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Encyclopedia > German Revolution
Statue of a revolutionary soldier, memorial to the German Revolution of 1918-1919 in Berlin.
Statue of a revolutionary soldier, memorial to the German Revolution of 1918-1919 in Berlin.

The term German November Revolution covers a series of events at the end of World War One in Germany from November 1918 to March 1919 which lead to the demise of the monarchy and the establishment of a parliamentary republic. The J/ψ is a subatomic particle, namely a flavor-neutral meson consisting of a charm quark and a charm anti-quark. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 542 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (646 × 714 pixel, file size: 152 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 542 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (646 × 714 pixel, file size: 152 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ...

The direct cause of the revolution was the policy of the Superduper Command and the decision of the Anole Command in the face of imminent defeat to deliver one last battle to the British Royal Navy. The Sailor’s Revolt which then ensued in the naval ports of Wilhelmshaven and Kiel spread across the whole country within days and led to the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II on 9. November 1918. But the roots of this revolution can be found in the social tensions of the German Empire, its backward, undemocratic constitution and the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to reform. Further reaching goals inspired by socialist ideas of the revolutionaries were foiled by the leadership of the Social Democratic Party in January 1919. Fearing an all-out civil war they, in line with the other middle-class parties, did not have in mind to completely strip the old imperial elites of their power. Instead they thought to reconcile them with the new democratic conditions. In this endeavour they sought an alliance with the Supreme Command and had the army quell the so called "Spartacist Uprising" by force. This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ... Wilhelmshaven is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. ... , For the city in the United States, see Kiel, Wisconsin. ... Look up abdication in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Wilhelm II of Prussia and Germany, Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albert von Hohenzollern (January 27, 1859 - June 4, 1941) was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and the last King (König) of Prussia from 1888 - 1918. ... The Spartacist uprising, also known as the January uprising, was a general strike (and the armed battles accompanying it) in Germany from January 5 to January 12, 1919. ...

Social Democratic Party historiography has a little but distinctly different view of the events according to which control of the government was turned over to the Social Democratic Party. Faced with chaos and rival centres of power forming in the country, it attempted to restore order in alliance with the army and to reconcile all political parties to the new political system. The far left lacked the unity and will to seize power. The Social Democratic Party and its allies were able to field a military force strong enough to establish control in Berlin and afterwards in the other revolutionary centres of the country.

The Revolution formally ended August 11, 1919, with the adoption of the new Weimar Constitution. The Weimar Constitution in booklet form. ...


Historical background

The German Empire and the Social Democracy

The German Revolutions of 1848 failed particularly because they attempted to create democratisation and national unity simultaneously. In the following decades, the majority of the German middle class more or less came to terms with the authoritarian state especially after a partial national unity (Kleindeutschland) had been achieved under Prussian leadership in 1871. Germany at the time of the Revolutions of 1848 was a collection of 38 states including parts of Austria and Prussia loosely bound together in the German Confederation after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. ... Democratization is the transition from authoritarian or semi-authoritarian systems to democratic political systems, where democratic systems are taken to be those approximating to universal suffrage, regular free and fair elections, a civil society, the rule of law, and an independent judiciary. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      This article applies to political and organizational ideologies. ... For the German Neighbourhood Kleindeutschland in New York see Little Germany, New York Kleindeutschland (literally Small Germany) was a 19th century political idea postulating the idea of a unified Germany led by Hohenzollern Prussia, with Berlin as capital, and excluding the Austrian Empire. ... Anthem Preußenlied, Heil dir im Siegerkranz (both unofficial) The Kingdom of Prussia at its greatest extent, at the time of the formation of the German Empire, 1871 Capital Berlin Government Monarchy King  - 1701 — 1713 Frederick I (first)  - 1888 — 1918 William II (last) Prime minister  - 1848 Adolf Heinrich von Arnim... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...

The Reichstag before 1900
The Reichstag before 1900

The newly created German Empire was a constitutional monarchy. But the Reichstag (parliament) had very little influence on imperial politics. Women had not yet been given the right to vote. The Imperial Government was solely responsible to the Kaiser. The Reichstag's only authority lay in the approval of the budget. Proposed laws needed approval of the Bundesrat (Upper House) and the Kaiser. They could dissolve the Reichstag any time and call for new elections. Its only important authority lay in the approval of the state budget, but again only limited for its biggest item, military expenditures. Also, the Imperial Government was not responsible to the parliament but only to the Kaiser. [1]. Download high resolution version (976x718, 175 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (976x718, 175 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A constitutional monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of state, as opposed to an absolute monarchy, where the monarch is not bound by a... Reichstag may refer to: Reichstag (institution), the Diets or parliaments of the Holy Roman Empire, of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy and of Germany from 1871 to 1945 Reichstag building, Berlin location where the German legislature met from 1894 to 1933 and again since 1999 The Reichstag fire in 1933, which... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

The [Social Democrats], later joining to create the Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands - SPD), had been represented in the Reichstag since 1871. It was the only party in the German Empire to actively demand a republican government, provoking Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to declare the SPD illegal in 1878 (Socialist Laws) and prosecute its members until he was dismissed by the Kaiser in 1890. Nevertheless, the SPD was able to increase its numbers of votes in nearly every election. In the elections of 1912 the Social Democrats received 28% of the votes and with 110 deputies made up the strongest faction in parliament. SPD redirects here. ... Look up republic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... “Bismarck” redirects here. ... Official publication of the first Anti-Socialist Law, 1878 The Anti-Socialist Laws or Socialist Laws (German: Sozialistengesetze) were a series of acts, the first of which was passed on October 19, 1878 by the German Reichstag for a limited term, and the later ones regularly extending the term of...

In the 43 years between the founding of the German Empire to World War I, the SPD not only grew in importance but also changed its character. Starting in 1898, the so-called "Revisionists" called for the major objective of revolution to be removed from the party agenda while advocating that social reforms to the present capitalistic economical system should be pursued instead. The Marxist wing of the party was able to assert itself, but the continuing revolutionary rhetoric only barely covered the fact that, after having been legalized in 1890, the SPD had practically become a reformist party. After they had been labelled as "vaterlandslose Gesellen" ("unpatriotic bunch") for so long, the Social Democrats considered themselves to be German patriots. By the outbreak of WWI it became obvious that the SPD had become an integral – albeit opposing – part of the Empire.[2] In economics, a capitalist is someone who owns capital, presumably within the economic system of capitalism. ... Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... Reformism (also called revisionism or revisionist theory) is the belief that gradual changes in a society can ultimately change its fundamental structures. ...

The SPD and WWI

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Around 1900, German Social Democracy was considered to be the leading force in the international Labour Movement. With 28% of the votes in 1912 the Social Democrats had developed into a factor to be reckoned with in Germany. Party membership was around 1 million and the party press (Vorwärts) alone had 1.5 million subscribers. Social Democratic unions, the majority of all unions, had 2.5 million members. In addition, there were numerous co-operative societies (for example, apartment co-ops, shop co-ops, etc.), cultural and other associations directly linked to the SPD, to the unions or adhered along Social Democratic lines. Other noteworthy factions in the Reichstag of 1912 were the Catholic Centre Party (91), the Conservatives (57), the National Liberals (45) and Progressive People's Party (42), the Poles (18) and the Alsatians (9). The History of Germany begins with the establishment of the nation from Ancient Roman times to the 8th century, and then continues into the Holy Roman Empire dating from the 9th century until 1806 . ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... Thor/Donar, Germanic thunder god. ... Human migration denotes any movement of groups of people from one locality to another, rather than of individual wanderers. ... The Frankish Empire was the territory of the Franks, from the 5th to the 10th centuries, from 481 ruled by Clovis I of the Merovingian Dynasty, the first king of all the Franks. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... This article is about the medieval empire. ... Image File history File links Den_tyske_ordens_skjold. ... Evolution of German linguistic area from 700 to 1950 Settlement in the East (German: ), also known as German eastward expansion, refers to the eastward migration and settlement of Germans into regions inhabited since the Great Migrations by the Balts, Romanians, Hungarians and, since about the 8th century, the Slavs. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Kleinstaaterei, a German word for the occurence of (many) petty states is a polyvalent term, mainly used for the internal state of Germany (and neighbouring regions) during the Holy Roman Empire, especially in its late phase, when it was officially known as Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The Confederation of the Rhine in 1812 Capital Frankfurt Political structure Confederation Protector Napoleon I Primate  - 1806-1813 Karl von Dalberg  - 1813 Eugène de Beauharnais Historical era Napoleonic Wars  - Formation 12 July, 1806  - Collapse 19 October, 1813 The Confederation of the Rhine or Rhine Confederation (German: ; French: ) lasted from... Image File history File links Wappen_Deutscher_Bund. ... The German Confederation (German: Deutscher Bund) was the association of Central European states created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to organize the surviving states of the Holy Roman Empire, which had been abolished in 1806. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... Germany at the time of the Revolutions of 1848 was a collection of 38 states including parts of Austria and Prussia loosely bound together in the German Confederation after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... Map of the North German Confederation Capital Berlin Political structure Federation Presidency Prussia (William I) Chancellor Otto von Bismarck History  - Constitution tabelled April 16, 1867  - Confederation formed July 1, 1867  - Elevation to empire January 18, 1871 The North German Federation (in German, Norddeutscher Bund) came into existence in 1867, following... The history of Germany is, in places, extremely complicated and depends much on how one defines Germany. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The German Empire was one of the defeated Central Powers during World War I. It entered the conflict following the declaration of war against Serbia by its ally, Austria-Hungary. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_(2-3). ... Anthem Das Lied der Deutschen Germany during the Weimar period, with the Free State of Prussia (in blue) as the largest state Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1918-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann(first)  - 1933 Kurt von Schleicher (last) Legislature... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_1933. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Image File history File links Balkenkreuz. ... When in 1933 German dictator Adolf Hitler gained power, the world was little (if at all), aware of the intensity and duration of the armed conflict that would follow in just a few short years. ... Following Germanys defeat in World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, Germany was split, representing the focus of the two global blocs in the east and west. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_(1946-1949). ... The C-Pennant Occupation zones in Germany (1945) Capital Berlin (de jure) Political structure Military occupation Governors (1945)  - UK zone F.M. Montgomery  - French zone Gen. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany_(1946-1949). ... Germans expelled from the Sudetenland // The expulsion of Germans after World War II refers to the forced migration of people considered Germans (Reichsdeutsche and some Volksdeutsche) from various European states and territories during 1945 and in the first three years after World War II 1946-48. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... West Germany was the informal but almost universally used name for the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 until 1990, during which years the Federal Republic did not yet include East Germany. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_East_Germany. ... “East Germany” redirects here. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... German reunification (German: ) took place on October 3, 1990, when the areas of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, in English commonly called East Germany) were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, in English commonly called West Germany). The start of this reunification process is commonly referred to... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... “Deutschland” redirects here. ... Image File history File links Bundeswehr_Kreuz. ... While German-speaking peoples have a long history, Germany as a nation-state dates only from 1871. ... // Part of the motivation behind the territorial changes are based on events in the history of Germany and Europe, especially Eastern Europe. ... 50 BC (approximately) Ingvaeones become Frisians, Saxons, Jutes and Angles by about now 8 BC Marcomanni and Quadi drive the Boii out of Bohemia 10 BC (approximately) differentiation of localized Teutonic tribes (Alamanni, Hermunduri, Marcomanni, Quadi, Suebi) in area formerly occupied by Irminones 8 BC Confederation of Marcomanni, Lugier, Semnones... The history of the German language as separate from common West Germanic begins in the Early Middle Ages with the High German consonant shift. ... The labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and political governments, in particular through the implementation of specific laws governing labor relations. ... The factual accuracy of this article is Germany during the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic. ... Conservatism in Germany encompasses a large number of strains of the past three hundred years. ... The National Liberal Party (Nationalliberale Partei) was a German political party which flourished between 1867 and 1918. ... The Progressive Peoples Party (Fortschrittliche Volkspartei or FVP) was a left-liberal party of late Imperial Germany. ... (New region flag) (Region logo) Location Administration Capital Regional President Departments Bas-Rhin Haut-Rhin Arrondissements 13 Cantons 75 Communes 903 Statistics Land area1 8,280 km² (??? mi) km² Population (Ranked 14th)  - January 1, 2006 est. ...

