Prod.: Messter-Film GmbH. 35mm. L.: 120 m. D.: 6’ a 18 f/s. Bn.
This is not a typical newsreel. It is a special edition (an extra) of the German newsreel Messter-Woche, which was released on the 12th January 1919. On this day the climax of the January uprising (also known as the Spartacist uprising) took place in Berlin. Part of the postwar revolutionary events in Germany, the uprising was primarily a power struggle between the moderate Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) led by Friedrich Ebert, and the radical communists of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, who had previously founded and led the Spartacist League (Spartakusbund). This extra newsreel reports on the final clashes of this revolt in Berlin, which was accompanied by armed battles. These incidents (here presented nearly in ‘real time’ and therefore very similar to today’s rolling news) resulted in the defeat of the uprising. On the 13th January, the day after the release of this newsreel, the government announced that law and order was once more established in Germany.