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Kiel und die Revolution von 1918

Das Tagebuch eines Werftingenieurs, verfasst in den Jahren 1917–1919. Edition und Textanalyse


Klaus Kuhl

Das Tagebuch des Kieler Werft-Ingenieurs Andersen erlaubt es, das Verhalten von Angestellten während der Jahre 1917–1919 einzuschätzen. Dazu wird untersucht, welche Ereignisse ihm wichtig waren, welchen Eindruck sie auf ihn machten und wie er die Diskussionen in seinem Umfeld wahrnahm.

Daraus werden die Ursachen für die Änderung seiner Einstellung im Laufe dieser Jahre bestimmt. Die Ergebnisse werden neueren Thesen gegenübergestellt, die für die Akteure der Revolutionszeit stark eingeschränkte Handlungsmöglichkeiten sehen, so dass eine Ausweitung der revolutionären Bestrebungen nicht möglich gewesen wäre. Dies wird insbesondere im Hinblick auf eine mögliche Weiterentwicklung der Kieler Ansätze für eine durchgreifende Militärreform diskutiert.

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2. Summary


2. Summary

Nikolaus Andersen was born into a relatively wealthy rural family. An engineer at the Germania shipyard in Kiel, his main job was to modify technical drawings. From August 1917 to November 1919 he kept a war diary, written predominantly in Suetterlin, a specific type of German handwriting. He filled almost 200 pages of the diary, sometimes adding newspaper articles and leaflets. In 1980 the diary was purchased at a flea market in Schleswig-Holstein by Karl Altewolf, and was subsequently made available to a wider public.

Andersen had a broad range of interests, in particular politics, though he himself was not a member of a political party. He did, however, develop clear opinions, based on his extensive study of newspapers and books, as well as attending events and participating in discussions within his own sphere.

Analysis of the diary provides an important indication that many among the middle classes likely supported the uprising, and, as a counterweight to the old elites, would have favoured the option of granting the councils an important role alongside the National Assembly. His drastic choice of words for key military aristocracy representatives suggests that he would have welcomed sweeping military reforms.

However, Andersen was clearly opposed to outright rule by the council. When some master craftsmen who were regarded by their subordinated workers as unbearable, were forcefully removed from the yard, the white collar workers went on strike over the perceived arbitrary nature of their removal....

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