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31 December

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Dec 2005 5:57    Onderwerp: 31 December Reageer met quote

December 31

1880 American general and diplomat George C. Marshall is born

George C. Marshall, who distinguished himself with his service in France during World War I but is better-known as the commander of United States forces during the Second World War and the author of the Marshall Plan, is born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1880.

Marshall, who graduated from the Virginia Military Institute, was first commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1902 and served in the Philippines and other locations before eventually being promoted to captain in the summer of 1918, after the U.S. entry into World War I. He served with the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in France as an operations officer of the First Division and participated in the battles of Cantigny, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne.

After the war, Marshall served as a top aide to General John J. Pershing and continued to move up the ranks. He earned his full general status in 1939 and became chief of staff and the country’s top military leader during World War II, when he centralized the leadership of the military in the chief-of-staff’s office and was generally recognized as one of the principal architects of the winning Allied strategy.

Marshall retired from military life after the war, but began an active career in diplomacy, serving as secretary of state under President Harry S. Truman for two years beginning in January 1947. In the spring of 1947, in a speech at Harvard University, Marshall outlined a plan for U.S. economic aid to a devastated Europe, stating that “It is logical that the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world, without which there can be no political stability and no assured peace.” The famous “Marshall Plan,” as it became known, offered an unprecedented amount of aid to Europe to assist in its post-war reconstruction. In 1953, Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of this work. He died six years later.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Dec 2005 10:43    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Die Nachrichten vom 31. Dezember

1914
Deutsche Fortschritte in den Argonnen
Vergebliche russische Offensive in Galizien
Die Zahl der Gefangenen
Der Kaiser an das Volk in Waffen
Ein Depeschenwechsel
Neujahrsgruß des Kaisers Franz Josef

1915
Feindlicher Fliegerangriff auf Ostende
Neujahrserlaß des Kaisers an Heer, Flotte und Schutztruppen
Der Kaiser an den Generalstabchef v. Falkenhayn
Telegrammwechsel zwischen dem Kaiser und dem König von Bayern
Schwere Verluste der Russen in Ostgalizien

1916
Siegreiche Kämpfe im Grenzgebirge zur Moldau
Fortschreitender Angriff gegen den Brückenkopf von Braila
Neujahrserlaß des Kaisers an Heer und Marine
Die Bulgaren im Vormarsch auf Braila
Das französische Panzerschiff "Gaulois" torpediert

1917
Der erfolgreiche Sturm bei Marcoing
Erfolgreiche Grabenkämpfe bei Marcoing
Der Kaiser zum Jahresschluß an Heer und Marine
Die Kämpfe mit den Franzosen am Monte Tomba

1918


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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 17:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The New York Times, December 31, 1913

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9C06EFDC1F3BE633A25752C3A9649D946296D6CF
Zie ook http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Fragson
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 17:40    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

British Army WWI Pension Records for Claremen in service

Riordan, Joseph - Born 1894 in Feackle [Feakle], Co. Clare.
Farm Labourer; Roman Catholic
Enlisted as Private in the Royal Irish Regiment at Nenagh on 29 December 1913.
Inspected at Clonmel on 30 December 1913.
Joined the Regiment at Devonport on 31 December 1913.
Regimental number 10847.
Discharged due to being not likely to become an efficient soldier on medical grounds on the 26 January 1914.
Father: Thomas Riordan; Mother: Delia Riordan; Brother: James Riordan.

http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/don_tran/mil_rec/british_army_ww1_claremens_pension_records.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 17:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Horseless Age - December 31, 1913 magazine



http://www.arteauto.com/thehorselessage-december311913magazine.aspx
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 17:53    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Prentbriefkaart gemaakt van textiel, geplakt op papier, van 31 december 1914



Het betreft hier een prentbriefkaart, gericht aan:

Den Weledelen Heer en Mevrouw, Ds van Alphen
Voorst, bij Zutphen




Vergroting detail: Hier staat een opmerking over de Eerste Wereldoorlog:

"....den Oorlog ´t Is verschrikkelijk zoo het er buiten ons land toe gaat...leest er nog wel is vaak (2 woorden niet leesbaar) voor uit de courant."

http://jancornelis.multiply.com/photos/album/21/Prentbriefkaart_gemaakt_van_textiel_geplakt_op_papier_van_31_december_1914_
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 18:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Rudolf Steiner: "Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom" (Lecture Four) COSMIC NEW YEAR, Dornach, 31st December 1914

Our end-of-year festival will begin with Frau Dr. Steiner giving us a recitation of the beautiful Norwegian legend of Olaf Åsteson, of whom we are told that at the approach to Christmas he fell into a kind of sleep which lasted for thirteen days; the thirteen holy days that we have explored in various ways. In the course of this sleep he had significant experiences, that he was able to narrate when he awoke.

During these past days we have examined various things that make us aware that the spiritual-scientific outlook gives us a new approach to an understanding of gems of wisdom which, in past times, people realised belonged to spiritual worlds. Time and again we shall encounter this prehistoric knowledge of the spiritual worlds in one instance or another, and we shall continually be reminded that what was known in former ages, was due to the fact that the human being was so organised at that time that he had the kind of relationship with the whole of the cosmos and its happenings that we would now call being immersed with his human microcosm in the laws or the activities of the macrocosm, and that in this process of immersion in the macrocosm he was able to experience things that deeply concern the life of his soul, but which are hidden from him as long as he lives as microcosm on the physical plane and is equipped only with a knowledge given him by his senses and an intellect bound to the senses.

Lees verder op http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA275/English/RSP1984/19141231p01.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 18:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Pattern 1914 bayonet frog



The Pattern 1914 bayonet frog was introduced with the Infantry Equipment, Pattern 1914 in List of Changes entry LoC 16977, dated 30th August 1914. It is designed to carry either the Pattern 1888 or Pattern 1907 Bayonet in scabbard. The 1-inch wide tab at the rear is used to attach the Helve holder. As with all leather parts of the Pattern 1914 Infantry Equipment, the colour was changed from Service Brown to the darker London Brown by List of Changes entry LoC 17219, 31st December 1914, amended 30th March 1915. The same LoC also modified the frog by adding two additional rivets at each bottom corner. This London Brown example has the additional rivets. It is dated 1915 but is not maker marked.

Lees verder op http://www.karkeeweb.com/patterns/1914/pics/1914_equipment_carriers.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 18:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Pte W. Pitman No 2056 Machine Gun Section 2/4th Batt. London Regt. Royal Fusiliers

December 31st - Thursday - Checking stores all day, tables, forms, lamps, tents, blankets & accoutrements. Others handed their kits in, I were out away, mine refused. Felt miserable & wild & vicious in turn. Went and appealed to Capt Saunders but he could not help me.

http://19141917.blogspot.com/2010/01/december-26th-31st-1914.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 18:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

‘Kriegsbriefe gefallener Studenten’: Brief van Joseph Weidmüller - 31 december 1914

Voor Yperen, den 31sten December 1914.

In München werden voor ons regiment twee kompagnieën gevormd, die geheel uit studenten bestonden, het waren de elfde en negende kompagnie. Er waren zeven ingenieurs, vier doctors in de letteren en drie artsen bij. Allen hadden een goede praktijk en een goede betrekking, maar zij hadden afstand gedaan van hun rang van officier, om te midden van ons als gewone soldaten te strijden.
Na vele dagmarschen door België kwamen wij den negenentwintigsten Oktober te Wijtschaete en geraakten onverwachts in een heftig artillerievuur. Dadelijk werden de elfde en negende kompagnie vooruit in het vuur gezonden. Eerst kwamen wij door een groot bosch, dat zich voor ons uitstrekte, en toen in een soort van moerasachtig land, dat door heuvels omgeven was. Tot een haag liepen wij door en zwermden toen uit. Een deel van ons moest verder vooruit. Toen de mannen door het dichte struikgewas kropen, knetterde een waanzinnig infanterie en machinegeweervuur los. Bijna allen sneuvelden. Een paar kwamen er met bebloede koppen terug. Er ontstond een stilte, een bang zwijgen, dat minutenlang aanhield. Allen waren we bleek als de dood. Maar er was één held onder ons, die zijn tegenwoordigheid van geest behield. Hij trok zijn sabel en riep: Denkt aan jullie akademische eer! Hij sprong voorwaarts en wij allen, allen ijlden hem na. De dappere moest zijn heldendaad dadelijk met den dood bekoopen!

Joseph Weidmüller

http://www.wereldoorlog1418.nl/brieven/03brief-weidmuller.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 18:59    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

ICRC in WWI: overview of activities

In November 1914 the ICRC asked the Swiss President to look into the possibility of interning, in neutral Switzerland, a large number of men who were too severely wounded to be able to cope with the conditions of detention in the camps. For the first time, on 31 December 1914, the ICRC used its good offices to convince the belligerents of the need to reach agreement on this matter. However, it did not intervene directly, leaving the Swiss authorities to persuade the warring States to sign agreements among themselves. In 1916, as a result of these efforts, Switzerland took in up to 30,000 internees at one time.

http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/57jqgq.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

31 December 1914: AE2

The Australian submarine AE2 departed Albany, WA, under tow from the transport BERRIMA, for the Mediterranean.

The Australian Naval Board offered the submarine to the RN after the loss of AE1.

http://www.navyhistory.org.au/category/navy-day-by-day/1914-1918/page/2/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Evening Mail, Newcastle, 31st December 1914:

"On Christmas Day one of the Germans came out of the trenches and held his hands up. Our fellows immediately got out of theirs, and we met in the middle, and for the rest of the day we fraternised, exchanging food, cigarettes and souvenirs. The Germans gave us some of their sausages, and we gave them some of our stuff. The Scotsmen started the bagpipes and we had a rare old jollification, which included football in which the Germans took part. The Germans expressed themselves as being tired of the war and wished it was over. They greatly admired our equipment and wanted to exchange jack knives and other articles. Next day we got an order that all communication and friendly intercourse with the enemey must cease but we did not fire at all that day, and the Germans did not fire at us."

http://www.christmastruce.co.uk/football.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:09    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Scotsman - Thursday, 31st December 1914



http://archive.scotsman.com/article.cfm?id=TSC/1914/12/31/Ar00312
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:18    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Pablo Picaso: Lettre à Guillaume Apollinaire.



Paris. 31-December/1914. Pen, ink & colored crayons, on back of letter of 1-January/1915 from Serge Ferat

http://picasso.shsu.edu/index.php?view=ArtworkSummary&year=1914&category=painting_collage_relief_sculpture_ceramic_drawing_watercolor_gouache_pastel_engraving_lithograph_other&page=10
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:24    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Harry Dansey - Military Cross



Military Cross awarded to Captain Harry Delamere Dansey, NZ Pioneer (Maori) Battalion, for “For distinguished service in the field”, London Gazette, 1 January 1918, p53.

The Military Cross was instituted on 31 December 1914 and was originally awarded to captains, lieutenants and warrant officers of the Army, including Royal Flying Corps and equivalent ranks of the Royal Air Force, Royal Naval Division and Royal Marines, when performing acts of bravery on the ground.

http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/879/medals:-military-cross
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Letters from Tsar Nicholas to Tsaritsa Alexandra - December 1915

Telegram. Stavka. 31 December, 1915

I have arrived safely, could not sleep. The weather is the same. Hearty thanks for dear letter. In thought we are always together. I kiss you fondly.

Nicky

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Stavka. 31 December, 1915

I thank you with all my heart for your sweet letter, which you gave to Teter., and which I found as a surprise when I was going to bed! My warmest thanks for all your love and kindness during the six days we were together. If you only knew how it supports me and how it rewards me for my work, responsibilities and anxietim and so forth I Indeed, I do not know how I could have endured it all, if God had not decreed to give you to me as a wife and friend!

I speak in earnest. At times it is difficult to speak of such truths, and it is easier for me to put it down on paper owing to stupid shyness.

Yesterday, after having parted from you, I received,the fat Khvosto - for an hour and a half. We had a good serious talk. After tea I took up this book - "The Millionaire Girl" - and read a great deal. Extremely interesting, and soothing to the brain; it is many years since I have read English novels!

I slept badly, or, more correctly, little, as I could not get off to sleep, my feet were so cold, and at last I crept with my head under the sheets, and in this manner warmed the edge of the bed-this at length improved matters!

On my arrival here this morning I found the weather just as cold as at home - 10 deg. Now the cold is less severe, there is no wind, a lot of snow, After a lengthy report, the usual lunch with all the foreigners. I passed on Alexey's greeting to them, and they asked a great deal about him, and were sorry not to see him now.

