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In the aftermath of Germany’s defeat in World War I and the failed November Revolution of 1918–19, which was led by many prominent Jewish politicians, the conservative government of Bavaria identified Jews with left-wing radicalism. Munich became a hotbed of right-wing extremism, with synagogues under attack and Jews physically assaulted in the streets. It was here that Adolf Hitler established the Nazi movement and developed his antisemitic ideas. This lecture provides a gripping account of how Bavaria’s capital city became the testing ground for Nazism and the Final Solution.

Michael Brenner holds the chair of Jewish History and Culture at Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. He is also Distinguished Professor of History and Seymour and Lillian Abensohn Chair in Israel Studies at American University andserves as International President of the Leo Baeck Institute for the Study of German-Jewish History. In 2021 he was the first recipient of the Baron Award for Scholarly Excellence in Research of the Jewish Experience. He is author of ten books, translated into over a dozen languages. His latest books are In Hitler’s Munich: Jews, the Revolution, and the Rise of Nazism, (Princeton University Press 2022) and In Search of Israel: The History of an Idea (Princeton University Press, 2018).

Bavarian Revolution, Theresienwiese, 1918. Public domain

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Kurt Eisner with his wife and minister Hans Unterleitner in January 1919, right before he was murdered

Michael Brenner’s book, “In Hitler’s Munich: Jews, the Revolution, and the Rise of Nazism” was published by Princeton University Press in 2022.

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