1st Edition

The Rise of National Socialism in the Bavarian Highlands A Microhistory of Murnau, 1919-1933

By Edith Raim Copyright 2022
    254 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Rise of National Socialism in the Bavarian Highlands offers a microhistory of the town of Murnau between 1919 and 1933, a period which witnessed the rise of national socialism in Germany.

    National socialism had its roots in Bavaria, where the Weimar Republic found it difficult to secure popular support amongst the rural population. It was in this region that economic hardship and effective national socialist propaganda furthered the erosion of democracy. Focusing on Murnau, this book examines the political and economic state of the town, as well as the mentality and social composition of its inhabitants. It also looks at the development of tourism in the interwar period, a topic which has received little scholarly attention. Although the study limits itself to one town, the reactions of its inhabitants reflect a common attitude of nostalgia for a seemingly better past and a rejection of the ‘excessive’ demands of modernity that the Weimar Republic exacted on them.

    This book will appeal to scholars and students of national socialism, as well as those interested in the Weimer Republic, Nazi Germany, microhistory, and the history of tourism.

    List of Figures




    Chapter 1: Murnau at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

    Life in Murnau


    Clubs and societies


    Chapter 2: Murnau During the Early Years of Crisis (1918/19-1923)

    Bavaria after 1918: politics in a state of emergency

    Revolution and demobilization

    Parties and elections on local, regional and national levels

    The citizens' militia

    Economic crisis, plight and inflation

    Local protagonists and völkisch propaganda

    Agitation against the Allies and reparations

    The Oberland League

    Andreas Hofer League

    The founding of the National Socialist local branch in Murnau

    Membership in the NSDAP local branch

    Campaigning for the NSDAP

    Hitler's visit to Murnau

    Murnau citizens participating in the Hitler Putsch

    War legacy

    Returning soldiers and death cult

    James Loeb and the controversy about ‘Jewish’ money

    Sports and politics

    Winter Sports Club

    Aviation as rearmament effort

    ‘Schützenvereine’: marksmen’s clubs

    Warriors’ and Veterans’ Association and League of Front Fighters

    Tourism and xenophobia


    Cultural self-assertion

    Chapter 3: Murnau during the Roaring Twenties (1924-1928)

    Tourism and politics


    The Association for Germandom Abroad

    Imposters and the bankruptcy and closure of businesses

    Mass entertainment under völkisch rumbling

    Retail’s struggle against consumer cooperatives

    Infrastructure and welfare

    Chapter 4: Murnau and the Slide into Dictatorship (1929-1932)


    Communal, Landtag and Reichstag elections

    Mastering crisis

    The Year 1930

    The year 1931

    The Murnau hospital. A perfect solution?

    Excursus: The trace of money

    The year 1932


    Unpublished Sources



    Published Sources

    Primary sources

    Secondary sources



    Edith Raim is Lecturer of Contemporary History at the University of Augsburg, Germany. She has previously worked at the University of Durham, the Haus der Geschichte in Bonn, and the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich.