Proclaimation of the Wiemar Republic 9 November 1918


After American and British divisions including the ANZAC Corp forced the Hindenburg line in late September 1918, the German Chancellor Prince Max of Baden signalled his willingness to accept Wilson's 14 points as a basis for peace negotiations. The Allies preferred to place their trust in their arms. On October 28 a naval mutiny broke out at Kiel, sailors refusing to follow their officers in a `death sortie' against the British High Seas Fleet; workers joined in.On 6 November the Social Democratic Party officially called on the government to suspend hostilities. In the following days the communist Spartacists seized power in Munich and proclaimed a Soviet Republic of Baveria. A Spartacist rising in Berlin was put down by the Social Democratic Provisional Government, which on the strength of its imposition of order successfully demanded the abdication of the Kaiser. When this failed to satisfy the Spartacists, Philip Schiedemann, the Social Democratic Vice-President of the Reischtag, seized the day and presented them with a fait accompli, proclaiming the Republic from a window of the Chancellery to the acclaimation of the hopeful crowds which had gathered there awaiting developments.With the fall of the Hohenzollerens and the Hapsburgs, new prospects were apparent and a wave of radical idealism swept the continent, including Italy.

Photo from Gernsheim `Historic Events 1839-1939'

 

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