wer war karl liebknecht und rosa luxemburg
The issue of leadership and the need for a party is central to an estimation of Rosa Luxemburg’s life and work. Freikorps troops captured Luxemburg and Liebknecht without an arrest warrant and summarily executed them. Karl Liebknecht. Nay, more; not merely are we today in a position to perform this task, nor merely is its performance a duty toward the proletariat, but our solution offers the only means of saving human society from destruction.”. In today’s era, a general strike, ‘generally’, is an ‘either-or’ issue where an alternative workers’ government is implicit in the situation. Indeed, despite this, Luxemburg’s courage and fortitude shines through when one reads the speeches and criticisms that she made of the party leadership over years. angetreten war, das Proletariat auf Grundlage eines Marxistischen Programms zu organisieren und eine sozialistische Gesellschaft gegen die Interessen der Großgrundbesitzer und Kapit… She was also wrong on the difference between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks (even in July 1914 supporting the opportunists who stood for the ‘unity’ between them) and, as Lenin pointed out, also on the economic ‘theory of accumulation’. Significant labor actions and uprisings took place in several German cities and states, where temporary “Soviet republics” were established, but the last of them, in Bavaria, was put down in early May 1919. Today marks the passing of 100 years since the murders of Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) and Karl Liebknecht (1871-1919). Friedrich Ebert’s majority Social Democratic government crushed the revolt and the Spartacus League by sending in the Freikorps, a government-sponsored paramilitary group consisting mostly of now out-of-work World War I veterans. Karl Liebknecht Karl Liebknecht was born in August 1871 and died in January 1919. Because of its connotations with Stalinism however, Marxists today, in trying to reach the best workers, do not use language which can give a false idea of what they intend for the future. ( Log Out / ( Log Out / Prominent figures from the country's left paid tribute to the founders of the German Communist Party and other socialist heroes. Rosa Luxemburg & Karl Liebknecht - commemorating 100 years. Lenin, the great genius of revolution, the man who with Trotsky led the monumental revolution in 1917, died in January 1924 after a long illness. Spending most of their history in the underground, with a relatively smaller organisation of cadres, the Bolsheviks necessarily acquired a high degree of ‘centralisation’, without, at the same time, abandoning very strong democratic procedures. Rosa Luxemburg correctly emphasised that a revolution could not be made artificially, outside of a maturing of the objective circumstances that allowed this possibility. This week marks the centennial of the Jan. 15, 1919, murders of German communists Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. But the social-democratic leaders like Gustav Noske and Philipp Scheidemann conspired with the capitalists and the reactionary scum in the Freikorps (predecessors of the fascists) to take their revenge. If the Social Democratic-ordained murders of Liebknecht and Luxemburg were not tragedy enough, the lessons learned were poorly applied. But if the German revolution had triumphed then history would not, in all probability, have known these figures or the horrors of fascism. In the convulsive events of 1923 in particular, Rosa Luxemburg with her keen instinct for the mass movement and ability to change with circumstances, would probably not have made the mistake made by Heinrich Brandler and the leadership of the KPD, when they let slip what was one of the most favourable opportunities in history to make a working-class revolution and change the course of world history. Margarethe von Trotha’s outstanding 1986 film ‘Die Geduld der Rosa Luxemburg’ is available online with English subtitles. She was critical of Lenin’s attempt to create in Russia a democratic party but one that was ‘centralised’. März 1871 in der kleinen polnischen Stadt Zamos´c geboren. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were both murdered by soldiers after the Spartacist uprising was crushed in 1919. Rosa Luxemburg increasingly came into collision with the SPD machine, whose stultifying conservative effect she contrasted to the social explosions in the first Russian revolution of 1905-07. Luxemburg wrote: “It was always possible to walk out of small sects or small coteries, and, if one does not want to stay there, to apply oneself to building new sects and new coteries. It was virtually “a state within a state”, with over one million members in 1914, 90 daily newspapers, 267 full-time journalists and 3,000 manual and clerical workers, managers, commercial directors and representatives. (Image: