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6 Februari

 
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Merlijn



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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2006 23:51    Onderwerp: 6 Februari Reageer met quote

1917 German sub sinks U.S. passenger ship California

Just three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s speech of February 3, 1917—in which he broke diplomatic relations with Germany and warned that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted—a German submarine torpedoes and sinks the Anchor Line passenger steamer California off the Irish coast.

The SS California departed New York on January 29 bound for Glasgow, Scotland, with 205 passengers and crewmembers onboard. Eight days later, some 38 miles off the coast of Fastnet Island, Ireland, the ship’s captain, John Henderson, spotted a submarine off his ship’s port side at a little after 9 a.m. and ordered the gunner at the stern of the ship to fire in defense if necessary. Moments later and without warning, the submarine fired two torpedoes at the ship. One of the torpedoes missed, but the second torpedo exploded into the port side of the steamer, killing five people instantly. The explosion of the torpedo was so violent and devastating that the 470-foot, 9,000-ton steamer sank just nine minutes after the attack. Despite desperate S.O.S. calls sent by the crew to ensure the arrival of rescue ships, 38 people drowned after the initial explosion, for a total of 43 dead.

This type of blatant German defiance of Wilson’s warning about the consequences of unrestricted submarine warfare, combined with the subsequent discovery and release of the Zimmermann telegram—an overture made by Germany’s foreign minister to the Mexican government involving a possible Mexican-German alliance in the event of a war between Germany and the U.S.—drove Wilson and the United States to take the final steps towards war. On April 2, Wilson went before Congress to deliver his war message; the formal declaration of U.S. entrance into the First World War came four days later.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2006 7:48    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Die Nachrichten vom 6. Februar

1914

1915
Der Kaiser auf dem östlichen Kriegsschauplatz
Fortdauer der Karpathenkämpfe
Die Türken am Suez-Kanal
Eine Klarstellung der Reichsregierung
Eine Unterredung mit Jagow und Bethmann Hollweg

1916
Englische Angriffe bei Messines und La Bassée abgewiesen
Nichts Neues von den k. u. k. Fronten

1917
Erfolgreiche Erkundungsvorstöße an der Westfront
Gescheiterter französischer Vorstoß bei Mülhausen
Das Wesen der deutschen Sperrgebietserklärung
Reiche Beute eines deutschen U-Boots
Vorstoß in die russische Stellung bei Kirlibaba
Die Haltung der nordischen Reiche zur Note Wilsons

1918
Gesteigerte Artillerietätigkeit in Flandern
Ein französisches Patrouillenschiff versenkt
www.stahlgewitter.com
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2006 7:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

6. Februari
Der Oberbefehlshaber Ost verlegt sein Hauptquartier von Posen nach Insterburg.
http://www.deutsche-kriegsgeschichte.de/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 13:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Commons Sitting, 6 February 1918

ADMIRALTY (SMOKING IN DEPARTMENTAL OFFICES).


HC Deb 06 February 1918 vol 101 cc2227-8 2227

§2. Mr. KING asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether he is aware that the permission granted to the clerical staff to smoke at office work is an annoyance and hindrance to non-smokers who share rooms with persons smoking all day, that it leads many young women to practise smoking, and is open to danger and abuse; and whether he has considered restricting the concession to seniors, who sit alone, to certain fixed hours, preferably after 5 p.m., and to rooms shared by several clerks of whom a majority in the room desire it?

§The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the ADMIRALTY (Dr. Macnamara) The extent to which smoking is permitted in the Departmental offices at the Admiralty is left to the judgment of the heads of the various Departments, subject of course to proper safeguards in the case of temporary buildings used as offices. It is understood that the same rule applies in other Government Departments. Inquiries that have been made—and the absence of complaints bearing out the statement of the hon. Member—justify the conclusion, I am assured, that there is no adequate ground for such restrictions as he suggests. Reasonable cases of complaint by individuals can be dealt with by the head of their Department.

§Mr. PEMBERTON BILLING Are we to understand that in the case of the head of a Department being a non-smoker, no smoking is allowed, and that where the head of a Department is a smoker, unlimited smoking is allowed?

§Dr. MACNAMARA That is not the point at all. It is quite the other way round.

§Mr. KING Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that the present arrangements conduce to the efficiency and dispatch of business?

§Dr. MACNAMARA Yes.

§Mr. LYNCH Should we not set an example in this House

http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1918/feb/06/admiralty-smoking-in-departmental-offices
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 13:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Women win the vote, 6 February 1918

The campaign to gain women the vote in Britain had run for decades by 1918. Thinkers such as J.S. Mill had long advocated the reform. Senior politicians like David Lloyd George backed the idea – in his case perhaps thinking his mistresses guaranteed him a block vote. In spite of this and the campaign by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies since 1897, itself merely uniting the efforts of existing groups; and the more assertive and eventually violent suffragettes – more formally The Women’s Social and Political Union – Parliament had stubbornly and some may say stupidly resisted the change, just as Parliament has so often fought against reforms affecting itself.
It was WWI which moved the game on – war is indeed the locomotive of history. Women had taken on male roles; the armaments industry had been manned (a misnomer if ever there was one) by women; and yet the world had not come to an end. As the war progressed politicians began to discuss how to bring about the change so that justice should be done. Even Herbert Asquith had changed his mind on the question.
Thus on March 28 1917 the Commons with a huge majority, and the Lords by a far closer margin of 134 to 71, passed the Representation of the People Act, also known as The Qualification of Women Act; on February 6 1918 it received royal assent and passed into law.
Yet women were still not on equal terms with men as regards voting rights, nor would they be for another 10 years when a further Representation of the People Act was passed. In 1918 only women over the age of 30 (compared to men over the age of 21) were granted the vote, the electorate increasing almost threefold as most property qualifications were dropped in the same legislation, increasing the male electorate into the bargain.

http://www.information-britain.co.uk/famdates.php?id=256

Zie ook:

Women win the vote: 6 February 1918

Door Brian Williams

http://books.google.nl/books?id=-1xs3JCg9dsC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=&f=false
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 14:00    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Christchurch Press 1918 - February

Wednesday 6 February 1918


Roll of Honour

NORMAN - January 16th 1918 killed in action in France Rifleman Arthur Edward ------ husband of Margaret Cecilia Norman -----

TAYLOR - killed in action somewhere in France Private Ewen (Jack) Taylor, 2nd son of late Ewen Taylor and Mrs E. of Leeston, in his 42nd year

http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~ashleigh/1870-1908/1918.February.PRESS.BMD.html
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 14:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Gustav Klimt

