SPARTACISTS tried to take power by force!. FREIKORPS (right-wing ex-soldiers) used to destroy the Spartacists. SOCIAL DEMOCRATS tried to run Germany. WAR! defeat famine disease. The KAISER ran away…. Germany 1918/19: a power vacuum!. Rosa Luxembourg. &. Karl Liebknecht.
tried to take power by force!
FREIKORPS (right-wing ex-soldiers) used to destroy the Spartacists
tried to run Germany
The KAISER ran away…
a power vacuum!
Leaders of the Spartacist revolution
The Freikorps were used to stop the Spartacists, eg in Berlin & Bavaria. These were right wing ex-soldiers, who hated communists and were happy to kill them. By 1919 there numbers estimated 250,000.
After this, some people thought the army should run the country, as they had helped bring back law and order.
Also, the communists never forgave the Social Democrats for using the Freikorps, and refused to work with them – even when Hitler was trying to become a dictator 14 years later!
The Spartacists tried to seize power on 5 January 1919 but they were doomed to failure. They numbered nearly 100, 000 but they were poorly armed.
The day before they began their rising, Ebert created a volunteer force of 4,000 soldiers.
Known as the Free Corps, they were hard men who hated communists and liked a fight.
Theywere well disciplined, fully equipped and ruthless. They retook all the Spartacist occupied buildings in Berlin and captured and shot the two Spartacist leaders.
From a history of Germany, published in 1996.
1 (a) What does Source A tell us about the reasons for the failure of the Spartacist uprising of January 1919?
Short term effect – the Army helped the new democratic government against the extreme left
Long term effect – the Army stayed in a strong position all the way through the Weimar Republic, and often tried to undermine democracy
The Communists hated the Social Democrats. The never forgave them for using the army upon them. This would have serious consequences during the rise to power of Adolf Hitler.
The Friekorps had gained status because they helped the government and they were grateful. This would have a serious impact with the Kapp Putsch.
Private armies similar to the Freikorps were copied. Most notably with Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Spartacist Uprising 1918-19