Permission given by Alexander Fiebrandt, grandchild of the photographer Herbert Fiebrandt/Public domain) Lenin systematically trained and organised the best workers in Russia in implacable opposition to capitalism and its shadows in the labour movement. But this was combined with the smothering of this very power, an underestimation by the SPD leaders, indeed a growing hostility to the revolutionary possibilities which would inevitability break out at some future date. This was seen in the revolutionary events of 1936 in Spain. “Karl, Rosa and Co., “Not one of them is there, “Proletarians.” (Cited in Nettl, p. 484) Although they were aware of the danger, Luxemburg and Liebknecht refused to leave Berlin and go into hiding. Luxemburg spent much of World War I in prison, meanwhile writing her 'Spartakusbriefe' and 'Die Russisce Revolution', where she welcomed the October Revolution as a precursor of world revolution. ( Log Out / Given the isolation of Berlin from the rest of the country at that stage, a setback or a defeat was inevitable. For her theoretical contribution alone, Rosa Luxemburg deserves to stand alongside Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. Such was the approach of Militant, now the Socialist Party, when it worked successfully within the Labour Party, in the 1980s, in Britain. A ‘constituent assembly’ was posed as an alternative to Luxemburg and Liebknecht’s ideas of a national council of soviets to initiate a workers and farmers’ government. As the war was coming to an end, they were freed from prison. Following the 1917 Russian revolution, Rosa Luxemburg did come close to Bolshevism subsequently and became part of its international trend, as did Trotsky. Similarly, in Portugal, in 1974, a revolution not only swept away the Caetano dictatorship but meant that, in its first period, an absolute majority of votes to those standing in elections under a socialist or communist banner. Together with other Spartacists Liebknecht campaigned openly for revolution, forming the German Communist Party at the end of December 1918. Although she was a naturalised German citizen, Luxemburg was considered an ‘outsider’, particularly when she came into conflict with the SPD leadership. Karl Liebknecht und Rosa Luxemburg, die beiden Köpfe der KPD, hingegen entzogen sich der Festnahme zunächst. Liebknecht achieved fame immediately after the war by leading, with Rosa Luxemburg, the Spartacists in the so-called German Revolution against the government of Friedrich Ebert. August 1871 in Leipzig; † 15. Carnations are placed in front of a memorial stone with names of socialists at a cemetery in Berlin, Jan. 13, 2019. The same idea is expressed in our call for a socialist, planned economy, organised on the basis of workers’ democracy. They were both born in the same year, 1871, and died on the same day, their names necessarily linked in history. We do not have a fetish about the general strike. After this uprising was suppressed he was arrested by the Scheidemann government and on January 15, 1919 was assassinated together with Rosa Luxemburg by a gang of German officers, covertly abetted by the Scheidemannists «Karl Liebknecht called upon the workers and soldiers of Germany to turn their guns against their own government. Therefore, at a crucial time, a definite timeframe, a correct leadership, can help the working class to take power. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were true revolutionary heroes, and their ideas and legacy will be remembered down the ages. Rosa did this, characterising the social democracy as a “rotten corpse”. She has been memorialized in numerous works of literature. If you really wanna know how fucked up parts of the 1919 SPD were just read the Wiki articel of … Rosa Luxemburg was an important figure in all the congresses of the Second International and generally carried the votes of the Polish Social Democratic party in exile. This led in 1975 to the expropriation of the majority of industry. The discontent of the masses was reflected in the January 1919 uprising. With the initial exception of Liebknecht and later Otto Rühle, they were the only two out of 110 SPD deputies who voted against. In this sense, she was more farsighted even than Lenin, who passionately absorbed in Russian affairs and who saw the SPD as the ‘model’ for all the parties of the Second International, and its leaders, such as Kautsky, as teachers. Court rejects Trump’s drilling proposal in major victory for polar bears ... McConnell’s virus lawsuit ban far worse than advertised.  