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Synopsis

The developments leading up to the German Revolution of November, 1918, and the events marking the course of the revolution itself are still but imperfectly known or understood in America. For nearly two years preceding the overthrow of the monarchy, Americans, like the people of all Other countries opposing Germany, were dependent for their direct information upon the reports of neutral correspondents, and a stringent censorship prevented these from reporting anything of value regarding the conditions that were throughout this period gradually making the German Empire ripe for its fall. To a great extent, indeed, not only these foreign journalists, but the great mass of the Germans themselves, had little knowledge of the manner in which the Empire was being undermined. During the crucial days of the revolution, up to the complete overthrow of the central government at Berlin, a sharpened censorship prevented any valuable direct news from being sent out, and the progress of events was told to the outside world mainly by travelers, excited soldiers on the Danish frontier and two or three-day-old German newspapers whose editors were themselves not only handicapped by the censorship, but also ignorant of much that had happened and unable to present a clear picture of events as a whole. When the bars were finally thrown down to enemy correspondents, the exigencies of daily newspaper work required them to devote their undivided attention to the events that were then occurring. Hence the developments preceding and attending the revolution could not receive that careful consideration and portrayal which is necessary if they are to be properly understood. An attempt is made in this book to make clear the factors and events that made the revolution possible, and to give a broad outline of its second phase, from the middle of November, 1918, to the ratification by Germany of the Peace of Versailles. A preliminary description of Germany's governmental structure, although it may contain nothing new to readers who know Germany well, could not be omitted. It is requisite for a comprehension of the strength of the forces and events that finally overthrew the Kaiser. Much of the history told deals with matters of which the author has personal knowledge. He had been for several years before the war resident in Berlin as an Associated Press correspondent. He was in Vienna when the Dual Monarchy declared war on Serbia, and in Berlin during mobilization and the declarations of war on Russia and France. He was with the German armies on all fronts during the first two years of the war as correspondent, and was in Berlin two weeks before America severed diplomatic relations with Germany. The author spent the summer of 1917 in Russia, and watched the progress of affairs in Germany from Stockholm and Copenhagen during the winter of 1917-18. He spent the three months preceding the German Revolution in Copenhagen, in daily touch with many proved sources of information, and was the first enemy correspondent to enter Germany after the armistice, going to Berlin on November 18, 1918. He attended the opening sessions of the National Assembly at Weimar in February, 1919, and remained in Germany until the end of March, witnessing both the first and second attempts of the Spartacans to overthrow the Ebert-Haase government

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