Arco-Valley, Anton graf von

(1897-1945)
   assassin of Kurt Eisner.* Born in St. Martin bei Ried in Upper Austria, he was scion of a respected Austro-Bavarian family; an uncle, Emmerich von Arco-Valley, had served the Imperial Foreign Office as Ambassador to Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, and Athens. Anton, a former officer in the Bavarian Royal Guards, became enamored of rightist ideology in the wake of the Armistice.* According to Rudolf von Se-bottendorff of the Thule Society,* he was refused entry into the racist group because of Jewish ancestry on his mother s side (the Oppenheim banking family). Although he apparently supported Eisner in 1918, he murdered the Prime Minister on the morning of 21 February 1919. Sebottendorff claimed that he "wanted to show that even a half Jew* could carry out an act of heroism. At his trial he testified that it was his duty to get Eisner out of the way to bring order back to Bavaria.* The murder was an essential step in the formation of Munich's Raterepublik.
   Upon shooting Eisner, Arco-Valley was in turn wounded by the Prime Min-ister s bodyguard. After convalescence, he was tried and condemned to death. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and after about five years (during which he was joined at Landsberg Prison by Hitler*) he was released.
   Arco-Valley was a fervent Bavarian who consistently opposed Berlin s* in-fluence in southern Germany. His early support of Eisner was no doubt linked to the Prime Minister s success in retaining Bavaria s separate identity, but as Eisner's reputation faltered, so did Arco-Valley's confidence. As an opponent of German nationalism, he distrusted the NSDAP. In 1925 he wrote Aus 5 Jahren Festungshaft (From 5 years of fortress confinement). Later he edited the regionally popular newspaper* Bayerische Vaterland and eventually worked for Suddeutsche Lufthansa.
   REFERENCES:Bosl, Franz, and Hofmann, Biographisches Worterbuch; Mitchell, Revo-lution in Bavaria; NDB, vol. 1; Phelps, " 'Before Hitler Came ; Waite, Vanguard of Nazism.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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