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

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