Het goud verdween en de donkere tonen heersten tot 1912 toen Gustav Klimt in een nieuwe fase terechtkwam. In de portretten van deze periode is de levendige uitstraling van de gezichten benadrukt. Het symbolische ornament bleef, maar het mozaďek van vroegere dagen werd vervoerd in een kleurrijk tapijt met sterke Japanse invloed. Er was ook een tijd dat Gustav Klimt landschappen schilderde. The Apple Tree, was een van zijn eerste landschappen. In 1917 werd Gustav Klimt nog tot erelid van de Academie van Schone Kunsten in Wenen en tot erelid van de Academie van Schone Kunsten in München benoemd. Klimt bleef bestuderend en zoekend tot 1918 toen een slag zijn leven beëindigde. Zijn dood kwam plotseling. Vlak na Kerstmis 1917 maakte hij een reis naar Roemenië. Op 11 januari 1918, kreeg hij een beroerte toen hij terug was in Wenen. Zijn rechterhelft van zijn lichaam, raakte verlamd. Hij werd toen opgenomen in een kliniek waar hij op 6 februari aan een longinfectie overleed. Hij is begraven op het ‘Hietzing’ kerkhof.

http://www.bartart.com/comment/werkstuk/Gustav%20Klimt%201.htm

Kunst met een grote K...
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 14:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Spain's Reaction to Germany's Policy of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, 6 February 1917

Reproduced below is the text of the diplomatic note sent by the Spanish government to its German counterpart regarding Germany's newly reintroduced policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. This policy in effect set in place a blockade of Britain and her European allies, to be applied to belligerent and neutral shipping alike.

The German government argued that such a policy was implemented only as an aggressive form of defence. It was announced in a letter from the German Ambassador to the U.S., Count Johann von Bernstorff, to the U.S. Secretary of State, Robert Lansing.

In the note the Bernstorff announced a re-opened German policy of unrestricted submarine warfare (initially introduced and then rapidly abandoned in 1916 owing to U.S. protests), to take effect the day following the date of the note (i.e. 1 February 1917). The German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg spoke before the Reichstag on the same day to explain the reasons for the policy.

Reaction to the policy was rapid; the Allied powers inevitably decried its aggression, as did the U.S. government, which broke off diplomatic relations on 3 February 1917. On the same day President Woodrow Wilson appeared before Congress to announce his reasons, receiving virtually unanimous support in doing so.

Reaction among other neutrals was similarly one of dismay.

Spanish Prime Minister Count Ramanones' Diplomatic Protest to Germany

6 February 1917


His Majesty's Government has attentively examined the note which your Serene Highness was good enough to remit to me January 31st, in which is set forth the German Government's resolute intention to interrupt as from the following day all sea traffic, without further notice, and by no matter what arms, around Great Britain, France, Italy and in the Eastern Mediterranean.

I must say that the note caused a very painful impression on the Spanish Government. The attitude of strict neutrality which Spain adopted from the beginning and has maintained with loyalty and unshakable firmness gives her the right to expect that the lives of her subjects engaged in sea trade should not be placed in such grave peril.

It also gives her the right to expect that that trade should not be troubled nor diminished by such an increase in the extent of the zones in which the Imperial Government insists that, in order to attain its ends, it must use all weapons and suppress all limitations which it has hitherto imposed upon its methods of naval warfare.

Even before the Imperial Government had set aside these restrictions his Majesty's Government had protested, holding them insufficient to comply with the prescriptions of national maritime law. But the methods of war announced by Germany are being carried to such an unexpected and unprecedented extreme that the Spanish Government, considering its rights and the requirements of its neutrality, must with still more reason protest calmly but firmly to the Imperial Government, and must make at the same time the necessary reserves, imposed by the legitimate presumption of ineluctable responsibility, which the Imperial Government assumes, principally in view of the loss of life which its attitude may cause.

His Majesty's Government bases its protest on the fact that the decision to close completely the road to certain seas by substituting for the indisputable right of capture in certain cases a pretended right of destruction in all cases is outside the legal principles of international life.

Above all and beyond all it considers that the extension, in the form announced, of this pretended right of destruction to the lives of non-combatants and the subjects of neutral nations such as Spain, is contrary to the principles observed by all nations even in moments of the greatest violence.

If the German Government, as it says, expects that the Spanish people and Government will not close their ears to the reasons which have caused its decision, and hopes that they will cooperate to avoid further calamities and sacrifices of human life, it will also understand that the Spanish Government, while disposed to lend at the proper time its initiative and support to everything that could contribute to the advent of a peace, more and more wished for, cannot admit the legality of exceptional methods in warfare.

These methods, indeed, notwithstanding Spain's right as a neutral and her scrupulous fulfilment of the duties incumbent on her as such, make more difficult and even stop altogether her sea trade, compromising her economic life and threatening with grave dangers the lives of her subjects.

His Majesty's Government, supported more firmly than ever by the justice of its position, does not doubt that the Imperial Government, inspired by the sentiments of friendship which unite the two countries, will find, notwithstanding the severe exigencies of this terrible war, means of giving satisfaction to Spain's claims. These claims are based on the inexorable duty which binds a Government to protect the lives of its subjects and maintain the integrity of its sovereignty so that the course of national existence be not interrupted.

For the reasons set out his Majesty's Government feels itself fully sustained in its position by reason and law.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. V, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/uboat_spain.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 14:26    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Stijn Streuvels, In oorlogstijd. Het volledige dagboek van de Eerste Wereldoorlog.

6 februari 1916
Al de passen moeten ingeleverd worden - nog nooit was er zulke toeloop van volk op 't stadhuis. De mensen staan er 1/2 dag te wachten om hun paspo[o]rt en als ze moe zijn van staan komt er een Duitser die zegt: morgen terugkeren - alles afgelopen! Algemene ontmoediging - gramschap, vloeken en verwensen; een vent dringt door de menigte heen en verklaart tegen de Duitser dat hij zijn pas moet hebben - dat hij morgen vroeg melk moet voeren voor de Duitsers. Niets - niemendal, zegt de Duitser, ausgeslossen!
- Wel dan zult ge 't verdomme morgen allemaal doen zonder melk, roept hij en verlaat de zaal.

Lees verder op http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/stre009inoo02_01/stre009inoo02_01_0018.php
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 14:32    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Utrechts Nieuwsblad (06-02-1915)

Lekker grasduinen in oude kranten...

http://www.hetutrechtsarchief.nl/collectie/kranten/un/1915/0206
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 14:34    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

6 februari 1915:
Het mailschip ss. 'Tabanan' van de Rotterdamsche Lloyd. op weg van Batavia naar Rotterdam, is getuige van een Turkse aanval in het Suezkanaal ten zuiden van het Timsahmeer. De Engelsen weten deze aanval af te slaan, waarbij de 'Tabanan' onbeschadigd blijft.