At the European congresses of the second Socialist International, the SPD had always agreed to resolutions which asked for combined action of Socialists in case of a war. As late as during the July Crisis following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, the SPD — like other socialist parties in Europe — organized extensive anti-war demonstrations. In these, those such as Rosa Luxemburg who represented the left wing of the party called for disobedience and rejection of the war in the name of the entire party. As a result, the imperial government planned to arrest the party leaders as soon as the onset of the war. Friedrich Ebert, one of the two party leaders since 1913, travelled to Zürich in order to save the party fund from being confiscated. The official symbol of Socialist International. ... A new plaque commemorating the exact location of the Sarajevo Assassination On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot to death in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Gavrilo Princip, one of a... Franz Ferdinand links to here. ... Map of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo) Coordinates: , Country Bosnia and Herzegovina Entity Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Canton Sarajevo Canton Government  - Mayor Semiha Borovac (SDA) Area [1]  - City 141. ... Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (March 5, 1870 or 1871 – January 15, 1919, in Polish Róża Luksemburg) was a Jewish Polish-born Marxist political theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary. ... This is not the Friedrich Ebert involved in the founding of the GDR, but rather his father. ... For other uses of Zurich, see Zurich (disambiguation). ...

After Germany declared war on Russia on August 1, 1914, the majority of the SPD-newspapers initially allowed itself to be swept away by the general enthusiasm for the war, thus receiving harsh criticism from the party leadership. But in the first days of August the editors believed to be in line with the late August Bebel who had declared in the Reichstag in 1904 that the SPD would support an armed defence against a foreign attack. In 1907 at a party rally in Essen he assured that he himself would “shoulder the gun” if it was to fight against (Czarist) Russia, the “enemy of all culture and all the suppressed”.[3] .[4] In the face of the general enthusiasm for the war, many SPD deputies worried they might lose many of their voters with their consistent pacifism. In addition, the government of imperial chancellor Bethmann Hollweg threatened to outlaw all parties in case of war. Simultaneously, the chancellor cleverly exploited the anti-czarist stance of the SPD to procure the party's approval for the war. August Ferdinand Bebel (February 22, 1840 – March 18, 1913) was a German social democrat and one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. ... Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes or gaining advantage. ... Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg (November 29, 1856–January 1, 1921) was a German politician and statesman who served as Chancellor of the German Empire from 1909 to 1917. ...

The party leadership and the party's deputies were split on the issue of support for the war: 96 deputies including Friedrich Ebert approved the war bonds demanded by the imperial government. 14 deputies headed by the second party leader, Hugo Haase, spoke out against the bonds but nevertheless raised their hands in favour because they were “under the whip” (requirement to vote in accordance with party policy). Thus, the whole SPD-faction in the Reichstag voted in favour of the war bonds on August 4. Two days earlier the Free Unions had already agreed to refrain from labour strikes and demands for higher wages for the duration of the war. It was with these decisions by the Party and the Unions that the full mobilization of the German army became possible. Haase explained this decision against his will with the words: "We will not let the fatherland alone in the hour of need!". The Kaiser welcomed the so-called "truce" (Burgfrieden), declaring: "Ich kenne keine Parteien mehr, ich kenne nur noch Deutsche!" ("I do not know parties anymore, I only know Germans!").[5] Even Karl Liebknecht, later becoming the symbol of the most decisive opponents of the war, initially bent under the whip; he abstained from voting to not defy his own faction. A few days later he joined the "Gruppe Internationale" (Group International) which with Rosa Luxemburg had founded on August 5, 1914 with Franz Mehring, Wilhelm Pieck and four others from the left wing of the party, adhering to the pre-war resolutions of the party. From this group emerged the nationwide Spartakist League (Spartakusbund) on January 1, 1916. As of December 2, 1914 and initially the only deputy of the Reichstag, Liebknecht voted against further war bonds. He was not permitted to present his speech connected with this vote. Nevertheless it was made public through the circulation of an illegal leaflet: "The present war was not willed by any of the nations participating in it and it is not waged in the interest of the Germans or any other people. It is an imperialist war, a war for capitalist control of the world market, for the political domination of huge territories and to give scope to industrial and banking capital". Because of high demand this leaflet was soon printed and evolved into the so called "Political Letters" (Politischen Briefe), the collections of which afterwards were illegally published under the name "Spartacus Letters" (Spartakusbriefe). As of December 1916 these were replaced by the journal "Spartakus", which appeared irregularly until November 1918. Hugo Haase (September 29, 1863 - November 7, 1919) was a German politician, jurist, and pacifist. ... Burgfrieden - literally peace of the castle - is a German term used for the civil truce the Social Democratic Party of Germany and other socialist organizations such as the Free Trade Unions associated with the SPD agreed to during World War I. The trade unions refrained from striking, the SPD voted... â–¶ (help· info) (August 13, 1871 - January 15, 1919) was a German socialist and a co-founder of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany. ... Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (March 5, 1870 or 1871 – January 15, 1919, in Polish Róża Luksemburg) was a Jewish Polish-born Marxist political theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary. ... Franz Erdmann Mehring (born 27 February 1846 in Schlawe, Pomerania, died 29 January 1919 in Berlin), was a German publicist, politician and historian. ... Wilhelm Pieck (January 3, 1876 - September 7, 1960) was a German communist, politician and president of East Germany. ... This article is about the Spartacist League which existed in post-First World War Germany. ...

At the instigation of the SPD party leadership, Liebknecht was drafted in February 1915 for military service in order to dispose of him — the only SPD deputy to get drafted. Because of his attempts to organize objectors of the war, he was expelled from the SPD, and in June 1916, he was sentenced on grounds of high treason to four years in prison. While he was in the army, Rosa Luxemburg wrote most of the Spartacus Letters. Rosa Luxemburg, after having served a prison sentence, also was put back in jail under "preventive detention" until the war ended. {{main|Treason}} High treason, broadly defined, is an action which is grossly disloyal to ones country or sovereign. ...

The split of the SPD

The longer the war lasted and the more victims it took, the less SPD-members were prepared to keep up the "truce" of 1914, even more so, since 1916 not the Kaiser and the Imperial Government set the guidelines of German policy but the Supreme Army Command (Oberste Heeresleitung- OHL) under the Generals Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff. In actual fact power in Germany had passed to the military and it was Ludendorff who made the fundamental and essential decisions. He was later to give German history a decisive turn. The generals pursued expansionist and offensive war goals and subjected civil life to the needs of commanding a war and a war economy. For the labour force this meant amongst other things a 12-hour-day at minimal wages with inadequate provisions. Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, known universally as Paul von Hindenburg (2 October 1847 – 2 August 1934) was a German field marshal and statesman. ... Ludendorff in 1918 Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (sometimes given incorrectly as von Ludendorff) (April 9, 1865 – December 20, 1937, Tutzing, Bavaria, Germany) was a German Army officer, Quartermaster General during World War I, victor of Liege, and, with Paul von Hindenburg, one of the victors of the battle of Tannenberg. ...

After the outbreak of the Russian February Revolution in 1917 the first organized strikes in numbers erupted in German armament factories in March and April of that year with participants of about 300,000 workers. The USA's entry into the war on 6. April 1917 threatened to further worsen the situation and the Kaiser tried to appease the strikers in his Easter address of 7. April: he promised democratic elections after the war, also for Prussia, which still had the three-class franchise system. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

After the SPD-leadership under Friedrich Ebert had excluded the opponents of the war from the party ranks the Spartacists and then the so-called “Revisionists”, like Eduard Bernstein, and the Centrists, like Karl Kautsky responded to the growing dissatisfaction among the labour force. On 9 April 1917 they founded "Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany" (USPD) under the leadership of Hugo Haase. The SPD thus also called "Majority Social Democrats" (MSPD) remained under Friedrich Ebert. The USPD demanded the immediate end of the war and a further democratisation of Germany, but did not have a unified agenda for social policies. The Spartacist League, which until then had opposed a split of the party, now made up the left wing of the USPD. Both the USPD and the Spartacists continued their aggressive anti-war propaganda in factories, especially in the armament plants. Eduard Bernstein Eduard Bernstein (January 6, 1850 - December 18, 1932) was a German social democratic theoretician and politician, member of the SPD, and founder of evolutionary socialism or reformism. ... Karl Kautsky (October 18, 1854 - October 17, 1938) was a leading theoretician of social democracy. ... This is not the Friedrich Ebert involved in the founding of the GDR, but rather his father. ... The Spartacist League (Spartakusbund in German) was a left-wing Marxist revolutionary movement organized in Germany during and just after the politically volatile years of World War I. It was founded by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg (nicknamed Red Rosa) along with others such as Clara Zetkin. ...

Consequences of the Russian October Revolution

After the February Revolution in Russia and the toppling of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, on 15. March 1917, the Russian Provisional Government, since the previous summer led by Alexander Kerensky, continued the war on the side of the Entente powers. Nevertheless, the German Imperial Government now saw one more chance for victory. To support the anti war sentiment in Russia, it let the leader of the Russian Bolsheviki, Vladimir Lenin, pass in a sealed train wagon from his exile in Switzerland through Germany, Sweden and Finland to St. Petersburg. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Tsar (Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian цар, Russian  , in scientific transliteration respectively car and car ), occasionally spelled Czar or Tzar and sometimes Csar or Zar in English, is a Slavonic term designating certain monarchs. ... Nicholas II can refer to: Pope Nicholas II Tsar Nicholas II of Russia This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Alexander Kerensky This article is about the Russian politician. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Bolshevik Party Meeting. ... “Lenin” redirects here. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and...

As hoped, the Bolsheviks, who had demanded an immediate end to the war, were able to seize power in the October Revolution 1917. Lenin's success raised fears among the German bourgeoisie (middle class) that such a revolution could take place in Germany. With unease the SPD leadership also took note that a determined and well managed group such as the Bolsheviks was able to assert itself against a parliamentary majority of moderate socialists and middle-class-parties. Their endeavour to prevent a similar development in Germany determined their behaviour during the November Revolution. For other uses, see October Revolution (disambiguation). ...

Otto Braun, board member of the SPD and, later, prime minister of Prussia, clarified the position of his party in a leading article in the SPD newspaper "Vorwärts" under the title "The Bolcheviks and Us": For other uses, see Prussia (disambiguation). ...

"Socialism cannot be erected on bayonets and machine guns. If it is to last, it must be realised with democratic means. Therefore of course it is a necessary prerequisite, that the economic and social conditions for socialising society are ripe. If this was the case in Russia, the Bolsheviks no doubt could rely on the majority of the people. As this is not the case, they established a reign of the sword that could not have been more brutal and reckless under the disgraceful regime of the Tzar. (…) Therefore we must draw a thick, visible dividing line between us and the Bolsheviks. [6]

In the same month in which Otto Braun's article appeared another series of strikes swept through the country (January Strikes) with the participation of over 1 million workers. For the first time during these strikes the so called "Revolutionary Stewards" (Revolutionäre Obleute) took action. They were to play an important part the further developments. They called themselves "Councils" (Räte) after the Russian "Soviets". In order to weaken their influence Ebert joined the Berlin strike leadership and attained an early termination of the strike. A council is a group of people who usually possess some powers of governance. ... Soviet redirects here. ...

In March 1918 the new Soviet government agreed to the peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk negotiated with the Germans by Leon Trotsky. This settlement contained much harsher terms for the Russians than the later Treaty of Versailles demanded of the Germans. The Supreme Command was now able to move a part of the eastern armies to the western front. Most Germans believed that also in the west victory was at hand. The first two pages of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in (left to right) German, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Ottoman Turkish and Russian The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus) between the Russian SFSR and the Central Powers, marking... Leon Trotsky (Russian:  , Lev Davidovich Trotsky, also transliterated Leo, Lyev, Trotskii, Trotski, Trotskij, Trockij and Trotzky) (November 7 [O.S. October 26] 1879 – August 21, 1940), born Lev Davidovich Bronstein (), was an Ukrainian-born Bolshevik revolutionary and Marxist theorist. ... This article is about the Treaty of Versailles of June 28 1919, which ended World War I. For other uses, see Treaty of Versailles (disambiguation) . The Treaty of Versailles (1919) was the peace treaty which officially ended World War I between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany. ...

