The Stab-in-the-Back Myth

Source: German Federal Archives. Bildarchiv. All Berlin photos. 

In this photo are the 'Council of the People's Deputies' made up of moderate Social Democrats led by Ebert and the more radical Independent Socialists Democrats. Ebert and Scheidemann can be seen. Ebert third from the left and Scheidemann on the far right. Details concerning the complicated process of the council's formation are dealt with in the edited volume and primary source documents are presented in translation. 

Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxembourg were the primary leaders of the 'Sparticus' (Communist) faction active in instigating the Revolution. They would later be murdered by an assassination squad likely composed of reactionary former Imperial Army soldiers. 

These two photos depict the declaration of the Republic by Philipp Scheidemann. This was done as a spontaneous speech to the waiting crowd outside. Scheidemann latter said he had been informed that the leader of the Communist's Karl Liebknecht was planning to declare a Soviet Republic. Ebert was infuriated by Scheidemann's declaration because he still wished to salvage the monarchy through appointment of another monarch besides Kaiser Wilhelm II. 
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The Communist revolutionaries engaged in combat with the German Army. The photo on the right appears to depict actual combat by leftist soldiers, notice the dead or wounded soldier laying between the two machine guns. 

These photos are all from November 9th when the revolution began to occur in Berlin. The above photo shows workers carrying a sign stating: 'Long live the revolutionary international prolateriat.'


The photo on the upper right depicts revolutionaries parading through the Brandenburg gate on the same day. As you can see from the crowd photo on the right a general strike was declared sending masses of workers in to the streets to protest.