to the next generation. To understand this
learning process and, more fundamentally, to understand the values
which would permeate the political police system, one must first
understand the work of the five desks of Department VI.
Desk Via carried out the greatest variety of tasks. These came
under two broad headings, staff work for the entire department and
the investigation of political crimes. As a headquarters staff,
Desk Via linked the political department with the other departments
of the PDM, with other police agencies outside of Munich, and with
the police section of the Ministry of the Interior. It also performed
general administrative work for the political department. A special
sub-desk, designated VlaF, carried out the investigation of political
k
crimes on behalf of the Public Prosecutor's office. Of all the
components of Department VI, VlaF most closely approximated a regular
police detective force. The other desks in the department would
initiate a case by developing information from their own sources and
then, when the case was ready for actual prosecution, turn the
information over to VlaF with a request for the necessary searches
*The "F" in VlaF stood for Fahndungsabteilung, literally "investigation
department."

180
and arrests. The same pattern would be followed if a case originated
outside the political department. The Public Prosecutor or the
Police President might direct the transferral of a case from the
criminal police or from another police agency in Bavaria, if the
*
political ramifications of the case so dictated. A case emanating
from another state would be treated similarly. In 1928 the Hamburg
police uncovered a plot to blow up the Reichstag building and to
kidnap its members. The author of the plot appeared to be a Communist
sympathizer living in the Bavarian city of Passau. The Hamburg
political police sent a request to the PDM for a follow-up investiga¬
tion. An officer from VlaF went to Passau, and, with the assistance
g
of the local police, arrested the suspect.
In doubtful cases, where the political dimensions of the case
were uncertain, VlaF would work together with the detective section
of the regular criminal police. In this manner officers of VlaF
were called to join with regular criminal detectives in the investi¬
gation of the automobile accident which took the life of their former
superior, Police President Pohner. Rumors that the accident had,
in fact, been an arranged political murder—rumors which were later
demonstrated as unprovable—made the Pohner case a matter for the
combined efforts of homicide specialists and the political police.
*The Hartung case once again provided an example of this procedure
with the transferral of the case from the gendarmerie in Zusmarshausen
to PDM VlaF. This case, of course, also demonstrated how, if it suited
his own motives, the Police President could take a case away from VlaF.

181
Lesser political cases might also be left outright to the criminal
police during periods when the political case load was particularly
heavy. Witli a staff which averaged between fifteen and twenty
officers, VlaF was frequently overburdened. Cases of political sub¬
version were also shared with the counterespionage police at Desk VIb,
the only other branch of the political department endowed with
9
executive powers.
The counterespionage police occupied a special place within
the overall police administration. The nature of its mission against
spies, traitors, and political subversives required the closest
possible contact with military intelligence and with other political
police agencies. It further lent to the work of Desk VIb an aura
of popularity not shared by the other desks at PDM VI. During the
1920's the efforts of Desk VIb centered upon combatting the espionage
threat posed by the French and Czechs and the subversion threat
presented by the Communist movement, also, in the police view, the
representative of an enemy foreign power.
The work of French spies in Bavaria represented a continuation
of wartime espionage operations under peacetime conditions. The
French intelligence service sought information on the military
strength of the Reichswehr in Bavaria, of the LaPo, and of the Civic
Guard and the later Patriotic Associations. The French were especially
concerned about connections between the Reichswehr and the various
paramilitary organizations, suspecting, with some justification, that

182
these links were meant to further the evasion of the Versailles
treaty limitations. Thus, French undercover agents often received
instructions to explore the connections between the army and these
groups. Using various covers, the French maintained an espionage
office within Munich itself. The French zone of occupation in the
Rhineland also served as a base for covert operations into Bavaria;
moreover, the French could use their prerogatives as an occupying
power to help in recruiting agents from the region. Finally, French
consular officers in Switzerland concealed yet another headquarters
for intelligence activities in Bavaria and other parts of southern
Germany.^ pew Qf these operations escaped the notice of Desk VIb.
The Darmont case illustrated both the pattern of French espionage
in Bavaria, and the methods employed by Desk VIb in response."^
Darmont was a young officer in the French army, who had been assigned
to full-time intelligence duties in 1920. In 1921 he set up shop
in the French consulate in Basel and began to build a string of
agents in southern Germany. To cover his operations he employed a
variety of aliases, and posed in turn as a businessman or as an
official of a New York-based pacifist league. On his trips through
southern Germany Darmont sought out the company of young officers and
enlisted men of the Reichswehr. One such encounter led to the
recruitment of a young private, who Darmont then assigned to report
upon military maneuvers. In return the private was to receive a
substantial cash reward. With this incentive, he soon was preparing
reports and mailing them to a cover address in Switzerland.

183
Sometimes Darmont used intermediaries to recruit agents, as
further insurance of his own security. Often enough, however, this
step was unnecessary, for agents, once recruited, then began to
recruit others on their own initiative. Thus, subsidiary networks
grew up, usually composed of the initial recruits' friends—a not
very systematic approach, and one which ultimately compromised the
overall security of operations.
Communications between Darmont and his agents depended upon the
mail, the use of couriers, and direct contacts between the agent and
Darmont himself. Agents would be summoned to Basel to receive their
assignments from Darmont, or arrangements would be made for a meeting
during one of Darmont's frequent trips to Germany. Unfortunately for
Darmont, the security arrangements for these meetings were something
less than professional. Little provision was made for dead letter
drops or for other, similar devices to insulate one member of the
network from the others. A letter sent by the above-mentioned young
soldier was intercepted by the military censors. Another agent's
correspondence aroused the suspicion of his concierge, who brought
it to the attention of the local gendarmerie. A young woman recruited
by Darmont as a courier betrayed herself when an assignment to Munich
brought her into contact with a soldier working as a double-agent for
the counterespionage police. These and other breaks enabled VIb and
military intelligence to draw an ever tighter ring around the French
officer. Vital in this regard was the close cooperation of agencies

184
throughout southern Germany. An arrest in Munich would lead to further
information about the overall network, which would then be shared with
the police in Stuttgart, or vice-versa. Likewise, the police pooled
their information with military counterintelligence. In contrast
to the rivalry which had afflicted police and military political
information services, a common effort characterized their association
in the counterespionage field. This common effort allowed a trap to
be set for Darmont.
A soldier of the Reichswehr garrison in Konstanz took up contact
with Darmont, presenting himself as the middleman for a certain
Hans Knall, an officer cadet in the garrison. The soldier in reality
was working for the political police, and Cadet Knall was fictional.
An exchange of letters between "Knall"—actually the political
police—and Darmont whetted the latter's interest. Finally, Darmont
asked for a meeting with Knall at a clandestine spot on the German-
Swiss border. The role of Cadet Knall was taken by a young political
police officer, supported by a customs official from the area who
knew the terrain well. The customs official disguised himself as a
farmer and held himself in readiness close by the meeting place. The
contact was effected. In the course of the following conversation
Darmont strayed into German territory. Sensing the closing trap, he
tried to get back over the border, but was grabbed by the police
officer and thrown to the ground. After the arrest had been completed,
the police officer discovered that Darmont carried on his person papers
identifying a number of his agents, a list which led to further arrests.

185
The Darmont case demonstrated counterespionage at its most ef¬
fective. Certainly, Darmont's errors in tradecraft eased the work of
the political police. He had not proved himself the wiliest of
opponents. Still, without the careful cultivation of informers and
double agents, the strict observation of security routine in matters
such as military censorship, and close cooperation between a variety
of agencies civilian and military, Darmont would not have been
identified as a spy. Had the police not been willing to combine
imagination with careful planning, he could not have been captured.
Not all operations against the French or the Czechs would be so
12
successful. Still, the Darmont case showed what the political
police, at their best, were capable of achieving.
A report by a concierge to a local gendarme had contributed to
the eventual arrest of Darmont. This was not an isolated occurrence,
for in many cases clues supplied by ordinary policemen assisted the
political police in their mission. This successful cooperation
did not come about by accident. Desk VIb devoted serious effort to
building good relationships with the gendarmerie—unlike the
political policemen of other desks, who sometimes treated the
gendarmes as country bumpkins—and with other official agencies.
In 1925 the Munich counterespionage police took this effort a step
further by offering a course in counterespionage procedures for the
benefit of officers from throughout the state. The first course was
offered in March 1925, and was thereafter repeated at regular

186
Intervals through the end of the decade. At first the emphasis was
placed on training policemen front the border districts, particularly
those from the border of Czechoslovakia, but later invitations went
to districts in all parts of the state. Each district office and
city government selected one or two police officers to travel to
Munich for the course, which usually lasted for one week. There these
officers received instruction from the experts of VIb in such subjects
as the overall organization of the counterespionage police, the
use of the central card index and files maintained by VIb, the
standard procedures followed by the foreign espionage services, and
the techniques used in identifying and apprehending spies. Case
13
studies served to illustrate the methods taught.
Above all, the counterespionage courses provided those regular
policemen who took part with an opportunity to become acquainted with
the officers of VIb and with their opposite numbers throughout the
state. The efforts of foreign spies rarely remained within strict
jurisdictional lines, and thus neither could the efforts of the spy-
catchers. The contacts promoted by the counterespionage courses helped
insure that jurisdictional rivalries and resentments would not impair
the workings of the overall counterespionage system. And, not
incidentally, they imbued hundreds of Bavarian policemen with the
values and standards of the PDM.
In carrying out its statewide mission, however, VIb did not
solely depend upon the cooperative support of independent local

187
agencies. The Interior Ministry decree of March 16, 1923, empowered
the counterespionage police desk, in its role as central office for
the state, to intervene directly in any jurisdiction and to command
>'c
the support of all local agencies. But the power of PDM VIb to
range throughout the state did not depend only upon this decree, nor
was it limited by the demands of specific cases. A sub-desk of PDM
VIb possessed a standing brief to operate throughout the entire state,
independent of all local agencies. This was the "Railway Surveillance
•k'k
Service," or, from its German initials, the EÃœD.
The EÃœD had been a product of wartime conditions, specifically
of the desire to extend counterespionage surveillance to cover the
travelling public. The unsettled conditions of the post-war period
provided a pretext for its continuation. PDM VIb detailed plain¬
clothes officers to accompany the trains passing through Bavaria
as a supplement to the overall counterespionage effort. These
officers patrolled the various mainline trains on a regular basis,
14
checking passports or simply observing the behavior of passengers.
The result, as may well be imagined, was a standing imposition on
the travelling public. This produced a monumental administrative
conflict between the Bavarian Ministry of the Interior and the national
railway service—yet another conflict between state and national
*See Chapter 1.
**This full German name was Eisenbahnuberwachungs-Dienst.

188
authorities! From 1920 onward the railway administration regularly
complained about the disturbance attendant upon passport checks, and
backed its complaints by repeated threats to withdraw its support.
These threats carried considerable weight, for the officers of the
EuD could not use the trains without the free travel passes provided
by the railway administration. Forced on the defensive, the Ministry
of the Interior responded with two arguments. These arguments revealed
clearly the Ministry's reasons for clinging to this wartime institution,
and suggested that the Ministry's most pressing concerns had little
to do with conventional counterespionage.
The Ministry began by stressing that the officers of the EÃœD
were directly responsible to the central state authority. Thus, in
those cities where the local police were not responsive to the political
line dictated from Munich—the police in Wurzburg and Hof were
singled out here—branch offices of the EuD could serve as functional
replacements for the local political police. In the industrialized
cities of northern Bavaria, where a large working-class population
ensured a strong socialist influence within the city councils, the
police could not be regarded as unquestioning instruments of the state
government's policies."'""* The government was working toward a more
permanent administrative solution to this problem, but, in the
meantime, the EuD provided a useful substitute.
The Ministry's second argument followed from this, and raised
a familiar political issue. The EuD, it contended, formed an important

189
element in the state's arsenal against Communist subversion. From
the earliest days of its post-war existence the Eul) had been viewed
in this light; indeed, the decrees which mandated its continuation
after the armistice drew attention to the "bolshevist" threat as
justifying ongoing surveillance of rail traffic. Radical leftist
ideas, after all, were regarded by Bavarian leaders as a foreign
importation, a disease carried by Russian and north German agents--
the latter as much "foreign" as the former in Bavarian eyes. This
being the case, careful police control of the main transportation
network commended itself as a useful prophylactic device.^
In its decree of March 16 1923, and in its defense of the EÃœD
the Ministry of the Interior placed special emphasis on the role of
the counterespionage police in the battle against leftist subversion.
The tendency to equate "leftist" with "foreign" endowed this emphasis
with a certain logic. The counterespionage police were meant to
combat foreign agents; leftists were the servants of a foreign power,
be it headquartered in Berlin or Moscow; the counterespionage police
should therefore operate against the threat of political subversion.
As numerous cases testified, PDM VIb took this aspect of its overall
mission very seriously, and went about the work of ferreting out
subversives with zest.^
In the area of political subversion the tasks of the PDM's
Desks Via and VIb overlapped. Via dealt with subversive activities
which involved the criminal violation of laws other than the laws

190
against working for the interests of a foreign power; VIb dealt with
these violations. In pr¿ictice such distinctions could rarely be
maintained, and thus both desks worked together or divided up such
18
cases on an ad hoc basis. A similar overlap characterized the work
of the next two desks of the PDM's political department. The duties
of Desks Vic and VId were primarily regulatory rather than investi¬
gative. The work of Vic was explicitly so; further, it operated
openly, without recourse to the undercover operations employed, in
varying degrees, by the other desks. Desk Vic scarcely conformed to
the image of a secret political police, for its activities were
neither secret, nor, in the usual sense of the term, political. It
administered the laws governing copyrights; it issued official press
passes and identity cards; it regulated the daily press and the
19
publishing houses. Although Desk Vic bore the basic responsibility
for regulating the press, Desk VId often performed precisely the same
task, as part of its overall mission of supervising legitimate
political activity. Violations committed by those newspapers controlled
or linked to political parties—which meant in practice the majority
of newspapers in Munich—tended to fall within the purview of VId.
Bans on the appearance of party newspapers or on other forms of
political propaganda emanated from this desk. The government's
customary reaction to political criticism—a ban on the offending
newspaper—led to frequent running battles between VId and the
SPD's Muncher Post and, particularly after 1923, the Nazis' Volkischer
20
Beobachter.

191
Desk VId's other regulatory tasks included the issuance of
permits for public demonstrations and meetings, and the enforcement
of statutes governing such activities. Restrictions on the wearing
of uniforms and military insignia by political organizations also
brought VId into conflict with the Communist, Socialist, and Nazi
21
paramilitary branches. All three groups complained bitterly that
the government showed favoritism toward one or both of the others,
complaints which, ironically, lent the enforcement efforts of Desk VId
an appearance of even-handedness.
The limits of this even-handedness were demonstrated by a 1925
episode relating to the ban on Hitler's public speeches. After
Hitler's release from the Landsberg fortress in December 1924, the
police watched his activities closely. An inflammatory passage in
a speech delivered by him on February 27, 1925, prompted what became
22
a two-year ban on his appearance before public gatherings.
On October 24, 1925, a delegation of three National Socialists
23
appeared at the PDM to protest this ban. The record of their
discussion revealed both their attitude toward the police and the
reciprocal police policy toward the NSDAP at that time. The delegation
arrived at 10:15 on a Saturday morning and requested an audience with
Police President Mantel. Mantel, they were told, was in conference.
The desk officer referred them to the head of Department VI,
Regierungsrat Bernreuther. Bernreuther, however, was also unavailable.
His deputy, Regierungsrat Frank, received the delegation instead. The

192
discussion in Frank's office opened with an exchange of pleasantries;
Frank apologized for the Inability of Mantel and Bernreuthcr to meet
the delegates. This done, the leader of the delegation, a certain
Schiedermacher, announced that their purpose was to discuss the too-
rigorous measures adopted by the police against the NSDAP. He posed
a series of questions. Was the Nazi party permitted to exist? Frank
replied affirmatively. Did Frank understand that the party was a
legally registered political organization? He replied that he did.
Was the leader of a legal political party permitted to speak before
a closed meeting consisting exclusively of party members? Of course.
Then came the key question, the question to which Schiedermacher
had been building: "Then why do you forbid not only closed meetings
of the NSDAP, but also even meetings at which only the party leader¬
ship is represented, whenever Herr Hitler is present?"
Frank responded: "Ah, yes, gentlemen, this is quite another
case. In these meetings Herr Hitler would not only be present, but
would also speak—that you must concede. But Herr Hitler is not
permitted to speak at any gathering. The ban is in no way aimed at the
party, but rather at Herr Hitler."
At this point the other members of the delegation intervened
with expressions of surprise. Frank explained that Hitler had been
forbidden to speak before both open and closed gatherings. The
delegates complained that this latter restriction made members of the
party "second-class citizens" (Burger zweite Klasse), exhibiting,

193
for National Socialists, an unusual concern for the niceties of liberal
legal procedure. The delegates then asked Lf the ban emanated from
the PDM itself, or if it originated witli a higher authority—was it
based upon police regulations, or was it a political decision?
Frank strongly denied the last suggestion, and insisted that the
ban was primarily the responsibility of the PDM. He contended that the
ban was entirely consistent with the law, and stressed that the
members of the Nazi party were not the objects of discrimination. He
continued:
On the contrary. We in no way deny the strong
patriotic core of your movement, and, I must also
say, Herr Hitler has performed an unquestionable
service (unstreitbares Verdienst) in having helped
awaken national feelings in Germany. It is not
as you think. We take no Satanic pleasure in
forbidding your gatherings, but are only meeting
our responsibility to prevent a recurrence of the
events of November 8, 1923. When we have
assurances that Herr Hitler will do nothing
against the Constitution, then we can begin to
think in terms of relaxing the ban against him.
Frank then reminded the delegates of Hitler's February 27 speech, and
suggested that Hitler's menacing tone made doubtful his commitment
to constitutional means. The delegation disputed this, but Frank would
not give way. He did, however, repeat his promise to do everything
possible to ease the restrictions upon Hitler, once the latter had
demonstrated his willingness to forego radical action.
A further exchange of pleasantries brought the meeting to a close.
The Nazi delegates departed with the feeling that the police bore them

194
no particular ill-will, and that careful behavior by Hitler would
lend to a speedy relaxation of the ban. Tn this they were to be
24
disillusioned; the ban would continue until 1927. Frank had been
less than candid in claiming that the PDM bore final responsibility for
determining when Hitler would be permitted to speak. "Higher
authority" did in fact have the final determination here. Still,
his words had accurately reflected the general sentiments of his
superiors at the PDM, in the Ministry of the Interior, and at the
cabinet level. In acknowledging the "strong patriotic core" of the
Nazi movement and in conceding Hitler's "unquestionable service" to
national feeling in Germany, Frank was only repeating what had been
said before by more prominent figures. Similarly, his reservations
about the Nazi movement focused on Hitler's personal penchant for
violence, the "socialist" elements within the movement, and the fear
that Nazism would not concentrate upon the common Marxist enemy,
25
but instead would turn again upon the government. Frank's superior,
Police President Mantel, was nonetheless a different man from Pohner.
The times had changed since 1920. If the police did not move against
the Nazis with the vigor demonstrated against the Socialists and
Communists, neither did they show Hitler's movement the degree of
partiality they had once shown. The withdrawal of the "sheltering
hand," although not necessarily a hostile gesture, could be seen as
such. The Nazis frequently chose to view it thusly, and their attacks
on the political posture of the police increased with each passing
26
year.

195
In contrast to the multiple assignments of the other desks of
Department VI, Desk VI/N had but a single task: the observation of
the radical political movements. VI/N combined the overt analysis
of the political press and public political propaganda with a variety
of covert techniques in gathering its information. The heart of its
work lay in the cultivation of informers and the placement of under¬
cover agents within the radical political groups. In its capacity
as the Bavarian central office for political intelligence it also
drew upon the sources of all police and government agencies in the
27
state.
The head of PDM VI/N during the Pohner years had been
Friedrich Glaser. The choice of the trusted Glaser to head VI/N
underscored the importance of the political intelligence service to
Pohner. VI/N, perhaps more than any other part of the PDM, was a
product of the Pohner era and reflected his imprint most deeply.
During Glaser's tenure as head of VI/N, the political intelligence
service gave almost all of its attention to the activities of the
left-wing movements. Not that VI/N lacked information on the right-
wing groups; Glaser's personal contacts with these groups were
extensive and intimate. The right-wing movement, however, was an
ally of the police. VI/N reserved its energies for the enemy on the
This reporting bias persisted after Pohner's departure and
Glaser's transfer to other ditues within PDM VI. Even after the

196
Ministerial decree of October 24, 1922, which made PDM VI/N the
central office of the statewide political intelligence service and
which stressed the need for closer surveillance of the right-wing
movement, Vl/N continued to devote most of its attention to the left.
Likewise, the Beer Hall Putsch had no real effect. Finally, in 1924,
the continuing bias of VI/N intelligence reports provoked a sharp
reprimand from Interior Minister Schweyer. In a letter to Mantel
on April 17, Schweyer commented that, while the intelligence reports
on the leftist movement were "very thorough," the situation reports
contained "virtually nothing" (verschwindend wenig) on right-wing
activities. Schweyer demanded that VI/N match its thorough coverage
of the radical left with an equally thorough coverage of the radical
right. Significantly, in explaining the grounds for his criticism,
Schweyer called Mantel's attention to the contacts between radical
right-wing elements and the Communists (Beruhrungspunkte mit den
29
Kommunisten sind vorhanden). This was unquestionably the case, for
the affinities between the radical opponents of the republic evident
in such movements as National Bolshevism showed how a common hostility
30
could unite otherwise opposed positions. The tendency of Bavarian
officials to seize upon the socialist elements in the radical right
movement as evidence of its potential danger, however, demonstrated
just how thoroughly they associated revolutionary violence with the
socialist movement.
Schweyer's reprimand would be reinforced by his successor,
Stutzel, over the course of the following years, and Police President

197
Mantel would insist that, regardless of the reporting officer's
personal political beliefs, the situation reports must be balanced
and unbiased. The Police President might Lack the power to cleanse
the political police force of its right-wing sympathizers, but he would
not accept once again the experience of being arrested in his own
city while his subordinates stood idly by. Slowly, after 1924, the
situation reports produced by PDM VI/N began to reflect this new
emphasis at the top.
From 1924 to 1926 these reports appeared on a fortnightly basis.
They were customarily divided into two main sections, headed
Linksbewegung and Rechtsbewegung. Included under the former were the
KPD, the SPD, their related organizations—particularly those of a
paramilitary nature—and various splinter groups, such as the
"proletarian freethinkers," the anarcho-syndicalists, and the
pacifists. This grouping reflected the continuing practice of viewing
all socialists as part of a single movement. The Rechtsbewegung
included the many groups which made up the radical right. On one
occasion, in 1926, the political police even included a report on
the BVP in the section on the right-wing movement; this oddity,
however, disappeared as inexplicably as it surfaced. During the
period from 1923 until 1925, when the Nazi party was under ban, VI/N
concentrated upon the subterranean efforts to keep the party alive.
Having been chastised repeatedly about political bias and reminded
that police speculation did not fall within their province, the

198
authors of the situation reports increasingly maintained a profes-
31
slonally objective* tone.
In another way, however, the reports bore testimony to the
political intelligence service's continued preoccupation with the
left. The intimate detail these reports contain about secret KPD
meetings and other activities suggested an intensive effort to
penetrate every level of the Communist organization with agents and
informers. In contrast, police interest in the right-wing movement
was much more limited in scope. The reports concentrate upon two
problems: the evidence of illegal paramilitary activity and the
political appearances of Adolf Hitler. Here the fear of another
putsch emerged clearly, as well as the relative indifference to
32
other aspects of right-wing activity. A lesser, but nonetheless
revealing, indicator of relative police interest was the distribution
of pages in the reports between coverage of the left and the right.
In a typical fifteen page report, nine pages were devoted to the
33
left, six to the right, a 3:2 ratio.
In the summer of 1926 the reporting pattern entered its second
phase. A third section was added to the situation reports, dealing
with the Republikanische Bewegung—the "Republican Movement." The
reports on the SPD which had earlier appeared under the leftist
heading now were shifted to this new category, along with reports on
other parties loyal to the republic. The very inclusion of such a
category in a series of reports on the "radical" political movements

199
said much about the Bavarian authorities' continued reservations
concerning Weimar and its republican institutions. The section on the
Linksbewegung now focused almost exclusively on the KPD; the cor¬
responding section on the right steadily increased its concentration
upon the NSDAP during the following years. As before, however,
particular attention was given to revolutionary or socialist tendencies
34
within the Nazi camp.
During this second phase the reports became longer, varying
between twenty and thirty pages in length. Typically, ten to fourteen
pages were devoted to the left, three to six pages to the republican
groups, and seven to ten pages to the right. By the end of the
decade, however, the reporting pattern began to break up. Reports
frequently appeared monthly rather than fortnightly, and the length
of individual reports began to vary wildly. Interest in the "Republican
Movement" faded, and the reports demonstrated an overwhelming interest
in the paramilitary formations of the KPD and the NSDAP, equally
35
distributed after 1931. At this stage events had started to move too
fast for the system of situation reporting. PDM VI/N turned its
efforts increasingly to the preparation of running reports on specific
problems; the regular situation reports declined in significance. The
system did not break down complately, but the strains upon it were
apparent.
Viewing the work of the five desks of PDM VI as a whole, its
salient characteristic was a combination of thorough professionalism

200
and persistent political bias. These qualities have often been re¬
garded as mutually exclusive. But just as General von Seeckt's
emphasis on a non-political, professional Reichswehr did not preclude
a profound military influence on the politics of the republic, so too
did the professionalism of the political police permit them a clear
political role. To be "above politics" was, after all, the expression
of a political position. But the political involvement of PDM VI
went far beyond such passivity. During the Pohner era its sympathies
for the radical right had been explicit and widely recognized. Until
the spring of 1924 the continuation of this bias had been the object
of open concern on the part of the Interior Minister. As late as
1929 PDM VI was still headed by a man closely identified with the
most nefarious activities of the Pohner-Frick regime, in the person
of Friedrich Bernreuther. The political bias of the department would
become less obvious as the decade wore on.
Progressively, the position of the political police in Munich
came to approximate that of the Held government and of Police
President Mantel. The left was an avowed enemy. The right was,
depending upon its specific actions, sometimes an enemy and sometimes
an ally. Among the various radical right groups, the Nazis most
frequently fell into the "enemy" category. Yet even here careful
distinctions were made. A 1931 political police report to the
Ministry of the Interior distinguished between the dangers posed by
the Nazi party itself and those posed by the party's paramilitary

201
auxiliary, the SA. The latter formation, according to the report,
was clearly dangerous and should be dissolved; the danger posed by
the party proper was less clear. A parallel memorandum by the
Ministry of the Interior drew a similar distinction, stating, "Hitler
has solemnly affirmed and publicly confirmed the legality of the
party. Doubts based on the evidence cannot be produced against the
3 6
sincerity of his intention." Respecting this distinction, the
political police would act with increasing vigor—at least in
Munich—against the SA and against revolutionary or violent gestures
by the party itself, while allowing all other party activities to go
relatively undisturbed. Right and left were still treated differently
by the political police, but the police no longer exceeded the govern¬
ment in its response to the two extremes.
This, then, was the agency which served as a model for the
other political police departments which were established in Bavaria
in the course of the decade. In extending the state political police
system to the other leading cities of Bavaria, the government followed
the assumptions inherent in the earlier expansion of the counter¬
espionage and political intelligence central offices. The first stage
in this program of expansion affected the police in the city of
Nuremberg. With the creation of the Polizeistelle Nordbayern in
Bamberg in 1919, the Ministry of the Interior had shown its special
concern regarding the political situation in that region. But a
political police office in Bamberg failed to eliminate the special

202
problem of Nuremberg. Nuremberg was not only the most Important city
of northern Bavaria, but also the center of Industry in the region.
As such, it had a large working class population, strong socialist
traditions, and, as a legacy of the radical days of 1919, a city
government dominated by a socialist and republican city council. The
council, in turn, controlled the municipal police. As was so often
the case, the presence of a strong socialist movement also called
forth a strong right-wing response, and Nuremberg from 1919 onward
became a center of right-wing extremism. If the left looked to the
city council and the local police for support and protection, the
right looked to the state government, and particularly to the closest
representative of state authority, the Provincial Presidium of Middle
Franconia in nearby Ansbach. Although the establishment of the PSNB
had fortified the state authority in the region, this could not make
up for the central government's inability to control the police in
Nuremberg.
A wave of working class disturbances in Nuremberg during March
1920, provided the first pretext for action. Nuremberg's workers,
like their compatriots throughout Germany, had responded to the Social
Democratic call for a general strike as a countermove against the
right-wing Kapp Putsch. The resulting unrest brought anguished
appeals from rightists in Nuremberg to the Provincial President of
Middle Franconia. Aroused by these appeals and angered by the apparent
unwillingness of the Nuremberg police to take strong action against

203
the workers, he dispatched his special assistant for police affairs,
Heinrich (hireIs, to restore order in Nuremberg. Using the special
emergency powers of a State Commissioner, Gareis quickly asserted his
:k
authority. The crisis reached its climax on March 17, when a group
of left-wing sailors armed themselves from Civic Guard stocks and,
so it was later alleged, tried to take over the city. Gathering a
force of soldiers and armed right-wing students from the university
in nearby Erlangen, Gareis smashed the sailors' revolt. At a cost to
themselves of only a few wounded, Gareis's forces inflicted heavy
casualties upon the sailors and upon those unfortunate innocents who
wandered under their guns. Having accomplished his original mission,
Gareis remained in Nuremberg to see that the newly restored "order"
. . 37
was maintained.
Almost inevitably, his continued presence in the city deepened
the discord between the state and city governments. Gareis did not
*For the institution of the "Special Commissioner," see Chapter 1,
p. 33. Although the ultimate authority in such matters rested with
the Ministry of the Interior, the Provincial Presidents were often
given these special powers. In times of emergency the Ministry simply
named each Provincial President as Special Commissioner for his
province—in Munich, the Police President was usually named rather
than the Provincial President of Upper Bavaria—who could then, in
turn, delegate these powers to designated deputies.
**By conservative estimate, twenty-three were killed and forty-five
wounded. According to Gareis's own figures, thirty-six were killed
and one hundred wounded. The discrepancy may be accounted for by
Gareis's desire to emphasize the vigor and ruthlessness of his actions
as a means of improving his stature in the eyes of his later superiors
in the Nazi SS. See the Handwritten curriculum vitae of Heinrich
Gareis, Nov. 3, 1938, BDC: SS Personalakte Gareis.

204
hesitate to invoke his special powers and override the city council's
authority in police matters. For political support lie allied himself
with the city's right-wing parties and paramilitary groups, a step
38
which served only to exacerbate the existing tensions. At the same
time he could count upon the strong support of his immediate superior,
the Provincial President, and upon the sympathetic understanding of
the conservative bureaucrats at the Ministry of the Interior.
Complaints from the city council that Gareis's own high-handed
behavior had provoked the bloodshed of March 17 fell on deaf ears,
39
as did all other subsequent complaints to the state authorities.
These authorities had very different ideas about a permanent solution
to the problems in Nuremberg.
The Ministry of the Interior wanted at this time to assume
permanent control over the police in Nuremberg, to transform the
municipal police into a police directory along the lines of the PDM;
indeed the Ministry wished to go further by making the Nuremberg
police formally a state agency, without even the mixed city and state
control which marked the situation in Munich. This assumption of
state control, or Verstaatlichung, was to be the first step in the
eventual consolidation of all major police forces in the state under
40
the Ministry. Two difficulties stood in the way of such a move:
its cost, and the objections of the Entente powers. Verstaatlichung
would mean a greater burden on the state treasury, and the Versailles
treaty limitations gave the Entente—which in this, as in so many

205
other matters relating to the treaty, meant the French—the power
to regulate the size and strength of Germany's state police forces.
The French officer who headed the Military Control Commission,
General Nollet, had no intention of allowing Germany to evade the
manpower limitations of the treaty by creating new regiments in the
guise of police units. Verstaatlichung therefore became an issue in
the ongoing negotiations between the Reich government and the Control
a i
Commission over the application of the treaty.
So long as the issue was unresolved, no new state police
agencies could be safely established. In the meantime, the Ministry
of the Interior decided to effect a temporary solution by moving the
PSNB to Nuremberg. Even this measure had some of the characteristics
of a diplomatic subterfuge. In actuality Nuremberg would receive
an entirely new office, and the PSNB would be dissolved. The new
office, however, would perform the same limited political police
functions as the PSNB. Should the French object, it could be argued
that the new agency was not new at all, and that it had merely
42
taken the place of what had been a branch of the PDM. The Finance
Ministry could not object, since the cost of the new office would be
balanced by the dissolution of the old one in Bamberg. Finally, on
October 15, 1921, the Staatspolizeiamt Nurnberg-Furth (State Police
.. 43
Office for Nuremberg and Furth) came into being.
Despite the strong objections of the city authorities, Gareis
was entrusted with the leadership of the new office. The city council

206
protested vehemently against this decision, but to no avail. Gareis's
support from the various right-wing groups in Nuremberg was too
strong, and the influence of these groups upon the state government
44
was too great, to permit another choice. Ironically, a scant two
weeks after forcing Pohner to resign from the Police Presidency in
Munich, the new Interior Minister, Schweyer, was compelled to confirm
a man from the same mold in Nuremberg.
The creation of the State Police Office meant that, for the time
being, Nuremberg had two police forces. The municipal police remained
in the hands of the city government, while Gareis had his own staff
and political section in the State Police Office, and could call upon
units of the LaPo for service in the city. The conflict over the
police in Nuremberg led the opposition to Gareis. Luppe was a
liberal democrat and a strong supporter of the Republic. Although
not himself a socialist, he had proven capable of working with the
socialists, and had also demonstrated clearly his hostility to the
radical right. This stance made him an object of suspicion to many
in the city administration—although the political leadership of
the city was moderate or leftist, the career civil service positions
were held mostly by conservatives—and an object of hatred to the
right. In November 1922, Luppe for the first time came into open
conflict with the newly emergent radical right-wing leader, Julius
Streicher. Six months later this conflict became an open, no-holds-
45
barred fight to the death.

207
The escalation of this conflict came as a result of the events
of May 1, 1923, in Nuremberg. The rumors of a National Socialist
putsch which had shaken Munich surfaced in northern Bavaria as well.
Acting upon information supplied by the political intelligence service
of the SPD, Luppe ordered the city police to confiscate a large
cache of weapons belonging to the National Socialists. To compound
his offense, Luppe then contacted the Reichswehrminister in Berlin,
informed him of the putsch rumors, and asked that he prepare army
. . 46
units to intervene against the threat.
The putsch did not take place as feared, but Luppe’s actions
had gone too far for both the nationalists in Nuremberg and the state
government. Streicher and other nationalist leaders condemned the
confiscation of weapons and the appeal to Berlin as treason, and
called for the state government to expel Luppe from office and deport
him from Bavaria. Streicher did not get his wish—he would have to
wait until March 1933, for his final reckoning with Luppe—but the
state government complied with the rightist demands to the extent
of introducing disciplinary proceedings against Luppe. In the summer
of 1923 the Munich authorities could not tolerate either a confiscation
of rightist weapons—which had brought the cache to the attention
47
of the French—or an appeal over their own heads to Berlin.
Although Luppe managed to survive the inquiry into his actions,
he had won the lasting enmity of the Bavarian government. Whatever
doubts the government may have entertained about Gareis, it needed

208
him in Nuremberg as a counterweight to Luppe's dangerous republican¬
ism. Another development had cleared the obstacles to making
fiareis's position permanent. In July 1922, the negotiations between
the Foreign Ministry in Berlin and the Military Control Commission
had yielded an agreement on the future strength of the state police
in Germany. In general, only those police forces which had been
under the central control of the state governments in 1913 could remain
under state control. General Nollet, however, authorized a list of
twenty-two exceptions to this rule. Most of the municipal police
forces listed were in Prussia, but the French did authorize the
49
Verstaatlichung of one such force in Bavaria, the one in Nuremberg.
At first the state government chose not to act upon this authorization,
but after the events of May 1, 1923, the step could no longer be
delayed. To the applause of Streicher and the other nationalists,
the government elevated the State Police Office to the status of a
Police Directory, thereby taking the minicipal police out of Luppe's
control and placing it in the hands of Gareis. On November 1, 1923,
the Polizeidirektion Nurnberg-Furth began operations.
The new organization, customarily referred to by the initials
PDN-F, had the same overall mission as its Munich prototype and
resembled the PDM in its general structure. There were, however,
organizational differences. In the PDN-F the political police
received the designation Department II. Department II performed most
of the same functions as Department VI in Munich, but on a much smaller

209
scale and without the highly refined internal subdivisions. In 1923
only t’-'enty-four officers worked full time for the political police
in Nuremberg, only a fraction of the total in Munich. Even as late
as 1933 the number had risen only to approximately sixty, at a time
when PDM VI had over one hundred and thirty officers."^ Aside from
the difference in size, the most obvious difference between the two
organizations was that Department II in Nuremberg lacked its own
executive section. Instead, the investigation of actual political
crimes and the arrest of political criminals was carried out by a
special political desk within the regular criminal po]ice department.
52
In practice, however, this separation had little significance. The
primary task of the political department proper was the gathering of
political intelligence by the usual overt and covert means and the
preparation of political situation reports for northern Bavaria. Under
the leadership of Friedrich Schachinger, Gareis's deputy and the formal
head of the political police, Department II carried out this mission
as efficiently and effectively for its sphere of responsibility as
53
the much larger Munich organization.
The most important difference between Munich and Nuremberg lay
in the political biases of the two political departments. Whereas
the Munich police after 1923 merely sympathized strongly with the
right, the Nuremberg police actively supported it. The difference
was illustrated in the situation reports produced by the two depart¬
ments and attested by the approval of such personages as Streicher

210
and Ernst Rohm. After bestowing his praise upon Gareis and
Schachinger in the most glowing terms, Rohm compared them with two
other favorites, Pohner and Frick—he described the four men as a
54
"pair of twins." The comparison was apt, and, for the history of
the political police in Bavaria, full of portent. For if the spirit
of Pohner and Frick lived on in Munich after their departure from
the police administration, then their virtual reincarnations shaped
the destiny of the police in Nuremberg.
With the Verstaatlichung of the Nuremberg police accomplished,
the most important objective of the state government in this area
had been achieved. The extension of this process to the other major
cities of Bavaria now moved to the head of the agenda. Of these, the
most important was Wurzburg. Beginning in January 1923, the leaders
of the Working Coalition of the Patriotic Associations in Wurzburg—
the local alliance of right-wing nationalist groups—made repeated
representations to the state government concerning what it regarded
as "leftist" tendencies within the municipal police force and the
dire influence exerted upon this body by the moderate, republican
council. The police were accused of showing too much tolerance to
the left, of showing too little sympathy for the right, particularly
the National Socialists, and, significantly, of being too friendly
to the city's Jewish population. For these reasons, insisted the
55
right-wing leadership, an immediate Verstaatlichung was essential.
The government in Munich was inclined to agree, but wanted more
information about the situation in Wurzburg before taking a decisive

211
step. It turned to its own sources within the city, which were
excellent. In addition to the Wurzburg offLce of the Railway
Surveillance Service, staffed with officers of the Munich political
police, the government could rely upon a skilled undercover agent in
the city. Eduard Seubert, a former senior officer of PDM Via, had
k
been promoted to the position of State Finance Inspector in Wurzburg.
Seubert combined the performance of his new duties in the finance
office with the preparation of confidential reports on the political
situation in Wurzburg, which he filed with Police Director Gareis in
Nuremberg. On February 1, 1924, Seubert reported to Gareis on the
political position of the Wurzburg police. Singling out three senior
police officers for special attention, he described them as being
dangerous left-wing sympathizers. He added that all three were
suspected of having misused their official position for personal gain.
Finally, he stressed that all three had close ties with the Jewish
community. Instead of making life difficult for Jewish refugees
from Russia and the newly-created states of eastern Europe, the most
senior of the three officers had given comfort to these unfortunates—
kk
evidently a damning indictment in Seubert's view. Seubert's report
*Seubert's work in connection with the Hartung case is discussed in
Chapter 2.
**The presence of these "Ostjuden" was a lively issue in Bavaria. In
1919 Pohner had proposed the mass deportation of the Jewish refugees,
a proposal which was not, however, carried out by the government.

212
did not end with these professional matters, but also included material
. 56
about the three officers private affairs and sexuai relationships.
It was, by any standards, an ugly example of political espionage.
Gareis passed it along to the Ministry of the Interior with an
accompanying note of praise for Seubert's work and the recommendation
that, in the event of the Verstaatlichung of the police in Wurzburg,
Seubert should be rewarded with a position in the new police agency.
On March 7, 1924, two weeks after the receipt of Seubert's
report at the Ministry of the Interior, the cabinet met to consider
the question of Verstaatlichung of the police in Wiirzburg and other
Bavarian cities. At this meeting Interior Minister Schweyer
characterized the state's takeover of the police in Nuremberg as a
great success, and urged that the government take similar steps in
the remaining major cities. Minister President Knilling agreed.
Schweyer contended that the financial obstacles to the proposed
measure could be overcome and that the objections of the Military
Control Commission to this unauthorized expansion of control of the
police could, in one way or another, be evaded. The Finance Minister,
however, expressed reservations. While granting that the political
situation was serious, particularly from the Communist side, he
argued that the state could not bear the additional expense. Moreover,
in his view the revolutionary danger could not proceed from any area
other than the two largest cities, Munich and Nuremberg. Since the
police in these two cities were already under effective state control,
58
nothing else needed to be done.

213
The views of the Finance Minister prevailed. Shortly afterward
the KnillLng government was replaced by that of Heinrich Held, and
the relaxation of political tension in the state reduced the urgency
of the issue. The government proceeded deliberately, and it was not
until April 1, 1929 that a ministerial decree proclaimed the
Verstaatlichung of the police in Augsburg, Hof, Regensburg, and
59
Wurzburg. In Hof, as in Wurzburg, the issue had been highly
politicized; in Augsburg and Regensburg it had been less controversial,
largely because of the less fractious nature of local politics in
60
these two cities. The decree of April 1, 1929, represented the
fulfillment of the Verstaatlichung policy enunciated in 1923. The
1925 Locarno treaty had reduced the rigor of the Military Control
Commission's efforts, and the steady improvement in the overall
economic situation had improved the state government's financial
position. ^ These developments made possible the extension of state
control over the police.
The four new Polizeidirektionen followed the organizational
model established in Munich and Nuremberg. Officers from the PDM
were promoted to head the Police Directories in Wurzburg and
Regensburg; in the latter case, the new Police Director was
62
Friedrich Bernreuther, until that time the head of PDM VI. One of
Gareis's senior officers at the PDN-F also participated in the actual
63
organization of the four new agencies. Thus, the PDM and the PDN-F
worked their influence ever more deeply into the fabric of Bavarian
police administration.

214
The evacuation of Allied occupation forces from the Rhine
Palatinate In 1930 led to Lhe completion of the state security system.
The Bavarian government set up Police Directories in Kaiserslautern
and Ludwigshafen, and State Police Offices in Speyer and
.. 64
Zweibrucken. With this final step, the police in all the major
:k
cities of Bavaria had come under direct state control. The new
Police Directories and the State Police Offices, each with its own
political police section, were fully integrated into the statewide
political networks created in 1922 and 1923. Coupled with the LaPo
and the likewise state-controlled rural gendarmerie, these new
agencies brought the police in the state into the hands of the Munich
government. The consolidation process begun with Pohner's and Frick's
proposal for the centralization of the political police had been
completed.
*The state required that each city contribute 50% of the upkeep of the
police, on the grounds that each served the locality as well as the
state. Police officers, however, were state officials, and responsible
only to the central government. The same was true of the PDM, although
its juridicially anomalous position between city and state continued
until 1933. No one doubted that the PDM was the agent of the state
and not the city government.