Bron: L.L. von Münching: 'De Ned. koopvaardij in de eerste oorlogsmaanden van 1914' in: 'DBW' jrg. 54 nr. 3 (1999)

http://www.scheepvaartmuseum.nl/collectie/maritieme-kalender
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 14:41    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Weimarrepubliek

Omdat in Berlijn burgeroorlogachtige toestanden heersten, kwamen de afgevaardigden voor de Nationale Vergadering in Weimar (Thüringen) samen. De sociaaldemocraten (SPD) hadden vrij veel stemmen gekregen, en ook de links-liberalen (DDP) waren veel sterker vertegenwoordigd dan in eerdere of latere Duitse parlementen. Samen met de katholieke Zentrum-partij vormden zij de coalitie van Weimar. Die coalitie verloor in juni 1920 echter voorgoed haar absolute meerderheid. In bijna alle regeringen tussen 1920 en 1932 zaten het Zentrum en de liberale partijen DDP en DVP, gesteund door de sociaaldemocraten of de conservatieven.

Vanaf haar samenkomen op 6 februari 1919 tot de verkiezingen van juni 1920 fungeerde de Nationale Vergadering ook als voorlopig parlement en koos op 11 februari Ebert de eerste Rijkspresident. Het was het eerste Duitse parlement waarin ook vrouwen zaten.

Lees verder op http://74.125.77.132/search?q=cache:WSDEW4UBQC0J:wapedia.mobi/nl/Weimarrepubliek+6+februari+1919+weimar&cd=4&hl=nl&ct=clnk&gl=nl
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 14:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

T.E. Lawrence Studies

On 6 February (1919) Lawrence accompanies Feisal to a meeting of the Council of Ten for a formal statement of the Arab position.

http://www.telawrence.info/telawrenceinfo/life/chron_1919.shtml
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BerichtGeplaatst: 06 Feb 2010 14:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

An Appeal to the World

Source: Maxim Gorki, “An Appeal to the World,” The Call, 6 February 1919, p.1

The war is finished, German imperialism is vanquished, and is forced to submit to the heavy punishment for its policy of brigandage. The German proletariat, tortured by war, exhausted by hunger, is obliged to pay dear for having submitted to the policy of its governing class. The victors, who but yesterday declared to the world that they caused the ruin of millions of human beings to gain victory for universal right and happiness, now force the German people to submit to an armistice ten times more harsh than the treaty of Brest-Litovsk – an armistice which menaces Germany with inevitable famine. Each day that passes the cynicism of the Imperialists’ inhuman policy becomes more evident, and increasingly threatens the peoples of Europe with new wars and new massacres. President Wilson, but yesterday the eloquent defender of the liberty of peoples and the rights of democracy, equips a powerful army “for the restoration of order” in revolutionary Russia; where the people already enjoy sovereign rights, where they have taken power into their own hands, and where they are endeavouring, as far as they can, to lay the foundation of a new State edifice. I have no wish to deny that this constructive work has often been accompanied by useless destruction. But the creative cultural work of the popular Russian Government, working under most difficult conditions, and at the price of heroic effort, is assuming a scope and form hitherto unknown in the history of humanity. This is no exaggeration. Lately I was an adversary of the Government, and I still disagree with it regarding its methods of work. But know that future historians when estimating the value of the work accomplished by the Russian workers in the course of one year, will not fail to admire the magnificence of their creative work in the domain of culture ....

Lees verder op http://www.marxists.org/archive/gorky-maxim/1919/appeal-world.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2011 18:55    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Oceanic (II)



At the time of her launch at Harland and Wolff, Belfast on 14th January 1899, Oceanic (II) was the largest ship in existence, and the first ship to be longer in length (but not tonnage) than Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s, SS Great Eastern that had been launched in 1858 and broken up for scrap in 1889. (...)

On 6th February 1914 Oceanic was hit by a huge wave on her way to New York, which resulted in passengers in deck chairs on her promenade deck being swept towards the stern in 4 feet of water, the wave also smashed 3 deck house ports and a stateroom port as well as some other minor damage to the ship. There were no serious injuries. Oceanic arrived in New York fifty hours late on this voyage with her rigging and decks covered with ice and snow and her bridge with a foot of frozen snow as she also later in the voyage encountered heavy gales and snow.

When the First World War broke out Oceanic was one of the first ships requisitioned for war duties. A month after she was commissioned as an armed merchant cruiser.

http://www.wslhistory.webs.com/oceanic2.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2011 18:57    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

MEDIATIJDLIJN AMSTERDAMSE TRAM 1914
door Cees Pot

6 februari 1914
Op de Overtoom wil een 17-jarige jongen op een rijdende tram springen. Hij mist en wordt zo’n 30 meter meegesleurd. Als gevolg daarvan moet hij in het Wilhelminagasthuis worden opgenomen.
Op het Weesperplein wijkt een koopman met een handkar vol aardewerk voor een tram uit. Z’n kar raakt in een kuil in het wegdek en valt om. Het aardewerk valt grotendeels aan gruzelementen. De koopman zegt de gemeente aansprakelijk te willen stellen voor de schade.

http://www.amsterdamsetrams.nl/tijdlijn/tijdlijn1914.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2011 19:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Loss of the Col di Lana Peak - 17 April 1916

(...) The new year brought a new phase in the fighting with the introduction of mine warfare which would culminate in the detonation of a huge Italian mine beneath the peak position on the 17th April. Since the 6th of February 1916, individual companies of the 2nd battalion of the 2nd Tyrolean Kaiserjäger regiment had been holding the "Gipfelstellung" or peak position. In the meantime, the Italian engineers under the command of Lieutenant Don Gelasio Caetani, Prince of Sermoneta had constructed a tunnel 52 metres beneath the mountain which had inclined up the mountain at a slope of 15 degrees. Started on the 13th of January from the area of the Rothschanze to the South West of the peak, the tunnel was completed and the 5020 kg of explosive was in place and ready for electrical detonation on the 17th of April.

http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/battles/coldilan.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2011 19:28    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Dag van de Samen

Op 6 februari wordt in de noordse landen en Rusland de Nationale Dag van de Samen in acht genomen. Op deze dag wordt herdacht dat de Samen op 6 februari 1917 een congres hielden in Trondheim, Noorwegen. Naar aanleiding hiervan werd een internationale Saamse samenwerkingsverband opgestart; dit samenwerkingsverband is er heden ten dage nog steeds. (...)

De Samen zijn het enige inheemse volk binnen de Europese Unie. Veel de 9.000 Samen in Finland hebben hun geboortegrond in het hoge noorden verruild, zoals Enontekiö, Inari, Utsjoki en Sodankylä, voor andere streken. Zo wonen er circa 1.000 Samen in de regio Helsinki.

