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Monitoring and advisory committee 'Kiel mutiny' has been established
October 23th, 2013
The city of Kiel has set up the committee to advise the city,
in particular on how to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the event. The committee
comprises the members of the initiative group (see below), and representatives
of the political parties, trade unions, the Association Maritime Quarter, the
Muthesius Art College and the City Museum. It is managed by the Cultural Speaker
Rainer Pasternak. Meanwhile, the committee has met three times and collected and
discussed various ideas .
95th commemoration of the Kiel Mutiny
October 31st, 2013
Friday 1 Nov. 2013 at 14:00 hrs an information board will be uncovered at the central station forecourt near
the "Kaisertreppe" , which will explain why this place had been re-named into "Platz der Kieler Matrosen" (place of the sailors of Kiel).
On Sunday 3 November 2013 at 14.00 hrs Geo step by step will conduct a guided tour "Revolution in Kiel". Cost: 8,00€/4,00€ reduced.
Starting point: Gewerkschaftshaus, Legienstr. 22
On Sunday 3 Nov. 2013 at 16:30 hrs. a scenic Reading "Kiel 14-18" will take place at the Flanderbunker in Kiel-Wik.
The event has been plannend and organised by the Initiative Committee.
The events of November 1918 cannot be comprehended without the history of WW I.
In the focus of the staged reading (Text Rolf Fischer) are - in addition to a slide show of
Dr. Regina Selke, and Music by Gerd Sell - eyewitness reports from the period 1914-1918, making
impressively clear how the mood in our city has changed. It's about the beginning of democracy in Germany.
Saturday 9 November: Wreath ceremony at the Eichof cemetry.
Start from the main entrance (Eichhofstrasse) at 14:00 hrs
New design of the kurkuhl.de website
December 24th, 2011
At Christmas the new website went online. The new design
does not use frames anymore, i.e. you are now able to link webpages directly.
After intens talks with the grandson of Karl Artelts an updated version
of the CV of Karl Artelt was published on our website
July 9th, 2010
Some months ago Karl Artelt, another grand son of the leader
of the sailors' mutiny sent a letter to us. A lively communication followed,
we exchanged several letters , had telephone talks and a personal meeting
in Magdeburg. He was closely associated to his grand father, was very interested
in his history and had numerous talks with him on politics and history. These
information and valuable photos he passed on to us. That way the CV of his
grand father was amended and complemented. Today we published the new version
on our website, see www.kurkuhl.de: >>.
KN Journalist initiates important debate about photo from sailors' mutiny
December 6th, 2009
The Kieler Nachrichten journalist Christian Trutschel started
a debate in November 2009 on the often published photo showing several marching
This discussion yielded important results, that are meanwhile published on
our website: www.kurkuhl.de >>.
Wolfram Wette, Author of a comprehensive Noske Biography, in Kiel -
November 9th, 2009
Because of Noske's distinctive anti-chaos reflex the foundation of the
Weimar republic could not be built as strong as necessary
Possibly like this the content of his lecture could be summarised,
which he held on Monday 9 November 2009 in Kiel at the university audimax
on invitation from the SPD and the Jusos. The fascinating presentation described
Noske's cv and pictured largely his role in Kiel, where his fear of chaotic
conditions prevented him from initiating drastic reforms. Professor Wette
will provide his manuscript, which may be also published on these webpages.
Comment: Meanwhile (Nov. 2010) the presentation has
been published - 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
Initiative committee "Sailors' Mutiny in Kiel" established
February 22nd, 2009
Rolf Fischer took the initiative and invited a number of
persons for a meeting on 4.2.09. The group wants to put the issue of the sailors'
mutiny in Kiel more into the focus of the public. Additionally they also view
it from a touristic perspective as an unique feature for Kiel worth to be
further developed. The meeting was attended by representatives of different
political parties, of the Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, of the
association of Kiel history and others. The group understands itself as an
initiative circle and will establish a work programme with a view to 2018.
