Talk:German Revolution of 1918–19

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This article seems to take a decidedly sympathetic to the USPD, KPD, and Sparticists and a negative tone to both the right and the SPD. It would be better if it were more balanced.

Better title needed[edit]

Just wrote first article for wikipedia about a German politician. Needed a link to the German Revolution of 1918 and found this article.

I feel it would be better titled "German Revolution of 1918" rather than "German Revolution", because there has been more than one revolution in the history of Germany, for example, the German Revolution of 1848. The only way to distinguish between these revolutions is to use their full names.

Historic speculation[edit]

who knows what would have happened if they, the sailors and marines, hadn't chickened out of their duty. it seems like this honorless act is being praised. yet in a diveous way --Fibulator 11:31, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Dear Fibulator, firstly the outcome would not have been much different. From a marxist perspective this was a failed revolution anyway, and even if the revolutionary left would have succeeded it is highly unlikely that the West would have tolerated a potentially dangerous "dictatorship of the proletariate" in the heart of Europe. Moreover, as the war was irretrievably lost in Oct. 1918 (see OHL) we can certainly assume that the Entente would have taken Willie 2 out of business in either case and established a Western style democracy. Willie was lucky that he and his entourage weren't accused of war crimes. It was the Treaty of Versailles which made the Weimar Republic chronically unstable right from the start, not the failed revolution. Secondly the conscripted seamen were couragous enough to mutiny and ignore a highly irrational order which would have led to the certain death of countless young men. Today their families are probably quite happy that Grandpa "chickened out". As for the alleged "duty", the war log of the Naval Warfare Command is an informative source: Victory wasn't to be expected and the reasons to attack the British Grand Fleet were not strategic but rather "moral" ones like retrieving honour through the ultimate sacrifice bla bla. Needless to say that today's European soldiers would probably laugh at such muddle-headed babbling and I would expect every decent soldier to question silly oders instead of obeying blindly.Teodorico 11:24, 10 November 2005 (UTC)
Aye, such people that call an excercise of certain-death heroic (Charge of the Light Brigade being the most famous example) aren't really on the level now are they? The Royal Navy had Germany in a tight vice and far dwarfed whatever fleets they had left. I doubt that charging straight towards certain death is more brave than rising against insanity? Henners91 07:04, 4 June 2007 (UTC)

Expansion possibilities[edit]

How about we translate the German wikipedia article which was a featured article and is very informative? -Chile 17:52, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

I was thinking that. But it would be very time Consuming. And then again I mess up German to English sometimes. So bare with me. I will try and start doing that if it is not illegal. Please feel free to correct me in any places I make mistakes.--Ichpuchtli 09:11, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Suspected vandalism[edit]

In the first section there is apparently a hacking attempt...the "word" ppeenniiss appears, which I suspect is not supposed to be there. I wasn't able to determine if a word was replaced or what word might be "missing." For the moment I didn't change it, but I will the next time through if no one else knows what it was supposed to say. There may be others too, but I haven't read the whole article yet. Wood Artist 18:44, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Translation from German Wikipedia[edit]

i use both german and english wikipedia frequently, found the english version of this topic very poor and took the time to translate the german one into english. basically i stuck to the german version, only adding a few notes from other sources. as the german version is marked with a star for excellency it should be a welcome contribution to the english wikipedia. i'd welcome english speakers to iron out some bumps in the language. also i'm not familiar with the english way of references and just took over the german ones. somebody also might like to change them, although i do not find them too confusing. taking over the pictures did not work out and i will try again. (user added later: Sundar1 09:51, 30 March 2007 (UTC))

Thanks for that - it's a great improvement and a good basis to work on, I suspect we'll need to iron out a few things, but shouldn't take too long...--Red Deathy 13:21, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


i'm sorry i cannot figure out how to get the pictures from the german into the english version. would be nice if some other person could. only the "august bebel" picture i find unnecessary. (user added later: Sundar1 09:52, 30 March 2007 (UTC))

Historical classification[edit]

I have tagged the last section (historical classification) as POV since it calls alternate theories "lies" which are "unfortunately" very diffucult to root out of the popular understanding of the subject. Instead of staking out a position, the section should compare and contrast historical and modern scholarship on the subject and should say who has denouced/debunked a view rather than simply labeling it false. Eluchil404 11:51, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Sailors mutiny in Kiel[edit]

