The Revolution That Could Have Turned Germany Communist in 1919 – The Spartacist Rising



Germany it's early 20th century history is mostly associated with the First World War and then after a period of about 20 to 30 years the Second World War in which Germany became a fascist more specifically a National Socialist government style and they embarked on their conquest of large parts of Europe and later on the world but another type of authoritarian ideology that was also present during this time in Europe was of course communism but this is never really associated that much with Germany during this period but that's not to say that it didn't play an important role in Germany and this is what I'm going to look at in this video so first of all if we go to early 1917 Germany is still technically a constitutional monarchy with a Kaiser which is the German word for emperor on the throne although there is some limited suffrage and some kinds of democracy with the Reichstag for example a type of parliament now during this time of course Germany was involved in the First World War and fought on the side of austria-hungary and the Ottoman Empire against the likes of the British the French the Belgians and the Russians now of course in 1917 the Russians had a revolution and during this revolution the old Tsar or the old era sort of an emperor in Russia was overthrown by communists or more specifically Bolshevik revolutionaries in the november revolution and this led to the establishment of the first quote/unquote communist situation in europe the first communist style of government in europe and of course this sent shockwaves through europe because while this was the first communist government there were communists in every country in europe and this was a big inspiration to them now in germany there were voices who opposed the war and genuinely the Communists and socialists around europe opposed the war and saw it as the upper classes taking advantage of the lower classes if you're interested I've got my video on both the Russian Revolution and on the peaky blinders where I actually talk about some of these issues if this sounds like something you'd be interested in so of course at the start in Germany you had a very important party called the SPD which with this Democritus apartheid Deutschland which is sort of the fairly center-left kind of party that was advocating for more social welfare and that kind of thing and they were for supporting the war effort during this time they weren't particularly fond of the war but they thought we need to get behind the government during this time but then people in the SPD actually were not in favor as well of getting involved in the war effort and they asked why and these were generally the more hardline leftists so people who were more socialist or communist for example and actually it comes to a head obviously 1918 things start to go bad before the Germans in the war and on the 8th of November the Kaiser is well he's actually he doesn't choose to abdicate first first of all he was told on the public radio that he had abdicated before he actually advocated but he did abdicate later that day and this led to the founding of a new more democratic system with pretty much universal suffrage in Germany of course the old imperial system fell and a new republic the vemma Republic was proclaimed with soon after the elections the first president of the Weimar Republic and the de facto leader at the start of the SPD called Italy a bet however there were also people who weren't happy with this new system and many of these were the aforementioned further left politicians who wanted to implement a similar style government as was now ruling in Russia and this was because the start of these revolutions which I have made a video on if you're interested was because when they started to get annoyed with the Kaiser and the situation there was a very left-wing movement of mainly communists and socialists who were rising up against the old system for example the Kiel mutineers as well as the Vilhelm sahrvin mutineers and other things like that and they decided that they wanted a revolution actually it wasn't really the leadership who decided they wanted or needed a revolution apart from Karl Liebknecht he was an important figure it was mostly the underclasses who were annoyed with the vemma republic and thought they had to act now before there was another election now they started to arm up around Christmastime in 1918 and the another important figure of course was Rosa Luxemburg who is quite a famous name now she advocated not for an armed revolution but it kind of happened without her wanting to happen Karl Liebknecht was more in favor of it I believe but essentially the working classes the Communists in German cities mainly Berlin it was mainly focused around Berlin although other areas were affected started to arm up and this was a large concern obviously to the democratically elected government now this as I said mostly happened in Berlin but other industrial areas in Germany also started to have unrest and by unrest it can be anything from general strikes by hard leftists to actually armed revolts and trying to take over various parts for example in preman Hamburg the Rhineland dahua and also Saxony I believe as well as Bavaria these places all became variously disenfranchised with the New Republic and started to rise her so what was the government's response well one might expect them to send in the army to deal with this armed insurrection but they don't actually do this for a number of reasons reason number one is that during a lot of the unrest that toppled the Kaiser and the chancellorship of Prince max von Baden is that a lot of these men were in the army so perhaps we bleak a bit feared that sending in the army might actually have the opposite effect and that some units from the army hew had themselves some of them had anti-capitalist more socialist sentiments might join in with the rebels now this of course is not what he wanted second of all is actually the opposite of this that there were also army units who