N ovember 1918 saw the downfall of Wilhelmian Germany and the instalment of a Republican government. The Social Democrats who thus came to power were hard pressed in their turn by the Communists on one hand and by the right-wing extremists on the other, both equally eager to supplant the new regime. This struggle for position took place against a background of political chaos and economic breakdown; and the latent social forces at issue were fairly accurately represented by the emergence of distinct trends in the youth movement, which during the war years had become more and more political.