Our prayers will meet to-night - the moleben (Te Deum) will take place in the church at 11.45.

God bless you, my darling, and the dear children!

Eternally, my dear Sunny,

Your old hubby,

Nicky

http://www.alexanderpalace.org/letters/december15.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

1914/15 Star



Authorised in 1918, the 1914/15 Star was awarded to those individuals who saw service in France and Flanders from 23 November 1914 to 31 December 1915, and to those individuals who saw service in any other operational theatre from 5 August 1914 to 31 December 1915.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/medals.asp
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:35    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Christmas 1915 - 28th Battalion, A.I.F.

This year (a year on) I am going to take a look at Christmas 1915. A lot had happened during 1915, the first Gas Attack by the Germans in April 1915 certainly changed many opinions about the way the war should be fought. The major actions of Gallipoli and Loos also confirmed the fear that the war was going to be long one.

To open up this account comes from the book “The 28th: A Record of War Service in the Australian Imperial Force, 1915-19, Vol. I, by Herbert Brayley Collett.” The 28th Battalion in December 1915 was stationed on the island of Lemos after having evacuated from Gallipoli.

“Christmas Day was now approaching, and preparations for making the season as enjoyable as possible were taken in hand. Tents were decorated and the ground around laid out in designs formed with the aid of the stones from the sea beach. A competition had been arranged and prizes were given for the parties securing the best results. One man constructed from the soil some models of kangaroos and swans. A supply of beer was ordered from the Canteen, and a consignment of Swallow & Ariell's tinned plum puddings having been received were issued in the proportion of one tin to every two men.

On the afternoon of the 24th December arrived the "Christmas Billies." These were two-quart cans which had been filled with comforts by the people of Australia and despatched for the use of the troops. Each can contained a card whereon the sender had written a seasonable greeting. By a touch of irony, painted on the outside of the receptacle was a representation of an Australian kicking a Turk off the Peninsula. Beneath was inscribed a line from "Dryblower's" well known song, "This bit of the world belongs to us." The contents of the "billies" covered a fairly wide range of articles, and an inventory made of one gave the following result:--

1 tin shortbread.
1 tin cheese.
1 tin tobacco.
1 pack playing cards.
1 corkscrew.
1 mouth organ.
Safety pins.
1 piece soap.
1 tube toothpaste.
1 toothbrush.
1 packet prunes.
1 packet boracic acid.
1 writing pad with envelopes.
1 pipe.
6 cigars.

Although each State of the Commonwealth sent its proportion of gifts, the whole lot were pooled and distributed pro rata. The 28th thus received mostly Victorian gifts, but they were none the less welcome, and many men answered by letter the greetings of the senders.

The receipt of these gifts excited considerable interest and gave infinite pleasure. The scene when the cans were being opened was absorbing. Men were behaving like children, exhibiting the articles to one another, exchanging when not quite to taste, rendering impromptus on the mouth organs, and laughing over their own interpretations of the messages. In these last, as might be expected, little incongruities were discovered, and the commanding officer of a neighbouring battalion, who admitted an age of 40 and a weight of some 200 lbs., felt flattered when he read the enclosed inscription, "To my dear little soldier boy."

That night went pleasantly enough--the men singing and talking until a late hour. Next morning, in beautiful weather, the Battalion paraded for divine service, which was conducted by the Rev. S. McBain, a chaplain of the 6th Brigade, in a manner that interested and pleased all. The dinner was a feast as compared with the meals of the previous months, and afterwards the Western Australians played their first, and a victorious, game of football in the A.I.F.--on this occasion against the 24th Battalion. A visit was also received from Colonel Burston, who was now located on the island in command of a large reinforcement camp. That evening in his own Mess he very pleasantly entertained some of the officers. Boxing Day was also observed as a holiday and passed without incident except for a visit from a hostile aeroplane which passed over the camp travelling eastwards at a considerable height.

Probably owing to the dislocation of the services brought about by thevacuation, the Battalion received no Australian mails for some time, and its latest news from home was quite two months old. About the 20th December, however, information was received that several thousand bags were in the vicinity. Later, curious members located these on the east side of the Bay. Representations made to higher authority failed to secure delivery, the statement being made that no transport was available but that battalions would receive their portions on reaching the next theatre of operations. This answer not proving satisfactory, a mild conspiracy was indulged in which covered the chartering of a local fishing boat and a trip across the Bay. Lieut. Nicholls was master, the owner pilot, and 28th men formed the crew. This and other measures were successful, and the Battalion got its letters just before the end of the month.

As time went on the Battalion so far improved in health and training that unit and Brigade route marches were undertaken. Here the Western Australians came under the eye of the Divisional Commander (Brig.-General W. Holmes, D.S.O.), he complimented them on their march discipline. On the 31st December he inspected them in close order drill and the practice of formations when under artillery fire. So pleased was he with their performance that he characterised the unit as "a damned fine battalion. I have never before seen such good work done in the Division."

On the 27th December was received, and read on parade, a message from the King congratulating the troops on the successful evacuation of the Peninsula. About this time arrived news of the deaths at Alexandria of Captain H. B. Menz and Lieut. H. E. C. Ruddock, both of whom had succumbed to disease.

A series of evening open-air concerts, arranged in the Brigade, concluded on New Year's Eve with that given by the 28th. Visitors from other units attended in considerable numbers and all enjoyed the following programme:--

28TH BATTALION.

_Camp Concert--Programme._

Song - "The Deathless Army" - Private Allanson.
Song - Private "Sport" Edwards.
Song - Private Bolt.
Recitation - "Voice of Gallipoli" - Private Carr.
Song - "Queen of Angels" - Private Rolfe.
Song - Private Allanson.
Song - Private Piggott.
Sketch - "Chrysanthemums" - Corpl. Haydock.
Song - Private Carr.
Recitation - Lieut. Field.
Song - Private Vicaridge.
Song - Private "Sport" Edwards.
Song - Private Thomas
Chorus - "28th Anthem"
Chorus - "Auld Lang Syne"

Lemnos Island, 31st December, 1915.

Many sat awake in their tents that night awaiting the arrival of the New Year and wondering what their future lot would be. At midnight whistle and siren sounds, so familiar, came from the vessels in the Bay.

About the 28th December instructions were received that the troops would re-embark within a few days and that a small party would precede each battalion in order to make the preliminary arrangements at the next assembly point. Captain E. A. Coleman was placed in command of the 28th details, and marched out on the 31st of the month.

January 1st was observed as a holiday, but training was continued on the following days, when the weather, which was now becoming broken with rains and cold winds, permitted. Definite instructions were issued to embark on the 5th, but these were cancelled later on account of heavy seas. However, at 7.30 a.m. on the 6th the camp ground was vacated, and two hours later 24 officers and 667 other ranks of the 28th began to file along North Pier and embark on the "Ansonia" (7,900 tons)—another Cunard boat.

The transport also took on board 3 officers and 53 others of the 2nd Divisional Train, under Captain S. Walker, and 6 officers and 717 other ranks, details of various units, under Lieut.-Colonel R. A. Crouch.

No difficulty was encountered in regard to quarters, and when the transport left the harbour next morning at 7.30 everybody had settled down.

The danger from submarines had become more acute recently, consequently special precautions were taken. No lights were exposed, and all life belts were kept handy. However, the voyage was without incident and, travelling rather slowly down through the Grecian Archipelago, Alexandria harbour was entered during the afternoon of the 9th January.”

http://outofbattle.blogspot.com/2008/12/christmas-1915-28th-battalion-aif.html
“The 28th: A Record of War Service in the Australian Imperial Force, 1915-19, Vol. I, by Herbert Brayley Collett.”: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25341/25341-h/25341-h.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

31 december 1916

Het vrachtschip ss. 'Ecuador' van de Koninklijke West-Indische Maildienst (KWIM), op weg van Buenos Aires naar Amsterdam, loopt bij het lichtschip 'South Goodwin' op een mijn. Het schip kan in drijvende toestand worden gehouden en met begeleiding van de zeesleper 'Noordzee' van L. Smit & Co's Internationale Sleepdienst op 16 januari Amsterdam bereiken.

Bron: L.L. von Münching: 'De Ned. koopvaardij in de eerste oorlogsmaanden van 1915' in: 'DBW' jrg.55 nr. 2 (2000)

http://www.hetscheepvaartmuseum.nl/collectie/maritieme-kalender?j=&m=12&d=31
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

7th Canadian Infantry Brigade

Fri, Dec 31, 1915 LOCATION
Fine. P.P.C.L.I. were relieved by the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (B.C.) at La Clytte when the
regiment moved to billets with H.Q. at Q.35.B.3.2. the relief being completed by 1.30 p.m. .
Other Battalions carried out Drills etc. similar to above.

http://www.cefresearch.com/matrix/War%20Diaries/transcribed/bde7/bde7y1915.pdf
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 19:59    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

31 December 1916 → Commons Sitting

IMPORTS INTO HOLLAND.


HC Deb 31 December 1916 vol 88 cc1588-9 1588

Mr. PETO asked the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether his attention has been called to the increased imports of maize and linseed into Holland from North America, Argentina, and other countries; whether he state, the comparative quantities imported from 1st 1589 July to date as compared with a similar period in 1913; whether this surplus import goes into Germany from Holland largely in the form of beef, pork, and linseed oil; and, if so, what steps he proposes to take to prevent these additional supplies reaching the enemy?

Lord R. CECIL There has been, so far as His Majesty's Government are aware, no increased importation into Holland of maize or of linseed. Maize imports from 1st July to 30th November were 339,973 tons, as compared with an average import of 358,960 tons for five months during the years 1911–1913. Imports of linseed in the above-mentioned period have been 68,958 tons, as compared with a five-monthly average importation in 1911–1913 of 90,975 tons. The imports of both these commodities are limited to a fixed amount agreed upon with His Majesty's Government. The disposal of a surplus import does not, therefore, arise.

Mr. PETO Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether the figures given are subject to any deduction; whether it is for home production only, or whether any other calculations have been made, as the figures do not agree with the figures that have been published?

Lord R. CECIL I am afraid the figures we have very often do not agree with the figures that are published. I will talk over the matter with my non. Friend. It is rather difficult to deal with this subject by question and answer.

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1916/dec/31/imports-into-holland
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 20:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Basra, 31 December 1916



http://pw20c.mcmaster.ca/print-art-31-december-1916
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BerichtGeplaatst: 29 Dec 2010 20:03    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Stijn Streuvels, In oorlogstijd. Het volledige dagboek van de Eerste Wereldoorlog

zondag 31 december 1916 - Van op de kerksteen8 wordt er afgeroepen dat al de tabak is aangeslagen en iedere kweker, per huisgezin al de voorraad boven de 5 kilo moet afleveren. Het bericht wordt door de menigte met een sceptische lach ontvangen. En ik besluit dat er weinig tabak zal ingeleverd worden. Sedert we de Uhlanen - patrouilles op de streek hebben is het verkeer nu heel en al opgehouden - over de hele omgeving is het zeldzaam als men een mens kan ontwaren en langs de straat, buiten hier en daar een dorpeling, zijn er geen voorbijgangers meer - de nieuwjaarwensers zullen 't moeten opgeven en wachten met hun wensen tot het komend jaar - misschien zal het dan beter gaan.
En toch wordt er gesmokkeld meer dan ooit, - hele benden goed ingericht wachten zelf de patrouillen en vluchten er tussen door met hun koopwaar - hele zwijnen brengt men nog weg (niettegenstaande het volgnummer dat ze in 't oor gemerkt dragen!), boter, eieren, aardappelen - gaan van hand tot hand over, naar Frankrijk. Elke smokkelaar die gevat wordt, gaat als werkeloze op1 - en toch houdt het hun niet tegen - de drift is er in gekomen en er zijn er die het ambt uitoefenen als wildstroperij voor 't genoegen om in 't gevaar te zijn.

