Gustav Noske

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Noske, Gustav


Born July 9, 1868, in Brandenburg; died Nov. 30, 1946, in Hannover. Figure of the extreme right wing of the German Social Democratic Party. After the beginning of World War I, a social-chauvinist.

Having become a member of the government—the Council of People’s Commissars—during the November Revolution of 1918, Noske took upon himself the role of a “bloodhound” (his own epithet). He mobilized the military forces of the counterrevolution, which in 1919 crushed the revolutionary actions of the workers of Berlin, Bremen, and other cities of Germany. From February 1919 until March 1920, he was minister of defense. However, Noske was forced to resign after the suppression of the Kapp Putsch of 1920, which was organized by the counterrevolutionary military clique that enjoyed his patronage.


Erlebtes aus Aufstieg und Niedergang einer Demokratie. Offenbach-am-Main, 1947.
In Russian translation:
Zapiski o germanskoi revoliutsii. Moscow, 1922.
Ispoved’ krovavoi sobaki. Petrograd, 1924.
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On the day of his inauguration as president in 1919, the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung ran a cover photograph of Friedrich Ebert, together with finance minister Gustav Noske, relaxing in bathing trunks at the beach.
For Price, the key factors in the party divisions and policies on the left were the failure of the majority socialists to recognize the limits to the social revolution which could be achieved in coalition with the bourgeois and confessional parties, the disgusting overeagerness of Gustav Noske to suppress the radical wing of the socialists, and the assassination of Rosa Luxemburg, which left the radicals without a leadership capable of resisting the tactical imperialism of the Bolsheviks.