The organisational conclusion from this was of a tactical rather than a principled character. Indeed, when Lenin was presented with an issue of the SPD paper, ‘Vorwärts’, supporting war credits, he first of all considered it a ‘forgery’ of the German military general staff. Originally a Pole, she was a founder of the Social Democratic party of the Kingdom of Poland (SDKP), in the Russian movement as a participant in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) and a naturalised German and prominent member of the SPD. There is no doubt that Luxemburg’s sure political experience would have been a powerful factor in avoiding some of the mistakes – particularly ultra-left ones – which were subsequently made in the development of the German revolution. Basing herself on the mass strikes of the Russian revolution, she nevertheless adopted a certain passive and fatalistic approach on this issue. Facts about Rosa Luxemburg 2: Spartakusbund. This spontaneous eruption of the masses, moreover, flew in the face of everything that the social-democratic leaders wanted or desired. But Lenin, while praising Luxemburg’s pamphlet, also comments that it “conjures up in our mind the picture of a lone man [he did not know Rosa was the author] who has no comrades in an illegal organisation accustomed to thinking out revolutionary slogans to their conclusion and systematically educating the masses in their spirit”. Liebknecht came from a political background in that his father was a leading socialist in Germany … General Wilhelm Groener, who led the German army, admitted later on: “The officer corps could only cooperate with a government which undertook the struggle against Bolshevism … Ebert [the social-democrat leader] had made his mind up on this … We made an alliance against Bolshevism … There existed no other party which had enough influence upon the masses to enable the re-establishment of a governmental power with the help of the army.” Gradually, concessions to the workers were undermined and a vitriolic campaign against the ‘Bolshevik terror’, chaos, the Jews, and particularly, “bloody Rosa” was unleashed. Luxemburg was well aware of the imminent danger. For most of the 1920s, during the Comintern period, communist ire was understandably directed at the ruling Social Democrats of the Weimar Republic, whom they named “social fascists,” yet communists ignored or downplayed the threat posed by the gathering Nazi fascist movement. Yet even with this stunning display of the power of the working class, it did not lead to a socialist overturn, precisely because of the absence of a mass party and leadership capable of mobilising the masses and establishing an alternative democratic workers’ state. After having participated for some months in the First Russian Revolution of 1905/06 she published her important essay “Mass Strikes, Political Party and Trade Unions”. Her book written in prison in 1918 – in which she criticised the Bolshevik regime – was a product of isolation, which she was persuaded not to publish and did not pursue later when released from prison. He proposed a rapid split of the communists from the French Socialist Party in 1920 but changed his mind after Alfred Rosmer, in Moscow during that year, suggested that the Marxists would need more time to bring over the majority to the stand of the Communist (Third) International. Rosa Luxemburg was not so unprepared, as she had been involved in a protracted struggle, not just with the right-wing SPD leaders but also with the ‘left’ and ‘centrist’ elements, like Kautsky. On New Year’s Day 1919 Luxemburg declared: “Today we can seriously set about destroying capitalism once and for all. Sie bekämpften Krieg und Kapitalismus und kämpften für Vergesellschaftung und ein Rätesystem. Other luminaries of the Nazi regime were similarly ‘blooded’ at this time for the future murderous activities in their own country and throughout Europe. Spartakusbund was the anti-war Spartacus League established by Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht after German’s participation in the First World War was supported by Social Democratic Party in1915. So is timing, as the opportunity for a successful social overturn can last for a short time. So should say the best workers and young people today who have occasion to study her works in preparation for the struggle for socialism. Wenige Tage nach der blutigen Niederschlagung des Januaraufstands verhafteten am 15. Lenin understood before others that the Mensheviks were not prepared for a struggle going beyond the framework of Russian landlordism and capitalism. There have been struck down from our ranks two leaders whose names will be for ever entered in the great book of the proletarian revolution: Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. In the wake of the Spartacist uprising in Berlin against the government, in which she proved a reluctant participant, Luxemburg and Liebknecht were arrested in 1919. If the opportunity is lost, it may not recur for a long time, and the working class can suffer a defeat. