Eisner, Kurt

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Eisner, Kurt

(ko͝ort` īs`nər), 1867–1919, German socialist. He studied at the Friedrich Wilhelm Univ. in Berlin and edited several leading socialist newspapers. In 1917 he joined the newly formed Independent Social Democratic party. Eisner was convicted (1918) of treason for inciting a strike among munitions workers. Released, he organized the revolution that overthrew the Bavarian monarchy (Nov. 7, 1918), and he became the first republican premier of Bavaria. He opposed Prussian domination in German affairs and advocated a more genuinely federal German state to give Bavaria a leading role. Seeking to pacify the Allied powers, Eisner published documents from the Bavarian archives reputing to prove German responsibility for World War I. An idealist with little political ability, he rapidly lost support and was assassinated (Feb. 21, 1919) on his way to present his resignation to the Bavarian parliament. Eisner's collected writings were published in 1919.


See study by A. Mitchell (1965).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Eisner, Kurt


Born May 14, 1867, in Berlin; died Feb. 21, 1919, in Munich. Figure in the German workers’ movement; journalist.

Eisner joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1898. From 1898 to 1905 he was editor in chief of the newspaper Vorwärts, a party organ, and was closely associated with revisionists. During World War I he assumed an anti-imperialist stance. Eisner became a member of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1917. After leading a strike at military plants in Munich in January 1918, he was imprisoned. During the November Revolution of 1918, Eisner was the chairman of the Munich council of workers, soldiers, and peasants; he subsequently became prime minister of the republican government of Bavaria.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.