- Nick Goodell
- The Experience of the Working Class in the German Revolution of November 1918
I will here be examining the experience of the working class in the November Revolution in Germany that occurred in 1918. The purpose of this work is to take previously unexamined voices from the working class, and, in the first, to tell their story.
This chapter will explore networks of arms smuggling in the revolution, as well as the experiences of former sailors and soldiers with weapons. The first section will offer some background to the lives of those who consciously and directly smuggled weapons for what they perceived to be the armed struggle of the coming revolution. The process of worker radicalization—from ballot box to the gun—is traced and explained. The second section will explore these experiences of weapons smuggling and the use of weapons in the early days of the revolution in Berlin in detail, relying on accounts mostly from KPD (Kommunistiche Partei Deutschlands—the German Communist Party) activists. The third section will examine the usage and rejection of weapons as defining the revolution. I conclude with some remarks on the silence on weapons and their use in the revolution’s historiography.
As one of the recipient's of OUR's Research Support Grant (2017), the results of Nick's research can be found here.