Today I have corrected several errors, which appeared on the German wikipedia page and were translated to the English wikipedia. These were mainly:

  • There were also disobediece cases in the Third Squadron (not only in the First)
  • Those mutineers who have been led away in Wilhelmshaven were NOT brought to Kiel.
  • Lothar Popp was not a sailor he was dismissed in 1917 or 1918 from military service and had to work at the ship yard in Kiel as a mobilised worker.
  • Steinhäuser was only injured but not killed. According to records from the military hospital he was discharged as healed.(see Dähnhardt.

-- 21:55, 24 February 2007 (UTC); sorry, forgot to sign in: --Kuhl-k 21:55, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk really worse than Treaty of Versailles?[edit]

The article states that the conditions imposed on the Russians by the Germans were *much* harsher than those by the Allies on Germany at the end of World War I...

I looked at the Wiki article for the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, however, and while they did take much more land and transferred populations away from the Russians (both the land and people were generally non-Russian in any case however), as well as demand reparations payment(s), there was no mention of future (let alone decades-long) reparations payments, which, as I understand it, was the most severe hardship of the Treaty of Versailles (it crippled the postwar German economy and laid the groundwork for political radicalism). Also I did not see anything about a requirement for a drastically-reduced Russian military capability in the article on Brest-Litovsk, as there famously was at Versailles. Critic9328 00:25, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

You have to remember that most of the devastation of WW1 happened in the Allied countries such as Belgium, france, Russian Poland, Serbia, and Italy. The Central Powers ruled over Slavs in Bohemia, Moravia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Galicia, Poland, and slovakia. Germany had charged a huge indemnity to France in 1870 even though all of the devastation and fighting had occurred in France. None of the Franco-Prussian war occurred in Germany. Napoleon had charged indeminities. The reparations for WW1 were huge because the war had been huge. It had lasted more than four years and had been enormously expensive.
Germany ended up only paying about 15% of the reparations that were stipulated in the Versailles Treaty. And much of this money that they paid reparations with was from American loans, which Germany never repaid the loans back to America. And contrary to popular opinion, the reparations were not the cause of the German hyper-inflation of 1923. The real cause was in the way that Germany financed WW1. The allies used a mixture of taxes and bonds. The Germans relies almost exclusively on bonds (borrowing) in the anticipation that they could use indemnities collected from the defeated allies to pay the bonds back. This did not happen and so the result was hyper-inflation.
Germany complained bitterly about the war guilt clause of the Versailles Treaty. But the overwhelming diplomatic evidence was that Germany did in fact start WW1. With 10 million killed and many millions horribly wounded and maimed, the feeling was that they should be punished.
As far as loss of territory goes, northern Schleswig voted in a plebiscite to return to Denmark. This plebiscite had been promised by Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm I but was reniged on. The eastern territories that were given to Poland had a 50/50 Polish and German population and the population was so inter-mingled that it was very difficult to draw clear boundaries between Germans and Poles. As to Alsace-Lorraine it had never really been happy in the German Empire, as evidenced by the Zaberne affair and that fact that most of the representatives that Alsace-Lorraine sent to the Reichstag were described as pro-French. That may give you an idea of where their loyalties were.
In the years leading up to WW1, Germany was the only country in Europe that was opposed to disarmament and to mediation and arbitration for handling international disputes at the hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907. These conferences were proposed by the Czar of Russia. So there was a pushback against Germany and a desire to severely limit their military for future aggression.
As far as loss of the German colonies and the German Navy, this was really the only way to compensate Britain and the U.S.A. for the loss of lives. Britain and the U.S.A. stood to gain no territory in Europe. Britain had lost many lives and spent much money. (talk) 22:04, 7 February 2009 (UTC)edwardlovette76.94.18.217 (talk) 22:04, 7 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Critic9328. I have compared and contrasted the texts of both treaties. IMHO, Brest-Litovsk was a treaty of strategy; Versailles was a treaty of pure vengeance. Brest-Litovsk, true, did transfer much territory away from the Russian central government, with the German intent of creating a series of buffer vassal states between the Baltic and the Black Sea. It did economically subordinate Russia and her former territories to Germany and her allies. However, the reparation and disarmament terms were nowhere near as onerous as those incurred by Versailles. edwardlovette makes the point that Germany only repaid %15 of the stipulated payments. This is irrelevant to a discussion of the harshness of the respective terms of the two treaties. While the reparations might not have been the cause of Germany's hyperinflation postwar, they certainly did not help. If you want to talk about results rather than about terms of the two treaties, how about this-- the Treaty of Versailles led directly to the rise of the Nazis, to WWII and to the Holocaust. Had Germany won the 1st World War, or had the terms of the Allies not been so harsh, the events of the past 80 years would have been quite different... to the benefit of (indeed the preservation of) millions. Had the provisions of Brest-Litovsk been allowed to stand, Russia would have been left with a western frontier (hmmm...)strangely like the Russian frontier of today, but the power and influence of the Bolsheviks would have probably never been permitted by the monarchies to extend into eastern Europe--again to the benefit of millions. The war guilt issue is also problematic. The direct cause of the conflict was Serbia's alleged insufficient response to the demands issued by Austria-Hungary in the wake of Franz Ferdinand's assassination. If Germany was guilty of any responsibility for turning a regional conflict into a world war, it was out of loyalty to a treaty ally (Austria), no different from France and Britain's declaration of war in support of their ally Russia. If war guilt must be assigned, take a good look at Serbia. Serbia had been a territorially aggressive state practically from its inception, bent on aggrandizing itself at the expense of its neighbors whether they were ethnically Serb or not. The Serbs wanted Macedonia as far south as Thessalonika, despite the Albanians, Macedonians (closer related to Bulgarians than to Serbs)and Greeks who were in the way. In the other direction, they sought to wrest Bosnia away from the Austro-Hungarian protectorate which had been imposed after San Stefano, by actively encouraging the Black Hand and similar Serbian Nationalist groups (again indifferent then as now to the many Croats and Muslims in Bosnia who had no desire to be incorporated into a Greater Serbia). The culpability of the Central Powers in general and Germany in particular for the horrors of WWI have been a whitewash, perpetrated by generations of western historians to support the righteousness of the Allied victory. "History is written by the winners, baby.." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:52, 12 November 2010


