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Born Feb. 4, 1871, in Heidelberg; died Feb. 28, 1925, in Berlin. German political and state figure. One of the right-wing leaders of the German Social Democratic movement.
Ebert was a saddler by trade. He became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDPG) in 1889. In 1905 he was elected to the administrative board of the SDPG, and in 1913 he became one of the chairmen of the board. In 1912, Ebert was elected to the Reichstag, and in 1916 he became the leader of the Reichstag’s Social Democratic faction. During World War I, he held socialist and chauvinistic views.
On Nov. 9, 1918, during the Revolution of November 1918, Ebert accepted the position of chancellor from Prince Max of Baden. On November 10 he became cochairman of the provisional government, which was called the Council of People’s Commissioners. On the same day, he concluded a secret agreement with members of the supreme military command concerning the introduction of military units into Berlin in order to suppress the revolution. In January 1919 the Ebert-Scheidemann government suppressed a revolutionary demonstration by the Berlin proletariat.
In February 1919, Ebert was elected president of the Weimar Republic.