The German Soviet Republic (German: Deutsches Rätterrepublik) is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered to the west by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Switzerland, to the north by the Kingdom of Denmark-Sweden, to the east by the PUL, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, and to the South by Italy and Yugoslavia. They also share maritime borders with Norway and the United Kingdom.
In the wake of the Great War's disastrous aftermath, the German Empire quickly found itself in economic and political turmoil following the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the assassination of Paul Von Hindenburg. Hyperinflation, labor disputes, and repressed minority sentiments among Poles, Czech, and Ashkenazis soon after culminated in the Revolution of 1930, in which the Red forces would emerge victorious.
The Great War (1914-1928)
Following the infamous July Crisis, the German Empire chose to support its ally in Central Europe, Austria-Hungary, through the Blank Check, which promised unconditional military support in the event of a European land war. However, their actions in the region hardly went unnoticed; The Russian Empire had proclaimed itself as the protector of all Slavs, and had competed with Austria-Hungary in a game of dominance for the Balkans for decades. The annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina just six years prior had infuriated the Romanovs, and Austria-Hungary's ambitions on the Balkans were not to stop. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand left the Hapsburgs without an immediate heir, committed by none other than a Bosnian Serb and Yugoslav Nationalist, Gavrilo Princip. In the eyes of Vienna, this audacious assault on the honor of the Hapsburg throne simply could not stand. Already seen as deeply internally divided, the course of action in the Austro-Hungarian court was clear: A war was necessary to revitalize the image of the Monarchy, lest their reputation change from, "waning" to, "ripe for the picking".
From there, the embers of war were airborne, until all which remained was contact to set the parchment of Europe's borders ablaze. Austria-Hungary issued their stern ultimatum to Serbia, deeply wishing for a quick and easy war of honor. To their glee, Serbia had refused, and one by one, the armies of Europe issued mobilization orders. Germany, seeing the vast armies of the Russian Empire too begin to mobilize, demanded they stop at once. The Kaiser and the Tsar, related by blood, exchanged cursory pleas, if only for auld lang syne than out of hope for peaceful mediation. Only days after the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia, Germany declared war on Russia. Suspicious, Germany peered west to Russia's long-standing ally in France, and so did what was the only course of sanity in times of crisis, and took initiative in the declaration of belligerence.
German strategists were keenly aware of Russia's potential military might, for there was a very real fear in the high command that, should Russia be given enough time, they would eventually be able to field an army so great as to become unstoppable. Key to this, then, was that the Central Powers strike while the iron was hot and the wind behind their back. In their minds, imperative to their grand strategy was that France be quickly subdued, to which the full force of the German military could be redirected towards the neutering of the great Russian bear. Dubbed the infamous Schlieffen Plan, the heavy fortifications along the French border were directed to be flanked around via Belgium.
On August 2nd, The German Empire dispatched an ultimatum to the Belgian government in no unclear terms: Allow the German army military transit through Belgium and into France, or face war. The following day, Brussels gave a firm refutation to the demands. While Belgium was firm in its belief in the guarantee by the UK for independence, Germany assumed such a "scrap of paper" was merely pretext for the British to not be completely sidelined in continental European affairs without significant interest to act upon it. An invasion of Belgium commenced soon after their rejection, and any Belgian resistance was brutally repressed. England responded with fervor, joining the side of the Entente Cordiale. The Great War had begun.
Early on, the course of the war greatly favored the Central Powers, with the French army rushing towards other fronts in Belgium and much of Russia's military yet to mobilize. Germany's greatest military achievements were found in the early stages of the war. The famous Battle of Tannenberg caused the complete destruction of the Russian 1st and 2nd Armies in spite of the Germans being outnumbered 3-to-1, with Germany speeding ahead into Poland and the Baltics at speeds even they were surprised by. In spite of Italy and Romania's entry into the Entente, German forces pressed into Russia nearly unopposed. In March of 1916, repeated military disasters along the Eastern Front charged perception in Russia far away from the war, with incidents such as the Battle of Lake Naroch resulting in colossal failures to counterattack the German forces. A final offensive, led by Russian general Aleksei Brusilov attempted a spearhead into Austrio-Hungarian Ruthenia and Galicia. Initially quite successful, the Russians made a significant breakthrough into Austria-Hungary and captured the cities of Lviv and Lutsk, yet, Brusilov's initial victories would prove to be short-lived. Having pushed firmly into Ruthenia, Brusilov left his many of his flanks exposed to counterattacks. The very next day, this vulnerability would prove to be his undoing, with German and Austro-Hungarian troops able to successfully encircle the entirety of Brusilov's forces.