Firmly disagree, to the point I'm inclined to call the above apologia for the Kaiserreich and its' allies and by extension an utter slap in the face to those who died before, during, and after the war. The "Treaty of Strategy" was utterly colored by an imperialistic and genocidal tint that would've made Versailles look downright pale, and that's shown by the fact that the resources the Central Powers spent trying to grind the locals under the boot to obtain all they stipulated helped hasten their defeat and open a major can of worms due to local resistance to such atrocities. The main reason the disarmament was not as severe was because the Central Powers had no reason whatsoever to disarm a semi-client with the instability of the Eastern Front. They needed the embryonic Red Army to help maintain a truly draconian peace by preventing internal enemies in Russia from taking over and nullifying the treaty; that this is patently not because of the benevolence of Berlin, Vienna, etc. al can be seen from their horrendous treatment of the occupied areas. Furthermore, it's worth pointing out that per capita the reparations- the ones that really matter- are *vastly* higher for Brest-Litovsk than they ever were for Versailles. Secondly, if the Bolsheviks were to be prevented from moving into Central and Eastern Europe- which I can agree would've been a good thing- it would not have been to the benefit of millions precisely because the Central Powers were no better and could've been conceivably worse since the Comintern at least paid lip service to the idea of internationalism and global cooperation; the plans of the Central Powers amounted to ethnic cleansing of a vaaast swath of the East, a war crime of the highest magnitude by any measure. The idea that the Treaty of Versailles led "directly" to the catastrophes of the interbellum, WWII, and beyond is a strawman; history is not that linear, and we see plenty of cases where even with the Treaty the postwar situation could have turned out very differently, most notably with the Strassman government. This is further made obvious by the fact that pound for pound the peace settlement to the Franco-Prussian War was far worse than Versailles in terms of reparations, and it did no appreciable damage to French democracy or to France's long term economic and industrial ability precisely because they paid up fairly reliably. The war guilt issue is only problematic if you have difficulty splitting the guilt- which was exactly what the original version of the war guilt clause did- and if you go out of your way to excuse the actions of Vienna and Berlin in favor of attaching all blame to the Serbian government for an action committed by a terrorist organization, even factoring in the fact that it was an incredibly influential terrorist organization in control of part of the Serbian government. Any close examination of the actual documents and chain of thought would make you realize that the only reason the cause was a "perceived" insufficient response was because the war hawks in the Central Powers were doing everything to *aggravate* for war and so would have seized on any pretext as "insufficient" and thus justifying it. Germany's responsibility is not merely in acting as a treaty member, but in helping to goad the Habsburgs to war, in all due likelyhood being the deciding factor in starting it. It's hard to argue that the Serbians do not owe a fair share of the blame, but it's also worth noting that even in the face of the extreme reaction they tried to placate the Austrians and only stopped short of acceptance to being made a second Bosnia. Serbia cannot be excused for it's role, but Austria-Hungary and Germany had already won a crushing and sufficient diplomatic victory without a shot being fired. That they chose to go to war on top of it with the intentions of ethnic cleansing makes them beyond the pale. The idea that the Kaiserreich was so far divorced from the inhumanity of the Third Reich can be shown by the genocidal practices it utilized such as those against the Holstein Danes, the French, Belgians, Poles, Latvians, Herero, and Naquama that were far beyond even the low standards of the time. The idea that such a system of institutionalized terror, arbitrary use of force, military dominance of the civilian government, and blatant disrespect for the rule of law is somehow "laudable" is false. No party emerged from WWI innocent, but the true whitewash was not of the Central Powers' guilt, but of their innocence. It's precisely this lie that gave birth to the horrors of Nazism and its' cousins.


