German Revolution 1918/1919

Revolutionary Shop Stewards and Workers Councils in the German Revolution

If Ralf Hoffrogge were writing within an American context rather than a German one, he would be situated between two important developments in the United States. A new cohort of social movement historians is addressing the gaps in anarchist, anti-authoritarian, and left-communist historiography. Neighboring this is a resurgence of interest in workers' councils historically and in the contemporary period. read more »

Memories

My name is Jan Appel, and I was born in a village in Mecklenburg in 1890. I attended elementary school and learned the shipbuilding trade. Even before my birth my father had been a Socialist. I myself became a member of the Sozial-demokratische Partei Deutschlands [SPD] on reaching 18 years of age. I saw military service from 1911 to 1913, and thereafter as a soldier in the War. In October 1917 I was demobilised and sent to work in Hamburg as a shipyard worker. In 1918 we called a strike of armaments workers. The strike held out for a whole week at the Vulkan-Werft. read more »

Richard Müller

Richard Müller was one of the leading figures of the German Revolution 1918. Starting as a local union organizer he began to organize political strikes against WWI in 1916 with a group called "Revolutionary Stewards". This group had started as opposition within the German Metalworkers Union (DMV) and later became very influential for the movement of worker´s councils in 1918/1919.

Richard Müller himself was head of the "Executive Council of Workers´ and Soldiers´ Councils" in 1918, he wrote several influential texts on council socialism and industrial democracy. read more »

Gabriel Kuhn (ed.): All Power to the Councils! A Documentary History of the German Revolution

Every schoolchild on the globe knows something about the Russian Revolution from 1917. It was the origin of a state called Soviet Union and a political confrontation later known as the cold war which shaped the 20th century longer than any other political conflict.

Unlike the crucial events of 1917, the German Revolution of 1918 is not part of the global memory. It did not erect a socialist state as hoped by many of its protagonists and instead ended with a fragile republic that lasted only twelve years and was destroyed by the Nazi Party in 1933. read more »

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