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Communism in Germany under the Weimar Republic by Ben Fowkes

By Ben Fowkes

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9 But Rosa's arguments prevailed. Meanwhile the Free Corps units pressed into service by Gustav Noske were on the march. Noske's intentions were made clear by the government's proclamation of 8 January accusing the Spartacists of bringing terror and anarchy and announcing 'the hour of decision is drawing near'. 10 The reply of the extreme left was defiant: 'General Strike! To arms! Into the streets for the last battle, for victory! >~ 1 The RSB (League of Red Soldiers), the Spartacists' military organisation, also called for armed resistance.

THE DEFEAT AND EXPULSION OF THE SEMISYNDICALIST OPPOSITION In August 1919 the 'leftist' mood was still uppermost in the party; by October things had changed. The Levi Zentrale received a rough ride at the Frankfurt Conference of August. The core of the opposition, represented by the districts of Bremen and Hamburg, was supported on issues of organisation by the majority of the delegates at the conference, and a resolution from Laufenberg calling for the representation of organisations according to the strength of their membership was accepted over Levi's objections (the leftists were well entrenched in the largest districts).

The other members of the Spartacist Zentrale seem to have shared Levi's assumption that a general strike covering the whole of Germany would somehow lead automatically to a German 'Soviet Republic' or 'Republic of Councils'. Therefore there was great excitement when in early April it seemed as if the partial strikes were beginning to coincide. The first Leipzig issue of Die Rote Fahne (11 April) noted that there were simultaneous strike movements on the Ruhr, in Stuttgart, Magdeburg and Brunswick, and, above all, that a Council Republic had just been proclaimed in Munich.

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