On the other hand the group also plans to list short term tasks, e.g. improve
the situation of the commemorate location at the Eichhof cemetry. Next step
will be a talk with the cultural representatives of the City Council's parlamentary
Comment (19.9.09): These talks have meanwhile been
held. One of the outcomes: A City Council meeting has according to the newspaper
KN issued the following decision: The city invites at 7 November on the
occasion of the anniversary of the sailors' mutiny to a commemorative event
and a march, which will partly retrace the demonstration of 1918 from the
Waldwiesenkreisel to the central station. The station square below the Kaisertreppe
will be renamed under participation of the citizens. Costs will be about
Contact with a son of Lothar Popp
January 31st, 2009
Mid of January 2009 a grand daughter of Lothar Popp contacted
us and gave us very interesting information regarding the family history of
Lothar Popp. Today I had the chance to speak on the phone to her father, the
son of Lothar Popp. He gave me among others several hints about the emigration
of his father into the USA, which led him via the Czech Republic, Southern
France and the British West Indies to New York. We will publish further information
after an upcoming talk on our website.
Comment: Meanwhile another grand daughter from Hamburg
contacted us and provided a number of photos. Some of these photos we will
publish soon on kurkuhl.de.
Addition (June 2009): The meeting with Lothar Fertig has taken place meanwhile.
He gave us a lot of new and interesting information. These have been published
at kurkuhl.de; see CV Lothar Popp and "Streitgespräch" >>
90th anniversary of the sailors' mutiny in Kiel 2008
Proposals how to commenmorate the event in an appropiate
During the various events for the anniversary of the sailors' mutiny
(SPD-Audimax, exhibition in the Schifffahrtsmuseum, theatrical performance
"1918" in the Wik, ...) proposals were made how the role of revolutionary
sailors and workers as well as their leaders in German history could be acknowledged
in an appropriate way:
- The motion to have an anual public commemoration ceremony was accepted with
the votes from SPD, Greens, SSW and Linke.
- Geo-step-by-step proposes to rename the Hindenburgufer into Karl-Artelt-Ufer.
- Die Grünen want to find a new name through a wide public debate for
the Hindenburgufer (the street was named 1933 by the Nazis).
- Die Linke wants to rename the Ratsdienergarten into Artelt-Popp-Park.
Comment: On 17 June 2011 at 18:00 hrs. the square in
front of the central station is renamed in "Platz der Matrosen";
part of the Kieler Woche (Max Bühne) programme. Oberbürgermeiseter
Torsten Albig makes a speech.
Proposal to improve the commemorate location at the
Eichhof cemetry (9 Nov. 2008):
Bei der leider nur mäßig besuchten Gedenkveranstaltung
wurde von einem Teilnehmer der Vorschlag gemacht, dass die verschiedenen politischen
und kulturellen Organisationen in Kiel zu den einzelnen Gräbern der Opfer
Informationstafeln erstellen sollten.
Comments are very welcome!
Information regarding the victims
Comment: Am 12. Mai 2011 ab 12 Uhr ist es nun endlich
soweit: Es gibt eine offizielle Einweihung der Informationsstele für
die Opfer der Revolution 1918 (ab 12 Uhr) an der Grabanlage auf dem Eichhoffriedhof.
Die Enthüllung der Stele durch die Sponsoren und den Initiativkreis
(s.o.) wird begleitet durch ein kurzes Festprogramm mit Beiträgen von
Dr. Dieter Hartwig, Dr. Johannes Rosenplänter und Rolf Fischer.
Comment: The information board can be viewed here >>.
Congress of the SPD and the Juso-Hochschulgruppe
in Kiel at the university audimax (7.11.2008):
Nach der Vorführung des Films "Matrosen, Räte, Republiken"
analysierte Professor Peter Brandt (Neuere Deutsche
und Europäische Geschichte an der Fern-Uni Hagen) ausführlich die
Folgen der Revolution von 1918/19. Im Anschluss fanden eine Podiumsdiskussion
und ein Gespräch mit den Zuhörern statt. Prof. Brandt und Prof.
