100 years German revolution

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100 years German revolution

One hundred years ago this week a revolt among sailors who refused orders for a sneak attack lit the fuse that brought down the German Empire and started the revolution:


I saw a great interview on German TV this week with historian Mark Jones talking about how the cycle of violence in Germany did not start with the Nazis, but with the putting down of a virtually bloodless revolution in 1919, four months after the uprising. The first shots were fired in early December. Weimar was born with a decision to have Freikorp soldiers fire on civilians. Over 12,000 died before the revolution was finally suppressed, and throughout its tenure Weimar promoted the anti-communist and anti-Slavic rhetoric that would later be taken up by the Nazis.

Jones' book on the revolution was written in English, though the German title: "In the beginning was violence" is more to the point.



Issues Pages: 
Ken Burch

If the SPD had decided to support the Spartacists, rather than join the forces of the far right to crush them when they'd done nothing to deserve being crushed, it is very likely that the Twentieth Century would have been spared both Hitler and Stalin.  Hitler could never have come to power in a Germany which had embraced an actual radical democratic socialist revolution, and Stalin would never have come to power-or if he had would not have been able to BE "Stalin" had Germany gone socialist, for a socialist Germany would have guaranteed that the the Soviet Union would not have been totally isolated and therefore not driven to embrace the defeatist, reactionary, repressive notion of "socialism in one country".  And the conditions which have produced xenophobic, anti-immigrant backlash politics in Germany and other countries would never have existed, because none of those countries would have spend the last four decades at the mercy of unrelenting austerity capitalism, a toxic ideology administered as often by "social democrats" as by right-wing goverments.

If only Germany had followed the path of Red Rosa then...if only they and the rest of us could learn from it now.



Yes, Unfortunately absolutely every country involved behaved as  bad as as one could possibly imagine. Not to absolve Germany, but they certainly had help in fucking things up and not learning the lesson they should have.