This was done following the example of Russia. In fact, about two weeks earlier, a Soviet Republic was also proclaimed in Hungary.
On this day in 1919, the Bavarian Soviet Republic was declared in Munich. The Germans called the state “Bayerische Räterepublik”, where the word “Räte” means “soviets” (workers’ councils). Of course, this was done following the example was then the Russian Soviet Republic (the USSR was established only 3 and a half years later). About two weeks earlier (21 March, 1919), the a Soviet Republic was also proclaimed in Hungary.
At the head of the Bavarian Soviet Republic was initially Ernst Toller, a man of Jewish origin. It is curious that he was by profession a playwright. Six days later, the communists led by Eugene Levine seized power (he was also of Jewish origin). The communists had big plans, such as the establishment of a “Red Army”, the abolition of paper money, and placing factories under the control of workers.
Allegedly, at Lenin’s urging, the communists in Bavaria took hostages among people from high society. In late April they executed eight people on charges of espionage. One of those killed was Prince Gustav von Thurn und Taxis, from one of the most prestigious and richest Bavarian families. Countess Hella von Westarp was also murdered.
The Bavarian Soviet Republic didn’t last even for a month. Namely, already on 3 May, it was violently suppressed by rightist forces. Communist leader Eugene Levine was arrested and shot by a firing squad.