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links for 2010-07-08

The Spartakist Uprising

From Sefton Delmer (1972), Weimar Germany: Democracy on Trial (MacDonald and Company), p. 32:

Karl Liebknecht... ordered... Petty Officer Lemmgen to occupy the... Ministry of War on behalf of the Revolutionary Council at the head of 300 armed soldiers from the People's Naval Division.... Lemmgen... at the Ministry, he found a young lieutenant, Bruno Hamburger... as duty officer. Lieutenant Hambuger challenged Lemmgen’s authority and demanded to be shown his credentials.... Lemmgen produced a typed document with the following text: “Comrades and Workers! The Ebert-Scheidemann government have made themselves impossible.... The undersigned Revolutionary Council has provisionally assumed power.”

Lieutenant Hamburger inspected the document and became properly indignant. “But where are the signatures?” he demanded. The document had none. “Before I can comply with this order, you’ll have to go back and get it properly signed. Otherwise any little shorthand typist could declare the government deposed.”

Petty Officer Lemmgen... saw the logic of the lieutenant's request. So he and his men saluted... and made their way back to the Revolutionary Council to obtain the necessary signatures.... But by the time he had obtained the signatures, Lemmgen had learned that the People’s Naval Division had declared itself neutral. So he did not return to the Ministry of War...


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