"During the first two months of 1917 Russia was still a Romanov monarchy. Eight months later the Bolsheviks stood at the helm. They were little know to anybody when the year began, and their leaders were still under indictment for state treason when they came to power. You will not find another such sharp turn in history – especially if you remember that it involves a nation of 150 million people. It is clear that the events of 1917, whatever you think of them, deserve study." - Leon Trotsky

In 1918-33 revolution and counter-revolution followed hot on each others' heels. The barbarity of the Nazis is well documented. Less well known are the events that proceeded Hitler's rise to power.

The author gives a picture of the tumultous events - the 1918 revolution, the collapse of the Kaiser's regime, the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic, the Kapp putsch in 1920, the French occupation of the Ruhr in 1923 and the ensuing revolutionary upheavals culminating in the abortive Hamburg uprising, finally Hitler's rise to power in 1929-33.

Above all this book shows in the decisive (and tragic) role of the German workers' leadership the answer to one of the key questions of the modern era: how was it possible for the mightiest labour movement in Europe to be trampled under the iron heel of fascism?

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