862.00/377: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall ) to the Secretary of State

6026. Muehlon13 just returned from Munich which he visited at invitation of Kurt Eisner. He reports great mass of government held down by fear of terrorism. Council of Soldiers, Workmen and Peasants consists [of?] only a part [of?] soldiers and are only ruling force of government and rest entirely on possession of machine guns. These weapons have not been used, but this is merely because of Eisner’s personal aversion to bloodshed. If he were assassinated and another took his place terror might commence, as there is no resistance anywhere. Local authorities have stuck to posts and work subservient to councils. Railways, street cars, general utilities still functioning but with irregularity. Food naturally extremely scarce.

In soldiers’ councils Jews taking leading part partly because of ability to grasp situation with facility, partly because of oratorical ability.

Eisner is predominating figure in Munich. Galician Jew he has lived in Berlin and during war aligned himself with Independent Socialists. Is completely out of touch with all elements of people except Soldiers’ Council. Believes in force alone and recognition his authority depends on machine guns. Unwilling however to shed blood unless necessary. In this respect differs from Liebknecht who is willing to sacrifice innumerable lives to establish Bolshevik regime. Eisner at heart a Bolshevist but trying to hide feelings to curry favor with Entente, since he recognizes safety of country depends on Entente. He is willing to sacrifice unity of Germany and sign anything in order to obtain special concessions for Bavaria which will enable him to remain in public office. Muehlon adds that the [apparent omission] and Rhine province would gladly go to France while [Page 109] Bavaria would in immense majority like to be independent. Eisner regards dissolution of Empire as inevitable but talks vaguely of ultimate federalization of States. Men like Jaffe and Foerster are holding posts in Government merely because Eisner recognizes their value with Entente as giving intellectual cachet to his government. Eisner ignores local press but is extremely adroit with correspondents of Entente press. Eisner flatly opposed to convocation of Constituent Assembly because he fears representation of peasant and bourgeois classes even though it be minority representation. He is flatly opposed to present government in Berlin since it contains Solf, Erzberger, David and Scheidemann. His opposition to them is based first, on their previous participation in old regime; second, on their conservative tendencies and desire to preserve order at all costs. He does not believe they can obtain satisfactory peace and therefore made proposal to Muehlon that an Empire Council be established for the purpose of forming peace, to be composed of Eisner, Keimertsky, Haase, certain politicians and Muehlon, the latter, as he frankly told Muehlon, for decorative purposes and for sympathy of Entente. Muehlon refused.

From information received in Bavaria Muehlon believes similar conditions exist everywhere perhaps not as [much?] in Berlin as in Munich. He is convinced that days of present government in Berlin are numbered and that with returning troops chaos will become ever greater. He believes Independent Socialists have permitted presence of Majority Socialists in Government only because, to soldiers at front, their names stood for liberalism during the war. As soon as the soldiers become properly educated by populations at home independents will throw out Majority Socialists and the Spartacus group will have complete sway with inevitable sanguinary results.

Muehlon recommends that if food is sent Bavaria, and food is urgently necessary, it should be distributed by units of Entente armies and not delivered to Eisner’s government in order not to strengthen his hand.

Muehlon believes only two possible solutions exist; (1) the appearance of some general able to retain personal loyalty of some military unit. Muehlon hardly regards this as possible in view of the fact that there is now not even a lieutenant who has kept control of his company without being forced to sign agreement of degrading conditions; (2) the intervention of the Entente throughout Germany. Muehlon believes latter step inevitable sooner or later and urges that it come in near future in order to save Germany from intermittent stages of terrorism. If such intervention possible he urges that it be not made as punitive measure but as measure of aiding new German Republic to establish stable and democratic government. Necessity [Page 110] for intervention will cease when Constituent Assembly elected and military authority established under that Assembly.

Muehlon adds time for words of hate is over and that if America and Entente desire lasting influence in Germany it must avoid appearance of dictating to criminal agents receiving just deserts.

Am sending memorandum to Colonel House.

  1. Dr. Wilhelm Muehlon, former director of Krupps, later resident in Switzerland, author of Die Verheerung Europas (Zurich, 1918), and critic of the German Government’s war policies.