Met de vrede zijn we zo ver gevorderd dat de bladen er nu een eigen rubriek op nahouden onder de titel ‘vredesbemoeiïngen’! Wat zal het volgend jaar ons brengen? Ik blijf maar aan mijn werk en laat de gebeurtenissen lopen...

http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/stre009inoo02_01/stre009inoo02_01_0028.php
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 18:14    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Pontus during the Greek Genocide

As with all Greek-inhabited regions of Ottoman Turkey, the Greeks of Pontus were subject to a genocidal campaign. The Austrian Ambassador of Constantinople, Markgraf Johann Pallavicini, described the events in and around Samsoun in December 1916:

“11 December 1916. Five Greek villages were pillaged and then burnt. Their inhabitants were deported. 12 December 1916. In the outskirts of the city more villages are burnt. 14 December 1916. Entire villages including schools and the churches are set on fire. 17 December 1916. In the district of Samsoun they burnt eleven villages. The pillaging continues. The village inhabitants are ill-treated. 31 December 1916. Approximately 18 villages were completely burnt down, 15 partially. Around 60 women were raped. Even churches are plundered.”

http://www.greek-genocide.org/pontus.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 18:16    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Lucknow Pact

Lucknow Pact, (December 1916), agreement made by the Indian National Congress headed by Maratha leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak and the All-India Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah; it was adopted by the Congress at its Lucknow session on December 29 and by the league on Dec. 31, 1916. The meeting at Lucknow marked the reunion of the moderate and radical wings of the Congress. The pact dealt both with the structure of the government of India and with the relation of the Hindu and Muslim communities.

On the former count, the proposals were an advance on Gopal Krishna Gokhale’s “political testament.” Four-fifths of the provincial and central legislatures were to be elected on a broad franchise, and half the executive council members, including those of the central executive council, were to be Indians elected by the councils themselves. Except for the provision for the central executive, these proposals were largely embodied in the Government of India Act of 1919. The Congress also agreed to separate electorates for Muslims in provincial council elections and for weightage in their favour (beyond the proportions indicated by population) in all provinces except the Punjab and Bengal, where they gave some ground to the Hindu and Sikh minorities. This pact paved the way for Hindu-Muslim cooperation in the Khilafat movement and Mohandas Gandhi’s noncooperation movement from 1920.

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/350663/Lucknow-Pact
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 18:19    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

No. 205 Squadron RAF



No. 5 Squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service was formed at Dover on 2 August 1915 from elements of No. 4 Squadron RNAS, which had relocated to Eastchurch. However, in October 1915, No. 5 Squadron ceased to exist as it was absorbed into RNAS Dover.

On 31 December 1916, 'B' Squadron of No. 5 (Naval) Wing was redesignated No. 5 (Naval) Squadron. It operated Sopwith 1½ Strutters, making bombing raids on Belgian ports and German airfields.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/No-205-Squadron-RAF/105428556157327
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 18:24    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Meeting at the Smolny Institute, Dec. 31, 1917

An excerpt from the 1935 biography of the President of
Finland P.E. Svinhufvud by Erkki Räikkönen.
Abridged and edited by Tauno Pöyry for the
magazine Suomen Vapaussota Nr. 4/1940.

After trying, without any result, to meet the Soviet rulers on Dec. 30, 1917 - that day was Sunday - the delegation succeeded on the next day in delivering the letter to Lenin's secretary. At 9 o'clock P.M. they left for Smolny to receive the resolution: "We waited there for two to three hours in a large vestibule and sat on a table corner", relates Svinhufvud, "we had our furcoats on and caps in hands, because we did not want to venture leaving them unguarded somewhere. Despite the late hours everything was busy at Smolny. Visitors came and went, typists were running around in the corridors, even small children crawled on floors. Enckell tried many times push on the Bureau Chief of the Soviet Government Bonch-Bruevich, but nothing helped. We could only see, relates Enckell, how the People's Commissars were sitting in a room amidst a thick cloud of cigarette smoke and were probably deliberating also on our cause.

Even though we had our furcoats on, we began to feel cold in the vestibule. Finally, almost at midnight, Bonch-Bruevich brought the resolution of the Commissariat."

The resolution's wording was:

"We stood up one after another and with great pleasure signed the recognition of Finland's independence", writes I. Steinberg, the Commissar for Justice in Lenin's Cabinet, in his memoirs. "We were aware that the present hero of Finland Svinhufvud, who once was exiled by the Tsar, was our public political enemy and that in future he would spare no one of us. But if we set the Finnish people free from Russian oppression, there will be one historical injustice less in the world."

Even though the resolution only stated that the recognition of independence of Finland will be proposed, in reality it meant a full recognition, because the endorsement of the Executive Committee would only be a formal one.

Thus Finland was at the last hour of the year's last day granted an official certificate of partition from Russia.

After handing over this official recognition of independence to the delegation Bonch-Bruevich were just about saying good-bye and leaving for his duties. Enckell, however, made a comment:
- As we have the chairman of the Finnish government here with us, would it be appropriate, that he were given the opportunity to meet Lenin in person and to express to him the gratitude of the Finnish people for the recognition of independence just granted to us.

Bonch-Bruevich went now back to the Commissars' room and told them that Svinhufvud is waiting in the vestibule and wants to thank Lenin. This prompted a good deal of perturbation. Lenin shrugged his shoulders, gave an embarrassed laugh and declined.

- What I am to say to these bourgeois people!

It was then suggested that Trotski should go and shake hands with the visitors but even he determinedly refused. Finally it was suggested that Steinberg, the Commissar for Justice, should accept the request.

- What could I say to them, he asked and continued:

- The only thing I could do is to use the powers of my office and take them into custody!

Trotski laughed and made a sly comment:

- That would be just what you would like to do!

Now Bonch-Bruevich lost his temper. He put an end to joking and renewed the request to Lenin to go out and meet the Finns. In a worn suit and drooping the head Lenin followed Bonch-Bruevich, while in the meeting-room laughing and joking still went on.

"Lenin came and held out his hand and we introduced him to Svinhufvud", Enckell relates about this historical meeting and continues, that "Lenin cordially pressed Svinhufvud's hand".

- Are you satisfied now, asked Lenin.

- Extremely satisfied, replied Svinhufvud.

"He asked in Russian and I replied in Russian", relates Svinhufvud adding that "we only expressed our simple thanks for the independence".

The Finns left now. Svinhufvud, Enckell and Idman headed hastily to the Office of the Ministerial State Secretary of Finland. A typewritten copy of the recognition of independence was promptly made there. After this the delegation left for the railway station and from there to Finland by train.

A few days later the Russian Central Executive Committee ratified the recognition of the independence of Finland which thus made the situation final in Russia.

http://www.histdoc.net/history/commiss.html
Zie ook http://formin.finland.fi/Public/Print.aspx?contentid=107255&nodeid=15153&culture=en-US&contentlan=2
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 30 Dec 2010 18:28, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 18:26    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

British take El-Bireh, Palestine (New York Times article – 12/31/1917)

http://elbireh.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/british_take_elbireh1.pdf
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 18:30    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

USS Isabel (SP-521) -- Views taken in 1917-1919



Off the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, on 31 December 1917, following conversion to a warship.
Note her Mackay type camouflage scheme, and torpedo tubes installed amidships.

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-usn/usnsh-i/sp521.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 19:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Alexandra Kollontai, 1918: The First Steps Towards the Protection of Motherhood

The idea of establishing a Department for the Protection of Mother and Child arose in the heat of the October battles. The basic principles underlying the work of the department, and the related statutes on social provision for mothers and expectant mothers were drafted at the first conference of women workers [1] immediately following the October Revolution.

The conference was summoned at my suggestion as a member of the Central Committee, and we set up a lead group of women Bolsheviks at the editorial board of the magazine Rabotnitsa (Woman Worker). [2] This first conference of the representatives of women industrial workers to be held in Russia had the task of binding together the female working masses who had spontaneously inclined towards the revolution, supporting the Soviets and the Bolsheviks. The conference was attended by more than 500 women delegates from the factories and plants of Petrograd. There were also some delegates from Moscow, Ivanovo-Voznesensk, Tula and Kaluga.

The preparations for the conference were marked by lively enthusiasm, and evoked interest and eager response among the awakening masses of women workers who already had their own team of workers grouped around the magazine Rabotnitsa and its heart – Klavdia Nikolayeva and Konkordia Samoilova.

At the conference the main demands of Bolshevik women workers were put forward and adopted. Prominent among these demands was the question of protection and provision for motherhood. In a modest building somewhere on Bolotnaya St., in the very midst of the October revolution, when the approaches to Petrograd had still not been completely cleared of the troops of the Provisional Government, when something akin to a self-appointed government of Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries was still sitting in the City Duma in Petrograd, women workers were engaged in business-like and enthusiastic discussions on the measures that should be immediately introduced by the Soviet government in order to protect working mothers and their babies.

On 6 November, 1917, I delivered a speech on the protection of motherhood in my capacity as a member of the party Central Committee and secretary of the lead group of women workers. My theses were taken as the basis for discussion. The women workers attending the conference listened to my report with great interest and took an active part in the discussions and the elaboration of the theses. These theses were then passed on 'as guidelines' to the People's Commissariat for State Welfare and the People's Commissariat for Labour, which then included the Department of Social Security.

If the legislation on protection and provision for motherhood now in force is compared with the theses adopted at the first conference of women workers, it is clear that it was precisely the aspirations expressed at the conference that served as the basis for Soviet legislation in this area.

It should therefore be noted that the initiative on the issue of protection and provision for mother and child came from the working women themselves. At that time, very few working women actively participated in the Soviets. But from the very first days of Soviet power, working women were able to contribute constructively to the work of the Soviets as regards lightening the burden of motherhood for women.

The measures to protect and provide for motherhood were carried through in the first months of Soviet government by two People's Commissariats: the People's Commissariat for State Welfare and the People's Commissariat for Labour. The latter drew up a series of statutes in the field of social legislation. The People's Commissariat for carried through the measures designed to mothers.

The first concern of the People's Commissariat for State Welfare was to maintain and rebuild the huge children's homes in Petrograd and Moscow, in order to convert these 'angel factories' into homes for mother and child.

The People's Commissariat also took control of all the existing creches, consultation centres and children's homes (very few in number) that had been founded before the revolution by charitable organisations.

In order to take possession of these institutions and run them in accord with Soviet policy, the People's Commissariat for State Welfare first had to form a section of social investigation whose members included a large number of women workers from factories and plants. Its first task was to investigate all institutions whose work was connected with the protection of mother and child, and to deal with the open sabotage by their staff and administrators.

In December, 1917, that is, six weeks after power had been transferred into the hands of the proletariat, it became clear that the People's Commissariat required a special centre to supervise the work being done in the sphere of protection for mother and child if it was to cope with the increasing demand and workload.

On 31 December, 1917, the People's Commissariat issued a decree on the creation of a board whose task was to set up a Department for the Protection of Mother and Child. Doctor Korolyov was appointed head of the department, while the chairman of the board was the People's Commissar for State Welfare.

The Soviet government is the first government in the world to officially and legally recognise maternity as one of the social functions of women and, basing itself on the fact that in a republic of working people women will always have this particular labour obligation towards society (i.e., the obligation to bear and bring up children - Tr.), it has approached the problem of providing for motherhood from this new point of view.

During the first months of Soviet power, the People's Commissariat concentrated on the organisation and reorganisation of those institutions which could help lighten the burden of motherhood and combat the high infant mortality rate.

With the decree issued on 20 January, 1918, the People's Commissariat for State Welfare began to set in order and reorganise lying-in hospitals. The decree ordered that all lying-in hospitals and all centres, clinics and institutes of gynaecology and midwifery be transferred to the Department for the Protection of Mother and Child. The decree also ordered that medical services for expectant mothers be organised on the basis of three new principles: 1) that medical assistance be available to all needy mothers, i.e., that the doors of lying-in hospitals be opened precisely to the poorest section of the female population - workers, peasants and office workers; 2) that doctors be paid a state salary so as to abolish the advantages enjoyed by more prosperous women able to pay the doctor for his services, thereby ending the inequality between poor and prosperous expectant and nursing mothers; 3) that expectant and nursing mothers, particularly the poor, be protected against a view which saw them as 'sacrifices to science' on whom unskilled midwives and young students gained practice. No one, noted the decree, has the right to view, a woman fulfilling her sacred but painful civic duty of motherhood as a 'sacrifice to science'. The decree also replaced one-year midwifery courses with two-year courses, and the trainee midwives were permitted to assist at deliveries only in the second year.

The next step taken by the board for the protection of mother and child was to bring together in one state organisation all the institutions caring for mother and child in the pre- and post-natal periods, and all institutions involved in child care, from children's homes to village creches. A decree issued by the People's Commissariat on 31 January, 1918, instructed the Department for the Protection of Mother and Child to create a network of institutions which would bring up for the Soviet Republic spiritually and physically strong and healthy citizens. This same decree also ordered the creation of a model Palace of Motherhood and the conversion of all the lying-in hospitals and children's homes in Moscow and Petrograd into one general institution to be known as 'The Moscow Children's Institute' and 'The Petrograd Children's Institute'. Children's homes were renamed young children's palaces.

