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Leipzig 1918-1923


November 1918 – Soldiers and sailors on leave refuse to return to the front. They march from the Main Railway Station to Connewitz in order to disarm the soldiers on duty there and to win them over to their cause. In the Volkshaus, the first Soldiers’ Council is voted in, which leads to mass demonstrations. The Leipziger Volkszeitung (Leipzig People’s Newspaper) prints the headline “World Revolution Spreads”.

January 1919 - Founding of the first Saxon KPD local group in the “Coburger Bierhallen” on the Brühl which attracts a large number of onlookers.

January 1919 - When a military transport is denied passage to Berlin, there is a violent exchange of fire between the Workers' and Soldiers' Council and Reichswehr troops at the Leipzig-Leutzsch railway station, in which four soldiers and two insurgents are killed. The troops are then disarmed and the Leipzig Council Republic has its first revolutionary martyrs.

February/March 1919 – Leipzig’s workers, male and female, join in a trans-regional general strike for the socialization of companies and factories. Bourgeois citizens, public servants and officials enter a counter-strike. The Workers’ and Soldiers’ Council extorts nearly 400,000 Reichsmark from Leipzig’s mayor for the strike fund.

May 1919 – A power struggle takes place between the bourgeois City Council and the Workers’ and Soldiers’ Council. The conflict between Dresden’s government and council-administered Leipzig comes to a head. A state of siege is declared for the entire state of Saxony. Volunteer paramilitary troops (Freikorps) march into Leipzig and force the capitulation of the revolutionaries.

November 1919 - The city takes over the tram which had previously been merged and makes it into a municipal company. Two years later the Zoological Garden is also transferred into municipal ownership

1919 - Religious education is replaced at the Saxon elementary schools with the subject "Life Studies".

March 1920 – Kapp-Coup: Across Germany, generals of the German army attempt a counter-revolutionary coup. They are supported by the Freikorps, bourgeois militias (“Einwohnerwehren”) and a volunteer student regiment. The coup is held off by decisive street battles and a general strike. Despite this, Richard Lipinski, at that time chairman of the Leipzig USPD, capitulated to the Reichswehr on his own and without the knowledge of the struggling workers. Thus, he clears the way for the opponents of the revolution to later fight the uprisings in the Ruhr Area and the Vogtland. The result for Leipzig: 150 dead and a completely destroyed Volkshaus.

March 1921 – Mainly extra-parliamentary left-wing radicals attempt an armed rebellion during the March conflicts in central Germany, which fails.

July 1922 - The First Workers-Gymnastics-Sports Festival takes place in Leipzig with 100,000 participants.

1923 – Inflation drives food prices sky high. In March, a loaf of bread costs 360 Mark, by autumn, 11 million. Hunger riots and plundering take place more often and are brutally stopped by the police.

March 1923 - Leipzig-Mockau Airport, completed in 1913, is reopened after extensive modernization by the first Imperial President Friedrich Ebert as a "World Airport".

October 1923 – In Saxony, the last communist attempt at a revolution during the Weimar Republic happens in the “German October” (Deutscher Oktober). The German army marches into Leipzig and the Saxon coalition of SPD and KPD is discharged by the Imperial government (Reichsregierung).