Het Saamse parlement (Sámediggi) werd in 1996 opgericht om toe te zien op de culturele autonomie van de Samen, die door de Finse grondwet wordt gegarandeerd. Het parlement werkt samen met soortgelijke organen in Noorwegen en Zweden.

0,03% van de Finse bevolking spreekt de Saamse taal als moedertaal, zo meldt het Fins Bureau voor Statistiek. Dit cijfer is sinds 1990 stabiel; in 1950 was dit cijfer echter 2 keer zo hoog.

Er zijn 3 Saamse dialecten die in Finland worden gesproken: het Noord-Saams, Inari-Saams en Skolt-Saams.

http://finlandsite.nl/finlandsite/finland/cms/news.php?item.6502
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2011 20:22    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

T. E. Lawrence to his family

[Guweira]

Feb. 6, 1918

Excuse a scrawl: this is only to say that I am here and quite fit: in Guweira, a place 35 miles NE of Akaba. I have come down for a night to see Feisul, from Tafileh, where I have been for the last few days. No news from you for a long time, and no opportunity, I expect, of hearing from you for some time yet. General Clayton has, I believe, wired for Arnie - but I do not know in what terms, why, or what the answer has been. If I hear of him in Cairo, I'll try to cut across for a day or two and fix things up with him. He must spend at least some months there. We had a fight north of Tafileh the other day - the Turks attacked us and we annihilated them. Took 23 machine guns and two guns, all in working order. Our loss 20 killed, theirs about 400. I am now off again, buying camels in the Eastern desert, round Wadi Sirhan and Jauf. Weather bitterly cold, with persistent snow and rain, but not likely to endure much longer. The coast and Dead Sea are warm, but our work lies on the plateau, 4,000 or 5,000 feet up.

N.

Stamps enclosed are part of Tafileh post office, all surcharged Peninsula of Sinai!

http://www.telawrence.net/telawrencenet/letters/1918/180206_family.htm
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V. I. Lenin: "The Story of One Short Period in the Life of One Socialist Party"

Feb. 6, 1917. General meeting of Social-Democratic Party members in Zurich. Main item: committee elections.

Poor attendance, especially on the part of workers.

Platten suggests postponing the meeting. Social-patriots arid Nobs object. Proposal is defeated.

Elections are held. When it turns out that Dr. Bronski is elected, social-patriot Baumann announces on behalf of four committee members that he refuses to work with Dr. Bronski.

Platten suggests accepting this ultimatum (submitting to it), proposing (absolutely undemocratically and unlawfully) that the elections be declared invalid. That proposal is carried!!!

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/feb/29.htm
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PIONIER RADIO-AMATEURS IN AMERIKA

Intussen schijnt Hiram Percy Maxim het succesvolle nationale relay van februari van de RLA vergeten te zijn, als Maxim zijn komende ARRL relayplannen aankondigd, namelijk de eerste transcontinentale relay van RLA. Want in QST december 1916 schamperde hij: 'We hoorden geruchten dat iemand het probeerde of er bijna in slaagde, maar ik zie geen bewijs dat dat werkelijk gelukt is'. Een tamelijk vreemde bewering, aangezien Maxim persoonlijk deelnam aan het Washington's Herdenking's Relay van RLA, en in QST een gedetailleerd verslag had gedaan. Op 4 en 5 januari 1917 deed de ARRL een eerste poging tot een nationaal relay: Eerste Transcontinentaal Relay , dat geen succes werd. Een volgende poging op 6 februari 1917 was wel succesvol, zoals gemeld als 'The Transcontinental Record', in april 1917 QST.

Toen de Eerste Wereldoorlog uitbrak in augustus 1914, wachtten de radioamateurs met spanning af of de U.S in het conflict zouden worden betrokken, want in de radiowet van 1912 gaf de President toestemming om in 'tijden van oorlog' alle radiostations te sluiten. (Canada legde radioamateurs het zwijgen op van augustus 1914 tot mei 1919.) Gedurende de eerste twee en een half jaar van de oorlog was de U.S. officieel neutraal, en President Wilson gaf de U.S.Navy opdracht om toe te zien dat radiostations deze neutraliteit respecteerden. Met deze opdracht verbood de Navy alle amateur zend/ontvangst in het westen, zoals vermeld in mei 1915 in The Electrical Experimenter, hoewel onder de omstandigheden deze beperkingen een beetje voorbarig en buitensporig bleken.

http://hamradio.nikhef.nl/afd/woerden/hamusa.htm
Zie ook http://earlyradiohistory.us/1916wat.htm
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Brazil's Reaction to Germany's Policy of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare, 6 February 1917

Reproduced below is the text of the diplomatic note sent by the Brazilian government to its German counterpart regarding Germany's newly reintroduced policy of unrestricted submarine warfare. This policy in effect set in place a blockade of Britain and her European allies, to be applied to belligerent and neutral shipping alike.

The German government argued that such a policy was implemented only as an aggressive form of defence. It was announced in a letter from the German Ambassador to the U.S., Count Johann von Bernstorff, to the U.S. Secretary of State, Robert Lansing.

In the note the Bernstorff announced a re-opened German policy of unrestricted submarine warfare (initially introduced and then rapidly abandoned in 1916 owing to U.S. protests), to take effect the day following the date of the note (i.e. 1 February 1917). The German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg spoke before the Reichstag on the same day to explain the reasons for the policy.

Reaction to the policy was rapid; the Allied powers inevitably decried its aggression, as did the U.S. government, which broke off diplomatic relations on 3 February 1917. On the same day President Woodrow Wilson appeared before Congress to announce his reasons, receiving virtually unanimous support in doing so.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Lauro Muller's' Diplomatic Protest to Germany
6 February 1917


I have transmitted to my Government by telegraph your letter of February 3rd, in which your Excellency informed me of the resolution of the German Imperial Government to blockade Great Britain, its islands, the littoral of France and Italy, and the Eastern Mediterranean by submarines which would commence operations on February 1st.

Your letter stated that the submarines would prevent all maritime traffic in the zones above mentioned, abandoning all restrictions observed up to the present in the employment of means for sea fighting, and would use every military resource capable of the destruction of ships.

The letter of your Excellency said further that the German Government, having confidence that the Government of Brazil would appreciate the reasons for the methods of war which Germany was forced to take on account of the actual circumstances hoped that Brazilian ships would be warned of the danger they ran if they navigated the interdicted zones, the same as passengers or merchandise on board any other ship of commerce, neutral or otherwise.

I have just been directed to inform your Excellency that the Federal Government has the greatest desire not to see modified the actual situation, as long as the war lasts, a situation in which Brazil has imposed upon itself the rigorous observance of the laws of neutrality since the commencement of hostilities between nations with whom she has had friendly relations.