215
Notes
This summary of events from the end of the Beer Hall Putscli is
based upon the following sources: Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power,
pp. 12-20; Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsrndikalismus, pp. 242-
245; Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch, pp. 530-554.
2
The negotiations leading to the formation of the Held government
are described in detail in Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradi-
kalismus, pp. 243-244.
Held's attitude toward the left is discussed in Pridham, Hitler's
Rise to Power, pp. 20-21. The analysis of the BVP's 1924 electoral
propaganda is from Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, p.
309. The characterization of Georg von Vollmar and the Bavarian SPD
is from Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria, pp. 14-21. As Mitchell points
out, from the 1890's onward, the Bavarian SPD had disavowed the radical
approach in favor of a "peaceful advance of the Socialist cause." This
was also the party's policy in 1918-1919 and thereafter.
4
Held's statement is cited in Fenske, Konservativismus und
Rechtsradikalismus, p. 309. It might be argued in Held's behalf
that in making this statement he only gave expression to the temper
of the times and that the reflexive anti-Semitism so characteristic
of the era did not necessarily imply support for the Jewish persecution
which would later come in Germany. Held's statement, nonetheless,
contrasts badly with the courageous condemnation of anti-Semitism
made by Lerchenfeld and with the strong and consistent stand taken
against anti-Semitism by Auer and the Bavarian SPD. For this stand,
see Donald L. Niewyk, Socialist, Anti-Semite, and Jew: German Social
Democracy Confronts the Problem of Anti-Semitism, 1918-1933, pp. 35,
40, 41, 48, 58, 97, 102, 107-108, 166, 208.
^Verhandlungen des Bayerischen Landtags, Stenographische Berlchte
und Beilagen, Vol. VII (Munich, 1922/1923), pp. 68, 171-182.
^Pridham analyzes this problem of ambivalence in some detail. In
his chapter on the NSDAP and the Catholic voter he points out the
various strategems through which the Nazis attempted to mask the
differences between their own position and that of the Church. He
further points out how the Nazis strong anti-leftist posture won them
favor with some Bavarian Catholics (p. 147). Pridham notes that
Faulhaber's criticisms of the republic and of parliamentary democracy,

216
and his tendency to ignore the differences between Socialism and
Communism generated confusion within the ranks of Catholic voters.
In I’ridham's own words, "It was small wonder that Jess sophisticated
Catholics, unversed in doctrinal matters, should have taken Faulhabcr's
statements amiss and failed to see the subtleties oT his attitude."
(p. 154). Cardinal Faulhaber was an admirable man, a strong critic
of anti-Semitism, and an important figure in the later resistance to
Nazism. The point here is not to minimize the differences between
the Church and the radical right, particularly the Nazis, nor to
question the basic hostility of figures such as Faulhaber to Hitler.
The point is instead that confusion frequently prevailed on this
issue, a confusion which the Nazis could exploit to make the dif¬
ferences between their party and the Church appear less grave.
Pridham clearly demonstrates this confusion, as does James Donohoe, a
leading student of the Catholic opposition to Hitler. Pridham also
repeatedly demonstrates the ambivalence of the BVP leadership toward
the radical right. The religious and states' rights issues were
important sources of disagreement between the BVP and the radical
right, but there was also common ground on the questions of hostility
to the republic and anti-leftist sentiment—the latter of particular
importance in shaping the attitudes of political policemen, whose
work involved them intimately in the war against the left. The issue,
it must be stressed again, is that of recreating a political milieu and
of demonstrating that the political milieu in Bavaria during the
years 1919-1933 was one which permitted large numbers of state
servants, policemen and others, to entertain a sympathetic attitude
toward the radical right. See Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, pp. 146-
183, 192-195; James Donohoe, Hitler's Conservative Opponents in
Bavaria, 1930-1945 (Leiden, 1961), pp. 28-34.
^Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, pp. 192-195.
g
The procedure for handling cases within Via is described by
the deputy head of Via during the years 1920-1923, Eduard Seubert.
See Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mil. I
308Id/3. An example of this procedure is given in a PDM internal
memorandum, July 17, 1929, RA 57809. The case from Hamburg is dis¬
cussed in Public Prosecutor in Passau to M Inn, Aug. 2, 1928, M Inn
71784. The Communist sympathizer in question, a certain Hans Knodn,
had worked with Hitler in the army's 1919 political indoctrination
course and was until 1926 a supporter of the Nazis. Among Knodn's
papers the police found a letter from Hitler describing Knodn as one
of "the first NSDAP members" and praising his patriotism. Knodn
drifted to the left after breaking with Hitler. One observes here
once again the confusing shifts so typical of the politics of the time.

217
The best source for the Pohner case and for the police response
to the rumors of his assassination is the collection of police files
on the case in HA 1595-1600. Ironically, the criminal police officer
first charged with investigation of the circumstances of the accident
was Carl von Merz, the man who had come into conflict with Pohner
over the handling of the Hartung case. Merz also provides a general
statement on the practice of sharing cases between the political and
criminal police. See Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924,
StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3. An example of how overwork might lead to the
return of a political case to the criminal police is recorded in
Schutzmannschaft Abt. I to the Police President, July 20, 1923,
HA 67/1489.
^For the various features of French espionage in Bavaria, see
RKO to PDM, May 16, 1923 and M Inn to RKO, April 10, 1923, both in
MA 100 446b. See also Indictment in the trial of Heinrich Bassler
for treason, December 29, 1925, M Inn 71784.
"^The Darmont case is described in a summary report by the PDM
VIb z.st., Feb. 22, 1924, Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/201.
All references to this case are taken from this report.
12
See, for example, the collection of M Inn documents on Czech
espionage in M Inn 71793.
13
The two main collections of material concerning the counter¬
espionage course are the Ministry of the Interior course files—M
Inn 71791—and those of the PDM itself—Gestapo 10.
14
PDM internal directive, January 30, 1919, M Inn 71794,
See the correspondence between M Inn and the Munich office
of the Reich Transport Ministry on this subject for the years 1921-
1929 in M Inn 71794 and M Inn 71795.
16
Ibid.
An example is the 1931 Jennuwein case involving a suspected
Communist attempt to suborn a Reichswehr soldier. See the PDM VIb
reports on the case, Aug. 24-0ct. 19, 1931, Gestapo 10.
18
The Knodn case cited under note 5 above provides an example
of this overlap between Via and VIb.

218
19
The duties of PDM Vic are spelled out in the 1932 PDM Table of
Organization in M Tnn 71881.
^I’or one of these battles, see the PDM VId internal reports for
Sept. 24, 1923 and Oct. 6, 1923 in Gestapo 28.
21
PDM to the Sozialdemokratische Verein Munchens, June 19, 1923,
Gestapo 28; PDM to M Inn, Aug. 27, 1923, MA 100 425. See also the
list of PDM Versammlungsverbote for 1923 in RA 57805.
22
Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, pp. 41-42. D. C. Watt, "Die
Bayerischen Bemuhungen urn die Ausweisung Hitlers, 1924," in
Vierteljahreshefte fur Zeitgeschichte, pp. 270-280, 6 (1958), is
inadvertantly misleading on the question of police attitudes toward
Hitler in the post-putsch period. Watt uses as a shorthand form the
term "police" to describe the efforts in support of Hitler's expulsion
emanating from the PDM. It would be more accurate to say "Police
President Mantel" instead, since the efforts to expel Hitler reflected
Mantel's own position much more clearly than that of his political
department under Bernreuther. Compare the Bavarian documents on the
case in MA 100 427.
23
The account of the meeting with Frank on the following pages
is based upon the detailed report filed by the three Nazi delegates
with the Munich NSDAP headquarters on Oct. 27, 1925. The report may
be found in HA 4/89.
24
Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, p. 42.
25
In addition to the statements by Schaffer and Schweyer cited
above, see the similar statement by former Minister President Knilling
cited in Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, p. 308.
2 6
Nazi criticisms of the police were faithfully recorded by the
police themselves and reproduced in the fortnightly situation reports
produced by PDM Vl/N. These reports for the period June 1924 to
Dec. 1932 are collected in MA 101 235/1-3. Other materials on the
relationship between the police and the NSDAP which bear on this issue
may be found in MA 100 425 and MA 100 426.
27
137.
For the central office role of PDM VI/N, see Chapter 3, pp. 127-

219
28
For the pattern of ties between the political police and the
radical right, particularly those of Glaser and VT/N, sec Chapter 2,
pp. 96-100.
29
M Inn to the Police President in Munich and the Police Director
in Nuremberg, April 17, 1924, Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
30
The most useful study of this phenomenon is Otto-Ernst
Schuddekopf, Nationalbolschewismus in Deutschland, 1918-1933 (Frankfurt,
1972). This work is a revised and enlarged version of Schuddekopf's
earlier Linke Leute von rechts. For leftist tendencies within
National Socialism, see Max H. Kele, Nazis and Workers (Chapel Hill,
1972.)
31
All conclusions on the content and biases of the political
situation reports are based upon a close reading of the reports
themselves. For the period 1924-1926, see PDM Political Situation
Reports, June 1924 to June 1926, MA 101 235/1-2.
32
Ibid.
33
Ibid.
34
PDM Political Situation Reports, June 1926-Dec. 1932, MA 101
235/2-3.
35
Ibid.
3 6
Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, pp. 254-258. The quotation is
from p. 256. Pridham professes a certain puzzlement at the inef¬
fectual position of the BVP. A comparison of Pridham's arguments
with the remarks of Interior Minister Stutzel about his colleagues'
"soft" position versus the Nazis' reduces this puzzlement. See,
Interior Minister Stiitzel to Dr. Georg Heim, Dec. 18, 1931, MA 100 425.
37
Rainer Hambrecht, Per Aufstieg der NSDAP in Mittel- und
Oberfranken, 1925-1933 (Nuremberg, 1976), pp. 12-13, 40-41; Prov.
President of Middle Franconia to M Inn, April 16, 1920, M Inn 71879;
Handwritten curriculum vitae of Heinrich Gareis, Nov. 3, 1938, BDC:
SS Personalakte Gareis; Hofmann, Der Hitlerputsch, p. 46.
38
Hambrecht, Der Aufstieg der NSDA_P, pp. 41-43.

220
of
39
Ibid. See
March 7, 1924,
also the minutes of the Bavarian cabinet meeting
MA 100 451.
Minutes of the Bavarian cabinet meeting of March 7, 1924, MA 100
451. The various collections of documents concerning Verstaatlichung
make it clear that the policy was long thought out, and rested upon
conclusions drawn at the beginning of the post-war era. See for the
Ministry of the Interior the following: M Inn 71879, 71883, 71884,
71887, 71888, 71891, 71892, 71893, 71894, 71895, 71896; for the
State Chancellery: MA 100 451; for the Provincial Government of
Middle Franconia: Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/377 and 11/378;
and for the Polizeidirektion Nurnberg-Furth: PDN-F 108/2 and PDN-F
109.
41
See the correspondence between the Entente Military Control
Commission and the Reich Foreign Ministry for 1920-1922 in BAR
R43I/2693.
42
For the identity of function between the PSNB and the State
Police Office Nuremberg-Fürth, see State Police Office Nuremberg-
Fiirth to the Prov. President of Lower Franconia, March 23, 1922,
PDN-F 338; for similar evasions of Versailles treaty limitations
by the Bavarian government at this time with respect to the LaPo,
see Schwarze, Die bayerische Polizei, pp. 54-56; for the government's
willingness to evade these restrictions in general, see the minutes
of the Bavarian cabinet meeting of March 7, 1924, MA 100 451.
43
The text of the decree, published in the Gesetz- u. Verord-
nungsblatt on Oct. 13, 1921, may be found in M Inn 71879.
44
Hambrecht, Per Aufstieg der NSDAP, pp. 41-43.
45
Ibid, pp. 40-43.
46
Ibid.
47
Ibid.
Interior Minister Schweyer's retrospective approval of Gareis
found expression in the March 1924 cabinet discussion of Verstaat¬
lichung. See the minutes of the Bavarian cabinet meeting of March 7,

221
1924, MA 100 451. Hambrecht argues that Gareis's candidature was
pushed through by local right-wing groups over the objections of the
Interior Minister. See Hambrecht, Per Aufstieg der NSDAP, p. 42.
49
General Nollet to the peace treaty section of the Reich
Foreign Ministry, July 11, 1922, BAK R43I/2693.
''^Hambrecht, Per Aufstieg der NSDAP, p. 42.
~^For the organization and strength of the new PDN-F, see M Inn
to State Police Office Nuremberg-Furth, May 11, 1923, PDN-F 108/2.
For its strength in 1933, see the 1933 PDN-F Table of Organization,
PDN-F 170. For the strength of PDM VI in 1933, see M Inn to Reich
Ministry of the Interior, Feb. 13, 1935, M Inn 71966.
Compare M Inn to State Police Office Nuremberg-Furth, May
11, 1923, PDN-F 108/2 with PDN-F internal directive 377/1, "Raum-
bedarf," 1923, PDN-F 486.
53
Utho Grieser, Himmler’s Mann in Nürnberg: Der Fall Benno
Martin (Nuremberg, 1974), pp. 1-7.
54 ..
Rohm's remarks are cited in ibid, p. 2.
^^"Arbeitsgemeinschaft vaterlandische Verbande" to M Inn,
January 10, 1923, M Inn 71888. Essentially the same accusations are
repeated by this group to M Inn in a second letter, April 1, 1923,
M Inn 71888.
5 6
Railway Surveillance Service Wurzburg to PDM VI, Nov. 13, 1923,
M Inn 71888; Eduard Seubert to PDN-F/II, Feb. 1, 1924, M Inn 71888.
57PDN-F to M Inn, Feb. 14, 1924, M Inn 71888.
58
Minutes of the Bavarian cabinet meeting of March 7, 1924,
MA 100 451.
The text of the decree is reproduced in an M Inn internal
memorandum of March 11, 1930, M Inn 71966.
^See District Office Hof to Prov. President of Upper Franconia,
Aug. 7, 1928, M Inn 71892. Compare, in general, the correspondence on

222
Verstaatlichung in Hof in M Inn 71892 with that concerning Augsburg in
M Inn 71887 and Regensburg in M Inn 71891.
^ For the evolution of policy during the years 1923-1929, see
M Inn 71887, 71888, 71891, 71892.
M Inn to PDM, March 9, 1929, M Inn 71888.
63
M Inn to the Police President, Nuremberg, Oct. 8, 1930, M Inn
71893.
M Inn to the Chamber of Justice, Government of the Rhine
Palatinate, March 24, 1930, M Inn 71893.

CHAPTER 5
THE WAY TO THE GESTAPO, 1930-1936
On November 30, 1931, Dr. Georg Heim wrote to Interior Minister
Karl Stützel to complain about the deterioration of public order in
Heim's home city of Regensburg. The police, in Heim's view, had
lost control of the situation. Worse, they appeared indifferent to
the Nazi threat. Several weeks later Stützel responded with a letter
in which he unburdened himself of his own worries on this subject.
He agreed with Heim about the behavior of many police officers in
the struggle against National Socialism, describing it as "spineless"
and "in every way lamentable." As far as the incidents in Regensburg
were concerned, he had expressed his displeasure already to the
Police Director there, Priedrich Bernreuther. Stützel then moved from
the specific problem in Regensburg to the more general question of the
relations between civil servants and the Nazis throughout the state.
Not only had public officials at all levels failed to act against
the Nazis, they had instead worked for the party, a posture Stützel
described as "impudent." How, he asked Heim, could one expect a
simple policeman to take strong action against the Nazis, when
judges, prosecutors, and other public servants did everything they
could to help the Nazis? Stutzel complained bitterly about the
judicial administration in particular, remarking that the police could
223

224
scarcely muster any enthusiasm for steps to control the Nazi movement,
when the judges would then turn around and acquit Nazi offenders or,
at most, give them only "absurdly light" sentences.
The responsibility for this deplorable state of affairs lay,
according to Stutzel, within the ranks of his own party, the BVP.
He concluded to Heim:
Throughout the entire state the counter measures of
our party against the National Socialists have
been absolutely inadequate. I am thankful that
you have been an exception to this and have given
me your support. But this is not nearly enough
as long as the timid—one could call it something
else—behavior of most of our party friends
continues.^
Through bitter experience Stützel had learned the lesson of his
predecessor in office, Franz Schweyer: although the BVP might disagree
with the Nazis and occasionally be moved to support action against
3
them, this support was rarely consistent or forceful enough. In
reading Stutzel's letter Haim could not have helped but remark upon
the Interior Minister's anger and his anguish. Confronted with a
breakdown of authority and plagued by a lack of assistance from his
party and his government colleagues, the Interior Minister himself
must have felt much like the simple policeman he described in his
letter.
The problem facing Stutzel had been building for years, indeed
since the dark days of 1919. Pohner and Frick had been granted a

225
unique opportunity in the aftermath of the Soviet Republic to reshape
the I’DM In tin* I r own Imago. To be sure, no wholesale purge of police
officers had been made at that time, but then, no such purge had been
necessary. During the First World War many police officers had been
called into military service and, by 1918, the PDM was seriously under
its established strength. Many of the policemen who remained were
overage and on the verge of retirement. The successive revolutionary
governments in 1918 and 1919 did little more than fill the post of
Police President with their own candidates and create various non¬
professional supplements, usually in the form of militias, to the
enfeebled police force. With the accession of Pohner the leftist
functionaries were removed from the senior positions in the PDM and
the remnants of the revolutionary militias dissolved. The ranks of
the police were refilled with officers returning from military service,
with new appointees, also frequently veterans, and with senior
officers transferred from outside Munich. No purge had taken place,
4
but the PDM after 1919 bore the stamp of Ernst Pohner.
The events of 1923 had demonstrated the consequences of these
developments. In March 1924, Minister President Knilling had called
for a wholesale purge (eine gründliche Sauberung) at the PDM, to
efface the effects of the Pohner years.^ But as Police President
Mantel ruefully responded, no such wholesale measures could be taken;
the most that was achieved was the removal of Frick and a handful of
minor officers, who had made themselves liable for legal action by their

226
behavior during the putsch. The PDM, and very particularly the
political department under Bernreuthcr, remained essentially unchanged.
The process of Verstaatlichung helped extend this baleful
influence throughout the entire state. The special role of PDM VI
within the political police system had already given it an inordinate
influence over political police developments in other parts of
Bavaria. Through the decrees of October 24, 1922 and March 16, 1923,
its statewide role was assured. The operations of the department's
railway surveillance service, the EÃœD, fortified this powerful
position, and the close contacts with other police organizations
fostered by PDM VIb's counterespionage courses further extended the
influence of the Munich force. With Verstaatlichung, this already
substantial influence both broadened and deepened. Typically,
Verstaatlichung in a given city meant the takeover of most of that
city's original municipal police force into state service. The
process, however, allowed for the screening of all municipal police
officers and the elimination of those who were overage or politically
unreliable. The determination of political reliability was largely
the personal decision of the newly-appointed police director. In
Wurzburg this was Hermann Eder, in Ludwigshafen, Walter Antz, and in
Regensburg, Friedrich Bernreuther—all products of the PDM. In
other cities, officers from the PDM or the PDN-F served in an advisory
capacity during the process of Verstaatlichung.^
The only state police agency which evolved largely independently
of the PDM's influence was the PDN-F. There, however, the presence of

227
Heinrich Gareis and Friedrich Schachinger in the two senior positions
ensured that police developments in Nuremberg followed a pattern
which paralleled the developments in Munich under Pohner and Frick.
Indeed, the influence of Gareis and Schachinger was even deeper and
longer-lasting because they remained in office long after the
departure of Pohner and Frick from the police system. After PDM VI,
the political department in Nuremberg had the most powerful position
in the statewide political police system, and it too helped to mold
g
the other state police offices as they were created. The inter¬
locking pattern of influence, both organizational and personal, which
emanated from PDM VI and PDN-F/II generated a distinct right-wing
bias throughout the entire political police system.
The unwillingness of the Bavarian authorities to follow the lead
of such states as Prussia and Baden in taking a strong line against
Nazi sympathizers within the civil service helped perpetuate the
9
pattern of political bias. The proximate source of Stutzel's
outburst to Heim had been the behavior of the police in Regensburg
in the face of Nazi disturbances. Yet, in approving Bernreuther's
appointment as Police Director in Regensburg, the state government
gave responsibility for the police in that city to a man well-known
for his ties to the radical right, a man implicated in highly
questionable political activities from the very beginning of his
police career. Similarly, in spite of express warnings concerning
the dangerous implications of Gareis's political activities, the

228
government had chosen to tolerate his continued role as head of the
PDN-F. Stiitzel hlmself had sometimes defended Carcis against these
criticisms.^ Save for the occasional reprimand, he had allowed
Gareis to shape police policy in Nuremberg according to the latter's
own well-known political sympathies. The Nazi party had eventually
settled upon Nuremberg as the site of its annual rallies at least
partly because it could rely upon the goodwill and the understanding
12
of the PDN-F. The Nazi party leader in Nuremberg, Julius Streicher,
had been one of Gareis's strongest supporters since 1921; Streicher
also had close ties with subordinate members of the political department
13
at the PDN-F. By almost any standard Heinrich Gareis belonged
among the public servants condemned by Stutzel for their attitude
toward Nazism.
Gareis, nonetheless, knew how to protect himself and his
subordinates. Unlike Pohner, he would not challenge his superiors
in the Ministry of the Interior directly. Although unquestionably
sympathetic to the aims of the 1923 putsch, he successfully avoided
14
committing himself before seeing if it would fail. His subordinates
also benefited from Gareis's caution. The man who headed the political
intelligence service in PDN-F/II was Ottomar Otto, who resembled
Friedrich Glaser at PDM VI in many important respects. Each performed
corresponding duties within their respective police agencies; each
involved himself deeply in radical right-wing activities. Otto had
studied law before serving in the army during the war and, as a

229
volunteer, in the repression of the Munich Soviet Republic. In 1921
lie began Ills association with Gareis in Nuremberg, and in 1923 he
took over the political intelligence section, the central office for
northern Bavaria, in PDN-F/II. Otto used this position to supply
official secrets to the radical right organizations. When his
behavior came to the attention of the Ministry of the Interior, it
ordered his dismissal. This should not have been difficult to carry
out, for, at the time of the order, Otto was not yet a tenured civil
servant. Gareis, however, did not carry out the order, dragging his
feet until the matter was ultimately forgotten by the Ministry. Otto,
instead, would later receive his civil service tenure and remained
as head of the political intelligence service until moving onto a
16
better position after 1933.
Until the Depression undermined economic stability and initiated
a resurgence of radical leftist and rightist strength, the problem
of political bias within the political police system did not appear
to be acute. But as political tensions began to mount once again,
the issue of political reliability in the civil service became more
pressing. By 1931 both Stutzel and Held had recognized the problem.
Much of the damage, unfortunately, had already been done, and the
government was no longer in a position to take strong action to
retrieve the situation. In 1930 the Peasants’ League had withdrawn
from the Held coalition, depriving the government of its Landtag
majority and making the BVP even more dependent on the cooperation of

230
the more decidedly right-wing DNVP. The strength of the Nazi movement
was growing throughout the state, particularly in those Protestant
regions which had traditionally supported the DNVP. In these
circumstances an attempt to purge the civil service in general, or
the political police in particular, would invite serious political
difficulties. Moreover, so long as the legal status of the Nazi party
could not be effectively challenged, disciplinary proceedings against
civil servants based upon the issue of ties to Nazism had little
, , r 17
outlook for success.
The government's belated recognition of the problem resulted from
Hitler's disarming tactics and the BVP leadership's own continuing
ambivalence about the nature of the Nazi threat. By following a
legal, parliamentary course, the Nazis camouflaged their own radical
goals and staked out a claim as a legitimate parliamentary party.
The fact that the Nazis continued to condemn the republican system
while pursuing the legal course in no way eased confusion about the
party's ultimate goals. Many other parties, including both the BVP and
the DNVP, had made political capital of their differences with the
18
constitutional structure and the party system of the republic.
Moreover, it was difficult to determine just who spoke for the Nazi
movement in Bavaria. Discussing possible changes in the cabinet
coalition in 1928, Heinrich Held had expressed the thought that the
Nazis might ultimately become suitable coalition partners. The leader
of the National Socialist Landtag delegation, Rudolf Buttman, was, in

231
Held's view, "an absolutely respectable man, with whom one could work
well." The problem was that there were other Nazis—Held mentioned
Esser and Streicher—who were impossible to deal with, and, behind
19
them all, stood the untrustworthy Hitler. The Nazi movement, too,
contained both moderate and radical elements; in 1928, in 1931, or in
1933 it was scarcely easy to predict which of these elements would in
the end win out. Even after 1933, in some areas for many years
after, the true face of Nazism was masked by a combination of
political guile and the party's own internal contradictions.
The most telling example of the state government's inability to
cope with the growing Nazi menace was that of the city of Coburg.
Prior to 1920 the Coburg district had been an independent federal
state, left over from the days when Germany had been subdivided into
hundreds of such units, great and small. In 1920 the citizens of
Coburg elected to merge with the larger neighboring state of Bavaria.
With a nationalist tradition reaching back into the 19th Century, and
with a predominantly middle class population unnerved by the upheavals
of 1919 and the subsequent years of economic instability, Coburg
quickly became a center of radical right activity. Two years after
merging with Bavaria it was the setting for one of the first great
National Socialist demonstrations. The Volkischer Block won a majority
in Coburg in the 1924 Landtag elections. In 1929 the Nazi party
attained a majority of the seats on the Coburg city council; Coburg
became the first city in Germany to be governed by the Nazis. One year

232
later this triumph was completed when the leader of the local Nazi
20
party became the mayor of Coburg.
Three years before the Nazi seizure of power in the rest of
Germany, Coburg provided a first glimpse at the process of
*
Gleichschaltung. Recognizing the critical importance of the
police, they moved first to consolidate their control over the
municipal force in Coburg. After forcing the resignation of the
Police Director, the Nazi authorities replaced him with a police
officer who was also a loyal member of the party. Under its new
leader, the Coburg police force quickly became a loyal and willing
instrument of the Nazi party. With nothing to fear from the police,
the SA gangs initiated a reign of terror. No enemy of the party could
21
consider himself safe from intimidation or physical violence.
The state government, nonetheless, made no immediate countermoves.
Even as late as August 1931, the Provincial President of Upper
22
Franconia was willing to defend the behavior of the Nazis in Coburg.
Finally, at the beginning of 1932, the Ministry of the Interior
showed itself ready to hear the complaints of the local Social
Democrats, as well as the warnings of its own agent in Coburg, the
District Commissioner. On the eve of the Landtag elections in the
spring, the Ministry exercised its emergency powers and transferred
^Gleichschaltung, literally "coordination," was the term employed by the
Nazis in 1933 and after to describe the methods through which the
institutions of state and society were made responsive to the party's
wishes.

233
control of the municipal police to the District Commissioner. His
special powers, however, were temporary, and control of the police
reverted to the city authorities at the end of the summer. Again in
the fall, at the time of the Reichstag elections, the state invoked
its emergency powers; again, after the elections, it allowed its
23
control over the police to lapse.
The Ministry of the Interior's limited use of its special
powers and the timing of its interventions to coincide with the
various elections showed that its main concern was not the termination
of Nazi terror in Coburg, but the preservation of the governing
coalition's electoral position. The state's temporary assumptions of
police authority were by their very nature unsuited to the task of
eliminating the abuse of this authority by the Nazis. The laws
permitting the Verstaatlichung of the police had been devised as a
means of ensuring, where necessary, effective state control over the
police. Under these laws the state had the power to erect a state-
controlled police directory and permanently remove the police from
the control of the city authorities. Nothing short of this would
do, for the Nazi-dominated police force had proven itself adept at
evading orders given by the District Commissioner in the exercise of
24
his temporary emergency powers. Frustrated by these evasions, the
District Commissioner recommended the Verstaatlichung of the police
25
in Coburg. His recommendation, however, was not followed.
Evidently, Nazi control of the police in Coburg did not appear so

234
great a danger as the threat of moderate socialist and republican
control of the police in Nuremberg had appeared in 1923.
The patent inadequacy of the state government's response to the
problem of Nazi sympathizers within the police apparatus and the
civil service had been attributed by Stützel to the "timidity" of his
party colleagues in the face of the Nazi threat. This was not
completely fair. Timidity there may have been—Stützel, certainly,
was in a position to know—but the situation of the government and
of the BVP was in no way an easy one. Electoral support for the
Nazis was growing in Bavaria. The Landtag elections in April 1932
2 6
made the Nazi party the second largest in the state after the BVP.
Outside of Bavaria Nazi strength was growing at an even more rapid
27
rate. The Nazi movement was fast becoming too large to be countered
with ordinary measures of control. Any attempt to employ extraordinary
repressive measures against the movement, however, invited even
greater difficulties. From their expanded base of power in northern
Germany the Nazis could exert pressure upon the Reich government to
overturn any special actions taken by the Bavarian government, an
ironic reversal of the state of affairs which had existed before
28
1923, Moreover, public response within Bavaria to anti-Nazi
measures would, at best, be uncertain. The Nazi party, after all,
had identified itself strongly with the struggle against Communism,
a position of considerable public appeal. The strength of the
Communist movement was increasing throughout all of Germany, reawakening

235
the only scarcely dormant fears of a repetition of 1919. Although the
increase of Communist strength was not nearly so great ns that of the
Nazis', the Communists, in the popular view, presented a more
fundamental threat to the Bavarian way of life. Bavaria had ex¬
perienced, however briefly, the rule of the Communists; relatively
speaking, the Nazis remained an unknown quantity. However much the
Nazis might be disliked, they were at least strongly anti-Communist;
the BVP could not attack them without calling its own anti-Communist
29
credentials into question.
Given the fragile political position of the Held government in
1932 and the rightward trend in popular sentiment evidenced by the
dramatic growth in Nazi electoral support, the party could not afford
to back strong measures to purge the civil service of Nazi supporters.
Only a coalition between the BVP and the Social Democrats could have
provided the political basis for a strong move against the radical
right. But such a coalition was impossible. The Social Democrats
had indicated an interest in re-entering the government, and had
informally assisted the BVP in the Landtag since 1930. Still, the
SPD was regarded as, at best, too soft toward the Communist threat and,
at worst, a mere Trojan horse, which would carry the Communists
secretly into power. After a decade of treating the Social Democrats
as the enemy, a sudden about-face on the part of the BVP leadership
would have lent substance to the Nazi allegations of cooperation
between the government and the hated "Reds," and risked a catastrophic

236
erosion of the BVP's popular position. As in 1921 and 1922, the
30
party did not dare risk being caught to the left of its popular base.
In any event, the Nazis might be needed if the Communists became
too strong. The Communist threat appeared grave, more so, in fact,
then its actual strength warranted. Dependent upon the political
police for information about the Communist threat, policy-makers
were victimized by the prevailing biases within the police system.
In Ludwigshafen, Police Director Walter Antz ignored the Nazis and
committed virtually his entire political police force to the investi¬
gation of Communist activities. The political police in Nuremberg
consistently submitted hair-raising reports about the Communist
menace in northern Bavaria, while downplaying the threat to order
presented by the Nazis. Similar tendencies were evident throughout
31
the remainder of the political police system. Convinced by both
prior experience and current political police reportage of the danger
from the left and unable to act against the danger from the right, the
state government checkmated itself.
The Nazi breakthrough, nonetheless, came first outside of Bavaria.
After the reformation of the Nazi party in 1925, the party's activities
had been increasingly concentrated in northern Germany. The breakdown
in the parliamentary system at the national level and the machinations
of such conservative nationalists as Alfred Hugemburg, the powerful
press magnate, brought Hitler and his followers ever closer to the
center of power in Germany. Slowly, but inexorably, the conservative

237
leadership gravitated toward an alliance with the Nazi party. After
repeated negotiations and behind-the-scenes intrigues, Adolf Hitler
became Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. The Nazis had
crossed the threshhold of power.
The new chancellor and his supporters first concentrated their
attention upon Prussia, the largest state in Germany and long a
political bastion of the Social Democrats. Already in 1932 Hitler's
conservative predecessors had struck a blow against the individual
powers of the Prussian state by assigning a Reich Commissar to take
political control of Prussia. Using the same legal device, Article 48
of the Weimar constitution, Hitler and Frick further fortified the
national government's position in Prussia. The Bavarian government
was placed in a quandry. On the one hand, it did not wish to see this
erosion of states' rights go unchallenged, but on the other hand, it
did not wish to align itself with Prussian Socialists. Nor did not
wish to invite the attention of the new government to the question of
Bavaria's own position in the Reich. Thus, the Bavarian protest in this
32
instance was uncharacteristically mild. The process of Gleich-
schaltung proceeded apace in Prussia.
*Joining Hitler in the new national cabinet were Wilhelm Frick, as
Minister of the Interior, and Franz Gurtner, as Minister of Justice.
Gurtner had been the DNVP's representative in the Bavarian government
until 1932, always as state Minister of Justice. In this capacity he
had repeatedly exerted a dire influence upon the administration of
justice in the state and had contributed to the right-wing bias of the
justice system that had been the object of Stützel's complaint about
judges and prosecutors. In 1932 he joined the Papen cabinet as Reich
Minister of Justice. He remained at this post until his death in 1941

238
This incident reflected the larger dilemma posed for the Bavarian
government and the BVP leadership by Hitler's accession to power.
The BVP wanted to maintain its own power in Bavaria and to preserve
Bavaria's right vis-a-vis the Reich. At the same time it wished to
avoid any actions which might undermine the new government's efforts
to deal with the Communist threat. Germany's economic collapse
appeared almost complete; the manifestations of popular discontent
seemed almost overwhelming. Such conditions had already produced
one leftist revolution in Germany. If the anti-Communist forces
could not create a united front, it might happen again, and all
that the BVP had worked for since 1919 would have gone for naught.
The position of the Bavarians was difficult. Could Hitler and
his followers be trusted to act responsibly, or would the revolutionary
impulses in the Nazi movement win out? Would the Nazis allow Bavaria
to go its own way, so long as Bavaria followed a strict anti-Communist
policy, or would Hitler attempt to impose the rule of his own party
directly on Bavaria? To further solidify his basis of strength, Hitler
had called for a national election on March 5, 1933. The balloting
for a new Reichstag would be combined with a plebiscite on the new
government. The burning of the Reichstag building on the night of
February 27, attributed by the Nazis to a Communist act of arson,
served as a point of departure for a nationwide campaign against the
Communists and, not incidentally, as the pivot of Nazi electoral
propaganda. The Reichstag fire also occasioned the promulgation of a

239
"Law for the Defense of the People and State," through which a legal
foundation was created for extraordinary repressive measures.
Although aimed primarily at the left, the new law carried the pos¬
sibility of further interventions in the rights of the various states
by the central government.
The BVP was divided in its responses to these national develop¬
ments. Fritz Schaffer, who had been elected party chairman in 1929
and was thus formally the political leader of the party—in the
1933 electoral campaign he was acclaimed at party meetings as "our
Führer"—showed a willingness to work with the Nazis. This willingness
followed from Schaffer's dedication to the battle against Communism
and his belief that the more dangerously revolutionary elements in
the Nazi movement could be held in check. To this end Schaffer had
worked for the formation of a government of "national concentration,"
which would include all the major right-wing parties, including the
NSDAP. This strategy met both of Schaffer's goals. It would unite
the nation's anti-Communist forces and it would make the Nazis
controllable; such a government, based upon the parliamentary majority
rather than the Reich President's emergency powers, would make Hitler
dependent upon his conservative coalition partners, the BVP included,
and prevent him from acting against their interests. The Nazis,
however, had resisted this approach, preferring the greater freedom
33
of action of the presidial solution. Schaffer's efforts failed.
Heinrich Held had, all along, been more sceptical of the prospects
for cooperation with the Nazis. As Held put it, if half the Nazi

240
movement consisted of loyal patriots, the other half was composed of
34
dangerous revolutionaries. With the Nazis in power, however, the
state government was forced to work out some more concrete policy to
protect Bavarian interests. The policy finally adopted had several
components. The BVP would campaign diligently to preserve its
political position in the coming election. Since the national
government had justified its interventions in Prussia and other states
on the grounds that these states had not taken effective steps against
the Communists, the Bavarian government would increase its own anti¬
communist measures to a hitherto unprecedented scale, while emphasizing
that the BVP took second place to no one in the depth of its anti¬
communist commitment. The Nazis would, in this way, have no justifi¬
cation for an intervention into Bavarian affairs or for an infringement
of Bavaria's internal sovereignty. If, despite these measures, the
Hitler government chose to act against Bavaria or against the BVP's
position within Bavaria, then the BVP and the state government would
have no choice but to resist. With the manifest failure of the
policy of "national concentration," Schaffer and his supporters also
35
lent their support to this approach. However reluctantly, the BVP
was willing to accept Nazi rule in Berlin, so long as Bavaria was
spared its effects.
In Bavaria, the electoral campaign developed into a contest
between the BVP and the Nazis to see which could outdo the other in
anti-Communist rhetoric and action. The Nazis might attack the BVP for

241
having been weak in its measures against the left, but such attacks
carried little weight with loyal BVP followers, who knew that their
party had always been staunchly anti-leftist. Throughout the Weimar
years, under BVP leadership, Bavaria had been the "cell of order"—
significantly, the old phrase Ordnungszelle Bayern surfaced after a
decade of disuse in the 1933 campaign. If the Nazis were creating a
"new order" in Germany, then there was no need for them to impose
• . „ .36
it in Bavaria.
At the same time the Bavarian party made plans to defend itself
should the Nazis seek direct control over the state. Fears of an SA
putsch in Munich gave impetus to defense preparations by the
Bayernwacht, the BVP's own paramilitary auxiliary. Schaffer and his
colleagues also explored the idea of a Wittelsbach restoration, with
Crown Prince Rupprecht at the head of a newly-structured authoritarian
regime. As a countermove against the Nazis, however, this step had
little to commend itself; it would place Bavaria in direct opposition
to the national government, and it would force the BVP into an
alliance with the Social Democrats—ironically, the only other major
party in Bavaria willing to support such a move was the SPD, Moreover,
although a generalized monarchist sentiment still ran deeply in
Bavaria, the actual monarchist movement was weak and disorganized. When
approached by monarchist representatives, Minister President Held
37
offered little encouragement.
With the elections of March 5, the BVP lost much of its remaining
room for maneuver. Tn Germany as a whole, the NSDAP received 43.9%

242
of the vote, a result which, when coupled with the votes of its
national-conservative partners, ensured the Hitler government a
majority in the Reichstag. In Bavaria the Nazis did almost as well,
taking 43.1% of the vote. In contrast, the percentage of votes cast
for the BVP fell to 27.2%. The election had scarcely been a model
of democratic procedure; the Nazis had used every means, fair and
foul, to guarantee their own success. The results, nonetheless, could
be trumpeted by Goebbel's propaganda machine as a major triumph, and
38
in Bavaria the Nazis prepared to claim the fruits of victory.
But would this claim involve an accommodation with the BVP or
its ejection from power in Bavaria? Several days before the election,
on March 1, Held had met with Hitler in Berlin. Held pledged the
loyalty and support of the Bavarian government and expressed his
understanding for the measures taken by the national government
against those states ruled by the Social Democrats and agreed with
Hitler that these measures were justified by the Communist threat in
Germany. He stressed that the BVP had always refused a coalition
with the SPD, that it had always been strongly anti-Communist, and
that it had every right to be considered a "national"—meaning
nationalist—party. At the same time, however, Held also insisted
that the government in Berlin had no basis for an intervention in
Bavaria and expressed his strong misgivings about the anti-clerical
element in the National Socialist party. Although at the outset of the
meeting Hitler had endeavored to place Held on the defensive, the

243
Chancellor now tried to be reassuring. He remarked that no one was
considering an intervention in the affairs of Bavaria and attempted
to convince Held that the Nazi party was in no way against the Church.
Although clearly not completely convinced by Hitler's words, Held
professed himself "not discontented" (nicht unbefriedigt) with the
39
outcome of the meeting.
Held had borne himself with considerable grace in a difficult
situation. He had made clear the points of difference between the
BVP and the Nazi party, while at the same time indicating the willing¬
ness of his party and government to reach an understanding with Hitler
and his movement. As late as March 7, two days after the elections,
the Held cabinet still entertained hopes of a compromise with the
Nazi regime. The "Law for the Defense of the People and the State"
of February 28 had taken the authority to assign Reich Commissars
from the hands of President Hindenburg and given it to the Interior
Minister—that is, to Frick. The device had already been used in
Prussia, and Frick had threatened its use in other states. On the
day following the election Frick carried out this threat in a number
of north German states, where Social Democrats remained in the
government. Despite this show of earnest, the Bavarian leaders
continued to believe Hitler's assurances to Held. At the cabinet
meeting on March 7, Interior Minister Stutzel reminded his colleagues
of Hitler's words and contended that, since the purpose of Frick's
action had been to accelerate the repression of the Communists,

24 A
Bavaria had little to fear. The Nazis had nothing to teach the
40
Bavarian government on that score. A greater fear was that unruly
elements within the local Nazi organizations, particularly the SA,
would attempt on their own to stage a putsch. Against such an
attempt the state could only respond with force, but the local units
of the Reichswehr held back from any such involvement, and the
commandant of the LaPo expressed reluctance to act against the Nazis.
41
The Bayernwacht was no match for the SA. The government could only
wait; the initiative had passed to the Nazis.
During the evening of March 8 the putsch rumors became stronger.
On the morning of March 9 Held met with Stútzel and Police President
Julius Koch to consider the remaining defense options. Koch
42
counselled negotiations rather than resistance. Shortly after noon
a delegation consisting of the head of the SA, Ernst Rohm, the
Reichsfuhrer SS, Heinrich Himmler, and the Nazi Gauleiter of Munich-
Upper Bavaria, met at Held's office and delivered an ultimatum: either
the Bavarian government would appoint Ritter von Epp to the post of
Generalstaatskommissar with full administrative and executive powers,
or the government in Berlin would achieve the same result by appointing
* *
Epp to be Reichskommissar in Bavaria. The choice of Epp, Bavaria's
*Koch had replaced Karl Mantel at the PDM upon the latter's death in
1929. The change in leadership brought no accompanying changes in
policy, since Koch followed Mantel's practices carefully and was
politically a colorless adherent of the BVP.
**Epp, a much-decorated war hero—perhaps the most noted Bavarian
soldier of the First World War—had been feted for his role in the

245
hero in the war against the Raterrepublik, represented a certain con¬
cession to local sensibilities, as did the face-saving alternative of
allowing the Bavarian government to make the appointment itself. In
this sense the ultimatum carried the recognition that Bavaria was
indeed different from Hamburg or Bremen, and that the BVP had earned
through its consistent anti-Marxism some special consideration. This
was not, however, enough to please Held, who allowed the delegation to
depart unanswered, and who clung in the face of overwhelming reality
to the position he had occupied for almost a decade. Shortly before
eight that evening Frick despatched the order naming Epp as Reich
Commissar. Held replied with an angry telegram claiming that Frick's
order was illegal. The "Law for the Defense of the People and State"
authorized the employment of a Reich Commissar only in instances of
threatened public disorder and where the state government had shown
itself incapable of meeting such a threat. In Held's words, these
grounds were lacking because in Bavaria, "peace and order and the
control of Communist disorders was unquestionably assured by the
state." Hitler and Frick refused to concede the point, and a further
suppression of the 1919 Soviet Republic as the "liberator of Munich."
In the period 1919-1923 he had been a prominent figure in the councils
of the Bavarian radical right. Although always sympathetic to the
Nazis, Epp had gravitated first to the BVP. After 1923 he drifted
away from the BVP and toward the Nazis; the power of his name in
Bavaria assured him a prominent place in the Bavarian branch of the
party, but his traditionalism and his piety kept him from a central
place in the party leadership.
**The original German reads,"., .well Ruhe und Ordnung und Bekampfung
kommunistischer Ausschreitungen mit den staatlichen Machtmitteln
zweifellow geslchert war." Cited in Wlesomann, Die Vorgesch1 elite der
NS-Mlachtiibernahmo in Bayern, p. 281.

246
appeal to President Hindenberg likewise failed. Finally admitting
41
defeat, Held yielded power to Kpp later that same evening.
The Nazi celebration had already begun. During the night of
March 9 exultant SA men broke into the homes of Stutzel and Schaffer,
dragged the two men from their beds, and carried them to the Brown
, 44
House, where they were abused and beaten. Neither man was seriously
45
injured, and both received apologies from Epp the next day. But
on the morning of March 10, as the battered Stiitzel attended the
last meeting of the Held cabinet, no illusions about the Nazis were
lef t.
Epp's first acts upon the receipt of power were the appointment
of Gauleiter Wagner to take over the Ministry of the Interior, and
the appointment of Heinrich Himmler to head the PDM. This move to
concentrate police power in Bavaria in Nazi hands brought Himmler
for the first time into the leadership of a police force in Germany.
It was thus the first major step in a career that would take Himmler
to the pinnacle of power in Germany, and ultimately, throughout much
of Europe, and which would make the name Himmler a synonym for evil.
At the time of appointment to the PDM Heinrich Himmler was only
thirty-two years old. Born in Munich of a middle class family,
Himmler's background showed none of the quirks observed in the formative
years of many other later Nazi leaders. At the age of seventeen he
volunteered for military service and, with the assistance of family
connections—for Himmler was still underage—was accepted as an

247
officer cadet. The war ended, however, before Himmler could get to
the front. His brief involvement with a Free Corps during the final
days of the RaLerrepuhlik likewise ended without Himmler's having
seen action. In 1920, while a university student, Himmler enlisted
in the Civic Guard. After its dissolution, he moved to yet another
paramilitary organization, the Reichsflagge. At roughly the same
time he made the acquaintance of Ernst Rohm. Through Rohm he became
a member of the Nazi party, and under Rohm's leadership he participated
in the putsch of November 8, 1923. In the aftermath of the putsch
Himmler attached himself to Gregor Strasser, and through him attained
a subordinate position in the party headquarters organization. In
this capacity he proved his loyalty and dedication, but found little
opportunity to distinguish himself. In 1929 he was still very much
a minor figure in the Nazi movement.^
His opportunity finally came on January 6, 1929, when Hitler
gave him the leadership of the party's Security Squadron, the
Schutzstaffel or SS. The grandiose title Reichsführer SS, however,
could not conceal the relative insignificance of Himmler's new command.
The SS had evolved as a special headquarters guard within the overall
structure of the SA. At the time of Himmler's appointment in 1929 it
had only 280 members, whose time and energy was mostly devoted to
running errands for party administrators. Revealing a hitherto
little-suspected talent for organization, Himmler expanded his SS to
ten times its 1929 strength in the span of two years. At the same

248
time he found a new and potentially fruitful mission for the head-
47
quarters bodyguard. Tt would he the police force wLthin the party.
As an adjunct to this mission the SS began to develop a political
intelligence service. Such services were a common feature of German
political life during the Weimar era; the police were not the only
organization to watch over the political parties—the parties spied
on each other. With the expansion of the SS and with its new party
police mission, an extension of its work into the field of political
intelligence was logical. To head his newly-created political
intelligence service, christened the Security Service of the SS, or,
from its German initials, the SD, Himmler selected a young former
naval officer, Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich's naval career had ended
abruptly following a transgression against the officer's code of
honor. Embittered and left without a profession, Heydrich drifted
into the SS. His fortunes turned when he impressed Himmler with his
plan for the organization of a political service. In 1931, at the
age of twenty-seven, Heydrich was given command of the SD. The position
was not, at that time, of great significance, but it enabled Heydrich
to fortify his standing with Himmler. Over the next two years Heydrich
*In Bavaria, the SPD was reputed to have the most efficient and best-
informed political intelligence service. Run by Ernst Schneppenhorst,
the former Minister for Military Affairs in the Hoffmann cabinet, this
service concentrated its efforts upon the Nazis and the Communists. The
information used by Nuremberg Mayer Luppe in the incident described in
Chapter 4, pp. 204-205, was supplied by this service, as was much of the
inside information on Nazi party activities regularly published in the
SPD's Mimchner Post.

