100 years ago, revolution in Germany

Printer-friendly version

A hundred years ago we were at height of the world revolutionary wave – more precisely, the outbreak of the revolution in Germany, a year after the proletariat took power in Russia, in October 1917.

As in Russia, the working class in Germany gave rise to workers’ councils, organs for unifying all workers and for the eventual taking of political power. Because it took place in the most industrialised country in the capitalist world, with the most numerous working class, the revolution in Germany had the potential to break the isolation of the proletarian power in Russia and to extend the revolution across Europe. The bourgeoisie was aware of this and it brought the imperialist war to an end, signing the armistice of 11 November 1918 because continuing the war would have further radicalised the masses and discredited all factions of the bourgeoisie, especially its most ‘left factions, which is what had happened n Russia in the months following the February 1917 revolution. Furthermore, although most of the right wing factions of the state apparatus were in total disarray because of the military disaster, the German bourgeoisie was able to rely on the social democratic traitors to weaken and then crush the working class and its revolution in Germany. This is a fundamental lesson for the revolution of the future, since it will again run up against all the left and extreme left factions of capital working overtime to undo the class struggle.

We are publishing a new article entitled

‘Revolution in Germany: 100 years ago, the proletariat made the bourgeoisie tremble’.

We also recommend some older articles to our readers:

‘90 years ago, the German revolution’. A series of five articles, the first of which was published in international Review 133 and the last in IR 137:

Germany 1918-19 (i): Faced with the war, the revolutionary proletariat renews its internationalist principles; (ii): From war to revolution; (iii): Formation of the party, absence of the International; (iv) Civil War; (v): From Noske to Hitler.

‘The German revolution’: a series of 13 articles, the first of which was published in IR 81 and the last in IR 99: (i) Revolutionaries in Germany during World War 1; (ii): The Start of the Revolution; (iii) The Premature Insurrection; (iv) Fraction or New Party?; (v): From the work of a fraction to the foundation of the KPD;  (vi):  The Failure to Build the Organisation; (vii): The Foundation of the KAPD; (viii): The Kapp Putsch; (ix): The March Action of 1921: the danger of petty-bourgeois impatience; (x): The reflux of the revolutionary wave and the degeneration of the International; (xi): The communist left and the growing conflict between the Russian state and the interests of the world revolution; (xii): Germany 1923: The bourgeoisie inflicts a decisive defeat on the working class; (xiii):  1923, Part 2 A defeat that marked the end of the world revolutionary wave


History of the workers' movement: 

Site structure: 


Revolution in Germany