One hundred years since the November Revolution in Germany
9 November 2018
One hundred years ago—on November 9, 1918—the revolutionary uprising of the German working class against war and monarchy reached its peak and shook the capitalist system to its foundations.
Since the beginning of 1918, despite oppression, draconian censorship, the imprisonment of revolutionary leaders and the support of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and trade unions for the First World War, the imperial government was no longer able to control the resistance of the working class to the war. The devastating effects of three and a half years of bloody slaughter and the military defeats on the Western front led to a revolutionary crisis.
In many areas, the food supply collapsed almost completely. Although war production had increased dramatically since the summer of 1914, total industrial production at the end of 1917 was 47 percent below its pre-war level. Agricultural production had fallen by 60 percent. The famine was unimaginable.
The fronts hardly moved in the last months of the war, but the great human slaughter continued unabated. Soldiers were senselessly sent to the slaughter, starved to death in the trenches or died in agony from epidemics. By that point, the First World War had been raging for four years. General Ludendorff and the Supreme Army Command delayed the armistice negotiations, and when the war finally ended in November 1918, 10 million people had lost their lives worldwide, with 20 million wounded soldiers. In addition, there were 7 million civilian victims.
In Russia, under the leadership of the Bolsheviks, the working class had conquered power and ended Russian involvement in the war in October 1917. Their victory inspired the workers in Germany. Amid the butchery of the…