Impacts of the Russian Revolution on Weimar Germany

Avtor(ji): Schulz, Andreas
Jezik: angleški
Vrsta gradiva: Video
Leto: 2017
Založnik(i): Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino, Ljubljana
Soavtor(ji): Damijan Guštin (org. odb.), Jurij Perovšek (org. odb.), Jure Gašparič (org. odb.), Filip Čuček (org. odb.), Mojca Šorn (org. odb.)


  • Vsi metapodatki
    • dcterms:identifier http://hdl.handle.net/11686/38132
    • dcterms:title
      • Impacts of the Russian Revolution on Weimar Germany
    • dcterms:alternative
      • Vplivi ruske revolucije na weimarsko Nemčijo
    • dcterms:creator
      • Andreas Schulz
    • dcterms:subject
      • oktobrska revolucija
      • Nemčija
      • October revolution
      • Germany
    • dcterms:abstract
      • Revolucije v Rusiji so različno vplivale na narode, ki so se bojevali v prvi svetovni vojni. Medtem ko so zmagovalne sile antante kmalu spet vzpostavile parlamentarno vladavino, so revolucionarne vstaje pometle z monarhijami centralnih sil. Čeprav so se pričakovanja glede nemškega rdečega oktobra hitro razblinila, je vredno posvetiti pozornost morebitnim dolgoročnim vplivom ruske revolucije na liberalno demokracijo v weimarski republiki. Prispevek preučuje spremembe na treh ravneh, vključno s političnimi institucijami, gospodarskim in družbenim redom ter demografsko strukturo nemškega prebivalstva. Leto 1917 je bilo prelomno za monarhije v Nemčiji in Avstriji. Ko je socialdemokratska stranka zavrnila odobritev nadaljnjih vojnih posojil, je to pomenilo konec nacionalnega soglasja o vojni, ki ga je cesar razglasil avgusta 1914. Neformalna politična koalicija "parlamentarne levice", ki je vključevala katoliški center, liberalno levico in socialne demokrate, je v Reichstagu sprejela resolucijo, s katero je javno oznanila, da bi morala Nemčija razglasiti pripravljenost za sklenitev miru brez aneksij in reparacij. Tako imenovana Friedensresolution, sprejeta julija 1917, se je jasno sklicevala na petrograjski sovjet, ki je pred tem istega leta razglasil temeljni prelom s konvencionalno logiko bojevanja in vojskovanja. Ko nemško vrhovno poveljstvo ni upoštevalo pobude parlamentarne večine, da bi Rusijo prisilili k sprejetju diktatorskega miru, in je še okrepilo brezplodna vojaška prizadevanja, je javno mnenje v Nemčiji izgubilo zaupanje v vojaško in politično vodstvo monarhije. Novice o revoluciji v Rusiji so okrepile rastoče nezadovoljstvo v Nemčiji, vendar bi težko trdili, da je bila čedalje manjša podpora javnosti posledica propagandne vojne boljševikov proti imperializmu. Propada monarhij ni povzročila domnevna zasaditev "noža v hrbet" (Dolchstoss), ki naj bi jo vodili revolucionarni elementi izdajalskega zaledja, ampak propadla strategija Siegfrieden. Če želimo torej preučiti vplive ruske revolucije, moramo pogledati onkraj političnega prevrata v Nemčiji leta 1918 in se posvetiti dolgoročni perspektivi. 1.Zaradi popolnega neuspeha vojaškega in političnega vodstva so bile ustavne reforme, vključno s podelitvijo splošne volilne pravice, neizogibne, vendar se je nenadni oktobrski vladni preobrat v republikanski sistem zgodil prepozno. Izbruhnili so upori v vojski in večjih tovarnah, ki so pripeljali naravnost do nemške novembrske revolucije. Spontani ljudski sveti vojakov in delavcev so se širili po vsej državi. Znanstvene študije soglašajo, da nemških sovjetov ali Rätebewegung ne bi smeli razumeti kot revolucionarno alternativo parlamentarni demokraciji, ampak kot sredstvo politične kontrole, ki naj bi zagotovilo prenos oblasti na stranke delavskega razreda. Vendar se pri tej razlagi ne upošteva dovolj, kako predani so bili nemški Räte ruskim sovjetom, saj so jih dojemali kot močan simbol revolucije, ki je dokazoval, da je delavski razred pripravljen na prevzem oblasti in vzpostavitev participatornega modela delavske demokracije. Zagovarjam trditev, da je bilo neodvisno gibanje nemških Räte prenos revolucionarne izkušnje iz Rusije v Nemčijo, ki je s sklicevanjem na sovjete dokazovalo svojo solidarnost. Vendar pa je revolucionarni internacionalizem kmalu izzvenel, ko si je sovjete z "železno disciplino" podredila centralizirana boljševistična strankarska oblast. Medtem ko so sovjeti postali praktično nemočni, so v Nemčiji Betriebsräte preživeli kot orodje participativne demokracije v industrijskih delovnih odnosih. Tako imenovana "Paritätische Mitbestimmung" (enaka udeležba) je še dandanes osnovi institucionalni steber socialne tržne ekonomije Zvezne republike. 