The increasing scope of the activity undertaken by the Department for the Protection of Mother and Child, and the enthusiastic response this activity elicited among working women obliged the People's Commissariat to broaden the composition of the board for the protection of motherhood to include men and women representatives of the trade unions, health insurance, the Petrograd district Soviets and the editorial board of the magazine Rabotnitsa.

By a decree issued on 31 January, the board was reorganised into a commission whose activity was to pursue three basic aims: 1) protection of the child, i.e. the reduction of infant mortality; 2) the upbringing of the child in an atmosphere corresponding to the broad concept of the socialist family (the organisation of mother and baby homes, laying the basis for social upbringing from the very first days of the child's life; 3) the creation of a healthy environment in which the child can develop both physically and spiritually.

In January, 1918, before the decree was published, the Department for the Protection of Mother and Child set about organising a Palace of Mother and Child Protection, which was to comprise: a Young Children's Palace (a former children's home) and a Palace of Motherhood (a former clinical institute of midwifery and gynaecology in Petrograd). According to the plans drawn up by the Commission for the Protection of Mother and Child and the Department, the Palace of Mother and Child Protection was to include a museum devoted to the protection of mother and child (an idea which was to be brilliantly executed later by V. P. Lebedeva in the form of an exhibition on the protection of mother and child), exemplary creches, consultation centres, a baby food dispensary, a child fostering centre... The former Nikolayevsky Institute, which was found to be eminently suitable for the purpose, was chosen to house the new Palace...

Footnotes
1. This is a reference to the conference of Petrograd women workers, which was held on 12-15 November, 1917. This was the first non-party workers' conference convened on the initiative of a Bolshevik organisation. The conference discussed the issue of the Constituent Assembly, the activity of the city self-administration, the tasks facing the women's movement and the situation in the provinces.

2. Rabotnitsa (Woman Worker) a legal Bolshevik magazine and the press organ of the Central Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (Bolsheviks), founded on Lenin's initiative. It was published in St Petersburg from 23 February (8 March) to 26 June (9 July) 1914, and publication was restarted in May, 1917, and continued until January, 1918


http://www.marxists.org/archive/kollonta/1918/steps-motherhood.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 19:34    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Story of "The Buffaloes"

The enlisted personnel of the regiment was assigned from selective draft men, who joined as follows:

In November, 1917: New York, N. Y., 1,198; Camp Devens, Mass., 22; Camp Custer, Mich., 301; Camp Lewis , Wash., 100.

In December, 1917: Camp Travis, Tex., 300; Camp Pike, Ark., 600; Camp Lee, Va., 300.

Six enlisted men from the Regular Army were transferred to the regiment.

During the period, 3rd November, 1917, to 31st December, 1917, the troops of the regiment were given training and instruction daily, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excepted, in the prescribed course of instruction for officers and men.

http://www.gwpda.org/wwi-www/Scott/SCh13.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 19:37    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment machine-gunners in action at Khurbetha-Ibn-Harith, near Palestine, 31 December 1917.



http://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/ww1.asp
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 19:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Wilfred Owen: "The Calls"

THE CALLS is not a great poem. However, it's Owen's only one that embodies his growing resolve in 1918 to return to the Front.

It ends:

'For leaning out last midnight on my sill,
I heard the sighs of men, that have no skill
To speak of their distress, no, nor the will!
A voice I know. And this time I must go.'


As early as 31 December 1917 he was writing, 'I think I must go back and be with them.' And once he had got to Officers Command Depot at Ripon in March 1918 with other Light Duty officers 'doing physical drill to fit them for service warfare' the idea was never far from his mind.

By the end of that month he was considering himself 'completely restituted now from Shell Shock', until what happened that July finally crystallised his thoughts.

http://www.wilfredowen.org.uk/poetry/the-calls

Wilfred Owen: The Calls [unfinished]

A dismal fog-hoarse siren howls at dawn.
I watch the man it calls for, pushed and drawn
Backwards and forwards, helpless as a pawn.
But I'm lazy, and his work's crazy.

Quick treble bells begin at nine o'clock,
Scuttling the schoolboy pulling up his sock,
Scaring the last girl in the inky frock.
I must be crazy; I learn from the daisy.

Stern bells annoy the rooks and doves at ten.
I watch the verger close the doors, and when
I hear the organ moan the first amen,
Sing my religion's - same as pigeons'

A blatant bugle tears my afternoons.
Out clump the clumsy Tommies by platoons,
Trying to keep in step with rag-time tunes,
But I sit still; I've done my drill.

Gongs hum and buzz like saucepan-lids at dusk.
I see a food-hog whet his gold-filled tusk
To eat less bread, and more luxurious rusk.
[ ]

Then sometimes late at night my window bumps
From gunnery-practice, till my small heart thumps
And listens for the shell-shrieks and the crumps,
But that's not all.

For leaning out last midnight on my sill,
I heard the sighs of men, that have no skill
To speak of their distress, no, nor the will!
A voice I know. And this time I must go.

http://users.fulladsl.be/spb1667/cultural/owen/the-calls.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 19:46    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ragnar Colvin

Admiral Sir Ragnar Musgrave Colvin KBE, CB (1882–1954) was a long-serving British naval officer who commanded the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) at the outbreak of the Second World War.

(...) Colvin joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in HMS Britannia in 1896,[1] was commissioned lieutenant six years later and, after qualifying as a gunnery specialist in 1904, was promoted Commander in 1913.[1] In World War I he served as Executive Officer in the cruiser Hibernia, and in the battleship Revenge in which he served in the Battle of Jutland in 1916.[1] Promoted Captain on 31 December 1917, he served in the Admiralty as Assistant Director of Plans and was appointed CBE.

http://www.ask.com/wiki/Ragnar_Colvin
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 19:54    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

NRC, 31.12.1918 - Fransche vluchtelingen.

De Fransche hulpkruiser Lutetia, die geheel gecamoufleerd en als tropentransportschip ingericht is, heeft
gisternamiddag aan de Wilhelminakade alhier 2400 Fransche vluchtelingen aan boord genomen. Het schip
vertrekt hedenmorgen naar [Le] Havre.
De Fransche vluchtelingen, die over de Rotterdamsche haven verscheept worden, gaan voortaan niet meer
naar Dieppe, maar naar Havre en Duinkerken. Ook het Nederlandsche stoomschip Macedonia en het
Fransche troepentransportschip Sobral zullen nu voor deze transporten gebezigd worden.
Bovendien blijven de Lingestroom, de Texelstroom en een van de Batavierbooten van hier uit in dezen
dienst varen. De beide andere Batavierbooten varen voor het vervoer van deze vluchtelingen tusschen Vlissingen
en Duinkerken.
Heden worden weder 3000 Fransche vluchtelingen uit verschillende plaatsen in ons land herwaarts gebracht.
Reeds zijn er ruim 14.000 van hier naar Frankrijk overgebracht en volgens schatting houden er zich
nog 35.000 in ons land op.
Noot: officieel geregistreerd 40.496 Fransche vluchtelingen; zie p. 18.

Tilburgse Courant, 31.12.1918: FRANSCHE VLUCHTELINGEN VERTROKKEN

De Fransche vluchtelingen welke eenige weken huisvesting hebben gevonden in de fabriek der firma v. Puijenbroek,
N. Goirlesche weg [Tilburg], welke firma daarvoor zeer zeker een woord van warme erkentelijkheid
verdient, zijn heden morgen naar Vlissingen vertrokken om vandaar per scheepsgelegenheid naar hun verwoeste
eigendommen terug te keeren,

Tilburgse Courant, 31.12.1918: FRANSCHE VLUCHTELINGEN IN NEDERLAND. DE HEER FAVRE ZEER VOLDAAN

De heer Favre, uit Nederland teruggekeerd, toonde zich zeer ingenomen over de ontvangst van de Nederlandsche
regering en met name van de Koningin. Hij verklaarde in de Fransche Kamer, dat de Nederlandsche
regeering het onmogelijke heeft gedaan om de Fransche vluchtelingen te huisvesten.

http://www.historischeverenigingijsselham.nl/silehammer/Bronvermelding%20en%20selectie%20historische%20kranten.pdf
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 20:02    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Kroniek van Baarle in de Eerste Wereldoorlog (1918)

31 december 1918 - “Eindelijk kwam er een order dat er verlof mocht gevraagd worden voor degenen die genezen waren. Op 22 december kreeg ik verlof van de kolonel. Ik vertrok met de auto naar Bayeux, dan den trein tot in Caen. Via Parijs, Amiens, Calais, Duinkerke, Brugge, Gent, Aalst en Brussel kwam ik op 29 december in Antwerpen. Daar ben ik bijfamilie een paar dagen blijven slapen. Den 31ste ’s morgens vroeg met de tram naar Turnhout en vandaar te voet langs Merksplas, waar onderweg een landbouwer van mijn dorpje mij voorbijreed en aan wie ik zegde dat ze mijne thuiskomst mochten verwachten. In Merksplas kwam mijn broeder mij per velo tegemoet en alsdan reed ik in volle vlucht naar mijn geboortedorpje. Rond twee uur ’s middags kwam ik in Zondereigen toe. De thuiskomst was zeer verheugend. Konden we nu maar thuis blijven… (Fons Versmissen uit Zondereigen in zijn oorlogsdagboek)

31 december 1918 - Veetelling in Baarle-Hertog: er waren op dat moment 58 paarden, 16 pony’s, 0 ezels, 645 stuks hoornvee, 226 varkens, 181 geiten, 2 schapen, 1.573 kiekens en 116 duiven. (Gemeentearchief Baarle-Hertog; inlichtingen voor de gouverneur van Antwerpen, 2.073.564 Register van Briefwisseling)

http://www.amaliavansolms.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=191%3A09-kroniek-van-baarle-in-de-eerste-wereldoorlog-1918&catid=90%3Aoorlog&Itemid=118
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 20:04    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Influenza pandemic in the South Pacific: T H E S A M O A I S L A N D S.

A Commission appointed by the Governor-General of New Zealand to inquire into the circumstances and causes of the introduction of epidemic influenza into the Islands of Western Samoa reported that in their opinion there was no doubt whatever that epidemic pneumonic influenza was introduced into Western Samoa by the S.S. ” Talune” on the 7th November 1918. This ship left Auckland (where influenza was seriously prevalent) on the 30th October, and influenza broke out among the passengers and crew during the voyage to Samoa. Within seven days after her arrival, pneumonic influenza was epidemic in Upolu. It spread with great rapidity throughout this island and later throughout Savaii, the other island of Western Samoa.

It was calculated that up to the 31st December 1918, out of a population of 30,738 in Western Samoa, 7,542 persons had died either directly from influenza or in consequence of its prevalence.

http://www.flutrackers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19806
Zie ook http://ykalaska.wordpress.com/2007/02/07/1918-pandemic-in-polynesia-and-fiji-small-island-developing-states/
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Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 30 Dec 2010 20:18, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 20:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Naval History and Heritage Command home page: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918

Boston, Massachusetts Naval facilities suffered one of these initial outbreaks, and from there the disease moved rapidly inland and down the coast. In local epidemics lasting a few weeks to a month, what was then called "Spanish Influenza" sickened a large percentage of the Navy's people. From 31 August to 31 December 1918 it left over four thousand dead, nearly one percent of the Sailors and Marines then on active duty, and about double the number killed in World War I combat. Generally, the epidemic was most severe ashore, especially at training facilities. Worst hit was Great Lakes, Illinois, with more than 900 deaths, nearly 500 in just one late September week. Afloat, many ships were afflicted and some disabled. Notable among the latter was the armored cruiser Pittsburgh, stationed at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with the majority of her 1100-man crew sick and 58 dead. The patrol vessel Yacona had 95 cases, more than eighty percent of her small complement.

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/ev-1910s/ev-1918/influenz.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 20:17    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

New Zealand in 1918

It is hard to imagine what New Zealand must have been like in 1918. The First World War was finally over, leaving more than 18,000 New Zealanders dead and tens of thousands more seriously wounded – over 5300 soldiers died in 1918 alone. Between October and December another 8600 people (including 2160 Maori) died during the influenza pandemic.