249
served his apprenticeship in this post, and prepared himself for
greater things to come. When Himmler received his appointment to
head the Munich police, lleydrich accompanied him and took over the
48
leadership of PDM VI. From this starting point Heydrich would
organize the apparatus of terror, first in Bavaria, and then throughout
all of Germany.
The organized political terror which would be applied by Heydrich
through the police structure was anticipated by a wave of unsystematic
terror beginning on the day of the Nazi takeover in Bavaria. All day
long on March 9, gangs of SA and SS men coursed through the streets
of Munich. Initially, at least, the atmosphere had been as much
festive as sinister—the Nazi seizure of power in Bavaria coincided
with the beginning of the Starkbierzeit, an occasion customarily
marked by much rambunctious carousing in the streets. By nightfall,
however, the mood had become ugly. SA mobs destroyed the offices of
a Catholic newspaper and the offices of the Social Democratic
Munchner Post. The beatings of Schaffer and Stutzel took place later
that night, as did raids to free party members incarcerated in the
49
Munich jails.
The next morning Ritter von Epp's proclamation of the new order
in Bavaria was circulated in Munich and the other Bavarian cities and
towns. The proclamation liad been carefully worded, with three
distinct but related purposes in view. First, the announcement would
make clear to everyone just where the power now lay in Bavaria. Second,

250
Epp's proclamation sought to reassure all citizens that the changes
in government were not revolutionary, but rather an extension of the
traditional policies of the BVP in a more "national" and effective
manner. Third, the proclamation served as a statewide call to arms
in the struggle against all forms of socialism.
That evening the call to arms was followed by more concrete
measures. Interior Minister Wagner sent out orders to all the Police
Directories and State Police Offices to begin a massive series of
arrests aimed at all the left-wing groups. The SA and the SS received
similar orders. Moreover, the police were ordered to treat the SA
and the SS as auxiliaries. The purpose of this order was not to aid
the police—little coordinated assistance could be expected from the
unruly Nazi bands—but to license the SA and the SS to act officially.
Given this license, the Storm Troopers went on a rampage, seizing
hundreds of socialist functionaries, beating them up, and carting
them off to jail. The gangs often combined their political mission
with the settlement of personal scores and with filling their own
pockets—many homes were looted during the course of Nazi searches
that night. Worse yet from the point of view of the new regime, the
haphazard SA actions often resulted in the arrest or abuse of
innocents, including some of the very civil servants the Nazi leadership
needed on its side during the period of transition. Before the evening
was out, matters were so thoroughly out of hand that Wagner had to
issue yet another order to the various police forces, requiring them to

251
protect persons and property from illegal actions by the SA. Other
orders attempted to control the actions of the SA directly, to little
M 51
a va I I .
Over the next five days Wagner and Epp endeavored to bring the
SA's behavior into line with the Nazi government's overall needs, and
to find a way of replacing "random" terror with a more carefully aimed
repression. To this end Wagner brought Himmler into the Ministry of
the Interior as his political advisor and, in this capacity, gave him
52
responsibility for the political police throughout the state. Two
weeks later he invested Himmler with additional police powers and the
53
title "Political Police Commander for Bavaria."
Wagner's decree of April 1, 1933 became the basis for the Nazi
political police system in Bavaria; not until 1936 would the system
receive further alteration, and even after 1936, the main organizational
features established in 1933 would remain intact. These features
were as follows. Himmler was named to head the political police,
subordinate only to the Interior Minister himself. The political
department of the PDM became an independent agency under Himmler
with the designation "Bavarian Political Police"—hereafter BPP.
As Political Police Commander Himmler would also control the political
departments of all the police directories and state police offices and
the political police advisors in the provincial presidia and district
offices. The "Political Auxiliary Police," a force composed of SS
men already under Himmler's command in his capacity as Reichsführer

252
SS, received authorization to assist the executive operations of the
political police. All concentration camps in the state were placed
under Himmler. Finally, the remaining police organizations in the
54
state were ordered to assist the political police upon demand.
For a document of such vital import, Wagner's decree was remarkably
brief. Viewed against the background of fourteen years of political
police development in Bavaria, however, the reason for this brevity
was clear. The decree of April 1, 1933 simply lifted the existing
political police network out of the traditional administrative structure
and placed it in the hands of Himmler. PDM VI, in its new incarnation
as the BPP, continued its established role as the central office for
all political police activities in Bavaria. Its 181 officers were
transferred as a group to the new organization; even officers who
had won a reputation for anti-Nazi sentiment were retained if they
showed a willingness to serve the new leadership—and most did."^
In the months which followed the BPP would almost double its original
strength, but most of the new personnel would be drawn from other
branches of the Munich police force. Similar practices were followed
in the other police directories and state police offices; the existing
personnel and organizational structures were retained intact, except
for the occasional replacement of the police directors themselves.^
With the notable exception of Himmler and Heydrich, the new Nazi

253
political police force was the old Bavarian political police force, a
k
corps of skilled and experienced professionals.
Heydrich understood from the outset how to gain and retain the
loyal support of these professional policemen. Some of them, of
course, had long been Nazi sympathizers. Others had built their
political police careers upon anti-leftist activities, which stood
them as well with the new regime as the old. Then there were the
careerists, dedicated to no cause save their own advancement. Many
exhibited a combination of these qualities. Even the most morally
and politically scrupulous officer would have hesitated in 1933, with
the country in the midst of depression, to voluntarily renounce his
civil servant's income and prospects for retirement. Whatever his own
talents might be, Heydrich knew that he needed these professionals if
he was to have an effective political police force; he entertained few
illusions about the relative merits of party fanatics vis-a-vis trained
professionals for the tasks he had in mind. Moreover, Heydrich was
himself cynical about the party. He valued loyalty to himself more
58
highly in his new subordinates than loyalty to the party creed. The
more ambitious officers had little difficulty in seeing this, and,
accordingly, hitched their professional wagons to Heydrich's rising star.
*Even such apparent novelties as the "Political Auxiliary Police" had
their precedent. The PAP resembled nothing so much as the Notpolizei,
which had consisted of the Patriotic Associations acting as an author¬
ized arm of the state. The use—or rather, misuse—of the Notpoli¬
zei had, of course, contributed to Nortz's downfall. The PAP's role in
party-state relations was, in any event, more significant than its in¬
consequential police activities. Bee Peter Diel-Thiele, Partei und
Staat Im l)r It ten Reich (Munich, 1959), 73-85.

254
For the average officer, particularly the officer of long service,
the changeover was scarcely momentous. There had been changes before
in the office of Police President, and Himmler's rhetoric was no
more violent than Pohner's had been. The new government based its
rule on emergency decree, but so, too, had Kahr's government. The
enemy, as before, stood on the left; the older officer had heard other
superiors rant about shooting down the "Red dogs." If he had
experienced the summer of 1919 as a policeman or as a soldier, he
might, perhaps, have already shot a few Reds himself. If the new
regime spoke of extraordinary measures against the Jews, then hadn't
Pohner and Kahr contemplated the deportation of the Ostjuden. The
political policeman of 1933 could not see into the future, to
Auschwitz, to Einsatzgruppen, to the "final solution." He could,
however, look to the past, to his own store of experiences, and see
parallels to all the Nazi measures evident in 1933. And should he
still undergo a moment's uncertainty, there stood the reassuring
figure of Ritter von Epp, Bavaria's hero, at the head of the Nazi
power apparatus in the state, and in Berlin, close to the very center
of power, was one of his own, in the person of Interior Minister Frick.
He might later discover that neither Epp nor Frick represented the
true spirit of the new regime, but that, too, was hardly obvious in
59
the spring of 1933.
One such officer was Heinrich Muller. Although a contemporary of
Himmler's—Muller was only some five months older than the

255
Reichsfuhrer—Muller had achieved the front-line service and
decorations for bravery of which Himmler liad only dreamed. After the
war Muller entered the police service as a member of P1)M VI under
Frick. He rose steadily through the ranks, attaining the highest
marks in his examinations for promotion. During this phase of his
career he worked in PDM VI/N as a specialist on the Communist movement,
an employment which brought him under the influence of the redoubtable
Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser, and which would stand him in good stead
in the weeks following the Nazi takeover. In the years before 1933
Miiller had made a name for himself among his colleagues for his anti¬
leftist zeal and his willingness to go beyond the law in the course of
his actions. Muller himself attributed his hatred of the left to the
experience of the Soviet Republic, but some of his colleagues could
see another element. In the PDM of that era, excesses against the
left did not necessarily denote a principled hostility to the left,
for they were also the logical steps an ambitious officer would take
to distinguish himself. Muller combined his anti-leftist principles
with an overweening ambition. His marriage to the daughter of a man
well-connected in the BVP and his own political stance between the
BVP and the DNVP, the second party of the Held coalition, suggested
his commitment to self-advancement. The Munich branch of the Nazi
party knew very well how to measure Muller's ambition. In a 1937
commentary on Miiller a local party representative acknowledged Muller's
anti-Communlst reputation in the old days of the PDM, but then added

256
that, had it been useful to his career at that time, Muller would have
been equally capable of excessive zeal against the Nazi party.
Heinrich Muller was a brave, intelligent, and well-trained political
policeman. He was also ruthless, cynical, and dedicated to his own
cause.^ In all of these qualities, good and bad, he was an exemplary
product of the Pohner-Frick era at the PDM. As such, he and Heydrich
were made for each other.
With Muller and a coterie of like-minded professional policemen at
his side, Heydrich had little difficulty in making the BPP a responsive
and effective instrument of the new order. The political police in
the other parts of Bavaria proved themselves equally adaptable to the
changes at the top. The new government had originally intended to
retain Gareis and Schachinger at their posts in the PDN-F. The
behavior of the SA in Nuremberg, however, had unsettled the two men.
Though they might sympathize strongly with the new regime, Gareis and
Schachinger were at heart traditional right-wing bureaucrats. The
rowdy brutalities of the SA disturbed them, and the tendency of the
Storm Troopers to act without heed of the Nuremberg police disturbed
them even more.^ For its part, the local SA was unwilling to cater
6 2
to the sensibilities of the police leadership.
On March 20, 1933, Gareis and Schachinger requested indefinite
leave from their positions. On March 22 the third man in the PDN-F,
Benno Martin, was temporarily entrusted with the leadership of the
6 2
Nuremberg police. Four days later Himmler himself took control of the

257
PDN-F, although his preoccupation with affairs in Munich meant that
Martin remained the real authority. On April 20 Himmler yielded his
position to the Freiherr von Malsen-Ponickau, the local SS leader. The
baron ran afoul of Streicher and was replaced in August by a senior
SA official, Hanns von Obernitz. Obernitz, in turn, fell from grace
following the Blood Purge of June 30, 1934—only good fortune
prevented him from being murdered along with Rohm and other SA leaders.
Throughout this interlude Martin remained the functional head of the
PDN-F—neither Malsen-Ponickau nor Obernitz had any talent for
administration—in addition to running the political department.
On October 1, 1934, Martin finally received his formal appointment
64
as Police-President in Nuremberg.
If the history of the police in Nuremberg before 1933 was largely
the story of Gareis and Schachinger, then its history after 1933 was
even more the story of their protege, Benno Martin. The two older
men went onto high positions in the Nazi state administration—despite
their 1933 differences with the SA, Gareis and Schachinger received
due recognition from the new regime for past services rendered—and
Martin became the single most important Nazi official in Nuremberg.
Not even the formidable Julius Streicher, one of the few colleagues
to whom Hitler permitted the intimate "du" form of address, would
prove capable of besting Martin.^
Martin was, in many respects, a remarkable figure. The product
of a family with a long civil service tradition in Bavaria, Martin

258
had chosen to follow in this tradition. When the First World War
began Martin set aside his legal studies at the University of Munich
and entered the army. In 1915 he received his lieutenant's commission,
and by the end of the war had added a long list of decorations,
including the Iron Cross first and second class. In 1920 he transferred
from the army to the LaPo, and resumed his legal studies at the
University of Erlangen. In 1923 he attained his Ph.D. and passed the
various examinations leading to a position in the civil service. He
also managed to find time between his police and academic endeavors
to write a legal handbook for police officers which would remain
required reading for all Bavarian policemen for many years to come.*^
Martin was formally accepted into the higher civil service in
the summer of 1923. His first assignment was as a Regierungsrat in
the newly created PDN-F. There he served as Schachinger's deputy
6 7
in the political department. He became, after Schachinger, Gareis's
most trusted and most valued subordinate. On the afternoon of
November 10, 1923, the Public Prosecutor in Munich sent a request to
the PDN-F for the arrest of the local Nazi leader, Streicher, on
charges arising from Streicher's participation in the Beer Hall Putsch.
Gareis handed Martin the delicate task of arresting Streicher and
conducting his interrogation. After the interrogation, as Streicher
was being returned to his cell for the night, the Nazi leader asked
6 8
for an extra blanket. Martin saw that this request was honored. It
was, by any standard, a small gesture of humanity, but Streicher came

259
over the years to treasure it. Perhaps even so small a gesture appeared
great tu a man so singularly laekLng in humane qualities. Thereafter,
in the frequent encounters between the police and Streicher, Martin
came to represent Gareis; Martin performed political favors for
Streicher, and won a certain influence over the otherwise intractable
man. Although Martin privately despised Streicher, he had perceived
from the beginning the potential usefulness of the latter's friend-
69
ship. In this he was not to be mistaken.
In May of 1933, Martin joined the NSDAP; in Martin's own words
he had not joined before the Nazi takeover at the expressed recommenda¬
tion of Streicher because "I could better serve the party as a non¬
member in my position [as a policeman].jn 1934, Streicher gave
public recognition to Martin's earlier services by accepting him into
the ranks of the local party's "old fighters," an honorific usually
reserved for those who had been party members since the early days
of the party's existence.^ While willing to use the Streicher
connection to solidify his position in the new Germany, Martin had no
intention of remaining dependent upon the local leaders' capricious
favors. He developed his relationship with Himmler, and used his
not inconsiderable charm to win the support of Hitler himself. Martin
became, in the words of his biographer, "Himmler's man" in Nuremberg.
He was this, but he was also, above all else, his own man. Later he
would become the driving force behind the overthrow of Striecher, and
during the war years he became the single most powerful man in northern
72
Bavaria.

260
Perhaps more than ony other single individual, Benno Martin
represented both the continuity between the pre-1933 and post-1933
political police organizations and the contradictions that this con¬
tinuity produced. Before 1933, Martin had used his official position
to assist the Nazis in their climb to power. During the Third Reich
he rose to a position of enormous power and received all the rewards
a grateful Führer and Fatherland could bestow and attained the highest
rank within the SS. He administered the apparatus of political
repression in Nuremberg and later throughout all of northern Bavaria.
Against the left he continued the practices learned under Gareis
and Schachinger, ensuring that his political policemen acted with
energy and dispatch. He carried out the various National Socialist
measures against the churches, and he supervised the deportation of
the large Jewish population of Nuremberg to the extermination camps
in the east. At the same time he protected those of his subordinates
who wished to exercise their own religious beliefs from the interference
of the party. He maintained and protected for six years a Gestapo
officer who was not only an anti-Nazi—the officer worked in counter¬
espionage, where his political beliefs were less critical—but also
had the courage to condemn the SS to Heydrich's face. He saw that
passenger cars were used for the. deportation of Nuremberg's Jews
instead of freight cars — a singular occurrence in Nazi Germany. The
result was, of course, the same; the trains still stopped at Auschwitz.
This attempt to humanize the inhumane, however, was characteristic

261
of Martin. On an individual basis, he protected a number of other
Jewish citizens from the transport to the east; again, these were,
ironically, a handful compared to the numbers whose deatli followed
from his other actions. Martin likewise used his position to assist
members of the July 20, 1944 conspiracy and their families after the
73
failure of the assassination attempt against Hitler.
Shortly before his own death in 1942, Heydrich communicated to
Himmler his personal evaluation of Martin. In it he grudgingly
approved Martin's professional skills, but cautioned Himmler about
Martin's ambition, and concluded that Martin would never have the
"character of a good SS leader and National Socialist." Himmler,
nonetheless, continued to support Martin's position in Nuremberg;
Martin always took good care of his relations with his ultimate
superior. Martin was a civil servant of the old school, capable of
serving successive masters while retaining his own proprietary feelings
about his personal domain. Like his predecessor Gareis, but in very
different political surroundings, he maintained good relations with
his superiors while going his own way. For the political police in
Nuremberg, the National Socialist "revolution" was in no way
^Because even these small gestures of humanity are so much at variance
with the normal practices in Nazi Germany, and because they read so
much like the worst sort of conventional—and usually exaggerated—
accounts invented by those who did not wish to face directly the horrors
committed in Germany from 1933 to 1945, the reader is reminded here that
this account of Martin's actions is supported through the sworn testi¬
mony of Jewish eyewitnesses. See note 73.

262
revolutionary. So long as he was directly concerned with police
matters Martin retained direct control over the political police—this
despite Heydrich's later efforts to separate the Gestapo from the
general police administration. The internal organization of the
political police remained much the same, although expansion produced
further internal subdivision. In its key personnel the Nuremberg
political police likewise demonstrated an unbroken line of continuity
74
back to the founding of the PDN-F in 1923.
Among these old hands were Friedrich Greiner, Theodor Grafenberger,
and Ottoman Otto. All three had come to the PDN-F upon its creation
in 1923. Greiner had performed a variety of administrative tasks for
Gareis and had been the PDN-F's special advisor to the new police
directories created in 1929 and 1930. In 1933 he became head of the
criminal police department of the PDN-F and in 1934 the Deputy-Police
President. Grafenberger had served on the western front as an officer
during the war, and afterwards had participated in the campaign
against the Soviet Republic as a member of Ritter von Epp's Free Corps.
In 1923 he joined with Otto in the political intelligence section of
the PDN-F and remained there until 1933. After 1933, he took over
the newly created Jewish desk in PND-F/TI, where he remained. In
1941 he supervised the first mass deportation of Jews from Nuremberg.
Otto's pre-1933 career, outwardly almost identical to that of
•k
Grafenberger, has been discussed in another context. In 1933 he took
*See above, pp. 227-229.

263
over responsibility for all political police operations against the
leftist parties. In the summer of 1933, Otto supervised the "inter¬
rogation" of a Communist by two SA men. The interrogation, which con¬
sisted of repeated beatings and stomach pumpings, resulted in the
victim's death. For this, and other, similar, subsequent actions,
Otto earned the sobriquet "bloodhound." Eventually Otto would become
head of the Gestapo in Nuremberg. Martin's continued toleration of
such a man added yet another stroke to the picture of contradictions
which described the political police in Nuremberg. ^ At least in
the persons of Otto and Grafenberger the Free Corps spirit of 1919
lived on in Nuremberg.
The continuity exemplified by developments in Munich and Nuremberg
was also typical of the other political police organizations in
Bavaria. In Ludwigshafen, Police Director Antz remained at his post
7 6
until his retirement in 1940. Throughout the system, the natural
processes of old age and retirement contributed far more to the
elimination of pre-1933 personnel than any measures taken by the
Nazis.^ Change did, of course, take place, and cumulatively, the
changes wrought by these natural processes would be substantial. And
these changes would be gradual and subtle, rather than dramatic.
If changes in the areas of organization and personnel were subtle,
then the changes in the political police mission and its procedures
were more pronounced. The new regime, dedicated to total war against
the political enemy, was much less fastidious than the old in matters

264
of justice and personal liberties. The Pohner era, to be sure, had
been marked by repealed excesses. No one who had witnessed the suppres¬
sion of the Soviet Republic and the wave of repression which had fol¬
lowed in the summer of 1919, or who had been privy to the machinations
of Pohner and his Civic Guard associates in 1920 and 1921 would have
accused the political police of fastidiousness. But after Pohner's
departure, and more so after 1923, the procedural limitations were
more carefully observed. With the coming of the Nazis, these limita¬
tions soon disappeared. The political policeman came to enjoy a
much greater freedom to act as he saw fit in the battle against the
,. . . . . , 78
political criminal.
The two most important components of this new freedom were the
connection between the political police and the SS and the creation
of the concentration camp system. The importance of the SS connection
lay, in the first instance, in the freedom of movement it conferred
upon Himmler. In his state capacity as Political Police Commander for
Bavaria, Himmler stood subordinate to Interior Minister Wagner and to
Epp. In his capacity as Reichsfuhrer SS, however, Himmler was
subordinate only to Rohm and to Hitler, and, after June 30, 1934, only
to Hitler himself. Himmler proved himself adept at sliding back and
forth between the two chains of command. If an order from his state
superiors was unwelcome, he would put on his SS hat and proceed to
evade it. Once Himmler had gained direct access to Hitler the process
became even more simple — if he could secure the Führer1s backing for

265
a measure, he could ignore the complaints of anyone else. As the
National Socialist state evolved, the Führer*s will became the highest
law and the SS-Police organization under Himmler the instrument through
79
which this law was executed. This did not always mean that an order
from the top translated into immediate action below. Martin, in
Nuremberg, was quite capable of ignoring Himmler when this seemed
likely to pass unnoticed by the Reichsfuhrer, a not uncommon occurrence
80
in Himmler's sprawling SS and police empire. By the same token,
however, Himmler's subordinates were more than willing to use the new
freedom granted by their special relationship to the SS.
The concentration camp system might better be termed the "pro¬
tective custody" system, for it was the legal device of protective
custody, or Schutzhaft, which formed the basis for the entire
establishment. Protective custody had originally referred to the
practice of taking an individual into police custody for his own
personal protection. During the First World War, German police and
military authorities began to employ protective custody as a device
81
for removing political undesirables from circulation. In this new
sense the device was well-suited to the needs of the army and Free
Corps forces which brought order to Munich in 1919. In Bavaria the
mass arrests of supporters of the Soviet Republic took place largely
under the provisions of the protective custody law and other similar
82
wartime devices. The Bavarian state of emergency decree, which
continued in effect until 1921, permitted the continued use of

266
protective custody in political cases. One of the reasons given by
Pohner for his resignation in 1921 had been that retraction of the
Bavarian state of emergency decree deprived the police of the use of
83
protective custody. One of Kahr's first acts after being named
General State Commissar in 1923 had been the promulgation of a new
84
set of protective custody regulations. With these precedents it
was only natural that the Nazis would have recourse to the device of
protective custody in giving legal sanction to the wave of arrests
which accompanied their takeover in 1933.
The actual legal basis for the Nazi protective custody system
was the presidential decree of February 4, 1933 and the "Law for the
Defense of the People and State" of February 28, 1933. The first
specifically authorized police detention of political suspects, in
accordance with established state-of-emergency practice, while the
second abolished the basic right of personal freedom protected under
the Weimar constitution. Together these measures opened the door
85
for a consistent policy of imprisonment without due process of law.
During the first year of Nazi rule these laws governed the
application of protective custody. On April 12, 1934, protective
custody received its definitive legal formulation in a decree issued
by Interior Minister Frick. The former Bavarian civil servant produced
a document remarkably similar to that announced by Kahr on October 13,
1923. The main features were the same. The political police agencies
were authorized to issue protective custody warrants. The final review

267
instance was not a judicial authority, but the same executive agency
which issued the warrants. In some of the provisions even the wording
was virtually identical. The most obvious differences had to do with
conditions which had not existed in 1923 and primarily dealt with the
application of protective custody to Nazi party members and other
8 6
special groups. As time went by Himmler would make even the limited
procedural restrictions of the April 1934 decree meaningless,
exploiting the special SS-Police relationship to gain almost complete
87
freedom in the use of protective custody. The protective custody
practices of 1945 would bear little relationship to the precedents
set before 1933, but these precedents had real meaning in the transition
years 1933 to 1936.
The wave of arrests which followed the National Socialist takeover
soon produced a quantity of protective custody prisoners far in
excess of the capacity of established jails and prisons. In Bavaria,
as in the other parts of Germany, the SA and SS set up their own
ad hoc prisons, which came to be called concentration camps. These
first establishments would later be termed "wild" concentration camps,
to distinguish them from the more carefully organized institutions
which would follow. These "wild” camps resembled in many respects
the similarly ad hoc incarceration centers created in disused military
facilities and public buildings in the spring and summer of 1919 to
hold the supporters of the Soviet Republic. The brutal excesses which
88
marked life in these camps also had their 1919 parallels.

268
The same need for a more ordered process of repression which led
Llie Nazis Lo rein Ln Lhe Storm Troopers after the first wave of arrests
in 1933 produced measures to give order to the "wild" concentration
camps. On March 13, 1933, Interior Minister Wagner wrote to his new
cabinet colleague at the Ministry of Justice, Hans Frank, and recom¬
mended that, in view of the possibility of overcrowding in existing
penal institutions, the government should have resort to the methods
which had been used by the previous regime in its mass arrests of
National Socialists. This had been, as Wagner recalled, "the use of
any old empty building, regardless of whether it kept out the weather
89
or not." The reference to the arrests which took place on and after
November 9, 1923, was unmistakable—ironically, these were arrests
made under Kahr’s protective custody decree. The selective memory
used by Wagner in citing this particular precedent was also significant.
Having justified their seizure of power in Bavaria with the allegation
that the old regime had not been sufficiently rigorous with the left,
it would not have done for Wagner to cite the more obvious precedent
of 1919.
One of the first "wild" concentration camps had been set up in
the village of Dachau, just north of Munich. The camp, created out
of old factory buildings and empty barracks, had, according to a report
by Himmler on March 20, 1933, a capacity of 5,000 prisoners. With
the Ministry of the Interior decree of April 1, 1933 placing him in
charge of all concentration camps in Bavaria, Himmler set about the

269
task of seeing that Dachau became an example of the new order's
organizing skills. Under pressure from the very Lop — Hitler himself,
mindful of the need to maintain the cooperation of the conservative
civil servants, the army, and, above all, President Hindenburg, had
called for an end to the "revolutionary" phase of the Nazi takeover —
Himmler replaced the first commandant of Dachau with another of his
SS subordinates, Theodor Eicke. Under Eicke, the earlier chaotic
conditions were replaced by a no less severe, but more carefully ordered
regimen. Eicke's Dachau became the prototype for the entire concentra-
90
txon camp system.
From the beginning Dachau was an SS establishment. Although it
received funding from the state government and had an official status,
its administration remained within the SS chain of command. Here
again Himmler cleverly exploited his dual party-state status to
create an institution outside the control of both his party and state
superiors. With responsibility for the application of protective
custody as political police commander, with the concentration camps
controlled by the SS, and with the political police itself abstracted
from the normal chain of command, Himmler had fashioned a triangular
system which enabled him to act without regard for any higher authority
save that of Hitler himself. Within this framework the political
police became an offensive rather than a defensive instrument in the
91
war against the enemies of the Nazi state.
Throughout the year 1933-1934 the war against these enemies
in Bavaria proceeded vigorously. Supported by the long and carefully

270
cultivated network of police informers, the political police smashed
the Communist and Socialist party organizations in Munich, Nuremberg,
92
and the other cities of Bavaria. Attempts by the leftist parties to
continue their operations underground proved fruitless; the political
police were too powerful and their network of agents too skillfully
placed. Even the apparent revival of the Communist underground in
Munich after 1934 was a testimony to the power of the political police,
for its prime movers were all too frequently police agents provocateurs,
who with the connivance of their superiors promoted the expansion of
the underground in order to draw the greatest possible number of
93
Communist sympathizers into the police dragnet. In the wake of the
first major blows at the leftist parties the political police also
undertook a major action against the BVP, with arrests of all leading
members of that party. Most of those arrested were released again
after only a few days protective custody — the BVP was not regarded
by the Nazis as an enemy in the same sense as the left, and the arrests
94
were meant largely as a warning. The BVP leadership took the hint,
95
and the party dissolved itself on July 4, 1933.
Almost exactly one year later, on June 30, 1934, the political
police went into action against an even more unlikely enemy of the
state: the SA. The "Rohm revolt" of June 1934 was the last act in
the consolidation of Hitler's power. The SA had been the most
revolutionary element in the Nazi ranks, the one most committed to
the eradication of the old order in Germany. Having made, in effect, an

271
alliance with that old order, Hitler could not meet the demands for
power, positions, and influence which animated the ranks and the
leadership of the SA without provoking an unwanted conflict with his
new allies. The attempts to rein in the SA of March and April 1933
had been the first shots in the developing battle between the party
leaders and Rohm's Storm Troopers. Throughout the following year the
situation became more difficult. Having entrenched themselves in
important state positions, important Nazis such as Goring and Frick
saw their authority being subverted by the SA and began to make common
cause against Rohm. Later Himmler joined them, jockeying for a
position which would free his SS from Rohm's authority and remove the
last major obstacles to his own ambitions. Together, Goring, Frick,
and Himmler managed to convince Hitler that Rohm was planning a revolt
against the Nazi party. After wavering right up to the last minute —
Rohm was an old friend of the party's "days of struggle" — Hitler
finally was persuaded to act. The result was the "Blood Purge" of
June 30, 1934, in which Rohm and the SA leadership, along with other
old enemies of the regime, including Gustav von Kahr, were murdered
by the SS. Although the SS bore the main burden, members of the BPP's
9
Fuhrerschutzkommando assisted them in the action against Rohm himself.
In the aftermath there were rewards for all. The political
policemen who had assisted in the massacre received immediate promotion
from Himmler. Goring and Frick were delivered from a dangerous rival
for power. But both would later rue the day that they had made common

272
cause with Himmler, for in delivering themselves from Rohm, they had
served the fortunes of a more dangerous rival. Himmler and the SS
were the main beneficiaries of June 30, 1934. The SS was rewarded with
its independence from the SA, and was set upon the course which would
97
make it the most powerful single institution in Nazi Germany.
Even before this Himmler had laid the foundations for his future
position in Germany. Building upon his Bavarian base, Himmler had
expanded his control of the political police to embrace all of
Germany. By June 2, 1934, he had succeeded in convincing the state
authorities in all the states save Prussia to make him commander of
the political police. In Prussia he convinced Goring, who held the
post of Minister-President of that state, to make him his deputy and
chief of the political police in Prussia. Goring, burdened by his
many other offices and perhaps over-confident in the face of the
apparently insignificant Himmler, had in effect made over control of
the political police in Prussia to Himmler. Himmler thus united in
his person the command of all the political police forces in Germany.
Using the Prussian Secret State Police Office (Geheimes Staatspolizeiamt,
or Gestapa) as his base, Himmler set up a central office for himself
as the "Political Police Commander for the States." Although the
political police remained technically under individual state authority,
Himmler had achieved de facto nationwide centralization under his own
leadership.^
In making their move to the center of power in Berlin, Himmler
and Heydrich were accompanied by a large number of Bavarian political

273
police officers, many of whom would assume positions of leadership in
99
the Prussian and later the Reich Gestapo structure. The "Bavarian
group" under Heydrich and Muller became, in effect, a leadership
cadre for the entire Gestapo. Muller himself became the head of the
Gestapo, the most powerful and influential policeman in the Third
„ . , 100
Reich.
In Bavaria itself political developments continued along their
prescribed course. On February 1, 1936, a Ministry of the Interior
decree reorganized the counterespionage police, integrating the
counterespionage sections of the political police in the Police
Directories Augsburg, Nuremberg-Fürth, Regensburg, and Wurzburg
formally into the BPP central office's counterespionage force. The
decree was, explicitly, an extension of the first major centralization
*101
decree in this field implemented on March 16, 1923.
The final basic change in the status of the Bavarian political
police came later in 1936. On June 17 Hitler decreed the amalgamation
of Himmler's party position as Reichsfuhrer SS with the specially
established state position of Chief of the German Police. This
amalgamation united the police in Germany — and not just the political
police — with the SS. It formalized Himmler's existing position as
Political Police Commander of the States, but on a new level. For
the police forces of Germany were taken from the control of the
*See Chapter 3, pp. 144-148.

274
states and placed under a single Reich authority — this was the
meaning of Himmler's title, Chief of the German Police. Although
nominally subordinate to Interior Minister Frick as police chief,
Himmler was also directly subordinate to Hitler as Reichsfuhrer SS.
The latter relationship deprived Frick of any meaningful control over
102
Himmler and his police-SS organization. The party police force had
been combined with the state police force and, although the marriage
of SS and police would not be untroubled, it ultimately made Himmler,
after Hitler, the most powerful man in Germany.
The nationalization and centralization of the German police made
potentates of such figures as Himmler, Heydrich, and Miiller. It made
police organization in Germany uniform. In the realm of the political
police it meant the formal extension of the Prussian term "Gestapo"
to cover all political police agencies in Germany. But what did it
actually change within the states themselves?
The basic principles enunciated in the decree of June 17, 1936
were applied to Bavaria through two further decrees in September
1936 and July 1937. Under these decrees the BPP and the political
section of the PDM — the PDM had retained a rump political police
force after the separation of Department VI to form the BPP in 1933 —
became the Gestapo Main Office Munich (Staatspolizeileitstelle München).
The political departments of the police directories in Augsburg,
Nuremberg, Regensburg, and Wurzburg were separated from their respective
police directories and given an independent existence as Gestapo

275
Offices (Staatspolizeistellen). Thus, Department II of the PDN-F
became the Gestapo Office in Nuremberg, and so on. The political
departments in Kaiserslautern, Speyer, and Zweibrucken were integrated
with the larger political department of the Police Director Ludwigshafen
as the Gestapo Office for the Rhine Palatinate. Each of the newly-
established Gestapo Offices was responsible for all political police
matters within the province in which it was located. Those provinces
without a Gestapo Office were assigned to the authority of one of their
neighbors. The Gestapo Office in Regensburg, for example, took
responsibility for both Lower Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate. The
Gestapo Main Office in Munich functioned simultaneously as a regular
political police office for Munich-Upper Bavaria and as the central
office for all Gestapo operations in the state. The Bavarian Gestapo,
in turn, was directed from Gestapo headquarters in Berlin by Heydrich
and Muller.
Locally, however, these changes made little real difference.
In Munich, the Gestapo Main Office was to all intents and purposes
a continuation of the BPP, which had been a continuation of PDM VI.
In Nuremberg, the formal separation of the Gestapo from the PDN-F
likewise altered little. Despite Heydrich's desire to make the Gestapo
offices independent of local power relations and responsive to Berlin,
Martin succeeded in getting himself appointed head of the new Gestapo
Office Nuremberg, thereby preserving through a personal union the tie
between the regular police and the political police. Similar

276
arrangements linked the Gestapo with the regular police in Augsburg
104
and Regensburg. The daily pattern of operations went largely
unchanged, and the local Gestapo Offices persisted in responding to
local conditions as much as to directives from Berlin. Nazi directives
against the Catholic church frequently went without notice in
Augsburg, because the local head of the Gestapo, an old policeman
by the name of Hugo Gold, was himself a devout church member.
Martin's evasions in Nuremberg have already been discussed. Such
noncompliance was not uniform; many orders could not be easily evaded,
and other orders were accepted willingly by the local offices. Neither
Martin nor Gold, for example, showed any hesitation in pursuing the
traditional struggle against the left.^^ Only with the coming of
the war, with its manifold disruptions of the normal pattern of
existence, would the routines sanctioned by decades of experience be
substantially altered.
The most significant difference between pre-1933 and post-1933
practice lay in the greater independence from procedural restrictions
given to the political police and the progressively greater number of
offenses which came under their purview. The most obvious examples
of this extension of political police activity came as a consequence
of the anti-Jewish legislation."'"^ The dramatic organizational changes
at the national level, the grand consolidations through which Heydrich
hoped to create a new National Socialist police force, had a much
more limited impact at the local level. Habits built over the course

277
of years died slowly, if at all. The various organizational changes
made for neater table of organization charts, perhaps, but the flesh
and blood characters who made the organization live could not be
changed so quickly.
Where the Nazis could benefit from established practices and
attitudes, as in the persecution of the left, the political police
instrument proved responsive from the very first. The major leftist
groups in Bavaria were all smashed beyond repair by the end of 1934,
long before any changes in the political police system had shown any
real effect. But where the Nazis had to work against these established
practices and attitudes, the political police proved less ready to
108
respond. Only gradually would the Nazi police state assume the
form it would ultimately carry into the popular imagination. Dachau
in 1934 was a way station to the Auschwitz of 1943, but it more nearly
resembled its 1919 predecessors.
The changes which took place in the Bavarian political police in
1933 and after were evolutionary rather than revolutionary in nature.
The lines of continuity between pre-1933 and post-1933 organization,
personnel, and practice were readily apparent; even the noteworthy
changes after 1933 had their precedents in the Weimar era, particularly
in the troubled early years of the Weimar republic. The attitudes of
the political policemen, attitudes which would guide their behavior
under the Nazis, bore the imprint of the progressive "militarization of
politics" characteristic of the Weimar period.
The murder of

278
political enemies by right-wing groups, supported by the political
police in 1919-1921, helped prepare political policemen to accept
what happened to their prisoners after they were delivered to concen¬
tration camps. The use of protective custody in the same period
helped prepare policemen for a double standard of justice, one law
for the political ally and one for the political enemy, as did the
biased proceedings within the Weimar judicial.
The brutalities of 1919 helped pave the way for the brutalities
of 1933, as these did for the brutal system which grew up in Germany.
The horrors of Nazi rule did not arise from some innate German
depravity, nor did they spring into existence overnight. They were,
instead, part of a larger, slowly-developing process of conditioning,
a process marked with many way stations. The Gestapo man did not
suddenly become a vicious killer. Some, like Martin, gradually became
"desk-killers," and even then with an obvious ambivalence. Others,
like Ottomar Otto or Heinrich Muller, became "bloodhounds" or "radical
enforcers." Martin was always a maneuverer, whether intriguing with
Julius Streicher in the 1920's or against him in the 1930's. Otto, the
Free Corps man of 1919 in Munich, took then his first steps toward
becoming the "bloodhound" of Nuremberg. And Muller's tendencies to
excess in his actions against the left as part of the old PDM formed
a behavioral basis for his "radical enforcement" as the head of the
Gestapo. In Bavaria the roots of the Nazi police state lay in the
years of crisis following the First World War. The molding experiences

279
of these years and the molding influence of such men as Gareis,
Schachinger, Frick, and, perhaps above all, Ernst Pohner shaped the
political police through the crucial first years of the Third Reich."'^
The example set by Pohner did not go unrecognized. In January 1938
a bronze memorial tablet was placed in his honor at the headquarters
building of the Munich police. Interior Minister Wagner had ordered
the memorial. Upon hearing of the gesture, Heinrich Himmler insisted
that his office assume its cost."''"''''" Himmler knew very well the debt he
owed to Pohner. In honoring Ernst Pohner, the National Socialist
regime offered a model of behavior to a new generation of policemen
and paid tribute to the man who, more than any other single individual,
laid the foundations of the Gestapo system in Bavaria.

280
Notes
'interior Minister Stützel to Dr. Georg Heim, Dec. 18, .1931, MA
100 A25.
2Ibid.
3
Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch, p. 47.
4
See "Zusammenfassender Bericht der Polizeidirektion München an
die Staatsanwaltschaft München I Uber die Umsturzbewegung in München
1919," StAnw. Mü. I 3124; the collection of documents relating to the
trial of Paul Grassl, secretary to the Soviet Police President, in
StAnw. Mü. I 2513; Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria, pp. 199-210, 267,
281; Schwarze, Die bayerische Polizei, pp. 16-20.
^Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 156-157.
^See Chapter 3, pp. 159-161.
^The screening process is reflected in the various Ministry of
the Interior Verstaatlichung collections. See M Inn 71887, 71888,
71891, 71892.
g
Ibid, for the role of the PDN-F in influencing the later Police
Directories.
For the differences between the Bavarian approach and that of
the other states, see Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, p. 192.
^Bernreuther's connection with Max Neunzert and the Civic Guard
is discussed in Chapter 2, above, pp. 94-98. See also the discussion
of illegal PDM activities in Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradi-
kalismus, pp. 140-141. Fenske bases this discussion in part upon a
later disciplinary action taken against Friedrich Bernreuther and
other officers of the PDM. The file on this case, M Inn 73702, is not
open to non-German scholars, on the grounds that the State Archive
cannot exercise control over publications outside Germany. I am none¬
theless indebted to Dr. Josef Lauchs of the Bavarian State Archives
for discussing with me in general terms the contents of the file.
See "Auszug aus der Niederschrift über die 46. Sitzung des
Ausschusses für den Staatshaushalt am 26. February 1925," M Inn 71885.

281
] 2
Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nürnberg, pp. 3-5.
13
Tbid, pp. 62-63.
14
Gordon, Hitler and the Beer Hall Putsch, pp. 527-528.
’'"^Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nürnberg, pp. 310-311.
16
Ibid. See also M Inn to Chamber of the Interior, Government of
Middle Franconia, March 31, 1924, and PDN-F/II to Police Director
Gareis, Oct. 15, 1931, both Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/328.
17
Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, pp. 192-195, 253-263.
18
Ibid. See also Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus,
pp. 308-312.
19
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 202-204.
20.
Hambrecht, Per Aufstieg der NSDAP, pp. 347-357.
21
Ibid.
22
Ibid. See also Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, pp. 261-262.
23
Ibid.
pp.
24
Ibid. See also the discussion of Verstaatlichung in Chapter 4,
25
Ibid.
26
Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, pp. 274-276.
27
Ibid, pp. 279-282.
28
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 259-260.
29
Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtubernahme in Bayern,
pp. 110-120, 127-128.

282
30
Ibid.
31
PD Ludwigshafen to the Chamber of the Interior, Government of
the Rhine Palatinate, duly 14, .1.034, M Inn 7 J 966. In this report Antz
describes the results of a campaign against the Communists begun
in 1930; Helmut Beer, Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus in
Nürnberg, 1933-1945 (Nuremberg, 1976), pp. 53-59.
32
Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtubernahme in Bayern,
pp. 120-127, 165-167.
33
Ibid, pp. 127-138, 160-164. The reference to the use of the
term "Führer" — a word whose import was obvious in German political
discourse in 1933 — is from p. 189.
34
Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 261-263.
35
Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtubernahme in Bayern,
pp. 185-197.
36Ibid.
37
Ibid, pp. 206-228.
38
Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, pp. 302-307.
39
The discussion of Held's meeting with Hitler is based upon a
stenographic transcript of the meeting made by the Baron von Imhoff,
Bavaria's Reichsrat representative, who was present with Held in the
meeting. This transcript is reproduced in full in Wiesemann, Die
Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtiibernahme in Bayern, pp. 294-301. Schwend,
Bayern zwischen Monarchie und Diktatur, pp. 524-527, cites passages
from this document, but suppresses other passages which suggest Held's
willingness to cooperate with Hitler. See also Benz, Politik in
Bayern, pp. 271-272.
40
Ortwin Domrose, Der NS-Staat in Bayern, pp. 64-65.
41
Ibid, pp. 62-74.
42
Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, p. 309.

