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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political composition and its factional conflicts; the revolutionaries Liebknecht and Luxemburg had their place there at the side of the revisionist Bernstein. Ledebour distinguished himself by the sharpness – even bitterness – of his attacks on the Spartacists and what he called their ‘nihilism’. He supported the principle of national defence, and he called for popular pressure to be directed on the government for peace negotiations to be opened. He developed at the Congress his conception of a

of tactics for all.37 Lenin realised at the beginning of October 1918 that the German situation was maturing more quickly than his pamphlet was being printed, and drafted a ten-page summary which he sent to Chicherin, asking him to get it distributed in Germany as quickly as possible (which would best be done through Switzerland).38 This document, which bears the same title as the pamphlet, closes with the following remark: Europe’s greatest misfortune and danger is that it has no revolutionary

and not from their subjective behaviour. We reproduce this article only because of its conclusion: without the German Revolution, the Russian Revolution remains in danger, and the fight for socialism in this world-wide war is futile. There is only one solution: the large-scale uprising of the German working class.50 The revolution advances more quickly than the revolutionaries The revolution was to arrive before the revolutionaries could break their routine, get free from the vice of repression,

must accept them to put an end to the slaughter.’118 He announced to the delegates that the two Social-Democratic Parties agreed to form a government on a basis of equality, with no bourgeois ministers. Haase followed him, speaking in the same sense, and confirmed the agreement. Liebknecht was very calm but incisive. His task was not easy, because he had the vast majority of the soldiers against him, breaking into his speech with interruptions and insults, even threatening him with their weapons,

would continue to ‘be authorised to exercise without change in the future the functions laid upon it according to the laws and decrees of the Reich’. 52 All the administrative personnel, the whole body of high functionaries selected under the Imperial régime, remained in place. Under the authority of the People’s Commissars and, theoretically, the control of the elected members of the Executive of the Councils, with the representatives of the two Social-Democratic Parties, the bourgeois ministers

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