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Red Flags on the Rhine


Aggressivenutmeg
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Die Arbeitereinheitsfront

The country was in shambles. The economy was in a total downturn, productivity was at an all time high as working hours had increased, but profitability was at an all time low. Overproduction had forced the industrial firms of the Ruhr to scale back their production, sack workers, and cut wages. Hunger and unemployment were rife, and strikes were at an all time high. To make matters worse for the Hessian ruling class, Russia had undergone it’s own revolution and the workers of the Rhineland were inspired with revolutionary spirit. After months of demonstrations, in which the red flag featured prominently, a general strike had been arranged for the entire country. The social democrats, who the workers had traditionally look towards for leadership, had shown themselves to be in the arms of the establishment. The party had backed the government every step of the way, denounced the strikes and any opposition to the economic policies of the state. In Duisburg, a mass demonstration was being led by a small band of radicals, calling themselves the Spartakusbund, who had found support from the workers due to their uncompromising attitude towards the bourgeois state...

 

[hr]

 

Friedrich had never been so excited in his life. The mass of people around him, workers and the unemployed, carried union banners and red flags. Everyone wore a red cockade or arms band, some were resting rifles on their shoulders while they cried the chants. Friedrich was at the head of one of the three columns now moving through the centre of Duisburg. There were no police, the months of striking and riots had forced them of the streets. Groups of unemployed workers had taken it upon themselves to keep law and order, beating up any police who dared to show themselves in uniform. The destination of the mass demonstration was the Rathaus - the city hall. When they burst through the doors, Friedrich had rushed up the stairs to the small balcony that overlooked the Alter Markt where the demonstrators now gathered. Friedrich had been ready for this for a long time. It had been the stuff of dreams when in university, the fantasies of a young marxist.

When he was at the balcony, he waved his red flag, gathering the attention of the masses below. The noise of their cheering and chanting was deafening, as a thousand megaphones rang out at once. Soon enough, the crowed had calmed down, and with a few calls for quiet they fell to silence.

"Workers and Soldiers of Germany! Today, we follow our proletarian brothers and sisters in Russia and throw off the shackles of capitalist oppression. Our blood has been spilt for centuries toiling in the factories of the bourgeoisie and fighting in imperialist wars, so the all the wealth of the world could be carved up between the parasites that sit atop the ladder of society. The day of Liberty had dawned. I proclaim the free Socialist Republic of all Germans. We extend our hand to them and ask them to complete the world revolution. Those of you who want the world revolution, raise your hands!" Thousands of hands rose up.
 
"Die vereinigte Arbeiterklasse wird niemals besiegt werden!"

 

OOC: I forgot the war got retconned, I'll just quietly edit the references out...

Edited by Aggressivenutmeg
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"We, the working People of Russia, hereby accept the hand of Friendship and Comradery of our proletarian brothers and sisters in Germany. We shall strive to provide support and assistance to the class-conscious workers of Germany to ensure the final victory over the decadent bourgeois oppressors. The Russian workers shall stand united with their German comrades under the High Banner of Revolution!"
- Deputy Foreign Commissar, Antonin Volgin
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Unfortunately for the likes of Friedrich and the others who supported his same ideals and wishes most of the citizens of Hesse had already shown their wishes to join with the Kingdom of Hannover and so this revolutionary party would only be in its minority among the total populace. Worse for them they would soon encounter the military might of the Imperial Hannover armed forces who would swiftly move in to arrest and detain any revolutionaries they met. Without any weapons or military power of their own they would be unable to halt the Imperial armed forces and so would be left with little option but to surrender or face imprisonment.

 

"Nations of the world, following the collapse of the Hessian government the people of Hesse have made a request to be governed by the Kingdom of Hannover and we have readily agreed to this request. This Socialist Republic of all Germans is nothing more than a select minority among the populace that are seeking to cause diversion and unrest among the populace and we will not allow this to happen. All members of the Socialist Republic of all Germans are ordered to hand themselves over to the authorities immediately." 

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OOC: Hell, yes. I still know when I listened to those songs.

 

IC:

 

Confidential

 

While Greater Romania had worked on finding a way to get along with a Soviet state at its borders, Romanian elites still were far from embracing communist revolutionaries everywhere. The revolution in Germany set of alarm bells among the landed nobility and the industrialists of Romania who saw in it a problematic development. Within hours of the news reaching Bucharest, the Siguranța was thus already working on effective responses to the revolutionary threat. A close eye would be kept on the new state, while no official statements on the matter were released.

