Postcard November Revolution

Revolutionary fighters on the Brandenburg Gate surrounded by a crowd of people: this postcard from the museum’s document collection is Thing of the Month November 2018.

Exactly one hundred years ago, in November 1918, the November Revolution led to the fall of the monarchy and the creation of the first parliamentary democracy in Germany. It began with the Kiel Sailors Revolt at the end of October, in which war-weary soldiers refused to follow the orders of the monarchist naval leadership. As a consequence, workers- and soldiers- councils were formed throughout Germany then. It was called for the fall of the monarchy in Germany. Especially in Berlin, the capital of the empire that had existed until then, revolutionaries and imperial guards fought numerous battles.

The occupation of the Brandenburg Gate was highly symbolic, as previously only members of the imperial family were allowed to use the central arch to pass through. On 9 November, Philip Scheidemann and Karl Liebknecht anticipated Kaiser Wilhelm’s abdication and proclaimed the republic and the socialist republic at almost the same time. Friedrich Ebert was elected as President shortly afterwards.

Beneath the headlines “Rise up!”, “Make Peace!”, “Get Involved!”, “Inform Yourself!”, “No Violence!”, “Equal Participation!” and “Solidarity!”, the 100th Anniversary of the Revolution is also being remembered and critically questioned in various places in Berlin. Based on the historical events and following current political debates, a thematic winter is being realized in the form of an elaborate series of events and exhibitions.