Propaganda Posters


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  • November 1918


Council of People's Commissars 

Hardly was the ink dry on Prince Max's proclamation than events in Berlin made it out of date. By the late afternoon of 9 November 1919, Philip Scheidemann had proclaimed the formation of a German Republic. Although Ebert had not wanted to take this step, their hands were forced by news that rebellious sailors and soldiers (who had captured the Royal Palace and other government buildings) were busy forming "Soviets" [in German, Räte] and were about to proclaim a Soviet Republic of Germany.

In response, Ebert announced the formation of a Provisional Council of People's Commissars. It consisted of three members of the SPD, including Ebert and Scheidemann, and three members from the Independent Socialist Party of Germany. This group, from the SPD's party's left wing, had broken away in 1917 in opposition to continuing the war. Now these two groups temporarily unite in creating what appears to be a Socialist Republic.

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