283
Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtubernahme in Bayern,
pp. 272-283; Domro.se, Der NS-Staat in Bayern, pp. 68-80.
/,/,
A description of the incident by one of the SA men involved is
cited in Ludecke, I Knew Hitler, p. 603.
45
Pridham, Hitler's Rise to Power, p. 309.
46
Heinz Hohne, The Order of the Death's Head: The Story of
Hitler's SS, trans. by Richard Barry (London, 1969), pp. 26-38, 44-46.
See also Bradley F. Smith, Heinrich Himmler: A Nazi in the Making,
1900-1926 (Stanford, 1971), pp. 134, 152.
47 ..
Hohne, The Order of the Death's Head, pp. 12-26, 46-47.
Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Frühgeschichte von Gestapo
und SD, pp. 11-38, 55-65, 98-101.
49
Domrose, Der NS-Staat in Bayern, pp. 71-90. The Catholic
newspaper attacked by the Nazis was "Der gerade Weg," a paper not
connected to the BVP. Indeed, when after 1930 this paper began to
advocate an alliance with the Social Democrats as the only means of
protecting the church against Nazism, it was attacked in the BVP
press for deviation from the anti-socialist course. See Wiesemann,
Die Vorgeschichte der NS-Machtübernahme in Bayern, p. 94.
'’^Domrose, Per NS-Staat in Bayern, pp. 90-91.
~^Ibid, pp. 80-89.
~^Ibid, pp. 83-86.
53
M Inn decree,
April 1, 1933, MA 105 634.
54
Ibid.
M Inn to Reich Ministry of the Interior, May 28, 1934, M Inn
71469. The classic example of a Bavarian political policeman who had
won a reputation for anti-Nazi sentiment before 1933 and yet managed a
successful career under Himmler and Heydrich was that of Franz-Josef
Huber. Huber eventually became head of the Gestapo in Vienna. See BDC
SS Personalakte Huber, and Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die
Frühgeschichte von Gestapo und SD, pp. 97, 321-322.

284
For the relationship between the BPP and the PDM and the
recruitment of additional BPP personnel from the latter, see the BPP
file on personnel matters, M Inn 71469.
Bernreuther in Regensburg, like Careis and Schachinger in
Nuremberg, disappeared into the general state administration.
58
Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Friihgeschichte von Gestapo
und SD, pp. 95-98.
59
Ibid, pp. 110-113. See also Edward N. Peterson, The Limits of
Hitler's Power (Princeton, 1969), pp. 78-81.
60BDC: SS Personalakte Miiller.
^Hlambrecht, Per Aufstieg der NSDAP, pp. 398-401.
62
Ibid.
63
M Inn to the Chamber of the Interior, Government of Upper and
Middle Franconia, March 22, 1933, M Inn 71885.
64
Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nürnberg, pp. 55-62.
65Ibid, pp. 162-196.
66
Curriculum vitae of Benno Martin, BDC: SS Personalakte Martin.
67
Ibid.
68
Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nürnberg, pp. 62-65.
69
Ibid.
Curriculim vitae of Benno Martin, BDC:
71
Clipping, Frankischer Kurier, March 1,
Personalakte Martin.
SS Personalakte Martin.
1934, in BDC: SS

285
Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nürnberg, pp. 162-196.
73Ibid, pp. 256-267.
7AIbid, pp. 100-111, 296-304.
73For Greiner's role in Verstaatlichung, see M Inn to the Police
President, Nuremberg, Oct. 8, 1930, M Inn 71893; for Grafenberger and
Otto, see M Inn to the Chamber of the Interior, Government of Middle
Franconia, March 31, 1924, and PDN-F/II to Police Director Gareis,
Oct. 15, 1931, both Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/328. For general
biographical sketches, see Greiser, Himmlers Mann in Nürnberg, pp. 305-
312.
Police Director Antz in Ludwigshafen proved himself, in the
opinion of Interior Minister Wagner, "irreplaceable." See Interior
Minister Adolf Wagner to Minister President Ludwig Siebert, July 12,
1934, MA 106 294.
77For the impact of normal attrition, see the personnel material
in M Inn 71469.
7 8
Domrose, Per NS-Staat in Bayern, pp. 83-84.
79
Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Fruhgeschichte von Gestapo
und SD, pp. 98-106; Buchheim, "The SS—Instrument of Domination,"
pp. 127-140, 151-156, 188-203.
80
Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nürnberg, pp. 300-301.
^Martin Broszat, "The Concentration Camps, 1933-1934," trans.
by Marian Jackson, in Helmut Krausnick, Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat,
and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Anatomy of the SS State, p. 401.
82
Ibid.
Benz, Politik in Bayern, p. 87.
84
General State Commissar to the provincial governments, the PDM,
and the State Police Office Nuremberg-Fürth, Oct. 13, 1923, GSK 7.

286
85
Broszat, "The Concentration Camps," pp. 401-420.
^Ruhr's decree Ls cited under 84 above. For the text of Frick's
decree, see M Inn to the Political Police Commander for Bavaria et a.1.,
May 2, 1934, MA 106 301. Discussions of the special consideration
shown members of certain groups are found in Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich
und die Friihgeschichte von Gestapo und SD, pp. 118-121, and Heike
Bretschneider, Per Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus in München
von 1933-1945 (Munich, 1968), p. 8-11.
87
Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Friihgeschichte von Gestapo
und SD, pp. 103-105.
Ibid. For the comparison with 1919, see Hillmayr, Roter und
Weisser Terror, pp. 123-131.
89
Ibid, p. 104.
9°Ibid, pp. 103-133.
Ibid. The concept of the SS-police-concentration camp triangle
is Aronson's single most notable contribution and is vital to an
understanding of the Nazi system of repression.
92
Bretschneider, Per Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus
in München, pp. 22-37, 48-73, 90-134; Beer, Widerstand gegen den
Nationalsozialismus in Nürnberg, pp. 75-139, 152-210, 222-235. The
political police perspective on the early resistance to Nazism is
reflected in the situation reports collected in MA 104 990.
93
Bretschneider,
ibid,
pp. 61-62.
94
Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Friihgeschichte von Gestapo und
SD, pp. 116-117.
95
Pridham,
96
Domrose,
Hitler's Rise to Power,
Per NS-Staat in Bayern,
p. 316.
pp. 153-177.
97
PPKB to M Inn, July 6, 1934, M Inn 71469.

287
98
Buchheim, "The SS—Instrument of Domination," pp. 145-156.
99
"Namentliche Verzeichnis, 25.6.1935, mannliche Personal
Beschaftigt in tier preussischen Gestapo, Gestapa, und heim Stellvertret.
Chef u. Inspk. dor Gestapo," BI)C: Atkc "Pollzei, Gestapo, SD...."
^ ^Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Friihgeschichte von Gestapo
und SD, pp. 228-233.
101M Inn decree, February 1, 1936, Gestapo 10.
102
Buchheim, "The SS—Instrument of Domination," pp. 157-166.
103
Reichsfuhrer SS and Chief of German Police to Minister
President Ludwig Siebert, Sept. 26, 1936; RFSSuChDtPol. decree,
July 15, 1937, both in MA 106 286.
104
Grieser, Himmlers Mann in Nürnberg, pp. 100-107. For the
relationships in Augsburg and Regensburg see the collections in,
respectively, M Inn 71887 and M Inn 71891.
"^^Peterson, The Limits of Hitler's Power, pp. 377-378. See
also BDC: SS Personalakte Gold.
106
Ibid.
107
188-203.
108
Buchheim, "The SS—Instrument of Domination," pp. 127-140,
Recall again the discussion of Martin's posture.
109
Diehl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany, pp. 3-22,
276-292.
For Muller as a "radical enforcer," see George C. Browder, "The
SD: The Significance of Organization and Image," in George Mosse, ed.,
Police Forces in History (London, 1975), pp. 216-217.
Ill
February
See
21
the correspondence on
1938, M Tnn 71999.
this subject,
January 27,
1938 to

CONCLUSIONS
Germany's defeat in 1918 and the revolutionary events of the
months from November 1918 to April 1919 gave birth in Munich to a
counterrevolutionary radical right-wing movement of great vigor and
widespread popular appeal. This movement itself was not monolithic;
it contained many different groups, which differed, sometimes
violently, on specific issues. These groups, however, were united
in their hostility to the new republic and to the political left. The
Nazi party, in the first years of its existence, was but one element
in this larger radical right-wing movement. The radical right in
Bavaria drew its strength from the popular reaction against the left
following the experience of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, a popular
reaction compounded of the fears of many social groups that a revival
of the Soviet Republic would destroy all that they held dear.
The Soviet Republic had been repressed by a combination of army
and Free Corps troops. After May 1919 the army continued to be a
decisive force in the local politics of the state. The Free Corps
element passed into the radical right through such organizations as
the Civic Guard and the Organisation Consul, among many radical
paramilitary and political organizations. This element, too, in
tandem with their former colleagues of the army, exerted a strong
influence upon politics in Bavaria.

289
The appointment of Ernst Pohner to head the Polizeidirektion
München, the most important police organization in the state, was a
product of tills military and radical right-wing influence — in 1919
the two amounted to much the same thing. The regime initiated by
Pohner within the PDM was a direct extension of this influence, and
represented a first step in systematizing the counterrevolutionary
response to the threat from the left. Pohner, from the very beginning,
was a leading figure of the Bavarian radical right, and, under his
leadership, the political police in Munich functioned as part of the
counterrevolutionary alliance. With the support or indulgence of the
political police, radical right parties flourished in Munich. The
enemies of the radical right, in contrast, confronted the political
police as an instrument of political repression. Where repression
could not be exerted through legal means, including even the extra¬
ordinary powers conferred upon the political police by the prevailing
state of emergency decree, the repression was effected through illegal
measures. The terror and intimidation visited upon the enemies of
the radical right met with the covert cooperation and support of the
political police. The combination of direct police repression and
this "indirect police terror" during the Pohner years helped fortify
Bavaria's position as the "cell of order" within the German republic,
the base where the enemies of the republic were to gather their
strength for the coming confrontation. Under Pohner the political
police did not simply support the radical right; it was, in effect,
a part of the radical right.

290
The imprint of Pohner and of like-minded police colleagues such
as Heinrich Carols Lti Nuremberg ensured a right-wing bias within the
emerging political police system in Bavaria. Even after 1923, when
the moderate right-wing BVP moved to the forefront in Bavarian
politics, this bias within the system persisted. The process of
centralization and expansion, evident in such measures as the decree
creating a statewide political intelligence service and the Verstaat-
lichung of the police in the various major cities of Bavaria dispersed
this bias throughout the entire political police structure. These
same organizational changes made the political police a more efficient
instrument of repression.
With the Nazi takeover in 1933, the political police system in
Bavaria became the servant of the new political order. Prepared by
their previous experiences under Pohner, Gareis, and others, the
Bavarian political policemen quickly proved themselves capable and
effective agents of the Nazi regime. Particularly in its first phase,
when the focus of effort was upon the repression of the left, the
political policeman could view his work under the Nazis as an extension
of his earlier efforts. Even such apparently novel measures as pro¬
tective custody and the establishment of concentration camps had
their precedents in the recent experience of the Bavarian political
policeman, as did the brutality of the new regime. Officers accustomed
to cooperating with the political murders perpetrated by the old
Civic Guard or the Organisation Consul had an experimental basis for

291
cooperation in the new brutalities of the Nazi SA and SS. When the
N¿izis moved against other groups, however, groups which had not been
on the traditional list of right-wing enemies, the political police
were frequently less enthusiastic in their cooperation, as illustrated
by the case of Martin in Nuremberg. In the most basic sense, the
political police system had a life of its own. At the local level
it remained much as it had been before 1933. Where the values of the
system coincided with those of the Nazi movement — and this was true
of many areas — the system worked effectively for the Nazis. But only
gradually did it become an integral part of the new order. Viewed
from the local level, the changes within the political police system
which took place after 1933 were evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
The political police in Bavaria worked well with the Nazi regime
because the two were both products of the same set of political
experiences after 1919.
Historians have come increasingly to view the Nazi movement,
particularly in its early years, but also later, as part of a much
broader radical right-wing movement in Germany after the First World
War. Nazism's ultimate success came about, at least in part, because
Hitler understood how to place himself and his party at the head of
this broader movement. The developments which shaped the political
police in Bavaria made it, as an institution, a part of this movement
as well. The very breadth of the movement, however, meant that it
contained many contradictions and rivalries. These contradictions and

292
rivalries became characteristic of the Third Reich, as they had been
characteristic of the right-wing movement in its rise to power. These
same contradictions were evident within the political police system
after 1933 and in the relations between this system and the Nazi party
and state. The Nazi takeover in 1933 represented the triumph of the
German radical right in its fourteen-year struggle against the Weimar
republic and the legacy of the revolution of 1918. The political
police in Bavaria had shared in this struggle. With victory, the
political police became the guardians of the new order. Despite its
totalitarian pretensions, however, the new order was scarcely mono¬
lithic or unified in its political aims. Within this framework of
conflicting political goals and competition for power, the political
police continued along its own institutional course. It changed under
the impact of Nazi rule and its role progressively expanded. These
changes, nonetheless, never amounted to a clean break with the past.
In contrast to the revolutions which involved a radical break with the
existing order and in common with other "counterrevolutionary"
revolutions of the 20th Century, the Nazi revolution combined specific
changes with the accentuation of pre-existent patterns. This process
was never more evident than in the case of the political police in
Bavaria.

BIBLIOGRAPHIC ESSAY
This inquiry into the organizational role and development of the
Bavarian political police grew out of a general interest in the issues
posed by the political police as an institution of the modern state
and the specific challenge posed by the historical example of the Nazi
police state. This interest first led me to one of the best-known
and most highly regarded studies of the political police in Nazi
Germany, Shlomo Aronson's Reinhard Heydrich und die Frühgeschichte
von Gestapo und SD. As his main purpose, Aronson analyzed the role of
Reinhard Heydrich in the early development of the Nazi system of
domination. Heydrich's first official position in Nazi Germany was
that of political police director in Munich. Within a matter of weeks
Heydrich and his direct superior, Henrich Himmler, had consolidated
in their own hands control of all the political police agencies within
Bavaria. Bavaria became the base from which these two men would
launch their ultimately successful campaign for mastery of the
political police in all of Germany.
Recognizing the importance of this Bavarian stage in Heydrich's
and Himmler's police careers, Aronson devoted an entire chapter to
explaining just why and how this episode contributed to the overall
development of the Gestapo system. Aronson contrasts the course of
events in Bavaria under Himmler and Heydrich with that in Prussia under
2 9 3

294
Hermann Goring and Rudolf Diels, Goring's political police chief.
In Prussia, argued Aronson, the period after the Nazi seizure of power
was marked by a basic administrative, personal, and legal continuity.
In Bavaria, he contended, Himmler and Heydrich made a clean break with
the past in administrative and legal terms; only in the personal sphere
did the Bavarian political police demonstrate a continuity with the
preceding era. Bavaria, according to Aronson, was the scene of the
first National Socialist revolution in the realm of the political
police.
Aronson's analysis, however, immediately raised a question of
plausibility. In explaining why Himmler and Heydrich retained many
experienced political policemen in their Bavarian system, Aronson
drew attention to the two Nazi leaders' inability to run an efficient
political police system without expert help. This was convincing;
neither Himmler nor Heydrich had any special training or qualifications
which suited them for the highly sophisticated and specialized task of
running a modern political police agency. But the professional
experts upon whom they depended were products of the pre-Nazi Bavarian
political police system, and their expertise was accumulated within
the administrative and legal structures of that system. How, then,
could one depend upon experts and yet make a decisive break with all
that had given these experts their special knowledge?
Another question arose in considering Aronson's treatment of the
personal careers of these experts. Aronson singled out two figures

295
for special study, Heinrich Muller and Franz Josef Huber. Aronson
made much of the fact that neither of these men had any particular
personal or ideological affinity for the Nazi movement. Yet both men
had outstanding careers within the Gestapo. What disposed such men,
with no commitment to Nazism, to place their professional skills at
the service of the Nazi regime, in an area where few of the worst
features of that regime could be overlooked, indeed, an area where
these men would contribute to the formulation of these worst features
directly? Confined to the cases of Muller and Huber, this question
would be a matter for a biographer, perhaps a psycho-historian. The
answers ventured by Aronson fell into this category. In his treatment
Muller and Huber emerged as dedicated careerists, indifferent about
the regime they served so long as it rewarded their services. This
explanation may have sufficed for these two men, but it clearly would
not do to explain the motivations of the hundreds of other professional
political policemen who placed themselves in the service of Nazism.
Careerism might have been widespread among them; at the very least,
many might have felt the desire to maintain a secure and, in many
ways, comfortable job in troubled times. By itself, however, this
answer was unstaisfying. Were there, perhaps, patterns of administra¬
tive and legal continuity which would have eased this transition and
which had escaped Aronson's purview? Were there aspects of the pre-
1933 Bavarian political environment which might have made service under
the Nazis less than repugnant?

296
These various questions led to a wider search for answers con¬
cerning the pre-1933 role of the political police in Bavaria and in
Germany as a whole. Such answers proved to be not readily forthcoming.
Hans Buchheim's "The SS—Instrument of Domination," a standard work
on the subject of the SS and Gestapo system, was found to contain only
a summary treatment, confined to little more than two pages, of the
political police in Germany before 1933. Hsi-Huey Liang's The Berlin
Police Force in the Weimar Republic likewise offered relatively li-tle
information on the political police. The only secondary source which
provided any real insight into the role and practices of the political
police in Bavaria prior to 1933 was Harold J. Gordon, Jr.'s Hitler
and the Beer Hall Putsch, which contained a summary discussion of the
Bavarian police at the time of the putsch. But even Gordon's discussion
concentrated primarily upon the LaPo, and gave only general information
about the political police.
These unanswered questions led to me decision to investigate the
history of the Bavarian political police in a dissertation. Of neces¬
sity, the work had to be based largely upon primary sources. One
important collection, the NSDAP Hauptarchiv, which contained many
political police records from Bavaria, could be examined on microfilm
in the United States. These records, however, provided more insight
into the actual operations of the political police than into its
organization. The organizational questions would have to be answered
first, before these operational insights could be properly evaluated.

297
During fifteen months of research in German archives, above all the
Bavarian State Archives in Munich (Bayerisches llauptstaatsarchiv,
Staatsarchiv fur Obcrbayern) and in Nuremberg (Staatsarchiv Nürnberg),
I first addressed myself to these organizational questions. The files
of the Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior proved immediately
useful in this area. The most important single collection for the
political police, however, was uncovered in Nuremberg. This file,
Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228, contained many of the basic
documents relating to the creation of the political intelligence
service in Bavaria after 1919. The file consists of duplicates of
these basic documents sent to the government of Middle Franconia —
the originals, which would have belonged within the Ministry of the
Interior files in Munich, were presumably lost or destroyed.
Questions of personnel were less-readily answered, for the personal
files of government officials remain, in contrast to most other
material from this period, closed to research; there are only
occasional exceptions to this rule. A partial solution to this
problem was found through the examination of SS personnel files at
the Berlin Document Center, an archive administered by the U.S. State
Department and open to scholars. The files, however, were useful
only in the cases of those political policemen who later made careers
within the SS. Several survivors of the Weimar era political police
system were located; none of them, however, were willing to be inter¬
viewed. The death of Benno Martin, an important political police figure

298
who had permitted interviews with scholars, made the work of his
biographer, Utho Grieser's Himmlers Mann in Nürnberg: Per Fall Benno
Martin, a secondary work of particular importance. Unfortunately, but
not surprisingly, no personal or private papers for Ernst Pohner could
be located; Pohner was not the kind of man to leave such items behind.
Operational questions were answered through the use of the afore¬
mentioned NSDAP Hauptarchiv, the situation reports of the PDM and the
PDN-F, and a variety of other materials from these and other Bavarian
police and government agencies found in Munich and Nuremberg.
Materials from the Bundesarchiv Koblenz contributed to my understanding
of the issues between the Bavarian and Reich governments in the area
of political police operations and organizations.
Several secondary works added to the picture of the political
milieu in Bavaria. Max Spindler's Handbuch der bayerischen Geschichte
is an essential background work. Geoffrey Pridham's Hitler's Rise to
Power: The Nazi Movement in Bavaria, 1923-1933 was extremely useful;
I have not always agreed with Pridham's conclusions, particularly
where they show the influence of Karl Schwend, but his work provides
many important insights. The most important secondary works, however,
are those studies which are the products of Prof. Dr. Karl Bosl's
seminar in Bavarian history at the University of Munich. Among the
works which I have used that were written under Bosl's guidance,
Falk Wiesemann's excellent Die Vorgeschichte der nationalsozialistische
Machtubernahme in Bayern, 1932-1933 is representative. It was also my

299
privilege to attend a seminar conducted by Professor Bosl in the fall
of 1976 in Munich on the history of the Bavarian party system, which
contributed greatly to my understanding of the political background
of my story.
During the course of my research in Munich I received the kind
of shock which all doctoral candidates fear; the publication of a
work which appears to cover one's own dissertation topic. In this
case the work was Johannes Schwarze's Die bayerische Polizei und ihre
historische Funktion bei der Aufrechterhaltung der offentlichen
Sicherheit in Bayern von 1919-1933. An examination of this work,
however, provided relief, for Schwarze is primarily concerned with
the LaPo and gives scant attention to the political police. As of
this writing, the present work remains the only detailed analysis
of the political police in Weimar era Bavaria, or, for that matter,
Germany in the Weimar era.
Finally, a further word about Aronson's work. My disagreement
with this contention that the changes in Bavaria in 1933 and after
were revolutionary in nature in no way diminishes my general respect
and admiration for what is one of the pioneering works in this field.
Aronson's work, in my view, fulfilled the most important function
of any serious scholarly study. It challenged the reader to address
the problems it presented more carefully and systematically. I only
hope that my own work can provide a similar challenge to other readers.

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
This bibliography contains only those sources cited in the text
and those sources which, although not directly cited, contributed
materially to the overall formulation of the dissertation. It is
divided into two segments. The first of these lists unpublished
archival sources. The listing is by provenance and the sequence is
dictated by the numerical system used by the various archives. This
approach has been adopted as a means of assisting those scholars who
might wish to pursue some of the issues raised in this work through
further archival research. The second segment of the bibliography
is a listing of published sources, both primary and secondary. The
sequence for these sources is the customary alphabetical listing by
author's last name.
Archival Sources
1. Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, München, Abteilung II
(Since the reorganization of the Bavarian Main State )
(Archive at the end of 1977, all materials for the )
(19th and 20th Centuries have been gathered in the )
(new Abteilung II. The earlier subdivision, which )
(placed the files of the Ministry of the Interior in )
(Abteilung I and the files of the Ministry of Foreign)
(Affairs/State Chancellory in Abteilung II, no longer)
(applies. )
Akten des Staatsministeriums des Innern
Ministry of the Interior files
M Inn 71469
M Inn 71474
M Inn 71525
Bayerische Politische Poleizei
Bayerisches Polizeiblatt
Politische Morde u. Gewalttaten.
Einzelnes
Verbotene Organisationen
(rechtsgerichtete)
Art. 36 des Wehrgesetzes
Beamte des Polizei- und Sicher-
heitsdienstes (Hilfsbeamte der
Staatsanwaltschaft)
1933-1936
1916-1938
1921-1933
M Inn 71536
1923-1927
M Inn 71539
M Inn 71669
1917-1942
UK)

301
M Inn 71781
M Inn 71784
M Inn 71785
M Inn 71786
M Inn 71787
M Inn 71788
M Inn 71789
M Inn 71791
M Inn 71792
M Inn 71793
M Inn 71794
M Inn 71795
M Inn 71841
M Inn 71842
M Inn 71851
M Inn 71855
M Inn 71857
M Inn 71858
M Inn 71859
M Inn 71860
Bespitzelung Bayerns. Landtag 1921-1921
Hochverrat, Landesverrat, Verrat
militarischer Geheinmisse. Ein-
zelnes. 1926-1928
Fuchs-Machhaus. llochverratspro-
zess. Presseartlkel.
Fall Lieb: Ansbach-Gehring-Pitrof
Reichsmittel für polizeiliche
Zwecke
Schübgefangnis Nürnberg
Beiakt zum Akt: Spionage, enthal-
tend die Vorlagen der K. Polizei-
direktion München—Zentralpolizei-
stelle—aum Vollzuge der Minist.
Entschliessung vom 25. I. 17
Spionage—Abwehrkurse
Abordnung von Polizeioffizieren,
Polizeibeamten, Gendarmen u.
Schutzleuten zur Bekampfung der
Spionage
Tschechische Spionage
Eisenbahnüberwachung
Eisenbahnüberwachung
Die neue Polizeiverwaltung
Aufbau der deutschen Polizei.
^Allgemeines.
Anderung des Gesetzes über den
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde München
zu den Kosten der Polizei-
direktion...
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde München
zu den Kosten der Polizei-
direktion München
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinden
Nürnberg u. Fürth zu den Kosten
der Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-
Fürth
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Augsburg
zu den Kosten der Polizeidirektion
Augsburg
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Würzburg
zu den Kosten der Polizeidirektion
Würzburg
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde
Regensburg zu den Kosten der
Polizeidirektion Regensburg
1923-1923
1920-1924
1925-1933
1900-1922
1917-1917
1924-1931
1917-1920
1925-1934
1915-1924
1925-1936
1934-1936
1936-1938
1921-1932
1932-1937
1923-1938
1929-1938
1929-1938
1929-1938

302
M Inn 71861
M Inn 71862
M Inn 71863
M Inn 71864
M Inn 71865
M Inn 71866
M Inn 71867
M Inn 71879
M Inn 71880
M Inn 71881
M Inn 71883
M Inn 71884
M Inn 71885
M Inn 71887
M Inn 71888
M Inn 71890
M Inn 71891
M 71892
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Hof zu
den Kosten der Polizeidirektion
Hof 1929-1938
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Ludwigs-
hafen a.R. zu den Kosten der
Polizeidirektion Ludwigshafen
a.R. 1930-1938
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde
Kaiserslautern zu den Kosten der
Polizeidirektion Kaiserslautern
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde Speyer
zu den Kosten des Staats-
polizeiamtes Speyer
Beitrag der Stadtgemeinde
Zweibrucken zu den Kosten des
Staatspolizeiamtes Zweibrucken
Allgemeine Dienstverhaltnisse der
Polizeidirektionen
Allgemeine Dienstverhaltnisse der
Polizeidirektionen
Staatspolizeiamt Nurnberg-Furth
Polizeidirektion München.
Allgemeines.
Polizeidirektion (nach 27.10.36
Polizeiprasidium) München.
Allgemeines
Errichtung einer Polizeidirektion
Nurnberg-Furth
Errichtung einer Polizeidirektion
Nurnberg-Furth
Polizeidirektion Nurnberg-Furth.
Allgemeines.
Verstaatlichung der Polizei in
Augsburg: ab 1.4.29 Polizeidirek¬
tion Augsburg
Verstaatlichung der Polizei in den
Gemeinden: hier Wurzburg: ab
1.4.29 Polizeidirektion Wurzburg
Geheime Staatspolizeistelle
Wurzburg, Aussendienststelle
Aschaffenburg
Verstaatlichung der Polizei in
Regensburg: ab 1.4.29 Polizei¬
direktion Regensburg
Verstaatlichung der Polizei in
Hof: ab 1.4.29 Polizeidirektion
Hof
1930-1938
1930-1938
1930-1938
1925-1937
1938-1945
1920-1924
1918-1926
1927-1938
1914-1922
1923-1923
1924-1941
1922-1945
1921-1939
1936-1936
1922-1941
1922-1947

303
M Inn 71893
M Inn 71894
M Inn 71895
M Inn 71896
M Inn 71897
M Inn 71898
M Inn 71899
M Inn 71917
M Inn 71918
M Inn 71919
M Inn 71958
M Inn 71966
M Inn 71996
M Inn 71997
M Inn 71998
M Inn 71999
M Inn 72000
M Inn 73437
M Inn 80352
M Inn 80370
Polizeiprasidium Ludwigshafen.
Allgemeines.
Polizeidirektion Kaiserslautern.
Allgemeines.
Staatspolizeiamt fur den
Stadtberzirk Speyer. All¬
gemeines .
Staatspolizeiamt für den
Stadtberzirk Zweibrucken.
Allgemeines.
Staatspolizeistelle Neustadt a.d.
Weinstrasse. Allgemeines.
Staatspolizeistelle Neustadt a.d.
Weinstrasse. Etat und Rechnungs-
wesen
Staatspolizeistelle Neustadt a.d.
Weinstrasse. Hohere Beamte
Polizeiamter der Polizeidirektion
München
Polizeidirektionsgebaude Nurnberg-
Furth (mit Planen)
Organisation der Kriminalpolizei
Polizeidirektion Niirnberg-Fürth:
Geschaftsführung, Beschwerde
gegen Beamte
Polizeidirektionen: Regie, Etat
u. Rechnungswesen
Polizeidirektion München: Regie,
Etat und Rechnungswesen
Polizeidirektion München: Regie,
Etat und Rechnungswesen
Polizeidirektion München: Regie,
Etat und Rechnungswesen
Polizeidirektion München: Regie,
Etat und Rechnungswesen
Polizeiprasidium München: Regie,
Etat und Rechnungswesen
Mitgliedschaft und Zugehorigkeit
von Polizei-Angehorigen zura NSDAP
und deren Gliederungen
Errichtung von Zentralstellen bei
der Polizeidirektion München
Geschaftsverteilung, Hauserlasse
1930-1940
1930-1940
1930-1942
1930-1940
1936-1937
1936-1938
1937-1937
1905-1938
1934-1937
1899-1930
1923-1940
1929-1935
1917-1922
1923-1932
1933-1938
1938-1938
1939-1940
1933-1938
1913-1926
1919-1942

304
Akten des Generalstaatskommissariats
Files of the General State Commissar's office
GSK 4
Nachrichtenabteilung
1923-1923
GSK 6
Pol itische Abteilung
1923-1.923
GSK 7
Politische Abteilung: llandakt
Freiherr v. Aufsess
1923-1924
GSK 8
Politische Abteilung:
Allgemeines
1923-1924
GSK 9
Politische Abteilung: Einzelnes
1923-1924
GSK 49
Justiz
1923-1924
GSK 55
Vaterlandische Bewegung
1923-1924
GSK 56
Sozialistische und Kommunistische
Bewegung
1923-1924
GSK 57
Polizei
1923-1924
GSK 58
Politische Berichte von
Dienststellen, Behorden
1923-1924
GSK 103
Marzunruhen, 1920
1920-1920
Akten des Staatsministeriums des Aussern/Staatskanzlei
Files of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/ State Chancellory
MA 100 425
Nationalsozialismus
1922-1931
MA 100 426
Nationalsozialismus
1932-1932
MA 100 427
Adolf Hitler
1923-1933
MA 100 445
Politische Verhalten von Personen,
darin: Frick, Dr. Wilhelm
Quidde, Dr. L. Prof. Luppe,
Dr. Oberburgermeister in
Nürnberg Ludendorff, Erich v.
Soden, Karl Oskar Frhr. v.
1921-1926
MA 100 446
Prozess Fuchs-Machhaus
1923-1923
MA 100 446a
Freiherr von Leoprechting wegen
Hochverrats
1922-1922
MA 100 446b
Schriftwechsel mit dem Reichskom-
missar fiir Ãœberwachung der
offentlichen Ordnung in Berlin,
betr. Personalien von der
Spionage, des Landesverrats,
kommunistischen Propaganda, u.
verdachtiger Personen
1923-1929
MA 100 447
Reichskriminalpolizei
1919-1928
MA 100 451
Verstaatlichung der Polizei:
Polidirektion Nürnberg-Fürth.
Staatliche Polizeibehorden:
Augsburg, Wurzburg, Hof,
Ludwigshafen, usw.
1921-1932

305
MA 100 452
MA 100 458
MA 100 478
MA 101 235/1
MA 101 235/2
MA 101 235/3
MA 101 236
MA 101 237/1
MA 101 237/2
MA 101 237/3
MA 101 238/1
MA 101 238/2
MA 101 238/3
MA 101 239/1
MA 101 239/2
MA 101 240/1
MA 101 240/2
MA 101 241/1
Polizeidirektion München
Aufstellung eines Reichskommissar
fur Ubcrwachung der oflent Lichen
Ordnung
EntwaTfnung im Vollzug des
I7reidenver trages
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
München über radikale Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
München über radikale Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
München über radikale Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth über radikale
Bewegungen
1923-1928
1920-1928
1919-1923
1924-1925
1926-1928
1929-1932
1924-1924
1925-1925
1925-1926
1926-1926
1927-1927
1927-1928
1928-1928
1929-1929
1929-1929
1930-1930
1930-1930
1931-1931

306
MA 101 241/2
MA 101 242
MA 102 135
MA 102 136
MA 102 137
MA 102 138
MA 103 476/1-3
MA 103 485
MA 104 221
MA 104 990
MA 105 634
MA 106 276
MA 106 285
MA 106 286
MA 106 287
MA 106 290
MA 106 293
MA 106 294
Lageberichte der Polizeidirektion
Nurnberg-Furth uber radikale
Bewegungen
bagebcrielite der Polizeidirektion
Nurnbcrg-Furtb über rad I kale
Bewegungen: Anhang
Vereinzelte Berichte der
Regierungsprasidien von Ober-
bayern, Ober- u. Mittelfranken,
der PDM und Gruko 4
Halbmonatsberichte des Regierungs-
prasidiums von Oberbayern
Halbmonatsberichte des Regierungs-
prasidiums von Oberbayern
Halbmonatsberichte der Regierungs-
prasidiums von Oberbayern
Sitzungen des Ausschusses zur
Untersuchung der Vorgange vom
1. Mai 1923 u. der gegen Reichs-
u. Landesverf. gerichteten
Bestrebungen v. 26. Sept. u. 9.
Nov. 1923
Politische Betatigung des
preussischen Staatskommissars
Weismann in Bayern, Bespitzelung
Bayerns.
Handakt des GSK iiber die Vorgange
beim Hitlerputsch und in der
Folgezeit
Politische Lageberichte der
Polizeidirektionen München u.
Nürnberg-Fürth und des Staats-
ministerium des Innern (P.P.),
insbesondere über illegale
marxistische Bewegungen in Bayern
Staatsministerium des Innern
Ausweisung staatsgefahrlicher
Auslander
Neuregelung des Polizeirechts
Geheime Staatspolizei
Bayerische Politische Polizei,
hier Staatspolizeistelle München
Kriminalpolizei
Polizeidirektion, ab 27.10.1936
Polizeiprasidium München
Verstaatlichung der Polizei
1931-1932
.1924,
1927,
1928
1919-1920
1921-1925
1926-1929
1930-1932
1927-1927
1921-1921
1923-1924
1934-1935
1933-1945
1933-1933
1934-1935
1935-1938
1935-1936
1933-1937
1933-1938
1933-1942

307
MA
106 299
Schutzhaft: Allgemeines
1933-1934
MA
106 300
Schutzhaft: Allgemeines
1935-1938
MA
106 301
Schutzhaft: Einzelnes
1933-1936
MA
106 302
Vereinsversamm]ungsrecht,
Versammlungsverbote
1933-1934
MA
106 303
Notverordnung des Reiches und
der Lander zur Bekampfung
politischer Ausschreitungen
1933-1933
MA
106 311
Aufrechterhaltung der offent-
lichen Ruhe und Ordnung;
Ausschreitungen
1933-1936
MA
106 312
Kommunismus, Bolschewismus
1933-1936
Akten des Reichsstatthalters Ritter von Epp
Files of
the Reich
Plenipotentiary Ritter von Epp
RSH
357
Polizeibehorden, Polizeidienst,
Kriminalpolizei
1933-1939
RSH
363
Polizeidirektionen
1933-1943
RSH
780
Frick, Dr. Wilhelm; Personalakt
des Bayer. Staatsministerium
des Aussern
1924-1933
2. Staatsarchiv
fur Oberbayern, München
Akten der Gestapoleitstelle München
Files of the State
Police Main Office, Munich
Gestapo 1
Akten u. Referentenübersicht
der Dienststelle III D bei
der Geheimen Staatspolizei
München
1939-1939?
Gestapo 2
Alarmvorschriften im Wittels-
bacher Palais
1936-1936
Gestapo 3
Tagebuch der Dienststelle III D
1940-1942
Gestapo 5
Rapporte der Bayerischen
Politischen Polizei
1936-1936
Gestapo 8
Behandlung der Mundpropaganda
1936-1936
Gestapo 9
Beschlagnahme von Landkarten
1934-1940
Gestapo 10
Bekampfung von Spionage, Landes-
u. Hochverrat
1922-1936
Gestapo 11
Verfügungen über Spionageabwehr
1934-1942
Gestapo 13
Verzeichnis von Gegnern des
Nationalsozialismus in Bayern
1939-1939
Gestapo 14
Uberwachung des Herrn Dr. Auster
1940-1940
Gestapo 15
Terrorgruppe Rodl-Danzeisen
1936-1937

308
Gestapo 16
Gestapo 17
Gestapo 20
Gestapo 28
Gestapo 29
Gestapo 30
Gestapo 34
Gestapo 41
Gestapo 44
Gestapo 56
Gestapo 57
Gestapo 60
Massnahmen nach dem Attentat im
Bürgerbraukeller München
Berichte des Spitzeis der BPP
in der NSBO der Lowenbraurei
München
Meldeblatt der Kripoleitstelle
München
Sozialdemokratische Verein München
Meldungen der Bayerischen
Bezirksamter über ehemalige SPD-
Gewerkschaftsfunktionare auf
Grund einer Aufforderung der
BPP vom 13.8.1935
SPD: Auslandische Kongresse,
marxistische Gewalttatigkeit,
Neurorganisation und Fortführung
der Partei
Untergrundtatigkeit der SPD,
Flugblatter, Berlcht einer
Kundgebung
Ermittlungen und Berichte uber
demokratische und kommunistische
Aktivitaten
Abschriften eines Schriftwechsels
zwischen Ernst Toller und
Josef Breitenbach aus dem Jahre
1930
Ermittlungsberichte über
monarchistische Bewegungen in
Bayern; juristische Gutachten
über die hochverraterischen
Ziele der Bewegung
Monarchistiche Bewegung in
Bayern
Berichte der Regierung der Pfalz
in das Staatsministerium des
Innern über die Judenaktion am
9./10. Nov. 1938
1939-1939
1933-1936
1938-1938
1922-1934
1935-1935
1933-1934
1934-1934
1939-1939
1930-1930
1939-1940
1936-1939
1938-1938
Akten des Staatsanwaltschafts beim Landgericht München I
Files of the Public Prosecutor for the State Court Munich I
StAnw. Mü. I 2513
StAnw. Mü. I 3104
StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/
107
Grassl, Paul. Hochverrat....
Benzinlieferung der Firma
Knopfler an die Einwohnerwehr,
Beiakt zu 3081d
Neunzert, Max: Mord an dem
ehemaligen kommunistischen
Kellner und Agenten Hans Hartung
aus Hal]
1919-1919
1920-1921
1924-1925

309
StAnw. Mü. T 3088
StAnw. Mu. I 3123
StAnw. Mil. T 3124
StAnw. Mil. I 7351
StAnw. Mü. I 7355
StAnw. Mü. I 7378
StAnw. Mil. I 7681
StAnw. Mü. I 8131
StAnw. Mii. I 8191
StAnw. Mil. I 9124
Akten der Regierung von
Files of the Government
RA 57804
RA 57805
RA 57809
RA 57815
RA 57827
RA 57828
RA 58111
RA 58113
RA 58128
RA 58148
Tillessen, Heinrich: Mord an
dem Landtagsabgeordneten Karl
(hire Ls
Mordversuch an dem Agenten
Hans Dobner
"Zusammenfasscnder Bericht der
Polizeidirektion München an die
Staatsanwaltschaft München I
uber die Umsturzbewegung in
München 1919"
Prozess gegen Jakob Riedner
Prozess gegen Josef Neudecker
Prozess gegen Josef Meister
Prozess gegen Franz Burglechner
Prozess gegen Alfred Fischer
Prozess gegen Alfons Haugeneder
Prozess gegen Ernst Hermann Jacob
1929-1929
1920-1920
1919-1919
1933-1933
1933-1933
1933-1933
1934-1934
1935-1935
1936-1936
1938-1938
Oberbayern, Kammer des Innern, Regierungs-Abgabe
of Upper Bavaria, Chamber of the Interior
Sozialistische Bewegung
Kommunistische Bewegung
Verbot u. Auflósung des roten
Frontkampferbundes
Einwohnerwehr
Bekampfung politischer Aus-
schreitungen
Wochenberichte zur Bekampf¬
ung politischer Ausschreitungen
Polizeidirektion München: Er-
richtung der Polizeiverwaltung,
sowie Geschaftsführung
Tatigkeit des Sicherheitsbüros
Die Beamtenstellen der K. Polizei¬
direktion München
Pol. Oberinspektoren, Kommissare,
Krim. Komm., Pol. u. Krim. Sekr.
Allgemeines
1918-1931
1923-1923
1929-1929
1919-1919
1931-1933
1931-1931
1901-1924
1910-1926
1898-1920
1920-1929

310
3. Staatsarchiv Nürnberg
Akten tier Regicrung von Mittelfranken, Kammer ties Innern, Ahgabe 1908
Files'of the Government of Middle Franconia, Chamber of the Interior
Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968 is the abbreviation used for all
citations. The listing below indicates only file numbers, which
appear in the notes following this identifying abbreviation.
11/201
Reisen fremder Offizier in
Deutschland, Verkehrungen gegen
Spionage
1882-1932
11/228
Nachrichtendienst; dessen Erricht-
ung und Durchführung
1920-1932
11/324
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fiirth,
Allgemeines
1923-1932
11/325
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fiirth,
Tatigkeitsberichte
1926-1926
11/328
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fiirth,
Verhaltnis der Beamten
1924-1932
11/329
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fürth,
Zustandigkeit
1925-1928
11/330
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fürth,
Beamte
1923-1929
11/331
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fürth,
Beamte
1930-1932
11/350
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fürth,
Rechnungswesen
1923-1932
11/352
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fürth,
Beschwerden gegen die Polizei¬
direktion
1924-1930
11/376
Die Stadtkommissare
1919-1931
11/377
Errichtung einer Polizeidirektion
in Nürnberg und Unterkunft der
Landespolizei
1921-1923
11/378
Errichtung eines Staatspolizeiamts
Nürnberg-Fürth
1921-1923
11/381
Die Handhabung der offentlichen
Ruhe u. Sicherheit im Stadtbezirk
Nürnberg
1916-1930
11/382
Die Handhabung der offentlichen
Ruhe u. Sicherheit im Stadtbezirk
Fürth
1846-1930
11/408
Politische Polizei: Beschlagnahame
von Druckschriften
1932-1932
11/684-686
Politische Polizei: Monats- u.
Wochenberichte
1924-1925

311
11/695
11/696
11/697
11/698
Politische Polizei: Monats- u.
Wochenberichte
Politische Polizei: Aufsicht auf
die Presse
Bekampfung politischer Ausschreit-
ungen, monatliche Berichterstat-
tung
Revolutionare Propaganda u.
Umtriebe
1931-1931
1931-1932
1932-1932
1919-1923
Akten der Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Furth
Files of the Police Directory Nuremberg-Furth
PDN-F 108/1
PDN-F 108/2
PDN-F 109
PDN-F 147
PDN-F 149
PDN-F 170
PDN-F 174
PDN-F 316
PDN-F 318
PDN-F 330
PDN-F 331
PDN-F 332
PDN-F 333
PDN-F 334
PDN-F 335
PDN-F 336
Organisation der Polizeistelle
Nordbayern
Errichtung der Polizeidirektion
Nurnberg-Furth
Errichtung der Polizeidirektion
Nürnberg-Fürth, Verschiedenes
Ausubung politischer Tatigkeit
wahrend der Dienststunden in
Amtsraumen durch Beamte
Beschwerde der nationalsozial-
istische Stadtratsfraktion gegen
die Polizie
Zustandigkeit der staatlichen
Polizeiverwaltungen
Beschwerde gegen Oberkommissar
Reissner wegen angebl. Begünsti-
gung von Juden
Heerespolizie, Militarische
NachrichtensarmeIstelle
Berichte der Reichswehr und
Vertrauliches Nachrichtendienst
der Einwohnerwehr
Die politische Lage in Nürnberg
Ausgabe der Wochenberichte der
Polizeistelle für Nordbayern
Wochenberichte der Polizeistelle
für Nordbayern, Bd. I
Wochenberichte der Polizeistelle
für Nordbayern, Bd. II
Wochenberichte der Polizeistelle
für Nordbayern, Bd. Ill
Wochenberichte der Polizeistelle
für Nordbayern, Bd. IV
Allgemeine Berichte der Polizei-
stelle für Nordbayern und Sonder-
berichte
1919-1921
1920-1923
1920-1933
1925-1936
1925-1925
1933-1937
1934-1934
1919-1921
1920-1921
1919-1919
1919-1921
1919-1920
1919-1920
1920-1920
1920-1921
1921-1921