Kuckuk, der an der Ausarbeitung der Analyse beteiligt war, haben sich mit
einer Veröffentlichung des Vortrags einverstanden erklärt:
- "Der historische Ort der deutschen Revolution von 1918/19" (German,
pdf, 150 kB) >>
Grandson of Karl Artelt visits Kiel together with
his family (8 Nov. 2008):
A grandson of Karl Artelt who lives in Berlin visited Kiel together with his
wive and his son on 8 and 9 November, among others to see the drama performed
by Limited Blindness (see below). We had a small sightseeing tour together
and visited those locations, where Karl Artelt was active, among others:
- das Kasernengelände in der Wik, wo er als Angehöriger der Torpedo
Division den ersten Soldatenrat gründete,
- die MaK/Caterpillar, wo sich damals die Torpedowerkstatt befand, in der
Karl Artelt arbeitete,
- die damalige Marine Station Ostsee, in der die Verhandlungen mit dem Gouverneur
- Brunswicker Str. Ecke Feldstraße, wo am 3.11.1918 in die Demonstration
- das Gewerkschaftshaus, das damals ein wichtiges Zentrum der Bewegung war
und in dem die Räte tagten.
Greetings from the USA (3 Nov. 2008):
Greetings on Anniversary of November Revolution, sent by Luther Wilson from
Kennewick, WA, US (soldier in Haunau 1962-1963)
Press conference of the 'limited blindness' drama
production: Matrosenaufstand in Kiel (sailors' mutiny in Kiel), 28 Aug. 2008:
The premiere will take place in an old 2nd world war bunker in Kiel-Wik at
Wednesday, 3.9.08. Today the team explained the concept to the press and afterwards
we "saw" a small part of the production. Members of the blind and
visually handicapped association led us into the completely dark room of the
bunker. The "actors" brought frightingly alive the time between
1918 and 1920 by reciting statements of very different contemporary witnesses.
It was an impressive adventure. More info and booking >>
Floorball (Unihockey) Ü 30 in Schleswig-Holstein
July 6th, 2008
Great result of our Gettorf/Preetz/Kiel Team: among three
teams we managed to be second ;-) See article from Kieler Nachrichten mid
of Juni 08 (German) >>
Dirk Dähnhardt died
June 4th, 2008
While conducting research on the Wittmer issue (see below),
I approached Dr. Dähnhardt, whom I met about two years ago when he was
so kind to have a look at my photo-video-project "Kapp-Putsch in Kiel".
Now I was informed by his wife that he had died about 1 1/2 years ago on 24.1.2007.
He had heart problems for some time already. Thanks to Dr. Dähnhardt
and his painstakingly work on the sailors' mutiny in Kiel 1918 the so far
ideologic debate was de-emotionalized, so that left- as well as right-wingers
were caused to take a fresh look, based on facts, at the events.
Comment: On 9 August 2012 Ursula Dähnhardt handed over
the material, collected by her husband for his thesis to the Kiel city archives.
The material contains many interesting aspects such as hospital lists covering 3 Nov.
till 5 Nov. 1918 showing the types of injuries, as well as critical remarks from
historian colleagues, e.g. Volker Ullrich, Gerhard Beier, Wolfram Wette, etc.
The phantom materialises
April 13th, 2008
After we have been put off for several years
("The book will be published soon.") and we meanwhile regarded the
announcements of the publishing house as a bad advertisement trick, we indeed
received the book some few days ago:
Hermann Knüfken: "Von Kiel bis Leningrad - Erinnerungen eines revolutionären
Matrosen 1917 bis 1930", Herausgeber Andreas Hansen in Zusammenarbeit
mit D. Nelles, BasisDruck, Berlin, 2008 (unterstützt durch drei Stiftungen
darunter die Hans-Böckler-Stiftung)
On ca. 300 pages the script is published, which was written by Knüfken
in the beginning of the 50ies. A voluminous annex brings comprehensive material
like memories from friends and relatives, files and secret dossieres from
German and Soviet archives. Knüffken died in UK and is said to have joined
the conservatives in his last years.
Knüfken witnessed the sailors' revolt in Kiel in the
military prison in the Feldstraße, where he was kept because he deserted
the army two times and he was accused of working for the secret service of
the WWI enemies. He was freed together with the mutinous sailors. In his book
he describes the events on about two pages. He was mainly in the station building
(Marine Station Ostsee) obviously as a member of the (a) soldiers' council.
On 5.11. he went to Brunsbüttel, to take part in organizing the revolt
in the II. squadron. His narration of the events in Kiel seem to be exaggerated
when considering other time witnesses, nonetheless it allows an interesting
insight into the events of those days. ... an exciting book ....