In one of the paragraphs related to the outbreak of the war, the article states "...thus following the late party leader August Bebel, who had declared in 1904 in the Reichstag, that he himself would shoulder the gun when going against Russia."

What exactly is meant by "shoulder the gun"? Is this a poorly translated colloquialism or a direct quote or what? I can guess what it means but it should be phrased better. Inoculatedcities 13:45, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

"shouldering the gun" means putting the gun over one's shoulder, they way a gun is usually carried. it is said exactly the same way in german (das gewehr shultern) and to my knowledge the translation is quite proper english, also in the u.s.a. when saying this, bebel meant that he is ready to take up arms against russia.Sundar1 18:27, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Status of article[edit]

can anyone explain why this article needs to be "wikified"? it's a translation from the german version which even has a "star". the german version, without any discussion, has a number of sections which were deleted in the english version as pov. yet, the status of the english version remains. Sundar1 19:04, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

POV? Myth?[edit]

The stab in the back is a myth? I don't think so. This is obvious POV. The revolution was going on the whole time toward the end of the war, and there were strikes in Germany while the war was happening. The mutiny at Kiel and then the spartacist uprising. This didn't occur? That sounds like it would make sense for a stab in the back theory. It didn't just originate by some statement in the Reichstag. YankeeRoman( 17:40, 2 May 2007 (UTC))

I don't know what I think about the myth myself; but it is certainly a *valid* point of view. To soldiers that still "believed" in the war the German Army had achieved victories and was yet to be "defeated" in open battle. To a man like Adolf Hitler; the political left rising up back home and the eventual Versailles Treaty was a betrayal of the German people. (They could have supposedly achieved better terms).

No, it is a myth. The stab in the back myth says that the German Army was betrayed by the home front, and in particular the politicians. What actually happened was slightly different. The German High Command realised that it was in an untenable military position, and decided to make moves towards an armistice. They then got the government to sign off on this, so that they would take the blame for it. The German Revolution began about the third of November, and the Republic was proclaimed in Berlin on the 9th. The Armistice was the 11th. The Spartacist Rising didn't happen until January 1919, long after the Armistice. Just because people believed it doesn't mean it's not a myth. Supersheep (talk) 00:37, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Dolchstoßlegende = Stab in the back myth (correct translation) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:28, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Seconded. Just because people believe in it doesn't mean we take the Blood Libel seriously, and that's more or less what this is. The German front line in the West and South had just about disintegrated into small pockets of resistance that were getting smashed back across into Germany. The situation at the front had degenerated to the point where the OHL was forced to throw in the towel. Just about everything that's been said since then to the contrary is- to put it gently- a lie.

