Kahr, Gustav Ritter von

born Gustav Kahr (1862-1934)
   civil ser-vant; was Bavarian General State Commissioner at the time of the Beerhall Putsch.* Born to a judge in Weissenburg in Bavaria,* he completed legal studies in 1888. His 1902 appointment to Bavaria s Interior Ministry was followed by rapid promotion to Staatsrat. His dedication to protecting folk art and historic monuments in Bavaria s provincial cities brought ennoblement in 1911.
   In 1917, as provincial president of Upper Bavaria, Kahr was among the first officials to predict the coming upheaval. After the November Revolution* he became convinced of the need to form a connection with Berlin* that comple-mented Bavaria s needs. A Protestant,* he entered the Catholic BVP and in the wake of the Kapp* Putsch became Prime Minister in a coalition advocating restoration of the Bavarian monarchy. The Landtag forced his resignation in September 1921 when he rejected Berlin's demand that Bavaria's Einwohner-wehr be disbanded. He thereupon resumed his duties as provincial president.
   Kahr met Hitler* just before relinquishing office. With like-minded contem-poraries, he deemed Hitler the drummer for Germany s national revival and hoped that Bavaria's many Wehrverbande might unite behind the Nazi leader. On 26 September 1923, with Berlin enmeshed in crisis, Bavarian Prime Minister Eugen von Knilling* appointed Kahr to the semi-dictatorial post of General State Commissioner. In succeeding weeks Kahr, who desired an authoritarian state, toyed with the idea of a march on Berlin. But by the evening of 8 November, the occasion of Hitler s putsch, he had abandoned his plan as unworkable (he may have intended proposing a Wittelsbach restoration). Hitler s unexpected action split Bavaria s nationalists and doomed Kahr s political future. His am-bivalence to the putsch led friend and foe alike to use him as a scapegoat.
   When Kahr was dismissed from office in February 1924, his civil-service career seemed at an end. But in 1930 Heinrich Held* named him President of Bavaria s Verwaltungsgerichtshof (administrative court). Hitler had him exe-cuted on 30 June 1934 as part of the Rohm* purge.
   REFERENCES:Dorondo, Bavaria and German Federalism; Ellen Evans, German Center Party; Garnett, Lion, Eagle, and Swastika; Harold Gordon, Hitler; NDB, vol. 11.

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

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