Baden announces the Kaiser’s abdication (1918)

On November 9th, the German chancellor, Max von Baden, announced the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Baden made this announcement unilaterally, without the knowledge or endorsement of the Kaiser, who for weeks had resisted calls and advice to abdicate the throne. Baden’s declaration was short and to the point:

“The Kaiser and King has decided to renounce the throne.

The Imperial Chancellor will remain in office until the questions connected with the abdication of the Kaiser, the renouncing by the Crown Prince of the throne of the German Empire and of Prussia, and the setting up of a regency have been settled.

For the regency, he intends to appoint [Friedrich] Ebert as Imperial Chancellor and he proposes that a bill shall be brought in for the establishment of a law providing for the immediate promulgation of general suffrage and for a constitutional German National Assembly, which will settle finally the future form of government of the German Nation and of those peoples which might be desirous of coming within the empire.”