Feme murders

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The Feme murders (German: Fememorde) were a series of politically motivated murders in Weimar-period Germany that were committed in 1919-1923 by the German far right against political opponents deemed treasonous by the right. The victims included left-wing activists killed for exposing German military activities that were officially prohibited under the post-World War I Treaty of Versailles.

The term Feme or Femegerichte comes from the name given to a form of vigilantism practiced in Germany during the Middle Ages. Medieval vigilante courts in Germany (Feme courts) were responsible for prosecuting common criminals in the absence of evidence sufficient for conviction.[1]

While the Weimar judiciary rigorously prosecuted leftists involved in the German Revolution of 1918–1919 and the political activities of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, little was done in response to the Feme murders. Although mid-level military officers like Schulz were eventually convicted and imprisoned before an amnesty for the Feme murders was declared in 1930, Germans who exposed the killings were tried and convicted for insulting the military establishment for their role in doing so, even when their allegations against the military were true.[2]


  1. ^ Brenner 2002, p. 63.
  2. ^ Gay 2001, p. 21.