With the Russian Imperial Army in full retreat and the winds of revolution posed to turn into a gale, the Tsar called back the military and opted instead to sue for peace. The resulting peace conference between the powers soon turned to bitter demands. The Germans were infamously harsh negotiators, pressing their full advantage into the dire circumstances the Tsar found his country embroiled in. For days on end, talks teetered on the verge of collapse. Germany demanded hefty concessions from the Russian Empire, including the seizure of an overwhelming amount of its industry as well as considerable territorial cessations, up to and including the creation of separate Ukraininan, Baltic, and Finnish states. However, noting that he was quickly running out of time, the Tsar wearily folded to some - but not all - of their demands. Signed on October 17th of 1916, the terms and conditions were signified in the Treaty of Minsk. As per the decree of the treaty, Russia would be obligated to create independent states in Poland and Lithuania, in addition to the payment of 3 Billion Goldmarks in reparations to be paid. Russia's exit from the war left Romania completely isolated from the rest of the Entente, and their resulting encirclement made them easy prey for the Central Powers. Swiftly conquered, Romania folded to terms similar to the Russians in the Treaty of Bucharest, reasserting the territorial possessions of Austria-Hungary to Transylvania and Bulgarian claims to Dobruja, yet also acknowledging the Romanian annexation of the Russian territory of Besarrabia-Moldova.
Having secured the Eastern Front, the war plans had gone swimmingly thus far. Russia had been neutralized far ahead of schedule, and with only one front left to go, the air within the German High Command was swelteringly jovial. After all, if the enemy they had expected to be a long and brutal carnage against had been so easily vanquished with only half of the might of the country, what chance could the enemy they so famously defeated in 1871 have against the full might of the German Army?
The reality, of course, would be much less kind to their optimism. While the High Command had hoped that the closure of the Eastern Front would mean the troops could be sent West, the truth was the German Army had to be spent instead propping up the crippled Austro-Hungarian Empire rather than amassing enormous assaults against the Entente in the fields of France. Recent innovations in warfare did little to directly change the course of the war, for although the proliferation of the tank in 1916 would eventually be shown to a different course of warfare, the interest in such devices to the Germans was initially quite muted. Fighting intensified in scope and magnitude from 1917 onward into the famous British Offensives of 1919 and the Push to the Seine, yet each time, the results remained largely the same: Enormous attritional losses for the attacker in exchange for a few kilometers of gains at their most generous. Yet, the war went on into the '20s all the same, with no care for the fatigue of all of its combatants. Since neither side at this point could reconcile with their losses, the forces of the Entente and the Central Powers alike sought to entirely redefine the balance of power in Europe.
In late 1920, however, the winds of crisis would begin to blow across the Reich. Throughout the procession of the war, the Kaiser found himself taking more and more of a ceremonial role than an administrative one, simply existing to decorate brave soldiers or give speeches to a weary populous. Yet, by January of 1921, the de facto administration of the German Empire was that of a military dictatorship, primarily spearheaded by a certain Paul von Hindenburg. However, the boisterous Wilhelm had a limit as to how much puppetry he could realistically be given, having later confessed that he felt more apropos a figurehead than a true leader of Germany. In time, consistent and residual disagreements between the military government and the King of Prussia would spill over into power struggles. The March Crisis, as it came to be called, largely paralyzed the upper echelon of the German Government, leaving the rest to run on inertia alone. Scores of infrastructure in the Empire lay completely neutered, leaving any and all capabilities to whatever effective measures their local administrators could muster up. With harsher and harsher wartime rationing imposed as the war aged, Germany found herself embroiled in complete administrative and political turmoil. Incredible pressure from the wartime toils led to increasing opposition from various labor unions and democratic movements. Facing immense resistance from the civilian government, the Kaiser and Reichstag alike had to come up with a solution - and fast.
