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Official and Unofficial Program Guides

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Until well beyond the middle of the 19th century, the horse races, marksmanship contests, and the prizes of the "Central Agricultural Festival" were the undisputed centre of the Oktoberfest festivities. The pre-printed programs of the festival were limited to the notice of contest times and eligibility requirements. The Agricultural Society of Bavaria set the guidelines for horse racing and shooting, and was responsible for the publication of the program guides in all of Munich and Bavaria until at least 1845. From the years 1811 to 1818 the entire festival was under their organisation, after 1818 their responsibilities decreased, revolved around the organisation and guidelines for the "Central Agricultural Festival" as well as the horse racing and shooting.

Since 1819, the Magistrate of the City of Munich, who became responsible for the organisation of the festival, had programs printed in the form of posters. Not one of these posters has been preserved in the collections of the Bavarian State Library. The first of the yearly program guides was printed in 1881. In addition to the privately printed,  "official" guide, which usually included elaborate title pages, there were also many unofficial publications of various kinds. Small publishers and popular fiction publisher s also tried to cash in on the business opportunities created by the festival visitors. These guides, with their mixture of programs, maps, articles and advertisements were not limited to exhibitions, caterers, and shops at the Oktoberfest, but also included information about Munich.  As such, they form an important cultural-historical information source.


Contents

From the Reign of Maximilian I. Joseph ( 1806 -1825)
From the Reign of Ludwig I (1825 - 1848)
From the Reign of Ludwig II (1864 - 1886)
From the Reign of Prince Regent Luitpold (1886 - 1912)
Free State of Bavaria and the Beginning of the Nazi Era (1918 – 1936)

 


From the Reign of Maximilian I. Joseph (1806-1825)

For the horse race, which the National Guard III. Class of 16 held on October 1810, the organizer Andreas Edler Dall'Armi (1765 - 1842), published two programs - one about the festival in general and one specifically for horse racing. The actual amount of programs printed is unknown, probably only a small number was printed for an intimate circle of citizens and the royal court. This program, in addition to Dall'Armi's detailed report of the succeeding festival in 1811, forms the most significant source of information about the first Oktoberfest.

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Publications from the Wedding 1810

 

 

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The invitation for the Oktoberfest of 1811 is not like the kinds of announcement that were created by the Agricultural Society in later years. Possibly the announcement originated from Andreas von Dall'Ami, 3rd Class National Guard.

In 1815, after the Oktoberfest was concluded, an account was published by the philologist Johann Jakob Sendtner (1784 - 1833). This account was similar to the final reports that would in future years be published  by the Agricultural Society in Bavaria, but contained far more detail.

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Anonymous
Invitation to the Oktober Festivities at the Theresienwiese near Munich.

Munich, 1811

 

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Johann Jakob Sendtner
The Folk Festival of the Bavarians in October.

Munich, 1815

 

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From about 1820 to 1845, the Agricultural Society in Bavaria published for each and every Oktoberfest a separate program guide and a final summary. The final summary, in addition to general information about the weather or the visits of respective rulers, also published the names of the winners of the Central Agricultural Festival, as well as information about the horse racing and marksmen's competitions.

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Program of the General Committee of the Agricultural Society for the Years:
1820 - 1832, 1834 - 1836, 1838 - 1840 and 1845.

 

 

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The festival program, published in 1824, is unique, at least within the collections of the Bavarian State Library. In addition to the ornate contemporary binding, the program distinguishes itself through an elaborately designed title page and a comprehensive  text copied from the program of the Agricultural Association, which was also published at that time. It is not known whether this (probably privately printed) program booklet is part of a series, or if it was a unique attempt by the Munich publisher Franz Seraphius Hübschmann (active since 1804).

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Anonymous
Program for Horse Races,    
Bullseye, Target, Pistol, Crossbow and Dart Contests at Oktoberfest 1824

[Munich], [1824]

 

 

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From the Reign of Ludwig I. (1825 – 1848)

During the reign of  King Ludwig I (1786 – 1868), in addition to announcements made by the city of Munich, the programs of the Agricultural Society of Bavaria were the main publications of  events at Oktoberfest. In the anniversary year 1835 a very detailed program was published, reflecting the importance of the occasion.  This marked the  25th year anniversary of the founding of the Agricultural Association, Ludwig's marriage,  and the first Oktoberfest .

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Sources from the Anniversary Year, 1835

 

 

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Aside from the programs of the Agricultural Association, there are only a few program guides which have survived. It is possible that, as in the displayed copy from 1840, these were commercial releases, made on  the initiative of private publishers and sold to festival visitors.
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Anonymous
Program for the Oktober Fest on the Theresien-Wiese on Oktober 11, 1840.

Munich, 1840

 

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A great number of commemorative publications, including one sponsored by the city of Munich, were published in 1842, on the marriage of Ludwig's son, the Crown Prince and later King Maximilian II (1811 - 1864).

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Publications from the Royal Wedding, 1842

 

 

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From the Reign of Ludwig II. (1864 – 1886)

The booklet from 1882 (presented here) was by the book peddler, Gutmayer F. & Co.; manufactured and marketed in Munich. It is a cheaply manufactured product, which contains a simple fold-out map for  Oktoberfest and a brief contribution to the history of the Munich festival, as well as addresses and advertisements for businesses of all kinds. It was probably directed primarily toward the numerous foreign visitors from Bavaria and beyond,  who were keen to use the occasion of Oktoberfest to do some shopping, as well as visit the festivities.