Update + myth?[edit]

the german version has been considerably redone and expanded. i translated and checked the whole article, hopefully not leaving too many mistakes behind. my head is spinning and it would be nice for others to straighten out the language where necessary. as to the questioning of the "myth": why should it be considered a "stab in the back" if a population stops supporting a war, especially if one in democratically minded? besides, it's called a myth because it is said that the change of mind in the population or the revolution was the reason for germany's defeat. perhaps the german army could have lasted for another while but, after the u.s. joined the entente, certainly not for very long. you would have certainly been very hard pressed to find any soldiers still believing in the war or even victory. Sundar1 14:11, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

    • In large part because the crucial reason why Germany lost wasn't because of the mutinies in the rear; it was because the German military had been fatally mauled and its' allies destroyed in the war, and by the time of the Armistice the Western Allies were racing from the West, South, and Southeast towards Germany itself.

Communist revolution?[edit]

Why is this catagorized as a communist revolution? The article itself describes why many political extremists with different views which it to be considered one and makes a good case as to why it should be listed as such. 19:21, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Because also a socialist revolution can be named communist revolution since communism is the final aim of all (real) socialists. Socialim is the first step without capitalistic organization of the economy and communism as second step (when socialism already has created free selfdetermined people who lived without capitalism in solidarity:) also without money and more and more without state/government, because of the self-ruling procedures and democratic structures of the people.
During the revolution councils of soldiers and workers (soviets) ruled in Germany till the Weimar Republic where parlamentarism was introduced again. The German soviet republics Räterepublik were just crashed down militarily by especially the private armies, called Freikorps which were financed by the so called anti-bolshevistfonds of the German industry. They also financed other paramilitary groups, the Social Democrats and any group or project acting in an anti-bolshevist way, whatever means they used - including many nationalist and NAZI groups. The initial nominal amount was 500 millions of Reichsmark, it started with 50 millions the 10th January 1919. Of course there were other individual projects too, like the creation of the nationalist media imperium, the so-called Hugenberg Konzern, a 30 million Marks project of the Ruhr heavy metal industrialists (Hugenberg was director of Krupp), the killing of the socialist leaders Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and the leader of the Free state of Bavaria etc.
This was regarded this time "worldrevolution war". The German early NAZI propagandist Eduard Stadtler used this definition as book title Weltrevolutionskrieg and it was also seen this way by the leading German industrialists. After the Russian revolution 1917, the German one in 1918/1919, the Spanish socialist republic - were dictator general Franco needed even Hitlers troups the crash down socialism. Also in Italy they had similarly to Germany to create Mussolini Fashism in order to stop socialsim. So it has been regarded as **socialist world revolution war** in at least Europe - from the left and the right wing.
That what you are calling political extremists were just the ordinary people of socialists, social democrats and a very few emperor supporters - which all were not sure what to do - see Sebastian Haffners book for details about this German revolution. The real serious actors were only the industrialists with their recruitment of jobless and hungry soldiers for the Freikorps to militarily crashing down the German soviet republics - and stablizing this by national-socialist propaganda and founding of NS-groups and parties. The German Workers Party, Deutsche Arbeiterpartei DAP was founded this time initiated by the bavarian industry federation president. In Sept.1919 Hitler and Röhm joined and Feb. 1920 renamed the Party to NS-DAP NSDAP i.e. National-Sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei.
Hugo Stinnes the leading German Industrialist, said he wants "to make a Socialism with his workers" - just without any parties. Do not forget - this time socialism was very poular. Edgar8 (talk) 16:05, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

POV problems[edit]

"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 entire paragraph from the introduction consistutes POV. It is political opinion from the point of view of one specific party. The article should present established fact rather than political speculation or theory.