312
PDN-F
337/1
Allgemeine Berichte der Polizei-
stelle fur Nordbayern, Bd. I
1921-1921
PDN-F
337/2
Allgemeine Berichte der Polizei-
stelle fur Nordbayern, Bd. II
1921-1921
PDN-F
338
Lageberichte (Entwurfe) der Poli-
zeidirektion Nurnberg-Furth
1922,
1924
PDN-F
339
Politische Lageberichte des Staats-
polizeiamts Nürnberg-Fürth
1922-1923
PDN-F
340
Tatigkeitsberichte fur die Jahre
1923-1935
PDN-F
341
Tatigkeitsberichte und Polizie-
statistik der Schutzmannschaft
1925-1936
PDN-F
407
Berichte der Zentralstelle "Tank"
in München über politische und
wirtschaftliche Verhaltnisse
1919-1919
PDN-F
486
Direktorialverfugungen
1923-1928
4. Staatsarchiv Wurzburg
Akten der Gestapostelle Wiirzburg
Files of the Gestapo Office Wiirzburg
The following are personal files maintained by the Gestapo Office
Wurzburg. The customary archive identification is simply the file
number followed by the name of the individual in question. For the
sake of clarity within the notes, I have prefixed the initials GW
to the file numbers.
GW 328/1
Paul Otto Seitz
GW 328/11
Bernd Jost Selig
GW 328/12
David Selig
GW 328/14
Ernst Selig
GW 334/1
Wilhelm Sieben
GW 334/3
Ferdinand Siebenlist
GW 334/8
Willi Siebentritt
GW 334/15
Johanna Sieber
GW 337/4
Wolfgang Singer
GW 337/5
Leonhard Singheiser
GW 337/7
Hildegard Sinner
GW 337/10
Wilhelm Sippel
5. Berlin Document Center
SS Personalakten
SS Personnel Files
BDC: SS Personalakte Karl v. Eberstein
BDC: SS Personalakte Heinrich Gareis

313
BDC
BDC
BDC
BDC
BDC
BDC
SS
SS
SS
SS
SS
SS
Personalakte
Personalakte
Personalakte
Personalnkte
Personalakte
Personalakte
Hugo Gold
Reinhard Heydrlch
Franz Josef Huber
Benno Martin
Heinrich Muller
Walther S^tepp
Miscellaneous BDC Files
BDC: Hauptarchiv Mappe 1221—Dr. Wilhelm Frick
BDC: unnumbered file "Polizei, Gestapo u. SS...."
6. Bundesarchiv Koblenz
Akten der alten Reichskanzlei
Files of
the Reich Chancellory
BAK
R43I/904
Ermordung Rathenaus
1922-1934
BAK
R43I/936
Offentliche Angriffe gegen
Reichminister Erzberger
1919-1919
BAK
R43I/937
Offentliche Angriffe gegen
Reichsminister Erzberger
1919-1931
BAK
R43I/2263
Politische Uberwachung Bayerns
1922-1924
BAK
R43I/2688
Polizeiangelenheiten, Allgemeines
1919-1933
BAK
R43I/2689
Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz
1920-1926
BAK
R43I/2690
Polizeiverwaltung
1921-1933
BAK
R43I/2693-2694
Sicherheitspolizei
1922-1933
BAK
R43I/2696-2697
Lageberichte des Reichskommissars
fiir die Uberwachung der offent-
lichen Ordnung
1923-1928
BAK
R43I/2714
Ausnahmezustande—Süddeutschland
1920-1925
BAK
R43I/2731
Organisation Escherich und andere
rechtsgerichtete politische
Verbande
1920-1923
BAK
R43II/396
Sicherheitspolizie
1933-1943
BAK
R43II/398
Schutzhaf t
1919-1920,
1933-1935
7. Institut für Zeitgeschichte, München
Sammlung Zeugenschrifttum
Collection of Eyewitness Reports
ZS 539
Zeugenschrifttum Friedrich Karl
von Eberstein
1947,
1965

314
8. NSDAP Hauptarchiv
The Main ArehLve of tlie Nazi party was microfilmed under the
auspices of the Hoover Institute. Many of the files in the collection
are official files of the bavarian police and state government,
turned over to the party during 1933-1945. These files were examined
at the University of Florida library. The identification of the
files is by microfilm reel number, folder number, and the description
of contents in the official Hoover Institute guide.
NSDAP Hauptarchiv
Main Archive of the NSDAP
HA 4/89
HA 4/104
HA 4-5/113
HA 5/120
HA 5/127
HA 20-385
HA 35/709
HA 36/716
HA 53/1236
HA 57-58/1389-1392
HA 65/1481
HA 66-67/1488
HA 67/1489
HA 67/1490
HA 67/1491
HA 67/1493
HA 67-68/1494
HA 68/1495
HA 68/1497A
Verbot der Gedenkfeier fur die
Gefallenen des 9.11.1923
Der 1. Mai 1923 in München
Aufmarsch der Partei und SA
Prof. Fuchs: "Zur Vorgeschichte
der nationalsozialistische
Erhebung."
Vernehmung Pohner wegen Hochverrat
Vorgeschichte und Zusammenbruch
des Hitler-Putsches
Reichsparteitag 1923
Bayerische Einwohnerwehr. E.W.
München
Einwohnerwehren (Oberbayern)
Bewaffnung
Erwin Kern (Rathenau Mord)
Polizeiberichte über Naziterror
NSDAP: Deutscher Tag in Coburg
am 14./15. 10. 1922
NSDAP: Grossere Vorkomnisse
(April-Mai 1923)
NSDAP: Putschversuch, Presse-
notizen (Juni-Nov. 1923)
NSDAP: Urns turzversuch am 8./9.
November 1923
NSDAP: 8./9. November 1923
Schriftliche Verhandlungen
NSDAP: Vernehmungen zum Umsturz
8./9. Nov. 1923
NSDAP: Vernehmungen zum Umsturz
8./9. Nov. 1923
NSDAP: Auflosung der Partei
1923—Aufhebungen
NSDAP: Illegale Fortführung der
Partei
1925-1925
1923-1923
1936-1936
1923-1923
1923-1923
1923-1923
1920-1921
1921-1921
1936-1936
1932-1933
1922-1923
1923-1923
1923-1923
1923-1923
1923-1923
1923-1924
1923-1924
1923-1924
1923-1924

315
HA 74/1554A
NSDAP: Verbal ten der SA und
SS
1926-1932
1926-1932
11A 75/1557
NSDAP: Auflosung national-
soz .i al 1st i se he Verbünde
1932-1932
HA 76/1560
NSDAP: Grossere VorTalle Mal
1923-Dez. 1929
1923-1929
HA 76/1561
NSDAP: Anschlag gegen das
Ebert Denkmal
1928-1928
HA 78/1569
NSDAP: Vorfalle beim Uni-
formverbot
1931-1931
HA 79/1580
KPD
Verhalten der Kommunisten
1932-1932
HA 79/1584
KPD
Gewalttatigkeiten
1933-1934
HA 79/1585
KPD
Verhalten der Kommunisten—
Vorkommnisse in München
1933-1933
HA 79/1588
KPD
Waffenkontrollen
1930-1930
HA 79/1590
KPD
Das Antikommunistengesetz
1925-1925
HA 79/1591
KPD
Gerichtliche Entscheidungen
1926-1929
HA 80/1592
KPD
Aushebung einer Bezirk-
skeitertagung am 3.1.26
1926-1926
HA 80/1595-1600
Verfahren gegen Robert Kauper
wegen fahrlassiger Totung des
Oberstlandesgerichtsrats
Pohner
1925-1925
HA 81/1615
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fürth—
Verschiedenes
1936-1941
HA 81/1617
Polizeidirektion Nürnberg-Fürth—
Dr.
Martin, Verschiedenes
1936-1938
HA 87/1835
NSDAP: üffentliche Versammlungen
in
München
1924-1926
HA 87/1836
NSDAP: Verbotene Versammlungen
in
München
1925-1927
HA 90-91/1881
Stadtrat Neu-Ulm Politische
Polizei
1931-1933
HA 92/1893
MSP—Mehrheitssozialistische
Partei. Angelegenheiten Auer
betr. Versammlungen u. Berichte
1921. Bezirkstag der SPD fur
Oberbayern u. Schwaben, 1922
1921-1922
HA 94/1905
Vereinigte Sozialdemokratische
Partei Duetschlands. Kampf-
organisation 1922. Organisation
MSP Selbstschutz. Organisation
Auer. Proletarische Selbstschutz
Hundertschaften
1922-1923
HA 95/1917
Verbal ten der Kommunisten
Anzeigen, Schlagereien, Zu-
sammenstosse
1922-1931

316
HA 13A/1349 Personalakten des Polizei-
prasidiums Berlín: Schrift-
steller Friedrich Wilhelm
Heinz, Hannover
.1929-1929
HA 22A/I754
NS DAP
A1Igcmeines
1920-1922
HA 22A-23A/1755
NS DAP
Allgemeines
1923-1923
HA 23A/1756
NSDAP
Allgemeines
1923-1926
HA 23A-24A/1757
NSDAP
Grundsatzliches
1925-1925
HA 24A/1758
NSDAP
Allgemeines
1928-1930
HA 24A/1759
NSDAP
Allgemeines
1931-1933
HA 36A/1823
Junglandbund
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
James H. McGee, III, was born on July 24, 1950. He attended
public schools in Lawrenceville, Georgia, the University of Georgia,
Gainesville Junior College, and Beloit College. Mr. McGee graduated
from Beloit College in August 1972 with a B.A. in history, Magna
Cum Laude. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
After graduate study at the London School of Economics,
Mr. McGee entered the University of Florida in March 1973. In
June 1974 he completed an M.A. thesis entitled "Arms and Appeasement:
Munich and the European Balance of Force in 1938." In the summer of
1974 he attended the Summer School of the University of Vienna in
Strobl, Austria. He then returned to the University of Florida to
continue graduate work leading to the Ph.D. in history.
In July 1976 Mr. McGee passed his doctoral qualifying exams,
and the following month he departed for Germany to do research into
the history of the political police in modern Germany. During the
academic year 1976-1977 he was enrolled as a student at the University
of Munich. His research and study in Germany was supported by a
Fulbright-Hays dissertation grant.
During his years at the University of Florida, Mr. McGee has
worked as a teaching assistant and instructor in the Departments of
History and the Humanities. During the summer of 1979 he served as an

324
Instructor in History for the University of New Orleans Summer Program
in Innsbruck, Austria. He will return to this program as an Assistant
Professor in the summer of 1980. After returning from Austria in
August 1979, Mr. McGee completed his dissertation. He expects to
receive the doctorate in history in March 1980.
Mr. McGee now resides in North Manchester, Indiana, where his
wife, Sandra, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida
in December 1979, now teaches at Manchester College.

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
f
/
C, 7? ^ /
Charles F.Sidman,Chairman
Professor of History and Dean,
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
Geoffrey J. Giles
Assistant Professor of History
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
Neill W. Macaulay
Professor of History
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
n
rt/TH Afl (.
Norman M.
Associate
Wilensky
Professor
of History

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
Helga W/ Kraft
Associate Professor of German
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department
of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the
Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the require¬
ments for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
March 1980
Dean, Graduate School

MY.IIÃœS,IY..PF florida
o ■« JJi"X.J11,1111111111111 nuil
3 1262 07332 003 7

THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936
BY
JAMES H. MCGEE, III
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1980

(£)Copyright 1980
by
James H. McGee, III

Dedicated to the memory of
Prof. Dr. Thilo Vogelsang
gentleman, scholar, friend

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
During the five years of research and writing which has gone into
this work, I have incurred a long series of debts to be acknowledged.
I would first like to thank the three scholars who supervised this
work in its various stages, Dr. Max H. Kele, Dr. Alan Beyerchen, and
Dr. Charles F. Sidraan. Dr. Kele provided the inspiration for this
work and guided it through its beginnings. In a larger sense, his
standards of scholarship have served me as a model throughout my
graduate career. Dr. Beyerchen's advice and assistance helped carry
me past critical obstacles in the intermediate stages of the work.
Dr. Sidman supervised the completion of my study. Through his
extensive knowledge of Bavarian history and his unfailing insistence
upon precision in interpretation and expression, he exerted a profound
influence upon every aspect of the work. My gratitude to these three
men goes far beyond what can be expressed in this brief compass.
Many others also contributed to this work. I am very grateful to
Professors David Bushnell, Geoffrey Giles, Helga Kraft, Neill Macaulay,
Harry Paul, Claude Sturgill, and Norman Wilensky, all of the University
of Florida, for their help, encouragement, and interest in my work.
A similar debt of gratitude is owed to Professor James M. Diehl of
Indiana University-Bloomington.
A number of German scholars and archivists assisted me during the
course of my research. I am indebted to Prof. Dr. Karl Bosl of the
iv

University of Munich for his advice based upon years of involvement
with the issues of Bavarian history. Dr. Hermann-Joseph Busley,
Dr. Joseph Lauchs, and Dr. Hermann Rumschottel, all of the Bavarian
State Archives staff, helped me to chart a path through the maze of
sources related to my topic. Their assistance was, quite literally,
invaluable. I would also like to thank Dr. Martin Broszat for
permission to use the unmatched facilities of the Institut für
Zeitgeschichte in Munich.
Personal friends, both in the United States and in Germany,
helped in a variety of ways: in Germany, Paul Hoser, Edita Marx,
and Sarah Westphal; in the United States, Tina Koraaniecka, Rosemary
and Gary Brana-Shute, and Blair and Vicki Turner. In this context I
would also like to thank my parents for their encouragement and support
over many years.
My research in Germany was made possible by a Fulbright-Hays
grant in 1976-1977. I would like to thank Dr. Ulrich Littman and
Dr. Barbara Ischinger of the Fulbright Office in Bonn for their
assistance, which went far beyond the simple provision of financial
support. At other times during my graduate school years the Departments
of History and Humanities at the University of Florida provided
financial support.
My greatest debt is to my wife, Sandy, whose love, understanding,
and support has sustained me throughout the years of research and
writing. I had originally intended to dedicate this work to her, an
v

intention which reflects the depth of her contribution. Her contribu¬
tions, however, are ongoing; I will, I trust, have occasion in the
future to measure them in a dedication. The contributions of another,
however, have been stilled. I will never again have the occasion to
thank him for the many personal and professional kindnesses he showed
to me during my year in Munich, or to appropriately recognize his
influence upon my work. This work is therefore dedicated to the late
Prof. Dr. Thilo Vogelsang.
These individuals have helped make this a better work, and I am
deeply grateful to them all. In no way, however, should any of them
be held liable for the results of their assistance. The interpretations
are my own, and so are the errors they contain.
vi

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv
ABSTRACT vii
INTRODUCTION
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936 1
Notes 12
CHAPTER 1
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN THE POHNER ERA, 1919-1921 13
Notes 55
CHAPTER 2
A CASE OF POLITICAL MURDER 62
Notes 104
CHAPTER 3
THE POLITICAL POLICE AND THE BEER HALL PUTSCH, 1921-1923 112
Notes 162
CHAPTER 4
THE EXPANSION OF THE POLITICAL POLICE SYSTEM, 1923-1930 169
Notes 215
CHAPTER 5
THE WAY TO THE GESTAPO, 1930-1936 223
Notes 280
CONCLUSIONS 288
BIBLIOGRAPHIC ESSAY 293
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY 300
Archival Sources 300
Published Sources 316
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 323
vii

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936
By
James H. McGee, III
March 1980
Chairman: Charles F. Sidman
Major Department: History
This study examines the administrative, personal, and operational
history of the political police in the German State of Bavaria from
the end of the 1919 revolutions through the first years of the Third
Reich. It relates the Nazi political police organization, the Gestapo,
to one of its most important Weimar era predecessors. During the
Weimar years Bavaria was a focal point of political activity in Germany.
This was particularly true during the first years of the republic’s
existence. The German radical right made Munich, the capital of
Bavaria, its headquarters in the period from 1919 to 1923. The
initial successes of the radical right were, in part, made possible
by the sympathetic attitude of the political police in Bavaria. After
the Nazi takeover in 1933, officers schooled in the Bavarian political
police formed an important part of the leadership cadre of the Gestapo.
Thus, the first theme of this work is the connection between the
Bavarian political police and the emergence of the powerful radical
viii

right-wing movement in Germany after the First World War. The second
theme is that of the ties between the political police as it existed
prior to 1933 and the post-1933 Nazi police state apparatus. It has
been argued that the changes in the Bavarian political police
instituted after the National Socialist takeover comprised a revolution
in political police organization and practice and that this revolution
formed the basis of the Nazi police state. The present study contends,
in contrast, that the changes introduced in Bavaria in 1933 and after
represented an extension and an intensification of tendencies within
the political police system which dated back to 1919. In other words,
the changes which took place were evolutionary, rather than revolu¬
tionary, and grew out of a pattern which predated the Nazi seizure of
power by many years. This study will also indicate how these two
main themes intersect, for the role of the political police in the
emergence of the radical right in Bavaria was related to the evolution
of the political police system both before and after 1933.
In a larger sense, this work is a case study in the evolution of
a bureaucratic agency within a particular historical framework. It is
meant not only as a contribution to the understanding of recent German
history, but also as a contribution to the study of bureaucracies.
It is a work of history, not social science, and is thus concerned
with the particular, the immediate, in some instances with the unique.
It makes no attempt to generalize systematically from the example of
the political police in Bavaria to other bureaucratic organizations,
ix

even other political police bureaucracies. It should, however, in
the company of other studies from different historical and geographical
settings, provide a basis for more meaningful generalizations. This
study suggests, from the example of the political police in Bavaria,
that the historical development of state bureaucracies is as much
governed by dynamics internal to the bureaucracy itself—in this
case the political beliefs of the police bureaucrats—as by
external events.
x

INTRODUCTION
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN BAVARIA, 1919-1936
This study examines the administrative, personal, and operational
history of the political police in the German state of Bavaria from
the end of the 1919 revolutions through the first years of the Third
Reich. It relates the Nazi political police organization, the Gestapo,
to one of its most important Weimar era predecessors. During the
Weimar years Bavaria was a focal point of political activity in
Germany. This was particularly true during the critical first years
of the republic's existence. The German radical right made Munich,
the capital of Bavaria, its headquarters in the period from 1919 to
1923. The Nazi party had its real beginnings in Munich, and Hitler
made his entry into politics there. The initial successes of the Nazi
movement in Bavaria were, in part, made possible by the sympathetic
attitude of the political police. After the Nazi takeover in 1933,
officers schooled in the Bavarian political police formed an important
part of the leadership cadre of the Gestapo; the head of the Gestapo,
Heinrich Miiller, was only the most notable among many Bavarian political
policemen who built successful careers in the service of the Nazis.
The story of Nazism, from its birth amidst the hatreds of a defeated
nation to its death in battle against an aroused world, is central to
1

2
the history of the 20th Century. The story of the political police in
Bavaria, in turn, was a significant part of the larger drama of Nazism.
Thus, the first theme of this work is the study of the connnection
between the Bavarian political police and the emergence of the powerful
radical right-wing movement in Germany after the First World War. The
second theme is that of the ties between the political police as it
existed prior to 1933 and the post-1933 Nazi police state apparatus. It
has been argued that the changes in the Bavarian political police
instituted in the aftermath of the National Socialist takeover comprised
a revolution in political police organization and practice. This
revolution formed the basis of the Nazi police state.^ The present
study will contend, in contrast, that the changes introduced in Bavaria
in 1933 and after represented an extension and an intensification of
tendencies within the political police system which dated back to 1919.
In other words, the changes which took place were evolutionary, rather
than revolutionary, and grew out of a pattern which predated the
Nazi seizure of power by many years. This study will also indicate
how these two main themes intersect, for the role of the political
police in the emergence of the radical right in Bavaria was not unrelated
to the later service of many political police officers in the Nazi regime.
In a larger sense, this work is a case study in the evolution of
a bureaucratic agency within a particular historical framework. It is
meant not only as a contribution to our understanding of recent German

3
history, but also as a contribution to the understanding of bureau¬
cracies. It.is a work of history, not social science, and is thus
concerned with the particular, the immediate, in some instances with
the unique. It makes no attempt to generalize systematically from
the example of the political police in Bavaria to other bureaucratic
organizations, even other political police bureaucracies. It should,
however, in the company of other studies from different historical
and geographical settings, provide a basis for more meaningful
generalization.
The lack of such a basis is particularly evident in the realm
of the political police. By their very nature political police
institutions elude careful scholarly study. The standard synonym
for "political" police is "secret" police, and, in most societies,
the secrets of the political police are well-kept. Even long after
these secrets have passed from the sphere of current policy, they
customarily remain closely protected. For this reason, Germany in
the years prior to 1945 presents a special case and a rare opportunity.
The circumstances which surrounded the collapse of the Third Reich
and the generally held desire for a reckoning with the Nazi experience—
a desire evident within Germany as well as without—have combined to
make the records of the political police in Germany for this period
more accessible than those of any other modern nation. In virtually
no other case can one examine the operations of the political police
in a modern society from the inside, from its own records and secret

4
documents. Even in the case of Germany conditions are not ideal; many
important documents were destroyed or lost at the end of the Second
World War. What remains, however, is a collection of unparalleled
scope, more material, indeed, than any one scholar could absorb in a
2
lifetime. The extent of the available materials dictates the need
for a limited geographic and temporal focus. Studies which concentrate
upon the national level must, perforce, be limited in detail about
the pattern of specific developments. A regional study, however,
permits this kind of close analysis. Coupled with the intrinsic
historical importance of the political police in Bavaria during the
years in question, this practical consideration suggested the choice
of Bavaria as a case study.
The term "political police" admits of many definitions. In this
work, the political police will be viewed as the agency or agencies
specifically charged by the state with the surveillance of political
activity and the investigation and prosecution, as the executive arm
of the justice system, of political crime. As we shall see, the lines
between these specially constituted agencies and the regular, non¬
political police frequently become blurred when one moves away from
Tables of Organization and into actual operations. Is the patrolman
who intervenes to stop a fight between political gangs a political
policeman? Is the homicide detective who investigates a political
murder doing political police work? This study will concentrate upon

5
the political police as a special part of the overall police force,
but it will also be attentive to these points of overlap. The political
police will be viewed as a police institution, not strictly as a
political agency.
The study of the political police, nonetheless, is intimately
related to political questions. One cannot understand the nature of
political police work or the attitudes which shape the behavior of
political policemen in isolation from the political context in which
political police operations take place. This study is not meant as
a history of Bavarian politics during the years from 1919 to 1936,
but, at the same time, the basic narrative would make little sense if
divorced from a consideration of larger political events. An attempt
has therefore been made to integrate the story of the political police
into a broader narrative of political developments.
A second set of definitions arises from the need for a shorthand
form for separating the various contending political groups into
meaningful categories. For simplicity's sake I have adopted the form
customarily used by the Bavarian political police themselves, which
followed popular usage in placing the different parties and political
groups along the conventional left to right political continuum. The
middle point is represented by those groups loyal to the Weimar republic
and to the republican constitution. The extremes are defined by those
groups fundamentally and violently opposed to the republic's existence,

6
with their placement to the left or right dependent upon the actual
terms of their opposition. Figure 1 provides a schematic representation
of this pattern of placement. Parties and other political groups are
identified on this table by their standard designations. Their actual
political positions will be discussed, where necessary, in the text.
It should be noted that Figure 1 records tendencies and not fixed
positions. Party positions shifted from issue to issue, and individual
attitudes shifted within parties. Moreover, there was a regular slippage
from one party or group to another. Thus, an Independent Socialist
might become a Communist, or a member of the right-wing DNVP might slip
into the Nazi camp. This slippage usually took place between adjacent
parties. Still, the extremists always had their extremism in common,
which provided a basis for movement between the extreme right and left.
The term "fascism" is avoided throughout, on the grounds that
it generates more heat than light. The term "radical right" is used to
describe that varied collection of political groups, some nationalist,
some particularist, some reactionary, and some revolutionary, which were
united by a common hatred of the republic and of the political left.
Little consideration is given to the "liberal" parties, because these
parties in Bavaria were extremely weak after 1919 and did little to
influence the political environment. The two main parties in Bavaria
were the SPD and the BVP. These parties dominated the Bavarian political
landscape during the period 1919-1933, and were thus the parties which
did most in shaping the political context for political police operations.

Figure 1
The political structure in Bavaria

RADICAL LEFT
MODERATE LEFT
MIDDLE
MODERATE RIGHT
RADICAL RIGHT
SPD
DVP
DNVP
KPD
DDP
NSDAP
USPD
BVP
ZENTRUM
PATRIOTIC
ASSOCIATIONS
1. KPD—Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands—Communist Party of Germany
2. USPD—Unabhangige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands—Independent
Social Democratic Party of Germany
3. SPD—Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands—Social Democratic Party of
Germany
4. DDP—Deutsche Demokratische Partei—German Democratic Party
5. Zentrum—Center Party
6. DVP—Deutsche Volkspartei—German People’s Party
7. BVP—Bayerische Volkspartei-Bavarian People's Party
8. DNVP—Deutschnationale Volkspartei-German Nationalist People's Party
(During the first years of its existence, the Bavarian branch of the
DNVP went by the name Bayerische Mittelpartei. To avoid confusion the
abbreviation DNVP will be used throughout.)
9. NSDAP—Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei—National
Socialist German Worker's Party, or Nazi Party
. Patriotic Associations—see text
10

9
The structure of this study has been dictated by the need to
combine the basic narrative of political and organizational developments
affecting the political police system with a close examination of the
actual operations of the political police and the formative professional
experiences of political police personnel. Chapter 1 sets the political
scene in the spring of 1919, explains the basic organization of the
political police at that time, and carries the political and organi¬
zational narrative forward to the fall of 1921. Chapter 2 is a detailed
excursion into one of the special problems of the period 1919-1922,
the relationship of the political police to the phenomenon of political
murder in Bavaria. This chapter serves several distinct, but inter¬
related purposes. It provides a close look at the inner workings of
the political police organization during this early period; it highlights
the links between the political police and the worst features of
radical right-wing extremism; it introduces a subsidiary theme of the
work, the exploration of the process of "indirect police terror" as a
method of political repression. Most of all, it fixes firmly the
tendencies of professional and political conditioning experienced by
political police officers in Bavaria in the first years of the Weimar
republic. Chapter 3 advances the narrative through the year 1923,
relating the changes in the political police organization to the
momentous political events of that year. The chapter culminates with
the Beer Hall Putsch of November 1923. The events of the putsch

10
itself have been thoroughly discussed elsewhere, and thus the chapter
confines itself to the impact of the putsch upon the political police.
Chapter 4 outlines in detail the evolving political police organization
in Bavaria and explains through a consideration of illustrative examples
the workings of that organization after 1923. It parallels, in this
sense, Chapter 2 for the earlier period. If the examples considered
in Chapter 2 are lurid, then those in Chapter 4 are more mundane. The
combination of the lurid and the mundane, however, is characteristic
of political police activities, indeed, of all police work. In Chapter
2, I have endeavored to present the lurid aspects of political police
work with restraint, while at the same time making explicit the harsh
brutality of the era in political assassination. In Chapter 4, I
have tried to enliven the mundane without doing violence to the tenor
of much political police work. The concluding chapter, Chapter 5,
completes the narrative by relating the political police organization
of the Weimar years to its Nazi successors. The narrative concludes in
1936 with the formal integration of the Bavarian political police into
the national Gestapo system. My conclusions are summarized at the end
of the work. In addition to a formal bibliography and the running
historiographical commentary provided in the notes appended at the
end of each chapter, a bibliographic essay has been included as a
further guide to the sources upon which this work is based.

11
Many Individual characters will pass through the following pages.
Two among them have been singled out for special attention, Ernst Pohner
and Benno Martin. The choice of Pohner reflects his importance in the
growth of the political police system in Bavaria and his imprint upon
its values and attitudes. Martin is presented as an example of the
contradictory qualitites of this system in the years after 1933.
The world has grown accustomed, perhaps too much so, to the political
police as a basic institution of the modern state. Liberal democratic
theorists have generally condemned the very existence of the political
police as destructive to the exercise of political freedom. Yet few
modern states, no matter how liberal or democratic their pretensions,
have been able to do without some form of political police. A study
of one such institution, bound to a particular historical setting, cannot
answer all of the questions which arise from a consideration of the
role of the political police in modern society. It can, however, suggest
refinements to these questions and lead to their more precise formulation.
It is hoped that this study will contribute to this process.

Notes
■'“Shlomo Aronson, Reinhard Heydrich und die Frühgeschichte von
Gestapo und SD (Stuttgart, 1971), p. 94.
2
See the bibliographic essay for a more detailed discussion of
these sources.

CHAPTER 1
THE POLITICAL POLICE IN THE POHNER ERA, 1919-1921
In his blanket condemnation of
servants, Adolf Hitler allowed only
the Police President of Munich from
hand man, Wilhelm Frick. Of Pohner
the Weimar Republic's civil
two exceptions, Ernst Pohner,
1919 to 1921, and Pohner's right-
Hitler wrote:
Ernst Pohner . . . and Wilhelm Frick, his faithful
advisor, were the only high state officials who
had the courage to be first Germans and then
officials. Ernst Pohner was the only man in a
responsible position who did not curry favor with
the masses, but felt responsible to his nationality
and was ready to risk and sacrifice everything, even
if necessary his personal existence, for the
resurrection of the German people whom he loved
above all things.^
Hitler's wojds were not the only tribute paid by the Nazis to Ernst
Pohner. The party provided the honor guard at Pohnerfs funeral on
2
April 16, 1925. Two and one-half years later, on the occasion of the
transfer of Pohner's body to a new resting place, the leading figures
of the Nazi movement appeared to pay their further respects. At the
climax of the ceremony Adolf Hitler delivered a speech in which he
echoed the lavish praise bestowed upon Pohner in Mein Kampf. In a
ringing peroration Hitler declared: "Pohner sought the creation of a
3
nation of brothers, in order to smash the chains which bound us."
13

14
Hitler's extravagance may well have been a product of the propa¬
ganda opportunities offered by the occasion, but the debt which the
Nazi movement owed Pohner was real. As Police President, Pohner extended
a "sheltering hand" to protect the activities of the nascent Nazi
4
movement. In doing so he ensured its survival and gave it an oppor¬
tunity for future growth. This passive image, however, does little
to convey the full dimensions of Pohner's commitment to both the radical
right in general and the Nazis in particular. As a key figure in
Bavarian politics during the post-war period, Pohner actively aided the
volkisch movement and occupied a central position in its highest
councils. At the time of the Beer Hall Putsch he threw in his lot
with Hitler, and after its failure stood trial alongside him. But
Pohner's contribution did not stop there. In shaping the post-war
Bavarian political police, he influenced both the spirit and the struc¬
ture of that institution and of its successor, the Gestapo.
Ernst Pohner was born on January 11, 1870, in the small north¬
eastern Bavarian city of Hof. After the traditional legal training
he entered the civil service, and rose through the ranks to a senior
judicial position.^ The Germany of Pohner's youth and early manhood
was undergoing rapid and dramatic changes. Contemporaries frequently
identified the acceleration of economic growth and social changes with
the unificiation of 1870. In reality it was much more the other way
around, for the process of economic and social transformation had begun

15
much earlier and had contributed materially to the drive for political
unification. The years after 1870 were years of pride and of national
self-assertion.
For Bavarians of Pohner's generation, however, the unification of
Germany produced a certain ambivalence. The preceding generation could
grow old and remain comfortably unequivocal in its hostility to a
Prussian-dominated German Reich. The following generation would
combine local pride with an acceptance of the Reich as part of the
natural order of things. Pohner's generation, however, faced in two
directions at once. While partaking of the general pride in things
German which was characteristic of the era, its members could not
help but know that Bavaria was different—German, and yet, something
• *
both more and less than German.
During the years before the First World War, Bavaria changed along
with the nation as a whole, but at a slower pace. As Germany became
a nation of "smokestack" barons and industrial laborers, Bavaria
remained predominantly agrarian. In 1907 46.3% of those employed
in Bavaria worked in agriculture or in forestry; only 26.1% worked
in industry. As late as 1925 the figure for employment on the land
in Bavaria was 43.8%, in contrast to an average for Germany as a
whole of 30.5%. Moreover, the industries which did exist in Bavaria
tended to be smaller in scale or more traditional in structure than
in the rest of Germany. In 1907 36.6% of those Bavarians employed in
industry worked in large businesses, 24.8% in medium-sized businesses,

16
and 38.6% in small businesses; the comparable figures for the nation
£
as a whole were 45.5%, 25.0%, and 29.5%. Urbanization similarly lagged.
Although Munich and Nuremberg experienced substantial growth in the
two decades prior to the First World War, neither city witnessed the
population explosion which transformed Berlin and the cities of the
Ruhr. As Germany leaped headlong into the 20th Century, Bavaria ambled
A
comfortably out of the 19th.
Different political and social attitudes accompanied these struc¬
tural differences. Bavarians tended to be more conservative than other
Germans. Bavarian Social Democracy, which had become a significant
political force by the turn of the century, had its own highly distinc¬
tive "white-blue" cast. Remarking upon this in 1903, August Bebel
described Munich as the "Capua of German Social Democracy," and
expressed his fear for the political soul of any Social Democrat who
went wandering in the land of the beer mugs.^ The role and influence
of the Catholic church further helped to maintain the distance between
Bavaria and the Protestant north. In short, Bavaria remained an entity
in many ways unto itself, and Bavarians of the pre-war generation grew
up with a sense of "otherness" to conflict with their sense of being
German. This attitude had a vital impact on politics in Bavaria in the
years to follow.
*The preceding discussion does not take into account local vari¬
ations within Bavaria. Some areas, particularly in Franconia, departed
from this pattern. In the very special case of the Rhenish Palatinate
these variations were substantial. Such variations will be discussed
in greater detail as they bear on the narrative.

17
With the outbreak of war in 1914, Ernst Pohner joined in the
general rush to the colors, accepting a commission as an infantry officer.
g
He successively commanded a company, a battalion, and a regiment.
As was the case for many Bavarians who saw military service, Pohner
found that the shared experience of front-line action brought him
closer to Germans from other regions. Similarly, the mobilization of
resources on the home front brought economic and social conditions
in Bavaria more closely into line with those prevalent throughout the
rest of Germany. The pace of industrialization accelerated in the
leading cities of Bavaria. Munich’s pre-war industry, heavily
oriented toward the production of specialty items for the export
market, underwent a severe dislocation at the war's outbreak. This
soon gave way, however, to the growth which accompanied the establish¬
ment of heavy industries for war production. The growth of war
industry, in turn, brought to Munich a steady flow of skilled workers
from the north, altering both the social and political make-up of
9
the city's population. Even before the war the pace of industrial¬
ization in Nuremberg had been high, more comparable, indeed, to that
of cities in other states than to those of Bavaria. The war reinforced
this tendency, confirming Nuremberg's place among the leading industrial
cities of Germany.^ The other major cities in Bavaria all followed,
in broad outline, this overall pattern.'*''*' But if the war brought
Bavaria more closely into step with the rest of Germany, the revolutions
of November 1918 and the months of upheaval which followed badly
disturbed the rhythm of the march.

18
On the afternoon of November 7, 1918, a large crowd assembled on
Munich's Theresienwiese, the meadow-park just south of the city's center.
The crowd had gathered to demonstrate for peace. By evening the demon¬
stration had grown into a revolt, and by the following morning the
revolution was an accomplished fact. King Ludwig III had disappeared
into the night, and the state authority had been taken into the unlikely
hands of Kurt Eisner, the leader of the Independent Social Democratic
Party (USPD) in Bavaria. Working in ill-fitting harness with the
Majority Social Democrats (SPD) under the leadership of Erhard Auer,
*
Eisner sought to establish a republic in Bavaria. The initial
transformation had taken place with a minimum of bloodshed. The state
bureaucracy placed itself, however grudgingly, at the service of the
new regime. Amidst the echoes of change emanating from every corner
of Germany, Eisner, Auer, and their respective followers set out to
12
mold the old Bavaria in a new image.
From the perspective of years the subsequent tale assumes the
dimensions of tragedy. Eisner's support had been based upon widespread
unity on a single issue—the desire for peace. With the Armistice this
unity dissolved, and the old party structures of Bavarian politics
re-emerged to test the changed political conditions. By mid-January it
had become apparent that Eisner was a leader without followers. The
state parliamentary elections held on January 12 demonstrated that
real popular support rested with Auer's SPD and with the Bavarian
*These two socialist factions issued from the 1917 split in the
German Social Democratic Party.

19
People's Party (BVP), the reconstituted Bavarian branch of the Center
13
Party. These parties had dominated state politics since the beginning
of the century, and seemed ready to resume their old roles in the new
republican setting. With the Landtag elections over, the prospects for
an early return to business as usual, the moderate Right against the
moderate Left, were encouraging. And then disaster struck.
On the morning of February 21, 1919, as Kurt Eisner was making
his way to the Landtag to announce his resignation, he was assassinated
by Count Anton Arco-Valley. An hour later a partisan of Eisner strode
into the parliament building and shot down Ernard Auer, leaving him
seriously wounded. The motives which led Arco-Valley to the murder of
Eisner have never been revealed. Certainly, he was in no way a
supporter of Auer and the Social Democrats; the shots of revenge which
took Auer out of politics for almost two years were aimed in the
wrong direction.
If the causes of the crime remained unclear, its effects were
only too easy to see. On the eve of the assassination a coalition
cabinet headed by Auer and the Social Democrats was ready to assume
power, with the BVP as its principal opposition. For these parties
the revolution had only served to confirm the process of reform which
had been brought to fruition in the last days of the monarchy. But
Auer's wounds deprived this coalition of an effective and moderate
leader, one who could have held his own forces together while dealing

20
reasonably with the conservative opposition. And Eisner's martyrdom
rejuvenated the radical Left, destroying all hope for a speedy return
to normality. The first attempts to form a government after the
assassination ended in failure. Auer's successor, Johannes Hoffmann,
- 14
finally assumed the leadership of an SPD-dominated cabinet on March 19.
By then it was too late.
The assassination of Eisner had worked as a solvent upon the
political consensus, such as it was, in Bavaria. The Hoffmann
government found itself caught between the advance of radicalism on
both the right and the left. The first round in the struggle went to
the radical Left. No longer able to maintain itself in Munich, the
Hoffmann government decamped on April 7, eventually coming to rest in
the northern Bavarian city of Bamberg. Authority in Munich was assumed
successively by two councils, the first led by an ill-assorted collection
of Independent Socialists and anarchists, the second by the Communists.
For the month of April Munich was ruled by these "Soviets" (the German
word Rate, for "councils," was adopted in direct emulation of the
Russian model).^
Outside Munich, and particularly to" the north, conservative forces,
army and Free Corps, gathered to overthrow the Communist regime in
Munich. Although nominally the agents of the Hoffmann government, they
16
were much more its masters, the sole possessors of effective power.
The contestants in the struggle for power, the radical Left and the
radical Right moved to center stage, reducing the duly-constituted
Hoffmann government to a spectator's role.

21
By the end of April the feeble Red forces had been pressed back
into the environs of Munich itself. At this moment, with their backs
to the wall, elements of the "Red Army" executed ten hostages. Some
of the hostages were members of the right radical Thule Society; others
appeared to have been selected almost at random. None of the ten,
however, had done anything to earn so terrible a retribution. With
one gratuitous act, the leftist defenders of Munich had opened the
floodgates of violence. The aroused White forces poured into the city
on May 1, bent upon the eradication of the Bavarian Soviet Republic
and its supporters—in the most literal sense imaginable. The hardened
Free Corps and army troops coursed through the streets of the city,
shooting anyone who appeared even remotely suspicious. The orgy of
execution did not stop until May 7, when it was discovered that the
White forces had mistakenly murdered a group of 21 Catholic schoolboys.
These schoolboys were by no means the only innocents who fell before the
guns. Before this first wave of killing had come to an end over six
hundred individuals had been slain, many of them individuals with
no connection to the "Red Army" or the Soviet Republic."^ The revolution
which had begun so peacefully six months before had ended in a blood
bath; "order" had returned to Bavaria.
The events of April and May 1919 set the tone of Bavarian
politics in the years to follow. A rightward tendency had already
become evident during the war years; the Soviet episode and its

22
traumatic consequences brought this tendency into the political
mainstream. Although the most salient horrors of the period had been
committed by the White "liberators" of Munich, responsibility for the
tragedy was laid by most Bavarians at the feet of the leftist parties.
Little distinction would be made between the actual adherents of the
Soviet Republic and other leftists, including those moderate Social
Democrats who had actively opposed the Soviet excesses. Such distinc¬
tions were too fine for the popular mood. In the aftermath of
revolution Bavaria became the center of counter-revolutionary
radicalism in Germany and the focal point around which hostility to
the new republic would gather. The moderate Hoffmann government would
remain in office for almost another year, but real power would reside
in the military and paramilitary forces and the political organizations
of the moderate and radical right. These groups would determine the
course of Bavarian politics for the next four years, and their
influence would be felt for many years thereafter. The lodestar in
the new Bavarian political constellation would be fear and hatred of
Marxism, of all forms of international socialism, and of republicanism,
along with a festering anti-Semitism—several leaders of the Soviet
Republic had been Jewish. In short, the dominant attitude in Bavarian
politics after 1919 would be hostility to the revolution in all of its
18
political and social manifestations.
At this moment, when "order" headed the list of Bavarian political
desiderata, Ernst Pohner stepped to the center of the political stage.

23
Returning from military service to a world turned topsy-turvy by
revolution, Pohner's reaction had been one of rage. He despised
those officials who continued to serve under the Eisner regime. Yet,
ironically, Pohner soon found himself in the same position as the
director of Munich's Stadelheim prison—a position he would hold
from January 10, 1919 until the demise of the Soviet Republic. One
may accept Pohner's claim that he assumed the post only at the behest
of a trusted old friend and civil service superior, as well as his
claim to have carried out his duties in a spirit of defiance to the
party in power. But Pohner's ability to advance such justifications
for himself, while denying their validity for others, offered an
insight into the character of the man. Pohner, at age forty-nine,
was a man of imposing stature and austere coutenance, of formidable
intelligence, iron will, and unquestioned personal courage. He was
also politically single-minded to the point of self-righteousness,
doggedly anti-Marxist, and virulently anti-Semitic. These qualities
commended Pohner to the military authorities in charge of liquidating
the Soviet Republic and led them to appoint him to head the Polizei-
19
direktion München (the Munich police force, hereafter PDM).
On May 5, 1919 Pohner took up his position as Police President.
In so doing he attained control over the most important police agency
in the entire state and an impressive base of personal political power.
The PDM originated in the first decades of the 19th Century, but only

24
began to assume its modern structure toward the end of that century.
Prior to 1861 the PDM consisted of little more than an urban gendarmerie.
Only a tiny "Security Bureau" performed the specialized detection
and intelligence functions of a modern police organization. In 1867
this office still had fewer than a dozen personnel. Expansion and
successive internal reorganizations in 1873, 1879, and 1896 established
the general organizational patterns which would dominate into the Weimar
era. These patterns were set in the table of organization of September
20
1, 1913, which remained in effect, with amendments, until 1932. In
assessing the dimensions of Pohner's new domain, this 1913 table of
organization deserved careful attention.
The 1913 decree called for the subdivision of the PDM into eight
*
departments. Department I was the Kriminalpolizei, the criminal
detective squad. Its primary task was the investigation of murder,
robbery, and other crimes against persons and property. Department II
supervised a variety of internal administrative tasks, including the
operation of the police lock-up. It was also charged with the control
of male beggars and vagrants. Department III dealt with morals
offenses and juvenile delinquency, an administrative unity common in
European police practice. Its responsibilities included the supervision
and control of female beggars and vagrants, of prostitutes and pimps,
and of homosexuals. It was also concerned with the location and return
*The term used in the 1913 table of organization is Referat; the
term Abteilung was substituted later. In both instances the best English
equivalent equivalent is "department," which will be used throughout.

25
of missing children and runaways, with combatting the traffic in
children and other forms of white slavery, and with all other police
matters relating to minors. Department IV had as its primary task
the maintenance of records, including the registration of addresses
(again in accordance with normal Continental practice whereby all
residents must register their address and all changes of address with
the police), the provision of passports, and the supervision of
resident aliens and tourists. Health and medical matters, including
the collection and transport of corpses, were handled by Department V.
Department VII dealt with traffic, building permits, and other
miscellaneous chores. Department VIII was the Schutzmannschaft, the
21
body of uniformed patrolmen. Department VI was the political police.
The tasks of the political police, as defined by the 1913 decree,
were threefold: the observation of political activity, the administrative
control of this activity, and the investigation of crimes of a political
nature. Specific assignments included the observation and control of
the press, or demonstrations and public gatherings and of the theaters
(in conjunction with other departments); the control of political
activity among resident aliens, of strikes (in the 1913 decree these
were still termed "worker revolts") and of lockouts; counter-espionage
in cooperation with the military authorities; and the investigation of
treason cases. During the First World War and the years following,
tasks were added to the list: the supervision of the Border Police,

26
undercover surveillance of rail and air passengers, desertion, and
the police radio service, which connected the PDM with other police
22
agencies in Bavaria and the other German states.
To facilitate the performance of its mission, PDM VI was sub¬
divided into five Dienststellen, indentified by the letters a, b, c, d,
*
and N. The various duties of the department were apportioned among
the five Dienststellen (hereafter "desks," the closest equivalent in
standard English or American police usage). Desk Via provided the
headquarters staff for the entire department, coordinated the work of
the political police with the other departments of the PDM and with
other police agencies, and carried out the actual investigation of
political crimes, in all cases save espionage, the special province of
the counterespionage police of Desk VIb. Desk Vic performed the more
mundane function of administrating the various regulations governing
the press. Perhaps appropriately, the activities of this desk consisted
largely of routine paperwork. Desk VId maintained the register of
political parties and organizations—all such groups had to be registered
in conformance with statute law. It supervised public and private
political gatherings and controlled all political demonstrations.
Under this heading it also concerned itself with those cultural, economic,
and business organizations whose activities had a political dimension.
The fifth desk, VI/N, was a creation of the Pohner era. VI/N was the
*The use of lower-case letters for the first four and an upper-case for
the fifth follows the standard practice at the PDM for the period
1919-1932.

