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As Fememord were political killings known that - due to a Feme of traitors from - clandestine , conspiratorial right in the first years of the groupings Weimar Republic were committed. The murder practice became known in 1925. More recently, too, similar murders have been referred to as fememord in some media.

Definition of terms

Feme (from Middle Low German veime = punishment) referred to in the parlance of right-wing extremist underground movements an act of vigilante justice : the killing of "traitors" who - as group members or as outsiders - knew about weapons depots or other secrets and reported them to the judicial authorities or threatened to do so. So it said in the statutes of the organization Consul , a right - wing terrorist anti-Semitic secret society founded in 1920 : "Traitors fall for the distance". In November 1925, the magazine Die Weltbühne published an anonymous article by Carl Mertens on the murders of more than twenty members of right-wing groups.

Sometimes the term is also used for the political murders of democratic politicians such as Matthias Erzberger (1921), Karl Gareis (1921) and Walther Rathenau (1922) as well as the failed assassination attempt on Philipp Scheidemann (1922) by members of the Consul organization. According to the political scientist Hans-Helmuth Knütter , these murders, like the political murders from the left, are to be distinguished from the actual Fememorden. Similarly, a Reichstag committee in 1926 differentiated fememides from other political murders by restricting the use of the term to the planned murder of betrayers of secrets by a group, but including similar acts by left-wing extremist groups.

Casualty numbers

Almost all of these female murders occurred in the troubled early years of the Weimar Republic. A climax was reached in 1923 when inflation (up to hyperinflation ), the Allied occupation of the Ruhr , Hitler putsch and separatist efforts shook the German Reich . In total, almost 400 political opponents fell victim to right-wing and National Socialist attacks by the Consul organization, the Bund Wiking , the Black Reichswehr , the Rossbach Sturmabteilung , the Bavarian Resident Armed Forces and their successor organizations.


The first who tried to research the phenomenon systematically and for the whole of Germany was the statistician Emil Julius Gumbel , who published Four Years of Political Murder in 1922 (later updated under the title: Vom Fememord zur Reichskanzlei ). Gumbel faced serious threats because of this study.

The police and judicial investigations into the felony crimes were slow, the murderers, as far as they were identified, got away with minor sentences or even with acquittal. The obvious shortcomings in legal prosecution preoccupied several parliaments during the Weimar period: in 1920 the Bavarian state parliament set up its own investigative committee to investigate the crime against the Reichswehr soldier Hans Dobner . In 1924 the investigative committee "Political Murders" was set up in the Prussian state parliament , two years later another investigative committee. At the request of the SPD, in January 1926 an investigative committee of the Reichstag, called “Feme Organizations and Fememorde”, was supposed to clear up these crimes and their political environment in parties, the Reichswehr and the judiciary. The project was hindered from the start by the right-leaning parliamentary majority, the refused cooperation of the Bavarian judicial authorities and, not least, by the indecision of the SPD itself at the time.

More recent cases referred to as fememord

Similar acts have recently been referred to as fememicide, such as the murder of left student Ulrich Schmücker on June 5, 1974, the murder of Joachim Peiper on July 14, 1974, the murder of ANS activist Johannes Bügner on May 29, 1981, the murder of skinhead and neo-nazi -Aussteiger Gerd-Roger Bornemann February 3, 1987, or the murder of the federal border guards Hans Plüschke 1998. Today is rather the concept of vigilantism or lynching equated.

See also


  • Emil Julius Gumbel : From Fememord to the Reich Chancellery. With a foreword by Walter Fabian , Lambert Schneider, Heidelberg 1962.
  • Ulrike Claudia Hofmann: “Traitors fall for the distance!” Fememicide in Bavaria in the twenties . Böhlau, Cologne a. a. 2000, ISBN 3-412-15299-4 (also: Bamberg, Univ., Diss., 1998/99).
  • Irmela Nagel: Fememicide and Femeprocesses in the Weimar Republic . Böhlau, Cologne a. a. 1991, ISBN 3-412-06290-1 ( Kölner Historische Abhandlungen 36), (At the same time: Köln, Univ., Diss., 1989).
  • Bernhard Sauer : Black Reichswehr and Fememicide. A milieu study on right-wing radicalism in the Weimar Republic . Metropol, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-936411-06-9 ( Center for Research on Antisemitism at the Technical University of Berlin - series of documents, texts, materials 50).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Ulrike Claudia Hofmann: "Traitors fall for the distance!" Fememorde in Bavaria in the twenties . Böhlau, Cologne / Weimar 2000, p. 119.
  2. The Fememorde . In: Die Weltbühne from November 17, 1925, pp. 750–756 ( online )
  3. For example Detlef Wienecke-Janz (Hrsg.): Die Chronik. History from the 20th century to today. Chronik Verlag, Gütersloh / Munich 2006, p. 152 f. and 156.
  4. Hans-Helmuth Knütter: Fememorde. In: Carola Stern , Thilo Vogelsang , Erhard Klöss and Albert Graff (eds.): Dtv lexicon on history and politics in the 20th century . dtv, Munich 1974, vol. 1, p. 252.
  5. ^ Statistician Emil Gumbel - Calculating against Terror by Daniel Furth, Spiegel Online April 27, 2012
  6. ^ Emil Julius Gumbel: The right eye of Benjamin Lahusen, Zeit Online February 9, 2012
  7. ^ Reichstag minutes , 1924 / 28.5 debate on January 23, 1926
  8. Reichstag protocols , 1924 / 28.5 debate on November 11, 1926
  9. ^ Heinrich August Winkler : History of the West. The time of the world wars 1914–1945. 3rd edition 2016, CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-59236-2 .
  10. ↑ Head shot in Grunewald , By Andreas Förster Berliner Zeitung December 1, 2004
  11. AFFAIRS: Bad luck for him - DER SPIEGEL 30/1976. Retrieved January 29, 2020 .
  12. ^ Skinheads - Right Army Group , Der Spiegel August 10, 1987
  13. Bad Salzungen “Fememord alter Seilschaften” , insuedthueringen.de August 16, 2013.