Palmsonntagsputsch, 13 April 1919

A fundamental problem of the Soviet Republic in Munich was the antagonism between the socialist parties USPD, MSPD and KPD. On 12 April, they were able to reach an agreement, in which the Social Democrats complied very much with the KPD.

On Palm Sunday, under the command of Alfred von Seyffertitz (1884-1944), the pro-government "Republikanische Schutztruppe" (Republican Protection Army) tried to overthrow the new rulers in Munich. Seyffertitz had coordinated the action, known as the "Palmsonntagsputsch", with the Hoffmann government in Bamberg. In the beginning the army was able to achieve success: it arrested some important protagonists of the Soviet Republic, among them Erich Mühsam, and occupied the city military and police headquarters. In its proclamation, the unit threatened the summary execution of all persons who had laid hands on the hostages or on the defenders of the "sole lawful government".

However, since the Protection Force was not reinforced from outside and since most of the Munich garrison had not joined it, it was unable to assert itself. The Soviet government and the KPD issued calls for counter-demonstrations and the first armed clashes took place in downtown Munich. At the main station, the pro-government troops were finally beaten by supporters of the Soviet Republic and fled the city on a train. In the end, 21 people were killed and 80 injured. Despite this victory, however, the Soviet government could no longer hold its own.

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