The New Zealand population on 31 December 1918 was about 1,150,000 (so multiply the figures above by four to get some idea of the relative impact today). Of this total about 50,000 were Maori, the majority living in rural areas away from the main centres. About 60% of the population lived in the North Island. Auckland was the biggest region (with 308,766 people), followed by Wellington (232,114) and Canterbury (181,869).

http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/war/armistice/nz-in-1918
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 20:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

31 december 1918: Amerikaanse troepen bij de Dvina rivier in Siberië



http://www.zachariel.nl/artikelen/zachww1deel4.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 20:36    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Rosa Luxemburg: "On the Spartacus Programme" (December 1918)
Delivered: December 31, 1918 at the Founding Conference of the Communist Party of Germany held in Berlin

“The tension which developed at the Congress between the sober wisdom of the leaders and the revolutionary impatience of the younger elements was lessened immediately as Rosa Luxemburg addressed the Congress on the Party programme. The delegates had anxiously observed what a great effort of will was necessary before her exhausted body could triumph over the effects of long imprisonment, ceaseless excitement, nervous tension, and serious illness, but no sooner had she begun to speak than inspiration worked wonders and she was suddenly her old self again. All her physical weakness fell away from her, all her energy returned, and, for the last time, her passionate temperament and brilliant oratory held her audience spellbound: convincing, grip ping, stirring, and inspiring. It was an unforgettable experience for all who were present.” [16 days laters Rosa Luxemburg would be executed.]
- Paul Frolich, participant at the Congress

Comrades: Our task today is to discuss and adopt a programme. In undertaking this task we are not actuated solely by the consideration that yesterday we founded a new party and that a new party must formulate a programme. Great historical movements have been the determining causes of today’s deliberations. The time has arrived when the entire socialist programme of the proletariat has to be established upon a new foundation. We are faced with a position similar to that which was faced by Marx and Engels when they wrote the Communist Manifesto seventy years ago. As you all know, the Communist Manifesto dealt with socialism, with the realization of the aims of socialism, as the immediate task of the proletarian revolution. This was the idea represented by Marx and Engels in the revolution of 1848; it was thus, likewise, that they conceived the basis for proletarian action in the international field. In common with all the leading spirits in the working class movement, both Marx and Engels then believed that the immediate introduction of socialism was at hand. All that was necessary was to bring about a political revolution, to seize the political power of the state, and socialism would then immediately pass from the realm of thought to the realm of flesh and blood. Subsequently, as you are aware, Marx and Engels undertook a thoroughgoing revision of this outlook. In the joint preface to the re-issue of the Communist Manifesto in the year 1872, we find the following passage:

“No special stress is laid on the revolutionary measures proposed at the end of Section Two. That passage would, in many respects, be differently worded today. In view of the gigantic strides of modern industry during the last twenty-five years and of the accompanying improved and extended organization of the working class, in view of the practical experience gained, first in the February revolution, and then, still more, in the Paris Commune, where the proletariat for the first time held political power for two whole months, this programme has in it some details that have become antiquated. One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz: that the ‘working class cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery and wield it for its own purposes’.”

What is the actual wording of the passage thus declared to be out of date? It runs as follows:

“The proletariat will use its political supremacy: to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie; to centralize all instruments of production in the hands of the state, i.e., of the proletariat organized as the ruling class; and to increase the total of productive forces as rapidly as possible.

“Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production.

“The measures will, of course, be different in different countries.

“Nevertheless, in the most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable:

“1. Abolition of property in land and application of all land rents to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3, Abolition of the right of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state: the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally, in accordance with a concerted plan.
8. Equal obligation upon all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Coordination of agriculture with manufacturing industries: gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population throughout the rural areas.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc., etc.”


With a few trifling variations, these, as you know, are the tasks that confront us today. It is by such measures that we shall have to realize socialism. Between the day when the above programme was formulated, and the present hour, there have intervened seventy years of capitalist development, and the historical evolutionary process has brought us back to the standpoint which Marx and Engels had in 1872 abandoned as erroneous. At that time there were excellent reasons for believing that their earlier views had been wrong. The further evolution of capital has, however, resulted in this, that what was error in 1872 has become truth today, so that it is our immediate objective to fulfil what Marx and Engels thought they would have to fulfill in the year 1848. But between that point of development, that beginning in the year 1848, and our own views and our immediate task, there lies the whole evolution, not only of capitalism, but in addition that of the socialist labour movement. Above all, there have intervened the aforesaid developments in Germany as the leading land of the modern proletariat.

This working class evolution has taken a peculiar form. When, after the disillusionments of 1848, Marx and Engels had given up the idea that the proletariat could immediately realize socialism, there came into existence in all countries socialist parties inspired with very different aims. The immediate objective of these parties was declared to be detail work, the petty daily struggle in the political and industrial fields. Thus, by degrees, would proletarian armies be formed, and these armies would be ready to realize socialism when capitalist development had matured. The socialist programme was thereby established upon an utterly different foundation, and in Germany the change took a peculiarly typical form. Down to the collapse of August 4, 1914, the German Social Democracy took its stand upon the Erfurt programme, and by this programme the so-called immediate minimal aims were placed in the foreground, whilst socialism was no more than a distant guiding star. Far more important, however, than what is written in a programme is the way in which that programme is interpreted in action. From this point of view, great importance must be attached to one of the historical documents of the German labour movement: the Preface written by Fredrick Engels for the 1895 re-issue of Marx’s Class Struggles in France.[1*] It is not merely upon historical grounds that I now reopen this question. The matter is one of extreme actuality. It has become our urgent duty today to replace our programme upon the foundation laid by Marx and Engels in 1848. In view of the changes effected since then by the historical process of development, it is incumbent upon us to undertake a deliberate revision of the views that guided the German Social Democracy down to the collapse of August 4th. Upon such a revision we are officially engaged today.

How did Engels envisage the question in that celebrated Preface to the Class Struggles in France, composed by him in 1895, twelve years after the death of Marx? First of all, looking back upon the year 1848, he showed that the belief that the socialist revolution was imminent had become obsolete. He continued as follows:

“History has shown that we were all mistaken in holding such a belief. It has shown that the state of economic evolution upon the Continent was then far from being ripe for the abolition of capitalist production. This has been proved by the economic revolution which since 1848 has taken place all over the continent. Large-scale industry has been established in France, Austria-Hungary, Poland and, of late, Russia. Germany has become a manufacturing country of first rank. All these changes have taken place upon a capitalist foundation, a foundation which in the year 1848 still had to undergo an enormous extension.”

After summing up the changes which had occured in the intervening period, Engels turned to consider the immediate tasks of the German Social-Democratic Party.

“As Marx had predicted (he wrote), the war of 1870-71 and the fall of the Commune shifted the centre of gravity of the European labour movement from France to Germany. Many years had naturally to elapse before France could recover from the blood-letting of May, 1871. In Germany, on the other hand, manufacturing industry was developing by leaps and bounds, in the forcing-house atmosphere produced by, the influx of the French billions [Indemity for the war]. Even more rapid and more enduring was the growth of Social Democracy. Thanks to the agreement in virtue of which the German workers have been able to avail themselves of the universal (male) suffrage introduced in 1866, the astounding growth of the party [after the anti-socialist laws were repealed] has been demonstrated to all the world by the testimony of figures whose significance no one can deny.”

Thereupon followed the famous enumeration, showing the growth of the party vote in election after election until the figures swelled to millions. From this progress Erigels drew the following conclusion:

“The successful employment of the parliamentary vote entailed the acceptance of an entirely new tactic by the proletariat and this new method has undergone rapid development. It has been realized that the political institutions in which the dominion of the bourgeoisie is incorporated offer a fulcrum whereby the proletariat can work for the over-throw of these very political institutions. The Social Democrats have participated in the elections to the various Diets, to Municipal Councils, and to Industrial Courts. Wherever the proletariat could secure an effective voice the occupation of these electoral strongholds by the bourgeoisie has been contested. Consequently, the bourgeoisie and the government have become much more alarmed at the constitutional than at the unconstitutional activities of the workers, dreading the results of elections far more than they dread the results of rebellion.”

Engels appends a detailed criticism of the illusion that under modern capitalist conditions the proletariat can possibly expect to effect anything for the revolution by street fighting. It seems to me, however, that today we are in the midst of a revolution, a revolution characterized by street fighting and all that it entails, that it is time to shake ourselves free of the views which have guided the official policy of the German Social Democracy down to our own day, of the views which share responsibility for what happened on August 4, 1914. (Hear! Hear!)

I do not mean to imply that, on account of these utterances, Engels must share personal responsibility for the whole course of socialist evolution in Germany. I merely draw your attention to one of the classical pieces of evidence of the opinions prevailing in the German Social Democracy – opinions which proved fatal to the movement. In this Preface Engels demonstrated, as an expert in military science, that it was a pure illusion to believe that the workers could, in the existing state of military technique and of industry, and in view of the characteristics of the great towns of today, successfully bring about a revolution by street fighting. Two important conclusions were drawn from this reasoning. In the first place, the parliamentary struggle was counterposed to direct revolutionary action by the proletariat, and the former was indicated as the only practical way of carrying on the class struggle. Parliamentarism, and nothing but parliamentarism, was the logical sequel of this criticism.

Secondly, the whole military machine, the most powerful organization in the class state, the entire body of proletarians in military uniform, was declared on a priori grounds to be absolutely inaccessible to socialist influence. When Engels’ Preface declares that, owing to the modern development of gigantic armies, it is positively insane to suppose that proletarians can ever stand up against soldiers armed with machine guns and equipped with all the other latest technical devices, the assertion is obviously based upon the assumption that anyone who becomes a soldier becomes thereby once and for all one of the props of the ruling class.

It would be absolutely incomprehensible, in the light of contemporary experience, that so noted a leader as Engels could have committed such a blunder did we not know the circumstances in which this historical document was composed. For the credit of our two great masters, and especially for the credit of Engels, who died twelve years later than Marx, and was always a faithful champion of his great collaborator’s theories and reputation, I must remind you of the well-known fact that the Preface in question was written by Engels under strong pressure on the part of the parliamentary group. At that date in Germany, during the early [18]’nineties after the Anti-Socialist law had been annulled, there was a strong movement toward the left, the movement of those who wished to save the party from becoming completely absorbed in the parliamentary struggle. Bebel and his associates wished for convincing arguments, backed up by Engels great authority; they wished for an utterance which would help them to keep a tight hand upon the revolutionary elements.

It was characteristic of party conditions at the time that the socialist parliamentarians should have the decisive word alike in theory and in practice. They assured Engels, who lived abroad and naturally accepted the assurance at its face value, that it was absolutely essential to safeguard the German labour movement from a lapse into anarchism, and in this way they constrained him to write in the tone they wished. Thenceforward the tactics expounded by Engels in 1895 guided the German Social Democrats in everything they did and in everything they left undone, down to the appropriate finish of August 4, 1914. The Preface was the formal proclamation of the nothing-but-parliamentarism tactic. Engels died the same year and had, therefore, no opportunity for studying the practical consequences of his theory. Those who know the works of Marx and Engels, those who are familiarly acquainted with the genuinely revolutionary spirit that inspired all their teachings and all their writings, will feel positively certain that Engels would have been one of the first to protest against the debauch of parliamentarism, against the frittering away of the energies of the labour movement, which was characteristic of Germany during the decades before the war.

The 4th of August did not come like thunder out of a clear sky; what happened on the 4th of August was not a chance turn of affairs, but was the logical outcome of all that the German Socialists had been doing day after day for many years. (Hear! Hear!) Engels and Marx, had it been possible for them to live on into our own times, would, I am convinced, have protested with the utmost energy, and would have used all the forces at their disposal to keep the party from hurling itself into the abyss. But after Engels death in 1895, in the theoretical field the leadership of the party passed into the hands of Kautsky. The upshot of this change was that at every annual congress the energetic protests of the left wing against a purely parliamentarist policy, its urgent warnings against the sterility and the danger of such a policy, were stigmatized as anarchism, anarchizing socialism, or at least anti-Marxism. What passed officially for Marxism became a cloak for all possible kinds of opportunism, for persistent shirking of the revolutionary class struggle, for every conceivable half-measure. Thus the German Social Democracy, and the labour movement, the trade union movement as well, were condemned to pine away within the framework of capitalist society. No longer did German socialists and trade unionists make any serious attempt to overthrow capitalist institutions or put the capitalist machine out of gear.