My Government has always observed this neutrality while reserving to itself the right, which belongs to it and which it has always been accustomed to exercise, of action in those cases where Brazilian interests are at stake.

The unexpected communication we have just received announcing a blockade of wide extent of countries with which Brazil is continually in economic relations by foreign and Brazilian shipping has produced a justified and profound impression through the imminent menace which it contains of the unjust sacrifice of lives, the destruction of property, and the wholesale disturbance of commercial transactions.

In such circumstances, and while observing always and invariably the same principles, the Brazilian Government, after having examined the tenor of the German note, declares that it cannot accept as effective the blockade which has just been suddenly decreed by the Imperial Government.

Because of the means employed to realize this blockade, the extent of the interdicted zones, the absence of all restrictions, including the failure of warning for even neutral menaced ships, and the announced intention of using every military means of destruction of no matter what character, such a blockade would neither be regular nor effective and would be contrary to the principles of law and the conventional rules established for military operations of this nature.

For these reasons the Brazilian Government, in spite of its sincere and keen desire to avoid any disagreement with the nations at war, with whom it is on friendly terms, believes it to be its duty to protest against this blockade and consequently to leave entirely with the Imperial German Government the responsibility for all acts which will involve Brazilian citizens, merchandise, or ships and which are proven to have been committed in disregard of the recognized principles of international law and of the conventions signed by Brazil and Germany.

Source Records of the Great War, Vol. V, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923, http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/uboat_brazil.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2011 20:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

ICRC in WWI: efforts to ban chemical warfare
11-01-2005

Faced with the growing use of poisonous gases on the battlefield, causing terrible injuries, the ICRC appealed publicly for a ban on their use. Despite the controversy surrounding the issue, the call helped bring about the 1925 Geneva Protocol – still in force today.

The first poisonous weapons emerged in the fighting on the western front in 1915. During the following two years these weapons were extensively used by the warring parties. In July 1917, near the town of Ypres in Belgium, the Germans used mustard gas for the first time; it subsequently became known as “yperite” by analogy with the name of the town.

In early 1918, the ICRC feared that use of these indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction could become widespread. To curb this alarming escalation in means of warfare it invoked the Regulations annexed to the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, which prohibit the use of poisoned weapons, and a Declaration made by the States party to the 1899 Convention prohibiting the use of projectiles which diffuse asphyxiating gases.

On 6 February 1918 it launched an appeal against the use of poisonous gases, intended to convince the belligerents to renounce these weapons by virtue of an agreement concluded under the auspices of the Red Cross.

In deciding to actively oppose poisonous weapons, the ICRC was embarking on a new course of action which went beyond assisting victims and ventured into the area of methods and techniques of warfare. In this respect it was tackling a very controversial issue which was the subject of mutual accusations on the part of the belligerent States.

However, in order to protect the victims of war, the ICRC decided to pursue its course and to give wide publicity to its efforts. On 8 February 1918 it sent the text of its appeal to the monarchs and heads of State of the belligerent and neutral countries, the national societies, various religious leaders and the press.

Vatican supports ICRC efforts

Encouraging responses reached Geneva – in particular from the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Red Cross societies, which all expressed their approval. The Vatican also expressed its support for the ICRC’s initiative.

This success prompted the ICRC to make representations to the major powers which remained reticent. In March 1918 Édouard Naville, Acting President of the ICRC, and Dr Ferričre, its Vice-President, went to Paris. The President of the French Republic, Raymond Poincaré, informed them that the Allies were prepared to issue a declaration to the effect that they would cease t o use gas on condition that their adversaries, the Central Powers, did likewise.

In May 1918 the governments of the Entente sent the ICRC an official response to its appeal of 6 February. In it they stated their support for the ICRC’s initiative and even accepted the idea of an agreement prohibiting the use of gas, but assigned responsibility for chemical warfare to the other side.

The German government's reply reached the ICRC on 12 September. After drawing attention to the position that it had adopted at The Hague Conference in 1899 in favour of banning poisonous weapons and its protests about the use of gas on the European front, Germany in turn accused its adversaries of being responsible for inventing and developing gas-based weapons for use in the conflict.

In the event, the steps taken by the ICRC were partially successful; the positive impact would only become clear later. The fact remains that the need for a complete ban on weapons of this kind was officially proclaimed during the First World War by the ICRC, which continued to work towards that goal by seeking support from academic and military circles and the national societies.

This work was to contribute directly to the adoption in Geneva on 17 June 1925 of the Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. It was, moreover, only the first stage in a series of studies that the ICRC was subsequently to carry out on weapons which strike indiscriminately – such as nuclear and biological weapons and landmines – and which are still among the key concerns of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement today.

http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/57jqgs.htm

Preventing the use of biological and chemical weapons: 80 years on
10-06-2005 Statement

Speech delivered by Jacques Forster, vice-president of the ICRC, during the International seminar on the Biological and Chemical Weapons Threat, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the 1925 Geneva Protocol prohibiting asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases. and bacteriological methods of warfare.

On 6 February 1918, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) made a forceful public appeal against the use of poison gas to the belligerents of World War I. The ICRC described this gas as a " barbarous invention which science is bringing to perfection " , protesting " with all the force at our command against such warfare which can only be called criminal " and warning of " a struggle which will exceed in barbarity anything which history has known so far " .

In the same year, a chemist named Fritz Haber won the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Inspired by the concern that the world's population would soon outpace global food production, Haber had invented a process that converts atmospheric nitrogen into agricultural fertilizer. Today, the food supply for an estimated two billion people depends on this process.

But Haber's genius had not only focused on food production. He thought that chemistry could also provide a solution to the deadlock in the trenches of World War I. Believing in the potential of a new form of warfare, he played a pivotal role in the first gas attack in military history on 22 April 1915. About 150 tons of chlorine gas blew across the fields of Flanders in Belgium. The death it inflicted upon hundreds of soldiers was described as " drowning on dry land. " And once the taboo against poison in warfare was breached, the use – by both sides of the conflict - of mustard gas, which burns the skin and causes blindness, followed.

What would the Second World War have been like if the prohibition of poisonous weapons had not been restored with the 1925 Protocol? While many fundamental humanitarian principles have been utterly violated during those six years of conflict, the 1925 Protocol was respected by all belligerents. It might be argued that the fear of reprisals was the main deterrent. Although this is likely, whether because of a fear of reprisals or for some other reason, the Protocol drew a line which no belligerent dared to transgress.
The taboo against the use of poison in warfare, although codified in the 1925 Protocol, predated it by more than two millennia and was built upon the rules of warfare of diverse moral and cultural systems. Ancient Greeks and Romans customarily observed a prohibition on the use of poison and poisonous weapons. By 500 BC, the Manu Law of War in India had banned the use of such arms. A thousand years later regulations on the conduct of war drawn from the Koran by the Saracens specifically forbade poisoning.

