Heinrich Hoffmann, One Year of the Bavarian Revolution in Pictures, 1919 (Photo Report Hoffmann)

In autumn 1919, the 32-page brochure "Ein Jahr bayerische Revolution im Bilde" was published with a print run of 10,000 copies. The propaganda publication with 130 black-and-white illustrations, quickly sold out and reprinted in a second edition of the same size at the beginning of January, was one of the most influential contemporary works of reception during the revolutionary period in Bavaria. It stands at the beginning of anti-revolutionary propaganda by right-wing extremist circles. Not only is the selection of the illustrations printed in it trenchant, many of the images used are also staged or reworked.

The author of this "Photoatlas" was Heinrich Hoffmann (1885-1957), a press photographer from Fürth, who opened a portrait studio in Munich in 1909 and later became the most important photojournalist for Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) and for the NSDAP. In his one-sided and openly anti-Semitic account, Hoffmann describes the revolutionary period as a time that amounted to nothing but chaos. While the democratic achievements of the revolution are hardly mentioned, the escalation of events during spring 1919 is discussed in detail, deliberately blurring the revolution of 7 November 1918 and the Munich Soviet Republic. On the one side, there are the murderous exponents of the revolution, who plunged the country into chaos, and on the other side, the reactionary members of the Reichswehr and Freikorps, who re-instituted order.

To the digitised copy