Burgfriedenspolitik

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Karl Liebknecht Karl Liebknecht.jpg
Karl Liebknecht

Burgfriedenspolitik (German: [ˈbʊʁkfʁiːdn̩s.poliˌtiːk] )—literally "castle peace politics" but more accurately a political policy of "party truce" — is a German term used for the political truce the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the other political parties agreed to during World War I. The trade unions refrained from striking, the SPD voted for war credits in the Reichstag and the parties agreed not to criticize the government and its war. There were several reasons for the Burgfrieden politics: the Social Democrats believed it was their patriotic duty to support the government in war; they were afraid of government repression should they protest against the war; they feared living under an autocratic Russian Czar more than the German constitutional monarchy and its Kaiser; and they hoped to achieve political reforms after the war, including the abrogation of the inequitable three-class voting system, by cooperating with the government.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Social Democratic Party of Germany political party in Germany

The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

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The only member of parliament of any party to vote against war credits in the second session was Karl Liebknecht. In the third session on 20 March 1915, Otto Rühle joined him. Over the course of the war the number of SPD politicians opposed to the war steadily increased. Their resistance against the Burgfrieden politics led to the expulsion of Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin, and others from the SPD. These went on to found the Spartacist League, the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD), and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).

Karl Liebknecht German socialist and a co-founder of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany

Karl Paul August Friedrich Liebknecht was a German socialist, originally in the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and later a co-founder with Rosa Luxemburg of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany which split way from the SPD. He is best known for his opposition to World War I in the Reichstag and his role in the Spartacist uprising of 1919. The uprising was crushed by the SPD government and the Freikorps. Liebknecht and Luxemburg were executed.

Otto Rühle German Marxist activist

Otto Rühle was a student of Alfred Adler and a German Marxist active in opposition to both the First and Second World Wars. He was a founder along with Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Franz Mehring and others of the group and magazine Internationale, which posed a revolutionary internationalism against a world of warring states, and also the Spartacist League in 1916.

Rosa Luxemburg Polish Marxist theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary

Rosa Luxemburg was a Polish Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist and revolutionary socialist who became a naturalized German citizen at the age of 28. Successively, she was a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD) and the Communist Party of Germany (CPD).

The only trade union to refuse the Burgfrieden was the Free Association of German Trade Unions (FVdG), which would later become the Free Workers' Union of Germany (FAUD). [1]

Free Association of German Trade Unions trade union

The Free Association of German Trade Unions was a trade union federation in Imperial and early Weimar Germany. It was founded in 1897 in Halle under the name Representatives' Centralization of Germany as the national umbrella organization of the localist current of the German labor movement. The localists rejected the centralization in the labor movement following the sunset of the Anti-Socialist Laws in 1890 and preferred grassroots democratic structures. The lack of a strike code soon led to conflict within the organization. Various ways of providing financial support for strikes were tested before a system of voluntary solidarity was agreed upon in 1903, the same year that the name Free Association of German Trade Unions was adopted.

Free Workers Union of Germany anarcho-syndicalist trade union in Germany

The Free Workers' Union of Germany was an anarcho-syndicalist trade union in Germany. It stemmed from the Free Association of German Trade Unions (FDVG) which combined with the Ruhr region's Freie Arbeiter Union on September 15, 1919. The FAUD was involved in the revolution in Germany from 1918–1923, and continued to be involved in the German labor movement after the FAUD began to decline in 1923. After 1921, the FAUD added an "AS" to their name, signifying a full transition from simple syndicalism to anarcho-syndicalism. This also led to further difficulties between the intellectual elites of the FAUD (AS), such as Rudolf Rocker, and the rank and file workers, mostly in the Ruhr, who were more worried about "bread and butter" issues than anarchist political activities. These workers, the majority of the FAUD-(AS) members, formed the Gelsenkircherichtung within the movement, and given the movements federalist structure, began to drift away from the FAUD-(AS) intellectually and organizationally. Eventually, those workers who had joined during the revolution left the movement and the remaining FAUD-(AS) members came from the FDVG's original constituencies of the building trades and specialized textile workers. The Nazis suppressed the FAUD in January 1933 after coming to power. However, many of its members continued to do political work illegally and organized resistance against the Nazi regime, both in Germany and elsewhere. The International Workers Association, of which the FAUD was a member, was founded upon the initiative of the German organization in 1922. The Free Workers' Union (FAU), which was founded in 1977, sees itself in the tradition of the FAUD. At its peak, the FAUD had 150,000 members. The primary organ of the FAUD was the newspaper Der Syndikalist, which was first published in December 1918, and continued until the groups suppression by the Nazis.

See also

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References

  1. Thorpe 2000 , p. 195.

Further reading

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