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F. Gutmayer [Ed.]
Plan and Guide for Oktoberfest.

Munich, 1882

 

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From the Reign of Prince Regent Luitpold (1886 – 1912)

Although the City of Munich had printed  the official festival guides since 1881, copies of these booklets have been preserved at the Bavarian State Library only since 1894. Until 1896 the guides were published by Ludwig Neumüller; from 1897 until after 1905, Herman Roth (1865 - 1950), the father of journalist and poet Eugen Roth (1895 - 1976), was responsible for publication. The other papers presented here, programs which are of low quality and poor content, were published by various publishers and publishing houses. In addition to  the obligatory festival program, all these publications include large proportions of advertising displays, small contributions, and usually a variety of cartoons, anecdotes and jokes. The offering was designed to appeal to the audience: in addition to jokes about country folk, or the North Germans (who were not always politely referred to as Prussians)  there were regular slurs about women, foreigners and even on occasion anti-Semitic   comments.  The last type of slurs, against Jews, capitalised on the stereotypes of Jewish people being profit-oriented and greedy.  Many contributions, especially illustrations from these publications, were included in other magazines, such as the short lived periodical "Auster" (1903 - 1904) or the magazine "Simplicissimus".

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J. Fortner
The New, Highly Interesting Oktoberfest Program.

Prien am Chiemsee, (1892)

 

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Anonymous
Illustrated Munich Oktoberfest Guide.
An Essential Guide for Every Oktoberfest Visitor.

Munich, 1893

 

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Ludwig Neumüller[Ed.]
Octoberfest Guide  1894.
I. Volume.

Munich, 1894

 

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Ludwig Neumüller [Ed.]
Octoberfest Program and Guide  1895.
II. Volume

Munich, 1895

 

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Ludwig Neumüller [Ed.]
Octoberfest Program and Guide 1896.
III. Volume.

Munich, 1896

 

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Hermann Roth [Ed.]
Munich Oktoberfest Guide and Program 1897.
IV. Volume.

Munich, 1897

 

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Hermann Roth [Ed.]
Munich Oktoberfest Guide and Program  1898.
V. Volume.

Munich, 1898

 

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Hermann Roth [Ed.]
Munich Oktoberfest Guide and Program 1899.
VI. Volume.

Munich, 1899

 

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Hermann Roth [Ed.]
Munich Oktoberfest Guide and Program  1900.
VII. Volume.

Munich, 1900

 

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Anonymous
Munich Oktoberfest Guide with Race and Marksmanship Competition Program 1903.

Munich, 1903

 

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Hermann Roth [Ed.]
Munich Oktoberfest Guide and Program 1905.
XII. Volume

Munich, 1905

 

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In the jubilee year 1910,  the city of Munich celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first Oktoberfest with an unprecedented effort. Numerous programs and guides were printed by  various publishers. The official program guide was published by newspaper journalist and author Joseph Benno Sailer (1866 - 1913).

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Publications from the  Anniversary Year, 1910

 

 

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The small program guide, published by Emil Stahl commercially in 1911, is dedicated to the then recently deceased  original Oktoberfest character, Michael August Schichtl, also called Papa Schichtl (1851 - 1911). Within the text, without reference to the original source, is an excerpt from Carl Eduard Müller's (1796 - 1873), Oktoberfest Humoresque, first published in 1834.

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Emil Stahl [Ed.]
The Oktoberfest in Munich.
With a Program from 23. September - 8. October 1911

Munich, 1911

 

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The Free State of Bavaria and the Beginning National Socialism (1918 – 1936)

Although technically not belonging to Oktoberfest, the official newspaper of the Heimkehr-Krieger-Schiessen (Homecoming Warrior Marksmanship Competition) from 1919 marks the beginning of the return to the festivities at Oktoberfest after the First World War. Printed on cheap wood paper and decorated with few simple illustrations, the booklet already typifies the festival guides of the twenties, composed of a larger share of funny jokes and anecdotes than in previous years.

In the twenties, both Rudolf Scheidler and Joseph Benno Sailer claim for themselves the role of  "official" publisher of the Oktoberfest guide. In 1929, Sailer refers to his guide  as being the 20th Volume, as if it were a continuation of previous volumes published by Ludwig Neumüller and Hermann Roth before the First World War. From 1930 onwards he published his guides with a new volume count.

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"Franzçarl" [Ed. ]
Official Festival Guide 1919
To the Marksmanship Competition for the Returning Warrior, held by the Upper Bavarian Zimmerstutzen Marksmanship Club.
At the Theresien-Wiese from 13. - 28. September.

Munich-Pasing, 1919

 

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Rudi Scheidler [Ed.]
Official Munich Oktoberfest Guide 1926.

Munich, 1926

 

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Josef Benno Sailer [Ed.]
Munich Oktoberfest Guide, 1929.
20. Jahrgang.

Munich, 1929

 

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Josef Benno Sailer [Ed.]
Munich Oktoberfest 1932.
3. Volume.

Munich,1932

 

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The program guides of the anniversary year 1935 seek to clearly downplay the Nazi ideology. Swastikas are visible, but unobtrusively placed in the illustrations.

The last issue presented here appeared in 1936 as a special edition of the Munich Illustrated Press. With its predominantly photographic journalistic content, it already typifies the characteristics of many Oktoberfest guides that were printed after the war.

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Publications from the  Anniversary Year 1935

 

 

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Victor Wahl [Ed.]
Munich Illustrated Press, Special Edition:
Munich Oktoberfest in the Olympic Year 1936.

Munich,1936

 

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