PDF The Kaisers Army: The German Army in World War One

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Such a suicidal attack, while armistice negotiations were underway, would have been yet another senseless loss of life. The men passed a resolution stating their refusal to take the offensive. The officers replied by arresting some of the sailors, which led to a mass demonstration of the sailors on 3 November.

These demonstrations were fired upon, resulting in eight deaths and twenty-nine wounded.

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  • World War I – Jewish soldiers if the German Army.

The incident had an electrifying effect on both workers and sailors. In Cologne, the councils were established within days. There was little resistance. The revolutionary councils demanded an end to the war, the abdication of the Kaiser, and the declaration of a republic. The Council demanded the release of political prisoners, freedom of speech and press, abolition of censorship, better conditions for the men, and that no orders be given for the fleet to take the offensive.

On 5 November, one northern newspaper wrote:. The revolution is on the march: What happened in Kiel will spread throughout Germany. What the workers and soldiers want is not chaos, but a new order; not anarchy, but the social republic. Within only a few days, the revolt spread throughout the empire with little or no resistance from the old order. Everywhere, the workers joined forces with the troops in an unstoppable mass movement against the hated monarchical regime. But which party was prepared to take power? The Social Democratic Party had the support of most workers.

It now put itself at the head of the revolution.

On 5 October, , the Independent Socialists issued a call for a socialist republic. In Berlin, a committee of revolutionary shop stewards was formed and began to collect arms. In Bavaria, on 7 November, , a mass demonstration of thousands of workers demanded peace, bread, the eight-hour day, and the overthrow of the monarchy.

Under the pressure of the masses, the socialist ministers resigned en masse from the cabinet of Prince Max. The general strike and mass demonstrations were called on the morning of 9 November. In spite of these facts, and the reports from his military advisors indicating that his support, even in his entourage, was rapidly evaporating, Wilhelm continued to equivocate over abdication. Even if he was forced to give up the imperial throne, this deluded man believed he could remain as King of Prussia.

Such pathetic delusions are always the last refuge of a regime facing the prospect of imminent overthrow. They informed him that the troops had joined the revolution and that a new democratic government had to be formed. Prince Max had no choice but to announce the abdication of the Kaiser, although no word had been received from that quarter.

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Prince Max then handed over his office to Ebert, and the latter declared himself Reich chancellor. They transferred parliamentary leadership to the right-wing Social Democrats under Friedrich Ebert, who was working in cahoots with the army. Ebert believed that the simple transfer of power from Prince Max to himself represented the final victory of the revolution. For these gentlemen, the whole purpose of the revolution was merely to bring about a ministerial reshuffle at the top.

Ebert would even have been satisfied with a constitutional monarchy as long as the new state was given a baptismal blessing by a constituent assembly. That was the mentality of those who sat in comfortable ministerial seats. But the mood in the streets was very different. Was it for this that the workers and soldiers had fought and died? The working men and women soon delivered a resounding answer. The carefully planned scenario in the corridors of power was immediately rendered obsolete by the movement of the masses.

A mass demonstration of Berlin workers surrounded the Reichstag building, forcing the Socialist leaders to react.

What's Happening?

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.


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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.

World War I – Jewish soldiers if the German Army

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! Still living in the clouds, as doomed monarchs tend to do, Wilhelm asked the Defence Minister, Wilhelm Groener, and military chief, Paul von Hindenburg, what he should do. To his astonishment, they informed the Kaiser that the military could no longer support him.

The very next day, 10 November, he boarded a train and fled to the Netherlands, where he would remain until his death in Allied demands for his extradition and trial were ignored by the Dutch monarch. At this point it was a bloodless revolution. Only fifteen people lost their lives in Berlin on 9 November.

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We must compare this with the huge numbers who were slaughtered like cattle on the killing fields of Ypres, Passchendaele, and the Somme. The new German government accepted the inevitable. There was no way Germany could continue the war. The Social Democratic leaders had the illusion that they would be treated honourably by the victors.

They were sadly mistaken. Had Ebert and Scheidemann paid more attention to Roman history, they would have remembered the chilling words spoken by the chieftain of the Gauls who sacked Rome: Vae victis! Info Documents Photos Videos. Jews served in the German army since the first half of the 19th century.

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  5. They excelled in battles, especially in the Prussia-France war — , but their patriotism did buy them equality in promotions. Although enjoying full civil rights, the army avoided promoting non-converted Jews to officer positions. A few Jewish reserve officers served in the Bavarian army, which was more "liberal. As other nations, Germany was also awash in patriotism at the outbreak of World War I. Generally, German Jews shared these feelings: on the one hand, they saw Germany as dragged into the war against its will, on the other hand, they identified with the war's objectives, defending the Western European culture against the "barbarism" of Tsarist Russia, British "Arrogance," and French "Revanchism.

    A prayer for our "King, people, and fatherland" Going to war, and the need for social coherence were regarded by the Jewish communities as an opportunity to improve their status in the Reich. The Kaiser himself spoke in those days about the need for German unity "In disregard of political parties, social status, and religion. It invaded neutral Belgium in order to attack France's exposed border, and joined the Austro-Hungarian forces on the Eastern front in Polish Russia.

    Over 20, Jews were promoted during the war, 2, to officer ranks. In August , multitudes of German men, aged 20 — 40, were mobilized for the war effort, many of them volunteers. The patriotic fever and readiness to sacrifice for the fatherland did not leave the Jews indifferent. The youngest volunteer was a Jewish student, born in Constantinople in , Joseph Zips, who was mobilized in being 13 years old.

    He lost both legs in battle and died in The oldest volunteer was Jewish too, Adolph Stern, aged 63, who was promoted to a colonel rank. Among the volunteers were to Jewish Reichstag Parliament members volunteering was not very widespread among politicians in those days : Dr. Ludwig Franck — see his photograph , was a lawyer and member of the Social Democratic Party. After the Reichstag voted for the war budget, patriotic Dr. Ludwig Hass — , member of the Progressive Faction in the Reichstag, also volunteered to serve in the army.

    Hass was cited for bravery in the battles near Ypres, and decorated with the Iron Cross. After serving nearly a year on the front, Hass was appointed to head the military government in Warsaw July Religious services in the German armies At the outbreak of the war, on September , the Prussian War Ministry approved the service of eight rabbis as "Military Chaplains," six on the western front, two on the eastern front.

    The rabbis enjoyed similar rights and duties as Christian chaplains: they were considered officers, wore the same uniforms, and a heavy gold chain with a David's Shield and the two tables of the covenant. Later in the war, it was decided that one field rabbi Feldrabbiner will serve in each army. Therefore, already at the end of ten rabbis served in the German armies, the most notable being Dr. Leo Beck — of Berlin, in the 10th army. In all, 30 military rabbis served in the German army on all fronts, mostly in the east. Their functions included conducting religious services for soldiers and prisoners of war, burials services, hospital visits, distributing religious literature and gift boxes, and assisting Jewish inhabitants in occupied territories.