Translation of Fritz Ebert Announcement

9 November 1918

Announcement

of

New Reichs Chancellor Ebert


Admonition

for

Law and Order
[lit: peace and order!]

The former Imperial Chancellor, Prince Max von Baden has invested in me the powers of conducting the business of Chancellor. I intend to form a new Government in cooperation with the political parties and will very shortly report to the public about the results. The goal of this Government must be to secure Peace for the German Reich as speedily as possible and to guarantee the Freedom which we have achieved.

Fellow Citizens: I ask all of you for your support in the difficult tasks ahead of us. You know to what extent the war has jeopardized the task of feeding the people -- a task the successful fulfillment of which is the basis of all political life. The political revolution must not be allowed to interfere with feeding the nation; it must remain the prime duty of everybody in town and country to support the production of food and its distribution to the towns, rather than to prevent it.

Lack of food means looting, misery, and want for everybody. The poorest would be affected most, industrial workers hit hardest. Everybody who interferes with food, or other essential goods or with the means of transport needed for their distribution, commits a grave offence against the Gemeinschaft.

Fellow Citizens: I ask all of you to leave the streets! Maintain law and order.

Berlin, 9 November 1918

The Reichs Chancellor

Ebert

Note the important use of the word "fellow citizens" [in German Mitbürger] rather than the term always used by the SPD and other Socialist organizations -- Comrade. Clearly from the outset, Ebert is seeking to present his government as a non-revolutionary moderate alternative to both the monarchical Empire and the Spartakus radicals.