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4 - Revolution on Trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2021

Eliza Ablovatski
Affiliation:
Kenyon College, Ohio
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Summary

This chapter examines how the police and courts became the main audience for competing revolutionary narratives of guilt and victimization. People wanted to punish others and rehabilitate themselves. The courts functioned both as a sounding board for narratives through which one found resonance and affected verdicts and sentencing and also as a transmitter of new narratives to the public, as court verdicts seemed to be the official or “true” story of the revolutions. The transnational comparison of Budapest and Munich shows that the narrative developed in each was quite different and led to differential severity of verdicts and sentencing, with the courts in Hungary being more punitive. This situation in turn further radicalized Hungarians on the Left and the Right in the interwar period, with the “judicial terror” added to the fraught narrative of revolution and counterrevolution. In Bavaria, though memoirs such as Ernst Toller’s sought to rally supporters with examples of legal mistreatment, the revolution did not play as central a role in the symbolic world of Weimar German politics, overshadowed by even limited events such as the January 1919 Spartacus Uprising and the martyrdom during that revolt of the communist leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Revolution on Trial
  • Eliza Ablovatski, Kenyon College, Ohio
  • Book: Revolution and Political Violence in Central Europe
  • Online publication: 18 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139049535.005
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  • Revolution on Trial
  • Eliza Ablovatski, Kenyon College, Ohio
  • Book: Revolution and Political Violence in Central Europe
  • Online publication: 18 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139049535.005
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Revolution on Trial
  • Eliza Ablovatski, Kenyon College, Ohio
  • Book: Revolution and Political Violence in Central Europe
  • Online publication: 18 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781139049535.005
Available formats
×