Whispers soon after escalated into the clear possibility of open coup d'etat within the Empire, which placed further stress upon the already maligned Wilhelm II to recapture his authority. Quietly, he approached von Baden to see if any such rumors remained true. It was often reported that von Baden only gave very roundabout answers, not as to condemn who was the chief of staff of the German Military, but also in such a fashion as to not draw upon the immediate suspicion of the Kaiser. The next day, the Kaiser posed the next question. When von Baden responded in the same way, Wilhelm II, in a rage, demanded that von Baden reveal any and all information about von Hindenburg. Within crisis lay opportunity, however, and it was in this moment which von Baden found perhaps the only way to make good on the gains Germany had made. To this end, von Baden instructed that he had, "reasonable suspicions (of) von Hindenburg", yet did not wish to condemn the general for anything which he did not know out of certainty.
To Wilhelm, this "admission" confirmed a lasting sensation he had: That there was some overarching conspiracy to keep him relegated from his position as Kaiser, or even to replace him entirely. In the mind of Wilhelm, there were no doubts left in his mind that his remission to the backseat of German politics would be a permanent one. On the night of March 28th, 1921, Wilhelm ordered the assassination of von Hindenburg in his own manor, with storied assumptions as to the true purpose of the attempt. Accounts of the period often varied from stories of von Hindenburg dying in a freak accident to his untimely death being an almost certain plot by either the French or the British. Yet by the end of it, the Kaiser's feud with von Hindenburg was incredibly well known. By this point, von Hindenburg was not only the de facto head of government, but also a widely renown celebrity within German politics, even earning the respect of many Social Democrats in spite of his outward dislike for their policy. With von Hindenburg dead, and Wilhelm in the eyes of so many to have been - at bare minimum - implicit in his demise, the already swelling political pressure in Germany popped. Almost overnight, Wilhelm II's reputation as a king immediately went toward the gutter, making enemies of both the lower and upper German strata.
In response, Wilhelm II did what all great monarchs did in times of great and abdicated the throne. Propping up the famed Prince Wilhelm III as his immediate successor, Wilhelm II soon after abandoned the country, smuggling himself aboard a cargo train where he sought asylum in the Netherlands. The Kaiser deposed, a new appointee as ruler of Germany, and the world exhausted, Max von Baden and Wilhelm III made contact through the Netherlands to suggest a cessation of hostilities to the Entente. Although an official ceasefire was suggested and eventually agreed to in April of 1921, the conditions of armistice were a subject of immense debate between both Entente and Central Powers alike. In both of their minds, however, the crushing reality of the situation did not lend itself well to the continuation of hostilities, for the reserves of such energy had been so long exhausted that von Baden commented, "To have continued the war after ceasefire is tantamount to political suicide."
Postwar German Empire
To appease the home front and the increasingly influential and discontented Social Democratic Party, von Baden and promised extensive reforms to the tired people of Germany. With assurances to extend representation, ease conscription, and provide wartime pensions, von Baden had managed to prevent the immediate rebellion of Germany's most discontent, if he had only just as soon issued commitments that would prove tough to keep. After years of debate and consultation, the Treaty of Rotterdam officially signified the end of the Great War. Agreeing to no territorial exchanges, Germany would agree to pay reparations to Belgium and little else, even going as far as to denounce any territorial claims in their East Asian holdings unto the neutral Chinese, done out of the belief that Japan had done nothing to be rewarded throughout the course of the war.
With millions dead or grievously wounded, scores of political prisoners taken, and few significant gains as a result, the most generous clause of the Great War was one of a bitter status quo. The damage was one, sealed and irreversible as they were etched into the annals of history. There was little left for Germany to do but continue, few ways to proceed other than forward. And so, Germany marched onward.