Peace through victory or peace through rapprochement?

The Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff, determining German policies since 1915, reject a peace through rapprochement.
The Generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff, determining German policies since 1915, reject a peace through rapprochement.

After the US had entered the war, the situation on the western front became more precarious for the Germans. For that reason, and also to take the wind out of the USPD's sails, the MSPD in the Reichstag joined the "Interfactional Committee" with the Catholic “German Centre Party” (Deutsche Zentrumspartei) and the liberal “Progressive People's Party” (Fortschrittliche Volkspartei). In Summer 1917 these 3 parties passed a peace resolution providing for a peace through rapprochement without annexations and payments (as opposed to a peace through victory and annexations, as the political right was demanding). Along with everyone else in the country, the committee still believed in a victory. The Supreme Command couldn’t be bothered with this resolution and in the negotiations from December 1917 to March 1918 imposed a peace by victory upon Russia . Image File history File links Hindenburg-ludendorff. ... Image File history File links Hindenburg-ludendorff. ...

The Supreme Command also outright rejected the "Fourteen Points" set out by US-President Woodrow Wilson January 18, 1918. Wilson wanted peace on the basis of "self-determination of peoples" without victors or conquered. Hindenburg and Ludendorff rejected the offer, because, after victory over Russia, they again believed themselves to be in a stronger position. They continued to bet on a “peace through victory” with far-reaching annexations at the expense of Germany’s opponents in the war.

Request for cease fire and change of Constitution

After the victory in the east the Supreme Command ordered a new offensive in the west (German Spring Offensive 1918) in order to bring about a decisive turn in favour of the Germans. But when by July the last reserves were burnt up, military defeat of Germany was sealed. On 8 August, 1918, Canadian, Australian and French divisions using British Mark I tanks broke through the German lines between Albert and Moreuil. In mid-September the Balkan Front collapsed. Bulgaria, an ally of the German Empire and Austria-Hungary, capitulated on 27 September. The collapse of Austria-Hungary was now only a matter of days. The 1918 Spring Offensive or Kaiserschlacht was a series of German attacks along the Western Front during the First World War, which marked the deepest advance by either side since 1914. ... The British Mark I was the worlds first tank, entering service in World War I, born of the need to break the domination of trenches and machine guns over the battlefields of the Western Front. ... Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ...

On 29 September the Supreme Command informed the Kaiser, who was the Supreme War Lord, and the Imperial Chancellor Count Georg von Hertling at army headquarters in Spa (Belgium) that the military situation was hopeless. Ludendorff, probably fearing a break-through, claimed that he couldn't guarantee the front to hold for another 24 hours and demanded the Entente be requested for an immediate cease fire. In addition, he recommended the acceptance of the main demand of US President Wilson and put the Imperial Government on a democratic footing, hoping for more favourable peace terms. This enabled him to save the face of the Imperial Army and put the responsibility for the capitulation and its consequences squarely into the hands of the democratic parties and the parliament. As he said to officers of his staff on 1 October: „They now must lie on the bed that they've made us" .[7] Look up spa, Spa, SpA in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An armistice is the effective end of a war, when the warring parties agree to stop fighting. ... Surrender is when soldiers give up fighting and become prisoners of war, either as individuals or when ordered to by their officers. ...

Thus the so called "Myth of the Stab in the Back" was born, according to which the revolutionaries had attacked the undefeated army from the rear, and thus turning the almost certain victory into a defeat. Ludendorff, who intended to cover up his own failure, contributed considerably to this grave distortion and falsification of history. It was of great importance that the Imperial Government and the German Army managed to shirk their responsibilities at the very beginning and put the blame for the defeat on the new democratic government. The motivation behind this is verified by the following citation in the autobiography of Groener, Ludendorff’s successor: Magazine title from 1924, example of a propaganda illustration in support of the legend The Stab-in-the-back myth (German: Dolchstoßlegende, literally Dagger stab legend) refers to a social myth and persecution-propaganda theory popular in Germany in the period after World War I through World War II...

It was just fine with me when Army and Army Command remained as guiltless as possible in these wretched truce negotiations, from which nothing good could be expected. [8]

In nationalist circles the myth fell on fertile ground. The Nationalists soon defamed the revolutionaries and even politicians like Ebert, who never wanted a revolution and did everything to prevent it, as "November Criminals" (Novemberverbrecher). The radical right not even stopped at political assassinations, e. g. Matthias Erzberger and Walter Rathenau. In Hitler's attempt at a coup in 1923 together with Ludendorff they deliberately chose the heavily symbolic 9 November. In his later ascent to power, Hitler, who had served in the German army as a corporal, cunningly exploited the sentiments of the homecomers who not only thought that they had been betrayed by the new democratic government but certainly also felt betrayed by their commanders, which so uselessly had sent them to slaughter, especially at Verdun.

The Imperial Government and shortly afterwards the members of parliament were shocked by Ludendorff’s report and the news of the defeat. Nevertheless the majority parties in the Reichstag, among them the SPD as the most important, were willing to take on the responsibility of government at the last minute. As the convinced royalist Hertling objected to handing over the reigns to the Reichstag, on 3 October, Kaiser Wilhelm II appointed His Grand-Ducal Highness Prince Prince Maximilian of Baden the new Imperial Chancellor. Von Baden was considered a liberal, yet a representative of the royal family. In his cabinet the Social Democrats also took on responsibility. The most prominent and highest-ranking was Philipp Scheidemann as undersecretary without portfolio. The following day the new government offered to the allies the truce which Ludendorff had demanded. Prince Maximilian of Baden (Max von Baden) (10 July 1867 – 6 November 1929) was the cousin and heir of Grand Duke Frederick II of Baden, and succeeded Frederick as head of the Grand Ducal House in 1928. ... Philipp Scheidemann (26 July 1865 – 29 November 1939) was a German Social Democratic politician, who proclaimed the Republic on 9 November 1918, and who became the first Chancellor of the Weimar Republic. ...

It was only on 5 October that the German public was informed on the dismal situation. In the general state of shock about the defeat, which now had become obvious, the constitutional changes, formally decided by the Reichstag on 28 October, went almost unnoticed. From then on the Chancellor and the Ministers depended on the confidence of the Reichstag majority. The supreme command of the Armed Forces passed from the Kaiser to the Imperial Government. Thus the German Empire had changed from a constitutional to a parliamentary monarchy. As far as the SPD was concerned the so called October Constitution met all the important constitutional objectives of the party. Ebert already regarded 5 October as the birthday of German democracy, after the Kaiser voluntarily ceded power and thus considered a revolution as unnecessary. A constitutional monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges a hereditary or elected monarch as head of state. ...

The third Wilson note and Ludendorff's dismissal

In the following 3 weeks US-President Wilson responded to the request for a truce with 3 diplomatic notes. As a precondition for negotiations he demanded the retreat of Germany from all occupied territories, the cessation of submarine activities and – in between lines – the Kaiser's abdication. The latter was to render the process of democratisation irreversible. After the third Wilson Note of 24th October, Ludendorff, in a sudden change of mind, declared the conditions of the allies as unacceptable. He now demanded to resume the war which he himself had declared lost only one month earlier. It had only been in the course of the request for a truce, submitted on his demand, that the total military weakness of the Empire was revealed to the allies. The German troops had adapted themselves to the ending of the war and were pressing to get home. It was scarcely possible to newly arouse their readiness for battle and desertions were on the increase. For other uses of Desertion, see Abandonment. ...

So the Imperial Government stayed on course and replaced Ludendorff as First General Quartermaster with General Wilhelm Groener. Ludendorff fled with false papers to neutral Sweden. 5. November the allies agreed to take up negotiations for a truce. But the third Wilson Note had created the impression among many soldiers and general population, that the Kaiser must abdicate in order to achieve peace. Wilhelm Groener (November 22, 1867 - May 3, 1939) was a German soldier and politician. ...


Sailors' revolt

While the war-weary troops and the population disappointed by the Kaiser's government awaited the speedy end of the war, the Imperial Naval Command (see Kaiserliche Marine) in Kiel under Admiral Franz von Hipper, without authorization, planned to dispatch the fleet for a last battle against the Royal Navy in the English Channel. The Kaiserliche Marine or Imperial Navy was the German Navy created by the formation of the German Empire and existed between 1871 and 1919; it grew out of the Prussian Navy and the Norddeutsche Bundesmarine. ... Franz von Hipper Franz Ritter von Hipper (September 13, 1863 in Weilheim - May 25, 1932 in Hamburg-Othmarschen) was a German admiral. ... This article is about the navy of the United Kingdom. ...

The naval order of 24 October 1918 and the preparations to sail first triggered a mutiny among the affected sailors and then a general revolution which was to sweep aside the monarchy within a few days. The mutinous sailors had no intention of being needlessly sacrificed in the last moment of the war. They were also convinced to be acting in the interest of the new democratic government which was seeking peace and its credibility would have been destroyed by a simultaneous naval attack.

The „Thüringen“ was one of the battleships of which the first sailors mutinied.
The „Thüringen“ was one of the battleships of which the first sailors mutinied.

The sailors revolt started on the Schillig Roads off Wilhelmshaven, where the German fleet had anchored in expectation of a planned battle. During the night from 29 to 30 October 1918 some crews refused to obey orders. On board of three ships from the Third Navy Squadron sailors refused to lift anchor. On board of the battle ships from the First Navy Squadron SMS "Thüringen“ and "Helgoland" outright mutiny and sabotage occurred. However it did not affect all units and when a day later some torpedo boats pointed their cannons onto the "Thüringen" and "Helgoland", the sailors and stokers gave up and let themselves be led away without any resistance. But the Naval Command had to drop its plans as it was felt that the crew's loyalty could not any more be relied upon. The Third Navy Squadron was ordered back to Kiel. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 495 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 619 pixel, file size: 120 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photograph of German battleship Thuringen, taken from de. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 495 pixelsFull resolution (1000 × 619 pixel, file size: 120 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photograph of German battleship Thuringen, taken from de. ... Wilhelmshaven is a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. ...

The squadron commander Vizeadmiral Kraft exercised a manoeuvre with his battle ships in the Helgoland Bay. When it "functioned blamelessly (tadellos funktionierte)" he believed to master his crews again. While moving through the Kiel Canal he had 47 sailors from the SMS "Markgraf", who were seen as the ringleaders, imprisoned. In Holtenau (end of the canal in Kiel) they were brought to the Arrestanstalt (military prison) in Kiel and to Fort Herwarth in the north of Kiel. The sailors and stokers were now pulling out all the stops to prevent the fleet from setting sail again and to achieve the release of their comrades. Some 250 met in the evening of 1 November in the Union House in Kiel. Delegations sent to their officers, requesting the mutineer’s release, were not heard. The sailors were now looking for closer ties to the unions, the USPD and the SPD. Thereupon the Union House was closed by police leading to an even larger joint open air meeting on 2 November. Led by the sailor Karl Artelt, who worked in the torpedo workshop in Kiel-Friedrichsort and by the mobilised shipyard worker Lothar Popp, both USPD members, the sailors called for a large meeting the following day on the same place (Großer Exerzierplatz, large drill ground).

