- Alsace Soviet Republic
The Alsace Soviet Republic was a short-lived Soviet republic created during the
German Revolutionat the end of World War Iin the province of Alsace, which had been part of Germanysince 1871.__NOTOC__
At the end of World War I, the army leadership centred around General
Erich Ludendorffand the civil government acquiesced into accepting terms of the allies. However, the leadership of the German Imperial Navy, which had played only a marginal role in the war, nonetheless ordered the fleet to attack the British Royal Navy. This led to a sailors' mutiny at Kiel. The mutineers took over the port (Germany's main military port) and were quickly joined by workers and the trade unions. The revolution spread quickly across Germany, overthrowing the monarchywithin a few days. Workers' councils ( soviets) seized the power across the country.
About 15,000 sailors from the Alsace and the Lorraine served at that time in the Imperial Navy; many of them had joined the insurrection in Kiel and subsequently travelled back home to spread the revolution there. They arrived on
November 9 1918, one day after the proclamation of the Bavarian Soviet Republichad been aired in the capital city of Alsace, in Strasbourg. Welcomed by thousands of demonstrators on the Place Kléber, the main square of the city, they established a Soldier's and Workers' Council and took control of the city on the next day. Red flags were flown all over the city, including on the spire of the cathedral.
From Strasbourg, the revolution spread throughout Alsace and Lorraine, and similar Soviets were established in
Haguenau, Mulhouse, Sélestat, Colmar, Metz, and other cities. An amnestywas declared, and the freedom of the presswas proclaimed. Factory workers went on strike, demanding higher wages; the Soviets raised the wages by decree against the opposition of the factory owners. The social-democrat party leader in Strasbourg, Jacques Peirotes, then asked the French generals send in their troops to restore order. French soldiers entered the suburbs of Strasbourg on November 22 1918. The Strasbourg Soviet declared that it had fulfilled its mission and the French authorities assumed control. All the decrees proclaimed by the Strasbourg Soviet were immediately cancelled, strikes were terminated by force, and "agitators" were arrested. The streets "rue du 22 novembre" in Strasbourg and Mulhouse commemorate the ending of these Soviets by the French army.
*Daeninckx, D.: " [http://www.amnistia.net/exiles/report/alsoviet/alsoviet.htm 11 novembre 1918: le drapeau rouge flotte sur Strasbourg et l'Alsace proclame la République des soviets...] ", Amnistia.net,
10 November 2000. In French. URL last accessed April 6 2006.
*Döblin, A.: "Bourgeois & soldats (Novembre 1918)", novel, ISBN 2-87653-046-5. In French. Part I of a tetralogy; the whole four books are available in German, ISBN 3-423-59030-0.
*Eschbach, J.: "Au Coeur de la Resistance Alsacienne. Le Combat de Paul Dingler", Bentzinger, 2005. ISBN 2-84629-068-7.
*Troester, J.: "22 novembre 1918 : les Français à Strasbourg", in "La Grande Guerre Magazine" 38, April 2003.
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