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 traitors. The victims included Germans suspected of espionage for the Allied Commission charged with enforcing the provisions of the post-World War I Treaty of Versailles. Desperate to conceal their increasing military buildup, the Reichswehr tried suspected spies in absentia and assassinated those who were ruled to be spies.

The term Feme or Femegerichte comes from the name given to a form of vigilantism practised 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 legal system rigorously prosecuted veterans of Marxist death squads after the German Revolution of 1918–1919 and the political activities of the Bavarian Soviet Republic, little was done to investigate the Feme murders. Although mid-level Officers like Schulz were convicted and imprisoned before an amnesty for the Feme murders was declared in 1930, Germans who investigated and exposed the murders were tried and convicted for slandering the Army for their role in doing so.[2]


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