Public abhorrence of gas warfare, reflected in the ICRC's 1918 appeal, as well as the call for a prohibition of the use of gas by the International Conference of the Red Cross in 1921, contributed to the diplomatic momentum which culminated in the treaty we honour today,

80 years after its adoption. It must be said that, despite a handful of well known violations since 1925, the norm against poison weapons enshrined in the 1925 Protocol has been respected in nearly all of the hundreds of armed conflicts since its adoption. But our responsibility today is not only to celebrate this success but also to ask ourselves how vigilant we are in ensuring that poisoning and the deliberate spread of disease never again occurs in warfare or for any other hostile purpose. And we must soberly ask how healthy the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions'regimes are in the face of recent techn ical and political developments.

The work of Fritz Haber brings us face to face with a terrible truth about the progress of science. Nearly all major advances, in whatever domain, have been turned to hostile use. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, we have to consider what the future of humanity will be if the many beneficial advances in life sciences, biotechnology and pharmacology that we are now witnessing are put to hostile use.
The advances in biosciences which we are seeing now could make the use of chemical or biological weapons more effective, easier to make, safer to use, more difficult to detect and therefore more attractive to a State, group or individual who wishes to plan an attack. It may even be possible to alter peoples'behaviour, or even their fertility, without detection and from a distance. The use of pharmaceutical agents as weapons is now a reality with demonstrable and tragic results. The potential to target a particular ethnic group with a biological agent is probably not far off. These scenarios are not the product of the ICRC's imagination but have either occurred or been identified by countless independent and governmental experts. It is this concern which led the ICRC to make another public appeal in September 2002 on " Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity " . The Appeal carried three messages: first, it drew attention to potential risks inherent in certain advances in the life sciences and biotechnology; second, it underscored the pertinence of the legal and ethical norms which prohibit poisoning and deliberate spread of infectious disease; and third, it underscored the responsibility of governments, the scientific community and industry to prevent the use of scientific advances f or anything but the benefit of humanity.

The response to the ICRC's Appeal has been mixed. The most encouraging response has been from scientists and some major scientific academies which have begun to reflect on the risks of the misuse of their work and their legal and ethical responsibility to prevent this. Unfortunately, many major actors in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries have been reluctant to engage in discussion of potential misuse of their research and products. However, we are encouraged that efforts are underway to engage the relevant industry in a " Charter " of responsible practices.
We also welcome efforts being made by States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention to identify a range of measures to prevent and punish violations of its provisions. We nevertheless regret that the lack of success of the efforts to adopt a compliance monitoring Protocol for the BWC continues to inhibit agreement on a comprehensive agenda for urgently needed concerted action. While there is growing concern about the threat of terrorism and the potential of using biological or chemical agents, it must be recognized that this is only one of a variety of threats of misuse of biological agents and that any framework for addressing the full range of threats must include the 1925 Protocol and the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions.

Given the massive increase in the number of potentially dangerous agents together with the means to deliver them, their proliferation and the multiplication of actors with access to such agents, humanity risks losing the struggle against poisoning and the deliberate spread of disease. But this is not inevitable. We can minimize the risks by focusing our joint efforts on reaffirming existing legal and ethical norms and engaging not only government experts but also all relevant scientists and industry in cooperative preventive action.

Public abhorrence, ethical norms, codes of conduct, law and practical preventive measures are the tools with which humanity has protected itself, through generations and over several millennia, against poisoning and the deliberate spread of disease. The weakening of these protections, whether through neglect, yielding to the temptation to develop new types of chemical or biological weapons, a political impasse among major powers or the relegation of responsibility for these norms to experts – does not serve the interests of humanity. As the ICRC stated in its 2002 Appeal " We urge you to consider the threshold at which we all stand and to remember our common humanity " .
The norms contained in the 1925 Geneva Protocol and the two Conventions based on this instrument are among the oldest and most fundamental elements of international humanitarian law. We have inherited these on trust from previous generations. But to survive they must be more than legal documents; for they are not self-fulfilling. The vigilance and sense of responsibility they demand must go far beyond this room, to political leaders, to journalists and the wider public, to every scientist in relevant fields, to those who fund scientific research and to relevant industries and private companies. In the coming years, the 1925 Protocol is likely to be tested as never before. We cannot afford to ignore the risks, weaken the rules or decline our responsibilities. Some of the effects of chemical and biological warfare are al ready well known. We should not have to witness these again or indeed some new horror before all responsible actors assume their responsibilities.

http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/gas-protocol-100605.htm
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2011 20:51    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Chicago Tribune, 6 February 1918

Discrimination existed in the north as well as the Jim Crow south, as evidenced by this article in the Chicago Tribune, appearing 6 February 1918. The author's use of words like "threatening" and "invasion" to describe the possibility that a club of African-Americans might purchase land next to a white Elks clubhouse shows just how strongly whites felt about maintaining segregation.

http://www.eiu.edu/past_tracker/pdfs/Tribune_NegroesPlanToBeNeighborsOfEvanstonElks5.pdf
(via http://www.eiu.edu/past_tracker/rr_african_am.php)
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The Home Front in Rural Ontario: The Crombie Family Archives

In spite of the distance between Canada and Europe, the war had a significant impact on life at the Gilston Farm. In an impressive show of enthusiasm, thousands of young Canadians volunteered to fight overseas, resulting in a shortage of men in the home country. In 1916 Edward wrote: “it is extremely hard to get good help now-a-days with all the good men in khaki and the women and slackers earning easy money in the munitions factories.” Forced to do much of the heavy work himself, Edward appealed to his children by advertising in “The Daily Twitter” (+ p2), the family’s newsletter: “Wanted–Patriotic Kids to weed onions in a War Garden.” The war dragged on. Food shortages were common, and the Gilstonians felt it. The government instituted “wheatless” days, followed by “meatless” days, every Tuesday and Friday. In June 1918, Edward and his wife Hilda celebrated their twelfth wedding anniversary, prompting Edward to write about the fine roast Hilda had prepared, his “first taste of beef this year.” A newspaper clipping from the Toronto Daily Star, pasted into the family’s newsletter for 6 February 1918, is indicative of how deeply felt the shortages were: “In an effort to save fuel, the mills and factories throughout Ontario are to be closed from Friday morning until Tuesday next and all the stores, theatres etc. from Saturday to Tuesday.”

http://digitalcollections.mcmaster.ca/case-study/home-front-rural-ontario-crombie-family-archives
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2011 21:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Seattle General Strike of February 1919

The Seattle General Strike of February 1919 was the first city-wide labor action in America to be proclaimed a “general strike.” It led off a tumultuous era of post-World War I labor conflict that saw massive strikes shut down the nation's steel, coal, and meatpacking industries and threaten civil unrest in a dozen cities.

