Friday, December 21, 2018

Today -100: December 21, 1918: Thank heaven Berlin is not Germany

King Victor Emmanuel of Italy is visiting France, and all the French politicians speaking at his events are making a point of saying that Italy “spontaneously” entered the war in 1915. In reality, Italy negotiated a large bribe for itself in territory and other stuff that the Allies now really don’t feel were justified by Italy’s meager military contribution. Also, it was one of those embarrassing secret treaties. Also, Yugoslavia is objecting loudly to the idea of Italy getting territory which it thinks is properly Jugoslav. Italy is saying it won’t demobilize its army because it might have to go to war with Yugoslavia (which is not technically that country’s name yet, but that’s what I’m going with).

Germany: the Soldiers’ and Workers’ Councils vote to hold National Assembly elections on January 19th and to ask the Allies to withdraw from occupied parts of Germany so elections can be held there. The far left (Independent Socialists, Spartacists) would have preferred to postpone elections. The SPD’s Philipp Scheidemann warns the Councils that they should disband and go home because they’re just making it easy for their enemies on the left, the Bolsheviks, to take over, which would be even worse for Germany than for Russia because Germany has so much more to destroy. “Thank heaven,” he says, “Berlin is not Germany.”

Headline of the Day -100:

That would be Major General Joseph Dickman, the American general in charge of the occupation of some of Germany, who tells newspapers not to complain about conditions in the occupied zone or criticize the US or the Allies or their militaries. The US forces are also arresting demobbed German soldiers still wearing uniforms.

A lynch mob takes 4 black people (2 of them women) from the Shubata, Mississippi jail and hangs them from a bridge over the Chickasahay. They supposedly killed a dentist one of the women “had trouble with.”

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