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Luxembourg rebellions

Luxembourg rebellions

The Luxembourg rebellions were a series of riots and mutinies in Luxembourg from 1918–1919, inspired by the German Revolution of 1918–1919. The rebellions failed, mainly due to the lack of public support as well as France intervening in support of the government.

World War One

Luxembourg was occupied during World War One. From August 1914 until the end of World War I on 11 November 1918, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was under full occupation by the German Empire. The German government justified the occupation by citing the need to support their armies in neighbouring France, although many Luxembourgers, contemporary and present, have interpreted German actions otherwise.

During this period, Luxembourg was allowed to retain its own government and political system, but all proceedings were overshadowed by the German army's presence. Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide stayed in power but due to her German-leaning attitude, lost the support of part of the population and the Allies.

November 1918

Luxembourg faced two small communist rebellions in Luxembourg City (10 November) and Esch-sur-Alzette (11 November). Both were quickly suppressed by police. Socialists and liberals in the Chamber of Deputies called for the abdication of Grand Duchess Marie Adelaide, which was narrowly defeated.

December 1918

In December 1918 a group of soldiers attempted a mutiny in the Luxembourg City barracks.

January 1919

On 9 January 1919, the same group of socialist and liberal deputies active in November, tabled a motion to make Luxembourg a republic. A crowd gathered at the barracks of the Corps of Volunteers, close to the Chamber. Then Emile Servais, a left-wing politician, walked out, addressed the crowd and demanded a republic. The crowd then rushed the Chamber and the deputies called in the Corps of Volunteers but the soldiers refused the orders to disperse the crowd. Part of the deputies then fled the Chamber. The remaining deputies, mainly left-wing, Committee of Public Safety with Servais as its leader. The committee had no public support and the French Army under the command of General de La Tour soon quelled the republic.


It was clear that the position of Marie-Adélaïde, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg was untenable and she stepped down as Grand Duchess on 14 January 1919 and went into exile. She was replaced with her younger sister, Charlotte.

Charlotte's accession to the throne led to a stabilization of the political situation in Luxembourg. In addition in September Luxembourg then had the 1919 Luxembourg referendum in which the public overwhelmingly voted to keep the monarchy.

See also

  • Loppem Coup
  • Brussels Soldiers' Council
  • Red Week (Netherlands)


Text submitted to CC-BY-SA license. Source: Luxembourg rebellions by Wikipedia (Historical)