At the conclusion of the Great War, Germany had found herself in much the same condition as she did in its beginning: With few allies, many enemies, an over-stretched Empire, and the clamor of its internal factions now more emboldened than ever before to seize what was so rightfully promised to them. In the following year, Germany withdrew its forces from the rapidly decaying Austro-Hungarian Empire as per demobilization of the country and transition into the civilian economy, yet the action would soon seal the fate of its sole accomplice in the region. Soon after, in spite of Kaiser Otto von Hapsburg's proclamation of a Confederation of Austrian States, the discontented peoples of the Hapsburg lands found themselves unwilling to merely accept any status quo. Sparked by the Siege of Brno and the returning Czechoslovak Legionnaires, one by one, states seceded from the crown, until the monarchist government was left with a paltry sum of what once remained of the mighty Austrian Empire.
Troubles for the recently-peacefound Empire failed to stop with the Austro-Hungarian Implosion. Just after the absence of the scorned Wilhelm II, his son and heir to the throne - Wilhelm III - soonafter announced his own abdication to the throne of Emperor and King of Prussia. Unlike that of his father, the exile of Wilhelm III was self-imposed, later admitting that he was, "...far too ashamed to stand before the people of Germany as a 'Heir of Ruination'". This left the incredibly young Wilhelm IV to lead the German Empire in what was possibly her most dire time. At only the age of 22, he was, unlike the majority of the Hohenzollern family, left near completely tutorless, to say little of his practical political experience; Although he technically had held the rank of Captain in the 1st Guards Regiment, he neither saw any active combat nor had any experience in any maneuvers aside from basic scholarship. Yet, with the tenured hand of Maximillain Von Baden at his side, Wilhelm IV was coronated in Brandenburg, headstrong in his assertion to the throne.
The coronation of the young prince into emperor did little to alleviate the unrest boiling below among the German people. In spite of the newfound Emperor's assured temperament, living conditions in Germany continued to deteriorate. The demobilization of Germany saw its wartime economy nosedive, and with both weak foreign and domestic markets Germany saw rampant unemployment, inflation, and with it economic and social instability. Lack of stability on a global scale as well as inflation due to excessive debt and financial mismanagement lead to the Goldmark’s value plummeting, wiping out vast swathes of industry almost overnight. In mere weeks, the value of the Goldmark hyper-inflated almost exponentially. Barter economies became widespread throughout the country. So useless was the Goldsmark at one point that war veterans used the paper money the government payed them with to heat their homes. Hyperinflation threatened a near-breakdown of the German economy by the end of 1928.
Immense pressure from the completely bust economy saw very limited avenues of recovery. As a gesture of goodwill, the United States proposed the Wilson Plan, in which they offered financial assistance to the nations of Europe as a means to ensure a long-lasting peace. Von Baden was swift in his acceptance of the gesture, serving to inject the offerings of the plan directly into the German treasury. With this newfound money coming at virtually no price, the Reichstag just as soon began a lengthy debate on how quite this funding should be used to alleviate the current financial crisis. Although the monetary issues of the Goldmark were, in the short term, somewhat quelled, the Reichstag feared that the current procession of the economy would soon lead to an utter collapse in the private sector, if not acted upon soon. This, combined with the emboldened status of the Communist and Social Democratic parties provoked a distinct concern among the predominantly aristocratic Reichstag that, if not soon alleviated, would soon lead to a complete loss of control in the already-foundering German state. Under the influence of his court and Reichstag, Wilhelm IV quickly passed a series of emergency decrees on January 13th, 1929, aptly referred to as the Emergency Economic Powers Act. In effect, this gave the German government large amounts of control over the direction of the direction of industry, disallowed collective bargaining, and directly injected upwards of 70% of the previous Wilson Plan budget into the hands of private enterprises, such as the notable Junkers, Herr, und Krupp. Unincluded in any of these decrees were any of the aforementioned promises made by the earlier Maximilian Von Baden in the closing days of the Great War.