The specific problems are:

  • The original research style claim to know the roots of the german revolution
  • The claim that "futher reaching goals" were "foiled" by the SDP.
  • The political POV suggesting what the motives of the SDP were
  • The phrase "so-called" in front of Spartacist uprising. There either was or was not a Sparticist uprising. Words like "so-called" have no place as used in this article. You can make the case that there was no uprising by presenting a view of events but you can't have the article say the army quelled it and at the same time question if it happened.

There are numerous other similar problems with political opinion in the article. While I gave one example, they all need to be fixed. 19:15, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

1. arguing like that, one can never know the true reasons for any revolution, unless you know of one, where they have been written down before it took place, to make sure, everybody knew the reasons afterwards. i it’s quite a safe assumption to deduce the reasons for a revolution from the demands made during the revolution. so, in this case the reasons are stated quite correctly.

2. there were goals going beyond the immediate demands for peace, the fall of the kaiser etc. if these were not foiled by the spd-leadership (in line with the military), then by who else?

3. the motives of the spd-leadership were clearly not the same as the ones of the party as a whole (see erfurt spd-convention). and again, the leadership did not write down its motives before taking action. thus, the motives must be drawn from the deeds, results and later, the parties own explanation.

4. you only need to check with the article “sparticist uprising” to see why it is called the “so-called” spartacist uprising. it’s “so-called” because it was not spartacist and therefore also referred to as “january uprising”. Sundar1 16:24, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

1 - I dont think Wikipedia is the appropriate place for anyone to be making political speculation on motivations. Calling the pre-revolutionary consititution "backward" or saying there was "inability of its leaders to reform" are subjective political opinions from one point of view about the revolution. Statements that take on a political point of view are inappropriate.
2 - THe text can say what the goals of each side were. The text can say what the policies of each side was. But the text cannot say that one side "foiled" the further reaching socialist goals of the other.
3 - The current text in substance and tone is rooted in the point of view of the SPD's opponents. What is being done is to draw motives for the SPD from the point of view of their opponents which is completely inappropriate. Its possible to say what each side thought it was trying to do but the text cannot interprete the motives of one side from the point of view of the other side. That is non-neutral.
4 - you can call it Spartacist uprising or you can call it January uprising. But referring to it as "so-called" is inappropriate. 01:44, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

1. Saying that the direct cause of the Revolution was the policy of the Supreme Command is just as much POV (in fact, probably more so) than saying what the bit you had a problem with is - the revolution was the culmination of the growing desire for democratic rule, spearheaded by the SPD. The Kiel mutinies were really just the catalyst. In fact, the original section was probably closer to being right - albeit expressed in POV terms.
2. Foiled is a bad choice of words, but there were elements pushing for a more left-wing course (and some elements pushing for a more right-wing course, but these weren't really in open conflict with the state).
3. Historical research consists of trying to work out what people's motives were from the evidence they left behind. If there are sources, then it's not POV. Once again, it's not expressed neutrally, but they were the key concerns of the SPD.
4. Spartacist Uprising is the common term, but, as the article says, it isn't really that accurate. I don't know what official Wikipedia policy on this is, though.
This article does need some work. This is something that I will be happy to take on in a week or two, once my current batch of essays are out of the way (along with the Spartacist one, seeing as I did an essay on that last year.) Supersheep (talk) 00:51, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Translate into English[edit]

Ich nicht verstandannen. Seriously, parts of this article are so poorly written that I can't understand them. Can someone with better English and a good understanding of the article re-write it into proper English? For the love of God. (talk) 23:33, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Haha, yes, the article is heavy on Denglisch. However, I'm an Ami, and I think it's good for the Amis to hear to a more German viewpoint, rather than the Disneyland revolution that I might otherwise expect. A few difficult phrases are a small price to pay for real insight into this history. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:09, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Little cited, lots original research[edit]

For the amount of text there's very little citation, mostly all in the last section. The citations that do come in tend to be confirming one quote or fact, and then surrounding that one quote and fact is mounds upon mounds of original research. All interpretation in this article should ideally be supported by scholarly sources and properly cited, as it is the article seems to have a distinct ideological point of view, although counter arguments are punched in here and there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:06, 9 February 2008 (UTC)


This article leans heavily on Haffner's works. However Haffner is not considered a very reliable historian within the scientific community. Which is not so strange considering his background in combination with the theme of socialist revolution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