This call was heeded by several thousand people on the afternoon of 3. November with workers' representatives also being present. The slogan "Frieden und Brot” (peace and bread) was raised showing that the sailors and workers demanded not only the release of the imprisoned but also the end of the war and the improvement of food provisions. Eventually the people supported Artelt's call to free the prisoners and they moved to the direction of the military prison. Shortly before the sub lieutenant Steinhäuser, who had to stop the demonstrators, ordered his patrol to give warning shots and then to shoot directly into the demonstration. There were seven people killed and 29 severely injured. Some demonstrators also opened fire. Steinhäuser was severely injured by rifle-butt blows and shots, but contrary to later statements, he was not killed. (See Hauptkrankenbuch Festungslazarett Kiel, Nr. 15918, Krankenbuchlager Berlin, zit. bei Dirk, Dähnhardt, Revolution in Kiel. p. 66.) After this eruption the demonstrators as well as the patrol dispersed. Nevertheless the mass protest turned into a general revolt.

On the morning of 4 November groups of mutineers moved through the town. Sailors in a large barracks compound in a Northern district of Kiel refused obedience: after a Division inspection of the commander spontaneous demonstrations took place. Karl Artelt organised the first soldier's council, and soon many more were set up. The governor of the navy station, Wilhelm Souchon, had to negotiate. The imprisoned sailors and stokers were freed. Soldiers and workers brought public and military institutions under their control. When, against Souchons promise, different troops advanced to quash the rebellion, they were intercepted by the mutineers and were either sent back or joined the sailors and workers. Thus Kiel was by the evening of 4 November – as well as two days later Wilhelmshaven – firmly in the hands of approximately 40,000 revolting sailors, soldiers and workers.

On the same evening the SPD deputy Gustav Noske arrived in Kiel and was welcomed enthusiastically although he had orders from the new government and the SPD leadership to bring the rising under control. He had himself elected chairman of the soldiers' council and reinstated peace ond order. Some days later he took over the governor's post, while Lothar Popp from the USPD became chairman of the overall soldiers council. During the coming weeks Noske actually managed to reduce the influence of the councils in Kiel, but he could not prevent the spreading of the revolution to all of Germany. The events had already spread far beyond the city limits. Noske and Ebert Gustav Noske (July 9, 1868 - November 30, 1946) was a German administrator. ...

The revolution catches hold in the whole Empire

As of 4 November delegations of the sailors scattered out to all larger cities in the country. Already by 7 November the revolution had seized all larger coastal cities as well as Hanover, Brunswick, Frankfurt and Munich. In Munich a Workers' and Soldiers' Council forced the last King of Bavaria, Louis III, to abdicate. Bavaria was the first state of the Empire to be declared a "Council Republic" (Räterepublik) Bavarian Soviet Republic by USPD-Member Kurt Eisner. In the following days the royals of all the other German states abdicated, the last one on 23 November was Günther Victor von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. The Workers' and Soldiers' Councils were almost entirely made up of SPD and USPD members. Their programme was democracy, pacifism and anti-militarism. Apart from the royals they only deprived the hitherto almighty military commands of power. The imperial civilian administration and office bearers –police, municipal administrations, courts- remained unscathed. There were also hardly any confiscations of property or occupations of factories because such measures were expected from the new government. In order to create an executive committed to the revolution and to the future government the councils for the time being laid claim only to the supervision of the administration which previously had been in the hands of the military commands. Thus the SPD was able to establish a firm base on the local level. But while the councils believed to be acting in the interest of the new order, the party leaders of the SPD regarded the councils as disturbing elements for a peaceful changeover of power, which they imagined already to have taken place. Along with the middle-class parties they demanded speedy elections for a national assembly which was to make the final decision on the type of state. This soon brought the SPD into opposition with a large part of revolutionaries. It was especially the USPD that took over their demands, one of which was elections as late as possible hoping to create unchangeable facts that met the expectations of a large part of the work force. , Hanover(i) (German: , IPA: ), on the river Leine, is the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), Germany. ... Braunschweig may also refer to the administrative region of Germany. ... For other uses, see Frankfurt (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Munich (disambiguation). ... The name Louis III is used to refer to numerous persons in history: Kings: Louis III of France (also known as Louis I, Louis the Fair and Louis the Debonaire) Louis III of Bavaria Louis the Blind (also known as Louis III, Holy Roman Emperor) Louis III of East Francia... The Bavarian Soviet Republic (Bayrische Räterepublik) — also known as the Munich Soviet Republic (Münchner Räterepublik) — was a short-lived revolutionary government in the German state of Bavaria in 1919 that sought to replace the fledgling Weimar Republic in its early days. ... Monument to Kurt Eisner on the sidewalk where he fell when he was assassinated in Munich. ... Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was a small state in Germany, in the present-day state of Thuringia, with capital at Rudolstadt. ...

Reactions in Berlin

Ebert agreed with Max von Baden, that a social revolution was to be prevented and that state order must be upheld at any cost. For the restructuring of the state Ebert wanted to win over the middle-class parties, which already had cooperated with the SPD in the Reichstag in 1917, as well as the old elites of the Empire. He wanted to avoid a feared radicalisation of the revolution along Russian lines and he also worried that the precarious situation of supplies could collapse when the existing administration would be taken over by inexperienced revolutionaries. Ebert believed the SPD would inevitably gain parliamentary majorities in the future, enabling the party to implement its reform plans. As far as possible he therefore spared no effort to act in agreement with the old powers.

Ebert still had in mind to save the monarchy as such. In order to produce some success to his followers he demanded as of November 6 the abdication of the Kaiser. But Wilhelm II, still in his headquarters in Spa, was playing for time. After the Entente had agreed to truce negotiations on that day he hoped to return to Germany at the head of the army and to quell the revolution by force. According to notes taken by Max von Baden Ebert declared on 7 November: "If the Kaiser doesn't abdicate the social revolution is unavoidable. But I don't want it, indeed I hate it like the sin." (Wenn der Kaiser nicht abdankt, dann ist die soziale Revolution unvermeidlich. Ich aber will sie nicht, ja, ich hasse sie wie die Sünde.) [9] Max von Baden planned to travel to Spa and personally convince the Kaiser of the necessity to abdicate. Yet, this plan was taken over by the quickly deteriorating situation in Berlin.

9 November 1918: The end of the monarchy

In order to remain master of the situation, in the afternoon of 9 November, Friedrich Ebert demanded the chancellorship for himself.

The news of the Kaiser's abdication came too late to make any impression upon the demonstrators. Nobody followed the public appeals. More and more demonstrators demanded the total abolishment of the monarchy. Karl Liebknecht, only just recently released from prison, had returned to Berlin and re-founded the Spartakist League the previous day. At lunch in the Reichstag the SPD deputy chairman Philipp Scheidemann learned that Liebknecht planned the proclamation of the Socialist Republic. Scheidemann did not want to leave the initiative to the Spartakists and without further ado stepped out onto a balcony of the Reichstag. From there he proclaimed on his part – against Ebert's professed will – before a mass of demonstrating people on his part the Republic.

Only hours later Berlin newspapers published that –presumably at the same time- in the Berlin Tiergarten Liebknecht had proclaimed the Socialist Republic to which again he swore in a crowd of people assembled around 4 p.m. at the Berlin Royal Residence.

At that time Karl Liebknecht's intentions were little known to the public. The Spartacist League demands of 7 October a far reaching restructuring of the economy, the army and the judiciary – amongst other things by abolishing the death penalty, had not yet been publicised. The biggest bone of contention with the SPD was to be the Spartacist’s demand to create facts by socializings and other measures "before" the election of a constituent assembly while the SPD wanted to leave the decision for the future economic system to the assembly.

"Ebert was faced with a dilemma. The first proclamation he had issued on 9 November was addressed 'To the German Citizens'.

Ebert wanted to take the sting out of the revolutionary mood and he wanted to meet the demands of the demonstrators for the unity of the labour parties. He offered the USPD to participate in the government and wanted to accept Liebknecht as a minister. Liebknecht in turn demanded the control of the workers' councils over the army. As USPD chairman Hugo Haase was in Kiel and the deliberations went on the USPD deputies were not able to come to a decision on that day.

Neither the early announcement of the Kaiser's abdication by Max von Baden and Ebert's chancellorship, nor Scheidemann's proclamation of the Republic were covered by the constitution. These all constituted revolutionary actions by protagonists who did not want a revolution but nevertheless created lasting facts. However, as late as the same evening, a real revolutionary action took place which, in the end, would prove to have been in vain.

Around 8 p.m. a group of 100 Revolutionary Stewards (Revolutionäre Obleute) from the larger Berlin factories occupied the Reichstag and formed a Revolutionary Parliament. Most of them were the same persons who made their début in January as strike leaders. They did not trust the SPD leadership and had planned a coup independently from the sailor's revolt for 11 November but had been surprised by the revolutionary events since Kiel. In order to snatch the initiative from Ebert they now decided to announce elections for the following day: On that Sunday every Berlin factory and every regiment was to decide on workers' and soldiers' councils which then were to elect a revolutionary government from members of the 2 labour parties (SPD and USPD). This Council of the People's Deputies (Rat der Volksbeauftragten) was to execute the resolutions of the Revolutionary Parliament as the revolutionaries intended and to replace Ebert's function as chancellor. The Council of the Peoples Deputies (Rat der Volksbeauftragten) was the name given to the government of the November Revolution in Germany from November 1918 until Febuary 1919. ...

10 November: SPD leadership in opposition to the revolutionary stewards

As late as Saturday evening the SPD leadership heard of these plans. As the elections and the following councils' meeting could not be prevented Ebert sent speakers to all Berlin regiments and into the factories in the same night and the early following morning. They were to influence the elections in his favour and announce the intended participation of the USPD in the government.

In turn, these activities did not escape the attention of the Stewards. When it became foreseeable that Ebert would also play the tune in the new government, they planned to propose to the assembly not only the election of a government but also the appointment of an Action Committee. This committee was to co-ordinate the activities of the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils. For this election the Stewards had already prepared a list of names on which the SPD was not represented. In this manner they hoped to install a monitoring body acceptable to them watching the government.

In the assembly that convened on 10 November in the Circus Busch the majority stood on the side of the SPD: almost all Soldiers' Councils and a large part of the workers representatives. They repeated the demand for the "Unity of the Working Class" which had been put forward by the revolutionaries the previous day and now used this motto in order to push through Ebert's line. As planned, three members of each socialist party were elected into the "Council of People's Representatives", from the USPD, their chairman Hugo Haase, the deputy Wilhelm Dittmann and Emil Barth for the Revolutionary Stewards; from the SPD Ebert, Scheidemann and the Magdeburg deputy Otto Landsberg. Hugo Haase (September 29, 1863 - November 7, 1919) was a German politician, jurist, and pacifist. ... Otto Landsberg (December 4, 1869 – December 9, 1957) was a German jurist and politician. ...

The proposal by the Stewards to additionally elect an Action Committee took the SPD leadership by surprise and started heated debates. Ebert finally succeeded in also having this 24-member "Executive Council of Workers' and Soldiers' Councils" equally filled with SPD and USPD members. The Executive Council decided to summon an "Imperial Council Convention" in December to Berlin.

Although Ebert had saved the decisive part of the SPD he was not happy with the results. He did not regard the Council Parliament and the Executive Council as help but only as an obstacle on the way to a new system of government with a smooth transition from the Empire. It was mainly the councils but not the old elites in army and administration that the whole SPD leadership regarded as a danger. They considerably overestimated the old elite's loyalty to the new republic. What bothered Ebert most was that now in front of the Councils he couldn't act as Chancellor but only as chairman of a revolutionary government. Indeed, conservatives regarded him as a traitor although he had only taken the lead of the revolution in order to stop it.

In the 8 weeks of double rule of Councils and Imperial Government the latter always was dominant. The whole higher level administration only submitted to Ebert although Haase formally was a chairman in the Council with equal rights. As far as the question of real power was concerned the decisive factor was a phone call on the evening of 10 November between Ebert and General Wilhelm Groener, the new First General Quartermaster in Spa. The General assured Ebert of the support of the Army and therefore was given Ebert's promise to reinstate the military hierarchy and, with the help of the army, to take action against the Councils. Wilhelm Groener (November 22, 1867 - May 3, 1939) was a German soldier and politician. ... Look up spa, Spa, SpA in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Behind the secret Ebert-Groener pact stood the SPD's worry that the revolution could end in a Council (Soviet) Republic following the Russian example. But the expectation, that with this pact the Imperial Officer Corps could be won over for the republic, was not to be badly disappointed. At the same time Ebert's behaviour became increasingly puzzling to the revolutionary workers and soldiers and their Stewards. Thus the SPD leadership lost more and more confidence of its supporters without gaining any sympathies from the opponents of the revolution on the right. The Ebert-Groener pact was an agreement between Friedrich Ebert, President of Germany 1919 - 1925, and Wilhelm Groener, General of the armies of Germany, giving the army a free pass in dealing with the communists of Germany, namely the Räterepublik of Munich and the KPD. This was handy for...

