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Philipp Heinrich Scheidemann (26 July 1865 – 29 November 1939) was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
(SPD). On 9 November 1918, in the midst of the German Revolution of 1918–1919, he proclaimed Germany
Germany
a republic. Later, beginning in the early part of the following year, he became the second head of government of the Weimar Republic, acting in this post for 127 days.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Political career and World War I 3 German Revolution 4 Reichsminsterpräsident 5 Later life and death 6 Works 7 Literature 8 See also 9 References 10 External links

Early life[edit] Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
was born in Kassel
Kassel
on 26 July 1865, the son of Friedrich Scheidemann (1842–79) an upholsterer, and his wife Wilhelmine (née Pape; 1842-1907). He had two sisters.[1] Scheidemann attended elementary and secondary schools between 1871 and 1879. After the death of his father, the family fell into poverty. In 1879-83, Scheidemann was apprenticed as a printer.[1][2] In 1883, he joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany
Germany
(the SPD) and became a union member (Buchdruckerverband). At the time, the German Anti-Socialist Laws
Anti-Socialist Laws
were still in force and the SPD was essentially an underground organisation.[1] Until 1895, Scheidemann worked as a printer and proofreader.[2] Scheidemann married in 1889 at Kassel. His wife was Johanna (Hanne) Dibbern (1864–1926). They had three daughters: Lina (1889–1933), Liese (1891–1955) and Hedwig (1893–1935).[1] From 1895 to 1903, he worked as an editor at social democratic newspapers at Gießen
Gießen
( Mitteldeutsche Sonntagszeitung ), Nuremberg, Offenbach and Kassel.[1][2] Political career and World War I[edit] In the German federal election of 1903, Scheidemann was elected from the SPD to the German Reichstag for a constituency in Solingen; he retained this seat until 1918. In 1906, he also became a member of the city council of Kassel, a position he held until 1911, when he became part of the executive committee of the SPD party secretariat.[2] After the German federal election of 1912, Scheidemann was the first social democrat to become "1st Vice-President" of the Reichstag.[1] When August Bebel, long-time leader of the SPD, died in 1913, Scheidemann and Hugo Haase
Hugo Haase
became joint chairmen of the SPD parliamentary group.[2] His oratory skills, pragmatism, sense of humour and middle-class manners won him appreciation beyond his own party.[1] Although he voted for the Imperial war loans in 1914 at the start of World War I, Scheidemann later argued for a Verständigungsfrieden (compromise peace) without annexations or reparation demands (it also became known as Scheidemannfrieden). Scheidemann tried to mediate between the moderate and more extreme left of his party, but could not prevent the eventual split. In 1917, the SPD split on the issue of continued funding for the war effort and Scheidemann became chairman of the "Majority" SPD, alongside Friedrich Ebert.[2] In January 1918, during the "January strike," he was a member of the "Executive Council". He joined the new government of Prince Maximilian of Baden in October 1918 as Staatssekretär (literally "Secretary of State", but at the time used for top-level cabinet-rank positions today usually referred to as ministers) without portfolio.[2] This was the first time members of the SPD had served in the Imperial government, although the party had had the largest number of seats in the Reichstag since 1912. Scheidemann was chosen for the position due to his popularity.[1] German Revolution[edit]

Scheidemann's proclamation on the Reichstag balcony, 9 November 1918

Main article: German Revolution of 1918–1919 On 9 November 1918, Chancellor Max von Baden unilaterally announced the abdication of the German Emperor Wilhelm II and the renunciation of the hereditary rights to the throne of Crown Prince Wilhelm. However, he and SPD leader Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert
both still hoped to retain the monarchy in face of the revolution. Maximilian von Baden preferred a younger son of Wilhelm II to succeed to the throne. Around noon, Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert
arrived at the Imperial chancellery and demanded that the authority to govern be handed over to him and the SPD. Maximilian von Baden resigned and unconstitutionally designated Ebert his successor as "Imperial chancellor" and "Minister-President" of Prussia. All of the Secretaries of State, including Scheidemann, remained in office. Ebert issued a proclamation asking the masses on the streets to remain quiet and to go home.[3]:86–88 Ebert and Scheidemann then went to the Reichstag building for lunch and sat at separate tables. A huge crowd assembled outside, and there were calls for a speech. Ebert refused to speak to the crowd, but Scheidemann stood up and rushed to a window facing it.[3]:88–90 According to Scheidemann's own recollection, someone told him along the way that the Spartacist (communist) leader Karl Liebknecht intended to declare Germany
Germany
a Soviet Republic.[4] Scheidemann then made a spontaneous speech that closed with these words:[4][5]:7

"The old and rotten, the monarchy has collapsed. The new may live. Long live the German Republic!"