Comment: Knüfken became known by a spectacular
hijacking of a fish trawler into the Sowjetunion. He narrates this incident
in his book. How the crew fared, is reported under this link
Do we have to rewrite the events of November 3rd, 1918?
March 21st, 2008
Some months ago Ms Christa Geckeler
published her book "Erinnerungen an Kiel zwischen den Weltkriegen 1918/1939"
(Husum Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft, 2007, Sonderveröffentlichung der
Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte). Among other contemporary witnesses
she presents Kapitänleutnant Max Wittmer, who's narration cast a surprising
new view at the 3.11.1918 events in Kiel. According to his statement Leutnant
Steinhäuser (who's name is not explicitly mentioned) had been overwhelmed
already when Wittmer and his group appeared. He ordered to fire a salvo in
the air and then to shoot at the demonstrators. When they advanced again he
ordered to fire another salvo at the people "... and then the streets
were finally vacated." This contradicts the current view that Leutnant
Steinhäuser and his group shot at the demonstrators.
But before we start to rewrite Kiel's history
we should first of all check and evaluate the reliabilty of this source: Why
did Leutnant Steinhäuser not mention these incidents in his report to
his superiors? Why did Artelt not mention this in his articles, although on
the other hand Wittmer mentions Artelt several times. Why did Wittmer not
report this until 1975? He was by then 91 years old, what about his memory?
Who conducted the interview?
Ms Geckeler herself could not assess the reliability of Wittmer, nevertheless
regarded pure invention by Wittmer as improbable.
After further research among others in the Kiel town archive I managed to
contact one of the interviewers by phone. Mr Weiherich, at the time of the
interviewer student at a high school (like Mr Titzek), and later high school
teacher, explained to me, that they had doubts regarding the credibility of
the contemporary witness.
Dr. Dirk Dähnhardt mentions Max Wittmer two times in footnotes of his
work „Revolution in Kiel“ page 66. When I tried to contact him,
I sadly had to learn that he had died 1 1/2 years ago. The two realated parts
carry each the remark "Frdl. Mitteilung von Herrn Wittmer, Kiel, dem
Anführer dieser Kompagnie (Friendly information from Mr Wittmer, the
leader of this company.“, but obviously they rather refer to the above
interview. Dähnhardt does not mention however the disputed parts of Wittmer's
statement, thus also regarding them as incredible. He nevertheless concedes,
that "a company following the demonstration from the station (…)
(bumped into) the fleeing demonstrators and (…) (together with the fire
brigade) dispersed them completely. [Translation KK]"
All in all I would still trust the report of Leutnant Steinhäuser and
dismiss the disputed parts from the Wittmer interview. It seems Wittmer embellished
his role while growing older.
Addition 22.3.08, KK:
A selection of contemporary reports regarding the events at 3.11.1918 can
be found under "Timeline" at www.kurkuhl.de
-> Novemberrevolution; direct link (German, pdf, 1.4 MB) >>
One hundred years union house Kiel
July 5th, 2007
I took part in celebrating this event on 5.7. with a 15 minute
speech on the role of the union house regarding the sailor's mutiny. Slides
and interviews with contemporary witnesses can be downloaded here (German):
- slides (ppt, 1,2 MB) >>
- statement Martha Riedl (wmv, 15 MB) >>
- statement Lothar Popp (wmv, 19 MB) >>
- statement Julius Bredenbek (wmv, 15 MB) >>
Inquiry about the sailor's mutiny in Kiel regarding Karl Salomon
June 24th, 2007
The following inquiry has been sent to us. Unfortunately
we could not answer the question (however there is an interesting similarity
to the inquiry from Canada, see below). We are greatful for any hint:
"Could you verify the following information? 'On board U 68 the sailors
elected Karl Salomon as a member of the sailor's council, the ship sailed
home. Immediately they reached harbour, the revolutionary sailors from U 68
put themselves at the disposal for the Kiel sailor's council. At Gustav Noskes'
order the sailor's council of U 68 was imprisoned. K.S. had to leave Kiel.