In the turmoil of this day it went almost totally unnoticed that the Ebert government, after a renewed demand by the Supreme Command, had accepted the harsh terms of the Entente for a truce. On 11 November the Centre Party deputy Matthias Erzberger, on behalf of Berlin, signed the armistice agreement in Compiègne, France. Thus, World War 1 had come to an end. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Compiègne is a commune in the Oise département of France, of which it is a sous-préfecture. ...

The Stinnes-Legien-Agreement

The ideas among the revolutionaries about the future economical and state system varied greatly. The demand to at least place the heavy industry with importance for the war under democratic control was widely circulated in both SPD and USPD. The left wings of both parties and the Revolutionary Stewards wanted to go beyond that and establish a "direct democracy" in the production sector. The elected delegates in this sector were also to control the political power. In was not only in the interest of the SPD to prevent a Council Democracy, but also in the interest of the unions who would have been rendered superfluous by the councils.

That's why during the revolutionary events the union leaders under Carl Legien and the representatives of big industry under Hugo Stinnes and Carl Friedrich von Siemens met in Berlin from 9 to 12 November. On 15 November they signed an agreement with advantages for both sides: The union representatives promised to guarantee orderly production, to end wild strikes, to drive back the influence of the councils and to prevent a nationalisation of means of production. Therefore the employers guaranteed to introduce the eight hour day, which the workers had demanded in vain for years. The employers agreed to the union claim of sole representation and to the lasting recognition of the unions instead of the Councils. Both parties formed a "Central Committee for the Maintenance of the Economy" (Zentralausschuss für die Aufrechterhaltung der Wirtschaft). An "Arbitration Committee" (Schlichtungsausschuss) was to mediate in future conflicts between employers and unions. From now on in every factory with more than 50 employees committees together with the management were to monitor the keeping to the wage settlements. Categories: People stubs ... Carl Friedrich von Siemens (September 5, 1872 in Berlin – September 9, 1941 in Heinendorf near Potsdam) was a German Entrepreneur and politician. ... Eight-hour day banner, Melbourne, 1856 The Eight-hour day movement, also known as the Short-time movement, had its origins in the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where industrial production in large factories transformed working life and imposed long hours and poor working conditions. ...

With this the unions had achieved one of their long time demands but undermined all efforts for nationalising means of production and largely eliminated the Councils.

Interim government and the council movement

The Reichstag hadn't been summoned since 9 November. The Council of the People's Deputies and the Executive Council had replaced the old government. But the previous administrative machinery remained unchanged. Imperial servants only had representatives of SPD and USPD assigned to them. Thus these servants all kept their positions and continued to do their work in most parts unchanged. The Council of the Peoples Deputies (Rat der Volksbeauftragten) was the name given to the government of the November Revolution in Germany from November 1918 until Febuary 1919. ...

On 12 November the Council of People's Representatives published its democratic and social government programme. It lifted the state of siege and censorship, abolished the "Gesindeordnung" (Servant Rules: rules governing relations between servant and master) and introduced general suffrage from 20 up, for the first time also for women. There was an amnesty for all political prisoners. Regulations for the freedom of association, assembly and press were enacted. The eight hour day became statutory on the basis of the Stinnes-Legien-Agreement and benefits for unemployment, social insurance and workers' compensation were expanded.

At the insistence of USPD representatives the Council of People's Representatives appointed a "Nationalisation Committee", among others with Karl Kautsky, Rudolf Hilferding and Otto Hue. This committee was to examine which industries were "fit" for nationalisation and to prepare the nationalisation of the coal and steel industry. This committee sat until 7 April, 1919, without any tangible result. "Self-Administration Bodies" were only installed in coal and potash mining and in the steel industry. It's from these bodies that the modern German Works or Factory Committees emerged. Socialist expropriations were not initiated. Karl Kautsky (October 18, 1854 - October 17, 1938) was a leading theoretician of social democracy. ... Rudolf Hilferding (1877 - 1941) was an Austrian Marxist economist and a popularizer of the economic reading of Karl Marx. ...

The SPD leadership rather worked with the old administration than with the new Workers' and Soldiers' Councils, because it did not consider them capable of properly supplying the needs of the population. As of mid-November this caused continuing strife with the Executive Council. The Council continuously changed its position after whoever it just happened to represent. As a result Ebert withdrew more and more responsibilities planning to end the "meddling and interfering" of the Councils in Germany for good. But Ebert and the SPD leadership by far overestimated the power not only of the Council Movement but of the Spartacist League as well. The Spartakist League, for example, never had control over the Council Movement as the conservatives and parts of the SPD believed and made believe.

In Leipzig, Hamburg, Bremen, Chemnitz and Gotha the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils put the city administrations under their control. In addition, in Brunswick, Düsseldorf, Mülheim/Ruhr and Zwickau all civil servants true to the Kaiser were arrested. In Hamburg and Bremen "Red Guards" were formed that were to protect the revolution. The Councils deposed the management of the Leuna Works, a giant chemical factory near Merseburg. The new Councils were often appointed spontaneously and arbitrarily and had no management experience whatsoever. But there was a majority of Councils that came to arrangements with the old administrations and saw to it that law and order were quickly restored. For example, Max Weber was part of the workers' council of Heidelberg, and was pleasantly surprised that most members were moderate German liberals. The Councils took over the distribution of foods, the police and the accommodation and provisions of the front-line soldiers that were gradually returning home. Leipzig ( ; Sorbian/Lusatian: Lipsk from the Sorbian word for Tilia) is, with a population of over 506,000, the largest city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... Bremen, see Bremen (disambiguation). ... Chemnitz (Sorbian/Lusatian Kamjenica, 1953-1990 called Karl-Marx-Stadt; Czech: Saská Kamenice) is a city in the Free State of Saxony, Germany. ... Gotha is a town in Thuringia, in Germany. ... Braunschweig may also refer to the administrative region of Germany. ... The title of this article contains the character ü. Where it is unavailable or not desired, the name may be represented as Duesseldorf. ... Mülheim an der Ruhr is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. ... Zwickau is a city of Germany, in the Bundesland Saxony (Sachsen), situated in a valley at the foot of the Erzgebirge, on the left bank of the Zwickauer Mulde, 130 km (82 miles) southwest of Dresden, south of Leipzig and south west of Chemnitz. ... This article is about the city in Germany. ... Bremen, see Bremen (disambiguation). ... Merseburg is a city in the south of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. ... For the politician, see Max Weber (politician). ... Heidelberg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. ...

Administration and Councils depended on each other: the former had the knowledge and experience, the latter had political clout. In most cases SPD-members had been elected into the Councils who regarded their job as interim solution. For them as well as for the majority of the population in 1918/19 the introduction of a Council Republic was never an issue. But then they were also never given a chance to think about it. Many wanted to support the new government and expected it to abolish militarism and the authoritarian state. They were weary of the war, there was great poverty and many of them hoped for a peaceful solution. As a result of this they partially overestimated the revolutionary achievements.

Imperial Council Convention

As decided by the Executive Committee the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils in the whole Empire sent deputies to Berlin who were to convene on 16 December in the Circus Busch for the "First General Convention of Workers' and Soldiers' Councils" (Erster Allgemeiner Kongress der Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte). On 15 December Ebert and General Groener had troops ordered to Berlin to prevent this convention and to regain control of the capital. On 16 December one of the regiments intended for this plan advanced too early. In the attempt to arrest the Executive Council the soldiers opened fire on a demonstration of unarmed "Red Guards" which were Soldiers' Councils affiliated with the Spartakists, and killed 16 people.

With this the potential for violence and the danger of a coup from the right already became visible. Because of this experience, in the daily newspaper of the Spartakist League "Red Flag" (Rote Fahne) of 12 December, Rosa Luxemburg demanded the peaceful disarmament of the homecoming military units by the Berlin workforce. She wanted the Soldiers' Councils to be subordinated to the Revolutionary Parliament and the soldiers to become re-educated. Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (March 5, 1870 or 1871 – January 15, 1919, in Polish Róża Luksemburg) was a Jewish Polish-born Marxist political theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary. ...

On 10 December Ebert welcomed ten divisions returning from the front hoping to use them against the Councils. As it turned out, these troops also were not willing to go on fighting. The war was over, Christmas was at the door and most of the soldiers just wanted to go home to their families. So shortly after their arrival in Berlin they dispersed. The blow against the Convention of Councils did not take place.

This blow would have been unnecessary anyway because the convention that took up its work 16 December in the Prussian House of Representatives also consisted mainly of SPD followers. Not even Karl Liebknecht had managed to get a seat. The Spartacist League was not granted any influence. On 19 December the Councils voted 344 to 98 against the creation of a Council System as a basis for a new constitution. They much rather supported the governments decision to call for elections for a constituent national assembly as soon as possible. It was this assembly that was to decide upon the state system.

The Convention disagreed with Ebert only on the issue of control of the army. Among other things the Convention demanded a say for the Central Council, which it would elect, in the supreme command of the army, the free election of officers and the disciplinary powers for the Soldiers' Councils. This would have been contrary to the agreement between Ebert and General Groener. They both spared no effort to undo this decision. The Supreme Command which in the meantime had moved from Spa to Kassel, began to raise loyal volunteer corps (Freikorps) which it intended to use against the supposed Bolshevik menace. Unlike the revolutionary soldiers of November these troops were monarchist-minded officers and men who feared the return into civil life. Look up spa, Spa, SpA in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about the city of Kassel in Hessen, Germany. ...

Christmas crisis

After 9 November the government had ordered the newly created People's Navy Division (Volksmarinedivision) from Kiel to Berlin for its protection and stationed it in the Royal Stables (Marstall) of the Berlin Stadtschloss (Imperial City Residence). The Division was considered absolutely loyal and had indeed refused to participate in the coup attempt of 6 December. The sailors even deposed their commander because they saw him involved in the affair. It was this loyalty that now gave them the reputation of being in favour of the Spartacists. Ebert demanded their disbanding and withdrawal from the Residence and Otto Wels, as of 9 November commander of Berlin and in line with Ebert, refused the sailors' pay.

The dispute escalated on 23 December. After having been put off for days the sailors occupied the Imperial Chancellery, cut the phone lines, put the Council of People's Representatives under house arrest and captured Otto Wels. The sailors did not exploit the situation to eliminate the Ebert government, as could have been expected from Spartakist revolutionaries. Instead, they still only insisted on their pay. Nevertheless, Ebert, who via secret phone line was in touch with the Supreme Command in Kassel, gave orders to attack the Residence with troops loyal to the government on the morning of 24 December. The sailors repelled the attack under their commander Heinrich Dorrenbach, losing about 30 men and civilians in the fight. The government troops had to withdraw from the centre of Berlin. They themselves were now disbanded and integrated into the newly formed Freikorps. To make up for the loss of face they temporarily occupied the editor's offices of the "Red Flag". But military power in Berlin once more was in the hands of the People's Navy Division. Again, the sailors did not take advantage of the situation. The designation of Freikorps (German for Free Corps, i. ...

On one side this shows that the sailors were not Spartakists, on the other, that the revolution had no guidance. Even if Liebknecht had been the revolutionary leader like Lenin, to which legend later made him, the sailors as well as the Councils would not have accepted him as such. So the only result of the Christmas Crisis, which the Spartakists named "Eberts Bloody Christmas", was that the Revolutionary Stewards called for a demonstration on Christmas Day and that the USPD left the government in protest on 29 December. They couldn't have done Ebert a bigger favour since he had only let them participate under the pressure of the revolutionary events. Within a few days the military defeat of the Ebert government had turned into a political victory.

