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German History in Documents and Images
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Revolutionary Sailors and Soldiers Drive through the Brandenburg Gate (November 9, 1918)
The November Revolution, set in motion by the sailors’ revolt, reached the imperial capital, Berlin, on November 8, when public buildings, transportation facilities, and armaments buildings were occupied by the military. Large demonstrations ensued the next morning, which even soldiers stationed in Berlin joined. In the course of that day, events snowballed. Revolutionaries called a general strike; Reich Chancellor Max von Baden proclaimed the the Kaiser's abdication without authorization and then stepped down from his own office, leaving it to Friedrich Ebert; Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed a democratic republic; and Karl Liebknecht proclaimed a socialist soviet republic. This photograph shows soldiers and sailors waving revolutionary red flags as they move through the Brandenburg Gate into the center of Berlin. Several passers-by from bourgeois circles (judging by their clothing) seem to be observing the events with scepticism.