2. Čeprav začetki nacionalne socialne države segajo v zadnjo četrtino 19. stoletja, ni nobenega dvoma o pomembnosti socialne zakonodaje po prvi svetovni vojni. Totalna vojna je povzročila veliko žrtev, uničila številna življenja in prizadejala finančno škodo tudi družinam doma. Žrtvam vojne je bilo treba zagotoviti nadomestilo za izgube, ki so jih utrpele. Ker je bilo treba poskrbeti za množico vojnih veteranov, invalidov, vdov, sirot, beguncev in razseljencev, so se zelo razširili državna nadomestila, pokojnine in drugi viri materialne pomoči. Socialna varnost je bila torej v bistvu materialno nadomestilo za udeležbo evropskega prebivalstva v vojni. Vendar je treba odločne zahteve po socialnih izboljšavah razlagati v tesni povezavi s krepitvijo gibanj delavskega razreda po vsej Evropi. Jasno je, da je na agendo stavk v industriji, ki so bile usmerjene proti kapitalističnemu gospodarstvu kot takemu, vplivala ruska revolucija. Sovjetska država je oznanila temeljni preobrat odnosov med delavci in delodajalci z osvoboditvijo kmetov in industrijskih delavcev kot politične sile. Delavsko gospodarsko samoupravljanje v tovarniških odborih, centralizacija distribucije in obljubljena socialistična skupnost, ki naj bi nadomestila tržne odnose, so ponujali nadomestni model nekapitalističnega političnega gospodarstva. Ruska izkušnja je torej za zahodni kapitalizem še naprej pomenila vir spodbud in izzivov, ki je prisilil povojne vlade k izboljšanju socialnih odnosov. Korporativizem in organizirani kapitalizem v Angliji ali weimarski Nemčiji je tako mogoče vsaj delno opredeliti kot reakcijo na sovjetski "državni kapitalizem", ki je prinesla preventivno socialno zakonodajo, katere namen je bil disciplinirati in integrirati delovno silo. 3. Vojna in revolucija sta povzročili premike prebivalstva, kakršnih dotlej še ni bilo, zlasti v vzhodni in jugovzhodni Evropi. Razpad imperijev je povzročil množičen demografski odliv izseljencev, ki so ustvarili nove etnične mestne četrti v državah, ki so jih sprejele. Etnično čiščenje je izviralo iz vojne, ko so bile narodnostne manjšine osumljene kot sovražni tujci, ki ogrožajo nacionalno politično telo. Državljanska vojna v Rusiji je spodbudila ogroženo sovjetsko vlado k razselitvi dela domačega prebivalstva, osumljenega kot politično nezanesljivega. Povzročila je drugi val množičnega preseljevanja, ki je sledil milijonom beguncev, ki so bežali pred vojno in nasiljem znotraj ozemlja carske Rusije – A Whole Empire Walking (Peter Gatrell). Begunci so bili večinoma razlaščeni in izseljeni nekdanji prebivalci plemiškega ali meščanskega porekla in pripadniki etničnih manjšin, ki so se odpravili v evropske prestolnice, na primer v Istanbul, Pariz, Prago, Beograd in Berlin, kjer so jih oblasti obravnavale kot tujce ali celo sovražne elemente, ki ogrožajo družbeno homogenost domače skupnosti. Ruski begunci brez domovine so bili tako odvisni od tega, ali so tuje države sprejele Nansenov potni list, ali pa so se morali obrniti na organizacije za pomoč beguncem, ki jih je podpiralo Društvo narodov. Priseljenci, ki so prišli v weimarsko Nemčijo, so bili obravnavani različno glede na etnično poreklo in družbeni status, kot na primer judovski begunci iz Rusije, Latvije ali Poljske, ki so bili hitro združeni v enotno etnično kategorijo, imenovano Ostjuden. Vzhodnojudovska manjšina je ostala predmet splošnega prezira, medtem ko je ruski skupnosti v weimarski Nemčiji, ki je na začetku dvajsetih let 19. stoletja štela približno pol milijona ljudi, uspelo vzpostaviti trajne kulturne in družbene strukture.