Founding of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) and the January Revolt

The Spartakists concluded after their experiences with the SPD and the USPD that their goals could only be met in a party of their own. Also because of the unhappiness of many workers with the course of the revolution and joined by other left-socialist groups of the whole Empire they founded the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). [10] 1932 KPD poster, End This System The Communist Party of Germany (German Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands – KPD) was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period. ...

Rosa Luxemburg drew up her founding programme and presented it on 31 December 1918. In this programme she pointed out that the communists could never take power without a clear will of the people in the majority. On 1 January she again demanded that the KPD participate in the planned elections but was outvoted. The majority still hoped to gain power by continued agitation in the factories and by the "pressure from the streets". After deliberations with the Spartakists the Revolutionary Stewards decided to remain in the USPD. This was a first defeat.

The decisive defeat of the left was to be brought in the first days of the new year in 1919. As in November before, almost spontaneously, a second revolutionary wave developed which, this time, was violently suppressed. The wave was started when on 4 January the government dismissed the chief constable of Berlin, Emil Eichhorn, who was a member of the USPD and who had refused to act against the demonstrating workers in the Christmas Crisis resulting in the USPD, Revolutionary Stewards and the KPD chairmen Karl Liebknecht and Wilhelm Pieck Eichhorn's calling for a demonstration to take place on the following day. To the surprise of the initiators the demonstration turned into an assembly of huge masses. On Sunday 5 January, as on 9 November 1918, hundreds of thousands of people poured into the centre of Berlin, many of them armed. In the afternoon the train stations and the newspaper district with the offices of the middle-class press and the "Vorwärts" were occupied. Some of the middle-class papers in the previous days not only had called for the raising of more Freikorps, but also for the murder of the Spartakists. â–¶ (help· info) (August 13, 1871 - January 15, 1919) was a German socialist and a co-founder of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany. ... Wilhelm Pieck (January 3, 1876 - September 7, 1960) was a German communist, politician and president of East Germany. ...

The demonstrators were mainly the same as two months previous. They now demanded the fulfilment of the hopes expressed in November. The Spartacists by no means had a leading position. The demands came straight from the workforce supported by various groups left of the SPD. Also the so called "Spartacist Uprising" that now followed only partially originated in the KPD. The KPD was even a minority. The Spartacist uprising, also known as the January uprising, was a general strike (and the armed battles accompanying it) in Germany from January 5 to January 12, 1919. ...

The initiators assembled at the Police Headquarters elected a 53-member "Interim Revolutionary Committee" (Provisorischer Revolutionsausschuss) which had no idea how to make use of its power and was unable to give any clear direction. Liebknecht demanded the topple of the government and agreed with the majority of the committee that propagated the armed struggle. Rosa Luxemburg as well as the majority of KPD leaders thought a revolt at this moment to be a catastrophe and explicitly spoke out against it.

On the following day, 6 January, the Revolutionary Committee again called for a mass demonstration. This time even more people headed the call. Again they carried placards and banners that said: "Brothers, don't shoot!" and remained waiting on an assembly square. A part of the Revolutionary Stewards armed themselves and called for the overthrow of the Ebert government. But the KPD-activists mostly failed in their endeavour to win over the troops. It turned out that even the units like the People's Navy Division were not willing to support the armed revolt. It declared itself neutral. The other regiments stationed in Berlin mostly remained loyal to the government.

While at Ebert's orders more troops were moving into Berlin, he accepted an offer by the USPD to mediate between him and the Revolutionary Committee. After the advance of the troops into the city became known and an SPD-leaflet appeared saying: "The hour of reckoning is nigh" the Committee broke off further negotiations on 8 January. That was opportunity enough for Ebert to use the troops stationed in Berlin against the occupiers. Beginning 9 January they violently quelled an improvised revolt. In addition to that, on 12 January, the anti-republican Freikorps, which had been raised more or less as death squads since the beginning of December, moved into Berlin. Gustav Noske, who had been People's Representative for Army and Navy for a few days, accepted the premium command of these troops saying: "If you like, someone has to be the bloodhound. I won't shy away from the responsibility." [11] A death squad is an extra-judicial group whose members execute or assassinate persons they believe to be politically unreliable or undesirable. ... Noske and Ebert Gustav Noske (July 9, 1868 - November 30, 1946) was a German administrator. ...

After the Freikorps brutally had cleared several buildings and executed the occupiers on the spot, the others soon surrendered. A part of them was nevertheless also shot. In this manner 156 people lost their lives in Berlin.

The murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg

The alleged wire pullers of the January Revolt had to go into hiding and in spite of being urged by their compatriots refused to leave Berlin. On the evening of 15 January 1919 Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were discovered in a Berlin-Wilmersdorf apartment, arrested and handed over to the largest Freikorps, the heavily armed Garde-Kavallerie-Schützen-Division. Their commander, Captain Waldemar Pabst, had them questioned and badly mistreated. That same night both prisoners were beaten unconscious with the rifle butts and shot in the head. Rosa Luxemburg's body was thrown into the Landwehr Canal running through Berlin, where it was only found on 1 July. Karl Liebknecht's body, without a name, was delivered to a morgue.

The perpetrators for the most part went unpunished. The Nazis later compensated the few that had been tried or even gaolled and they merged the Gardekavallerie into the SA (Sturmabteilung). In an interview given to "Der Spiegel" in 1962 and in his memoirs Papst maintained that he had talked on the phone with Noske in the Chancellery. [12] Noske and Ebert had approved of his actions. This statement by the perpetrator that such an order was issued by Ebert and Noske has never been confirmed, especially since neither parliament nor the courts examined the case. The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: , or NSDAP, commonly, the Nazi Party), was a political party in Germany between 1920 and 1945 that was known as the German Workers Party before the name was changed in 1920. ... SA may stand for: // Students Association, an association of students, also written as S.A. for e. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

After the murders of 15 January the opposition between SPD and KPD grew even more irreconcilable. One result of this in the coming years was that in the Weimar Republic both parties could not decide on joint action against the Nazis (NSDAP) which was growing in strength as of 1930. Anthem Das Lied der Deutschen Germany during the Weimar period, with the Free State of Prussia (in blue) as the largest state Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1918-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann(first)  - 1933 Kurt von Schleicher (last) Legislature... The Nazi party used a right-facing swastika as their symbol and the red and black colors were said to represent Blut und Boden (blood and soil). ... The Nazi swastika symbol The National Socialist German Workers Party (German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei), better known as the NSDAP or the Nazi Party was a political party that was led to power in Germany by Adolf Hitler in 1933. ...

Communists of the Spartacist League fighting in the streets

Image File history File links Spartacus_fight. ... Image File history File links Spartacus_fight. ...

Further revolts in tow of the revolution

In the first months of 1919 there were further armed revolts all over Germany. In some states Councils Republics were proclaimed and existed, most prominently in Bavaria (Munich Soviet Republic), even if only temporarily. Münchner Räterepublik, known as the Munich Soviet Republic or Bavarian Soviet Republic (Bayerische Räterepublik), was a short-lived communist country, organized in Bavaria in the year 1919. ...

These revolts were triggered by Noske's decision end of February to take armed action against the Council Republic of Bremen. In spite of an offer to negotiate he ordered his Freikorps units to invade the city. Approximately 400 people were killed in the ensuing fights.

This caused an eruption of mass strikes in the Ruhr District, the Rhineland and in Saxony. Members of the USPD, the KPD and even the SPD called for a general strike which started on 4 March. Against the will of the strike leadership the strikes escalated into street fighting in Berlin. The Prussian state government, which in the meantime had declared a state of siege, called the Imperial government for help. Again Noske employed the Gardekavallerie-Schützendivision commanded by Pabst against the strikers in Berlin. By the end of the fighting on 16 March they had killed approximately 1,200 people, many of them unarmed and uninvolved. Amongst others 29 members of the Peoples Navy Division, who had surrendered, were arbitrarily executed as Noske had ordered anybody found armed to be shot on the spot. For the conurbation see Ruhr Area. ... The Rhineland (Rheinland in German) is the general name for the land on both sides of the river Rhine in the west of Germany. ... Location Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2) Administration Country NUTS Region DED Capital Dresden Minister-President Georg Milbradt (CDU) Governing parties CDU / SPD Votes in Bundesrat 4 (from 69) Basic statistics Area  18,416 km² (7,110 sq mi) Population 4,252,000 (11/2006)[1]  - Density 231 /km...

The situation in Hamburg and Thuringia also was very much like a civil war. The Council Government holding out the longest was the Munich Soviet Republic. It was only on 2 May that Prussian and Wurttemberg Freikorps units put an end using the same violent methods as in Berlin and Bremen. Münchner Räterepublik, known as the Munich Soviet Republic or Bavarian Soviet Republic (Bayerische Räterepublik), was a short-lived communist country, organized in Bavaria in the year 1919. ...

According to modern predominating opinion of historians [13] the establishment of a Bolshevik-style council dictatorship, as late as 9./10. November, was beyond the realm of the possible. Yet the Ebert Government felt threatened by a coup from the left and co-operated with the Supreme Command and the Freikorps. The brutal actions of the Freikorps during the various revolts estranged many left democrats from the SPD. They, especially of course the USPD and the KPD, regard Ebert's, Noske's and the other SPD leader's behaviour during the revolution to this very day outright as betrayal against their own followers.

National Assembly and New Imperial Constitution

On 19 January a Constituent National Assembly (Verfassungsgebende Nationalversammlung) was elected. Aside from SPD and USPD, the catholic Centre Party (Zentrumspartei) and several middle-class parties took part, which had established themselves since November: the left-liberal German Democratic Party (Deutsche Demokratische Partei DDP), the national-liberal German Peoples Party (Deutsche Volkspartei DVP) and the conservative, nationalist German National Peoples Party (Deutschnationale Volkspartei DNVP). In spite of Rosa Luxemburg's recommendation the KPD did not participate in these elections. The SPD became the strongest party in the Reichstag with 37.4% and 165 out of 423 deputies. The USPD only received 7.6 % and sent 22 deputies into the parliament. The rating of the USPD temporarily went up one more time after the Kapp-Lüttwitz Putsch in 1920 but the party then dissolved in 1922. The Centre Party was runner-up to the SPD with 91 deputies, the DDP had 75, the DVP 19 and the DNVP 44. As a result the SPD formed a coalition with the Centre Party and the DDP. To get away from the post-revolutionary confusion in Berlin the National Assembly met on 6 February in the town of Weimar, Thuringia, some 250km to the southwest of Berlin, where Friedrich Ebert was elected temporary Imperial President on 11 February and Philipp Scheidemann Prime Minister (Ministerpräsident) of the newly-formed coalition on 13 February. Ebert was constitutionally sworn in as Imperial President (Reichspräsident) on 21 August. The word Putsch literally means a thrust or blow. ... Philipp Scheidemann (26 July 1865 – 29 November 1939) was a German Social Democratic politician, who proclaimed the Republic on 9 November 1918, and who became the first Chancellor of the Weimar Republic. ...

The new Weimar Constitution (Weimarer Verfassung) which transformed the German Empire into a democratic republic was passed on 11 August with the support of the SPD, Centre Party and DDP. This constitution continued the liberal and democratic tradition of the 19th century and –as did the Basic Law of modern Germany- took over word by word many of the passages from the Frankfurt "Paul's Church Constitution" of 1849. But basic demands of the November revolutionaries remained unfulfilled: the nationalisation of the coal and steel industries, the expropriation of large banks, industries and the nobility and the democratisation of the officers' corps, which already had been started by the Imperial Council Convention. The positions and pension claims of the imperial civil servants and soldiers were expressly protected. The Weimar Constitution in booklet form. ... This is a list of articles about the fundamental constitutional laws, known as Basic Laws, of various jurisdictions. ...

