The Himmler Revolution was an uprising in Munich, Germany, from June-September, 1932. It created the Socialist Republic of Bavaria and had Heinrich Himmler as its dictator. The revolution gained momentum through June and July and even August, but in the middle of August American troops arrived and destroyed the revolution. On September 23, 1932, the Socialist Republic of Bavaria surrendered to the Americans.
The roots of the Himmler Revolution can be traced back to 1929. While most countries re-cooperated after the Great Depression of 1929, Germany, already in heavy debt, was hit hard. Heinrich Himmler, the mayor of Munich, believed that him and his right-wing views could solve the economic problems in his homeland (Bavaria) if he only declared independence.
Beginning of the Rebellion
On June 10, 1932, Heinrich Himmler wrote a letter to the King of Romania. He asked for assistance in their upcoming revolution, and the Romanians would get trade benefits and even territory.
The King rejected, seeing Himmler as mad. But on June 15, 1932, Himmler declared Munich independent. He recruited an army of 10,000 in Munich and had them patrol the city. Him and several others wrote a constitution for the Socialist Republic of Bavaria that was published six days later.
By June 18, German troops were headed for Munich. But Bavarian guerrilla troops were ambushing the Germans along the way. It is said that 1,000 German troops died just on the way. When they reached Munich on June 20, they defeated a Bavarian army outside the city, taking heavy casualties and inflicting many more. But when they called for more supplies and men, they learned that all of Bavaria had pledged allegiance to the new republic.
That army of German troops was destroyed completely. The Bavarian army now had 65,000 men and raided Bonn, Germany, and even attacked a city in Czechoslovakia. In early July, the Socialist Republic of Bavaria controlled all of Southern Germany.
The revolution reached its pinnacle on July 21, when there were 109,000 men in the revolution, and it controlled some 4 million people. But soon, Czechoslovakia, France, Belgium, and Austria would declare war on the revolution. Still, the Bavarians managed to win several victories along the border and defended their homeland.
Downfall of the Revolution
Everything went downhill from August 9. The Americans declared that they would crush "the rebellion that is barely even a rebellion" (in President Herbert Hoover's words). The Americans sent 20,000 men that soon secured many major cities.
From then to September 2, the Americans seized many more cities. The Bavarian retaliation began on September 2 and lasted until September 11. It was a series of guerrilla attacks by the Bavarians. They managed to kill or injure 6400 enemy troops. But after these brief retaliations, the Americans soon regained ground again.
On September 16, Munich fell. The government fled to a small town in the countryside. The revolutionaries suffered more and more casualties. On September 21, most revolutionaries disbanded. On September 23, the government surrendered. Himmler fled to Switzerland where the government refused to put him on trial.
Although the rebellion was crushed, it would show that Germany was not strong enough to withstand war itself, even a puny one. In 1937, an even more radical Adolf Hitler would takeover Austria and conquer most of Germany. It also helped Herbert Hoover get elected as president of the United States again.