In effect, the decision to influence the German industry from a top-down, state capitalistic approach did very little to alleviate the needs of the average German citizen, where the decree was largely seen as an extension of the austerity of the wartime economy. In an era which promised lasting peace and prosperity, the average German was left jobless and often penniless. Despite an initial revitalization of some industry, the effects of the Act still left scores of Germans out of work and with promises unfulfilled. With such resentment built up over time and in time, the essential banishment of labor unions from Germany, a broad coalition of varied republicans, socialists, and communists banded their strength together, knowing now the only way for the dictatorship of the German Empire to end was a truly united front; Here, Die Einheitsfront was born.
On March 9th, 1929, the city of Cologne - set in the industrial heartland of Germany - experienced a wide series of strikes planned by the Einheitsfront in response to massive unemployment, mismanagement of funds by factory owners, and most importantly, the hyper-inflated pricing of food. Although an initial response from Berlin set to the rioters was somewhat muted, in time, clashes erupted between the Einheitsfront and the local Westfalen Freikorps, which eventually sprawled out into a gigantic, near city-wide battle between the two. Over the course of several days, the fighting escalated in scale and ferocity, calling upon a deployment of soldiers from all over the Empire to quell the unrest. Fighting soonafter spread into Bavaria, Hesse, and Alsace, with a series of states soon reported takeovers at municipal levels. Soldiers in many regions, unconvinced of the crown's wishes to fulfill any of their previous promises, took up arms in conjunction with the United Front. The combat even spilled over into the neighboring German Austria, a revolutionary surge from the neighboring Czechoslovakia and Hungary unable to be quelled by the decaying Hapsburg rule. The lines in the sand were now clearly drawn: The German Civil War had begun.
Post-Revolutionary History (1931-1955)
After months of vicious and brutal fighting, assisted by the recently revolutionized government of neighboring Poland, the German Civil War had come to a close. The Einheitsfront emerged victorious, the vanquished monarchists and proto-fascists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled, and in the place of the old Hohenzollern monarchy a new constitutional system was to be implemented. However, given the multipartisan composition of the United Front, there was initially much heated debate over what form the new government was to take. Supporters of the old Social Democratic Party were in favor of a mixed socialist welfare state, whereas the communists wished to completely revolutionize the old system, dismantle its last pieces, and instate a collective egalitarian society. After months of infighting and power struggles which resulted in rather comical events like the 1930 Reichstag Brawl, the KPD emerged victorious, thanks in no small part to the influence of Poland. In 1931, the constitution of the country was created, solidifying Germany's position as a communist state, and Ernst Toller was voted in as the first President of the German Council Republic, with Johannes Hoffman elected as the first Chancellor.
Toller's performance as the first president was one filled with a rather heavy duty before him, and one which he achieved with a very mixed legacy. Although responsible for a wide variety of initial projects to assist Germany's recovery, Toller was known for his general ineptitude towards appointing effective personnel as well as his general lack of urgency towards any situation. For example, Toller's choice of Foreign Minister, a certain Dr. Franz Lipp, had insisted that every single key to the restrooms in the German parliament had been stolen by the monarchists when fleeing, had issued a declaration of war towards Switzerland when they had refused to lend Germany 53 trucks (The result of which lasted approximately six hours and the only skirmish entailed within had the only casualty listed as a German patrol dog), and, had he not suffered from a heart attack and died on the typewriter from which he was stationed, would have issued a declaration of war upon the Empire of Japan for "the failure to purchase sufficient quantities of German tractors". The only instance in which he had broken this trend was due to his belief that the army would attempt to coup him, and thus, in a bid to curb their political influence, kept the Red Army preoccupied with construction projects, such as bridges, roads, and opera houses, that - while nice to have - Germany did not particularly need. As such, on the commencation of war in China, Toller was very quick to persuade the KPD to lend aid to China, eventually serving to funnel over as many postwar surplus materiel as could be provided.
With the new election cycle in 1936, Toller had proven to be nowhere near as popular enough to necessitate a repeated term, and was soon ousted by the new electee, Eugen Leviné. While certainly proving to be more apt than the previous Toller, Leviné only enjoyed lukewarm reception throughout the wider German population. Although he, unlike his predecessor, had made more conceited efforts to reaffirm the reconstruction program of Germany in the wake of both the Great War and the Civil War, his outspokenly audacious nature committed him to a more aggressively ideological crowd, and for the vast majority of Germans, simply any sign of improvement was a much-needed bolster to the more weary German people. However, come the next election, the UCDP had proposed just the candidate...
