Munich 1919: Diary of a Revolution by Victor Klemperer

Cover for Munich 1919: Diary of a Revolution by Victor Klemperer

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

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

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

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