Sunday, November 11, 2018

Today -100: November 11, 1918: On the 11th hour of the 11th day...

Headline of the Day -100: 

Kaiser Wilhelm and Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm go into exile in Holland.

King Wilhelm II of Württemberg abdicates (no he doesn’t, but never mind).  The kings of Bavaria and Saxony probably will soon, the NYT says (Ludwig of Bavaria fled but didn’t actually abdicate; I don’t think he ever actually did). Hesse-Darmstadt declares itself a republic.

Revolutionaries are trying to set up a German People’s Government while Friedrich Ebert tries to establish a Social Democratic one. In a fight with army officers, the revolutionaries shell the “Cockchafer” Barracks (hi, disappointed Google searchers!). The Workers’ and Soldiers’ Council of Berlin declares a general strike. Ebert says his government’s job will be to “preserve the German people from civil war and famine”. He appeals to officials, who he assumes with good reason are mostly right-wing: “I know it will be difficult for some to work with the new men who have taken charge of the empire, but I appeal to their love of the people. Lack of organization would in this heavy time mean anarchy in Germany and the surrender of the country to tremendous misery.”

The NYT celebrates “The Overthrow of Autocracy.” “Autocracy dies with the Hohenzollern,” it says. Autocracy-lovers “were fools not to see and understand that the world long ago had outgrown them. They sought to perpetuate in Western lands an Oriental form of government, fit only for the ignorant and superstitious.” It goes on to bitch about the aftermath of The Overthrow of Autocracy: “There are omens of evil in the character of the revolt. The red flag is everywhere, the Bolshevist spirit rages, there is a general strike, and in place of government we see Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Councils... That virus of the proletariat pestilence with which the Imperial Government infected Russia at the cost of millions of marks now courses through German veins. A Socialist is made Chancellor... the German insurgents set out upon the road that leads to the tyranny of one class over all others, that ends inevitably in social disorganization, the horror of indiscriminate murder and ruin, until reason and law resume their sway.”

A Polish republic is proclaimed.

Gen. Rudolf Gaida of the Czechoslovak Legions fighting the Bolsheviks in Siberia makes an urgent appeal for assistance. He wants a $100,000 Interallied Siberian Winter Tobacco Fund because they have NOTHING TO SMOKE!

Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (NY) asks for the captured German colonies in Africa to be turned over to the natives. 

Now Playing: Little Women, actually filmed in Louisa May Alcott’s home. The NYT gives it a mixed review. The acting is “satisfactory” but with “too much conscious posing” and there are too many inter-titles.  It is not the first movie to be made from the book. The film is now lost.

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