Front page of The Evening World, New York: 7 November 1918

In the run-up to Remembrance Sunday, it’s time to commemorate not only the end of World War I but the revolution that forced an end to hostilities.

Early in November 1918, sailors on the German fleets mutinied, refusing to attack British ships. Their anti-war revolt spread like wildfire, quickly reaching the southern state of Bavaria.

On  7 November some 60,000 people gathered on Munich’s Theresienwiese (the big field where the Oktoberfest is held nowadays) demanding peace, freedom and an end to the war.

Revolutionaries, inspired by writer-journalist Kurt Eisner organised a Constituent Soldiers, Workers and Peasants Council. By midnight of November 8, the council (Rat) proclaimed the founding of the People’s Free State of Bavaria – Freier Volkstaat Bayern.

A proclamation posted up in the streets of Munich announced that Bavaria was now a free state. It called for unity of the left and on the workers and citizens of Munich to help self-govern and “collaborate in the new freedom”.

Read what happened then here: One hundred days that shook Bavaria

 

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