Woe to the Left

With their bid for total control stymied, the Reichswehr redirected their energies towards rearming and taking the fight to their external enemies. Though they never lost their contempt for the Weimar Constitution, the Kapp Putsch and its aftermath gave the unreformed Junker dominated military a sense of job security. Instead General Hans von Seeckt began […]

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Pop a Kapp

As long as the threat of a revolutionary uprising held, the army was willing to tolerate the Ebert government. But the aristocratic Junker corps that controlled the Reichswehr had no love for Weimar, or any intention of accepting it in the long term. General Groener had also resigned by this point, and his successor General […]

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The Discord of Versailles

It would be easy to forget in all the drama, but the final peace of the First World War was still under negotiation when the White Terror began. By June 1919 the drafted Treaty of Versailles was presented to the shocked German delegation. They were given just a few weeks to submit written questions or […]

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Feuer Freikorps

Faced with a thrown gauntlet across Germany, Ebert and Noske turned first to the army, then to a darker choice that baptized the Weimar Republic in blood. While raising a single unit had been possible, a major counterrevolutionary operation was beyond the Deutsches Heer. Many soldiers had simply gone home, taking their guns with them. […]

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I am Spartacus

More or less simultaneously with Liebknecht’s declaration, SPD minister Phillip Scheidemann raced to the Reichstag window and announced “the formation of a labor government to which all socialist parties will belong…long live the German Republic!”.[1] While Ebert furiously told Scheidemann that “You have no right to proclaim the Republic”, the ad-libbed declaration decided the course […]

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The November Revolution

Sometimes a slip of the tongue or a rhetorical flourish can decide the shape of government, or the future of entire nations. At least once in Germany’s history it conjured an entire republic into being, one that no one had asked for but one that many would die trying to save before it collapsed. That […]

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The Decline of the Witch Trials

Just as the beginning of the Witch Craze varies based on region, so too does the end. The last legal executions for witchcraft by state authorities occurred in England in 1684, in the Colonies in 1697, in Scotland 1727, France 1745, and 1775 in the Holy Roman Empire.[1] This did not mean trials or community […]

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