5 – 11 January
Heavy fighting in the streets of Berlin As part of the “Spartacus League Uprising”, the parties furthest to the left (KPD, USPD, and the Revolutionary Stewards) demand power for the workers’ and soldiers’ councils and that the National Assembly not be convened. With not enough regular troops available to put down the uprising, the Reich’s Minister of Defense Noske (SPD) deploys Freikorps (volunteer paramilitary militias), leading to a bloody repression. [UB; EK]
Free Corps troops kill Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in Berlin. [EK]
Paris Peace Conference starts, with the defeated Central Powers excluded. [EK]
Advocates of parliamentary democracy (SPD, DDP, and the Center Party) win two-thirds of National Assembly seats in the elections. 30.524 million of the 36.766 million eligible voters show up at the polls (83% turnout). The SPD garners 11.509 million votes (37.9%), winning 165 seats; the CVP (later the Center Party) gets 5.980 million votes (19.7%), getting 91 seats; the DDP gets 5.641 million votes (18.5%), thus taking 75 seats; the DNVP gets 3.121 million votes (10.3%), winning 44 seats; the USPD gets 2.317 million votes (7.6%), taking 22 seats; the DVP garners 1.345 million votes (4.4%), getting 19 seats, and other parties get 1.6% of the votes, thus taking 7 seats.
At a gala performance of Friedrich Schiller’s William Tell in Weimar’s Landestheater (regional theater), Director Hardt announces that the theater’s name shall be changed to “Deutsche Nationaltheater Weimar (DNT)” to reflect the fact that the National Assembly is soon to convene in Weimar. [EK; PK]
For political and military security reasons, the interim government of the Reich chooses Weimar as the location for the National Assembly. The DNT is chosen for the Assembly’s plenary sessions. [PK]
At the states’ conference in Berlin, the representatives of the individual states protest the published draft of the constitution, calling it overly unitary and centralizing and ensuring that they will have federalist rights to participate in decision-making via a States’ Committee (later “Reich Council”).