When he returned to the Reichstag dining room, a furious Ebert confronted him. Ebert pounded the table with his fist and shouted, "You have no right to proclaim the Republic! What becomes of Germany, a Republic or whatever, that is for the constituent assembly to decide!"[3]:90 Later that day, in spite of Scheidemann's announcement, Ebert asked Prince Maximilian to stay on as Imperial regent, but was refused.[3]:90 In fact, Scheidemann's speech was without legal authority. Wilhelm II had not really abdicated, although he soon fled to the Netherlands and did sign an abdication later in November 1918. As of 9 November 1918, Germany
Germany
was legally still a monarchy.[3]:92 Both Ebert and Scheidemann at this point hoped to preserve the existing structure of government under a Chancellor Ebert, restore calm and deal with the pressing issue of the armistice with the Allied powers. Yet the revolution seemed likely to force the SPD to share power with those on the far left: the Spartacists and the Independents of the USPD.[3]:96 In the afternoon of 9 November, Ebert grudgingly asked the USPD to nominate three ministers for a future government. Ebert's plans were thrown into disarray when a group known as Revolutionary Stewards
Revolutionary Stewards
(Revolutionäre Obleute) then forced the SPD leadership to join with the revolutionary forces. That evening a group of several hundred followers of these non-union workers' representatives occupied the Reichstag and held an impromptu debate. They called for the election of soldiers' and workers' councils the next day with an eye to name a provisional government: the Council of the People's Deputies (Rat der Volksbeauftragten).[3]:100–103 The SPD leadership managed to co-opt that process and sent three delegates to the Council set up on 10 November: Ebert, Scheidemann and Otto Landsberg. Ebert became joint Chairman with Hugo Haase
Hugo Haase
of the USPD. Scheidemann was a member of the Council of the People's Deputies
Council of the People's Deputies
for its whole period of existence, from 10 November 1918 to 13 February 1919.[2] Reichsminsterpräsident[edit] Main article: Cabinet Scheidemann In the German federal election held on 19 January 1919, Scheidemann was elected to the Weimar National Assembly. On 13 February 1919, the newly elected provisional German President Ebert asked him to form the first democratically elected government of Germany. A few months later, in June, he resigned with his cabinet in protest over the harsh terms imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. Scheidemann's government adopted a law in the National Assembly on 6 March 1919 that, in the words of one historian, "greatly modified and liberalized the code of military justice" causing a leap into the realms of social policy.[6] In February 1919, as a concession to the mass movement in the Ruhr, labour minister Gustav Bauer
Gustav Bauer
decreed the setting up of workers chambers for the mining industry commencing a political struggle for Workers Councils representation of boards of directors.[7] On 18 March 1919, a regulation issued by the Demobilisation Office introduced the eight-hour working day for office employees,[8] while a government declaration made that same month accepted workers’ committees “as official representatives of the economy.”[9] Later life and death[edit] From June to December 1919, Scheidemann once again was a member of the SPD party executive.[2] In the elections of 6 June 1920, Scheidemann was re-elected to the Reichstag, this time for Hesse-Nassau.[1] From 1920 to 1925, Scheidemann was also mayor of Kassel.[2] For many on the extreme right, Scheidemann had become a personification of the hated republican, democratic system. They even coined the term Scheidemänner to use as a derogatory way of referring to the supporters of the Weimar Republic.[1] On 4 June 1922, he was attacked with prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide), but escaped mostly unharmed. In December 1926, he exposed the clandestine cooperation between the Reichswehr
Reichswehr
and the Red Army. Since this was in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, the revelation caused the resignation of the third cabinet of Chancellor Wilhelm Marx.[2] Scheidemann remained in the Reichstag throughout the period of the Weimar Republic, writing political treatises that were widely read.[1] The Nazi Seizure of Power in 1933 caused him to emigrate in early March via Salzburg, Prague, Switzerland, France
France
and the USA to Denmark.[2] There he pseudonymously wrote articles on the political situation in Germany
Germany
for Danish workers' newspapers.[1] Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
died on 29 November 1939 in Copenhagen.[1] The Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Municipality sent his ashes to Kassel
Kassel
in 1953. Works[edit]

