Kaiser Wilhelm reluctantly capitulated in 1918. German armies had been defeated and communist revolutionaries were a threat inside Germany. The tumultuous situation finally led to the Kaiser's exile in neutral Holland.
The end of the Kaiser's government created an opportunity for communist agitators. The communists had seized Russia after the czar's recent abdication, and they tried to seize power in Germany, too. The German military and other conservative elements of society were determined to keep communism out of Germany.
There was chaos in Germany until Friedrich Ebert (1871–1925), a socialist leader, set up a provisional government. Communists attempted to seize power by force, but they were defeated and their leaders—Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht—were executed in January 1919. Ebert then founded the Weimar Republic.
Although Ebert was a capable and earnest leader, his government faced numerous obstacles, and Weimar Germany's instability eventually led to the rise of Adolph Hitler.