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German Social Democrat politician; second Chancellor of the Weimar Republic.

During World War I, Scheidemann was co-leader with Friedrich Ebert of the majority faction of the Social Democratic Party (MSPD). In June 1918, he became vice-president of the Reichstag, and joined the cabinet in the October.

On November 9, 1918, the first day of the general strike, and under threat of a workers' revolution, it was Scheidemann who from a window of the Reichstag unilaterally announced to an enormous crowd that Ebert had taken over the chancellorship, and proclaimed "Long live the great German Republic!" (to the fury of Ebert). (Two hours later, a "Free Socialist Republic" was announced by Karl Liebknecht.) Later that day Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated. Thereafter, Scheidemann served as a leader in the provisional government until in February 1919 at a national assembly in Weimar Ebert became President. Scheidemann was then appointed Chancellor, but resigned in the June over issues concerning the Versailles Treaty. He went into exile following the rise of the Nazi Party in 1933.

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  • Wikipedia (Dec 13, 2011)

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Correspondence

  • OJ 10/1, [28] Handwritten letter from Dahms to Schenker, dated April 20, 1917

    Dahms comments on the political situation and decries widespread corruption.

  • DLA 69.930/10 Handwritten letter from Schenker to Halm, dated September 25, 1922

    Acknowledges OJ 11/35, 20 and composition; expects to be able to comment on Halm's Klavierübung in Tonwille 4; reports Leipzig University's decision not to appoint him; speculates on the impact of Kontrapunkt 2 and Der freie Satz; public difficulty in accepting Urgesetze. — Aristide Briand: The importance of being well-read on a topic before commenting in public: Schoenberg and Reger; newspapers. — Maximilian Harden: although faithful to Schenker, Harden had not mastered the topics on which he wrote. — National Govenment: Schenker's publishing plans, including "The Future of Humanity": man's anthropomorphic thinking is a delusion, he needs to adapt to nature, to return to a primitive state, to abandon "development" and "progress" and return to primordial laws; inferior man wants to "govern" (bowel wants to become brain); Schenker deplores "artifice" (French) as against nature (German). — Things French: praises German superiority over French in its joy of work. — Higher Plane: the German should not abase himself before the Frenchman.

  • OJ 10/1, [78] Handwritten letter from Dahms to Schenker, dated August 23, 1923

    Dahms has received Tonwille 4 but not yet examined it. — Has deferred work on his Haydn book because of financial problems over Musik des Südens and poor take-up of subscriptions. — Debates whether to attend the Leipzig musicology conference. — Comments on German politics as the occupation of the Ruhr unfolds, and compares German attitudes with Italian.

  • OJ 10/1, [89] Handwritten letter from Dahms to Schenker, undated [c. April 29, 1925]

    Dahms has found a rental cottage in rural Pallanza, and invites the Schenkers to visit. — Hindenburg's election as German President has given a "jolt" to Europe and pleased Mussolini; it should produce shrewd politics, but he doubts whether Hindenburg will be able to lift Germany out of mediocrity.

Diaries