But we have now reached the point, comrades, when we are able to say that we have rejoined Marx, that we are once more advancing under his flag. If today we declare that the immediate task of the proletariat is to make socialism a living reality and to destroy capitalism root and branch, in saying this we take our stand upon the ground occupied by Marx and Engels in 1848; we adopt a position from which in principle they never moved. It has at length become plain what true Marxism is, and what substitute Marxism has been. (Applause) I mean the substitute Marxism which has so long been the official Marxism of the Social Democracy. You see what Marxism of this sort leads to, the Marxism of those who are the henchmen of Ebert, David and the rest of them. These are the official representatives of the doctrine which has been trumpeted for decades as Marxism undefiled. But in reality Marxism could not lead in this direction, could not lead Marxists to engage in counter-revolutionary activities side by side with such as Scheidemann. Genuine Marxism turns its weapons against those also who seek to falsify it. Burrowing like a mole beneath the foundations of capitalist society, it has worked so well that the larger half of the German proletariat is marching today under our banner, the storm-riding standard of revolution. Even in the opposite camp, even where the counter-revolution still seems to rule, we have adherents and future comrades-in-arms.

Let me repeat, then, that the course of historical evolution has led us back to the point at which Marx and Engels stood in 1848 when they first hoisted the flag of international socialism. We stand where they stood, but with the advantage that seventy additional years of capitalist development lies behind us. Seventy years ago, to those who reviewed the errors and illusions of 1848, it seemed as if the proletariat had still an interminable distance to traverse before it could hope to realise socialism. I need hardly say that no serious thinker has ever been inclined to fix upon a definite date for the collapse of capitalism; but after the failures of 1848, the day for that collapse seemed to lie in the distant future. Such a belief, too, can be read in every line of the Preface which Engels wrote in 1895. We are now in a position to cast up the account, and we are able to see that the time has really been short in comparison with that occupied by the sequence of class struggles throughout history. The progress of large-scale capitalist development during seventy years has brought us so far that today we can seriously set about destroying capitalism once for all. Nay, more; not merely are we today in a position to perform this task, not merely is its performance a duty toward the proletariat, but our solution offers the only means of saving human society from destruction. (Loud applause)

What has the war left of bourgeois society beyond a gigantic rubbish heap? Formally, of course, all the means of production and most of the instruments of power, practically all the decisive instruments of power, are still in the hands of the dominant classes. We are under no illusions here. But what our rulers will be able to achieve with the powers they possess, over and above frantic attempts to re-establish their system of spoliation through blood and slaughter, will be nothing more than chaos. Matters have reached such a pitch that today mankind is faced with two alternatives: it may perish amid chaos; or it may find salvation in socialism. As the outcome of the Great War it is impossible for the capitalist classes to find any issue from their difficulties while they maintain class rule. We now realize the absolute truth of the statement formulated for the first time by Marx and Engels as the scientific basis of socialism in the great charter of our movement, in the Communist Manifesto. Socialism will become an historical necessity. Socialism is inevitable, not merely because the proletarians are no longer willing to live under the conditions imposed by the capitalist class, but, further, because if the proletariat fails to fulfill its duties as a class, if it fails to realize socialism, we shall crash down together to a common doom. (Prolonged applause.)

Here you have the general foundation of the programme we are officially adopting today, draft of which you have all read in the pamphlet, What does Spartacus Want?[1] Our programme is deliberately opposed to the leading principle of the Erfurt programme; it is deliberately opposed to the separation of the immediate and so-called minimal demands formulated for the political and economic struggle, from the socialist goal regarded as a maximal programme. It is in deliberate opposition to the Erfurt programme that we liquidate the results of seventy years evolution, that we liquidate, above all, the primary results of the war, saying we know nothing of minimal and maximal programmes; we know, only, one thing, socialism; this is the minimum we are going to secure. (Hear! Hear!)

I do not propose to discuss the details of our programme. This would take too long, and you will form your own opinions upon matters of detail. The task that devolves upon me is merely to sketch the broad lines wherein our programme is distinguished from what has hitherto been the official programme of the German Social Democracy. I regard it, however, as of the utmost importance that we should come to an understanding in our estimate of the concrete circumstances of the hour, of the tactics we have to adopt, of the practical measures which must be undertaken, in view of the probable lines of further development. We have to judge the political situation from the outlook I have just characterized, from the outlook of those who aim at the immediate realization of socialism, of those who are determined to subordinate everything else to that end.

Our Congress, the Congress of what I may proudly call the only revolutionary socialist party of the German proletariat, happens to coincide in point of time with the crisis in the development of the German revolution. “Happens to coincide,” I say; but in truth the coincidence is no chance matter. We may assert that after the occurrences of the last few days the curtain has gone down upon the first act of the German revolution. We are now in the opening of the second act, and it is our common duty to undertake self-examination and slf-criticism. We shall be guided more wisely in the future, and we shall gain additional impetus for further advances, if we study all that we have done and all that we have left undone. Let us, then carefully scrutinize the events of the first act in the revolution.

The movement began on November 9. The revolution of November 9 was characterized by inadequacy and weakness. This need not surprise us. The revolution followed four years of war, four years during which, schooled by the Social Democracy and the trade unions, the German proletariat had behaved with intolerable ignominy and had repudiated its socialist obligations to an extent unparalleled in any other land. We Marxists, whose guiding principle is a recognition of historical evolution, could hardly expect that in the Germany which had known the terrible spectacle of August 4, and which during more than four years had reaped the harvest sown on that day, there should suddenly occur on November 9, 1918, a glorious revolution, inspired with definite class-Consciousness, and directed toward a clearly conceived aim. What happened on November 9 was to very small extent the victory of a new principle; it was little more than a collapse of the extant system of imperialism. (Hear! Hear!)

The moment had come for the collapse of imperialism, a colossus with feet of clay, crumbling from within. The sequel of this collapse was a more or less chaotic movement, one practically devoid of reasoned plan. The only source of union, the only persistent and saving principle, was the watchword “Form Workers and Soldiers Councils.” Such was the slogan of this revolution, whereby, in spite of the inadequacy and weakness of the opening phases, it immediately established its claim to be numbered among proletarian socialist revolutions. To those who participated in the revolution of November 9, and who nonetheless shower calumnies upon the Russian Bolsheviks, we should never cease to reply with the question: “Where did you learn the alphabet of your revolution? Was it not from the Russians that you learned to ask for workers and soldiers councils?” (Applause)

These pygmies who today make it one of their chief tasks, as heads of what they falsely term a socialist government, to join with the imperialists of Britain in a murderous attack upon the Bolsheviks, were then taking their seats as deputies upon the workers and soldiers councils, thereby formally admitting that the Russian revolution created the first watchwords for the world revolution. A study of the existing situation enables us to predict with certainty that in whatever country, after Germany, the proletarian revolution may next break out, the first step will be the formation of workers and soldiers councils. (Murmurs of assent)

Herein is to be found the tie that unites our movement internationally. This is the motto which distinguishes our revolution utterly from all earlier revolutions, bourgeois revolutions. On November 9, the first cry of the revolution, as instinctive as the cry of a new-born child, was for workers and soldiers councils. This was our common rallying cry, and it is through the councils alone that we can hope to realize socialism. But it is characteristic of the contradictory aspects of our revolution, characteristic of the contradictions which attend every revolution, that at the very time when this great, stirring, and instinctive cry was being uttered, the revolution was so inadequate, so feeble, so devoid of initiative, so lacking in clearness as to its own aims, that on November 10 our revolutionists allowed to slip from their grasp nearly half the instruments of power they had seized on November 9. We learn from this, on the one hand, that our revolution is subject to the prepotent law of historical determinism, a law which guarantees that, despite all difficulties and complications notwithstanding all our own errors, we shall nevertheless advance step by step toward our goal. On the other hand, we have to recognize, comparing this splendid battle-cry with the paucity of the results practically achieved, we have to recognize that these were no more than the first childish and faltering footsteps of the revolution, which has many arduous tasks to perform and a long road to travel before the promise of the first watchwards can be fully realized.

The weeks that have elapsed between November 9 and the present day have been weeks filled with multiform illusions. The primary illusion of the workers and soldiers who made the revolution was their belief in the possiblity of unity under the banner of what passes by the name of socialism. What could be more characteristic of the internal weakness of the revolution of November 9 than the fact that at the very outset the leadership passed in no small part into the hands of the persons who a few hours before the revolution broke out had regarded it as their chief duty to issue warnings against revolution (Hear! Hear!) – to attempt to make revolution impossible – into the hands of such as Ebert, Scheidemann and Haase. One of the leading ideas of the revolution of November 9 was that of uniting the various socialist trends. The union was to be effected by acclamation. This was an illusion which had to be bloodily avenged, and the events of the last few days have brought a bitter awakening from our dreams; but the self-deception was universal, affecting the Ebert and Scheidemann groups and affecting the bourgeoisie no less than ourselves.

Another illusion was that affecting the bourgeoisie during this opening act of the revolution. They believed that by means of the Ebert-Haase combination, by means of the so-called socialist government, they would really be able to bridle the proletarian masses and to strangle the socialist revolution. Yet another illusion was that from which the members of the Ebert-Scheidemann government suffered when they believed that with the aid of the soldiers returned from the front they would be able to hold down the workers and to curb all manifestations of the socialist class struggle. Such were.the multifarious illusions which explain recent occurrences. One and all, they have now been dissipated. It has been plainly proved that the union between Haase and Ebert-Scheidemann under the banner of “socialism” serves merely as a fig-leaf for the decent veiling of a counter-revolutionary policy. We ourselves, as always happens, in revolutions, have been cured by our self-deceptions. There is a definite revolutionary procedure whereby the popular mind can be freed from illusion, but, unfortunately, the cure involves that the people must be bloodeddn revolutionary Germany, events have followed the course characteristic of all revolutions. The bloodshed in Chausseestrasse on December 6, the massacre of December 24, brought the truth home to the broad masses of the people. [See the history of the Spartacus rising] Through these occurrences they came to realize that what passes by the name of a socialist government is a government representing the counter-revolution. They came to realize that anyone who continues to tolerate such a state of affairs is working against the proletariat and against socialism. (Applause)

Vanished, likewise, are the illusions cherished by Messrs. Ebert, Scheidemann & Co., that with the aid of soldiers from the front they will be able forever to keep the workers in subjection. What has been the effect of the experiences of December 6 and 24? There has been obvious of late a profound disillusionment among the soldiery. The men begin to look with a critical eye upon those who have used them as cannon-fodder against the socialist proletariat. Herein we see once more the working of the law that the socialist revolution undergoes a determined objective development, a law in accordance with which the battalions of the labour movement gradually learn through bitter experience to recognize the true path of revolution. Fresh bodies of soldiers have been brought to Berlin, new detachments of cannon-fodder, additional forces for the subjection of socialist proletarians – with the result that, from barrack after barrack, there comes a demand for the pamphlets and leaflets of the Spartacus group.

This marks the close of the first act. The hopes of Ebert and Scheidemann that they would be able to rule the proletariat with aid of reactionary elements among the soldiery have already to a large extent been frustrated. What they have to expect within the very near future is an increasing development of definite revolutionary trends within the barracks. Thereby the army of the fighting proletariat will be augmented, and correspondingly the forces of the counterrevolutionists will dwindle. In consequence of these changes, yet another illusion will have to go, the illusion that animates the bourgeoisie, the dominant class. If you read the newspapers of the last few days, the newspapers issued since the incidents of December 24, you cannot fail to perceive plain manifestations of disillusionment conjoined with indignation, both due to the fact that the henchmen of the bourgeoisie, those who sit in the seats of the mighty, have proved inefficient. (Hear! Hear!)

It had been expected of Ebert and Scheidemann that they would prove themselves strong men, successful lion tamers. But what have they achieved? They have suppressed a couple of trifling disturbances, and as a sequel the hydra of revolution has raised its head more, resolu tely than ever. Thus disillusionment is mutual, nay universal The workers have completely lost the illusion which, had, led them to, believe that a union between Haase and Ebert-Scheidemann would amount to a socialist government. Ebert and Scheidemann have lost the illusion which had led them to imagine that with the aid of proletarians in military uniform they could permanently keep down proletarians in civilian dress. The members of the middle class have lost the illusion that, through the instrumentality of Ebert, Scheidemann and Haase, they can humbug the entire socialist revolution of Germany as to the ends it desires. All these things have a merely. negative force, and there remains from them nothing but the rags and tatters of destroyed illusions. But it is in truth a great gain for the proletariat that naught beyond these rags and tatters remains from the first phase of. the revolution, for there is nothing so destructive as illusion, whereas nothing can be of greater use to the revolution than naked truth.

I may appropriately recall the words of one of out classical writers, a man who was no proletarian revolutionary,. but a revolutionary spirit nurtured in the middle class. I refer to Lessing, and quote a passage which has always aroused my sympathetic interest:

“I do not know whether it be a duty to sacrifice happiness and life to truth ... But this much I know, that it is our duty, if we desire to teach truth, to teach it wholly or not at all, to teach it clearly and bluntly, unenigmatically, unreservedly, inspired with full confidence in its powers ... The cruder an error, the shorter and more direct is the path leading to truth. But a highly refined error is likely to keep us permanently estranged from truth, and will do so all the more readily in proportion as we find it difficult to realize that it is an error ... One who thinks of conveying to mankind truths masked and rouged, may be truth’s pimp, but has never been truth’s lover.”

