862.00/343: Telegram

The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall ) to the Secretary of State

5897. McNally sends the following:

“21st. The following has been communicated to me from most reliable source in Berlin.

‘Have put myself in communication immediately after return with all persons of influence. Situation is the following: Government of People’s Delegates seems to lose power of control more and more. The Executive Council of the Workmen and Soldiers’ Council of Berlin denies obedience to the Government since yesterday and is about to grasp the power of Government. Today the crisis is at its climax. Result cannot be foreseen at the present moment. Spartacus group, the violent and Terroristic left wing of Socialists, works purposely against convocation of national assembly and publicly propagates the domination of the proletariat with the exclusion of bourgeois elements. As soon as the desperadoes get the upper hand, which may happen any moment, a Russian condition of affairs is inevitable. Spartacus men are strengthened by armed disorderly soldiers back from the front. They will not work and they demoralize the others. Feeling amongst Government including Majority Socialists who see situation clearly very pessimistic. Using of own troops from front not possible as suspicion of counter revolution would arise and as one cannot rely any longer on any troops. Germany is at the time being terrorized by small minority. Only effective counteraction which Government of course cannot propose itself would be immediate ultimatum of Entente demanding that doings of Spartacus group should at once take an end; that all revolutionary nonsense like red cockades, red flags, soldiers’ rule over all officers independent of their political opinions, should be done away with. Further, that binding declarations for immediate convocation of national assembly should be given and preparations for general elections should be made. If not, armistice would be terminated and American troops would march in. Such a step would be received with great relief by German people as there is very general longing for real democratic Government and for the continuation of new form of Government on reasonable lines, return monarchy absolutely excluded. I beg urgently to forward this on as there is no hour to be lost and as it is most necessary to take steps before it is too late.’