Friedrich Ebert, vol. 1 (1963) by G. Kotowski
4 Feb 1871 - 28 Feb 1925
Social-Democratic statesman. He was chairman of the SPD from 1913 and co-leader (with Scheidemann) of its parliamentary party from 1916. He ws offered the office of Reichskanzler by Max von Baden on 9 Nov 1918 and he accepted, although he had been in favour of the retention of the monarchy. On 11 Nov he became chairman of the Rat der Volksbeauftragten; on 11 Feb 1919 he was elected Reichspräsident (in 1922 his term was extended by the Reichstag to 1925). In this office Ebert acted in a neutral and impartial manner, also appointing Conservative chancellors (Cuno, Luther). He used the Notverordnungen to protect the young democracy of the Weimar Republic against attacks from the Left and the Right (Spartakus, Kapp-Putsch). He earned the reputation of an able mediator between the factions.