Back to Index

GERMANY: Bavaria

Speaking of regional independence movements in Europe, Chrisopher Jones comments: "I do have an open question: why is there not a stronger independence movement in Bavaria? If you look at the current state of affairs in Germany, Herr Stoiber could easily find himself Kanzler of Bayern". RH: In his frustration, Stoiber has changed. He used to be sober in his manner. Now in his speeches, he expresses his frustration by jumping around and ranting. Like the US and France, Germany has a north south problem. Bavaria is largely Catholic, and the crucifix appears in public buildings. Bavarian sovereignty has an odd history. It was proclaimed a kingdom under French auspices by Napoleon in 1806, but then joined the coalition which overthrew him. Ludwig I and II were famous as patrons of the arts. In the 1866 Seven Weeks War, it allied itself with Austria against Prussia, which won, but it made its peace with Prussia. and in 1871 became part of the German Empire. After World War I the monarchy was overthrown, and a short-lived socialist republic was established. Bavaria was incorporated into the Weimar Republic, In 1923 Hitler took part in the abortive Munich putch, which was largely a protest against the north. However, when Hitler gained power, he wanted to abolish the names of the various states and proclaim them regions with only a number. All this exacerbated Bavarian nationalism. When I lived in Bavaria in the 30s, my host defended the old monarchy. I do not know if there any opinion polls on the subject of Bavarian nationalism.

Ronald Hilton - 11/26/02