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"We, the working People of Russia, hereby accept the hand of Friendship and Comradery of our proletarian brothers and sisters in Germany. We shall strive to provide support and assistance to the class-conscious workers of Germany to ensure the final victory over the decadent bourgeois oppressors. The Russian workers shall stand united with their German comrades under the High Banner of Revolution!"
- Deputy Foreign Commissar, Antonin Volgin

 

 

“On behalf of the proletariat of Germany and of Hesse in particular, we thank you for the words of support. Our struggle against the bourgeoisie of Germany and Hesse continues, but we are confident that the power of the working class will overcome.”

- Executive Committee of the Spartakusbund

[hr]

Solidaritätslied

In the days following the storming of the Duisburg Rathaus, the situation in Hesse had changed dramatically. At the same time Friedrich and the Spartakusbund had been proclaiming socialism in Duisburg, the Trade Union leadership had led the workers of Wiesbaden to the parliament building, where the Social Democratic leaders had met the crowd and proclaimed a “Republic of Hesse”, and installed themselves as the governing party. In the rest of the countries major population centres, there was a hodge-podge mix of mass workers and soldiers meetings, and local governments who had declared support for the Republic in Wiesbaden.

In the Ruhr cities, the mass meetings of workers and soldiers held sway over most of the population, and things were radicalising fast. Factories were occupies and Factory Committees elected. The Spartakusbund found themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number of prospective members. Elections for Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, and Dortmund Arbeiterräte (Workers' Councils), as well as a greater Ruhr Arbeiterrat had been organised by the Spartakusbund in the mass meetings of workers and soldiers. Posters calling on the workers to seize their factories had been plastered all over the Ruhr cities.

The Sozialdemokratische Partei Hessen (SPH), who controlled the Wiesbaden Government, had neither the strength nor the will to crush the workers and soldiers councils. While they were a nuisance, they were something that could easily be co-opted and ingrained into the state. In fact, they organised for Arbeiterräte to be elected in Mainz, Cologne, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, and all the other major towns and cities outside of the radicalised Ruhr region. The mass unrest had forced the government in Wiesbaden to tack sharply to the left and enact a series of serious social and economic reforms including; the rationing and even distribution of bread, recognising democracy within the army, and allowing the factory committees to continue their work of democratically organising production. They also had other concerns. Hanoverian and Alvonian armies had invaded Hesse upon the fall of the old regime.

With the mutinies and the general unrest, the army could not be properly organised to meet the invaders, and there was a frantic attempt to raise an SPH loyal militia to defend Wiesbaden and the republican government. The Wiesbaden Government would leave the Ruhr to the Hanoverians. If it was taken and the revolutionaries there crushed by the northerners, all the better.
 
When word began to spread in the Ruhr region, the Soldiers' Committees - under the leadership of Spartakust soldiers - immediately began distributing weapons to volunteers. Creates of spare rifles were sent to the factories, under workers control or not. Thousands took up the call to arms against the Hanoverians. Barricades were flung up in the streets, munitions factory workers began to work around the clock to make weapons and ammunition. Soldiers and the newly raised militia elected the Revolutionäre Verteidigungsausschuß (RVA) to oversee the defence of the cities and the intense street fighting everyone was preparing for.
 
OOC: To clarify the numbers of the militia, ~10,000 militiamen and loyal soldiers are stationed in the south, around Wiesbaden and Mainz/Frankfurt. These are under the control of the Wiesbaden Government. ~50,000 soldiers and militiamen(and women) are in the Ruhr region. They are under the control of the revolutionaries. Most of them just have a rifle, there are some machine guns and some AT weapons. All tank regiments are still in a shambles and undeclared for either side.

Edited by Aggressivenutmeg
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As suddenly as they had arrived the Imperial Hannover military forces began to withdraw from the territory of Hesse though they would take a substantial number of volunteer Hessian citizens with them. These citizens were the ones who had requested governance by the Kingdom of Hannover and they would not be abandoned. A sizable portion of the old Hessian military would also withdraw with the Imperial Hannover military bringing a lot of equipment and experience with them. For now the land was given to the revolutionaries but the people had been brought back to a new home. 

 

"The Kingdom of Hannover will grant tentative recognition to a new socialist state to our South this recognition will however, be removed if this new state proofs to be a danger to the Kingdom or to anyone who does not wish to follow the new government. An open invitation is also granted to those citizens who wished to belong to the Kingdom and we expect and hope that this new Republic will grant such people the choice to leave as they wish".

 

"We also expect Alvonia to respect and recognise this new government and state". 

Edited by Kevin Kingswell
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