Spartacist Uprising

Discussions on every day life in the Weimar Republic, pre-anschluss Austria, Third Reich and the occupied territories. Hosted by Vikki.
JayDee
Banned
Posts: 78
Joined: 04 May 2006 21:42
Location: North London (N17)

Spartacist Uprising

Post by JayDee » 06 Jun 2006 18:32

Hi, I've got an a-level exam tommorow, and I need a bit of help.

I've always had a bit of trouble understanding the Spartacist Uprising of 1918/1919, and why it occured and the effects of it. I know bits about it, but would prefer to have a better understanding of it.

Can anyone just give me a brief description and elightenment of the subject?

Any help appreciated.

lord_salisbury
Banned
Posts: 122
Joined: 04 May 2006 21:39
Location: en-ger-land

Post by lord_salisbury » 06 Jun 2006 18:36

The Spartacist uprising of 1919 was a left wing attempt to overthrow the German government. It was led by Rosa Luxembourg and someone else who I cannot remember.

However, it was unsuccessful and was crushed by the Freikorps, who came out of the Ebert-Groener agreement.

p.s you spelt enlighten incorrectly :P

User avatar
Benoit Douville
Financial supporter
Posts: 3184
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 01:13
Location: Montréal

Post by Benoit Douville » 30 Jun 2006 02:29

The KPD was led Karl Liebknecht & Rosa Luxemburg. The Spartacist Uprising began on january 5 1919 and they almost captured all of Berlin. However On January 9 and 11 the Freikorps fought the Spartacists in vicious Battles, the Spartacist attempted to surrender but and the attack continued until the Spartacists were killed to the last man. Finally on January 13, a major offensive was launched by the Freikorps and this led to the defeat of the armed Spartacists.

Regards

bob lembke
In memoriam
Posts: 774
Joined: 31 Oct 2004 18:53
Location: Philadelphia, PA

"killed to the last man"

Post by bob lembke » 30 Jun 2006 13:00

Benoit;

My father was a member of the Freikorps Potsdam and took part in the attack on the Vorwärts building, on Jan. 11, 1919, I believe. He fought as a Flammenwerfer operator in the war and was one of the guys who burned their way in the back door of the newspaper building with flame throwers, the building being held by Spartakists.

He described some aspects of the attack to me in considerable detail. They captured about 300 armed men, and they shot 26 men, the ones wearing sailor uniforms. As you know, at the time the sailors has traveled to Berlin and were occupying and trashing the Royal Palace, extorting money, and hunting down notable citizens, including my grand-father's old CO, General von Beseler. My father described a major atrocity by the Spartikists, which included throwing the bodies of officers they shot on a railroad track and cutting the bodies up with a switching locomotive. So the sailors were not in good odor. My father, an ex-storm trooper, had been abused on the street in Hamburg when he was visiting his mother by a patrol of armed Red sailors, and I believe he then traveled to Berlin and joined von Stephani's unit specifically to kill some sailors. He was quite a thug in those days.

It is sometimes stated that all of the defenders of the Vorwärts building were shot. It is not true. There are few objective writers on the topic of the German revolution. Many or most writers on the topic hold to the simplistic equation that Freikorps = Right = Nazi = Bad.

Bob Lembke

User avatar
Benoit Douville
Financial supporter
Posts: 3184
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 01:13
Location: Montréal

Post by Benoit Douville » 01 Jul 2006 00:32

Bob,

I know that the Spartacist were also pretty brutal. I guess you must have interesting documents concerning the Freikorps since your father took part in the action on january 11 1919.

Regards

bob lembke
In memoriam
Posts: 774
Joined: 31 Oct 2004 18:53
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Documents

Post by bob lembke » 03 Jul 2006 23:10

Unfortunately, no documents, although I have a lot from the war itself. But a lot of oral history, and everything that I have been able to check out has proved very accurate. He was also in the Schwartze Reichswehr, and took part in suppressing some small disturbances with his local cell, in conjunction with the riot police from the nearest larger town. (After the war the fat old kindly local cops were let off and lots of tough veterans were put in the supposedly civil police so as to have another organized reserve of men beyond the 100,000 allowed by the Treaty of Versailles.)

Bob Lembke

User avatar
phylo_roadking
Member
Posts: 17489
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 23:31
Location: Belfast

Post by phylo_roadking » 25 Jun 2007 20:40

Bob, here's a question - in a lot of places I've seen "Spartacist" being used to refer to "veterans" rather than Reds/Leftists in the German sense. Would it be fair therefore to say that bringing both together, the "Spartacists" were mostly Red veterans? As opposed to the various "civilian" Bolshvik/Soviet risings and shortlived governments in various locations? Am ready to stand corrected LOL....

