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Reich Chancellor Max von Baden (1918)
On October 3, 1918, Prince Max von Baden (1867-1929), heir to the throne in the Grand Duchy of Baden and chairman of its First Chamber since 1907, was appointed Reich Chancellor and successor to Georg Graf Hertling. At the beginning of the war Prince Max had been a member of the staff of the General Command of the XIV battalion. In October 1914 he became the honorary chairman of the Red Cross Society in Baden. To contemporaries, Prince Max appeared personable and relatively liberal, but he was not without contradictions. His closest advisor was Kurt Hahn, a member of the German-Jewish bourgeoisie, and yet he also maintained a friendly correspondence with the radical anti-Semite Houston Stewart Chamberlain. Privately, Prince Max rejected the notion that Western parliamentarianism could serve as a model for Germany and continued to entertain the possibility of German annexations, as long as it was a matter of “ethical imperialism.” To facilitate a ceasefire on the basis of Wilson’s Fourteen Points, he appointed representatives of the majority parties (the Social Democratic Party, the Center Party, and the Left-Liberal Party) to his cabinet. Additionally, during his five-week tenure as Reich Chancellor, he passed constitutional amendments and acted upon the demand (voiced by the United States, in particular) for parliamentary reform and the democratization of the German Empire. On November 9, 1918, Prince Max ceded the chancellorship to Friedrich Ebert. Photo: Gebrüder Hirsch.