The German Revolution, 1917-1923 (Historical Materialism Books (Haymarket Books))

The German Revolution, 1917-1923 (Historical Materialism Books (Haymarket Books))

Language: English

Pages: 980

ISBN: 1931859329

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“Broué enables us to feel that we are actually living through these epoch-making events…. [D]o not miss this magnificent work.”—Robert Brenner, UCLA

A magisterial, definitive account of the upheavals in Germany in the wake of the Russian revolution. Broué meticulously reconstitutes six decisive years, 1917-23, of social struggles in Germany. The consequences of the defeat of the German revolution had profound consequences for the world.

Pierre Broué (1926-2005) was for many years Professor of Contemporary History at the Institut d’études politiques in Grenoble and was a world renowned specialist on the communist and international workers’ movements.

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dividends, they rose on a regular basis.69 It was a long time since anyone could regard the War as the fresh, joyous expedition that led straight to Paris. The war of the trenches, buried in mud and cold, silenced heroic declamations. Overcrowded hospitals, the spectacle of mutilated young men, the ever-lengthening lists of dead and missing ‘fallen on the field of honour’, sounded the death-knell of the illusions which the Social Democrats had encouraged in 1914. There would be no ‘new

have practical results. The small nucleus of friends who had met immediately after 4 August around Luxemburg held together and 72 Ibid., p. 516. Text in Dokumente und Materialen, Volume 2/1, op. cit., pp. 373–5. 74 Report in ibid., pp. 376–8. 75 E. Winkler, ‘Die Berliner Obleutebewegung im Jahre 1916’, Zeitschrift für Gewissenschaft, East Berlin, no. 11, 1968, p. 1427; Bartel, op. cit., p. 323. 76 Bartel, op. cit., pp. 323–4. 77 Illustrierte Geschichte der deutschen Revolution, op. cit., pp.

sure, Zietz did exclaim: ‘We ought to stand in shame before these sailors; they are much more advanced than we are.’ But no more than the others could she raise herself above the 37 Ibid., pp. 104–7. Quoted by A Schreiner, Zur Geschichte der deutschen Aussenpolitik, Berlin, 1952, Volume 1, p. 400. 39 Schreiner, Revolutionäre Ereignisse, op. cit., pp. 106–7, 113–14. 38 The Rise of the Revolutionary Movement • 99 routine perspective of reformist, electoralist practice. Dittmann regretted that

party whom the radicals had terrorised into stopping work came to the Executive to ask it to send members into the strike leadership. . . . I entered the strike leadership with the firmly-determined intention of bringing the strike to an end as soon as possible, and in this way saving the country from disaster.90 The Social-Democratic leaders repeated on a much larger scale the manoeuvre which Cohen and Siering had pulled off in April 1917. They achieved their aim, without appearing in the eyes

equal rights. This does not apply to holders of ministerial portfolios, technical assistants to the cabinet, which alone determines policy. Each ministry is controlled by two members of the Social-Democratic Parties, with equal powers. Political power is in the hands of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils, which will very soon be convened to a meeting representing the whole Reich. The question of the constituent assembly will not be posed before the new order, which is today being established by

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