Germany: a Self-Portrait: A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943

By Harlan R. Crippen | Go to book overview

prudent. Rosa Luxemburg was a foreigner--had she not, despite her German citizenship, been born in Poland? Official party support of the war had driven these and many others from the ranks. And now, in being given power rather than winning it, the Social Democrats, and through them the future Republic, assumed the moral and political debts of the old order, which they could never pay. They did not, and perhaps they could not, disown the war and all its horrors and evils.

As far as Ebert and his colleagues were concerned the revolution was over on 10 November. However, Workers' and Soldiers' Councils, which considered themselves as permanent governmental bodies, were springing into existence everywhere, many spontaneously, others organized by the Independents and Spartacists. The Councils showed no tendency to be meekly amenable to the plans which Ebert had made. Many people did not know that revolutions are supposed to halt politely and promptly when chancellorships change hands.


THE SPARTACUS MANIFESTO

by KLARA ZETKIN, ROSA LUXEMBURG, KARL LIEBKNECHT, and FRANZ MEHRING; reprinted from The New York Times

PROLETARIANS! MEN AND WOMEN OF LABOR! COMRADES!

The revolution has made its entry into Germany. The masses of the soldiers, who for four years were driven to the slaughterhouse for the sake of capitalistic profits, the masses of workers, who for four years were exploited, crushed, and starved, have revolted. That fearful tool of oppression--Prussian militarism, that scourge of humanity--lies broken on the ground. Its most noticeable representatives, and therewith the most noticeable of those guilty of this war, the Kaiser and the Crown Prince, have fled from the country. Workers' and Soldiers' Councils have been formed everywhere.

Proletarians of all countries, we do not say that in Germany all the power has really been lodged in the hands of the working people, that the complete triumph of the proletarian revolution has already been attained. There still sit in the government all those Socialists who in August 1914 abandoned our most precious posses

-126-

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Germany: a Self-Portrait: A Collection of German Writings from 1914 to 1943
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • Book One - Iron Cross 1
  • Order of the Crown, Fourth Class 26
  • Into the Abyss 43
  • Verdun 57
  • The Judgment 73
  • On Leave 79
  • Letters from Prison 83
  • Homecoming 104
  • Book Two - Reluctant Republic 111
  • The Ninth of November 115
  • 'Groener Speaking . . .' 121
  • The Spartacus Manifesto 126
  • Our New Masters 133
  • The Constitution of the German Reich Of 11 August 1919 142
  • Look Through the Bars 157
  • Black Armies 169
  • Fever Dance 185
  • Adventure in a Beer Hall 201
  • The Way of the New Germany 217
  • A Laborer in Leuna 229
  • Lampion's Reply 237
  • A Fairy Tale for Christmas 244
  • The Program of the National Socialist German Workers' Party 257
  • My Personal and Financial Relations With the Nazi Party 261
  • The Landslide 270
  • These Literary Anti-Semites 289
  • Invaders and Exiles 302
  • Book Three - Crooked Cross 311
  • Fire in Leipzig 315
  • 'Peaceful Night, Holy Night . . .' 331
  • Family Portrait 342
  • The Age of the Fish 352
  • An Exchange of Letters 370
  • Who Shall Tell Us Today 377
  • Hans Zauner Becomes a Soldier 382
  • Fritz Giga 406
  • Shelter 423
  • The Ballad of the German Soldier's Bride 432
  • Letter from Moscow 433
  • Self-Bondage 452
  • The Blossoming to Come 457
  • Acknowledgments 459
  • Bibliography 465
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