were incredibly conservative and by and large all of the generals and upper echelon of the armed forces in Germany were of the old junker elite of the Old Prussian style of aristocracy and he feared that they might be too harsh in dealing with the rebels of course cleavage effort didn't want to alienate any group in Germany at this point the vemma republic was on very shaky legs and he wanted to keep everyone on site be they from the traditional right and the tradition middle classes to meter stunt or from the harder left-wing groups we hope to win back over to the SPD to the social democrat so what a birth did instead was to send in the hike or the love Keuchel were mainly made up of old German army veterans now after the end of the First World War things were really quite disorganized in Germany and everyone expected some sort of revolution to take place and a lot of the soldiers it's hard to talk about all of them in one homogeneous group because there weren't as I just mentioned there was some who were more left-wing whereas the higher up members in the army were more right-wing but there are definitely distinctions to this and a lot of them actually formed a cycle which literally means free core in German and these were essentially roving bands of soldiers who hadn't been disbanded yet but they weren't under full control of the government now this was also used by the government they weren't just brigands who were out of the Armed Services and decided to do what they liked with guns – and forced their rule of law they were actually used by the government because after the Armistice on the 11th of November 1918 the instructions were put in place on the German army that they weren't allowed over a certain amount of men now of course if these were high core or free core then the government could say oh well we don't have any command of them whereas in actual fact they actually did have quite a lot of influence in these rykor and could use them whereas they kids claimed or that they aren't part of the army so we are keeping to the agreements of this armistice which is what they essentially did now meanwhile in Berlin mostly Berlin also a few other places in Germany which I will probably make another video about because they are pretty they are quite separate – the fist movement the sparta cyst uprising has begun and this is the name given to this uprising which happened in 1919 in berlin and on the 4th of january is usually the date that it's accepted to have started now what actually happened was that the line' was essentially taken over by his left-wing militias who had on themselves by the people in the Spartacus League and this was a League of hardline communist who wanted to take control in Germany to seize the means of production and to create a similar state to the one in Russia at the time which was obviously a Soviet state and what they did was they would block off roads they took over public areas in Berlin and essentially claimed that the revolution had started so what was the government's response well they sent in the fry Corps which were obviously these units and the Fekkai call being just returned from the Western Front they had a lot of very good military equipment a lot better than the fairly rudimentary equipment given to these left-wing insurgents and it wasn't long before the phicorp started to gain an upper hand in Berlin in dealing with these militias now the two is while leaders although even they really didn't want to lead in actual fact their cause it looks in berg especially they were rather more unfortunate and caught unaware by this revolution that was happening they were found in a Berlin apartment and they were arrested by armed forces and given over to the nearest Keuchel Regiment and they were both executed in camp in captivity so it wasn't long before the whole uprising in Berlin started to fall apart and they soon gave up and generally the date given to the end of the Spartacus rising in Berlin is the 15th of January so it really hadn't lasted very long at all however this wasn't the end to the communist threat in Germany and they would try again to take over not only all of Germany but also certain parts of Germany and they actually succeeded in some areas although I think that would be an interesting video for another time as well as this it left the president that the German president wasn't able to control the country as to the gym and people they actually saw the sending in of the Reich or as being a true sign that all control had been lost and that there was no real power able to save them from the threat of the heart left of course as well this gave the rykor a huge ego boost and let the right-wing elite in the country think that they had a chance to restore power perhaps by using the fico and this would all come to a head very soon which I will also make another video about art everyone so thank you very much for watching this has been my video on the Communist rising or the spartacists rising in nineteen eighteen or nineteen nineteen rather sort of bridges the two in Germany which almost made Germany a communist country I say almost it did fail quite spectacularly for several reasons one being that the leaders some of them weren't really that keen on doing a revolution the other reason being that they troops who were armed and against them were much better armed than the actual rebels themselves and the third being that they didn't really have much support from the working classes only from the real hardline as it seems that enough people were satisfied enough with the new form of government being proposed to by more republic that they didn't take up arms against it but of course it did weaken the Vimal government significantly because it made people think that the Vimal government couldn't actually do anything to protect them which is why these roving bands of right-wing death squads were sent in instead to deal with them so thanks for watching I've been history with Herbert and this is of course being the Sparta sis rising of nineteen

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