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Thursday, 24 September 2009

Rosa Luxemburg

On 1st May, 1916, the Spartacus League decided to come out into the open and organized a demonstration against the First World War in Berlin. Several of its leaders, including Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were arrested and imprisoned. While in prison Luxemburg wrote The Russian Revolution, where she criticized Vladimir Lenin and the dictatorial and terrorist methods being used by the Bolsheviks in Russia. The book included the following quotation: "Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently."

Luxemburg was not released until October, 1918, when Max von Baden granted an amnesty to all political prisoners. Two months later Luxemburg joined with Karl Liebknecht, Leo Jogiches, Paul Levi, Ernest Meyer, Franz Mehring and Clara Zetkin to establish the German Communist Party (KPD).

In January, 1919, Luxemburg helped organize the Spartakist Rising in Berlin. Friedrich Ebert, the leader of the Social Democrat Party and Germany's new chancellor, called in the German Army and the Freikorps to bring an end to the rebellion. By 13th January the rebellion had been crushed and most of its leaders were arrested.

Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were executed without trial on 15th January, 1919. Leo Jogiches was later murdered while trying to track down her killers.

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