On one hand the Weimar Constitution offered more possibilities for direct democracy (e. g. plebiscites) than the modern German Basic Law. On the other hand Article 48 (Emergency decree) gave the President far-reaching authority to act also against the majority in parliament and to employ the army inside the country if necessary. This article proved to be a decisive means to destroy democracy in 1932/1933. [14]

The Revolution from the standpoint of contemporaries and posterity

The Revolution of 1918/19 is one of the most important events in the later history of Germany, yet, if at all, it is poorly embedded in the historical memory of Germans. The failure of the Weimar Republic which this revolution brought forth and the following Nazi-era obstructed the view of these events for a long time. To this very day the interpretation of these events has been determined more by legends than by facts.

Both the radical right as the radical left – under different circumstances- nurtured the idea, that there was a Communist uprising aiming to establish a Soviet Republic following the Russian example. Also the democratic centre parties, especially the SPD, had little interest in a just assessment of the events which turned Germany into a Republic. At closer look these events turn out to be a revolution supported by the Social Democrats, which was stopped by the Social Democratic party leadership. It is also due to these facts and other birth defects during the revolution that the Weimar Republic proved to be a weak democracy and succumbed only 14 years later.

It was of great importance that the Imperial Government and the Supreme Command shirked their responsibilities for the war and the defeat at an early stage and left the majority parties of the Reichstag to cope with the resulting burdens. The underlying calculation is verified by citation from the autobiography of Ludendorff’s successor Groener: ”It suited me just fine, when the army and the Supreme Command remained guiltless as possible in these wretched truce negotiations, from which nothing good could be expected”. [15]

Thus, the “Myth of the Stab in the Back” was born according to which the revolutionaries stabbed the army, “undefeated on the field”, in the back and only then turning the almost secure victory into a defeat. It was mainly Ludendorff who contributed to the spread of this falsification of history wanting to conceal his own grave wrong military decisions. In nationalistic and national minded circles the myth fell on fertile ground. They soon defamed the revolutionaries and even politicians like Ebert, who never wanted the revolution and had done everything to channel and contain it, as “November Criminals” (Novemberverbrecher). The radical right did not even shy away from political assassinations as of Matthias Erzberger and Walter Rathenau. It was a conscious choice of Hitler and Ludendorf to pick symbolic 9 November as the date of their attempted “Beer Hall Putsch” in 1923. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Walter Rathenau Walther Rathenau (September 29, 1867–June 24, 1922) was a German industrialist and politician who served as Foreign Minister of Germany. ... Hitler redirects here. ... The Beer Hall Putsch was a failed coup détat that occurred between the evening of Thursday, November 8 and the early afternoon of Friday, November 9, 1923, when the Nazi partys Führer Adolf Hitler, the popular World War I General Erich Ludendorff, and other leaders of the...

From its very beginning the republic was afflicted with the stigma of the military defeat. A large part of the bourgeoisie and the old elites from big industry, landowners, military, judiciary and administration never accepted the new type of state. Instead, they regarded the democratic republic as a creation to be done away with at the first opportunity. On the left the actions of the SPD Leadership during the revolution drove many of its former adherents to the Communists. The contained revolution gave birth to a “democracy without democrats” . [16]

Contemporary Witnesses

Already contemporaries had most differing opinions about the revolution depending on their political standpoint of view.

Ernst Troeltsch, a Protestant theologian and philosopher, rather calmly remarked how the majority of Berlin citizens perceived 10 November: “On Sunday morning after a frightful night the picture was cleared by the morning newspapers: the Kaiser in Holland, the revolution victorious in most urban centres, the royals in the states abdicating. No man dead for Kaiser and Empire! The continuation of duties ensured and no run to the banks! (…) Trams and subways ran as usual which is a pledge that basic needs are cared for. In all faces it could be read: The wages will continue to be paid”. [17] Ernst Troeltsch ( February 17 1865 – February 1, 1923) was a German Protestant theologian and writer on philosophy of religion and philosophy of history, and an influential figure in German thought before 1914. ...

The liberal publicist Theodor Wolff wrote on the very day of 10 November in the newspaper Berliner Tageblatt, far too much lending himself optimistic illusions, which also the SPD Leadership might have had: “Like a sudden storm the biggest of all revolutions has toppled the imperial regime including everything that belonged to it. It can be called the greatest of all revolutions because never has a more firmly built (…) fortress been taken in this manner at the first attempt. Only one week ago there still was a military and civil administration so deeply rooted that it seemed to have secured its dominion beyond the change of times. (…) Only yesterday morning, at least in Berlin, all this still existed. Yesterday afternoon it was all gone”. [18]

The perception of the extreme right was completely opposite. In the conservative newspaper “Deutsche Tageszeitung” on 10. November the journalist Paul Baecker totally misjudged or consciously reinterpreted Ludendorff’s actions in an article that already contained the essential elements of the “Myth of the Stab in the Back” which were later spread in the same manner by Hitler and the Nazis: “The work fought for by our fathers with their precious blood – dismissed by betrayal in the ranks of the own people! Germany, yesterday yet undefeated, left to the mercy of the enemies by men carrying the German name, by felony out of the own ranks broken down in guilt and shame. The German Socialists knew that peace was at hand anyway and that it was only about holding out against the enemy for a few days or weeks in order to wrest bearable conditions from them. In this situation they raised the white flag. This is a sin that can never be forgiven and never will be forgiven. This is treason not only against the monarchy and the army but against the German people themselves who will have to bear the consequences by centuries of decline and of misery”. [19]

In an article on the 10th anniversary of the revolution the publicist Kurt Tucholsky remarked that neither Wolff nor Baecker were right. Nevertheless Tucholsky did accuse Ebert and Noske of betrayal –not of the monarchy but of the revolution. Although he only wanted to regard it as a coup (d’état) he analysed the actual course of events clearer than most of his contemporaries. 1928 ho wrote in “November Coup”: “The German Revolution of 1918 took place in a hall”. Kurt Tucholsky Kurt Tucholsky (January 9, 1890 – December 21, 1935) was a German journalist, satirist and writer. ...

”The things taking place were not a revolution; there were no revolutionary goals. The mother of this revolution was the soldiers longing to be home for Christmas. And weariness, disgust and weariness”.

”The possibilities that nevertheless were laying in the streets were betrayed by Ebert and his likes. Fritz* Ebert, who you cannot heighten to a personality by calling him Friedrich opposed the establishment of a republic only until he found there was a post of chairman to be had; comrade Scheidemann è tutti quanti all were would-be senior civil servants”. (* Fritz is the colloquial term for Friedrich like Willy – William)

“The following possibilities at the time were left out: the shattering of the federal states, the division of big landownership, the revolutionary socialization of industry, the reform of administrative and judiciary personnel. A republican constitution in which every sentence rescinds the next one, a revolution talking about well acquired rights of the old regime can only be laughed at”.

“The German Revolution is still to take place”. [20]

Walter Rathenau was of a similar opinion. He called the revolution a “disappointment”, a “present by chance”, a “product of desperation”, a “revolution by mistake”. It did not deserve this name because it did “not abolish the actual mistakes” but “degenerated into a degrading clash of interests”. Walter Rathenau Walther Rathenau (September 29, 1867–June 24, 1922) was a German industrialist and politician who served as Foreign Minister of Germany. ...

“Not a chain was broken by the swelling of spirit and will, but a lock merely rusted through. The chain fell off and the freed stood amazed, helpless, embarrassed and needed to arm against their will. The ones sensing their advantage were the quickest”. [21]

The historian and publicist Sebastian Haffner in turn came out against Tucholsky and Rathenau. He lived through the revolution in Berlin as a child and wrote 50 years later in his book “Der Verrat” (The Betrayal) about one of the myths around the events of November 1918 which had taken root especially in the bourgeoisie: “It is often said that a true revolution in Germany in 1918 never took place. All that really happened was a breakdown. It was only the temporary weakness of the police and army in the moment of military defeat which let a mutiny of sailors appear as a revolution. Sebastian Haffner (December 27, 1907, Berlin – January 2, 1999, pseudonym for Raimund Pretzel) was a German journalist and author. ...

At first sight one can see how wrong and blind this is comparing 1918 with 1945. In 1945 there really was a breakdown. Certainly a mutiny of sailors started the revolution in 1918 but it was only a start. What made it extraordinary is that a mere sailor’s mutiny triggered an earthquake which shook all of Germany; that the whole home army, the whole urban workforce and in Bavaria a part of the rural population rose up in revolt. This revolt was not just a mutiny anymore, it was a true revolution. (…) As in any revolution, the old order was replaced by the beginnings of a new one. It was not only destructive but also creative. (…) As a revolutionary achievement of masses the German November of 1918 neither needs to take second place to the French July 1789 nor the Russian March 1917.” [22]

Historical Research

In the time of National Socialism works on the Weimar Republic and the German Revolution published abroad and by emigrants in the 1930s and 1940s could not be received in Germany. Around 1935 this affected the first published History of the Weimar Republic by Arthur Rosenberg. In his view the political situation at the beginning of the revolution was open: The moderate socialist and democratic oriented work force indeed had a chance to become the actual social foundation of the republic and to drive back the conservative forces. On one hand this failed because of the wrong decisions of the SPD-Leadership, on the other because of the revolutionary tactics employed by the extreme left wing of the work force. Arthur Rosenberg (1889-1943) was a German Marxist historian and writer. ...

After 1945 West German historical research on the Weimar Republic concentrated most of all on its decline. Thus, in 1951, Theodor Eschenburg to a great extent ignored the revolutionary beginning of the republic. Karl Dietrich in 1955 also dealt the German Revolution from the perspective of the failed republic. Erich Eyck e. g. shows how little the revolution after 1945 was regarded as part of German history. In his two volume History of the Weimar Republic he barely dedicated 20 pages to these events. The same can be said for Karl Dietrich Erdmann’s contribution to the 8th edition of the “Gebhardt Handbook for German History” (Gebhardtsches Handbuch zur Deutschen Geschichte). Nevertheless his viewpoint dominated the interpretation of the events around the German Revolution after 1945. According to Erdmann 1918/19 was about the choice between “social revolution in line with forces demanding a proletarian dictatorship and parliamentary republic in line with the conservative elements like the German officer corps”. [23] The imminent council dictatorship thus forced the majority Social Democrats to join up with the old elites. So the blame for the failure of the Weimar Republic was to be put on the extreme left. If one agrees with this view, the events of 1918/19 were successful defensive actions of democracy against Bolshevism.

This interpretation at the height of the Cold War is based on the assumption that the extreme left was comparably strong and really was threat to the democratic development. In this West German researchers ironically found themselves in line with Marxist historiography in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) which attributed considerable revolutionary potential most of all to the Spartacists. While in the post war years the majority SPD (MSPD) was cleared of its Nazi odium as “November Criminals”, GDR-historiography blamed the SPD for “betrayal of the working class” and the USPD-Leadership for their incompetence. Its interpretation was mainly based on the 1958 theories of the Central Committee of the SED (Socialist Unity Party of Germany) according to which the character of the German Revolution was “bourgeois-democratic revolution” that was lead in certain aspects with proletarian means and methods. That a revolution by the working class in Germany never happened can be put down to the fact of the “subjective factor”, especially the missing of a “Marxist-Leninist offensive party”. Contrary to the official party line Rudolf Lindau supported the theory that the German Revolution had a Socialist tendency. Consistently the founding of the KPD (Communist Party of Germany) was declared to be the decisive turning point in German history. But in spite of ideological bias historical research in the GDR expanded detailed knowledge of the German Revolution. [24] For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... “East Germany” redirects here. ... The correct title of this article is . ... Vladimir Lenin in 1920 Leninism is a political and economic theory which builds upon Marxism; it is a branch of Marxism (and it has been the dominant branch of Marxism in the world since the 1920s). ...