27
political intelligence service, charged with the overt and covert
observation of the radical political movements and with the preparation
23
of regular reports concerning the activities of these movements.
Under the leadership of the Police President, his principal
subordinate, the Police Director, and the presidial staff, the eight
main departments of the PDM performed the primary police functions
within the city of Munich. But the role of the PDM was not limited
to Munich alone. Although its formal position remained that of a simple
municipal agency until 1933, theoretically in no way superior to any
other such agency in Bavaria, in practice it had already by 1913 begun
to acquire the status of a central coordinating office for police
matters throughout the state. In 1899 it had become the central office
for the surveillance of gypsies. In 1911 it became the state-wide
collection center for fingerprints. A 1912 decree gave the PDM similar
responsibility in the area of counterfeiting. The most important of
these measures, however, came in 1904, with a decree establishing the
PDM as the Bavarian central office for counterespionage activities, a
step presaging the extension of the PDM’s political police role through-
, . 24
out the entire state.
The outbreak of the First World War lent a special significance
to the counterespionage mission, and helped accustom Bavarian authorities
at every level to the extraordinary position of the PDM. In wartime
the tasks of the counterespionage officers of PDM VIb were many and

28
varied. Working alongside the counterespionage section of military
intelligence, the central office devised strategems to expose the
operations of Entente spies and saboteurs. It served as a clearing¬
house for counterespionage information, and coordinated the efforts
of police agencies in every part of the state. Finally, as the
war dragged on and war weariness increased, the central office
received orders to investigate the leakage of government documents
whose publication might harm public morale, lead to political disorders,
or diminish Germany’s image in the eyes of neutrals. The measures
undertaken by PDM VIb pursuant to this order established an important
precedent for the use of the counterespionage central office as the
executor of explicitly political tasks. This precedent would contribute
materially to the postwar expansion of the PDM's political police
role in other areas.^
The importance of the office of Police President found its
basis in developments such as this. Ernst Pohner was well aware of
the potential power of his new position. But before this potential
could be fully realized, a purging and rebuilding operation would
have to take place. If the war had strengthened the powers of the
Munich police, it had also weakened it in terms of personnel, as
scores of experienced officers were drawn away into military service.
The successive regimes of the revolutionary period had further weakened
the PDM, by introducing politically undesirable officers. The political

29
police had suffered a particularly heavy blow during the last days of
the Soviet Republic. As the White forces pressed to the outskirts
of Munich, the police headquarters building was torn inside out, at
least partially in an effort by the Soviet authorities—insofar as
authority can be said to have existed in this final stage of collapse—
to destroy or disorder the personal files accumulated over a score
26
of years by the political police. Pohner took immediate steps to
put his new house in order. The destruction within the headquarters
building was repaired, and the police files were laboriously
reconstituted. Officers suspected of too-ready collaboration with
the revolutionary regimes—including, ironically, the regime of
Johannes Hoffmann, still nominally the ruling government in Bavaria—
were removed from their posts. Pohner moved quickly to fill key
administrative positions with politically reliable and experienced
civil servants. He gave particular attention to his choice of an
officer to head Department VI—the leader of the political police,
27
after all, would be his most important single subordinate. Within
a week of assuming office he entrusted this post to Dr. Wilhelm Frick.
Frick, like Pohner, had come up through the ranks of the royal
civil service. From 1907 to 1917 Frick had been a county assessor
(Bezirksamtsassessor) in the town of Pirmasens. In 1917 he was trans¬
ferred to the PDM to head the War Profiteering Office. He stayed at
the PDM throughout the remainder of the war and during the revolutionary
period which followed. Frick, nonetheless, made little secret of his

30
hostility to the revolution, and thus earned the enmity of the
revolutionary authorities—a powerful endorsement in Pohner's eyes.
The two men soon found that they had much else in common. Both were
ambitious. Both shared the same political views. Later, when Frick
had become a leading Nazi and Hitler’s Minister of the Interior, he
would be satirically described as the "Royal Bavarian Nazi," a
characterization which captured the combination of traditional
conservativism and counterrevolutionary radicalism exemplified by Frick
and Pohner. Together these two men would shape the political department
28
of the PDM in their own image.
Even as the rehabilitation of the PDM continued, Pohner and Frick
joined the military in eliminating the last vestiges of the Soviet
Republic. With the passing of the first week of May, wholesale and
often indiscriminate massacre gave place to a more systematic process
of suppression. Department VI of the PDM, working alongside a
specially created political police section of the military headquarters
staff, undertook the job of sifting through the mountains of denunciatory
letters, identifying and locating those adherents of the Soviet Republic
still at large, and coordinating the work of the soldiers and policemen
who made the actual arrests. Serving as liaison officer between the
military headquarters and the PDM was a pre-war member of the Munich
political police, Dr. Christian Roth—the first of his many appearances
in the role of ally to Pohner and Frick. The flood of arrests proceeded
apace. The number of prisoners taken into custody far exceeded the

31
capacity of Munich's jails and prisons, and not even the highly summary
course of justice could move rapidly enough to reduce the overcrowded
conditions. Temporary prisons were erected in schools and other
public buildings. The treatment of prisoners was at best callous and
frequently viciously brutal. When room could no longer be found in
Munich, prisoners were transported to the city of Ingolstadt, a
garrison town some fifty miles away. Still the denunciations, house
searches, and arrests continued, abating only gradually during the month
29
of June. Finally, by the end of the summer, the new regime had
firmly established itself. The Hoffmann government returned from
Bamberg to Munich; the real masters in Bavaria would tolerate its
existence for yet a while longer.
In looking back to the events of the summer of 1919, Wilhelm
Frick took particular pride in two of the PDM's accomplishments. One
was, of course, its contribution to cleansing Munich of undesirable
30
political elements. The other was the creation of the fifth desk
within Department VI, the political intelligence service. This desk,
created in response to the needs of the summer, had proved its worth.
With it, Frick expressed confidence in his ability to prevent the
31
recurrence of another Soviet episode. For his own part, Pohner
professed himself highly pleased with the performance of Frick and his
political policemen. In a year-end report to the Bavarian Ministry of
Interior, Pohner expressed his pride in the work of the political police
and his confidence that this organization would continue to grow in
32
significance.

32
This confidence was scarcely misplaced. Before such growth could
occur, however, certain obstacles had to be removed. The suppression
of the Soviet Republic had spawned a welter of political information
services in Munich and other parts of Bavaria. Allies though these
agencies might be in the struggle against the Left, they were frequently
bitter rivals in the bureaucratic struggle for authority. To understand
this struggle, one must first of all understand something of the
competitors and of the bureaucratic field on which the game was played.
Although Bavarian officials made much of the federalist idea in
their dealings with the national government, authority within Bavaria
itself was highly centralized. The people elected the Landtag or state
parliament; the Landtag selected the governing ministry. This cabinet,
in turn, stood at the head of an extensive administrative bureaucracy,
which conducted the actual business of governing. The most important
agency of internal administration was the Ministry of the Interior,
which stood at the apex of the bureaucratic pyramid. The intermediate
administrative unit was the province (Regierungsbezirk), at whose head
stood an appointive provincial president; Bavaria was divided into eight
such provinces. At the base of the pyramid were the Bezirksamter, the
offices which administered the smallest unit of governmental authority,
roughly equivalent to an American county. The larger cities stood to
one side of this administrative pyramid, with their own elective
municipal governments and their own police forces (rural areas were
policed by the gendarmerie, a state agency which for executive purposes

33
was normally controlled from the county offices). Final authority in
internal security matters, however, rested with the Ministry of the
Interior and, ultimately, with the cabinet. The Ministry of the Interior
could assume control of the municipal police forces during a state of
emergency by appointing a special commissioner for this purpose.
Similar emergency powers could be vested in the provincial presidents.
Although the PDM’s position conformed outwardly to this overall pattern,
its special relationship to the Ministry of the Interior was assured
through its assigned central office functions and the practice of
33
designating the Police President as a special commissioner.
Each of the above mentioned agencies performed certain political
police functions. In addition to their regular duties, the gendarmerie
stations in the countryside were responsible for observing political
activities in their area and reporting on such activities to the
respective county offices. Each county office had a political officer
(in the smaller offices, of course, this duty might be one of several
performed by a single official), who reported, in turn, to the political
officer in the provincial presidium. Each of the presidia prepared
fortnightly reports on the political situation in the province for
the Ministry of the Interior. These fortnightly reports were
customarily general situation reports—in a sense, a form of public
opinion research. Only rarely did they draw upon covert sources. Still,
such basic research was an indispensable component of political police
34
operations.

34
The various municipal police agencies also possessed political
police sections, whose functions on the municipal level paralleled
those already outlined for the PDM. In theory, the political police
in the cities were responsible to the elected city governments;
outside of Munich, practice corresponded with theory. After 1919,
however, the Interior Ministry would use the device of the special
commissioner to remove the political police from the control of a
city council whose politics differed from that of the state government.
The most noteworthy example of this practice occurred in Nuremberg
35
in 1920. In the case of Munich, Police President Pohner rarely
recognized any power higher than himself, and never the power of the
36
left-leaning city government. His successors, while more willing
to acknowledge their dual responsibility to city and state, also tended
to exploit the special status of the PDM to retain their independence
vis-a-vis the city authorities—easy to do since the police section of
37
the Ministry of the Interior preferred this arrangement.
Other state agencies, the armed forces, and a variety of private
and semi-private groups also conducted political police operations.
The first of these agencies was the Polizeistelle Nordbavern ("Police
Office for Northern Bavaria," hereafter PSNB) . The flight of the
Landtag and the Hoffmann cabinet from Munich to Bamberg had created
special police problems in that city. The security of the state
government itself had to be assured. Having, in effect, been evicted
from its own capital, with its hold on state authority tenuous at best,

35
the government wanted to avoid being caught by another revolution. Cut
off from the PDM, the Ministry of the Interior set about the task of
creating a temporary replacement in Bamberg. Thus, a special political
police section was established within the Ministry, charged with
overseeing the actual physical security of the government, with
the surveillance of the political situation in the Bamberg area, and,
most important of all, with anticipating any further revolutionary
38
disturbances. During the government's Bamberg exile, these tasks
were successfully performed.
Plans for the government's return to Munich on August 15, however,
raised the question of the office's continued existence. After a series
of discussions during the month of July, a special commission appointed
by the Interior Minister recommended the authorization of a permanent
state police office in Bamberg, to carry on the work of the police
39
section. The arguments advanced by the commission revealed much about
the government's current conception of the political police mission.
The report first called attention to the circumstances which had led
to the government's transfer to Bamberg, and expressed concern for the
possibility of yet another leftist uprising in Munich. With this fear
before them, the commission's members suggested that the government
should take special care to ensure the continued availability of
Bamberg as a place of refuge. The report concluded that the existing
police agencies in northern Bavaria were unsuited to the task of
controlling the activities of left-wing radicals in the region. A secret

36
police intelligence service, capable of operating throughout the area
and of coordinating the information from city, county, and military
sources, could better fill this need. For administrative purposes this
40
office would be regarded as a branch of the PDM. The Ministry of the
Interior concurred in the commission's findings, and on September 13 the
41
PSNB was officially established by ministerial decree. Within two
months the new office was producing regular weekly reports on the
activities of the radical movements in northern Bavaria. These reports
were circulated to the PDM, the police referent in the Ministry of the
Interior, Josef Zetlmeier, and the military staffs in Munich and Nuremberg.
Although professionally objective in tone, the reports reflected in
42
content the government's predominant concern with the revolutionary Left.
Yet another state agency maintained a political police service,
the state Polizeiwehr, reorganized some months after its creation in
1919 and renamed Landespolizei. The Landespolizei, or LaPo as it was
usually called, was organized along military lines in companies,
battalions, and regiments, and equipped with military small arms and
machine guns. Its primary purpose was the preservation of public
order, and it was specifically viewed as the state's main line of defense
against armed insurrection. In pursuit of this mission the LaPo built
its own intelligence service, which operated both internally, as a
check against political subversion within the ranks of the LaPo, and
43
in the community at large through its own network of informers.

37
Military endeavors in this field grew out of the army's deployment
in this suppression of the Soviet Republic. The existing intelligence
staffs merely redirected their efforts toward a new enemy. Later,
special sections for political police purposes were attached to the
General Staff of Army Group 4 in Munich and the staff of the 24th
Brigade in Nuremberg. These sections, too, combined an interest in
the threat of subversion within the ranks with activities directed at
the civilian community. They contributed still another set of weekly
situation reports to the already extensive list, reports based upon
44
the information supplied by yet one more string of agents.
Were this not enough, the Civic Guard, a semi-official militia
of distinctly right-wing orientation, added more agents and more reports.
This boom market in political intelligence was further served by a
variety of private entrepreneurs, such as the Wirtschaftspolitische
Nachrichtenstelle Tank (Economic and Political Information Service Tank).
"Tank," as it was usually called, supplied economic and political
intelligence to the political section at Army Group 4 headquarters, which
then distributed copies to the PDM and other state agencies. Although
"Tank" prepared conventional situation reports, it was unique in that
it also allowed the circulation of the actual agents' reports, a
noteworthy lapse from accepted professional standards. These agent
reports allowed an outsider a glimpse at the underworld of political
46
police operations, the world of the paid informer.

38
"Tank" began its work in June 1919; its reports, in a sense,
may be viewed as a more ordered continuation of the wave of political
denunciations in May. Some of the reports were simply sordid stories
of betrayal. Others were dull and inconsequential. Occasionally, a
"Tank" report would be ludicrous to the point of black humor. A July
1919 report chronicled the actions of an agent in Munich's Schwabing
district, then renowned as the home of the city's artists and literati.
The denizens of this district were regarded with deep suspicion by
the conservative officers and civil servants in power, a fact that the
agent apparently chose to exploit. After much cloak and dagger
derring-do, lovingly chronicled in the agent's report, the agent
concluded that he had uncovered three "undoubted members of the
Bolshevik elite." The evidence he managed to produce in this report,
however, admitted of a variety of alternative conclusions, ranging
from the possibility that the three men were simply army officers in
mufti, out for a night on the town, to the equally likely conclusion
that they were agents of one of the other political intelligence services.
Certainly, with the number of agents and informers being run by various
groups at this time, the odds in favor of their tripping over one another
47
were great.
Not surprisingly, the professional political policemen viewed the
work of "Tank" with considerable skepticism, and sometimes outright
contempt. One generously observed that the reports had, at first, been
useful, but had quickly deteriorated in quality; another officer dismissed

39
48
them as "not to be taken seriously." A third political policeman
saw the "Tank" reports as symptomatic of a larger problem, the growing
traffic in agents' reports, a traffic fed by the venality of many
49
informers and the competition among the intelligence agencies.
Informers would sell the same information to more than one agency,
or milk their controlling officer with reports conjured out of thin
air. Worse, the plethora of competing intelligence services meant
that no secrets were safe—including the secrets of these services
themselves.
Political intelligence flowed from too many sources and was of
too varied quality and reliability. Systematic evaluation of
material and the careful coordination of action suffered as well.
Finally, the responsible authorities could not count upon the timely
receipt of the kind of information upon which decision could be made.
In the aftermath of the revolutionary upheaval, when too many tasks
claimed attention, no steps were taken to rectify this problem. But
ongoing crisis and fear kept perceptions of the need for a more central¬
ized political police network alive.
One of Police President Pohner's preoccupations during this phase
was the elimination of the Social Democrats from the government of
Bavaria. The continuation of the Hoffmann government at the head of a
state whose actual policies were determined by anti-socialist officers
and civil servants was, for Pohner and his compatriots, an anomaly
which cried out for removal. After months of behind-the-scenes

40
machination, the Kapp putsch provided the occasion for a move against
the remaining symbol of the November revolution. The attempt by
monarchist-conservative elements to overthrow the republican government
in Berlin foundered on the rock of a general strike led by the republic's
defenders. This strike, so effective in routing the Kapp conspirators
in the north, had precisely the reverse effect in Munich. Under pressure
from Pohner and Gustav von Kahr, the Provincial President of Upper
Bavaria, the army leadership delivered a vote of no confidence to
Hoffmann, claiming that it could no longer be responsible for security
and order so long as his government remained in office. Hoffmann
bowed to this representation and resigned from office. With the support
of Pohner, the Civic Guard, and the eminence grise of the BVP,
Dr. Georg Heim, Kahr became the new Minister President of Bavaria.
This step ushered in a new era in Bavarian politics, an era frequently
identified through its two leading political figures—the Kahr-Pohner
50
era.
In the midst of his involvement with high politics, Pohner did not
forget about the political police—quite the contrary. He recognized
fully their importance to his own power position. Writing on April 5,
1920, to the Ministry of the Interior, he commended the staff of the
PDM's political department for its outstanding performance during the
Kapp putsch. The precise nature of this "outstanding performance" was
unspecified in Pohner's commendation, although Pohner's own activities
at the time might suggest that it had to do with the overthrow of the

41
Hoffmann cabinet. That Pohner attached a special value to the contri¬
bution of Department VI, however, was beyond question, for his
commendation was accompanied by a request to the Ministry for extra
funds with which to reward his political policemen.^
Having established himself more firmly at the center of power,
Pohner could devote more attention to putting right the problems which
beset the political intelligence service. These problems, evidently,
had not receded with the consolidation of the new regime. On October
18, 1920 Wilhelm Frick circulated a letter on the subject to his
"counterparts in the provincial presidia and at the PSNB. In it he
raised the issue of reorganizing the political intelligence services
in Bavaria, and issued an invitation to a meeting on this subject to be
52
hosted by the PDM. Six weeks later, on December 7, Pohner convened
this meeting in the library of the PDM. Gathered under conditions of
tight security were representatives of the provincial governments, the
LaPo, the PSNB, and the PDM's Department VI.
Pohner opened the meeting with a few remarks concerning the weak¬
nesses in the existing system of gathering and evaluating political
information. The present structure, in his view, could not supply the
necessary information when and where it was needed. He proposed
substantial changes, the details of which would be explained by his
aide, Frick. With a reminder that the proposal about to be presented
was highly confidential, he yielded the floor to Frick. After a short
historical summary, in which he laid the blame for the revolutionary

42
disturbances of 1918-1919 upon the lack of effective political
surveillance, Frick turned to a discussion of the contemporary situation
The PDM had already consolidated its own efforts under Desk VI/N.
This, however, had not solved the main problem—too many agencies had
their fingers in the intelligence pie. Until the duplication of effort
had been eliminated, the quality of the political intelligence product
could not be improved. The military, in particular, had caused
problems through its invasion of the civilian sphere of responsibility.
In the future military operations would have to be confined to the
control of subversion within the ranks. This measure by itself, however
would not achieve the desired result. Frick thus proposed the creation
53
of a new statewide political intelligence network.
Frick’s proposal placed PDM VI/N, the political information
service, at the center of the new organization. It would serve as the
coordinating body for the entire state and simultaneously as the
collection and dissemination center for the three provinces of southern
Bavaria. It would, of course, also retain direct responsibility for
Munich proper. Between the political information service of the PDM
and the four provinces of northern Bavaria stood the main state police
office in that region, the PSNB. It would serve as the collection and
dissemination center for these four provinces. The local agencies
would gather information through the overt observation of public
political activity and through covert surveillance with paid agents and
voluntary informers. Local agencies, naturally, could act directly on

43
information of purely local significance, but all information was to
be passed to the designated collection centers. There it would be
evaluated and then distributed throughout the system in a regular
series of comprehensive situation reports. Requests for information
from the Ministry of the Interior or from the various local agencies
54
would likewise be routed through the centers.
After completing his proposal Frick invited discussion. All
participants agreed on the importance of centralization. The discussion
revolved around the prospect of continued liaison difficulties with
the military, the question of cooperation with the LaPo, and the
problem of finding suitable agents. The last of these provoked the
most concern. The representative of the Provincial President of Upper
Franconia piously suggested that dealing with paid undercover agents
was beneath the dignity of the provincial authorities; the PSNB could
adquately handle this dirty business in northern Bavaria. Frick pointed
to the existence of private political information groups, employed by
industrial concerns—an obvious reference to the "Tank" organization—
and complained that such groups often prepared intelligence reports
only to earn money. They would frequently accept employment from
more than one master at the same time. In order to avoid these
intelligence mercenaries, it would be absolutely essential that the
identities of all agents be filed with the Munich center. The problem
was not simply one of wasting secret funds; more seriously, the
reports of such agents could not be relied upon for accuracy, nor could

44
one fully trust such an agent—an agent who would serve two masters
might also serve three, and the third one might be the political
enemy. Pohner underscored Frick's observations with the sententious
pronouncement that in these matters the watchword must be "For the
Fatherland." The meeting closed with a number of issues left open,
not least among them the question of finances.Nothing definite had
been decided, but the issues had been thoroughly aired. With few
reservations the new organizational plan had been found acceptable.
Significantly, no one at the meeting challenged the assumption
that the police should keep a close watch upon political activity. Only
three years before, in the midst of war, revelations concerning
police surveillance of private citizens had provoked a furor in Munich,
56
and forced the government into a defensive posture. This, in part,
accounted for the secrecy of the December 7 meeting. More fundamentally,
the political climate had changed since 1917—what had been controversial
before the revolution had since gained widespread acceptance. It was
likewise significant that the central role assigned to the PDM in the
new proposal went unchallenged at the meeting; implementation of the
proposal would deliver unparalleled power into the hands of Pohner and
Frick, since all political intelligence would be filtered through their
hands, and theirs alone. One can only conclude that those present at
the meeting shared fully the political goals of Pohner and Frick, and
were willing to accept their accretion of power.

45
Despite Frick’s insistence that the issue was "burning," two
years elapsed before the centralization proposal received formal
ministerial sanction. This, however, was scarcely necessary—the
informal agreement reached among the parties at the December 7 meeting
sufficed as a basis for further developments."^ Pohner and Frick
could thus concentrate on their other political goals.
Gustav von Kahr's accession to power in March 1920 soon
brought the Bavarian government into direct conflict with the national
government in Berlin. The issue frequently appeared in the guise of
disagreement between Bavarian federalism and the unitary impulses of
the Reich leadership. Kahr thus presented himself as a defender of
the rights of the states against the encroachment of the central
government. This constitutional conflict, however, masked in high-
flown rhetoric the substantive issues of the struggle. Kahr and
his political allies—most notably Pohner and the state Minister of
Justice, Christian Roth—despised the moderate left-wing government
in Berlin as a creature of the revolution and an affront to the
sensibilities of all right-thinking Germans. If this government could
not be readily toppled, as the Kapp putsch had proven, then at least
58
its influence could be halted at the borders of Bavaria.
Matters came to a head over the issue of the Civic Guard. The
Reich government, pressed by the Entente powers, insisted upon the
disarmament of this paramilitary body. The Kahr regime, whose political
base in Bavaria in part rested upon the allegiance of the Civic Guard,

46
repeatedly refused to comply. While Kahr argued with Berlin, Pohner
and Roth exploited their positions at the center of the police and
judicial administrations to frustrate fulfillment of the national laws
*
mandating disarmament—even to the extent of aiding and abetting murder.
For more than a year the battle continued, reaching its climax in the
59
summer of 1921.
At the end of January German representatives had signed the Paris
agreement governing fulfillment of the Versailles Treaty disarmament
provisions. Kahr immediately condemned this step. Throughout the winter
and spring he hardened his position in defense of the Civic Guard. To
have done otherwise would have cost Kahr the support of his most
important political followers. The Civic Guard in Bavaria, unlike the
parallel organizations in other states, was a large and highly
centralized body with a substantial headquarters staff. As such, it
provided congenial employment to scores of former General Staff officers.
These officers had helped Kahr come to power; without their support
his days in office would be numbered. Naturally, these men regarded
the idea of dissolution with the utmost hostility and did everything
in their power to mobilize public opinion in Bavaria behind the hard
line approach. Kahr's other main base of support, the BVP, reacted
to the crisis with less unity. A minority in the party wanted the Kahr
government to yield, in order to prevent the application of sanctions.
*This aspect is examined in greater detail in Chapter 2.

47
The majority, however, adhered to a position of pushing the issue to
its limits, although few among them could agree on the probable
consequences of such a policy. Kahr’s personal views mirrored those
of his hard line supporters.^
On May 5, the Entente powers presented the German goverment with
an ultimatum demanding the prompt dissolution of the Civic Guard. A
week later the Kahr government issued a strong statement calling for
the rejection of this ultimatum, a step which met with widespread
61
public approval. But as the crisis wore on Kahr's obduracy began
to lessen. On May 23, Kahr indicated to the Civic Guard leadership
6 2
that some sort of public accommodation would be necessary. On June 1,
the British General Consul in Munich warned the Bavarian government
that a failure to comply with the dissolution order would bring about
sanctions. That same day the Civic Guard leadership offered to disband
voluntarily. At the end of the month the Bavarian Civic Guard was
6 3
officially dissolved.
On the surface the move for dissolution appeared to be an abrupt
about-face for the Kahr regime. The dissolution order, however, had
been a sham. Even as the leaders of the Civic Guard were offering
the voluntary disbandment of their organization, secret measures were
undertaken to ensure the continuity of a strongly-armed and politically
reliable force. The day after the Civic Guard was officially dissolved,
the secret Organisation Pittinger came into existence. The members of
the Civic Guard passed directly into the new formation or into one of

48
the many right-wing paramilitary bands, taking with them their carefully
6 A
protected stocks of weapons. The Civic Guard, in effect, had gone
underground. The Entente powers had been deprived of a pretext for
sanctions, but the substance of right-wing political and military
power in Bavaria remained intact.
Kahr had apparently weathered the storm. Then, on August 26, members
of the Organisation Consul, a Munich-based right-wing organization,
assassinated the former Reich Finance Minister, Matthias Erzberger.
Three days later the President of the republic issued a state of
emergency decree which granted wide-ranging powers to the central
government and temporarily nullified the independent police powers of
the states. The Bavarian government immediately protested. To concede
a power of intervention to the hated "socialists" in Berlin would
destroy everything that Kahr, Pohner, and Roth had worked to achieve.
It would undermine any further attempt to circumvent disarmament by
permitting agents of the national government to operate within Bavaria,
and would allow these same agents to proceed legally against a variety
of important right-wing figures. Some of these, most notably Hermann
Ehrhardt, the leader of the Organisation Consul, had evaded trial for
treason after the Kapp putsch by taking refuge in Munich, where Pohner's
6 5
police could protect them.
Worst of all, the new national emergency decree called into question
the legal basis of the Bavarian state of emergency, which had existed
since the time of the Soviet Republic. The Kahr government had taken this

49
Bavarian decree and used it as the basis for its repressive measures
against the left. Neither Kahr nor Pohner wished to sacrifice such a
66
useful legal instrument. Kahr resolved to fight the new decree.
But this time he had overreached himself. Kahr's defiant stand
won him further credit with the extreme right, but separated him from
the moderate element within the BVP. Although no less jealous of
Bavarian rights and no more sympathetic to the republic than Kahr, the
BVP was not willing to continue the fight with Berlin without at least
exploring the path of negotiation. The BVP moderates pushed through
a resolution offering the sacrifice of the Bavarian state of emergency
if the national government would agree in return to leave the fulfillment
of the national state of emergency in the hands of the state authorities.
Such a compromise would preserve the principle of states' rights and,
of greater significance, prevent the unwanted intervention of national
agents within Bavaria. Kahr himself had resolved the Civic Guard
issue in a similar manner, yielding in form to the national government
while retaining the substance. This time, however, Kahr allowed himself
to be influenced by the extremists, who wanted all or nothing. The
BVP withdrew its support from his government. Having opened a gulf
between himself and the dominant party in the state, Kahr took the only
course left open to him and resigned. Ten days later, on September 22,
1921, Count Hugo Lerchenfeld, the choice of the moderates, formed a
67
new government in Munich.

50
Pohner's fall followed close upon the eclipse of Kahr. No political
figure as strong-willed and as free with expressions of contempt as
Pohner could avoid making enemies, and Pohner had collected his share.
His relations with the socialist majority in the Munich city council
had been frigid at the best of times; by September 1921, a state of
open warfare existed between them. The PDM's special position as a
joint state-municipal agency meant that the city of Munich, according
to an 1898 agreement, bore one-half of the costs for its upkeep. In
1921 the city council refused to vote its share of the expenses, as
an emphatic protest against Pohner's continuance in office. On August
26, 1921, the SPD, USPD, and KPD members of the council gave their
unaminous approval to a resolution condemning Pohner's conduct in office
in the strongest possible terms. Even the representatives of the
moderate parties of the middle, however, were by this time ready to
censure Pohner—not, to be sure, on account of the one-sided political
interventions of the PDM, but because Pohner had insulted the city
. 68
government.
None of this, in itself, would have led to Pohner's removal; the
new government, like its predecessors, was little inclined to follow the
lead of a leftist influenced city council. Pohner's real problem lay
with the new Minister of the Interior, Franz Schweyer. Kahr had
combined the office of Interior Minister with that of Minister President,
and in the former capacity had acknowledged Pohner's independence.
Schweyer, however, embodied a.more moderate political course, one which

51
varied sharply with Pohner's own extreme right-wing sentiments.
Schweyer was no leftist—his statements at the time and later made
clear his unalterable opposition to socialism in any of its forms—but,
because of his moderation and his suspicion of the radical right, he
69
was regarded as "left-leaning" by his colleagues in the BVP. Deep
political differences thus separated the two men. Furthermore,
Schweyer, as the former senior State Secretary in the Ministry of the
Interior, knew well Pohner's habits and his tendency to evade or defy
unwelcome attempts at outside control. The new Interior Minister had
little desire to work with such an unruly subordinate. On the eve of
his assumption of office Schweyer summoned Pohner and Frick for a
discussion. He bluntly informed them that their attitudes toward the
radical right and on the Jewish question did not coincide with his own,
and left them to draw the proper conclusions.^
On September 28, 1921, Pohner resigned his position at the PDM and
returned to his permanent civil service station in the judiciary.
Although Schweyer had wanted Pohner to leave the PDM, he could scarcely
have been pleased at the manner of Pohner's departure. As a parting
blow against the new government Pohner had the text of his letter of
resignation printed as a placard and posted throughout the city. In it
he condemned the Lerchenfeld cabinet and the BVP for yielding on the
issue of the Bavarian state of emergency. Calling attention to the
exceptional police powers that the emergency decree had permitted, he
hinted broadly that their removal portended the imminent revivial of

52
the Soviet Republic. With memories of 1919 still fresh in the public
mind, such an appeal was a carefully calculated attempt to undermine
support for the Lerchenfeld government.^
Frick remained at the PDM, but gave up his post as head of the
political police. He was succeeded by his deputy, Friedrich Bernreuther.
Bernreuther, one of Pohner's 1919 appointees, shared Frick's political
views and had been deeply involved in some of the most questionable
political police activities, He would, nonetheless, prove himself
more flexible than Frick and more capable of moving with the political
„ 72
currents.
To replace Pohner, Schewyer appointed Eduard Nortz, who had served
as Commissioner for Disarmament during the Civic Guard crisis. Having
conscientiously—albeit ineffectually—discharged this thankless task,
Nortz now embarked upon a similar endeavor: making the PDM responsive
to the demands of the new regime. Nortz, although an able man and a
dedicated worker, was unfortunately neither the man for a critical post
in troubled times, nor a man capable of effacing Pohner's imprint upon
the PDM. The events of 1923 would prove Nortz's weakness in the face of
political pressure and demonstrate his regime's lack of impact upon
the political attitudes of the Munich police. Long before Nortz was
dismissed in May 1923, Schweyer would rue the day he had placed this
73
man in charge of the PDM.
The passing of Pohner from the PDM gave the Bavarian public cause for
uneasy reflection. Months before, in the midst of a Landtag debate on

53
Pohner's performance as Police President, Kahr had defended Pohner
against leftist attacks by describing him as the man who had brought
order out of chaos in Munich. Expanding on this theme, Kahr credited
Pohner with having rebuilt the PDM, making it a powerful and effective
instrument of the state authority. Kahr's statement prompted stormy
74
applause from the right-wing delegates. This applause was echoed
widely throughout Bavaria. On the day after Pohner’s resignation,
the representative of the government of Württemberg in Bavaria, a keen
observer of the Bavarian political scene, took time to reflect upon
the significance of Pohner's departure. In earlier reports he had
characterized Pohner's personality and recounted specific actions which
demonstrated the political one-sidedness of Pohner's conduct in office.
On this occasion, however, the observer approached Pohner's behavior
from the standpoint of its impact upon popular opinion in Bavaria.
Pohner, in the popular view, had been very much as Kahr had described
him, the man who had supervised the restoration of order and who
symbolized Bavaria's triumph over the horrors of the Soviet Republic.
Without Pohner, a prevention of the recurrence of 1919 seemed less
assured; the public regarded the future with unease.^
But in its anxiety the public could well have found comfort in Kahr's
earlier reflections on Pohner's work at the PDM. Pohner had indeed
rebuilt the Munich police force and shaped it in his own image. He had
strengthened the political police and initiated measures giving PDM VI
a powerful tool for the repression of the political enemy. These measures,

54
moreover, would serve as guidelines for all future developments in this
area.^ The political police would remain largely as Pohner and
Frick had made them. And Pohner's departure in no way meant his
withdrawal from political life. He moved instead from the forefront
into the political background, where his talents for intrigue would
77
find even greater opportunity for fulfillment. As his enemies and
friends alike would discover, Ernst Pohner had merely resigned an office;
he had not given up the fight for his own conception of "order."

Notes
Adolf Hitler, Meim Kampf, trans. by Ralph Manheim (Boston,
1943), p. 367.
2
Hans Buchheim, "The SS—Instrument of Domination," trans. by
Richard Barry, in Helmut Krausnick, Hans Buchheim, Martin Broszat,
and Hans-Adolf Jacobsen, Anatomy of the SS State (New York, 1968) ,
p. 141.
3
See the 1927 collection of documents relating to the transferral
of Pohner's body in M Inn 71881.
4
The reference to the "sheltering hand" comes from Frick's
testimony during the 1924 Hitler-Putsch trial. See H. Francis
Freniere, Lucie Karcic, and Phillip Fandek, trans., The Hitler Trial,
Vol. 1 (Arlington, Va., 1976), p. 319. This three volume translation
of the complete stenographic report of the Hitler trial will hereafter
be cited as Hitler Trial, Vol. 1, 2, or 3.
5
See the 1925 collection of Pohner materials in M Inn 71880.
£
The figures cited are from Falk Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte
der nationalsozialistische Machtiibernahme in Bayern, 1932-1933 (Berlin,
1975), pp. 48-49. The most detailed analyses of Bavarian social and
economic development down through 1918 are the following works, upon
which the general conclusions in this paragraph are based: Axel
Schnorbus, "Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft in Bayern vor dem Ersten
Weltkrieg," in Karl Bosl, ed., Bayern im Umbruch (Munich, 1969),
pp. 97-164; Hans Fehn, "Das Land Bayern und seine Bevolkerung seit 1800
pp. 679-708; and Pankraz Fried, "Die Sozialentwicklung im Bauerntum
und Lankvolk," pp. 751-775, and Wolfgang Zonr, "Bayerns Gewerbe, Handel
und Verkehr, 1806-1970," all in Max Spindler, ed., Handbuch der
bayerischen Geschichte, Vol. IV/2 (Munich, 1975). Hereafter, Spindler,
Handbuch, Vol. IV/1 or IV/2.
^Ernst Deuerlein, ed., Der Hitlerputsch: Bayerische Dokumente
zum 8,/9, November 1923 (Stuttgart, 1962), p. 12.
^Hitler Trial, Vol. 3, pp. 254-255.
9
Heinrich Hillmayr, "München und die Revolution von 1919/1919,"
in Bosl, Bayern im Umbruch, pp. 463-465.

56
^Klaus-Dieter Schwarz, Weltkrieg und Revolution in Nürnberg
(Stuttgart, 1971), p. 274.
^Hans Fehn, "Das Land Bayern und seine Bevolkerung seit 1800,"
in Spindler, Handbuch, Vol. IV/2, pp. 679-684.
12
Allan Mitchell, Revolution in Bavaria (Princeton, 1965),
pp. 92-109.
13Ibid, pp. 213-230.
14Ibid, pp. 271-290.
33Albert Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Erster Teil:
Der Sturz der Monarchie. Revolution und Ratezeit. Die Einrichtung
des Freistaates (1918-1920)," in Spindler, Handbuch, Vol. IV/1,
pp. 425-434.
â– ^Horst G. W. Nusser, "Militarischer Druck auf die Landesregierung
Johannes Hoffmann vom 1919 bis zum Kapp-putsch," in Zeitschrift fiir
bayerische Landesgeschichte 33 (1970), pp. 818-850.
"^Heinrich Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror in Bayern nach 1918
(Munich, 1974), pp. 21-23, 164-167, 131-132.
18
Hans Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, in Bayern
nach 1918 (Bad Homburg, 1969), pp. 62-63.
19
For the circumstances surrounding Pohner's appointment to the
Stadelheim position, see his own statement in Hitler Trial, Vol. 1,
pp. 91-92. The remarks on Pohner's appearance are based upon contemporary
photographs; concerning Pohner's height, see Konrad Heiden, Der Fuehrer
(Boston, 1969), p. 189. Further descriptions of Pohner may be found in
Kurt G. W. Ludecke, I Knew Hitler (New York, 1937), pp. 80-81. Ludecke
also describes the first meeting between Hitler and Pohner, at which
he was present. Pohner gave expression to his anti-Semitism in his
various utterances during the 1924 Hitler trial and in the attitude he
adopted toward the Ost.j uden. For the attitude of the military
authorities toward Pohner, see Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror,
pp. 164-167.
20
This summary is based upon an historical sketch by Reg. Assessor
Dr. Jacob, prepared in 1915 for internal use at the PDM, M Inn 71880.
Many of the 19th Century documents relating to the early developments of
the PDM may be found in two other files, RA 58111 and RA 58113.
^1913 PDM Table of Oganization, M Inn 71880.
22
Ibid.

57
23
Compare the 1913 PDM Table of Organization cited above with the
1929 and 1932 Tables of Organization in M Inn 71881.
2 A
"Verzeichnis—Die Polizeidirektion München als bayerische
Landeszentrale," M Inn 71880.
25
See the series of 1916 and 1917 documents concerning PDM
counterespionage activities during the First World War in M Inn 71789.
26
"Zusammenfassender Bericht der Polizeidirektion München an die
Staatsanwaltschaft München I über die Umsturzbewegung in München 1919,"
StAnw. Mü. I 3124.
27
PDM to M Inn, Dec. 14, 1919, M Inn 71880.
28
Frick biographical material, BDC—NSDAP Hauptarchiv Mappe 1221.
See also, Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial, Vol. 1, pp. 317-318;
the phrase "Toyal Bavarian Nazi" comes from the thumbnail sketch by
Albert Krebs in William S. Allen, ed. and trans., The Infancy of Nazism;
The Memoirs of Ex-Gauleiter Albert Krebs, 1923-1933 (New York, 1976),
pp. 259-262.
29,..
30
Hillmayr, Roter und Weisser Terror, pp. 123-131.
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial, Vol. 1, p. 318.
31
See the "Protokoll uber die am y. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den
Ausbau des Nachrichtendienstes," Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
32
PDM to M Inn, Dec. 14, 1919, M Inn 71880.
33
The basic points of Bavarian administrative structure at this time
are conveniently summarized in Harold J. Gordon, Jr., Hitler and the
Beer Hall Putsch (Princeton, 1972), pp. 165-166. The institution of the
special commissioner is discussed in Heinrich von Jan, Verfassung und
Verwaltung in Bayern, 1919-1926 (Munich, 1927), pp. 39-44.
34
For examples of these reports for the period covered in this
chapter see MA 102 135 and MA 102 136.
35
Provincial President of Middle Franconia to M Inn, April 16, 1920,
M Inn 71879.
36
For Pohner's relations with the Munich city council, see Peter
Steinborn, Grundlage und Grundzüge Münchner Kommunalpolitik in den
Jahren der Weimarer Republik (Munich, 1968), pp. 229-230.

58
37
Aronson, Reinhard Heydrick und die Friihgeschichte von Gestapo
und SD, pp. 94-95.
38
39
Special police commission to M Inn, Aug. 5, 1919, PDN-F 108/1.
Ibid.
40
Ibid.
4'''PSNB to Police President Pohner, Sept. 19, 1919, PDN-F 108/1.
42
For background material relating to the preparation and circulation
of the PSNB weekly reports, see PDN-F 331. For the reports themselves,
see PDN-F 332-337/2.
43
For the LaPo in general, see the two standard works: Georg
Sagerer and Emil Schuler, Die bayerische Landespolizei von 1919-1935
(Munich, 1964), pp. 1-32. These works have not been superseded by
Johannes Schwarze, Die bayerische Polizei, pp. 10-49, although Schwarze
covers much the same ground. For the LaPo's political police work
see the December 1923 correspondence in M Inn 71786 and the circular
letter from M Inn to the Provincial Presidia, the Police President in
Munich, and the Police Director in Nuremberg, Dec. 5, 1923, in Reg. v.
Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
44
Deuerlein, Per Hitlerputsch, p. 27; Wiesemann, Die Vorgeschichte
der NS-Machtiibernahme in Bayern, p. 71; Friedrich Rau, Personalpolitik
und Organisation in der vorlaufigen Reichswehr (Munich, 1970),
pp. 158-171. For difficulties between the civilian and military political
police, see PDM to PSNB, May 11, 1921, in PDN-F 316. For an example of
the military performing civilian political police functions, see Bayer.
Gruppenkmdo 4, Abt. Ia to BA Starnberg, Oct. 24, 1919, in RA 57804.
Examples of the military situation reports may be found in MA 102 135
and PDN-F 318.
45
Civic Guard leaders frequently claimed not to have an intelligence
service, citing their close relationship with PDM VI/N as a reason why
this would be superfluous. For this claim, see Testimony of Walter
Schenk, July 28, 1924, St Anw. Mu I 3081d/l. The Civic Guard,
nonetheless, prepared political situation reports, copies of which are
collected in PDN-F 318.
46
See the collection of "Tank" reports in PDN-F 407.
47"Tank report, July 31, 1919, PDN-F 407.
^Testimony of Heinrich Mayer, October 1, 1924, StAnw. MÜ. I 3081d/3;
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mil. I 3081d/3.

59
49
Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/3.
â– ^Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Zweiter Teil: Der vom
Bürgertum gefiihrte Freistaat in der Weimarer Republik (1920-1933),"
in Spindler, Handbuch, Vol. IV/1, pp. 454-457.
51PDM to M Inn, April 5, 1920, M Inn 71996.
52
PDM to the Provincial Presidia and the PSNB, Oct. 18, 1920, Reg.
v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
53
"Protokoll über die am 7. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den Ausbau des
Nachrichtendienstes," Reg. v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
55
Ibid.
56
For this episode, see the March 12-March 22, 1917 collection of
documents on political surveillance in M Inn 80352.
57
The PSNB, as a branch of the PDM» came under the ultimate control
of Pohner and Frick. Thus, the willingness of the provincial authorities
to allow the PSNB to handle the running of agents in northern Bavaria
placed this vital activity directly in their hands. In southern Bavaria,
the manifold contacts of the PDM were similarly sufficient. The key
issue at this juncture was agreement in principle, which was attained
at the Dec. 7, 1920 meeting. As Fenske points out, one of the most
important bases of Pohner's political power was his monopoly over control
of effective political intelligence. The only competing sources of
intelligence of any consequence were the fortnightly reports of the
provincial presidia, but these were neither so detailed, nor so
influential as the political police reports. By filtering political
intelligence according to his own political lights, Pohner could shape
the political responses of his ministerial superiors. See Fenske,
Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, p. 141.
58
Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Sweiter Teil," in Spindler,
Handbuch, Vol. IV/1, pp. 454-465.
59Ibid., pp. 462-464.
^These conclusions are based upon the observations of the diplo¬
matic representative of the state of Württemberg in Bavaria, Carl Moser
von Filseck. Moser's judicious reports to his superiors in Stuttgart
are among the most useful and important sources for the political
developments of the period. Many of the most worthwhile reports from
Moser have been gathered in a published volume edited by Wolfgang Benz.
The reports cited here are from Wolfgang Benz, ed., Politik in Bayern,

60
1919-1933: Berichte des wurttembergischen Gesandten Carl Moser
von Filseck (Stuttgart, 1971), pp. 77-80.
61Ibid, pp. 81-82.
62
Horst G. W. Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande in Bayern,
Preussen, und Qsterreich, 1918-1933 (Munich, 1973), p. 209. Nusser's
work is the best single study of the Bavarian Civic Guard and its
related organizations. Although frequently strident in tone and marred
by occasional exaggerations, this study compels attention simply by
virtue of the massive research it reflects.
An overview of this sequence of events may be gained from the
political chronology appended to Karl Schwend, Bayern zwischen Monarchie
und Diktatur (Munich, 1954), pp. 553-557.
64
Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, pp.
Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp.
208-212.
144-145.
See also Fenske,
Gotthard Jasper, Per Schütz der Republik: Studien zur staatlichen
Sicherung der Demokratie in der Weimarer Republik, 1922-1930 (Tiibingen,
1963),
66
pp. 43-45.
Ibid.
67
Ibid.
Steinborn, Grundlage und Grundzüge Miinchner Kommunalpolitik,
pp. 229-230.
69
For Schweyer's attitude toward the left, see Fenske, Konserva¬
tivismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 62-63. For the BVP perception of
Schweyer as left-leaning, see Deuerlein, Der Hitlerputsch, pp. 46-47.
^Frick described this interview in his testimony during the 1924
Hitler Putsch trial. See Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, Hitler Trial,
Vol. 1, p. 319.
The text of Pohner's resignation announcement is reproduced in
Benz, Politik in Bayern, p. 87.
72
For Bernreuther's appointment to the PDM, see the M Inn order
of Oct. 26, 1919 in RA 58128. Some of Bernreuther's activities as
Frick's deputy are chronicled in Chapter 2; his role in the events of
the Beer Hall Putsch is discussed in Chapter 3. Despite his close
association with Frick, however, Bernreuther managed to remain as head
of PDM VI until his promotion in 1929 to head the newly-created
Polizeidirektion Regensburg.