1. Sebastian Haffner was a non-academic but nonetheless renowned author on historical themes, and his background was rather conservative.
2. The article is not only based on his work but on that of a large number of acknowledged german historians, such as Heinrich August Winkler, Volker Ulrich, Hagen Schulze, Hans Mommsen etc. (talk) 11:03, 12 March 2008 (UTC)
In support of this - Defying Hitler is one of the books that's highest up on the reading list for our Weimar course. Also, I haven't forgotten about this - I will be back in to do some tidying next week. Supersheep (talk) 00:13, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Tag & Assess 2008[edit]

Article reassessed and graded as start class. --dashiellx (talk) 19:43, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

The German Revolution or at least the inter-war civil conflict ended in 1923[edit]

Violence continued between communists, nationalists and government forces until 1923. In fact, the Weimar Republic was briefly overthrown in 1920 during the Kapp Putsch in which authoritarian nationalists took over until massive protests forced the government to resign. From 1920 to 1923, violence escalated with the newly formed Nazi Party at the time against communists and government forces which included the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. After 1923, conditions in Germany began to improve until the 1929 when the stock market crashed.--R-41 (talk) 19:42, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Incorrect statement[edit]

The statement "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" is not correct. Wilhelm II emperor and king of prussia just abdicated at 28 November 1918, and the last German monarch to abdicate was king Wilhelm II of Württemberg at 30 November 1918.--Rod74pt (talk) 00:41, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

It is not even true that Wilhelm II. abdicatet. He was not willing to, so Prince Max von Baden proclaimed that deliberately, with no order from The Kaiser. But this is completely left out in this english version. (talk) 16:06, 18 February 2011 (UTC)


This article is simply drivel. It is written in the tone of a 15-year-old smitten with the lectures of an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Modern Social History at a small state college, the latter having realized that spouting pseudo-intellectual tripe is more remunerative than cooking french fries and flipping hamburgers.

A politically-driven civil conflict? As opposed to civil conflicts that are somehow separate from politics? And did the "formal establishment" of the Weimar Republic end it? In August 1919? Since the author is eager to delve into "social forces", it would be intellectually honest to mention Liebknecht and Ebert here. And suddenly the Spartacists are mentioned, popping out like Athena on Zeus' forehead, or a blemish on the forehead of a teenager? Where did they come from? Who knows?

People, let's do better!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:42, 31 December 2008 (UTC)


Two paragraphs in the "The Revolution from the standpoint of contemporaries and posterity" section repeat earlier similar paragraphs in "Request for cease fire and change of Constitution" section. I leave it to someone knowledgeable in this subject to delete one of them. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kumbara (talkcontribs) 17:55, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

German poolice[edit]

the police were ver polite to the silors —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 21 April 2009 (UTC)


This article is in dire need of a major overhaul. Besides the numerous factual errors, repetitions, non-sequiturs, and unverified statements, it reads like a Google translation of a foreign text. Impossible for you brain not to short-circuit after a few seconds of this gobbledygook.Drichter53 (talk) 23:59, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

The article is mainly a translation of the German version, marked as excellent. However, an excellent German article is not necessarily an excellent English article. --Alfons2 (talk) 13:00, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps not, but there's no movement towards, suggestion for, restructuring/rewrite in 2 years, so I removed the rewrite tag. (talk) 02:54, 1 May 2011 (UTC)


A more appropriate title might be "History of the SPD during the German Revolution of 1918", since this is the distinct impression I got while reading the article. The article was very illuminating, of course, but maybe it could be part of a more complete history including all the parties and actors during the revolution. RSDanneskjöld (talk) 18:53, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree. There appears to be a great deal of unsourced background material on the history of the SPD before and during WWI that is tangential to the events of 1918-19. I would suggest this material be moved to a separate article. (talk) 03:54, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Why does the "aftermath" section mention only fascist revolts and not the 1923 Communist one?[edit]

the"aftermath" section correctly discusses the abortive Kapp Putsch and the Beer Hall Putsch revolts but it leaves out the abortive attempt of Russian-sponsored Communist revolt in 1923, which is discussed in Heinrich Brandler article . In fact, I think that it deserves its own article, it's strange that it is discussed only inter alia in the article of one of its leaders. (talk) 19:17, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Social Democratic Party of Germany[edit]

