A revolutionary upsurge after 1918 could have democratized German politics. Instead, the brutal repression used to contain that upsurge strengthened the authoritarian right, divided the German workers’ movement, and facilitated the rise of Hitler.
Sean Larson holds a PhD in German Studies from New York University and is an editor at Rampant magazine.
The November Revolution of 1918 replaced Germany’s monarchist regime with a parliamentary system. But its Social Democratic leaders made a pact with the old ruling class to repress the left-wing radicals who wanted to go further, crippling the new Weimar Republic from the start.
One hundred years ago today, radical sailors, soldiers, and workers in Germany rose up to put an end to the carnage of World War I. And the revolutionary upheaval had only just begun.
On July 14, 1889, the Second International was born to unite the workers of the world. What happened to that dream?
The UAW’s dissident AWDU caucus argues that democratizing the union is the only way for workers to win big.