Comrades, Messrs. Haase, Dittmann, etc., have wished to bring us the revolution, to introduce socialism, covered with a mask smeared with rouge; they have thus shown themselves to be the pimps of the counter-revolution. Today these concealments have been discarded, and what was offered is disclosed in the brutal and sturdy lineaments of Messrs. Ebert and Scheidemann. Today the dullest among us can make no mistake. What is offered is the counter-revolution in all its repulsive nudity.

The first act is over. What are the subsequent possibilities? There is, of course, no question of prophecy. We can only hope to deduce the logical consequences of what has already happened, and thus to draw conclusions as to the probabilities of the future, in order that we may adapt our tactics to these probabilities. Whither does. the road seem to lead? Some indications are given by the latest utterances of the Ebert-Scheidemann government, utterances free from ambiguity. What is likely to be done by this so-called socialist government now that, as I have shown, all illusions have been dispelled? Day by day the government loses increasingly the support of the broad masses of the proletariat. In addition to the petty bourgeoisie there stand behind it no more than poor remnants from among the workers, and as regards these last it is extremely dubious whether they will long continue to lend any aid to Ebert and Scheidemann.

More and more, too, the government is losing the support of the army, for the soldiers have entered upon the path of self-examination and self-criticism. The effects of this process may seem slow at first, but it will lead irresistibly to their acquiring a throughgoing socialist mentality. As for the bourgeoisie, Ebert and Scheidemann have lost credit in this quarter too, for they-have not shown themselves strong enough. What can they do? They, will soon make air end of the comedy of socialist policy. When you read these gentlemen’s new programme you will see that they are steaming under forced draught into the second phase, that. of the declared counter-revolution, or, as I may even say, the restoration of the pre-existent, pre-revolutionary conditions.

What is the programme of the new government? It proposes the election of a President, who is to have a position intermediate between that of the King of England and that of the President of the United States. (Hear! Hear!) He is to be, as it were, King Ebert. In the second place they propose to re-establish the federal council. You may read today the independently formulated demands of the South German governments, demands which emphasize the federal character of the German realm. The re-establishment of the good old federal council, in conjuction, naturally, with that of its appendage, the German Reichstag, is now a question of a few weeks only. Comrades, Ebert and Scheidemann are moving in this way toward the simple restoration of the conditions that obtained prior to November 9. But therewith they have entered upon a steep declivity and are likely erelong to find themselves lying with broken limbs at the bottom of the abyss. For by the 9th of November the re-establishment of the condition that had existed prior to the 9th of November had already become out of date, and today Germany is miles from such a possibility.

In order to secure support from, the only class whose class interests the government really represents, in order to secure support from the bourgeoisie – a support which has in fact been withdrawn owing to recent occurrences – Ebert and Scheidemann will be compelled to pursue an increasingly counter-revolutionary policy. The demands of the South German states, as published today in the Berlin newspapers, give frank expression to the wish to secure “enhanced safety” for the German realm. In plain language, this means that they desire the declaration of a state of siege against “anarchist, disorderly and Bolshevist” elements, that is to say, against socialists. By the pressure of circumstanc; Ebert and ScheidCmann will be constrained to the expedient. of dictatorship, with or without the declaration of a state of siege. Thus, as an outcome of the previous course of developnrent, by the mere logic of events and through the operation of the forces which control Ebert and Scheidemann, there will ensue during the second act of the revolution a much more pronounced opposition of tendencies and a greatly accentuated class struggle. (Hear! Hear!) This, intensification of conflict will arise, not merely because the political influences I have already enumerated, dispelling all illusion, will lead to a declared hand-to-hand fight between the revolution and the counter-revolution; but in addition. because the flames of a new fire are spreading upward from the depths, the flames of the economic struggle.

It was typical of the first period of the revolution down to December 24 that the revolution remained exclusively political. Hence the infantile character, the inadequacy, the half-heartedness,the aimlessness, of this revolution. Such was the first stage of a revolutionary transformation whose main objective lies in the economic field, whose main purpose it is to secure a fundamental change in economic conditions. Its steps were as uncertain as those of a child groping its way without knowing whither it is going; for at this stage, I repeat, the revolution had a purely political stamp. But within the last two or three weeks a number of strikes have broken out quite spontaneously. Now, I regard it as the very essence of this revolution that strikes will become more and more extensive, until they constitute at last the focus of the revolution. (Applause) Thus we shall have an economic revolution, and therewith a socialist revolution. The struggle for socialism has to be fought out by the masses, by the masses alone, breast to breast against capitalism; it has to be fought out by those in every occupation, by every proletarian against his employer. Thus only can it be a socialist revolution.

The thoughtless had a very different picture of the course of affairs. They imagined it would merely be necessary to overthrow the old government, to set up a socialist government at the head of affairs, and then to inaugurate socialism by decree. Another illusion? Socialism will not be and cannot be inaugurated by decrees; it cannot be established by any government, however admirably socialistic. Socialism must be created by the masses, must be made by every proletarian. Where the chains of capitalism are forged, there must the chains be broken. That only is socialism, and thus only can socialism be brought into being.

What is the external form of struggle for socialism? The strike, and that is why the economic phase of development has come to the front in the second act of the revolution. This is something on which we may pride ourselves, for no one will dispute with us the honour. We of the Spartacus Group, we of the Communist Party of Germany, are the only ones in all Germany who are on the side of the striking and fighting workers. (Hear! Hear!) You have read and witnessed again and again the attitude of the Independent Socialists towards strikes. There was no difference between the outlook of Vorwärts and the outlook of Freiheit. Both journals sang the same tune: Be diligent, socialism means hard work. Such was their utterance while capitalism was still in control! Socialism cannot be established thus wise, but only by carrying on an unremitting struggle against capitalism. Yet we see the claims of the capitalists defended, not only by the most outrageous profit-snatchers, but also by the Independent Socialists and by their organ, Freiheit; we find that our Communist Party stands alone in supporting the workers against the exactions of capital. This suffices to show that all are today persistent and unsparing enemies of the strike, except only those who have taken their stand with us upon the platform of revolutionary communism.

The conclusion to be drawn is not only that during the second act of the revolution strikes will become increasingly prevalent; but, further, that strikes will become the central feature and the decisive factors of the revolution, thrusting purely political questions into the background. The inevitable consequence of this will be that the struggle in the economic field will be enormously intensified. The revolution will therewith assume aspects that will be no joke to the bourgeoisie. The members of the capitalist class are quite agreeable to mystifications in the political domain, where masquerades are still possible, where such creatures as Ebert and Scheidemann can pose off as, socialists; but they are horror-stricken directly profits are touched.

To the Ebert-Scheidemann government, therefore, the capitalists will present these alternatives. Either, they will say, you must put an end to strikes, you must stop this strike movement which threatens to destroy us; or else, we have no more use for you. I believe, indeed, that the government has already damned itself pretty thoroughly by its political measures. Ebert and Scheidemann are distressed to find that the bourgeoisie no longer reposes confidence in them. The capitalists will think twice before they decide to cloak in ermine the rough upstart, Ebert. If matters go so far that a monarch is needed, they will say: “It does not suffice a king to have blood upon his hand; he must also have blue blood in his veins.” (Hear! Hear!) Should matters reach this pass, they will say: “If we needs must have a king, we will not have a parvenu who does not know bow to comport himself in kingly fashion.” (Laughter)

Thus Ebert and Scheidemann are coming to the point when a counter-revolutionary movement will display itself. They will be unable to. quench the fires of the economic class struggle, and at the same time with their best endeavours they will fail to satisfy the bourgeoisie. There will be a desperate attempt at counter-revolution, perhaps an unqualified militarist dictatorship under Hindenburg, or perhaps the counter-revolution will manifest itself in some other form; but in any case, our heroes will take to the woods. (Laughter)

It is impossible to speak positively as to details. But we are not concerned with matters of detail, with the question precisely what will happen, or precisely when it will, happen. Enough that we know the broad lines of coming developments. Enough that we know that, to the first act of the revolution, to the phase in which the political struggle has been the leading figure, there will succeed a phase predominantly characterized by an intensification of the economic struggle, and that sooner or later the government of Ebert and Scheidemaun will take its place among the shades.

It is far from easy to say what will happen to the National Assembly during the second act of the revolution. Perchance, should the Assembly come into existence, it may prove a new school of education for the working class. But it seems just as likely that the National Assembly will never come into existence. Let me say parenthetically, to help you to understand the grounds upon which we were defending our position yesterday, that our only objection was to limiting our tactics to a single alternative. I will not reopen the whole discussion, but will merely say a word or two lest any of you should falsely imagine that I am blowing hot and cold with the same breath. Our position today is precisely that of yesterday. We do not propose to base our tactics in relation to the National Assembly upon what is a possibility but not a certainty. We refuse to stake everything upon the belief that the National Assembly will never come into existence. We wish to be prepared for all possibilities, including the possibility of utilizing the National Assembly for revolutionary purposes should the assembly ever come into being. Whether it comes into being or not is a matter of indifference, for whatever happens the success of the revolution is assured.

What fragments will then remain of the Ebert-Scheidemann government or of any other alleged Social-Democratic government which may happen to be in charge when the revolution takes place? I have said that the masses of the workers are already alienated from them and. that the soldiers are no longer to be counted upon as counter-revolutionary cannon-fodder. What on earth will the poor pygmies be able to do? How can they hope to save the situation? They will still have one last chance. Those of you who have read today’s newspapers will have seen where the ultimate reserves are, will have learned whom it is that the German counter-revolution proposes to lead against us should the worst come to the worst. You will all have read how the German troops in Riga are already marching shoulder to shoulder with the English against the Russian Bolsheviks.

Comrades, I have documents in my hands which throw an interesting light upon what is now going on in Riga. The whole thing comes from the headquarters staff of the Eighth Army, which is collaborating with Herr August Winnig, the German Social-Democrat and trade union leader. We have always been. told that the unfortunate Ebert and Scheidemann are victims of the Allies; But for weeks past, since the very beginning of our revolution, it has been the policy of Vorwärts to suggest that the suppression of the Russian Revolution is the earnest desire of the Allies. We have here documentary evidence how all this was arranged to the detriment of the Russian proletariat and of the German revolution. In a telegram dated December 26th, Lieutenant-Colonel Burkner, chief of general staff of the Eighth Army, conveys information concerning the negotiations which led to this agreement at Riga. The telegram runs as follows:

“On December 23 there was a conversation between the German plenipotentiary Winnig and the British plenipotentiary Mosanquet, formerly consul-general at Riga. The interview took place on board HMS Princess Margaret and the commanding officer of the German troops was invited to be present. I was appointed to represent the army command. The purpose of the conversation was to assist in the carrying out of the armistice conditions. The conversation took the following course:

“From the English side: The British ships at Riga will supervise the carrying out of the armistice conditions. Upon these conditions are based the following demands:

“(1) The Germans are to maintain a sufficient force in this region to hold the Bolsheviks in check and to prevent them from extending the area now occupied ...

“(3) A statement of the present disposition of the troops fighting the Bolsheviks, including both the German and, the Lettish soldiers, shall be sent to the British staff officer, so that the information may be available for the senior naval officer. All future dispositions of the troops carrying on the fight against the Bolsheviks must in like manner, be communicated through the same officer.

“(4) A sufficient fighting force must be kept under arms at the following points; in order to prevent their being seized by the Bolsheviks, and in order to prevent the Bolsheviks from passing beyond a line connecting the places named: Walk, Wolmar, Wenden, Friedrichstadt, Pensk, Mitau.

“(5) The railway from Riga to Libau must be safe-guarded against Bolshevik attack, and all British supplies and communications passing along this line shall receive preferential treatment!”


A number of additional demands follows.

Let us now turn to the answer of Herr Winnig, German plenipotentiary and trade union leader:

“Though it is unusual that a desire should be expressed to compel a government to retain occupation of a foreign state, in this case it would be our own wish to do so, since the question is one of protecting German blood.” (The Baltic Barons!) “Moreover, we regard it as a moral duty to assist the country which we have liberated from its former state of dependence. Our endeavours would, however, be likely to be frustrated, in the first place, by the condition of the troops, for our soldiers in this region are mostly men of considerable age and comparatively unfit for. service and, owing to the armistice, keen on returning home and possessed of little will to fight; in the second place, owing to the attitude of the Baltic governments, by which the Germans are regarded as oppressors. But we will endeavour to provide volunteer troops, consisting of men with a fighting spirit, and indeed this has already in part been done.”