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were true revolutionary heroes, and their ideas and legacy will be remembered down the ages. This was because there was no coherent and sufficiently influential mass party and leadership capable of drawing all the threads together and establishing a democratic workers’ state. A second revolutionary wave, called the Spartacist uprising, swept Berlin that month. Das heutige Polen wurde damals vom russischen Zaren beherrscht. But nevertheless, right from the first days of war Rosa Luxemburg with some political friends like Clara Zetkin, Franz Mehring and Wilhelm Pieck, joined soon by the member of parliament Karl Liebknecht, tried to regain the party for the old principles of the SPD. Indeed Lenin, as soon as he was convinced of the betrayal of social democracy – including the ‘renegade Kautsky’ – called for an immediate split, accompanying this with a call for a new, Third International. Karl Liebknecht was in 1914 the only Social Democrat to reject the war, or spending one mark for it. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. For instance, her pamphlet ‘Reform and Revolution’ is not just a simple exposition of the general ideas of Marxism counterposed to reformist, incremental changes to effect socialist change. This necessarily involved clearly organising a grouping, ‘faction’ – one that was organised as well as based on firm political principles. Lenin recognised that there would be opportunist trends within mass parties of the working class but he compared the Mensheviks in Russia not with Kautskyism but with the right-wing revisionism of Bernstein. Trotsky pointed out: “Lenin considered Kautsky as his teacher and stressed this everywhere he could. They have invariably been indistinguishable politically from the reformist or centrist leaders. From Socialist Appeal, Vol. By uniting, however temporarily, with liberal and progressive forces against the main enemy, fascism could be defeated, as they proved in World War II. To some extent, this later affected the leaders of the Communist Party (KPD) after her death. Karl Liebknecht was born in August 1871 and died in January 1919. Main Menu. But it is only an irresponsible daydream to want to liberate the whole mass of the working class from the very weighty and dangerous yoke of the bourgeoisie by a simple ‘walk out’.”. Luxemburg and Liebknecht are in the pantheon of the Marxists greats. Unfortunately, the muddled centrist lefts, whose party grew enormously as the social-democratic leaders lost support, let slip the opportunity to create an all-Germany council movement. She contrasted the flair and energy from below in Russia, witnessed at first hand, to the weight the increasingly bureaucratic machine of the party and unions in Germany, which could prove to be a colossal obstacle to the working class taking power, she argued, in the event of a revolutionary eruption. Luxemburg was shot and her body thrown in the Landwehr Canal in Berlin. Moreover, hindsight is wonderful when dealing with real historical problems. On January 15, 1919, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, and Wilhelm Pieck; the leaders of the German Communist Party, were arrested and taken in for questioning at the Adlon Hotel in Berlin. 90th anniversary of murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. From December 29-31, 1918, they took part in a joint congress of the Spartacus League, independent socialists, and the International Communists of Germany (IKD), that led to the foundation on January 1, 1919, of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) under their leadership. In her writings, Luxemburg leveled pointed critiques not only at moderate socialism but also at the new Leninist revolutionary model in Bolshevik Russia. The young German Communist Party was by a treacherous murder of their best leaders, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg – deprived of their leadership. IT IS ONLY appropriate, of course, that Klaus Gietinger’s The Murder of They were both born in the same year, 1871, and died on the same day, their names necessarily linked in history. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Luxemburg and Liebknecht were killed Jan. 15, 1919, by right-wing militiamen. In 1968, in France, the biggest general strike in history posed the question of power but for the reasons explained above, the working class did not seize it. This ignited a social revolution which swept through Catalonia and Aragon to the gates of Madrid, with four fifths of Spain initially in the hands of the working class. That month the November Revolution broke out as a working-class response to the horrors of war inflicted upon the world by the Kaiser’s government. Apart from in 1907, the SPD seemed to progress remorselessly in electoral contests. Title: Memorial to Rosa Luxemburg and and Karl Liebknecht Author: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Location: Berlin, Germany Year complete: 1926, destroyed 1933 In 1926, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was