- Member of the Council of People’s Representatives
- Minister of Defense from 1919 to 1920
- Oberpräsident (Governor) in Hannover from 1920 to 1933
Gustav Noske was arguably the Weimar Republic’s most controversial Social Democrat. He joined the party in 1884 and served in the Reichstag from 1906, where he made his mark in military affairs. This work already put him at odds with the party’s left wing. In October 1918, he was sent to Kiel, where he pacified the sailors’ uprising. After the USPD left the Council of People’s Representatives, Gustav Noske was promoted, taking on the Army and Navy portfolios. With his statement “Someone has to be the bloodhound”, he deployed the Freikorps units to put down the left’s attempted revolution, granting the Freikorps sweeping authority. This allowed an unleashed band of soldiers to murder defenseless people in many parts of Germany. Noske was Minister of Defense until the Kapp Putsch, but he had to resign in 1920. He then took on the post of Oberpräsident in Hannover, staying in office there until 1933. During the Third Reich, he was in the resistance and imprisoned in Ravensbrück concentration camp.