Documentary film on the Kapp-Putsch in Kiel 1920

End of Januar 2020 Kay Gerdes and Klaus Kuhl produced the German documentary "Kapp-Putsch in Kiel 1920 - Reaktionäre gegen die Republik".
The film is based on interviews with the following time witnesses: Otto Preßler, Martha Riedl, Theo and Jonny Pump and Magdalene Hocke, as well as the utilization of military documents and publications by Dr. Radbruch, Walter Hasenclever and Axel Eggebrecht, who were at that time in Kiel and became close witnesses of the incidents.
Comments and evaluations are given by Professor Oliver Auge (Historisches Seminar, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel). The Town Archive Kiel provided a number of historic photos.
The project was sponsored by Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund Kiel Region, IG Metall Kiel-Neumünster, Amt für Kultur und Weiterbildung der Landeshauptstadt Kiel and by Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Schleswig-Holstein.
Duration: 48 Minuten, a DVD can be ordered after the premiere against a service charge.

The DGB wanted to organise the premiere im March 2020, then on 4 November 2020, in the Studiokino am Dreiecksplatz in Kiel. Both had to be postponed because of corona. The event then took place on 9 September 2021 at 18 hrs. in the Studio-Kino. Because it was fully booked another presentation took place the day after on 10 Sep. The regional newspaper Kieler Nachrichten had a preview of the film and the journalist Christian Trutschel wrote a detailed article about it (KN and KN-online 12 March 2020).

Accompanying brochure containing the full text, structure, sources, linklists and hints for teachers can be downloaded here (German; PDF 3 MB) >>

Earlier versions:

A slide show by Klaus Kuhl 1980.

A picture-video project by Klaus Kuhl 2005. Dr. Gerhard Granier is co-author of the book Dähnhardt/Granier: "Kapp-Putsch in Kiel", commented on the project and the brochure. His remarks were integrated into the accompanying brochure (German, pdf, 1,2 MB): >>

Here you can download or view a short part of the video (German; 1 min.; 850 kB):
Interview with Magdalene Hocke geb. Cipa on the advance of the putsch troups onto the union house.
Only for private or scientific purposes

Translated statement from Mrs. Hocke, by that time 6 years old:
We were hearing gun shots for some time already, but we had no idea of what was going on. Then our mother brought us into our flat and told us to hide. But we ran outside again here out of this doorway. There we saw the whole street full of soldiers, who kneeled on the street and fired with mashine guns into the air. From down there they got firing response. Those people stood above there at the "Small Theater". Then they got order „Jump up, up!“ and then they ran down here into the direction of the "Small Theater". And then new soldiers came, they knelt down as well and also started firing.


i. Hartmut Idzko: Kapp-Putsch in Kiel, broadcast on 20.03.1980, duration ca. 20 min.
ii. Hartmut Idzko: Interview with Kapp's daughter, broadcast on 18.3.1980, duration ca. 5 min.
iii. Erinnerungen an den Kapp-Putsch vor achtzig Jahren in Kiel, gesendet am 13.3.2000 um 19:30
Especially interesting is the statement by Karl Rickers (1905-1999; Chefredakteur der SHVZ): "Dann waren die Eltern ja da, die sagten: 'Geht nicht ans Fenster!' Wenn die Gardinen sich schon bewegten, hatten die ja Angst, dass da reingeknallt wird. Denn jeder hatte Angst, dass da oben einer steht mit einem Gewehr, oder Pistole oder vielleicht sogar mit einem Maschinengewehr."


The film "Augenzeugen berichten (contemporary witnesses report): Der Kapp-Lüttwitz-Putsch 1920" (ca. 45 min.) by Claus-Ferdinand Siegfried, scientific guidance by Dr. Werner Rahn, was shown on WDR on 9 March 1986.
The events in Kiel are mentioned.
The following contemporary witnesses were interviewed: Hans-Joachim von Stockhausen, Fähnrich; Siegfried Sorge, Leutnant zur See; Herbert Jantzon, Leutnant; Albert Witte, Mitglied der Sozialistischen Arbeiterjugend in Kiel; Axel Eggebrecht, damaliger Student; Max Kutzko, MG-Schütze in Kiel; Ernst Bästlein, Metallarbeiter; Paul Debes, Matrose; Karl Marquardt, Schreinerlehrling; Axel Blessingh, Seekadett; Hans Möller, Fähnrich; Franz Rubisch, Bergarbeiterkind; Heinrich Köster, Bergarbeiter.


Last updated 11 September 2021

  • Interview with Otto Preßler >>
  • CV Otto Preßler >>
  • Further contemporary witnesses >>
  • Documents Kapp-Putsch in Kiel and S-H >>
  • Documentary film on the Kapp-Putsch in Kiel >>