Germany: Central Council: 1918-1919

Vorsitzender des Zentralrats der deutschen sozialistischen Republik (Chairman of the Central Council of the German Socialist Republic)
20 Dec 1918 - 14 Apr 1919 Robert Leinert
20 Dec 1918 - May 1920 Max Cohen-Reuß
20 Dec 1918 - 14 Apr 1919 Hermann Müller
History:

Elected by delegates of the First Reich Congress of Councils on 19 Dec 1918, the Central Council [1] was in function as a controlling body for the Council of People's Commissioners (Rat der Volksbeauftragten) and Prussia and as organizational head and coordinating body for the network of revolutionary councils which came into existence during the November Revolution. The formal transfer of authority from its predecessor, Vollzugsrat der Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte Groß-Berlins (Executive Council of the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils of Greater Berlin), took place on 21 Dec 1918 during a joint meeting of both councils (declaration published 23 Dec 1918). The Central Council worked in cooperation with the provisional government (Council of People's Commissioners) and supported the measures aimed at suppressing the revolutionary revolts. It also approved the new composition of the provisional government after the independent social democrats resigned their posts during a joint meeting of the Central Council and the Council of People's Commissioners (28/29 Dec 1918). The Central Council declared relinquishing all its authority to the Verfassunggebende Nationalversammlung (National Constituent Assembly) on 4 Feb 1919 [2] and lost political importance with the decline of the councils in general, but continued on a reduced scale when the Second Reich Congress of Councils elected (14 Apr 1919) the second Central Council which met until February 1920. It ceased to exist when the provisional Reichswirtschaftsrat (Reich Council for Economy) was established in May 1920. Information source: [3][4][5]


[1] The term Vollzugsausschuss der Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte (Executive Committee of the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils) occurs informally in the discussions preceding its creation, but the term used in the approved motion in the Congress of Councils is the Zentralrat der Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte (Central Council of the Workers' and Soldiers' Councils).
[2] Kundgebung des Zentralrats der deutschen sozialistischen Republik an die Nationalversammlung: <...>
7, In der Erwartung, dass die Nationalversammlung ihre volle Souveränität durchführt, legt der Zentralrat die ihm von Reichskongress der Arbeiter- und Soldatenräte übertragene Gewalt in die Hände der deutschen Nationalversammlung... [4, No. 73]
[3] "Der Zentralrat der Deutschen Sozialistischen Republik 19.12.1918 - 8.4.1919" from the series: "Quellen zur Geschichte der Rätebewegung in Deutschland 1918/19" (Leiden: Verlag E. J. Brill, 1968).
[4] "Dokumente zur deutschen Verfassungsgeschichte", ed. by Ernst Rudolf Huber (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1961-1966).
[5] "The Political Institutions of the German Revolution 1918-1919" (New York, 1966).
Last updated on: 01 May 2010 02:22:34