After his deportation from Switzerland in 1918, Münzenberg returned to a Germany devastated by war and undergoing revolutionary turmoil. This chapter provides a brief historical context to Münzenberg’s activity in those years of revolution and civil war. He joined the Spartacus Group led by Liebknecht and Luxemburg, the left-wing faction within the Social Democratic Party.

The German Revolution took place in two stages, in November 1918 and again in 1919. By December 1918, the first of the Workers’, Soldiers’, and Sailors’ Councils was in place, and the German Communist Party was founded that same year, with Münzenberg a founding member. Despite the early promise of a Socialist revolution, the right-wing and conservative forces were able to wrest back control, with the help of the leadership of the Social Democratic Party and ultra-nationalist forces in the military.