".... another world has to be erected. A world without hatred and envy, without exploitation and enslavement, a world of peace, of freedom and justice."
Lothar Popp unter Mitarbeit von Karl Artelt: "Ursprung und Entwicklung der November-Revolution 1918.", Sonderveröffentlichung 15 der Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte, Kiel, 1983

Sailors' Revolt / Kiel Mutiny November 1918 (Novemberrevolution 1918) - here you'll find the following information:

  • Interview with one of the leaders of the mutiny: Lothar Popp >>
  • CV Lothar Popp >>
  • Recollection of the other leader of the mutiny: Karl Artelt >>
  • CV Karl Artelt >>
  • Additional contemporary witnesses (Riedl, Bredenbeck, Preßler, Pump; diary of an engineer, Jung, Völcker, ...) >>
  • Documentary film with contemporary witnesses: "In Kiel ist Revolution! " >>
  • Evaluations of the incidents in Kiel (Dähnhardt, Wette, ...) >>
  • Detailed timeline with documents >>
  • Virtual sightseeing tour >>
  • A presentation in pdf-format can be downloaded or viewed here (German): (slides) >> (text) >>
  • Commentary >>


External Information

Short summarising presentations

Such presentations, fulfilling scientific requirements, can be found e.g. at Wikipedia, on kiel.de written by Christa GEckeler >>, or in "Kiel Lexikon (German)" edited by D. Tillmann and J. Rosenplänter, Wachholtz Verlag, 2011.

Scientific Literature

The most relevant work is still the painstaking doctoral thesis of Dirk Daehnhardt: Revolution in Kiel - Der Uebergang vom Kaiserreich zur Weimarer Republik 1918/19. Karl Wachholtz Verlag, Neumuenster, 1978, ISBN 3-529-02636-0, (Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft fuer Kieler Stadtgeschichte 64)
The background material collected by Daehnhardt for his thesis contained some recensions of his book. The main excerpts are available here (German): >>

Meanwhile another important work has been published, which is based on Daenhardt's findings and documents the current scientific knowledge: Rackwitz, Martin: Kiel 1918. Revolution, Aufbruch zu Demokratie und Republik. Kiel 2018 (Sonderveröffentlichung der Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte Band 87).

A concise presentation of the new state of science is given in the mainly by Klaus Kuhl written German Wikipedia-article: >>

Although fairly old but still relevant is the book written by the American/Austrian history professor Daniel Horn: The German Naval Mutinies of World War I. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick (New Jersey - USA) 1969.
Horn also published an English translation of the diary of Richard Stumpf: War, Mutiny and Revolution in the German Navy - The World War I Diary of Seaman Richard Stumpf. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick (New Jersey - USA) 1967.

Further relevant literature:
- Wolfram Wette: Gustav Noske und die Revolution in Kiel 1918. Boyens Buchverlag, Heide 2010, ISBN 978-3-8042-1322-7; erschienen als Sonderveröffentlichung der Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte, herausgegeben von Jürgen Jensen, Band 64
- Rolf Fischer (Hrsg.): Revolution und Revolutionsforschung. Beitraege aus dem Kieler Initiativkreis 1918/19. Reihe: Sonderveröffentlichungen der Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte (Band 67), Ludwig Verlag, Kiel 2011, ISBN 978-3-86935-059-2.
- Klaus Kuhl: Kiel und die Revolution von 1918. Das Tagebuch eines Werftingenieurs, verfasst in den Jahren 1917-1919. Edition und Textanalyse. Berlin 2018 (Kieler Werkstücke Bd. 51). Peter Lang Verlag, ISBN 978-3-631-75857-1. A table of contents and a register can be accessed here (German, doc): >>
A presentation in the local press and a review written by Dr. Martin Rackwitz and published in "Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte", Band 146 (2021) is available here (German): >>
- Klaus Kuhl: Matrosenaufstand 1918, Räte und die Politik Gustav Noskes. In: IG Metall Bezirksleitung Küste (Hrsg.), Frank Heidenreich (Redaktion): Matrosenaufstand und Novemberrevolution 1918. Hamburg 2020, S. 16-40.
- Oliver Auge: Problemfall Matrosenaufstand. Kiels Schwierigkeiten im Umgang mit einem Schlüsseldatum seiner und der deutschen Geschichte. In: Beirat für Geschichte (Hrsg.): Demokratische Geschichte. Jahrbuch für Schleswig-Holstein Bd. 25, Malente 2014. Online verfügbar unter (pdf): >>

Debatable literature:
- Ernst-Heinrich Schmidt: Heimatheer und Revolution 1918 (Homeland army and revolution 1918). Die militaerischen Gewalten im Heimatgebiet zwischen Oktoberreform und Novemberrevolution. Stuttgart 1981. An evaluation is available or can be downloaded here (pdf, German, 120 kB): >>

Further Information

The mutiny of the Kieler sailors ignited the German revolution of 1918. The major outcome was the first democracy in Germany, the Weimarer Republic, headed by Reichspraesident Friedrich Ebert. Thus Kiel played an important role in German history.

Teachers who are interested to use material from this site for their lessons, may be interested in a literature list regarding related methoddology (university of Muenster, German): >>
The virtual museum of the Schleswig-Holsteinisch-Danish border region (www.vimu.info) offers specific didactics regarding the topic revolution in Germany as pdf-file (German or Danish): >>

The mentioned virtual museum (VIMU) also offers a lot of different material regarding the sailors' mutiny in Kiel (German or Danish): >>

A project of a work group of the Ricarda-Huch school from 1998 had been published on the website of the newspaper sh:z. Meanwhile it's no longer accessible; a copy can be found here (German only): >>.

In July 2015 form 6 students of the high school Altenholz managed to get the first price in the history competition of the Bundespräsident with their fictitious but source-based disputation between political players of the Kiel Mutiny in 1918. The project "Es muss eine andere Welt entstehen (another world has to be erected)" was broadcast by Radio Offener Kanal Kiel.

In January 2005 Matthias Klaus published a school project report about the mutiny in Kiel. Very interesting his vivid narration of the conditionns which led to revolution (German): >>

Regarding the spreading of the mutiny over all Germany see e.g. Wikipedia >>.

Regarding the effects of the November Revolution the historian Prof. Dr. Peter Brandt held 2008 a very interesting lecture in Kiel >>

Publish your contributions or opinions in our web log.
What do you think, should Lothar Popp and Karl Artelt get a memorial in Kiel?
Or how do you view the suggestion of Wilhelm Achelpöhler (Die Grünen, Münster) to establish a "History location sailor's mutiny" in Kiel? Our web-log: Kuhl-Blog >>

Update 16 May 2021

  • Interview with one of the leaders: Lothar Popp >>
  • CV L. Popp >>
  • Recollections of the other leader: Karl Artelt >>
  • CV K. Artelt >>
  • Additional temporary witnesses >>
  • Films about the revolt >>
  • Evaluations >>
  • Timeline >>
  • Virtual sightseeing tour >>
  • Commentary >>