File No. 763.72/12190

The Chargé in the Netherlands ( Bliss) to the Secretary of State


5002. German press comment:

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Papers of 7th print following proclamation of Chancellor to German people:

President Wilson today replied to German note and informed us that his allies assented to the fourteen points under which he formulated his peace terms in January last, with the exception of the freedom of the seas, and that the armistice conditions would be communicated to Marshal Foch. Hereby the premises for peace and armistice negotiations alike have been furnished. In order to terminate bloodshed, German delegation for conclusion armistice and opening of peace negotiations were appointed today and left for west.

The successful progress of negotiations is seriously imperilled by disorders and lack of discipline. For four years the German people has suffered the woe and sacrifice of war. If the internal forces fail us at the decisive hour when nothing but absolute unity of the whole German people can avert great perils for its future, the consequences can not be foreseen. Maintenance of the order thus far preserved in voluntary self-discipline is an indispensable demand in this critical hour which must be made by every people’s government. [Page 487] May every citizen remain conscious of the high responsibility which he bears in the fulfillment of this duty towards his people. Prince Max of Baden, Imperial Chancellor.

Allgemeine, 7th: The commanding general of Berlin and vicinity issues following proclamation:

The intention prevails in certain circles to disregard the provisions of law and organize committees of workmen and soldiers on the Russian model. Such institutions conflict with the existing public order and endanger public security. On the ground of paragraph 9(b) of the act relative to the state of siege I prohibit the organization of such societies and the participation therein. Signed, Lieutenant General Linsingen.

Weser-Zeitung, 6th, writes: Majority Socialists arrived at Kiel too late to stem tide.

Vorwärts, 8th: Socialist Party issues following proclamation:

Peace is assured. In few hours there will be armistice. Avoid all thoughtless action whereby country would be transformed into sea of blood. Socialist Party has made following demands to Chancellor:

Free right of meeting;
Police and military authorities must be admonished to exercise all possible prudence;
Abdication of Emperor and Crown Prince Friday noon at latest;
Strengthening of Socialist influence in Government;
Reconstruction of Prussian Cabinet in agreement with Majority parties of Reichstag.

Kölnische Zeitung, 7th: Hamburg completely controlled by committee of soldiers and workmen after street fighting. Bremen also in hands of committee without bloodshed.

[Dutch] press. Het Vaderland, 8th: Munich, November 8. In conjunction with mass meeting on Theresien Meadow which took place yesterday disturbances happened in Munich. In course of it Republic of Bavaria was proclaimed. Last night meeting was held by council of laborers, soldiers, and peasants, and Kurt Eisner was elected chairman. Council has issued following proclamation at Munich:

Terrible distress which has come over German people has caused an elementary movement among Munich laborers and soldiers. Temporary council of laborers, soldiers, and peasants has been formed in the building of the Diet in night of November 8. Bavaria will in future be free state. National government born by the confidence of the masses will be instantly established. Constituent national assembly [Page 488] chosen by all adult men and women is to be called together as quickly as possible.

[New] time is beginning. Bavaria desires to prepare Germany for league of nations. Democratic and Socialistic republic of Bavaria has strength to obtain for Germany peace which will protect our country from worst. Present revolution was necessary in order at last moment to bring an end to development of conditions without too terrible a shock by means of self-government of people, before enemy’s armies stream across frontiers and before German troops should cause a chaos after armistice.

The council of laborers, peasants, and soldiers will uphold strict order and will suppress disorders without respect of persons. The safety of personal property is guaranteed. Soldiers in barracks are to govern themselves through soldiers’ councils and shall uphold discipline. Officers who do not oppose the demands of changed situation are to continue to do duty without hindrance. We count on beneficial collaboration of the whole population. Everyone is welcome to collaborate in this new freedom. All officials remain [at] their posts. Fundamental social and political reforms shall be begun immediately. The peasants shall supply the cities with articles of food, old contrast between country and city shall disappear. Distribution of articles of food shall be organized in national way.

Laborers and citizens of Munich, trust in the greatness and immensity of what is being prepared in these difficult times. Let all of you collaborate in order that unavoidable change may take place in entirely peaceful a manner in this time of senseless fratricide. We [deplore] all shedding of blood. Every human life must be sacred. Keep your calmness and collaborate in the construction of new world. War of brother against brother has been ended for Bavaria by the Socialists. On revolutionary basis which is now created, masses of laborers are to be established into unity.

Long live the Bavarian Republic! Long live peace! Long live the creative labor of all workers!

Munich Diet Building in night of November 8, 1918. In name of Council of Laborers, Soldiers, and Peasants, the chairman, Kurt Eisner.

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