Virtual Sightseeing Tour "Kiel Mutiny" Nov. 1918

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Nr. 07: Military prison (Arrestanstalt) - 4 November 1918 afternoon

After the delegation had returned from the negotiations with the governor to the barracks in Kiel-Wik, Artelt reported that the ‘reprimanded of the III. Squadron’ would be released. Several thousand, mostly armed sailors moved in a triumphal procession to the military prison. In the presence of an upper court martial officer only those sailors were released, who had not committed ‘dishonorable acts’. Sixteen prisoners were received with great enthusiasm by the crowd. Then the demonstration moved through the town. (According to Dähnhardt, Revolution in Kiel.)


Present day map Former map

Größere Kartenansicht
Stadtplan historisch
Present day view Former view
Foto Arrestanstalt-Gelände, 2009 Kohlezeichnung vermutlich Entlassung der Gefangenen aus der Arrestanstalt
Photo taken from Marinegang in southern direction, 2008 (KK) shortly before the particle centre was built on this area. At this place the military prison was situated. Contemporary charcoal drawing from the Kiel mutiny. Shown is probably the release of the arrested sailors from the military prison. Photo archive of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation in Berlin.

Reports of the events:
Robert Neddermeyer wrote in his memoirs, "Es begann in Hamburg (It started in Hamburg)" (Dietz Verlag, Berlin, 1980): On this 4 November, we also marched to the Navy prison in the Feld street. It was a large torchlight procession. The detainees came out pale, thin, unshaven, with long beards. But when the band played the presentation march, these unfortunate captives were inspecting the front as if they were officers. Indeed they were officers of the revolution.
Hermann Knüfken was then detained in that very military prison and witnessed the liberation. He wrote about his experiences in 1956. His memories were published in the 2008 book "Von Kiel bis Leningrad - Erinnerungen eines revolutionären Matrosen 1917 bis 1930 (From Kiel to Leningrad - Memories of a revolutionary sailor from 1917 to 1930" published in the Basis Druck Verlag. His recollections, however, appear exaggerated in the light of other reports.

The virtual sightseeing tour at a glance:

  1. Holtenau viaduct and locks >>
  2. Large drillground (Großer Exerzierplatz) >>
  3. Karlstraße / Langer Segen >>
  4. Torpedo workshop Friedrichsort, Germania shipyard Kiel-Gaarden >>
  5. Barracks (Kasernen) in Kiel-Wik >>
  6. Marinestation Ostsee >>
  7. Arrestanstalt (military prison >>
  8. Trade union house (Gewerkschaftshaus) >>
  9. Town hall (Rathaus) >>
  10. "Schloßhof" >>
  11. Station (Bahnhof) >>
  12. Graves of the killed revolutionaries and soldiers >>

Real, guided tours on this subject are offered by:
- Geo-Step-by-Step >>
- Ernst Mühlenbrink, via Society for Kiel's Town History (Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte) >>
- AKENS, Asche Arbeitskreis >>


Last modified: 13 Nov. 2011


Sailors' Revolt / Kiel Mutiny November 1918 - here you'll find the following further 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, Bredenbek, Preßler, Pump; diary of an engineer, Jung, Völcker, ...) >>
  • Videofilm with contemporary witnesses: "Kiel schreibt Geschichte - Matrosenaufstand im November 1918" >>
  • Evaluations of the incidents in Kiel (Dähnhardt, Wette, ...) >>
  • Detailed timeline with documents >>
  • Virtual sightseeing tour >>
  • Commentary >>