Es lebe der Frieden, 1916. Der Zusammenbruch, 1921. Der Fürsten Habgier, Die Forderungen der Fürsten an das Notleidende Volk, 1926. Die Sozialdemokratie und das stehende Heer. 1910. Der Feind steht rechts! 1919. Memoiren eines Sozialdemokraten. Zwei Bände, 1928. (Neuauflage 2010 im Severus-Verlag, Hamburg, ISBN 978-3-942382-37-3 und ISBN 978-3-942382-54-0). Das historische Versagen der SPD. Schriften aus dem Exil. Hrsg. von Frank R. Reitzle. zu Klampen, Lüneburg 2002. Kasseläner Jungen - Mundartliche Geschichderchen. (Pseudonym Henner Piffendeckel) Faksimile-Druck der Ausgabe von 1926. Comino-Verlag, Berlin, ISBN 978-3-945831-06-9

Literature[edit]

Braun, Bernd: Die Weimarer Reichskanzler. Zwölf Lebensläufe in Bildern. Droste, Düsseldorf 2011, ISBN 978-3-7700-5308-7. Gellinek, Christian: Philipp Scheidemann. Gedächtnis und Erinnerung. Waxmann, Münster/New York/München/Berlin 2006, ISBN 978-3-8309-1695-6. Philipp Scheidemann. In: Franz Osterroth: Biographisches Lexikon des Sozialismus. Verstorbene Persönlichkeiten. Volume 1. J. H. W. Dietz Nachf., Hannover 1960, p. 262–263. Mühlhausen, Walter: „Das große Ganze im Auge behalten“. Philipp Scheidemann Oberbürgermeister von Kassel
Kassel
(1920–1925). Marburg 2011, ISBN 978-3-942225-11-3.

See also[edit]

Organisation Consul German socialism Freikorps

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Biografie Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
(German)". Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. Retrieved 2 August 2013.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Biografie Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
(German)". Deutsches Historisches Museum. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2013.  ^ a b c d e f g Haffner, Sebastian (2002). Die deutsche Revolution 1918/19 (German). Kindler. ISBN 3-463-40423-0.  ^ a b "Bericht über den 9. November 1918 (German)". Deutsches Historisches Museum. Archived from the original on 12 July 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2013.  ^ Sturm, Reinhard (2011). "Weimarer Republik, Informationen zur politischen Bildung, Nr. 261 (German)". Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung. ISSN 0046-9408. Retrieved 9 August 2013.  ^ R.M.Watt, The Kings Depart: The Tragedy of Germany: Versailles and the German Revolution ^ Feb 22 1919, German Worker chambers in mining industry ^ Weimar Republic: Fowkes and the eight hour working 20 day employees ^ German Labor government Nov 1918

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Philipp Scheidemann.

Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
in the German National Library
German National Library
catalogue (German) Scheidemann's recollection of his speech on 9 November 1918, ca. 1924 (German)

Political offices

Preceded by Wilhelm Solf Colonial Minister of Germany 1918–1919 Succeeded by Johannes Bell

Preceded by Siegfried Graf von Roedern Finance Minister of Germany 1918–1919 Succeeded by Eugen Schiffer

Preceded by Friedrich Ebert Chancellor of Germany 1919 Succeeded by Gustav Bauer

v t e

Chancellors of Germany

North German Confederation
North German Confederation
Bundeskanzler (1867–1871)

Otto von Bismarck

German Empire
German Empire
Reichskanzler (1871–1918)

Otto von Bismarck Leo von Caprivi Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst Bernhard von Bülow Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg Georg Michaelis Georg von Hertling Prince Maximilian of Baden Friedrich Ebert

Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
Reichskanzler (1919–1933)

Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
(as Ministerpräsident) Gustav Bauer
Gustav Bauer
(as Ministerpräsident and Chancellor) Hermann Müller Konstantin Fehrenbach Joseph Wirth Wilhelm Cuno Gustav Stresemann Wilhelm Marx Hans Luther Wilhelm Marx Hermann Müller Heinrich Brüning Franz von Papen Kurt von Schleicher