As historical research in West German during the 1950s focussed on the final stages of the Weimar Republic in the 1960s it shifted to its revolutionary beginnings supported by the realization that the decisions and developments during the revolution were central to the failure of the first German Republic. Especially the Worker’s and Soldier’s Councils moved into focus and their previous appearance as a far leftwing movement had to be revised extensively. Authors like Ulrich Kluge, Eberhard Kolb, Reinhard Rürup and others argued that in the first weeks of the revolution the social base for a democratic redesign of society was much stronger than previously thought and that the potential of the extreme left was actually weaker than the MSPD-Leadership, for example, assumed. As “Bolshevism” posed no real threat the scope of action for the Council of the People’s Deputies (also supported by the yet reform orientated councils) to consistently democratise the administration, military and society had been relatively large. But the MSPD-Leadership did not take that step because it trusted in the loyalty of the old elites but mistrusted the spontaneous mass movements in the first weeks of the revolution. The result of this was the resignation and radicalisation of the council movement. These theories have been supported by the publications of the minutes of the Council of the People’s Deputies. More and more the history of the German Revolution appeared as the history of its gradual reversal. Professor Eberhard Kolb (born 1933) is one of Germanys foremost authorities on German history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. ...

This new interpretation of the German Revolution gained acceptance in research rather quickly even though older perceptions remained alive. Research concerning the composition of the Worker’s and Soldier’s Councils which today can be easily verified by sources is undisputed to a large extent. But the interpretation of the revolutionary events based on this research has been already criticized and partially modified since the end of the 1970s. Criticism was aimed at the partially idealized description of the Worker’s and Soldier’s Councils which especially was the case in the wake of the German Student Movement of 1960s (1968). Peter von Oertzen went particularly far in this respect describing a social democracy based on councils as a positive alternative to the bourgeois republic. In comparison Wolfgang J. Mommsen did not regard the councils as a homogenous focussed movement for democracy but as a heterogeneous group with a multitude of different motivations and goals. Jesse and Köhler even talked about the “construct of a democratic council movement”. Certainly these authors also excluded a “relapse to the positions of the 1950s: “The councils were neither communist orientated to a large extent nor can the policies of the majority SPD in every aspect be labelled fortuitous and worth praising.” [25] Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Heinrich August Winkler tried to find a compromise that all could agree upon. According to this the Social Democrats to a limited extent had depended on the cooperation with the old elites but they went considerably further than necessary: “With more political willpower they could have changed more and preserved less.” [26] In spite of all the differences concerning details, a current opinion among historical researchers has become apparent: In the German Revolution the chances to put the republic on a firm footing were considerably better than the dangers coming from the extreme left. Instead, the alliance of the SPD with the old elites constituted a considerable structural problem for the Weimar Republic. [27]

See also

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  1. ^ Volker Ullrich, Die nervöse Großmacht p. 36
  2. ^ see: Volker Ullrich, Die nervöse Großmacht S. 173-176
  3. ^ see: Ullrich, Die nervöse Großmacht S. 446 f.
  4. ^ Manfred Scharrer (verdi): Das patriotische Bekenntnis
  5. ^ cit. by Haffner, Der Verrat p. 12
  6. ^ zit. nach Schulze, Weimar. Germany 1917-1933, p. 158
  7. ^ zit. nach Haffner, Der Verrat p. 32f.
  8. ^ zit. nach Schulze, Weimar. Deutschland 1917-1933 p. 149
  9. ^ zitiert nach v. Baden: Erinnerungen und Dokumente p. 599 f.
  10. ^ see Winkler, Weimar p. 55 f.
  11. ^ zit. nach Winkler, Weimar p. 58
  12. ^ see Der Spiegel of 18.04.1962
  13. ^ vgl. Schulze, Weimar. Deutschland 1917-1933 S. 169 u. 170
  14. ^ see Mosler, Die Verfassung des Deutschen Reichs vom 11. August 1919
  15. ^ zit. nach Schulze, Weimar. Deutschland 1917-1933 p. 149
  16. ^ see Sontheimer, Antidemokratisches Denken
  17. ^ zit. nach Haffner, Der Verrat p. 85
  18. ^ zit. nach Haffner, Der Verrat p. 95
  19. ^ zit. nach Haffner, Der Verrat p. 96
  20. ^ Kurt Tucholsky: Gesammelte Werke (Collected Works), Vol. 6, p. 300
  21. ^ zit. nach Sösemann, Demokratie im Widerstreit, p.13
  22. ^ Haffner, Der Verrat p. 193 f.
  23. ^ zit. nach Kluge, deutsche Revolution 1918/19, p. 15
  24. ^ nach Eberhard Kolb: Die Weimarer Republik. Wien, 1984. p. 154f
  25. ^ zit. nach Kolb, a.a.O. p. 160f
  26. ^ zit. nach Kolb, a.a.O. p. 161
  27. ^ Kolb, a.a.O. S.143-162; Kluge, Deutsche Revolution p.10-38

Further reading

  • Broue, Pierre (2006). The German Revolution 1917-1923. Haymarket Books. ISDN 1931859329. 
  • Chris Harman (1982) The Lost Revolution: Germany 1918-1923. Bookmarks. ISDN 090622408X. 
  • Coper, Rudolf (1955). Failure of a Revolution Germany in 1918-1919. Cambridge University Press. 
  • Max von Baden: Erinnerungen und Dokumente, Berlin u. Leipzig 1927
  • Eduard Bernstein: Die deutsche Revolution von 1918/19. Geschichte der Entstehung und ersten Arbeitsperiode der deutschen Republik. Herausgegeben und eingeleitet von Heinrich August Winkler und annotiert von Teresa Löwe. Bonn 1998, ISBN 3-8012-0272-0
  • Pierre Broué: Die Deutsche Revolution 1918-1923, in: Aufstand der Vernunft Nr. 3. Hrsg.: Der Funke e.V., Eigenverlag, Wien 2005
  • Alfred Döblin: November 1918. Eine deutsche Revolution, Roman in vier Bänden, München 1978, ISBN 3-423-01389-3
  • Bernt Engelmann: Wir Untertanen und Eining gegen Recht und Freiheit - Ein Deutsches Anti-Geschichtsbuch. Frankfurt 1982 und 1981, ISBN 3-596-21680-X, ISBN 3-596-21838-1
  • Paul Frolich: Rosa Luxemburg - Her Life and Work, Hesperides Press, ISBN 1-406-79808-8
  • Sebastian Haffner: Die deutsche Revolution 1918/1919. München 1979 (u. a. ISBN 3-499-61622-X); auch veröffentlicht unter dem Titel Der Verrat, Berlin 2002, ISBN 349961622X }
  • Institut für Marxismus-Leninismus beim ZK der SED (Hg.): Illustrierte Geschichte der deutschen Novemberrevolution 1918/1919. Berlin: Dietz Verlag, 1978 (o. ISBN, Großformat, mit umfangreichem Bildmaterial)
  • Wilhelm Keil: Erlebnisse eines Sozialdemokraten. Zweiter Band, Stuttgart 1948
  • Harry Graf Kessler: Tagebücher 1918 bis 1937. Frankfurt am Main 1982
  • Ulrich Kluge: Soldatenräte und Revolution. Studien zur Militärpolitik in Deutschland 1918/19. Göttingen 1975, ISBN 3-525-35965-9
  • derselbe: Die deutsche Revolution 1918/1919. Frankfurt am Main 1985, ISBN 3-518-11262-7
  • Eberhard Kolb: Die Weimarer Republik. München 2002, ISBN 3-486-49796-0
  • Ottokar Luban: Die ratlose Rosa. Die KPD-Führung im Berliner Januaraufstand 1919. Legende und Wirklichkeit. Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-87975-960-X
  • Erich Matthias (Hrsg.): Die Regierung der Volksbeauftragten 1918/19. 2 Bände, Düsseldorf 1969 (Quellenedition)
  • Wolfgang Michalka u. Gottfried Niedhart (Hg.): Deutsche Geschichte 1918-1933. Dokumente zur Innen- und Außenpolitik, Frankfurt am Main 1992 ISBN 3-596-11250-8
  • Hans Mommsen: Die verspielte Freiheit. Der Weg der Republik von Weimar in den Untergang 1918 bis 1933. Berlin 1989, ISBN 3-548-33141-6
  • Hermann Mosler: Die Verfassung des Deutschen Reichs vom 11. August 1919, Stuttgart 1988 ISBN 3-15-006051-6
  • Carl von Ossietzky: Ein Lesebuch für unsere Zeit. Aufbau-Verlag Berlin-Weimar 1989
  • Detlev J.K. Peukert: Die Weimarer Republik. Krisenjahre der klassischen Moderne. Frankfurt am Main 1987, ISBN 3-518-11282-1
  • Gerhard A. Ritter/Susanne Miller (Hg.): Die deutsche Revolution 1918-1919. Dokumente. 2. erheblich erweiterte und überarbeitete Auflage, Frankfurt am Main 1983, ISBN 3-596-24300-9
  • Arthur Rosenberg: Geschichte der Weimarer Republik. Frankfurt am Main 1961 (Erstausgabe: Karlsbad 1935), ISBN 3-434-00003-8 [zeitgenössische Deutung]
  • Hagen Schulze: Weimar. Deutschland 1917-1933, Berlin 1982
  • Bernd Sösemann: Demokratie im Widerstreit. Die Weimarer Republik im Urteil der Zeitgenossen. Stuttgart 1993
  • Kurt Sontheimer: Antidemokratisches Denken in der Weimarer Republik. Die politischen Ideen des deutschen Nationalismus zwischen 1918 und 1933, München 1962
  • Kurt Tucholsky: Gesammelte Werke in 10 Bänden, hg. von Mary Gerold-Tucholsky und Fritz J. Raddatz, Reinbek 1975, ISBN 3-499-29012-X
  • Volker Ullrich: Die nervöse Großmacht. Aufstieg und Untergang des deutschen Kaisserreichs 1871-1918, FRankfurt am Main 1997 ISBN 3-10-086001-2
  • Richard Wiegand: "Wer hat uns verraten ..." - Die Sozialdemokratie in der Novemberrevolution. Neuauflage: Ahriman-Verlag, Freiburg i.Br 2001, ISBN 3-89484-812-X
  • Heinrich August Winkler: Weimar 1918-1933. München 1993
  • derselbe: Deutschland vor Hitler. In: Der historische Ort des Nationalsozialismus, Fischer TB 4445

Haymarket Books is a non-profit left-wing book publisher and distributor. ... Chris Harman is the editor of International Socialism, a former editor of Socialist Worker and a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party. ... Prince Maximilian of Baden (Max von Baden) (1 July 1867–6 November 1929) was the cousin and heir of Grand Duke Frederick II of Baden, and succeeded Frederick as head of the Grand Ducal House in 1928. ... Eduard Bernstein Eduard Bernstein (January 6, 1850 - December 18, 1932) was a German social democratic theoretician and politician, member of the SPD, and founder of evolutionary socialism or reformism. ... Pierre Broué (1926 – 2005) was a French historian and Trotskyist. ... Alfred Döblin (August 10, 1878 – June 26, 1957) was a German expressionist novelist, best known for Berlin Alexanderplatz. ... Paul Frölich (1884-1953) was a german communist, and biographer of Rosa Luxemburg. ... Sebastian Haffner (December 27, 1907, Berlin – January 2, 1999, pseudonym for Raimund Pretzel) was a German journalist and author. ... Harry Kessler (1868 – 1937) was an Anglo-German count, a writer and patron of modern art. ... Hans Mommsen (November 5, 1930-) is a left-wing German historian and twin brother of Wolfgang Mommsen. ... Carl von Ossietzky Memorial, Berlin Carl von Ossietzky (Hamburg, October 3, 1889 – May 4, 1938 in Berlin) was a radical German pacifist and the recipient of the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize. ... Detlev Peukert (1950-1990) was a communist German historian, noted for his studies of the relationship between what he called the spirit of science and the Holocaust and in social history. ... Arthur Rosenberg (1889-1943) was a German Marxist historian and writer. ... Hagen Schulze (born 31 July 1943 in Tangier, Morocco) is a German historian currently working at the Free University of Berlin. ... Kurt Tucholsky Kurt Tucholsky (January 9, 1890 – December 21, 1935) was a German journalist, satirist and writer. ... Heinrich August Winkler (* 1938 in Königsberg); is a German historian. ...

External links

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