The German Revolution of 1918 ended the First World War. During a little-known episode of the Revolution, German soldiers liberated Belgium from a brutal military occupation before the armistice of the 11 November was signed. This revolutionary movement was also crucial in pushing through a swift introduction of universal general suffrage in Belgium.

Coming just one year after the mighty events of Red October in Russia, power was taken into the hands of the masses. Yet the socialist revolution ultimately failed. The consequences of that failure would be most brutally felt over a decade later with the rise of fascism in Germany and the consolidation of Stalinism in Russia.

The following editorial is the last known piece of writing by Rosa Luxemburg. It was written just after the Spartacus uprising was crushed by the German government and in the hours prior to the arrest and murder of her and Karl Liebknecht by the Friekorps.

Written in January 1917, Lenin analyses the cynical imperialist manoeuvres behind World War One and puts forward the proletarian revolutionary alternative as the only way out of the impasse for the working class.

The international situation is becoming increasingly clear and increasingly menacing. Both belligerent coalitions have latterly revealed the imperialist nature of the war in a very striking way. The more assiduously the capitalist governments and the bourgeois and socialist pacifists spread their empty, lying pacifist phrases—the talk of a democratic peace, a peace without annexations, etc.—the sooner are they exposed. Germany is crushing several small nations under her iron heel with the very evident determination not to give up her booty except by exchanging part of it for enormous colonial possessions, and she is using hypocritical pacifist phrases as a cover for her readiness to conclude an immediate imperialist peace.

For the soldiers, the war was a seemly unending nightmare; for the civilians on the home front, especially the women, hardly less so. In the end large tracts of Europe lay wasted, millions were dead or wounded. The great majority of casualties were from the working class. Survivors lived on with severe mental trauma. The streets of every European city were full of limbless veterans. Nations were bankrupt—not just the losers, but also the victors.

Under Fire: The Story of a Squad (French: Le Feu: journal d'une escouade) by Henri Barbusse was written in December 1916. It was one of the first novels about the First World War to be published and was based on Barbusse's personal experiences as a soldier in the French Army on the Western Front. Le Feu made an immediate impact, winning the prestigious Prix Goncourt the same year it was published. It remains one of the great novels about the "war to end all wars”.

In 1915, while Churchill was preparing his disastrous Gallipoli adventure, British diplomacy was attempting to win allies for its war against the Turks in the Balkans. The British mission in Sofia reported that Bulgaria might be prepared to attack Turkey, although this hope was soon dashed when Bulgaria joined the Central Powers to attack Serbia instead. In early March Churchill received more encouraging news from Athens. The Greek Prime Minister Venizelos promised to send three army divisions to Gallipoli. He assured a gleeful Churchill that the King Constantine, known to be pro-German, would not object.

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