Albert Einstein had previously made his living as a world-renowned physicist, and showed only limited interest in political office. Only at the repeated insistence of his accomplices did he, after much debate, make the decision to run for office for President in the 1940 Election. With only a narrow margin of success - boiled down to the most minuscule of percentage difference - Einstein rose as the Third President of Germany. He soon proved to be Germany's most popular president to date. As a result of his series of collective, mutualist economic reforms - in addition to hiss expressive personality, keen inquisitive sense, wit, intelligence, and highly developed sense of empathy - made him enormously popular within and outside of Germany. During Einstein's presidency, the German economy began booming, proving to have completely recovered from the devastation of two wars, and soon after blossoming further as the industry began its steady growth under the UCPD's policy. To this day, Einstein is regarded as the most popular president of Germany to date.
Serving the maximum of two terms, the successor to his position, Wilhelm Stoph currently resides as a modest presider over the DRR. Largely considered to be a more homely president as opposed to many potential candidates, his popularity and legacy remains middling, though how much of this is due to the previous popularity of Einstein remains to be seen. Nevertheless, 1955 marked an election year for the German Council Republic, and the horrors of the Great War are fast becoming a distant memory in the eyes of the people.
Since the establishment of the 1931 Constitution, Germany is run as a federal socialist republic, jointly ruled by an electorate of municipal, technocratic assemblies (Landtag) and a senate of representatives for each federal constituent republic (Reichstag). The public voterbase most directly is involved on a municipal level, where appointees to both the Municipal Courts, the Landtag, and the day-to-day involvement in cooperative industrial entities, most commonly under the moniker Kollektivindustrie (abr. KTI).
Germany possesses very strong diplomatic and commercial ties with other European communist nations, namely Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and the PUL. As per its Sufficiency Industrial Agreements, Germany often provides industrial and technical support to still-developing socialist states in exchange for raw materials, whether that be bauxite from Hungary, petroleum from Romania, or grain from Poland. Although they have yet to formalize any longstanding military bloc, there have been talks of beginning a formal collective trade and defense treaty between all constituent states. This has yet to bear any significant fruit, due to counterweight concerns that such an alliance would undeniably favor Germany as the kingpin of influence in such an allegiance, but as tensions around the world begin to ignite, more serious talks may once again resume.
Germany also has historically strong ties to China, opting to lend material and later volunteer troops in the Sino-Japanese War. Since then, Germany has stood as one of the few countries with a lasting diplomatic presence in China.
As part of its core tenants, the GSR regularly intervenes in foreign insurgencies, most often sending materials and covert aid to socialist-aligned rebellions, the most notable of which in 1955 being the Ukrainian Red Army and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).
Relations with other non-socialist countries vary from cool to outward hostility. Travel to the United States since their 1933 Business Plot has been heavily restricted, and Germany does not retain diplomatic contact with the current DC government. Similarly, relations between anglosphere nations like the UK, Canada, and Australia are limited at best, only brought up in cases of emergency. Japan and Germany have long since been rivals as well.
With Queen Wilhelmina's decree of Indonesian independence in the event of peace between the Netherlands and Japan, there have been signs of relations thawing between the two countries. Although they have strategic reasons to support Mexico against the United States, ideological differences between the two nations have left their regards for one another rather cool.
The current Berlin government does not recognize the German Imperial Government in Exile, and asserts that their claims to Qingdao are nonsense, citing that the city is the sovereign territory of the Republic of China.
The sizable internal market of the GSR is rather lively, projecting reasonable growth throughout the next decade. As perhaps the most industrialized nation in Europe, its sheer industrial throughput gives it an economic power only rivaled in Europe by Spain and perhaps Italy. Germany has benefited greatly from its mutualist economic reforms, and is able to export a simply mind-boggling array of manufactured goods for the civilian market.
See: German Armed Forces