Contents page 1 — the rebellion in the area page 2 — The “free corps manslaughter” page 3 — The government’s response hard To one side to read

At the beginning, it goes to higher wages and a shortening of the layers. The Plight of the workers and their families is large: For the past three years of extreme famine, in the Winter it freezes. There is a lack of everything. In the war, real wages have fallen by a quarter. The point is, this needs to change now. The expectations after the 9. November, 1918, are high.

Especially those people on improvements that have little ties to the social democratic and labour movement to urge. The town of Hamborn about in the Western Ruhr area is characterised by such workers. Within 20 years has increased tenfold their number of inhabitants, three-fourths of the male inhabitants are workers. Many came from the rural hinterland or from the Polish Parts of Prussia to the Ruhr area, as the company Thyssen on the green Meadow, their Mines coiled up.

Hamborn strikes now, the spread in November in the Region as a whole. In mid-December, nearly 30,000 miners are on strike. Usually they occur spontaneously in the strike, in the rule without the support of the social democratic free trade unions. In Parts of the Ruhr area and anarcho-syndicalist groups to find feed and to lead the protests sometimes. In the second half of December, to die in Gladbeck and Oberhausen several workers in clashes with the military; in Mülheim the estate of August and Fritz Thyssen is charged, contemporary Reports suggest that the two may just save you life. The large industrial to be arrested and spend a few days in the prison of Moabit in Berlin.

The people’s representative, Hugo Haase (USPD), complains that negotiations with the workers “would be permanently prevented by the Spartacus people” – all the radical forces are referred to in these months, like so. Minor concessions of the colliery lines have little effect. So the Prussian government: Prime Minister Heinrich Ströbel (USPD) is on 28. February in Mülheim a compromise. At the same time, the government appealed to the workers to behave with moderation; at the beginning of January 1919, is to adopt (even with the participation of the USPD) an injunction against “excessive wage demands” that the entire economy at risk.

This Text comes from the magazine of history no 6/2018. The current issue you can buy on newsstands or here.

While the government warns, will make the workers the experience that fizzle out increases in the negotiated wage because the prices of gallop. The number of strikers, and under the impression of the Berlin January uprising, workers from solidarity to go on strike. 11. January of 82,000 miners in the strike, 15 percent of all the mate of the Rhenish-Westphalian coalfield. Two months after the November revolution of deep dissatisfaction with the progress so far wide. A large part of the workforce also sees counter-revolutionary forces are on the rise: The Supreme command is now powerful again.

The top of the SPD recognises the dangers from the right. After the departure of the USPD from the revolutionary government at the end of December 1918 Friedrich Ebert and the majority socialists decide military against riots, strikes and uprisings. The people’s representative Gustav Noske plans, with the help of free corps “a certain order” in Germany.

The Essen workers ‘ and red army deputies, the SPD, USPD and KPD are represented, goes the other way: He is sending a clear Signal and begins with the socialization of the mining industry, such as the Imperial Council of the Congress, the Supreme revolutionary Sovereign, in mid-December, decided. The socialization to implement, is appointed a “Commissar” and a “nine Commission” from the three party representatives; a Council system should guarantee in the future, the participation of the workers. 13. January, confirms a conference of all the workers and soldiers of the Rhine-Westphalian industrial area these decisions: The socialization should be based on the Räteprinzip, a multi-stage System of operation will be introduced in councils, whose election is already scheduled for the following day.

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