Revolution in digital form – bavarikon presents the virtual exhibition "Revolution and Soviet Republics in Bavaria 1918/ 19"

One hundred years ago, a revolution brought down the rule of the Wittelsbach dynasty and Kurt Eisner proclaimed the "Free State of Bavaria". On this occasion the cultural portal bavarikon presents the virtual exhibition "Revolution and Soviet Republics in Bavaria 1918/ 19". At, 90 high-carat exhibits from ten cultural institutions have been made accessible recently. The focus of the exhibition is on the events in the capital Munich. In addition, also different developments in ten further places in Franconia, Swabia and Old Bavaria are shown.

The exhibits convey impressions of the drama of the events of November 1918 up to the violent suppression of the soviet republics in May 1919. All objects can be viewed in outstanding digital quality in the portal. The exhibition presents contemporary flyers, photographs and caricatures, as well as several original film recordings. Armbands of members of volunteer corps or soldiers' councils, election posters and paintings further illustrate the events. The exhibits also include very special items, such as Kurt Eisner's handwritten draft of the proclamation of the Free State of Bavaria.

The exhibition is structured by five chronologically arranged parts and an in-depth information level. The presentation starts with the run-up to the revolution at the end of the First World War. It continues with the overthrow that took place in Munich on 7/ 8 November 1918 and the formation of a government led by Kurt Eisner. The challenges of the time from the immediate aftermath of the war up to the Bavarian state election in January 1919 are addressed as well. The journey through the months of the revolution continues with the assassination of Kurt Eisner and the assaults in the Bavarian parliament in February 1919, up to the proclamation of the "Räterepublik Baiern", the Soviet Republic of Bavaria, on 7 April 1919. In this context, the soviet republics in Munich and other places in Bavaria, such as Augsburg, Fürth or Rosenheim, and their suppression by government troops and volunteer corps are addressed. The exhibition ends by taking stock of the positive achievements and the problematic by-products and consequences of the time of revolution. On the in-depth information level visitors can browse additional sources and literature about important events and protagonists of 1918/ 19.

The virtual revolution exhibition is a joint project of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, the Bavarian State Archives and the Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte (Center of Bavarian History).

Dr. Klaus Ceynowa, Director General of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: "The virtual exhibition 'Revolution and Soviet Republics in Bavaria 1918/ 19' once again highlights the innovative force of the Bavarian cultural portal bavarikon. The Bavarian revolution has been brought to life on the Internet for everybody around the world."

The virtual bavarikon exhibition will be presented on 15 November 2018 at the public event "October Revolution, November Revolution, world revolution? – The years 1917 to 1919 in Russia and in Bavaria". In addition to discussing the interconnections and mutual influences of the events in the two countries, it is intended to also shed a light on the various phases of the remembrance culture(s). The keynote speech will be given by Prof. Dr. Karl Schlögel, Getty Research Institute. He will also take part in the panel discussion together with Prof. Dr. Marita Krauss, University of Augsburg, and Dr. Bernhard Grau, Bavarian Main State Archive. The discussion will be moderated by the historian and journalist Dr. Sybille Krafft.

Start: 17:30, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Ludwigstrasse 16
Registration required. Please contact us:  (English version)

Press release for download
Press release  (PDF, 609 KB)


Dr. Stephan Kellner
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Ludwigstr. 16, 80539 Munich
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2278

Ulrike Rehusch
Press and Public Relations
Phone:  +49 89 28638-2057


About bavarikon
bavarikon is the portal leading to the art, culture and regional information of the Free State of Bavaria. It is designed to be interdisciplinary and contains contents from archives, libraries and museums. The portal makes the multifaceted cultural heritage of Bavaria accessible worldwide, free of charge. Its target group are both the broad public interested in culture and academic users. bavarikon is a module of the Bavarian culture concept.
bavarikon is a joint project of the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and Culture and the Bavarian State Ministry of Finance, Land Development and Heritage. Decisions about digitization projects are taken by the thirteen members of the bavarikon council. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek manages the day-to-day editorial, technical and organisational operation of bavarikon.