Here we see the counter-revolution at work. You will have read not long ago of the formation of the Iron Division expressly intended to fight the Bolsheviks in the Baltic provinces. At that time there was some doubt as to the attitude of the Ebert-Scheidemann government. You will now realize that the initiative in the creation of such a force actually came from the government ...

One word more concerning Winnig. It is no chance matter that a trade union leader should perform such political services. We can say, without hesitation, that the German trade union leaders and the German Social-Democrats are the most infamous scoundrels the world has ever known. (Vociferous applause) Do you know where these fellows, Winnig, Ebert and Scheidemann ought by right to be? By the German penal code, which they tell us is still in force, and which continues to be the basis of their own legal system, they ought to be in jail! (Vociferous applause) For by the German penal code it is an offense punishable by imprisonment to enlist German soldiers for foreign service. Today there stand at the head of the “socialist” government of Germany men who are not merely the Judases of the socialist government and traitors to the proletarian revolution, but who are jailbirds, unfit to mix with decent society. (Loud applause)

To resume the thread of my discourse, it is clear that all these machinations, the formation of Iron Divisions and, above all, the before-mentioned agreement with British imperialists, must be regarded as the ultimate reserves, to be called up in case of need in order to throttle the German socialist movement. Moreover, the cardinal question, the question oftheprospects of peace, is intimately associated. with the affair. What can such negotiations lead to but a fresh lightingup of the war? While these rascals are playing a comedy in Germany, trying to make us believe that they are working overtime in order to arrange conditions of peace, and declaring that we Spartacists are the disturbers of the peace whose doings are making the Allies uneasy and retarding the peace settlement, they are themselves kindling the war afresh, a war in the East to which a war on German soil will soon succeed.

Once more we meet with a situation the sequel of which cannot fail to be a period of fierce contention. It develops upon us to defend, not socialism alone, not revolution alone, but likewise the interests of world peace. Herein we find a justification for the tactics which we of the Spartacus Group have consistently and at every opportunity pursued throughout the four years of the war. Peace means the world-wide revolution of the proletariat. In one way only can peace be established and peace be safeguarded – by the victory of the socialist proletariat! (Prolonged applause)

What general tactical considerations must we deduce from this? How can we best deal with the situation with which we are likely to be confronted in the immediate future? Your first conclusion will doubtless be a hope that the fall of the Ebert-Scheidemann government is at hand, and that its place will be taken by a declared socialist proletarian revolutionary government. For my part, I would ask you to direct your attention, not to the apex, but to the base. We must not again fall into the illusion of the first phase of the revolution, that of November 9; we must not think that when we wish to bring about a socialist revolution it will surfice to overthrow the capitalist government and to set up another in its place. There is only one way of achieving the victory of the proletarian revolution.

We must begin by undermining the Ebert-Scheidemann government, by destroying its foundations through a revolutionary mass struggle on the part of the proletariat. Moreover, let me remind you of some of the inadequacies of the German revolution, inadequacies which have not been overcome with the close of the first act of the revolution. We are far from having reached a point when the overthrow of the government can ensure the victory of socialism. I have endeavoured to show you that the revolution of November 9 was, before all, a political revolution; whereas the revolution which is to fulfill our aims, must, in addition, and mainly, be an economic revolution. But further, the revolutionary movement was confined to the towns, and even up to the present date the rural districts remain practically untouched. Socialism would prove illusory if it were to leave our present agricultural system unchanged. From the broad outlook of socialist economics, manufacturing industry cannot be remodelled unless it be quickened through a socialist transformation. of agriculture. The leading idea of the economic transformation that will realize socialism is an abolition of the contrast and the division between town and country. This separation, this conflict, this contradiction, is a purely capitalist phenomenon, and it must disappear as soon as we place ourselves upon the socialist standpoint.

If socialist reconstruction is to be undertaken in real ernest, we must direct attention just as much to the open country as to the industrial centres, and yet as regards the former we have not even taken the first steps. This is essential not merely because we cannot bring about socialism without socializing, agriculture’; but also because, while we may think we have reckoned to the last reserves of the counter-revolution against us and our endeavours, there remains another important reserve which has not yet been taken into account: I refer to the peasantry. Precisely because the peasants are still untouched by socialism, they constitute an additional reserve for the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. The first thing our enemies will do when the flames of the socialist strikes begin to scorch their heels will be to mobilize the peasants, who are fanatical devotees of private property. There is only one way of making headway against this threatening counter-revolutionary power. We must carry the class struggle into the country districts; we must mobilize the landless proletariat and the poorer peasants against the richer peasants. (Loud applause)

From this consideration we must deduce what we have to do to, insure the success of the revolution. First and foremost, we have to extend in all directions the system of workers councils,. What we have taken over from November 9 are mere weak beginning, and we, have not wholly taken over even these. During the first phase of the revolution we actually lost extensive forces that were acquired at the very outset. You are aware that the counter-revolution has been engaged in the systematic destruction of the system of workers and soldiers councils. In Hesse, these councils have been definitely abolished by the counter-revolutionary government; elsewhere, power has been wrenched from their hands. Not merely, then, have we to develop the system of workers and soldiers councils, but we have to induce the agricultural labourers and the poorer peasants to adopt this system. We have to seize power, and the problem of the seizure of power assumes this aspect; what, throughout Germany, can each workers and soldiers council achieve? (Bravo!) There lies the source of power. We must mine the bourgeois state and we must do so by putting an end everywhere to the cleavage in public powers, to the cleavage between legislative and executive powers. These powers must be united in the hands of the workers and soldiers councils.

Comrades, we have here as extensive field to till. We must build from below upward, until the workers and soldiers councils gather so much strength that the overthrow of the Ebert-Scheidemann or any similar government will be merely the final act in the drama; For us the conquest of power will not be effected at one blow. It will be a progressive act, for we shall progressively occupy all the positions. of the capitalist state, defending tooth and nail each one that we seize. Moreover, in my view and in that of my most intimate associates in the party, the economic struggle, likewise, will be carried on by the workers councils. The settlement of economic affairs; and the continued expansion of the area .Of this settlement, must b in the ’hands of the workers councils. The councils must have all power in the state. To these ends must we direct our activities in the immediate future, and it is obvious that, if we pursue this line, there cannot fail to be an enormous and immediate intensification of the struggle. For step by step, by hand to hand fighting, in every province, in every town, in every village, in every commune, all the powers of the state have to be transferred bit by bit from the bourgeoisie to the workers and soldiers councils.

But before these steps can be taken, the members of our own party and the proletarians in general, must be schooled and disciplined. Even where workers and soldiers councils already exist, these councils are as yet far from understanding the purposes, for which they exist. (Hear! Hear!) We must make the masses realize that the workers and soldiers council has to be the central feature of the machinery of state, that it must concentrate all power within itself, and must utilize all powers for the one great purpose of bringing about the socialist revolution. Those workers who are already organized to form workers and soldiers councils are still very far from having adopted such an outlook, and only isolated proletarian minorities are as yet clear as to the tasks that devolve upon them. But there is no reason to complain of this, for it is a normal state of affairs. The masses must learn how to use power, by using power. There is no other way. We have, happily, advanced since the days when it was proposed to “educate” the proletariat socialistically. Marxists of Kautsky’s school are, it would seem, still living in those vanished days. To, educate the proletarian masses socialistically meant to deliver lectures to them, to circulate leaflets and pamphlets among them. But it is not by such means that the proletarians will be schooled. The workers, today, will learn in the school of action. (Hear! Hear!)

Our Scripture reads: In the beginning was the deed. Action for us means that the workers and soldiers councils must realize their mission and must learn how to become the sole public authorities throughout the realm. Thus only can we mine the ground so effectively as to make everything ready for the revolution which will crown our work. Quite deliberately, and with a clear sense of the significance of our words, did some of us say to you yesterday, did I in particular say to you: “Do not imagine that you are going to have an easy time in the future!” Some of the comrades have falsely imagined me to assume that we can boycott the National Assembly and then simply fold our arms. It is impossible, in the time that remains, to discuss this matter fully, but let me say that I never dreamed of anything of the kind. My meaning was that history is not going to make our revolution an easy matter like the bourgeois revolutions. In those revolutions it sufficed to overthrow that official power at the centre and to replace a dozen or so of persons in authority. But we have to work from beneath. Therein is displayed the mass character of our revolution, one which aims at transforming the whole structure of society. It is thus characteristic of the modern proletarian revolution, that we must effect the conquest of political power, not from above, but from beneath.

Lees hieronder verder...
_________________

"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005


Laatst aangepast door Percy Toplis op 30 Dec 2010 20:37, in totaal 1 keer bewerkt
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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 20:37    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Deel 2...

The 9th of November was an attempt, a weakly half-hearted, half-conscious and chaotic attempt, to overthrow the existing public authority and to put an end to ownership rule. What is now incumbent upon us is that we should deliberately concentrate all the forces of the proletariat for an attack upon the very foundations of capitalist society. There, at the root, where the individual employer confronts his wage slaves; at the root where all the executive organs of ownership rule confront the object of this rule, confront the masses; there 2 step by step, we must seize the means of power from the rulers, must take them into our own hands Working by such methods, it may seem that the process will be a rather more tedious one than we had imagined in our first enthusiasm. It is well, 1 think, that we should be perfectly clear as to all the difficulties and complications in the way of revolution. For I hope that, as in my own case, so in yours also, the augmenting tasks we have to undertake will neither abate zeal nor paralyze. energy. Far from it, the greater the task, the more fervently will you gather up your forces. Nor must we forget that the revolution is able to do its work with extraordinary speed. I shall make no attempt to foretell how much time will be required. Who among us cares about the time, so long only as our lives suffice to bring it to pass? Enough for us to know clearly the work we have to do; and to the best of my ability I have endeavoured to sketch, in broad outline, the work that lies before us. (Tumultuous applause)

Footnotes
[1] The draft programme of the Communist Party of Germany was adopted at the Berlin Congress in December 1919. The revolutionary minority group in the German Democracy led by Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and Franz Mehring, first called themselves the Group of the International. The decision was taken on New Year’s Day 1916 at Liebknecht’s house in Berlin. They had issued Die Internationale in April 1915 and the paper had been promptly banned. From September 20, 1916 letters signed in the name of Spartacus (a Thracian gladiator who led a slave revolt against Rome 73-71 BC) began to appear illegally. They were mainly the work of Luxemburg. The group then became known as the Spartacusbund. Till December 1918, the group formally adhered to the Independent Socialist Party as its left wing, but had its own organization and leadership. At the Berlin Congress, on December 31, 1918, the Spartacusbund changed its name to the Communist Party of Germany.
[1*] Rosa Luxemburg was unaware that Engels’ preface had bee censored so extensively by the SPD Executive that it falsified his views. A tactical argument about the use of barricades was transformed into an argument against military struggle in the revolution. Engels protested vehemently against this bowdlerisation of his arguments but died before he could resolve the issue. The falsification of his views only came to light due to the researches of David Riazanov during the 1920s.


http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1918/12/30.htm
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 30 Dec 2010 20:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Meierijsche Courant, Woensdag 31 December 1919.

Borkel en Schaft. Ten bate der arme Oostenrijksche kinderen werd alhier door de ingezetene een bedrag aan boter afgestaan van f 250,-.

http://www.shgv.nl/KrantenArtikelen/19192.htm
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"Omdat ik alles beter weet is het mijn plicht om betweters te minachten."
Marcel Wauters, Vlaams schrijver en kunstenaar 1921-2005
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Dec 2017 20:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Red Roses @ 31 Dec 2017 17:47 schreef:
" Midnight; successions of coloured lights from one point, of white pendants from another, bullying salutes of guns in brief bombardment, echoes racing into space, crackling of machine-guns small on the tingling air; but the sole answer to unspoken but importunate questions was the line of lights in the same relation to Flanders and our lives as at midnight a year before. All agreed that 1917 had been a sad offender. All observed that 1918 did not look promising at its birth, or commissioned "to solve this dark enigma scrawled in blood. "

Edmund Blunden, December 31, 1917 / New Year's Day 1918

Geschreven in een kampement met uitzicht over de slagvelden van Ieper:

'Het was bitter koud en de diepe sneeuw overal rondom lag er bevroren bij.'

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Don't lose your temper--no one else wants it
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