The strike began in shipyards that had expanded rapidly with war production contracts. 35,000 workers expected a post-war pay hike to make up for two years of strict wage controls imposed by the federal government.

When regulators refused, the Metal Trades Council union alliance declared a strike and closed the yards. After an appeal to Seattle’s powerful Central Labor Council for help, most of the city’s 110 local unions voted to join a sympathy walkout. The Seattle General Strike lasted less than a week but the memory of that event has continued to be of interest and importance for more than 80 years.

February 6 - On the morning of February 6, 1919, Seattle, a city of 315,000 people, stopped working. 25,000 union members had joined the 35,000 already on strike. Much of the remaining work force was idled as stores closed and streetcars stopped running. The General Strike Committee, composed of delegates from the key striking unions, tried to coordinate vital services and negotiate with city officials, but events moved quickly beyond their control.

Mooie algemene site... http://depts.washington.edu/labhist/strike/

Seattle's Skinner & Eddy shipyard, "ground zero" for the Seattle General Strike



http://radsearem.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/february-6-1919-the-seattle-general-strike-day-one/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 05 Feb 2011 21:34    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The Washington Naval Treaty Signed, February 6, 1922

Today in 1922, the Washington Naval Treaty was signed by representatives of five nations: the United States, the British Empire, France, Italy and the Empire of Japan. The agreement, also known as the Five-Power Treaty, was the first treaty intended to limit the size and strength of the signatory nations' naval forces. It would change the balance of power in both the Atlantic and Pacific and force a re-thinking of naval strategy for the first time in nearly a century.

It is said by military historians that nations' military machines always prepare to fight the last war. In the case of naval strategy during the decade after the First World War, this was especially true. There had been only one large sea engagement during the war---the Battle of Jutland. While neither the German or British fleets won a decisive victory, the battle showed the world the awesome power of battleships and heavy cruisers. In the mind of admirals around the world, many of who had come of age during the last decades of the 19th century, there was simply no replacement for big guns and heavy armor mounted on a fast ship. While airplanes had proved their worth over the battlefields of Europe, the aircraft carrier was still seen as an experiment by the establishment.

During and after the war, Japan, the UK and the United States all embarked on massive shipbuilding programs aimed at producing the world's largest navy. Just like the nuclear arms buildup that would begin thirty years later, there seemed to be no end to the plans put forth for more and more powerful battleships and battlecruisers.

But other factors had to be taken into consideration. Of the five major sea powers, the British had the largest navy, but the United States had an economy larger than England, France, Japan and Italy combined. The Americans were worried about the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, which dated back to 1902 and called for the two empires to provide for a mutual defense. The US government also had to contend with a population that was increasingly isolationist. For their part, the Japanese considered themselves the major power in Asia and wanted a navy large enough to prove it.

To keep the naval arms race from growing out of control, US President Warren G. Harding created the Washington Naval Conference. While the major European powers were all invited (with the exception of Soviet Russia), the main intention of the American delegation was to limit the growth of Japanese naval power in the Pacific. To make sure the US had an upper hand in the negotiations, all the delegations' cables to their governments were tapped. Thus, the Americans knew the highest level of cuts the Japanese would accept without walking out of the negotiations.

The treaty that came out of the Washington Naval Conference limited the total tonnage that each of the five signatory nations could have in battleships. It also clearly defined what a battleship was and limited the caliber of guns to sixteen inches. The US and Britain were given the same tonnage allotment at 525,000 tons. Japan was given 315,000 tons while France and Italy were each given 175,000 tons. The difference in allotments was justified by the US because, according to the American delegation, America was responsible for defending coasts on two oceans. The British had a worldwide empire to defend, thus justifying their allotment. None of the other three signatory nations was in such a distributed position.

One unintended consequence of the Washington Naval Treaty was the acceptance of the aircraft carrier. Almost every unfinished ship that was outside of the treaty limits was converted to an aircraft carrier because there were virtually no limits on that type of ship other than the restriction on the size of the guns they carried. Thus, naval aviation slowly moved to the center of fleet operations and took on an offensive role instead of just acting as the eyes of the battleships.

For its part, the United States did not build another battleship until 1937.

http://mattstodayinhistory.blogspot.com/2007/02/today-in-1922-washington-naval-treaty.html
Zie ook http://www.indiana.edu/~league/1922.htm
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George Saunders on the New German Constitution, February 1919

Following the German revolution in November 1918 - which saw the forced abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II - a fresh constitution was drawn up and a new assembly established; the latter first met on 6 February 1919.

Reproduced below is British journalist George Saunders' summary of the compilation of the new constitution and its implications.

George Saunders on the New German Constitution, February 1919

It must be acknowledged that the German Government and National Assembly proceeded in an expeditious and businesslike manner to give the empire a new constitution.

The National Assembly, elected by universal male and female suffrage, met on February 6th, at Weimar, and within four days enacted a provisional constitution, in accordance with which it chose a provisional president of the new empire (Herr Ebert) and set up a Council of States to take the place provisionally of the old Federal Council.

The president appointed a ministry of the empire, which proceeded to draw up the scheme of a definite constitution. This measure, after having been materially revised by a special Committee of the Assembly and by the Assembly itself in plenary session, passed the third reading on July 31st, and was promulgated on August 11th.

As compared with the constitution under which the late German Empire existed, the new arrangements exhibit one feature which is of fundamental importance. The old imperial constitution of 1871, like that of the North German Confederation on which it was built, was essentially a treaty between the rulers of the different German states. The constitution of August, 1919, is the expression of the will of the sovereign German people expressed through its representatives in the National or Constituent Assembly, which alone and without the cooperation of the president or the Committee of States enacted the new arrangements.

Under the old constitution Bavaria and, in a lesser degree, Wurttemberg and Saxony, retained a certain independence in the organization of their military forces. They had War Ministers of their own, and Bavaria had separate army estimates. All this has been abolished by Article 79, which enacts that the organization of the national defences is to be arranged on a unified basis, though some regard is to he paid to local peculiarities. In accordance with this provision, Noske, the Minister of Imperial Defense, has assumed supreme control of all the German forces.

The new German Army (Reichswehr) has been divided into four main groups or commands, with headquarters at Berlin, Kassel, Stettin and Munich. Subordinate to the Berlin command is Dresden, and to the Kassel command, Stuttgart and Hanover. These arrangements suffice to show how radical are the constitutional changes in the sphere of the army when they come to be carried out in detail.

