Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Today -100: January 9, 1919: No one can tell what the Germans will do

The Spartacists, described by the NYT correspondent as “typical proletarians, some of whom affect even a more dilapidated appearance than is naturally their own,” are still out on the streets in Berlin. Fortunately, the Ebert government is prepared to engage them with reason and patience and...

Ebert and Philipp Scheidemann address crowds in front of the Chancellor’s palace.  Scheidemann says “This dirty mess has to be brought to an end” and  “If you men who have had military training will join us, you will get arms.” (Those quotes may be from 2 different such speeches). Increasingly, he will find what the kaiser was unable to find in November: German soldiers willing to use lethal violence against fellow Germans. A government proclamation says “Force can only be fought with force... The hour of revenge draws near.”

Which is the best false rumor about Russia published by the NYT today -100: 

1) another report that Czar Nicholas is still alive, according to a Morning Post correspondent who heard it from Grand Duke Cyril, who heard it from Prince M____, who heard it in a letter from the totally-not-dead Grand Duchess Tatiana, who said that the Bolshevik officer in charge of the execution didn’t care who he killed, as long as he had a body with its head blown off to show his bosses, so Count T____ insisted on taking the czar’s place.

or 2) Trotsky arrests Lenin and declares himself dictator?

The US has 12,941 soldiers in Russia.

Victor Berger, Socialist member of Congress for Wisconsin, is convicted along with 4 other Socialist Party leaders (Adolph Germer, William Kruse, J. Louis Engdahl and Irwin St. John Tucker) for disloyalty and sedition under the Espionage Act. The NYT says the conviction bars him from Congress. The House will debate this before expelling him. He will then win the special election and be barred again, then his conviction will be overturned by the Supreme Court and he’ll defeat the man they declared elected in his place.

US delegates to the Peace Conference have been suggesting that the blockade of Germany be lifted to prevent mass starvation, uphold the Ebert government, and prevent the spread of Bolshevism. France is ok with mass starvation in Germany.

British Prime Minister David Lloyd George asks soldiers, who have been demonstrating for demobilization to be sped up, for patience, saying it’s necessary to maintain a large army during peace negotiations. “Although the fighting has stopped, the war is not over. The German armies have not yet been demobilized and are still very powerful. No one can tell what the Germans will do, nor whether they will agree to the terms of the peace and reparation which we seek to impose upon them.” The soldiers are especially worried that they’re being retained so they can be sent to Russia, but the War Office denies this.

The British Labour Party accepts the position of Official Opposition for the first time, which means they get the good seats in Parliament.

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