Scheidemann proclaims the new republic (Nov 1918)


Social Democratic Party politician Philipp Scheidemann read this proclamation of the German republic before a crowd on November 8th 1918:


“Workers and soldiers! The four war years were horrible, gruesome the sacrifices the people had to make in property and blood; the unfortunate war is over. The killing is over.

The consequences of the war, need and suffering, will burden us for many years. The defeat we strove so hard to avoid, under all circumstances, has come upon us. Our suggestions regarding an understanding were sabotaged, we personally were mocked and ignored. The enemies of the working class, the real, inner enemies who are responsible for Germany’s collapse, they have turned silent and invisible. They were the home warriors, which upheld their conquest demands until yesterday, as obstinate as they fought the struggle against any reform of the constitution and especially of the deplorable Prussian election system.

These enemies of the people are finished forever. The Kaiser has abdicated. He and his friends have disappeared; the people have won over all of them, in every field. Prince Max von Baden has handed over the office of Reich chancellor to representative Ebert. Our friend will form a new government consisting of workers of all socialist parties.

This new government may not be interrupted, in their work to preserve peace and to care for work and bread. Workers and soldiers, be aware of the historic importance of this day: exorbitant things have happened. Great and incalculable tasks are waiting for us. Everything for the people. Everything by the people. Nothing may happen to the dishonour of the Labour Movement. Be united, faithful and conscientious.The old and rotten, the monarchy has collapsed. The new may live. Long live the German Republic!”