Minutes of the Bavarian Socialisation Commission, 1919

After the revolution of 1918, attempts began to impose socialisation as one of the main goals of social democracy. In Bavaria, Prime Minister Kurt Eisner (1867-1919) considered rapid socialisation infeasible in view of the catastrophic economic situation. Eisner strove for a gradual reorientation, in which production was to be placed at the service of the general public under state supervision without disabling private initiative though. A Socialisation Commission was therefore set up in December 1918, which was to merely have an advisory role.

It met for the first time on 22 January 1919 at the State Ministry of Finance in Munich. At this meeting the attendees, representatives of the state, the economy, employees and councils, elected a main commission (later called the main committee), which was to form sub-committees for various areas. The Commission mainly focused on electricity supply, banking and housing issues. The main committee was chaired by the national economist Lujo Brentano (1844-1931), his deputy was the independent finance minister in Eisner's cabinet, Edgar Jaffé (1866-1921).

By appointing additional members, the main committee initially expanded to become the "Sub-Commission for the Utilisation of Hydropower and Electricity Supply", which began its work on 31 January 1919 and ended it on 26 March 1919. Numerous experts were involved, such as Oskar von Miller (1855-1934).

On 22 February 1919, the main committee decided to start a study of urban housing conditions. In view of the turmoil following Kurt Eisner's assassination (21 February 1919), this committee did not meet again until 8 March 1919 and then decided to focus initially on mortgage banking.

The Sub-Commission for Mortgage Banking first met on 10 March 1919 and was renamed the "Sub-Commission for Mortgage Banking and Housing" on 29 March 1919. On 5 April 1919, she adjourned to 7 April 1919. The proclamation of the soviet republic in Bavaria on the night of 6 to 7 April 1919 however prevented another meeting and also put an end to the Bavarian Socialisation Commission's work.

Minutes exist for all 23 meetings from 22 January to 5 April 1919, usually in the form of printed minutes.

Florian Sepp

>> This collection is from the holdings of the Industrie- und Handelskammer für München und Oberbayern (Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK)).