the principle of monarchy might be salvaged, Ebert and Scheidemann eventually suggesting that perhaps one of the Kaiser's sons-- but not the Crown Prince--should assume the throne.
Meanwhile the rebellion took on a more menacing aspect. The left opposition, including the Spartacists under the recently released Liebknecht, and the Independent Socialists led by Hugo Haase and Ledebour, was gaining leadership of what had been a largely spontaneous movement. Both groups had split from the Social Democratic Party on the war issue. There was danger that popular support would be subverted from the 'Kaiser's Socialists' in the cabinet.
On 9 November, in panic, Prince Max anticipated events by publicly announcing the abdication of the Kaiser--although the abdication did not actually take place until the following morning-- and announced his resignation to members of the cabinet. Ebert, through politeness or through abysmal ignorance of the true state of affairs, begged Max to remain. The Prince, who suffered from no such delusions, appointed Ebert as Chancellor and prepared, rather hastily, to depart. Upon accepting the chancellorship the Socialist leader said, 'Your Highness, I'll do my best. Have I not given two children to the cause of Germany?' With these words Social Democracy came to power.
from The Kaiser Goes: The Generals Remain by THEODOR PLIVIER, translated by A. W. Wheen
FRITZ EBERT is alone in the Chancellor's room. His friends have all gone. In sweat-soaked collar and unbuttoned waistcoat he sits back in the chair from which he has not moved for hours. The pace has been almost too much for him. In the morning he was still hopeful of saving the monarchy; by ten o'clock he was studying how to fall into the arms of the strikers; by noon all that remained was the plan for summoning a constituent assembly; by nightfall he is on the verge of losing the power to the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils. But he has prepared everything for the morrow and has no doubt that a cabinet of Social Democrats and Independents