      • The Revolutions in Russia had different impacts on the belligerent nations in the First World War. While the victorious Entente countries soon returned to parliamentary government the monarchies of the Central powers were swept away by revolutionary uprisings. Although expectations of a German Red October were soon disappointed it is worthwhile paying attention to long-term effects the Russian Revolution might have had on Weimar Republic’s liberal democracy. The paper examines three levels of change including political institutions, the economic and social order, and the demographic structure of the German population. The year 1917 was a turning-point for the monarchies in Germany and Austria. When the Social Democratic Party refused to give further approval to war loans this signaled the end of the national war consent which the Emperor had proclaimed in August 1914. An informal political coalition of the "parliamentary left" which included the catholic Centre Party, Left Liberals and Social Democrats had agreed on a resolution in the Imperial Diet announcing to the world that Germany should declare its will to conclude a peace without annexations and reparations. The so-called Friedensresolution of July 1917 openly referred to the Soviet of Petrograd which had earlier in the year proclaimed a fundamental rupture with the conventional logic of fighting and waging war. When the German Supreme Command ignored the parliamentarian majority’s initiative by submitting Russia to a dictatorial Peace and intensified its useless war efforts, the public opinion in Germany lost its faith in the military and political leadership of the monarchy. News about the Revolution in Russia aggravated the growing discontent in Germany but it can hardly be claimed that the constant loss of popular loyalty was due to the propaganda war the Bolsheviks staged against imperialism. It was not the suspected "stab-in-the-back" (Dolchstoss) led by revolutionary elements of a treacherous Homefront but the failed Siegfrieden strategy which led to the collapse of the monarchies. So, if we want to reason about impacts of the Russian Revolution we have to look beyond the political turnover in Germany 1918 and take a long-term perspective. 1. The complete failure of the military and political leadership made constitutional reforms including the enfranchisement of the mass population indispensable but the October-cabinet’s sudden turn-over to a republican order came too late. Mutinies in the army and in major factories broke out leading directly to the German November Revolution. Spontaneous, grass-roots councils of soldiers and workers were spreading all over the country. Scholarship agrees that the German Soviets or Rätebewegung should not be seen as a revolutionary alternative to parliamentary democracy but as a means of political control to secure the transfer of power to the parties of the working class. However, this explanation doesn’t consider enough the Räte’s commitment to the Russian soviets which they perceived as a strong symbol of the Revolution showing that the working class was prepared to seize power and establish a participatory model of workers democracy. I would maintain that the independent Räte movement was a transfer of revolutionary experience from Russia to Germany and when they referred to the Soviets they were demonstrating solidarity. However, revolutionary Internationalism soon faded away as the soviets were subordinated to the "iron discipline" of the centralized Bolshevik party-rule. Whereas the soviets became virtually powerless, in Germany the Betriebsräte survived as an instrument of participatory democracy in industrial working relations. The so-called "Paritätische Mitbestimmung" (Equal Participation) until today remains a basic institutional pillar of the Social Market Economy of the Federal Republic. 2. Although the origins of the national welfare state go back to the last quarter of the 19th century there can be no doubt about the importance of social legislation following the First World War. Total war meant heavy casualties, broken lives and financial losses also for families at home. War victims had to be compensated for enduring sacrifices. The obligation to care for the masses of war veterans, disabled, widows and orphans, refugees and displaced persons led to a vast extension of state allowances, pensions and other sources of material relief. Social Security thus was basically a material compensation for the war commitment of European populations. But the strong demand for social improvement has to be interpreted in close relation to the rising force of working class movements all across Europe. It is evident that when industrial strikes targeted the capitalist economy as such the agenda was influenced by the Russian Revolution. The Soviet State proclaimed a fundamental reverse of labor relations setting free peasants and industrial workers as a political force. Workers’ self-governing of economy by factory committees, the centralization of distribution and the promise of a socialist community that would replace market relations offered an alternative model of a non-capitalist political economy. The Russian Experience thus remained a source of incentives and challenges for Western capitalism which forced post-war governments to improve social relations. Corporatism and organized capitalism in England or Weimar Germany thus may be seen at least partly as a reaction to Soviet "State Capitalism" bringing forth preventive Social Welfare legislation destined to discipline and integrate labor force. 3. War and Revolution caused an unprecedented population transfer especially in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. The decomposition of the Empires led to a massive demographic drain of expatriates creating new ethnic urban quarters in those countries which took them up. Ethnic cleansing had its origins in the war when national minorities were suspected as enemy aliens posing a threat to the national body politic. The Civil War in Russia motivated the beleaguered Soviet government to dislocate parts of its native population which were suspected as politically unreliable. It released a second wave of mass migration that followed the millions of people fleeing from war and violence inside the territory of Imperial Russia – a whole empire walking (Peter Gatrell). The bulk of refugees were expropriated and expatriated former residents of aristocratic or bourgeois origin and also ethnic minorities that were targeting European capitals like Constantinople, Paris, Prague, Belgrade or Berlin where authorities perceived them as strangers or even hostile elements threatening the social homogeneity of the indigenous community. Stateless émigrés from Russia thus had to rely on the acceptance of the Nansen-passport by foreign countries or address refugee relief organizations supported by the League of Nations. Immigrants arriving in Weimar-Germany were treated differently according to their ethnic origin and social status like for instance the Jewish refugees from Russia, Latvia or Poland who soon were merged into a single ethnic category labelled as Ostjuden. The East-Jewish minority population remained an object of popular disdain whereas the Russian community in Weimar-Germany which numbered about half a million people at the beginning of the 1920ies succeeded to establish enduring cultural and social structures.
    • dcterms:publisher
      • Inštitut za novejšo zgodovino, Ljubljana
    • dcterms:contributor
      • Damijan Guštin (org. odb.)
      • Jurij Perovšek (org. odb.)
      • Jure Gašparič (org. odb.)
      • Filip Čuček (org. odb.)
      • Mojca Šorn (org. odb.)
    • dcterms:type
      • Moving Image
    • dcterms:source
      • SISTORY:ID:38132
    • dcterms:language
      • eng
    • dcterms:isPartOf