He went to Bremerhaven and found a job in summer 1919 as a sailor on board
Obviously these were the submarines which came back from Pola, Italy and reached
Kiel end of Nov. 1918.
Comment (2.3.08): Accidentally I found an Icelandic
web site on U-boats (www.uboat.net). Also a German (Clemens Brechtelsbauer)
completes the team of authors.
U 68 is mentioned, however it is stated:
22 Mar, 1916 - Sunk by gunfire from Q-Ship Farnborough SW Ireland 51.54N
10.53W. 38 dead (all hands lost). (http://www.uboat.net/wwi/boats/index.html?boat=68)
So in the case of Karl Salomon it seems likely that is was a different U-boat.
Comment on Kapp-Putsch Video
September 19th, 2006
Dr. Gerhard Granier is co-author of the book Dähnhardt/Granier:
“Kapp-Putsch in Kiel”, Gesellschaft für Kieler Stadtgeschichte,
Band 66, Kiel 1980. We are grateful that he took a close look at our photo-video
project and noted down a number of remarks. With his consent we uploaded his
letter onto our website today.
Comment (2.1.07): We wrote a reply in October and Dr.
Granier reacted on that also, elaborating his points of view. These documents
have also been published.
Comment (2.3.08): Meanwhile Dr. Granier's remarks have
been integrated into the accompanying video brochure.
August 9th, 2006
Alex asked for a photo of the steady-cam, here it is: Steady-cam
The camera mounting is not made according to the instruction manual, instead
I bent an alu-sheet in U-shape and srewed the camera
to it using a spare tripod srew.
Almost the same day I hat the steady cam finished I broke
my mast of my Laser sailing boat >>
August 6th, 2006
Our nephew Alex gave us a link to assembling instructions plus
related video for a steady-cam. Meanwhile I have built and tested one. It
really works excellent. Whoever would like to also make one and needs help
could mail to me.
Comment, 7.8.06: Zeig doch mal ein Foto! Alex
August 6th, 2006
Very exciting is an enquiry from a Canadian lady. Her grandfather
was one of the revolting marines in Kiel. After a short while he emigrated
to the USA. Also Lothar Popp spent some time in New York. Did those two knew
each other? Could we thus complement the CV of Lothar Popp? Our research so
far: There are data about the grandfather in www.ellisisland.org and in www.linktoyourroots.hamburg.de
(although somehow contradictory), but there are no data concerning Lothar
Popp. Nonetheless one can ask for information from the Deutsche Dienststelle
(www.dd-wast.de), which manages all data from German military personnel (liable
for costs). Now we are waiting for the reply (also regarding other important
persons of Kiel history). We will keep you informed.
Inquiries and comments from visitors
July 28th, 2006
About once a month we receive a request or a comment from the
visitors of our webpages, mostly referring to the Marine’s Mutiny in Kiel.
But also the Kapp-Putsch in Kiel and our family tree are issues.
For example we got some material and hints regarding the CV of Karl Artelt (among
others from a grandson of Karl Artelt). These were incorporated into our webpages.
High school students asked for special information regarding the November revolution
or the Kapp-Putsch. Matthias Klaus was the first person to enter a note into
our guestbook (24.3.2005): “Congratulations to this excellent site and
thanks again for the support for my thesis.”
From the USA came an inquiry as to whether our families could
be related (which was not the case), but this caused us to make additional research
in family history. Again we integrated the results into our webpages.
July 28th, 2006
We closed our guestbook.
Regarding the Marine’s Mutiny in Kiel there were 2 entries:
Bernd Woitalla wrote in March 2005:
I want Popp and Artelt to be honoured as important persons of Kiel history.
And Benedikt Schmidbauer wrote in December 2005 also about Popp und Artelt:
Two great fighters for democracy and freedom have to be honoured accordingly.
The city of Kiel is therefore obliged to set those two great men a monument,
because it is frightening that two men of that valour are no more known to the
young generation even not to the history interested.
July 28th, 2006
We will use this blog to publish interesting requests and information
reaching us from the visitors of our website. You are invited to comment or
publish your own statements.
NOTE: This blog has previously been based on WordPress,
but due to a huge amount of spam (ca. 20 posts daily) we have now changed
it into a pure html page.