Nazi Germany
Germany
Reichskanzler (1933–1945)

Adolf Hitler Joseph Goebbels Count Schwerin von Krosigk (as Leading Minister)

Federal Republic Bundeskanzler (1949–present)

Konrad Adenauer Ludwig Erhard Kurt Georg Kiesinger Willy Brandt Helmut Schmidt Helmut Kohl Gerhard Schröder Angela Merkel

List of Chancellors of Germany

v t e

Chairmen of the Social Democratic Party of Germany

SPD (1890–1933)

Paul Singer / Alwin Gerisch August Bebel
August Bebel
/ Paul Singer August Bebel
August Bebel
/ Hugo Haase Hugo Haase
Hugo Haase
/ Friedrich Ebert Friedrich Ebert Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert
/ Philipp Scheidemann Otto Wels
Otto Wels
/ Herman Müller Arthur Crispien / Otto Wels
Otto Wels
/ Herman Müller Arthur Crispien / Otto Wels Arthur Crispien / Otto Wels
Otto Wels
/ Hans Vogel

SPD-in-exile (1933–1945)

Otto Wels
Otto Wels
/ Hans Vogel Hans Vogel

SPD (since 1946)

Kurt Schumacher Erich Ollenhauer Willy Brandt Hans-Jochen Vogel Björn Engholm Rudolf Scharping Oskar Lafontaine Gerhard Schröder Franz Müntefering Matthias Platzeck Kurt Beck Franz Müntefering Sigmar Gabriel Martin Schulz Olaf Scholz
Olaf Scholz
(Acting)

v t e

Baden cabinet
Baden cabinet
– 4 October to 9 November 1918

Max von Baden (Chancellor) Friedrich von Payer
Friedrich von Payer
(FVP) Wilhelm Solf
Wilhelm Solf
(-) Max Wallraf (de) (-) Karl Trimborn (de) (Zentrum) Paul von Krause (-) Ernst Karl August Klemens von Mann (de) (-) Hans Karl von Stein zu Nord- und Ostheim (de) (-) Wilhelm von Waldow (de) (-) Gustav Bauer
Gustav Bauer
(SPD) Otto Rüdlin (de) (-) Siegfried von Roedern
Siegfried von Roedern
(-) Matthias Erzberger
Matthias Erzberger
(Zentrum) Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
(SPD) Adolf Gröber (de) (Zentrum) Conrad Haußmann (de) (FVP)

v t e

Council of the People's Deputies
Council of the People's Deputies
– 10 November 1918 to 13 February 1919

Friedrich Ebert
Friedrich Ebert
(Chairman, also Chancellor, SPD) Hugo Haase
Hugo Haase
(Chairman, USPD) Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
(SPD) Wilhelm Dittmann
Wilhelm Dittmann
(USPD) Emil Barth
Emil Barth
(USPD) Otto Landsberg
Otto Landsberg
(SPD) Gustav Noske
Gustav Noske
(SPD) Rudolf Wissell
Rudolf Wissell
(SPD)

v t e

Scheidemann cabinet
Scheidemann cabinet
– 13 February to 20 June 1919

Philipp Scheidemann
Philipp Scheidemann
(Reichsministerpräsident, SPD) Eugen Schiffer
Eugen Schiffer
(Deputy, DDP) Bernhard Dernburg
Bernhard Dernburg
(Deputy, DDP) Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau (–) Hugo Preuß
Hugo Preuß
(DDP) Otto Landsberg
Otto Landsberg
(SPD) Rudolf Wissell
Rudolf Wissell
(SPD) Robert Schmidt (SPD) Gustav Bauer
Gustav Bauer
(SPD) Gustav Noske
Gustav Noske
(SPD) Johannes Bell
Johannes Bell
(Zentrum) Johannes Giesberts (de) (Zentrum) Georg Gothein (de) (DDP) Eduard David
Eduard David
(SPD) Matthias Erzberger
Matthias Erzberger
(Zentrum) Joseph Koeth (–) Walther Reinhardt
Walther Reinhardt
(–) Adolf von Trotha (–)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 30332391 LCCN: n90704672 ISNI: 0000 0001 0884 2497 GND: 118754351 SUDOC: 052588114 BNF: cb13566440g (data) BIBSYS: 90735541 MusicBrainz: 427ae4f2-b164-4ea2-a057-fc206817a

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