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 9388
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Spartacist Uprising

Post by tigre » 09 May 2019 03:36

Hello to all :D; a complement................................

The Spartacist Uprising.

By January 11th, Liebknecht and Luxemburg had lost all control of events and Liebknecht could only say, fatalistically: ‘Ultimately one should accept history as it develops.’ The attempt at a left-wing revolution was put down by force on Ebert’s orders by the army and the Freikorps volunteer militias, which had been formed from soldiers home from the war and which the army had been quietly training. Equipped with artillery, machine guns and grenades, they retook the police headquarters, the war ministry and other buildings the revolutionaries had captured, and shot hundreds of the demonstrators, including many who surrendered. The government summarily disbanded the workers’ and soldiers’ councils. The outcome showed that there was not remotely the widespread support for communism on which the rebels had relied and elections on January 19 were a triumph for Ebert and the creation of a democratic constitution for the new Weimar Republic.

On January 15th, meanwhile, a Frei-korps unit had seized Liebknecht and Luxemburg in a house where friends were hiding them. They were taken to the Hotel Eden, where Luxemburg’s skull was smashed in with a rifle butt. She was subsequently shot and her body was thrown into the Landwehr Canal. ‘The old slut is swimming now,’ one soldier said. Liebknecht was also shot and his corpse was taken to a morgue. The official version of their deaths had Liebknecht shot while trying to escape and ‘Red Rosa’ attacked by a mob. Luxemburg’s body was recovered four months later and she and Liebknecht were buried at the Friedrichsfelde cemetery in Berlin. A Freikorps soldier named Otto Runge was sentenced in May to two years in jail for killing Luxemburg.

Sources: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/1919-The-Sphere ... 0037.m2107
https://www.historytoday.com/archive/sp ... ing-berlin

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
tigre
Member
Posts: 9388
Joined: 20 Mar 2005 11:48
Location: Argentina

Re: Spartacist Uprising

Post by tigre » 20 Jun 2019 22:09

Hello to all :D; more................................

The Spartacist Uprising.

Sources: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/1919-The-Sphere ... 0037.m2107
http://godwithusww1.files.wordpress.com ... ikorps.jpg

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Xavier
Financial supporter
Posts: 3258
Joined: 12 Nov 2002 02:01
Location: Swedish guinea

Re: Spartacist Uprising

Post by Xavier » 24 Jun 2019 18:40

during the last two months a ebay.de seller posted for auction half a dozen original pictures of flammenwerfer teams and operators during the revolt, sadly, i just found tht Bob Lembke was a flammenwerfer operator. I il try to find them int he closed auctions archive.

Arto O
Member
Posts: 1478
Joined: 09 Feb 2010 06:55

Re: Spartacist Uprising

Post by Arto O » 25 Jun 2019 02:42

Hi,
Weren´t there many sailors in the troops of Spartacists, and not in the Freikorps. Why that? Were they for some reason more red. And what about the sailors in German fleet, which was autosunk at Scapa Flow in 19/06/1919?
Thanks
Arto

User avatar
Helmut0815
Member
Posts: 774
Joined: 19 Sep 2010 13:13
Location: Lower Saxony, Germany

Re: Spartacist Uprising

Post by Helmut0815 » 28 Jun 2019 20:18

Schwerer Minenwerfer in position, Berlin 1919.

Image
Source & more pics: https://www.welt.de/geschichte/article1 ... eufer.html

regards


Helmut

Br. James
Member
Posts: 710
Joined: 27 May 2013 20:45
Location: Baltimore

Re: Spartacist Uprising

Post by Br. James » 28 Jun 2019 21:29

A great photo -- it looks like there are two gigantic corncobs laying there on the ground! I wonder if 'The Jolly Green Giant' was working for Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg and the Spartacist League?!

Cheers,

Br. James

User avatar
Helmut0815
Member
Posts: 774
Joined: 19 Sep 2010 13:13
Location: Lower Saxony, Germany

Re: Spartacist Uprising

Post by Helmut0815 » 29 Jun 2019 09:10

Well, it was operated by Freikorps/loyalist troops, not by the Marx Bros. :milwink:

Lots of photos from the Spartacist uprising here: https://www.sz-photo.de/result_webshop/ ... -1.1203271

One photograph shows the heavy Minenwerfer taken from a different angle. Two other photos show the captured Mark IV tank in action.


best regards


Helmut

Return to “Life in the Third Reich & Weimar Republic”