Of still more vital significance for the unification of the empire is the centralization of the finances. This is not explicitly enacted in the new constitution, but Article 84 gives the empire legislative power with regard to the management of taxation in the separate territories (states) "so far as the unified and uniform execution of the imperial taxation laws demands."

The empire, moreover, can institute the authorities who are to be entrusted in the states with the collection of imperial taxation and can define their powers. Direct taxation, until the date of the levy for the imperial defences the year before the war, had been the prerogative of the separate states. The scheme of taxation recently announced by Herr Erzberger, the Imperial Minister of Finance, shows that this preserve of the separate states will now be formally invaded by the empire, with the probable result that the states will more and more lose the basis for their separate political existence.

One of the new institutions which marks the supersession of some of the old state rights is the Reichsrat or Council of Empire. It forms the definitive substitute for the old Federal Council, but its position is very different. Under the old regime all legislation was initiated in the Federal Council, where the supremacy of Prussia, and with it the personal supremacy of the King of Prussia, the German Emperor, was practically secured.

The larger states will be represented in the Reichsrat by one vote for each million inhabitants, and each state will have at least one vote. No state is to have more than two-fifths of the votes (Article 61). Roughly speaking, the new council of the empire will be composed of about 60 to 65 members, of which Prussia will appoint 24 to 26.

These delegates will be chosen from the members of the governments of the separate states. In the case of Prussia, however, it is enacted (Article 63) that the half of its representatives on the council must be supplied by the Prussian provincial administrations in a manner which a future Prussian law is to decide. This provision is manifestly intended as a sop to the partitionists, who desired the division of Prussia into several smaller states, and who, if Professor Preuss's first draft of the constitution had been adopted, would have carried their point.

Under the old regime the Federal Council was supreme, though, as already mentioned, that supremacy was in practice exercised by the King of Prussia through the chancellor. The Imperial Secretaries of state were mere organs of the Imperial Chancellor. Now there is an Imperial Government with ministers who in all essentials are independent of the Council of Empire (Reichsrat).

The members of the Imperial Government have the right to attend the sittings of the Reichsrat, over which one of them is to preside. The sessions of the Reichsrat, unlike those of the old Federal Council must as a rule be public. The Reichsrat, it is true, can initiate legislation, for the Imperial Government is bound to submit its legislative proposals to the Reichstag.

The popular assembly, the Reichstag, also has the power of legislative initiative, and so has the electorate itself. In the case of the electorate, the demand for a legislative measure (which must first be formally drafted) must be supported by at least one-tenth of the registered electors. If the Reichstag thereupon passes the measure without alteration, no further plebiscite is required. Otherwise, it would appear (Article 73, section 3), a general plebiscite on the measure has to be taken.

The Reichsrat may hold up a measure which has been passed by the Reichstag. In that case the measure goes back to the Reichstag and, if no agreement is attained, the president of the empire may within three months order a plebiscite. If he does not decide to take this course the measure lapses. If, however, a two-thirds majority of the Reichstag maintains the bill, the president must either within three months promulgate the measure as law or must ordain a plebiscite (Article 74).

These arrangements, it will be seen, represent a great curtailment of the powers of the state governments in the initiation and control of legislation.

The only other points in the constitution which space permits to be dealt with here are the articles which define the position and powers of the president. President Ebert was elected by the National or Constituent Assembly. The constitution provides that the president shall be chosen by the whole German electorate, but a law has first to be passed in order to regulate the mode of election.

The president takes in the new constitution the place which the German Emperor occupied under the old regime, but his powers are, naturally, much more limited. He is to be elected for seven years, but may be re-elected - how often the constitution does not say.

Before the expiration of his period of office he may be deposed by a plebiscite on the initiative of a two-thirds majority of the Reichstag (Article 43). If the plebiscite results in the rejection of the proposal for deposition, the president is to be regarded as re-elected for another seven years.

Like the emperor under the old regime, the president is to be the representative of the empire in its international relations, but, unlike the emperor, he is subject to the decision of the Reichstag in the matters of the declaration of war and the conclusion of peace (Article 45). He has the supreme command of the armed forces of the empire, and he appoints and dismisses the officials of the empire and the officers of the army and, presumably, of the navy, although, by the way, there is no mention of a navy in the whole constitution.

All dispositions and ordinances of the president, including his control of the army and of military appointments, require the signature of the Imperial Chancellor or of the minister whose department they concern. These ministers thereby take responsibility for the president's acts, a responsibility which does not merely, as under the old regime, necessitate the delivery of a speech in the Reichstag but entails the minister's resignation, if the Reichstag expresses its want of confidence in him (Article 54).

The president of the empire, the chancellor, and the ministers can be impeached at the instance of the Reichstag before the future State Court of Justice. But, as has been pointed out by German critics, and as, indeed, the constitution expressly states, they can be brought to trial only on the charge of having "culpably infringed the constitution or a law of the empire."

The Bulows, the Bethmann-Hollwegs, and the Michaelises would have got off scot free. It was their acts of policy, not breaches of the constitution or of the laws, that wrought the damage.

In examining the prerogatives of the German President it is interesting to speculate upon the loopholes which the constitution might afford for establishing a dictatorship or restoring the monarchy.

In this connection it is important to note that after having, on the second reading, adopted an article proposed by the Independent Socialists for the permanent exclusion of all members of the former ruling families from candidature for the presidency, the National Assembly on the third reading rejected this article - by 198 votes to 141.

Unfortunately, there is no adequate report of either of the debates available. There must have been some interesting discussion of the possibility of a restoration. The decision of the Reichstag was probably dictated by the consideration that all Germans are in future to be equal before the law, and that the exclusion of the princes would establish an inequality.

The ex-Emperor's sons and grandchildren, as is well known, are allowed to live in Germany without incurring any disabilities.

The president's control of the army, it has been noted, is subject to the responsibility of the chancellor or the war minister, expressed in their counter-signature of his ordinances. But, in the event of civil disorder, he can apparently act at once on his own initiative, "if necessary with the help of the armed forces" (Article 48).

He can also, in the same emergency, suspend a number of articles of the constitution which guarantee the liberties of the citizen and freedom of speech, writing and public meeting. It is true that he must "without delay" inform the Reichstag of the exceptional measures which he has adopted, and that the Reichstag may demand that these measures should be abandoned.

Yet it is conceivable that, if a president secretly cherished reactionary aims and were supported by the bulk of the army, he might go far in achieving his object before the Reichstag could intervene. A German MacMahon, or Louis Napoleon, might wrest the constitution to his own ends.

Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VII, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923, http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/germanassembly_saunders.htm
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"Funny thing is when I had nothing to lose, I always won."
- The Monocled Mutineer
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