The link to the SDP goes to the party after WWII. Was this the same party as between WWI and WWII? Smiley.toerist (talk) 22:45, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, disregard previous statement. I hadnt read carefully enough. (only the introduction) Smiley.toerist (talk) 22:48, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

1917 mutiny[edit]

I think this article still lacks some information on the 1917 mutiny due to which Max Reichpietsch, Albin Köbis and three other "main ringleaders" were sentenced to death, along with some background information on secret frontline agitation by the USPD in support of ending the war, mainly by means of smuggling illegal newspapers and pamphlets to the front and small agitation circles that never grew beyond enlisted ranks but were instrumental in the 1917 mutiny as well as the eventual Kiel mutiny in 1918, and other revolts elsewhere in the army and navy.

The Imperial Army, of course, immediately cracked down on these agitators whenever they were detected, by means of military tribunals that usually handed out prison sentences where no actual revolts had been achieved. These frontline agitators were also in contact with the Revolutionary Stewards that organized the January 1918 strikes on the homefront.

I'm not talking about the stab-in-the-back myth here, actually I'm coming from the talkpage to Ernst Thälmann (film) where that article challenges the film's historical accuracy by saying that "no Workers and Soldiers Council" formally existed on the frontlines when all we see in the film is a small circle around Ernst Thälmann in 1918 resisting orders and wanting to go home. In other words, there *WAS* resistance to the war among enlisted ranks since 1917, although never a majority, of course, and not formally organized until fall 1918. -- (talk) 13:00, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Why is there no mention of the events in Munich 3rd of May 1919 here?[edit]

"On 3 May 1919, loyal elements of the German army (called the “White Guards of Capitalism” by the communists), with a force of 9,000, and Freikorps (such as the Freikorps Epp and the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt) with a force of about 30,000 men, entered Munich and defeated the communists after bitter street fighting in which over 1,000 supporters of the German government were killed. About 700 men and women were arrested and summarily executed by the victorious Freikorps troops. " — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Double rule[edit]

The current content of the "Double rule" section might, more logically, be incorporated into the larger and overlapping "Interim government" section.

Zulu Kane (talk) 18:22, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

No mention of Jewish Communists[edit]

Why is there no mention of the fact that 7 out of the 10 'leaders and commanders' of the Communist Free Socialist Republic of Germany are Jews? It's definitely relevant considering what occurred in Germany in the years to come. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:53, 20 January 2016 (UTC)

no mention of the anarchists either. they play ed an important role during the events of both novemberrevolution and muenchner raeterepublik.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:21, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

You're right, Wikipedia, history is far too bland when it's accurate![edit]

Remember that the National Socialist rise to power in the years after this event was fueled majorly on a platform of ending 'Jewish interference' and with reference to multiple Jewish socialist incursions into German political and public life stretching over years - it is a key facet of history. Therefore to scrub Jewish involvement in Communist and Socialist movements doesn't help people to understand History. Is this the aim of Wikipedia? Please state this for the record or stop making this record of history inaccurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AchironØs (talkcontribs) 18:08, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Death Toll and Casualties[edit]

So the casualties are listed to be a total of 300,000 killed and wounded? Yet I fail to see any source for these numbers. Someone needs to fact check this, as the same article in the German Wikipedia doesnt mention any casualties at all (also suspicious)

Page move[edit]

I have declined a WP:G6 request to move this page to German Revolution of 1918–19. The RFC concluded: "... Secondly, applications such as sports seasons, fiscal years, and consecutive years use the two-year date range convention without problems. These applications can continue to do so. ..." I read this as allowing either date format to be permissible for this page. Consequently, any change is unsuited to a speedy and should be subject to a discussion here. I have no position on the issue. Just Chilling (talk) 01:04, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Wilson's Demand?[edit]

The reference to 'the main demand of Wilson to put the Imperial Government on a democratic footing' has no source cited and a search for a corroborating text for the statement proved unsuccessful. Clivemacd (talk) 01:01, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Found source, added citation.Clivemacd (talk) 23:34, 2 February 2017 (UTC)