61
The events leading to Nortz's 1923 dismissal are discussed in
detail in Chapter 3.
74
Kahr's remarks are taken from a copy of the published transcript
of the Landtag debates for March 15, 1921. This copy may be found in
M Inn 71880.
^Benz, Politik in Bayern, pp. 85-88.
^The relationship between the guidelines established at the meeting
to discuss the future of the political information on Dec. 7, 1920 and
subsequent developments in this area is discussed in Chapter 3.
77
Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus,
p. 141.

CHAPTER 2
A CASE OF POLITICAL MURDER
On the afternoon of March 4, 1921, a farmer named Josef
Kuchenbauer went to work in his field just north of the Bavarian
village of Zusmarshausen. Shortly before four in the afternoon,
he took a break from his labors and walked down to the banks of the
nearby river Zusam to look for duck eggs. As he poked through the
bushes at the water's edge he noticed something white shimmering in the
water. Looking more closely, he saw what appeared to be an old jacket
floating just below the murky surface of the stream. Then he
recognized the white object as a human hand. With his pitchfork he
speared the jacket and attempted to draw it toward the bank. As the
jacket surfaced so too did the corpse to which it was attached. Kuchen¬
bauer called for help from friends in a neighboring field, and with
their assistance succeeded in dragging the body to the bank of the
river. A combined effort was necessary, for the corpse had been weighted
with two fifteen-pound paving stones, strapped to the neck and to the
, . ^ . 1
legs with wire.
Kuchenbauer's discovery opened the investigation of a murder case
which would come to exemplify, in the popular view, the flaws in the
2
Bavarian system of justice during the Kahr-Pohner era. The inquiry
62

63
into the death of Hans Hartung (for such was the victim's name), along
with the subsequent disposition of the case, illustrated the ties
between right-wing politics and political police activity which charac¬
terized this period. In the company of other, similar cases, it
fostered the impression that the PDM had become, under Pohner, a
"central office for murderers." The strongest criticisms of the PDM
came, not surprisingly, from Pohner's enemies on the left. But the
pattern of events was sufficiently disturbing to worry thoughtful
conservatives and to embarrass the less stridently right-wing officers
3
of the Munich police.
The brutalization of Bavarian politics arose from the experiences
surrounding the suppression of the Soviet Republic. The language of
political discourse during the Kahr-Pohner era was the language of war,
which reflected directly the animating sentiments of political action.
The leading figures of the Kahr regime saw themselves as occupying a
beleagured outpost in the war against the left, against the leftist-
tainted Reich government in Berlin, and against the recent wartime
enemy, France. In this they represented the sentiments of many ordinary
Bavarian citizens.
The Kahr regime rested upon three bases of support: the BVP, the
Bavarian branch of the DNVP, which served with the BVP in Kahr's
coalition cabinet, and the Civic Guard. The broadly-based BVP embraced
a wide variety of political opinion; it included both moderate conser¬
vatives and radical right extremists in an ever-shifting internal

64
balance. The Bavarian DNVP, represented in the Kahr cabinet by the
Justice Minister, Christian Roth, aligned itself more closely with
the radical right, as did the Civic Guard. Behind the scenes many
leading officers of the Bavarian Reichswehr lent their support to Kahr;
the ties between the army and the Civic Guard in particular were close,
for most Bavarian staff officers shared the political attitudes of those
former colleagues and wartime comrades who provided the Guard with its
leadership cadre. Each of these groups differed with the others on a
variety of specific issues. All, however, were united in their hostility
to the left and in their distaste for a central government which,
in their eyes, was both the product and the prisoner of the hated
socialists. And all of these groups shared a single, overriding
political goal—the transformation of Bavaria into a "cell of order"
(Ordnungszelle Bayern). Bavaria, purged of all traces of the socialist
interregnum, would become the base from which the counterrevolution would
4
be launched.
Attainment of this ultimate goal presupposed the fulfillment of
two conditions, the preservation of the Bavarian base and the accumulation
of power at that base. "Power," in this context, meant military power;
the Bavarian leadership, anticipating a later philosopher of politics,
believed that political power grew out of the barrel of a gun. Pohner
himself expressed this attitude best. In an interview with a visiting
Prussian civil servant he presented his own model of political
negotiation in his customary, pithy fashion:

65
He who resists, must be shot, not the masses, but
the leaders. Then resistance ceases. ... If your
Berlin government is confronted with a strike, what
does it do? It negotiates. One must do it dif¬
ferently. One calls the strike leaders to a con¬
ference and demands that the next morning their fol¬
lowers be back at work. If the first one says no,
then shoot him and ask the second. If he says no,
then shoot him as well. The third will most cer¬
tainly say yes. . . . But one must shoot, not just
threaten. When we came into Munich after the Soviet
terror, I had these Red hounds shot. . . . When one
of these dogs comes, one must be ready to shoot.
Pohner's approach to labor relations reflected his, and his political
compatriots beliefs about the way to deal with their political enemies.
With such a political conception, their desire for control of a strong
military force was logical.
This desire, however, brought Kahr, Pohner, and their allies
squarely into conflict with the less sanguinary leaders of the republic
in Berlin. The Reich government faced a quandry. The centrist and
moderate socialist leaders who shaped policy there did not wish to
see Germany reduced to a 100,000 man army, and to this end had supported
the creation of citizen militias. But the Bavarian Civic Guard had
grown far beyond the strength of the militias in other states, and
its political leadership was virulently hostile to the republic itself.
The weapons in the hands of the Civic Guard might not be reserved,
as intended, for use against a foreign enemy.
Indeed, one foreign enemy already shared the republican leadership's
fear of the Bavarian Civic Guard. The French, after struggling for the
inclusion of drastic limitations on German military power in the Versailles

66
treaty, observed the formation of a powerful militia in Bavaria with
considerable dismay. In the French view, such an organization subverted
the entire structure of armaments limitation, and presented the spectre
of resurgent German military power. In this the French were not far
wrong, for the more far-seeing among the right-wing Bavarian leaders
were already looking beyond the showdown with the republic to the great
war of revenge against the enemy across the Rhine. In response, the
French exerted heavy pressure upon the Reich government to do something
about these militias. In those states where the state government stood
loyal to the republic, accommodation was reached on the militia question.
In Bavaria, however, the issue led to an open conflict between the state
government and the Reich.^
It was common knowledge that massive quantities of weapons left
over from the army's wartime stocks were in the possession of the
Civic Guard and other right-wing paramilitary groups—the National
Socialists, for example, had their own small share. The French
government threatened sanctions if the Reich government did not live
up to its treaty obligations and disarm the militias, and the French
military officers on the Entente Disarmament Commission were prepared
to insist that the letter of the treaty be observed. To meet this
demand and to insure itself against the growing threat from the armed
legions of the right, the republican leadership resolved to act. In
August 1920, the Reich government passed laws mandating the confiscation
of military weapons in private hands and the supervised destruction of

67
these weapons. Other laws required each citizen to report the discovery
g
of illegal caches of arms to the proper authorities.
The paramilitary organizations, not surprisingly, were unwilling
to cooperate in their own disarmament. Nor was the Kahr government
willing to allow its own power base to erode in such a manner. The
government therefore resisted the enforcement of the disarmament laws
with every legal means at its disposal, while covertly supporting the
efforts of the Civic Guard and the Bavarian Reichswehr to illegally
circumvent the enforcement of these laws. The instrument of this covert
support was Pohner's political police.
In theory, one of the first tasks of the political police under
the disarmament law would have been to seek out and confiscate illegal
arms caches. In practice, this was done only when the caches belonged
9
to leftist groups. From the outset close ties existed between the
political police and the Civic Guard; for example, membership appli¬
cations for the Civic Guard were customarily vetted by the political
police.^ This close cooperation extended to the protection of the
Civic Guard's weapons. Once an illegal arms collection was brought
to public attention little could be done to preserve it. The law was
clear, the Social Democrat press stood ready to cry "foul" should a
cover-up be attempted, and the French loomed in the background to insist
that the law was observed. The trick was to prevent discovery in the
first place.
To accomplish this subversion of the law, the political police
resumed their wartime counterespionage role against the French, and

68
added to this a close watch against spies from Berlin and from the
various leftist groups. In one recorded instance, PDM VI even placed
an informer in the Munich office of the Entente Disarmament Commission.
Reserve Lieutenant-Colonel Hermann Kriebel, the senior military figure
in the Civic Guard, described the results of such police activity in
the following terms:
Close cooperation existed between the police and
the Civic Guard in the matter of preventing the
betrayal of weapons to the Entente Commission. As
soon as the police discovered that a weapons cache
had been betrayed, this information was communi¬
cated to us. We then had time to remove the weapons
to a new hiding place. The police also warned us
whenever they discovered hostile informers in our
midst.12
Evading the consequences of betrayal, however, was not enough. The
betrayers had to be deterred through effective punishment.
The price one paid for obeying the Reich laws governing illegal
armaments was only too frequently arrest by the Bavarian police and
trial for treason in a Bavarian court. During the Kahr-Pohner era
five individuals were convicted of treason on these grounds and received,
13
on the average, prison sentences in excess of four years apiece. Yet
these were the lucky ones; for others, a more summary form of "justice"
awaited.
On October 6, 1920,the body of a nineteen year-old woman was found
in a forest preserve south of Munich. The young woman, identified as
Maria Sandmayer, had been brutally strangled. The political motivation

69
of the crime was unmistakable, for the perpetrators had left a note
above the body proclaiming that Maria Sandmayer had been executed for
treason. Her act of treason had begun with a compound error. Trained
as a cook and a house servant, the young woman had come to Munich from
her home in the country, searching, in the time-honored way, for better
prospects. Shortly after arriving in the city, she came upon a placard
on the street, calling all citizens to report all illegal arms caches
to the Reich government's disarmament commission. Here she made her
first error, for she decided to obey the law and report the arms hidden
at her former place of employment in the country. Her second error
followed immediately upon the first. Misreading the placard, she
reported her information not to the office of the disarmament commission,
but to the printers who had prepared the placard. The foreman there
passed her report and her identity to friends in the Civic Guard. On
October 6 a young man called for her at her new place of employment
in Munich, presenting himself as a member of the disarmament commission
interested in her information concerning illegal weapons. Shortly
14
thereafter she departed with him, never to be seen alive again.
Only a little more than a week passed before a similar incident
occurred. A Reichswehr soldier by the name of Dobner reported an
illegal arms hoard to the Entente Disarmament Commission. Unfortunately,
the translator who received his report there was also in the pay of the
political police. Several days later, on October 20, 1920, Dobner was

70
picked up by three men in a car and, in the course of a wild ride
through the streets of Munich, leapt from the automobile just in time
to escape from being beaten to death.^
In the Sandmayer case, witnesses identified her mysterious caller
as a certain Lieutenant Schweighart, a member of the Civic Guard.
The police investigation proved that a car belonging to the Civic
16
Guard had been used in the killing. Schweighart could produce no
alibi for the night in question. Nonetheless, Krimina1-Kommissar
Friedrich Glaser, the head of PDM VI/N, ordered the preparation of a
passport for Schweighart. Passport in hand, Schweighart fled the
„ 17
country.
Justice was done in even more topsy-turvy fashion in the Dobner
case. Learning that Dobner had escaped the clutches of his would-be
assassins, the informer who had betrayed him to the police, a man
named Pracher, panicked. To clear himself, he turned to a Social
Democratic Landtag deputy, Karl Gareis, who had made a name for himself
through his outspokenness in the matter of illegal armament. After
hearing Pracher's story, with its implication that the political police
had been accessories in a murder attempt, Gareis demanded proof. He
prevailed upon Pracher to call his contact man in the PDM's Department
VI, tell his story, and ask for protection. As Gareis listened, Pracher
telephoned his contact, who proved to be none other than Kriminal-
Kommissar Glaser. Telling Glaser that Dobner had been "eliminated,"
Pracher then asked that he be protected by the police from the consequences

71
of his role in the affair. Glaser gave his assent to the request, not
suspecting that the entire exchange was being recorded by a third
party. With this confirmation of police complicity, Gareis and his
colleagues brought the matter before the Landtag—a step which would
eventually lead to Gareis's own assassination. Dobner, Pracher, and
Glaser all testified before the hastily assembled investigatory
commission, the latter only after extreme pressure had been exerted
by the Commission in the name of the Landtag. After a promising
start, however, the work of the Commission was thwarted by a withdrawal
of support on the part of the BVP delegation—a gesture of unmistakable
political significance. In the court case growing out of the attempt
on Dobner's life, the court chose to accept without question the
testimony of Dobner's assailants, who were charged with assault rather
than attempted murder, and who, upon conviction, received only nominal
punishment. Dobner, in turn, was charged with perjury, although the
charge could not be made to stick. Pracher's final reward in the
matter was a fifteen year sentence for treason—the authorities did
18
not forgive him for turning to Gareis.
Despite ongoing pressure from Berlin and Paris, the efforts of the
Civic Guard and the Bavarian authorities to circumvent disarmament
continued. And despite the object lessons provided in the Sandmayer
and Dobner cases, certain individuals continued to make the error of
reporting, or threatening to report, illegal weapons to the disarmament
officials. One such individual was the waiter Hans Hartung.

72
Hans Hartung arrived in Munich from his home in Halle in
February 1921. After service as a non-commissioned officer during
the war, Hartung had returned to Halle in time to participate, as
an active Communist, in the political disturbances which marked the
winter and spring of 1919. He then turned upon his comrades, betraying
several of the leading local Communists to the police. In revenge,
a group of his former compatriots fell upon him and subjected him to
a severe beating. His cuts and bruises, however, provided ample
endorsement of his political change of heart, and solidified his
position with his new-found friends of the political right. Hartung
thus came to Munich with letters of recommendation and introduction
19
from his political friends in Halle.
In February 1921, Hans Hartung was twenty-four years old, a youpg
man of impressive height (over six feet, three inches) and correct
manners, whose bearing convinced at least one Munich acquaintance
20
that before him stood a former army officer. Armed with the right
manner and his introductions from Halle, Hartung quickly won access
to leading right-wing circles in Munich. He first approached Reserve
Lieutentant Otto Braun, the head of the Civic Guard's Economic Office—
the office concerned with illegal weapons transactions—and asked for
employment. In applying to Braun, Hartung demonstrated clearly that he
had not come to Munich to continue his earlier career by waiting on
tables. He had discovered in Halle that the right-wing groups, amply
provided with money, paid well for confidential information. Unwilling

73
to work for a living, he slid readily into the life of a professional
informer, the lesson of his beating at the hands of the Communists
21
evidently unlearned.
Braun gave Hartung money and introduced him to other leading
22
figures in the Civic Guard. On his own initiative Hartung endeavored
to widen his field of activity by presenting himself to various Munich
23
industrialists with an offer to spy upon their employees. Sometimes
he presented Braun as a reference; on other occasions he intimated that
24
he worked for the Political Information Section of the PDM. His
varied and sometimes conflicting self-representations, however, soon
undermined the initial impressions of trustworthiness fostered by his
manner and outward appearance. After receiving several approaches from
Hartung, one businessman, who also happened to be a leading figure
in the Civic Guard, called a friend at PDM VI to report Hartung's
25
behavior and ask for information concerning his bona fides. This,
and other questions from Civic Guard representatives concerning
Hartung's activities led to an order by the political police for the
26
arrest and interrogation of Hartung on March 5. But by this point
Hartung was already past questioning.
On March 2 Hartung had called once again upon Lieutenant Braun at
the latter's office in the headquarters of the Civic Guard. Having failed
in his efforts to broaden his connections, Hartung asked for more money
from Braun. Braun refused. To this Hartung responded, "Herr Lieutenant,

74
I know a great deal; are you not afraid?" Confronted with this scarcely
27
veiled attempt at blackmail, Braun ordered Hartung out of his office.
That evening Hartung assisted another right-wing paramilitary
group in the clandestine transport of illegal weapons to a hiding place
near Bad Tolz. The following day he spent sitting with friends in the
â– Cafe Bristol. During the course of the conversation he bragged that,
of all the participants in the previous night's exercise, he had been
the only one not to have held commissioned officer's rank in the recent
war. To underscore this self-important pronouncement, he hinted broadly
that he would be participating again that evening in yet.another secret
28
transferral of weapons.
The body found the following afternoon by farmer Kuchenbauer was
not immediately identified as that of Hartung. After the corpse had
been pulled to the bank of the Zusam, one of Kuchenbauer's companions
ran to the local gendarmerie station to report the discovery. The
gendarmerie station in Zusmarshausen was very small, manned by only
three officers. Thus the leader of the station himself, Sicherheits-
kommissar Josef Zahnle, responded to the call. He searched the body
for some form of identification, but found only a pocket comb. Soon he
was joined by the local judge, who brought with him a photographer to
take pictures at the scene of the crime. After conducting a rudimentary
examination of the area and seeing that the requisite photographs had
been made, the two officials supervised the removal of the body to the
29
local clinic.

75
On the following day the autopsy was performed in Zusmarshausen.
Present at the inquest were the local officials from Zusmarshausen and
the Public Prosecutor from Augsburg, Wilhelm Krick, to whom responsibility
30
for the prosecution of the case would fall. The autopsy revealed
six bullet wounds, two in the head and four in the chest. The bullets
recovered from the body indicated that pistols of 7.65 mm and 9 mm had
been used in the murder. The results further suggested that Hartung
had been shot down with a fusillade of five shots, all delivered more
or less simultaneously, and then finished off with a shot fired from
a range of a few inches into the inner edge of the right eye, alongside
the nose. There was no indication that he had struggled to defend
himself. ^
Several clues were immediately evident. The river Zusam was,
in the area around Zusmarshausen, quite shallow; along most of its
course a body submerged in the river would not disappear completely
from view. Only at several scattered points did it deepen sufficiently
to adequately conceal a corpse. The body had been disposed of at one
of these points—only the failure of the murderers to toss the heavily-
weighted body far enough out from the bank prevented it from disappearing
32
in the muck at the bottom of ten feet of water. No stranger to the
locality could have selected such a suitable spot. Moreover, only
some three hundred-fifty meters away, at the edge of the main road from
Munich to Ulm, stood a small cluster of buildings, used at that time
by the Civic Guard for the storage of illegal munitions. These buildings

76
provided a place where a vehicle could easily be screened from the view
of a passerby along the highway, and a nearby wooded hill offered
33
further concealment.
But if these indicia pointed clearly in the direction of local
involvement, others pointed equally clearly against it. The paving
stones had not come from the Zusmarshausen area. Nor had the corpse.
Although no positive identification had been made, it was unquestionably
34
that of an outsider.
Yet another clue was discovered on the morning of March 5. A
railway worker walking along the tracks of the rail line connecting
Munich with Ulm found a cheap leather briefcase lying discarded along¬
side the tracks. Inside the briefcase, wrapped in a newspaper, was a
blood-soaked soldier's cap. Both the briefcase and the cap were later
35
identified as items that Hartung had carried with him everywhere.
With these clues Public Prosecutor Krick, who had been placed
in charge of the investigation by his superior, Kraus, ordered a number
of measures. In the company of the local gendarmes he conducted a more
precise examination of the areas where the various clues had been found.
He ordered an inquiry into the source of the paving stones. Finally,
in the absence of a positive identification of the body—this would
have to wait until fingerprints could be taken and sent to the experts
at the PDM—he attempted to identify any strangers or strange vehicles
36
which had passed through Zusmarshausen on the night in question.

77
With the assistance of the Schutzmannschaft in Augsburg, which
routinely examined the papers of all vehicles passing through the city,
and with confirmation provided by other witnesses, Krick determined
that three motor vehicles had driven through Zusmarshausen during the
night of March 3. The testimony of two local witnesses quickly called
special attention to one of these vehicles. The witnesses, one of them
a local gendarme, testified independently of one another to having heard
a truck pass through the village heading in the direction of Ulm.
One witness has noted the time of its passage at 2:30 in the morning.
Both witnesses agreed that it had sounded very much like one of the
military vehicles which frequently passed through Zusmarshausen carrying
illegal weapons—the clandestine activities of the Civic Guard and
other paramilitary groups were an open secret to the villagers, who
lived along one of the most heavily employed routes for the transfer
of weapons. A few minutes after the truck had passed out of hearing—
which placed the truck approximately at the buildings near where the
corpse would be found—both witnesses heard the sound of a shot from
37
that direction.
The forensic examination of the paving stones suggested that they
came from Munich; later investigations would confirm this and demonstrate
that the stones had probably been taken from a construction site in
38
the courtyard of a Munich army barracks. On March 8, an Augsburg
police detective contacted the headquarters of the Civic Guard in
Munich to check on the Schutzmannschaft report that the military truck
which had been checked through Augsburg travelling toward Ulm had

78
belonged to the Civic Guard. The call was taken by Lieutenant Braun,
39
who answered in the affirmative. A further comparison of witness
reports indicated that this had been the truck heard passing through
40
Zusmarshausen in the early morning hours of March 4.
On the morning of March 9 the fingerprints taken from the corpse
in Zusmarshausen arrived at the office of the Criminal Investigation
Service (Department lb) of the PDM. Within a couple of hours the
experts at lb identified the prints as belonging to the missing Hans
Hartung, who had been wanted by the political police for questioning
since March 5.^
At that time Kriminaloberkommissar Eduard Seubert of PDM Via had
issued orders that Hartung be taken into custody and questioned about
his activities in Munich. Seubert's initiative came in response to a
letter from the leadership of the Civic Guard given to him by Frick,
the head of PDM VI. Hartung was suspected of spying on the Civic Guard
42
for the benefit of the Communists. Seubert detailed three officers
from VlaF, Kriminalsekretar Johann Gehauf, Kriminalsekretar Johann
Feil, and Oberwachtmeister Heinrich Becher. Gehauf and Feil were
experienced political policemen, "old cops" in the customary sense of
the term. Becher was younger, a member of the Schutzmannschaft detached
for temporary duty with VlaF. After securing Hartung's address, a
pension only a few blocks from police headquarters, the trhree officers
went to bring him into custory. Hartung, of course, was not to be
found. The officers searched Hartung’s belongings, confiscated some of

79
his papers, and questioned the hotel porter concerning his whereabouts.
The porter, who had just finished reading the article in the morning
paper about the discovery of an unidentified murder victim in
Zusmarshausen, remarked to the officers that the description of the
victim in the paper could be that of Hartung. Although the remark
aroused Feil's immediate interest, the lead was not followed up at
that time. The three officers returned to police headquarters where
the two officers turned to more pressing tasks, leaving Becher to write
43
up the report of their morning's work.
The political police inquiry into Hartung's affairs continued
in a desultory fashion until the morning of March 9. With the identi¬
fication of Hartung as the murder victim, however, the investigation
immediately accelerated. That afternoon Kriminalsekretar Gehauf
returned to Hartung's pension to question the staff. The following
morning he was confronted by the appearance of Lieutentant Braun of
the Civic Guard, who came to police headquarters with a prepared
memorandum concerning his relations with Hartung. At the instructions
of his superior, Seubert, Gehauf questioned Braun more closely about
his connection to Hartung. During the course of this interrogation
Braun admitted that Hartung had threatened him and the secrets of the
Civic Guard. But the most suspicious item of all—the passage of a
truck belonging to the Civic Guard through Zusmarshausen on the night
of the murder—remained unexplored; Gehauf had not yet received the
information from Augsburg concerning this matter and unwittingly let

80
it pass. Still, the session with Braun caused Gehauf and Seubert to
look more closely at the links between Hartung and Braun. In Seubert's
words: "After the interrogation Gehauf and I agreed that Braun had to
44
be involved one way or another."
The news that a Civic Guard truck had been within a few hundred
meters of the murder site and that its occupants all had ties to Braun
45
fortified Gehauf's suspicions. His colleague Feil believed that Braun
46
should be recalled and grilled vigorously. The three political
policemen on the case—Seubert, Gehauf, and Feil—all shared the
47
conviction that they were on the threshhold of breaking the case.
At that juncture, however, Police President Pohner intervened to take
the case out of their hands.
The first steps in this direction had been taken within hours of
the identification of the murder victim. At eleven in the morning on
March 9, the head of the political police, Pohner's close associate
Frick, contacted Carl von Merz, the director of the homicide squad in
Department I, and communicated Pbhner’s order that the homicide squad
assume responsibility for the case in cooperation with the Public
Prosecutor in Augsburg. Merz immediately objected. While recognizing
that the ramification of the case into Munich made the active involve¬
ment of the PDM necessary, he believed that the Munich end of the case
should remain in the hands of PDM VI. The political police, after
all, already had their investigation underway—as a matter of procedural
principle a transfer would be a mistake, causing needless delay and

81
complicating the rapid apprehension of suspects. Merz made these
objections clear, not only to Frick, but also to Pohner himself. In
response Pbhner insisted that Merz take over the case on a temporary
basis until such time as a permanent solution could be found. Merz
acquiesced and left that same afternoon for Augsburg to consult with
48
Public Prosecutor Krick.
The political policemen involved in the case were likewise dis¬
contented with this turn of events. Upon hearing that they had been
taken off the case, Feil and Gehauf were angered and frustrated. Gehauf
went directly to Seubert and asked him to arrange an interview with
Pohner; he wanted to make certain his complaints were known. Pohner,
however, denied the request. Not willing to give up the case completely,
Gehauf continued for several days thereafter to follow up certain leads
49
on his own initiative.
Merz's conversation with the Public Prosecutor in Augsburg eased
his objections to the transferral—the Public Prosecutor appeared to
be cooperative, and offered Merz essentially a free hand. Upon his
return to Munich he brought Franz Ott, the PDM's leading homicide
specialist, into the case and proceeded with the investigation. The
political policemen also swallowed their anger and worked with Merz
and Ott to ease the problems of transition. On the morning of March 11
Pohner made the temporary transfer to Department I permanent.^ The
common interest of the lower officers in seeing the case brought to a
successful conclusion had overcome the threat of delay. Merz, Ott, and

82
Krick, the latter having come to Munich to participate in the wider
investigation, set up shop in Ott's office and proceeded with the
interrogation of suspects.^
With some reluctance—Ott was himself a member of the Civic Guard,
and Merz sympathized politically with the Guard's aims—the three
officials agreed with Gehauf and Feil that the track of the murderers
led in the direction of the Ringhotel, the Munich headquarters of the
Civic Guard. Suspicion centered upon the occupants of the Civic Guard
truck which had passed through Zusmarshausen. The police inquiry
yielded a list of five names representing the occupants of the truck:
Richard Bally, August Beurer, Franz Brandi, Max Neunzert, and Jakob
Schwesinger. All were active in the Civic Guard and had served with
the army or one of the Freikorps; Neunzert held the post of Disarmament
Commissioner with the Civic Guard, and had played a leading role in
preventing weapons from being surrendered to the Berlin authorities.
Beurer and Neunzert were questioned on March 11 and 12. On March 13
Brandi was brought in for questioning. At the very outset Merz won
the impression that Brandi was holding something back. Merz pressed
him further with a combination of sympathy and firmness which disarmed
Brandi's resistance. The young man then confessed that he had not
been among the participants in the ride to Ulm on the night of March 3,
and that he had been pushed by his friends into presenting himself
thusly in order to cover the participation of yet another individual,
52
Hermann Berchtold.

83
The mere mention of Berchtold's name quickened the interest of
the interrogators. Berchtold had been implicated in the Sandmayer
affair and had been identified as one of Dobner's assailants—as had
Neunzert, who had driven the car used in the abduction of Dober.
Beurer and Neunzert, moreover, had been caught in a direct lie
concerning their activities on the night of March 3, and their pressure
on Brandi to present himself in place of Berchtold took on the
dimensions of a deliberate conspiracy of silence. Beurer was immediately
brought back in and, confronted with Brandi's statement, conceded
that Berchtold had in fact been the fifth member of the group. Both
Ott and Merz believed that a milestone in the case had been passed.
Merz later went so far as to say, "With the mention of the name
53
Berchtold, the case was, for me, as good as broken."
Prosecutor Krick evidently agreed; that same day he signed
warrants for the arrest of Bally, Berchtold, Beurer, Neunzert, and
Schwesinger. Later that same day Lieutenant Braun's name was added
to the list—the leads developed by Gehauf and Feil had finally born
fruit. The next morning Krick returned to Augsburg, leaving what now
54
appeared to be merely a follow-up investigation in the hands of Merz.
At this point the case against the six suspects rested firmly
upon the juristical pillars of motive and opportunity. Hartung's threat
to Braun, coupled with the more generalized doubts which had gathered
around Hartung in Civic Guard circles, provided a clear motive. The
evidence of opportunity was equally transparent. The five main

84
suspects—the arrest warrant against Braun had named him only as an
accomplice—had departed by truck from Munich on the night in question
and had been in the immediate vicinity of the murder scene during the
course of the evening. All five had been armed with pistols of the
calibers used in the murder. Their truck was at the murder scene at
approximately the time that two witnesses identified the sound of a
shot coming from that direction. The paving stones used to weight
the body came from Munich, quite probably from a barracks courtyard,
to which they all had access on the afternoon of their departure. One
of the suspects, Beurer, was a native of Zusmarshausen. Known through¬
out the village as a zealous duck hunter, he was thoroughly familiar
with the course of the Zusam and undoubtedly capable of locating those
rare spots where its depth permitted the concealment of a body.
Moreover, Beurer had repeatedly used the cluster of buildings at the
murder scene as a hiding place for illegal weapons—his affinity for
the spot was virtually a byword in the village. Finally, Bally,
Beurer, Berchtold, and Schwesinger had returned by train to Munich on
March 4 along the route where Hartung's blood-soaked cap and briefcase
were found.Granted, some of this evidence was circumstantial. Still,
coupled with the known involvement of Braun and Berchtold in the Sand-
mayer case, the grounds for arresting the six and holding them in
investigative custody appeared overwhelming.
Nonetheless, within twenty-four hours of having signed the arrest
warrants, Public Prosecutor Krick returned to the PDM and countermanded
them. The suspects were allowed to go free. Krick's new directive, to

85
be sure, required that they hold themselves available for further
questioning, but, once they were free there was no effective means
of enforcing this provision. The suspects could flee, or go underground,
56
as some of them ultimately did. If Pohner's earlier transferral of
the case from PDM VI to PDM I had threatened to delay the investigation,
this latest move threatened to destroy it completely.
What accounted for Krick's change of heart? Shortly after his
return to Augsburg on the morning of March 14, a certain Dr. Gademann
called at his home. Gademann explained that he had come by car from
Munich to fetch Krick and take him back to the Ministry of Justice.
Gademann indicated that the Minister desired a consultation on the
progress of the Hartung case. Gademann evidenced a great need to
hurry, against which Krick protested that he had just come from the
train and was preparing to sit down to lunch. After some discussion
Gademann agreed to come back at one-thirty in the afternoon. Gademann
returned at the appointed time, drove Krick by his office to get some
papers on the case, and then picked up the other Public Prosecutor,
Kraus, on their way out of town."^
Both Krick and Kraus had assumed that Gademann was a representative
of the Ministry of Justice. During the drive back to Munich, however,
Gademann remarked that he was the legal advisor to the Civic Guard and
that the car belonged to Georg Escherich, the head of the Civic Guard.
Krick felt a certain surprise at this—his assumptions about Gademann's
connection with the Ministry had been based upon the latter's evident

86
familiarity with Krick's work on the Hartung case. His colleague Kraus,
however, saw nothing untoward in Gademann's mission. The Civic Guard,
after all, was a semi-official organization—in his own Augsburg
jurisdiction Guard volunteers served on the staff of the local jail,
and Kraus himself felt a great deal of admiration for Escherich's
work. More impressed than uneasy, Kraus thought nothing more about
the possible impropriety as the car pulled up at the Palace of Justice
in Munich."^
Once inside, both Kraus and Krick experienced disappointment.
They had been led to expect an interview with the Justice Minister
himself, Dr. Roth. Instead, they were ushered into the presence of
Oberregierungsrat Giirtner, Roth's deputy and later successor. Krick
presented his report to GUrtner and then departed in the direction of
59
police headquarters, leaving Kraus to consult further with Giirtner.
Krick went directly to Merz and, after hurriedly recounting the
events of the afternoon, walked over to a lectern in the corner of
Merz's office and wrote out the order lifting the warrants for arrest.
Merz protested with all the vigor he could muster. Nothing had changed
since the night before, when the warrants had been issued; their
withdrawal would destroy the prospects for further progress in the case;
this sudden step made no sense. Krick listened stonily, and then
reaffirmed his order.^
For Merz, the memories of this episode would still rankle years
later. The case had been thrust upon him by Pohner, against his

87
professional objections. And now, with success within his grasp,
the basis of the investigation had been cut from under him. If the
case failed now, it would most certainly be a black mark against him
and against the reputation of Department I, hitherto unbesmirched by
charges of political bias. Throughout the next day he mulled matters
over and then went to Police Director Ramer, second-in-command at the
PDM and head of Department I, stated his feelings, and asked to be
removed from the case. Ramer promised to take this request under
advisement. The next day Merz was summoned to Ramer's office, where
he found Ramer and Krick's superior, Kraus. Ramer explained that he had
already conveyed the substance of Merz's objections to Kraus. Kraus
then sternly reminded Merz that, as a police officer, he was duty-bound
to obey the instructions of the prosecutor's office. He professed
himself satisfied with Merz’s conduct of the case up to that point,
but wanted to make certain Merz would continue in the right direction;
this final remark passed without further explanation. Ramer then
warned Merz not to hurt himself and his career by doing something stupid
(". . . Ramer redete mir zu und meinte, ich solle keine dienstliche
Dummheit machen . . ."). The interview concluded with a direct order
from Ramer to Merz to continue as head of the investigation.^
But the case had clearly collapsed. Hamstrung in his efforts to
move against the most likely suspects, Merz soon lost interest in
pursuing the futile exercise.
The investigation continued in

88
desultory fashion into 1922 and then faded into nothingness, only to
A
be revived when political circumstances changed some years later.
The case against the suspected slayers of Hans Hartung had been
murdered, just as surely as Hartung himself. But why? And by whom?
The proximate cause had been the prosecutor's unwillingness to uphold
the arrest warrants. Krick's sudden change of heart, however, had not
come unbidden. Here was the real mystery in the case.
Both Krick and Kraus later swore that Gürtner had made no attempt
to influence their disposition of the case. Questioned later about the
interview at the Justice Palace, Krick insisted that Gurtner had only
requested a progress report and had made no attempt to influence the
course of the investigation. His impression had been that the dispatch
*In the summer of 1924 the investigation was reopened under the
supervision of Investigating Judge Kestel of the Landgericht München I.
In March 1925, Max Neunzert and Richard Bally were formally tried for
the murder of Hans Hartung. The other four suspects were also sought
for trial, but could not be brought before the court. Beurer had
successfully gone underground; Berchtold, who in the meantime has been
sought by the Austrian police for yet another murder, had likewise
disappeared. Schwesinger was hiding out in the Saarland. Braun had
found asylum in Admiral Horthy's Hungary, where he effectively resisted
extradition in connection with the Hartung case by presenting himself
as the victim of political persecution—the request for extradition had
also been based on a second indictment against Braun, issued for his
complicity in the Sandmayer case.
In its verdict the court concluded that it was "highly probable"
that "as participants in the truck ride to Ulm, the two defendants had
participated in the murder of Hartung." Neunzert and Bally were none¬
theless set free—high probability not being adequate for a conviction.
One may respect the court's adherence to strict standards of law in
this case, while at the same time noting that such strict standards had
not often been demanded when leftists were being tried in Bavarian
courts. One may also question the court's treatment of evidence in
expressing its reasons for doubt. For example, in rejecting the indict¬
ment, the court laid great stress on the fact that no traces of blood

89
of Gademann to Augsburg to bring back the two prosecutors was the simple
consequence of Gürtner's desire for fresh information. Kraus described
the incident in much the same language. To explain his sudden volte-
face in the matter of the arrest warrants, Krick stated that it had not
been sudden at all, that he and Kraus had agreed on this measure shortly
before leaving for Munich that afternoon. The discussion took place
when Gademann and Krick stopped at the door of Kraus's home to pick him
up for the ride to Munich. Krick walked to the door, leaving Gademann
to wait with the chauffeur. Walking back to the car with Kraus, Krick
reported briefly on the developments during his three-day stay in
Munich. In the course of the discussion he began to wonder if he had
acted too hastily in issuing the arrest warrants—perhaps Kraus
expressed certain reservations on this score. The evidence against the
suspects was not absolutely conclusive. Worse, all of the suspects were
had been found on the clothing of the defendants—this in spite of
the fact that a week elapsed between the night of the crime and the
first examination by the police of any of the suspects, and in spite
of the further fact that Neunzert himself admitted under oath that he
and his four co-riders had all taken changes of clothing with them on
the trip. The court also dismissed out of hand a statement of Bally's
to a friend that he had participated in the murder of Hartung,
largely on the grounds that Bally had been drunk at the time of this
confession. In vino veritas clearly did not count for much with the
court. For these and other details of the later case against Neunzert
and Bally see the verdict of March 30, 1925, in the case in StAnw.
Mil. I 3018d/7.

90
respectable individuals and members of the Civic Guard, an organization
with close ties to the state. One would have to proceed very carefully,
*
for a mistake could have a serious effect on public opinion.
Krick's version of this exchange was the only one available—
Kraus recalled later that Krick had made his report, but could remember
63
nothing of its content. Nonetheless, Kraus's version of the interview
with Gürtner suggested that he and Krick had already come to have
second thoughts on the subject of the arrest warrants before the inter¬
view began. As Kraus recalled the interview, it began with a general
report by Krick. At the conclusion of the report the question of the
arrest warrants arose. Apparently without being pressed by Gürtner
on the matter—Kraus refused to attribute any comment to Gürtner—Kraus
indicated that he was well aware of the significance of the case, that
*The original of Krick’s statement read as follows:
". . . . Ich berichtete meinem Amtsvorstand .... über meine
Tatigkeit in München und den Gang der Erhebungen in grossen Zügen.
Hiebei werde ich auch geaussert haben, dass ver Verdacht auf die
Beschuldigten gefallen ist, gegen die ich Haftbefehl erlassen hatte,
dass aber noch kein abschliessender Beweis da sei, weil man noch nicht
wisse, wo Hartung ermordet wurde und ob er überhaupt lebend auf dem
gleichen Lastauto fuhr, wie die übrigen Beschuldigten. Die Annahme,
dass er in München ermordet wurde und in einen Personenkraftwagen als
Leiche zur Zusam befordert wurde, war meines Erachtens nicht ganz
ausgeschlossen. Ich weiss nun nicht mehr, ob bei dieser Unterredung
mir Bedenken aufstiegen, ob ich mit meinem Haftbefehl nicht etwa
deneben getappt hatte, oder ob vielleicht Staatsanwalt Kraus derartige
Bedenken aussprach. Ich glaube eher, dass das letztere der Fall
gewesen sein mag. Die Bedenken mogen nach der Richtung gegangen sein,
dass die Beschuldigten anstandige Leute und Angehorige der Einwohnerwehr,
also einer sozusagen staatlichen Einrichtung waren, und das man wegen
des Eindrucks, den in diesem Fall ein Misgriff auf die offentliche
Meinung machen müsse, Grund zu besonderer Vorsicht habe. ..." Testi¬
mony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mu. I 3081d/l.

91
he was not completely certain of the charges against the six suspects,
and that he intended to do everything in his power to avoid the
appearance of having acted over-hastily. On these ground he could not
see fit to uphold the arrest warrants, particularly since, given the
kind of people involved, he did not fear that they would take flight
i 64
upon release.
Viewed against this background, Giirtner's promise that Kraus would
be given a free hand in the case assumed a different role. Had Giirtner
wanted to influence the case in favor of the six suspects, he could
scarcely have asked for more than Kraus offered voluntarily. Both Kraus
and Krick were noticeably reticent about attributing statements to
Giirtner in the course of their later testimony.^ This was hardly
surprising, for when their testimony was given on the case in 1924,
Giirtner was Minister of Justice in Bavaria, with the power to make
or break the careers of men in Kraus's and Krick's position.
Giirtner, further, was a clever and astute politician, as his
A
later career made evident. He was not the kind of man who needed to
make things explicit in order to get his point across. Indeed, the
entire sequence of events on March 14 may be viewed as a carefully
orchestrated attempt to influence the two prosecutors. The arrest
warrants had been signed on the evening of March 13. By morning this
*Gurtner managed the quite remarkable feat of remaining in the
Bavarian cabinet until 1932, despite frequent differences with the
dominant BVP. He then managed a dexterous move to national politics
as Reichminister of Justice in the cabinets of Papen and Hitler,
holding this post until his death in 1941.