commissioned by communist art historian and collector Eduard Fuchs to build a monument to Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, two Marxist revolutionaries murdered by right-wing reactionary … The situation following the First World War – a period of revolution and counter-revolution – was entirely different to this, with the general strike posing more sharply the question of power. Karl Liebknecht is correctly bracketed with Luxemburg as the heroic mass figure who stood out against the German war machine and symbolised to the troops in the blood-soaked trenches, not just Germans but French and others, as an indefatigable, working-class, internationalist opponent of the First World War. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were brutally murdered by paramilitaries, acting on the orders of the German Social-Democratic government. August 1871 in Leipzig; † 15. Doch beide blieben bei ihrer aufrührerischen Propaganda. While the Spd did Beat down the Spartakus Revolution lead by Luxemburg and Liebknecht, they did Not deploy the Freikorps. His ideas, his reactions, his attitudes, were formed out of the integration of his personal and his collective.” This represented both a strength and a weakness. Together with Karl Liebknecht, Luxem-burg published Die Rote Fahne (The Red Flag), campaigned for social revolution, and, at the turn of 1918/1919, became one of the founding members of the KPD. In 1915, they broke from the SPD and co-founded the anti-war Spartacus League (Spartakusbund). THOUSANDS from across the world will gather in Berlin this weekend to mark the 100th anniversary of the murder of revolutionaries Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. They can enlighten us particularly the new generation who are moving towards socialist and Marxist ideas. Their ideas and writings continue to be studied with reverence. But after the Bolsheviks had won four fifths of the organised workers in Russia by 1912 a formal split took place between them and the Mensheviks. Although the new KPD participated in the Weimar National Assembly that founded the post-war Weimar Republic, the KPD decided to boycott the scheduled elections. Despite the urging of those like Paul Levi to leave Berlin, both Luxemburg and Liebknecht remained in the city, with the terrible consequences that followed. 5 No. Yet the two martyrdoms to Social Democratic reaction—even if the uprising was adventurist and bound to fail—guaranteed them both a hallowed place in the communist pantheon, certainly in the socialist German Democratic Republic (1949-1990), but especially among Marxists. A period of dual power was initiated and the capitalists were compelled to give important concessions to the masses such as the eight-hour day. On the railways, in the factories and offices, the workers assisted the uprising to overthrow capitalism and establish a democratic workers’ state. Socialists and communists commemorate them yearly on the second Sunday of January at the Friedrichsfelde Central Cemetery in Berlin, where they are buried. 90th anniversary of murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. However, as Pierre Broué points out: “She was never able to establish within the SPD either a permanent platform based on the support of a newspaper or a journal or a stable audience wider than a handful of friends and supporters around her.”. Rosa Luxemburg confronted an entirely different situation, as a minority, and somewhat isolated in a ‘legal’ mass party with all the attributes described above. Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Lenin organised for future battles, including the revolution. On this important anniversary, it is vital to look at Luxemburg’s inspirational, revolutionary legacy. Moreover, Luxemburg posed very clearly the ideological tasks: “The choice today is not between democracy and dictatorship. Become a People's World sustainer today. Our party and campaigns rely entirely on donations from ordinary people. Die SPD war eine sozialistische Arbeiterpartei, die im 19. Im Januar demonstrieren jedes Jahr in Berlin 20.000 Menschen zum Todestag von Rosa Luxemburg und Karl Liebknecht. Rosa Luxemburg was the youngest of five children of a lower middle-class Jewish family in Russian-ruled Poland. The leaders of the SPD, along with the trade union leaders, had become accustomed to compromise and negotiations within the framework of rising capitalism. Even Lenin, while proposing a split from the Second International and the formation of the Third International, following the August 1914 debacle, was even prepared to amend his position if events did not work out as he envisaged. The German revolution not only overthrew the Kaiser but posed the germ of a workers government through the institution of a network of workers and sailors’ councils on the lines of the Russian revolution.