The Rise of National Socialism in the Bavarian Highlands : A Microhistory of Murnau, 1919-1933 book cover
1st Edition

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

ISBN 9781032003719
Published December 29, 2021 by Routledge
254 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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


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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.