92
fact would have been known at the Ministry of Justice and at the
headquarters of the Civic Guard. Minister Roth immediately attempted,
through Giirtner, to contact Krick in Munich, but the phone call reached
the PDM moments after the latter's departure for Augsburg. Then,
instead of phoning Kraus and arranging for the two prosecutors to
come by train to Munich, he sent Gademann, the legal advisor of the
Civic Guard, in a car belonging to the head of the Civic Guard,
to fetch them. Nothing could have been more unusual—Kraus, for example,
had never ridden in an automobile before—and more calculated to
impress the two with the special nature of the Civic Guard's relation¬
ship with the state. The comments of Kraus and Krick on this gesture
66
confirm its effect.
In a later attempt to justify his actions, Krick called attention
to a report implying that Hartung had been murdered by Communists from
Halle.^ Yet this report did not surface until three days after the
decision to cancel the arrest warrants. Furthermore, the professional
policemen working on the case, men such as Seubert and Merz, dismissed
this report with contempt. Merz termed it "Agentengeschwatz," the
68
childish babble of agents.
No disclaimer could conceal the obvious. A cover-up had taken
place. The left-wing press, of course, had no doubts on the subject.
Nor did many of the policemen involved. In the words of detective Ott,
69
"Someone must have dropped a hint." With its reputation already
burdened by the Sandmayer and Dobner affairs, the government had taken

93
out yet another mortgage. The alternative, however, was worse. To
allow the six suspects to be placed before a court—even a Bavarian
court—would have invited exposure of its most important secrets. It
could have compromised key figures such as Pohner and, perhaps, have
brought down the government itself. At the very least it would have
undermined Kahr's position in the fight with Berlin over disarmament.
To understand the politics of the Hartung case, one must examine
more closely the ties between Pohner, the political police, and the
Civic Guard. Had Pohner himself ordered the deaths of Sandmayer, Dobner,
and Hartung? And even were this not the case, had he used his position
to protect the murderers and assist them in evading justice?
The ties between Pohner's political police and the Civic Guard
were extremely close. In working together against the threat of
disarmament leading figures in the two organizations came into regular
contact. Reserve Captain Walter Schenk, in 1921 the head of the Civic
Guard's own intelligence service, thought nothing of picking up the phone
and calling Frick's deputy, Regierungsrat Bernreuther, whenever he
needed information from the political police.^ Adam Stümpfig, another
member of the Civic Guard headquarters staff, received a warning against
71
a leftist agent from Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser of PDM VI/N. The
words of Lieutenant-Colonel Kriebel on the subject of this cooperation
have already been cited. Whenever measures effecting state security
were discussed at the PDM, representatives of the army and the Civic
72
Guard were invited.
And the professional ties between the police and

94
the guard were frequently reinforced by personal ties as well. This
extended to at least some of the defendants in the Hartung case,
notably Max Neunzert.
After four years at the front and service with a Freikorps in the
summer of 1919, Max Neunzert worked as an intelligence agent for the
staff of the VII. Corps in Munich. In June 1920, he left the army
to work for the Civic Guard, serving as a contact man between the latter
and Captain Ernst Rohm, the Reichswehr officer in charge of circumventing
weapons controls. From then until the night of the Hitler Putsch,
in which he was an active participant, Neunzert worked closely with
73
Rc5hm. At the same time he cooperated with PDM VI.
Although acquainted with many police officers, including Pohner
himself, Neunzert spent most of his time with the political policemen.
In the year prior to the murder of Hartung he appeared in the offices
of Department VI on an almost daily basis. In addition to sharing
information on weapons matters with his opposite numbers there, he
also, on occasion, worked as an undercover agent for the political
police. In the summer of 1920 he worked for Bernreuther as an agent
provocateur, travelling throughout the countryside in the guise of
a French officer from the Disarmament Commission and trying to entice
various individuals to betray weapons caches to him. He baited his
offers with money provided for the purpose by Bernreuther. Then, when
the trap was set, he turned these "traitors" over to an officer of
74
PDM Via, who arrested them. Not surprisingly, the comments of many

95
political police officers on Neunzert read almost like character
references.Significantly, the officers most interested in bringing
the murderers of Hartung to justice did not belong to Neunzert's circle
of acquaintance at the PDM.^
Emotions ran high on the weapons issue. Popular right-wing
newspapers such as the Miesbacher Anzeiger condemned the betrayal of
weapons to the Entente in the strongest possible terms and repeatedly
denounced the betrayers as traitors.^ This sentiment extended to
its logical conclusion meant the death penalty for Waffenverrat, and
few on the right shrank from drawing this conclusion. General Franz
Ritter von Epp, the hero of the war against the Soviet Republic,
spoke for many when he said:
I regard the steps taken by patriotic groups against
the weapons-traitors as acts of self-defense and morally
right, because they serve as a deterrent. Patriots
approve the murder of these traitors.78
Kriebel ratified Epp’s sentiment and added that he could readily
understand how "brave, responsible, young veterans" would want to
79
get rid of these "traitors and Schweinehunde.11 Neunzert, one of
go
these young veterans, agreed. So, too, did many officers of the
political police, from Pühner and Frick on down. Pohner expressed
his personal attitude on the issue of giving up weapons in the
following terms:

96
I am a simple Civic Guardsman. In the Civic Guard,
an ordinary sergeant is my superior. I do my duty—
I have five rifles and two pistols at home. . . . The Red
hound who comes to take my rifle away will get a bullet
through the head.81
Frick related this attitude to the actions of the weapons-traitors,
saying, "The failure to impose the death penalty against such indi-
82
viduals represented a sin of omission on the part of the state."
Pohner, according to Frick, proposed to rectify this omission
83
through the introduction of the death penalty for such acts. This,
however, was impossible; even in Bavaria one could not condemn a person
to death for obeying the law of the land! One could, nonetheless,
ensure that the same result was achieved unofficially. If the police
and justice authorities refused to move against right-wing political
murderers, the public would soon understand that obeying the national
laws on the reporting of weapons meant exposing oneself to an untimely
end. The spectre of a powerful underground organization, aided and
protected by the executive organs of the state, was a calculated
deterrent. After contemplating the fates of Sandmayer, Dobner, and
Hartung, few individuals would be willing to report illegal weapons
caches to the disarmament officials of the Reich. In this context,
the very insignificance of these victims was important, for others
could see that not only prominent public figures were exposed; even
the "little man," or woman could not evade discovery and punishment.
With the police on the side of the murderers, there was no place to

97
hide and no protector to whom one could appeal. The political police
protected the murderers—and the murderers protected the police. In
the face of public complaints in the press and in the Landtag, the
police could contend that they were trying to find the murderers.
However dark the rumors might be, Pohner and his subordinates could
respond that leads in a case were lacking, that adequate proof could
not be found, or that administrative problems had intervened—Pohner's
own action in the Hartung case suggested just how such administrative
problems might be manufactured. A reign of terror could be fostered
and yet, because the terrorists themselves were not policemen, no direct
84
responsibility could be attached to the police.
Still, the rumors of police complicity persisted. One widespread
allegation, never categorically denied, traced the murders of Sandmayer,
Hartung, and others to a policy developed at a meeting held in Pohner's
office at the PDM. The regular appearance of Civic Guard leaders at
police headquarters, Pdhner's close ties with the Civic Guard—despite
Pühner's claim to have been only a simple Civic Guardsman, he was deeply
involved in its innermost councils—and the unquestioned implication of
the Civic Guard in the political murders all combined to reinforce
85
this allegation. Further indirect confirmation came in the later
testimony of Oberinspektor Reingruber, who claimed to have been present
in Pohner's home at a meeting where Pohner himself ordered a political
86
murder. No written evidence substantiated these allegations; then
again, Pohner was much too clever to commit something so potentially
87
incriminating to paper.

98
But even if Pohner were absolved of such active participation,
there remained the question of other forms of complicity. The points
of cooperation between the political police and the Civic Guard were
manifold, extending far beyond Pohner's connections with the Civic
Guard leadership—witness Neunzert's work as a police undercover agent.
The work of the political police in identifying weapons-traitors, and
the willingness of the political police to share this information
freely with the Civic Guard, made the PDM an active, if silent,
partner in the measures of the Civic Guard against the betrayal of
weapons. In particular, the role of Kriminal-Kommissar Glaser was
suspicious. Glaser had used his official position to assist the escape
of a suspect in the Sandmayer case. In the Dobner case he had been
caught offering protection to one of the conspirators. His imprint
was also detected on a variety of other illegal acts of a political
„ 88
nature.
Although Glaser claimed to enjoy no special relationship with
Pohner, the evidence spoke heavily against him. Glaser was one of only
three PDM officers present at the secret meeting of December 7, 1920,
concerning the political intelligence service. In 1921, at the time
of the murder of Hartung, he headed the political intelligence
service in PDM VI, a position described by Pbhner himself as one of
extreme sensitivity and responsibility. Even more revealing, he had
been promoted past colleagues ten years his senior, a sure sign of
, 89
favor.

99
One of the devices used by the police to assist political
murderers was the provision of false passports, with which the assassins
could flee to a foreign asylum—usually Hungary—until the case was
forgotten. Testifying before an investigative commission of the
Reichstag in 1927, Glaser claimed that in providing such passports
90
he was following Pohner’s express orders. This claim may have been,
on Glaser's part, a bald attempt to evade personal responsibility for
his actions. At this point the combination of Pohner's death two
years before and Glaser's own precarious legal position had dissolved
the one-time trusted subordinate's bonds of loyalty to his former
master. This testimony, nonetheless, clearly linked the political
police with illegal political activity. And, given Glaser's close
ties with Pdhner, his claim had a certain credibility.
The relationship between the political police and the Civic Guard,
the pattern of political interference in favor of right-wing political
murderers, and Pohner's own frankly-avowed approval of such acts
suggested strongly that the PDM was deeply involved in the reign of
terror which gripped Munich in 1921. Hans Hartung had foolishly
placed himself afoul of the most powerful forces in Bavarian politics.
For this he paid with his life.
Others, less foolishly, ventured a challenge to these powerful
forces and met with a similar end. Throughout the year the socialist
Landtag deputy, Karl Gareis, had waged a public battle against the
illegal weapons transactions of the Civic Guard and against the wave

100
of political terror in Bavaria. Gareis's involvement with the Dobner
case and his attempts to bring light upon the nefarious activities of
Glaser and the political police had made him one of the most prominent
and most hated enemies of the radical right. In the midst of the
crisis surrounding the dissolution of the Civic Guard, on the night of
June 10, 1921, Gareis was murdered on his own doorstep. Coming in the
wake of the other political murders, the assassination of Gareis cast
further suspicion on the Civic Guard and other radical right-wing
groups in Munich. The evidence turned up by the police also pointed
in that direction. But no suspect was ever convicted of the murder.
Glaser, however, was once again implicated in the case, through his
93
connection with the escape of a prime suspect.
The reign of terror went on, extending outward from the Bavarian
"cell of order" to embrace all of Germany. On August 26 Matthias
Erzberger, a moderate leader of the Center Party and a strong supporter
of the republic, was gunned down during a visit to the south-west
German state of Baden. Erzberger, perhaps more than any other single
individual in German political life, was hated by the radical right.
Erzberger had been one of the first prominent German politicians to break
openly with the wartime dictatorship of Ludendorff and Hindenburg and
call for peace. He had participated actively in the negotiations
leading to the armistice, and had led the parliamentary efforts culmi¬
nating in the ratification of the Versailles treaty. As Reich Finance
Minister during 1919 and 1920 he had pushed for a greater centralization

101
of political authority in the new republic, at least partly in order
to create a fiscal basis for dealing with Germany's manifold economic
problems. In pursuing these various policies Erzberger had come to
embody virtually everything that the right found repugnant in the
republic. For this he paid twice over, the first time by being driven
from public life by his many enemies, the second time, on the eve of
92
his political comeback, with his life. What had begun with the
random terror of 1919 had become, through stages marked by the murders
of such minor figures as Maria Sandmayer and Hans Hartung, a concerted
attack upon the political leaders of the republic.
Erzberger's assassins, two young former officers, Heinrich Schulz
and Heinrich Tillessen, fled from the scene of the crime to Munich,
where they could expect the protection of the police authorities. In
this they would not be disappointed. The police in Baden followed the
assassins' trail to Munich. There, in keeping with standard practice,
the officers from Baden placed themselves in contact with the PDM and
asked for cooperation. Tillessen had already crossed the Austrian
border, but Schulz was still in Munich. Informed by contacts within
the PDM that the net was closing, Schulz's Munich friends spirited him
across the border to Salzburg. There Schulz and Tillessen were reunited.
They then proceeded to safe asylum in Hungary, conveyed across Austria
in a car belonging to the Police President of Salzburg, a gesture once
93
again attributable to the friendly intervention of the PDM.

102
In the course of their investigations in Munich, the police from
Baden uncovered evidence of links between Schulz and Tillessen and
the secret Organisation Consul. This underground right-wing society,
based upon the former Ehrhardt Naval Brigade, has its headquarters in
Munich, where Ehrhardt and his henchmen had enjoyed the protection of
Pohner's police after their participation in the abortive Kapp putsch.
Further investigation suggested that the assassination of Erzberger
had been carried out at the command of the O.C. leadership. Confounded
by a continuing lack of cooperation from the Munich police, the Baden
authorities were unable to establish a firm case tying the O.C. as an
organization to the Erzberger murder—this would come only with the
trial of Schulz and Tillessen after the Second World War. But the
behavior of the PDM prompted bitter criticisms from the state government
94
in Baden.
The assassination of Erzberger provoked a nationwide wave of
public indignation. While many had been prepared to condemn Erzberger's
policies, only his most bitter enemies had wished to see him dead. In
Bavaria, the BVP position had been one of marked hostility to Erzberger—
the split of the BVP from the national Center Pary had been, in part,
a response to Erzberger’s leadership role in the national party. The
BVP moderates, however, condemned the assassination, and, when Kahr's
policies appeared to place Bavaria in a position of condoning the
95
murderers, withdrew their support from him. A second wave of public
outrage would follow the June 1922 assassination of Walter Rathenau,

103
the Reich Foreign Minister, by members of the Organisation Consul» This
time, however, the right-wing terrorists had definitely overreached
themselves. The Reich government passed a series of stringent new
laws against such acts of violence. Although these laws would be
ultimately rendered toothless by the rightward bias of the Weimar
judiciary, the political climate turned against blatant right-wing
terrorism. In Munich, the dissolution of the Civic Guard, the fall of
the Kahr government, and the resignation of Pohner from the PDM had
already signaled the beginning of a new era. Politics would continue
to bedevil the Munich police. But, if only for a decade, the time of
the assassins had passed.

Notes
Testimony of Josef Kuchenbauer, October 29, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I
3081d/3. Kuchenbauer's statement, like all the other testimony from
file 3081d cited in this chapter, was made under oath to Investigating
Judge Kestel during the 1924 investigation into the Hartung case.
2
Wilhelm Hoegner, Die verratene Republik (Munich, 1958), p. 86.
Hoegner, a Social Democrat Landtag deputy in the 1920's and, after
the Second World War, Minister President of Bavaria, was an active
participant in several of the parliamentary investigations into the
Bavarian political murders, and his commentary is based upon these
investigations. Hoegner's work is one of the two most heavily used
sources for the topic of political murder. The other is the body of
work compiled by Emil Julius Gumbel. Gumbel's work in the early 1920's
led to a Reichstag investigation into the political murder issue. The
results of this investigation, in turn, form the basis of Gumbel's
summary work on the subject, Verrdter verfalien der Feme: Opfer, Morder,
Richter, 1919-1929 (Berlin, 1929). Because of the influence these works
have exerted upon the subsequent historical treatment of the political
murder question, and because both are subject to the charge of being
politically biased in favor of the left, they deserve to be carefully
checked against the available archival sources. The detailed analysis
of the murder of Hans Hartung which forms the basis of this chapter,
in addition to its ofher purposes, represents an attempt to check the
treatments by Hoegner and Gumbel in one of the few Bavarian Feme-Mord
cases where a comprehensive collection of primary documents exists.
My comparison of Hoegner's and Gumbel's respective treatments of the
Hartung case with the material available in the seven volume, one
thousand plus page collection of documents from the Munich Public
Prosecutor's office suggests that the accounts of Hoegner and Gumbel
are correct save in minor details. The reader is invited to compare the-
treatment in this chapter with these works. Similar comparisons for
the Sandmayer and Dobner cases, although based upon much more limited
archival material, tend to confirm the general accuracy of the Hoegner
and Gumbel treatments. Nonetheless, I have adopted the practice of
not citing these works unless convinced by independent sources that
the treatments are unaffected by political bias.

105
After the murder of Maria Sandmayer and the attempted murder
of Hans Dobner, the phrase "Morderzentrale in der Ettstrasse (the address
of the PDM)" became a Munich commonplace. See the report of Carl von
Merz to the Police President, Munich, September 19, 1924, M Inn 71525.
4
Albert Schwarz, "Die Zeit von 1918 bis 1933. Zweiter Teil,"
in Spindler, Handbuch, Vol. IV/1, pp. 454-465.
^Pohner's statement was made to Arnold Brecht during the latter’s
visit to Munich in February, 1921, only weeks before the murder of Har-
tung. See Arnold Brecht, Aus nachster Nahe; Lebenserinnerungen, 1884-
1927 (Stuttgart, 1966), p. 332.
Ajames M. Diehl, Paramilitary Politics in Weimar Germany (Blooming¬
ton, Indiana, 1977), pp. 91-92. See also Benz, Politik in Bayern,
pp. 74-85.
8
Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, pp. 131-135.
Ibid, pp. 136-137, 140.
Ibid, pp. 131-140.
^Testimony of Christian Leibenzeder, October 31, 1924, StAnw.
MÜ. I 3081d/3; Testimony of Joseph Kern, July 14, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
3081d/l.
11
12
13
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, p. 85.
Testimony of Hermann Kriebel, July 24, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.
Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, p. 139.
14
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, pp. 84-85, and Nusser, Konser¬
vative Wehrverbande, p. 141.
“^The basic source for the Dobner affair is the transcript of
the Landtag hearings on the case from October, 1920, which may be
found in StAnw. Mü. I 3123. Convenient summaries are contained in
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, pp. 85-86, and Nusser, Konservative
Wehrverbdnde, pp. 141-142.
16
Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, pp. 84-85.
"^Ibid. For Glaser's acknowledgment before a 1927 Reichstag
committee that he had provided passports, see Nusser, Konservative
Wehrverbande, pp. 140-141. But compare Testimony of Friedrich Glaser,
November 21, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/5.

106
18
Transcript of landtag hearings, October 1920, StAnw. Míi. I 3123.
See also Hoegner, Die verratene Republik, pp. 85-86.
19
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/7.
20
Investigating Judge Kestel to the State Police Office in
Mannheim, January 27, 1925, StAnw. Mil. I 3081d/5; Testimony of Alfred
Zeller, September 13, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/2.
21
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder,
1925, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/7.
22
Ibid.
March 30,
Investigating Judge Kestel to the District Court in Vilshofen,
September 24, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.
24
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/7. Hartung's actual relationship to PDM VI
remains a matter of mystery. Late in February 1921, Hartung appeared
several times in the offices of PDM VI. On one occasion Hartung
called on KriminaloberkommissUr Mayer of Desk Via to ask for infor¬
mation concerning the activities of various Communist speakers in
Munich, apparently as part of Hartung's effort to establish himself
as a private intelligence agent for the Civic Guard. Mayer sent
him along to Desk VId, which was unable to help. In the same matter
Hartung also called upon Regierungsrat Bernreuther, deputy head of
Department VI. Bernreuther professed to recall little about the
actual encounter. The suspicion that Hartung had actually been
employed as an informer by PDM VI/N was emphatically denied by the
head of that desk, Kriminal-KommissUr Glaser. See Testimony of
Heinrich Mayer, October 1, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3; Testimony of
of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3;
Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/5.
25
Testimony of Alfred Zeller, September 13, 1924, StAnw. MU.
I 3081d/2.
26
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. MU.
I 3081d/3.
27
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/7.
28
Ibid.
29
Testimony of Josef Zahnle
9
October 29, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.

107
30
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/l.
31
Testimony of Adolf Heinsen, September 18, 1924, StAnw, Míi. I
3081d/2; Institute of Legal Medicine at the University of Munich to
Investigating Judge Kestel, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
Heinsen was the physician who performed the original autopsy.
32
Testimony of Josef Kuchenbauer, October 29, 1924, StAnw. MU.
I 3081d/3.
33
Ibid. See also the Testimony of Josef Zahnle, October 29,
1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
34Ibid.
35
Investigating Judge Kestel to the Gendarmerie Station Friedberg,
November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/5.
36
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.
37
Testimony of Anton Messerer, October 29, 1924, and Testimony of
Georg Gareis, October 29, 1924, both StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.
38
Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/7.
39
Testimony of Lorenz Link, September 18, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/2.
40
Testimony of Johann Feil, October 2, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.
41,
1/3
42
Testimony of Friedrich Stein, October 23, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/3.
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/3.
43
Testimony of Johann Gehauf, September 25, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/2; Testimony of Johann Feil, October 2, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3;
Testimony of Heinrich Becher, October 25, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.
44
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
3081d/3; Testimony of Johann Gehauf, September 25, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/2.
45 Ibid.
46
Testimony of Johann Feil, October 2, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.

108
47T,
Ibid.
48
Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mil. I
3081d/3.
49
Testimony of Johann Gehauf, September 25, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/2.
"^Report of Carl von Merz to the Police President, Munich,
September 19, 1924, M Inn 71525.
â– ^Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/3.
52
Ibid. See also Testimony of Franz Ott, October 20, 1924,
StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.
53tk.,
Ibid.
54
Ibid. See also Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, July 29, 1924,
StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.
"^Verdict in the trial of Max Neunzert for murder, March 30,
1925, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/7; Testimony of Josef Kuchenbauer, October
29, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.
5 6
Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/3; Testimony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/l; Arrest Warrant for Hermann Berchtold, November 4, 1924,
StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3. See also Hoegner, Die verratene Republik,
p. 88.
“^Testimony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.
58
Ibid. See also Testimony of Hermann Kraus, July 31, 1924,
StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.
59
Ibid.
60
61
Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. MU. I 3081d/3.
Ibid.
62
Ibid.
63
Testimony of Hermann Kraus, July 31, 1924,
StAnw. MU. I 3081d/l.

109
64
Ibid.
Ibid. See also Testimony of Wilhelm Krick, July 29, 1924,
StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
66t, . ,
Ibid.
^Wilhelm Krick to Investigating Judge Kestel, September 10,
1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/2.
68
Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mil. I
3081d/3; Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 28, 1924, StAnw. Mii.
I 3081d/3.
69
Testimony of Franz Ott, October 20, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/3.
^Testimony of Walter Schenk, July 28, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I 3081d/l.
^Testimony of Adam Stiimpfig, July 22, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
72
Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw.
Mii. I 3081d/3.
73
Testimony of Max Neunzert, September 26, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I
3081d/2.
Testimony of Eduard Seubert, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I
3081d/3; Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw.
Mii. I 3081d/3; Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw.
Mii. I 3081d/5; Testimony of Ernst Pohner, July 18, 1924, StAnw. Mii.
I 3081d/l.
^Testimony of Carl von Merz, October 24, 1924, StAnw. Mii. I
3081d/3; Testimony of Johann Gehauf, Septmeber 25, 1924, StAnw. Mii.
I 3081d/2; Testimony of Johann Feil, October 2, 1924, StAnw. Mii.
I 3081d/3.
^Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mü.
I 3081d/5.
78
Testimony of Frank Ritter von Epp, September 23, 1924, StAnw.
Mü. I 3081d/2.
^Testimony of Hermann Kriebel, July 24, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
80
Testimony of Max Neunzert, September 26, 1924, StAnw. MU. I
3081d/2.

110
81
Pohner's statement is from Brecht, Aus nMchster Nahe, pp. 332-333.
See also Testimony of Ernst Pohner, July 18, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l;
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/5;
Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/5.
Pohner's most widely reported comment on the subject of political murder
comes from Ernst Rohm. Responding to the breathless comment that there
were political murderers in Munich, Pohner reportedly remarked, "Yes,
yes, but too few." Rohm is not always a reliable source, but the comment
coincides with many other statements by Pohner, both in form and
substance.
82
83
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mil. I 3081d/5,
Ibid.
84
The student of Latin American affairs will recognize similarities
between the "indirect police terror" described here and practices
followed by the current regime in Argentina.
8 5
Testimony of Wilhelm Frick, November 19, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
3081d/5; Testimony of Friedrich Bernreuther, November 7, 1924, StAnw.
MU. I 3081d/3. The significant point is that neither Frick nor
Bernreuther take the opportunity to deny this rumor categorically,
but instead confine themselves to insisting that they were not present
at such a meeting.
86
Cited in Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbünde, p. 140.
87
See Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechtsradikalismus, pp. 140-141
for Pohner's aptitude in protecting his background position. Although
Ptihner's off-the-record language gave the appearance of carelessness,
his responses for the record on specific cases were always phrased in
a manner calculated to prevent self-incrimination. Typically, phrases
such as "That could have happened, but I don't recall" abound in
Pohner's statements whenever the issue appears to be either self¬
incrimination or perjury. For an example of Pohner in fine legalistic
form, see Testimony of Ernst Pohner, July 18, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I 3081d/l.
OQ
Report to Reich Chancellor Dr. Wirth, August 31, 1922, BAK
R43I/2731. This report, prepared by Social Democrat sources in Munich,
contains a comprehensive indictment of the PDM's abuse of power. It
discusses all the political murder cases with detailed accuracy, if
somewhat stridently. It further describes an illegal break-in orche¬
strated by Glaser. The description deserves to be quoted in full: "Im
Bayerischen Landtag musste nach Vorhalt der Sozialdemokraten der
Staatsminister des Innern zugeben, dass ein Polizeibeamter vermeintlich
politische Akten aus einer Privatwohnung entwenden wollte, dass der
Mann vom Wohnungsinhaber dabei abgefasst und an eimen stillen Ort
eingesperrt wurde, dass Herr Glaser auf telephonischen Anruf, in der

Ill
Meinung, es sei der betreffende Beamte, seine Freude zum Ausdruck
gebracht hatte, dass der Einbruch gelungen sei." Watergate on the
Isar!
Testimony of Friedrich Glaser, November 21, 1924, StAnw. Mü. I
3081d/5. Compare Glaser's age and rank with that of other PDM officers
whose testimony is cited in this chapter. For Glaser's presence at the
December 7, 1920 meeting, and for Pohner's evaluation of the sensi¬
tivity of the post Glaser would occupy, see "Protokoll über die am
7. Dez. 1920 Sitzung betr. den Ausbau des Nachrichtendienstes," Reg.
v. Mfr., Kdl, Abg. 1968, 11/228.
90
Cited in Nusser, Konservative Wehrverbande, pp. 140-141. On
the passport question, see also Fenske, Konservativismus und Rechts-
radikalismus, pp. 140-141, and Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik,
pp. 123-124.
^'Hloegner, Die verratene Republik, pp. 88-89. The Gareis murder
case was never solved. Later evidence pointed to the participation
of Erwin Kern, a member of the Organisation Consul and one of the
murderers of Walter Rathenau. See Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik,
p. 112. An extensive, but inconclusive collection of police materials
on the case may be found in StAnw. Mü. I 3088. These materials,
which represent an investigation of a connection between the Gareis
and Erzberger murders do not permit the identification of a prime
suspect, but do serve to illustrate the amount of time the Munich
police put in trying to pin the crime on an acquaintance of Gareis’s.
The circumstantial evidence in the case, nonetheless, pointed clearly
to right-wing involvement.
92
For Erzberger*s political career from 1917 onward, see Klaus
Epstein, Matthias Erzberger and the Dilemma of German Democracy (Prince¬
ton, 1959), pp. 182-389. For the right-wing campaign against Erzberger,
see the files collected on this subject by the Reich government,
BAK R43I/936-937.
93
Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik, pp. 123-125. Jasper's treatment
of the Erzberger assassination is based upon the files of the Baden
public prosecutor in charge of the case, and is the most thorough and
carefully documented historical treatment of the subject. A good
summary treatment in English is that of Diehl, Paramilitary Politics,
pp. 107-115, especially p. 112.
94
For the impact of PDM actions on relations between Baden and
Bavaria, see Wolfgang Benz, Silddeutschland in der Weimarer Republik
(Berlin, 1970), pp. 312-313. For the Organisation Consul, see Jasper,
Der Schütz der Republik, pp. 109-125. On 124-126 Jasper also reports
in detail upon the reponses of the Baden police officers to the
behavior of the PDM.
95
Jasper, Der Schütz der Republik, pp. 44-45.

CHAPTER 3
THE POLITICAL POLICE AND THE BEER HALL PUTSCH, 1921-1923
The Lerchenfeld era opened with a promise of change in the
political climate within Bavaria and with the hope of better future
relations between Bavaria and the republic. The new Minister
President's middle of the road stance pleased the moderate element
in the BVP, the DDP, which participated in the new government, and
the Social Democrats. For the first time since 1919 the chance
existed for a shift in the Bavarian political balance from the right
to the center of the political spectrum. Lerchenfeld*s professional
background as a diplomat in the service of the Reich government
suggested a capacity for dealing with the problems which divided
Munich and Berlin.'*' The promise of change within Bavaria could
not be kept, however, and the hope for an improvement in relations
with the republic would soon be dashed.
The same qualities which commended Lerchenfeld to the moderates
made him anathema to the radical right. The formal dissolution of
the Civic Guard had not reduced the role of right-wing paramilitary
organizations in Bavaria. The Guard's own direct successor, the
Organisation Pittinger—in 1922 renamed Bund Bayern und Reich—
continued its predecessor's influence upon the Bavarian political
situation. The new leader, Pittinger, however, represented a more
112

113
traditionally conservative element within the overall composition
of the radical right. The younger and more avowedly radical elements
from the old Civic Guard thus drifted away into a variety of other
paramilitary groups, the Bund Oberland, the Bund Wiking, a successor
to the Organisation Consul, the Nazi party's SA, the "Storm Troopers,"
and a number of other, lesser organizations. The composition of
these groups, labelled collectively the Vaterlandische Verbande, or,
"Patriotic Associations," changed constantly as individual members
sought the most congenial organizational environment for their own
particular political views. But despite differences on specific
issues, the Patriotic Associations came increasingly to resemble
one another and to share a common political line vis-a-vis the
Lerchenfeld government. That line was one of unremitting hostility.
The Patriotic Associations, from the Organisation Pittinger to the
most extremely radical splinter group, all regarded the BVP's
withdrawal of support from Kahr and the choice of Lerchenfeld to
succeed him as a betrayal of the nationalist struggle against the
2
republic. In this they were joined by the Bavarian DNVP, and the
3
more radical element within the BVP itself. From the very beginning
the Lerchenfeld government came under bitter attack from these
strong and, as events would prove, implacable enemies.
Rumors of a putsch in support of Kahr had accompanied the final
days of his administration. These rumors were never confirmed by
a revelation of concrete putsch plans, however, although the Pittinger

114
group had, at the very least, attempted to pressure the Landtag to
retain Kahr through a show of force. This attempt to replicate the
Civic Guard's political success in March 1920 nonetheless failed
4
to prevent the election of Lerchenfeld. The Patriotic Associations
drew back briefly to regroup before opening a new round in the
battle for political dominance in Bavaria. While the paramilitary
groups hovered threateningly in the background, more immediate
problems for Lerchenfeld surfaced within the ranks of his own party.
Having successfully rid itself of Kahr, the BVP soon discovered
that this step had won little favor with the Bavarian public. It
became clear that, given the temper of the times, Kahr's intransigence
was more appealing than the moderation of Lerchenfeld. The Patriotic
Associations and the DNVP gathered around Kahr in his new capacity
as Provincial President of Upper Bavaria—the province which
included Munich—and from this base began a campaign to discredit
Lerchenfeld and build support for Kahr's return to statewide power.
This campaign fed popular discontent with Lerchenfeld and strengthened
the position of the radical right-wing element within the BVP
itself. The efforts of Interior Minister Schweyer to increase
control over the Patriotic Associations received little support from
the party. In March 1922, the BVP tried to bring the DNVP back into
the governing coalition, in order to foreclose any further movement
toward the center. The BVP's trust in Lerchenfeld was rapidly
declining.^

115
The Lerchenfeld government could not live comfortably with the
radical right yet, given the power relations in Bavaria at the time,
it could not live without it either. The result was constant
fluctuation, an unsteady course which elicited contempt from all
quarters and promoted dissension within the government's nominal
base of support, the BVP. Under such conditions the government could
achieve little more for itself than survival.
The deepening economic crisis added to Lerchenfeld's already
difficult task. Although the collapse of political stability in
Germany was often associated with the runaway inflation in 1923,
the damage had largely been done by the autumn of 1922. Inflation
had increased steadily since the beginning of the First World War.
After the war the increase accelerated. The man who had put aside
50,000 Marks in the prewar period found that in the middle of 1922
this amount would purchase only 5,000 Marks worth of goods and
services; by the end of 1922 the value had sunk to 20 Marks. In
other words, inflation had transformed a comfortable nest egg, an
individual's dream of secure retirement, into a week's pocket money.
The wild inflation of the year 1923 only represented the monetary
system's final reduction to absurdity.^ To put the matter in terms
every Bavarian could understand, in 1918 a glass of beer cost only
17 Pfennig; by the end of 1922 the price had risen to 60 Marks, or
300 times as much.^ At such prices an evening at the beer hall gave
little cause for Gemiitlichkeit.

116
Even the political police suffered from the increase in the
price of beer. On September 26, 1922, the PDM addressed a plaintive
request for more funds to the Ministry of the Interior, justifying
its plea in the following terms:
.... Today the price of beer already exceeds 30
Marks. The officers assigned to observe political
gatherings in beer halls frequently must remain
on duty for four to six hours, often until well
past midnight. It is hard for them to make out
without something to eat and to drink. In some
places an officer cannot bring his own food
and drink without calling unwanted attention to
himself. Further, to the essential outlays for
food and drink must be added increased entrance
costs, clothing expenses, etc. The political
situation .... makes the close surveillance of
public political gatherings absolutely essential.
This duty creates impossible demands for the
assigned officers, who find it necessary to dip
into their own pockets to meet these substantial
expenses
The Ministry, however, needed little reminder of such problems,
for the consequences of inflation, not only for the political
police, but throughout all of society, were only too easy to see.
The problems facing the government did not end with the increase
in operational expenses. More fundamentally, the deepening economic
crisis heightened political tensions in Munich and throughout
Bavaria, adding a bitter edge to the already acrimonious political
atmosphere. Popular opinion linked the deteriorating economic
situation to Germany's reparations obligations under the Versailles
treaty and attached the blame for these conditions to the republican

117
leadership. The Reich government’s efforts to make the best of a bad
bargain won little public credit. Both the radical left and the
radical right sought to exploit this widespread discontent. In
March 1921, the Communists had attempted a rising in northern
Germany, and although the rising had been suppressed, their influence
in states such as Saxony and Thuringia appeared once again to be on
9
the ascendant. The radical right, in turn, used this Communist
threat to build further support for its own cause, adding the
Communist menace in its resurgent form to the already lengthy list
of sins attributed by the right to the republican leaders.^
Until his assassination in 1921, the focal point of this
hostility had been Matthias Erzberger. After Erzberger's death, the
right increasingly fixed its hatred upon the republic’s Foreign
Minister, Walter Rathenau. Rathenau's vital services to the German
cause during the First World War counted little with the right-wing
against the fact that Rathenau had become a leading exponent of the
policy of "fulfillment," the attempt to improve Germany's position
through cooperation with its former enemies, and against the fact
that Rathenau was Jewish. The attitude of the radical right found
expression in a popular ditty, which ended with the following couplet:
Knallt ab den Walter Rathenau,
die gottverfluchte Judensau
or, literally:

118
Shoot down Walter Rathenau,
the god-damned Jewish pig.
On June 24, 1922, four days before the third anniversary of the
signing of the Versailles treaty, a group of young rightists, led
by two members of the Organisation Consul, carried out the sentiment
of this ugly song. They lay in wait for Rathenau's car on its way
from his home in a Berlin suburb to his office in the city and, as
it passed, sprayed it with a fusillade from a submachine gun."^ The
two murderers fled in the direction of Bavaria. Shortly before
crossing the Bavarian border, they were trapped in an isolated castle
by the pursuing Berlin police and were killed in the subsequent
shoot-out. Their accomplices, however, were captured, tried, and
. „ , 12
convicted.
The bullets which felled Walter Rathenau also struck down the
Lerchenfeld government. In the face of a rising tide of anti-
Semitic and anti-republican feeling in Bavaria, Count Lerchenfeld
had taken a strong personal stand. Several months before Rathenau's
assassination, in a major speech before the Landtag, Lerchenfeld
had condemned the right's anti-Semitism and called for a more
reasonable attitude toward the republican government in Berlin.
Lerchenfeld's courageous speech won applause from moderates and
vilification from the radical right. In addition to their public
attacks on Lerchenfeld, the radical right now initiated a whispering
13
campaign of character assassination against him. With his Landtag

119
speech Lerchenfeld had irremediably identified himself with all that
was hated by the right in Bavaria, and, in the crisis which followed
the Rathenau assassination, he would find that the right could no
longer be conciliated short of his own resignation.
Buoyed by a tide of public feeling even greater than that
provoked by the murder of Erzberger, the Reich government announced
a series of emergency measures for the defense of the republic. The
decree permitted the ban of all meetings and demonstrations at which
individuals might be incited to illegal actions against the
republican state or to acts of violence against members of the
government. It set stiff penalties for acts of violence against
the republic and its political leaders. The decrees established
a special court for the trial of these cases. These measures, in
their original form, all depended upon the support of the police
14
authorities of the various states for their effectiveness. The
government, however, had recognized this flaw—previous experience
had taught them that local police cooperation could not be counted
upon. To free itself from dependence upon the woodwill of the state
governments and the local police forces, the republican leadership
resolved to push the passage of a law creating a federal police
agency, with broad political police powers. Coupled with the other
emergency decrees, which the government also wanted to transform
into permanent laws, the new federal police would allow a strong
counterattack against the enemies of the republic, left and right.^

120
In the aftermath of the Rathenau assassination little thought
was given to the possible application of these measures to the radical
left. On June 30, the Reich Chancellor, Josef Wirth of the Center
Party, had stood before the Reichstag and made his government's
16
position in the crisis clear: "The enemy stands on the right."
His words set the tone for the introduction of the new federal police
law, the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz, one week later. With the
introduction of this proposal a new and violent debate broke out,
within the Reichstag, between the states and the central government,
in the press, and in the streets.
A first attempt to create such an agency had been ventured in
1920. At that time Prussia had led a successful fight against the
federal police law, while Bavaria, seeing the utility of a national
political police in the fight against Communism, had strongly sup¬
ported it. With the reintroduction of the law in the summer of
1922, the tables were turned. Lerchenfeld himself might be willing
to negotiate, but for the radical right there could be no negotiation.
The "Law for the Defense of the Republic" was an attack upon their
position of power. And the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz, with its
provision for a political police force responsive to the government
in Berlin, threatened their secure base in Bavaria. The radical
right in Munich had been spoiled by the Pohner regime. It expected
the indulgence of the political police, at the very least. Without
such indulgence, the "cell of order" could not be maintained.

121
Lerchenfeld realized that such an attack upon the position of the
radical right in Bavaria would be met with violence. In his own
words, "If a federal police office is set up in Munich, then there
17
will be murder." And as Lerchenfeld well knew, if he allowed such
an office to be set up in Munich, his own days in office would be
numbered as well.
On July 21, 1922, the "Law for the Defense of the Republic"
took effect throughout Germany. The next day the political leaders
of the BVP joined with Count Lerchenfeld and other members of his
cabinet to decide upon a Bavarian response. Lerchenfeld proposed
a battle of attrition, in which Bavaria would make no specific
countermove, but rather drag its feet in carrying out the new law.
Instead, the party leaders opted for the hard line advocated by the
party right-wing. Surprisingly, even the normally moderate Schweyer
aligned himself with the hard line position. Only by taking a strong
stance against the new law, it was believed, could the BVP preserve
itself from a further loss of popular support. The party had been
hurt by the rightward shift of public opinion after Kahr's resigna¬
tion; it did not intend to be caught to the left of its supporters
, 18
once again.
To counter the "Law for the Defense of the Republic," the
Bavarian government announced its own "Decree for the Defense of the
Constitution of the Republic" on July 24. The Bavarian decree
reproduced most of the provisions of the national law, but with one

122
salient difference. Enforcement would be the province of the state
and not national authorities. Police agents of the Reich were
forbidden to act independently within the borders of Bavaria. So
structured, the Bavarian decree made the issue appear to be a matter
of state versus national rights in an area traditionally regarded
as the preserve of the states. The title of the Bavarian decree and
its preamble, which attacked the constitutionality of the "Law for
the Defense of the Republic," were meant to underscore this interpre-
19
tation of the Bavarian gesture. With memories of the behavior
of the PDM in the Erzberger case still fresh, few moderates, either
within Bavaria or without, were prepared to accept the sincerity of
the Bavarian government's argument that the issue was constitutional.
Although Lerchenfeld's own personal integrity was widely recognized,
it was equally clear that his government stood under heavy pressure
from the radical right and that, without that pressure, his government
would have followed a more accommodating course. The issue, squarely
put, was whether Bavaria would be allowed to continue as a privileged
20
sanctuary for right-wing terrorists.
Seeing this, the representative of the moderate DDP resigned
from the Lerchenfeld cabinet. The BVP political leadership seized
the chance to revive their efforts of the previous spring to bring
the DNVP back into the Bavarian government. This time they were
successful and, with the entry into the cabinet of the DNVP's
Franz GÃœrtner as Justice Minister, the long-sought creation of a

123
right-wing counterbalance to the moderate Lerchenfeld was completed.
21
Lerchenfeld was now even more dependent on the extreme right.
With the promulgation of the Bavarian counter-decree on July
24, the Lerchenfeld government had challenged the very basis of the
"Law for the Defense of the Republic." The leftists, united for
once on an issue, now began to exert pressure upon the Reich
government. In the midst of this pressure President Ebert directed
a conciliatory letter to Lerchenfeld. While the extremists on both
sides were girding for battle, the moderates sought a negotiated
resolution to the conflict. The Reich government, to be sure, had
already taken the position that the Bavarian decree was unconstitu¬
tional. It chose, however, not to press the issue for fear of
undermining Lerchenfeld's position—under no circumstances did the
22
national leadership wish to see Lerchenfeld replaced with Kahr.
On August 9 Lerchenfeld led a Bavarian delegation to Berlin to open
negotiations. Two days later, a tentative agreement was reached.
The Bavarian government would retract its own decree; in return, it
received assurances that only the most important political cases would
be tried before the special court created under the "Law for the
Defense of the Republic," that a second such court would be created
in cooperation with the south German state governments to try cases
arising in that region, and that no federal police officers would
opperate within a state without the express consent of that state,
except when in cases of the most urgent national interest. Lerchenfeld
23
was content with these results.

124
Upon returning to Munich, however, he discovered that the
coalition parties were unwilling to ratify the results of his
negotiations. On August 17 the assembled Landtag deputies of the
BVP and the DNVP voted to reject the Berlin agreement, on the grounds
that the assurances of the Reich government were not strong enough.
This gesture to public opinion resulted in yet a further round of
negotiations before agreement was finally reached. On August 25
the Bavarian government withdrew its own decree and allowed the "Law
24
for the Defense of the Republic" to take effect in Bavaria.
Lerchenfeld's compromise, in fact, was a noteworthy victory
for the Bavarian government. Bavaria would have a say in the compo¬
sition of any court empowered to try cases arising from events in
the state. Moreover, the Reichskriminalpolizeigesetz had been
rendered toothless. As the police from Baden had discovered in the
Erzberger case, any attempt to operate with the consent and cooperation
of the Bavarian police was tantamount to simply giving up the matter—
at least when the suspect had right-wing connections. The law
creating a federal police office, although passed by the Reichstag,
25
would never be implemented.
But Lerchenfeld's victory still looked too much like a defeat
to the radical right. On August 16, the day before the BVP and DNVP
Landtag delegations voted to reject the original compromise with
Berlin, the Patriotic Associations had mustered a crowd of 50,000
demonstrators at Munich's Konigsplatz to protest the agreement; this

125
demonstration was very much on the minds of the deputies as they
voted. The further assurances attained by Lerchenfeld from the Reich
government likewise failed to please the radical right—nothing
less than a firm rejection of the "Law for the Defense of the
Republic" and its accompanying legislation would do. On August 25 the
Patriotic Associations staged yet another massive demonstration in
Munich. By this point their tone, indeed, had become so threatening
that the government was forced to reckon with a possible putsch
attempt. Under orders from the cabinet, Police President Nortz
banned the August 25 demonstration; the ban, however, was issued too
late to prevent the demonstration from taking place, even had the
Patriotic Associations been willing to comply. The ban produced
nothing save an increase in hostility between the radical right and
. 26
the government.
The government’s fears of a putsch attempt had not been far
wrong. Ernst Rohm, an army staff officer with manifold connections
to the Patriotic Associations, Pohner, and Pittinger sought to
organize just such a stroke. Their first efforts proved fruitless.
General von Mohl, the commander of the Bavarian Reichswehr, showed
interest, but was unwilling to act without the cooperation of the
BVP circles around Georg Heim. When approached by the conspirators,
Heim, too, showed interest, but could not be moved to an open commit¬
ment. With this, the military concluded that the time was not yet
ripe for action. Pittinger and Pohner then turned to Hitler, hoping

126
with his help to transform the August 25 demonstration into a toppling
blow against the Lerchenfeld government. The matter was left until
too late, and nothing could be done. The only concrete result was
a break between Rohm and Pittinger. Disgusted with Pittinger's
apparent indecisiveness, Rohm now placed his not inconsiderable
27
influence in the service of the more radical patriotic associations.
The crisis had passed, but the situation remained tense. The
National Socialists were growing stronger, and Hitler was rapidly
emerging as a spokesman for the entire radical right. The Patriotic
Associations would now settle for nothing less than the destruction
of the Lerchenfeld government. The government itself saw the danger
only too clearly. A spokesman close to the cabinet remarked after
the disturbances of August 25 that, "If it comes to a putsch by the
right, we can count on neither the army, nor the police, much less
the elements of the former Civic Guard to protect us; they would more
28
likely support the putsch."
Despite this uneasiness, however, the political police remained
the government's first line of defense. Confronted by the pressing
danger of a right-wing revolt and the ever deteriorating economic
situation, the government resolved to improve the existing political
police network. The informal agreement reached during the December 7,
1920, meeting at the PDM had sufficed as a means of coordinating
political intelligence so long as the leading police officials were
of one mind on the purposes of political intelligence and so long as

127
a strong hand—Pohner's hand—guided its overall operations. With
the fall of Pohner and the break between the government and the
radical right, this unity no longer existed. Only a formal regulation
of the political intelligence service, accompanied by a strong
statement of intention on the part of the government, could establish
a political intelligence service in any way responsive to the govern¬
ment's needs. In the face of a possible putsch on August 25 the
government had been dependent upon rumors; the next time this might
not be enough.
To meet this need, the Ministry of the Interior issued a secret
decree on October 24, 1922, creating a statewide political police
intelligence service. In its preamble the decree referred explicitly
to the August disturbances and both the preamble and the body of the
decree laid great stress upon the careful surveillance of the radical
right as well as the radical left. The objects of surveillance were
to be the radical movements in Bavaria. The plural "movements"
marked a departure from previous language, and few who read the
decree could mistake the government's intent. The left might remain
as the long-range enemy—the decree gave no indication of a change
of heart there—but, in the midst of the current crisis atmosphere,
Lerchenfeld and Schweyer were telling the police that the most active
29
enemy stood on the right.
The actual provisions of the decree followed closely the guidelines
established by Frick in December 1920. The decree specified that

128
the political information desk at the PDM, desk VI/N, would serve
as the central intelligence office for the entire state. It would
simultaneously serve as the intermediate collection and dissemination
center for the three provinces of southern Bavaria and the Rhine
Palatinate. For the four northern Bavarian provinces, the State
Police Office Nuremberg-Fürth, which had replaced the Polizeistelle
*
Nordbayern in Bamberg, would perform the same role. All contacts
with political police agencies outside of Bavaria would be routed
through the Ministry of the Interior or PDM VI/N—with the contro¬
versy over outside police agents in Bavaria fresh in its memory, the
government had no intention of allowing itself to be circumvented