Remembering Liebknecht and Luxemburg

Submitted by AWL on 20 February, 2009 - 10:02 Author: Ludwig Lore

It is one hundred years since the “Spartacist rising” in Berlin.

Only two months after revolutionary tumult started to erupt in Germany, with the sailors’ revolt in Kiel in November 1918, workers and revolutionaries in Berlin were provoked into a botched and irresolute revolutionary rising, opposed at the time by Rosa Luxemburg.

As the rising dispersed, the government thrust to power by the November upheaval — led by Social Democrats whom many workers still saw as leftists, but who themselves, privately, in their own words, “hated the revolution like sin” — sent the right-wing Freikorps militia into Berlin. The Freikorps sought out Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, the foremost leaders of genuine revolutionary working-class politics, and murdered them.

This tribute to Luxemburg and Liebknecht was written by Ludwig Lore, briefly a prominent figure in the early Communist Party of the USA, and published in the journal Class Struggle, edited by Louis Fraina. James P. Cannon called Fraina “the single person most responsible for the founding of the American Communist Party” because of his work in translating and circulating the idea of Bolshevism.

Fraina, however, also disappeared from CP activity early in the 1920s, first to Russia, then to Mexico. He resurfaced in the 1930s as an unaffiliated Marxist writer using the name Lewis Corey.


Karl Liebknecht

Karl Liebknecht was born to a revolutionary heritage. He was the son of Wilhelm Liebknecht. one of the founders of the socialist movement of Germany, who, side by side with August Bebel, led the young and undeveloped party through a period of the stormiest struggles against public sentiment and governmental autocracy. He was one of a family of five children, three sons and two daughters, all of whom have faithfully carried on the great work that their splendid father began.

It was reported in the American press that the sisters of Karl Liebknecht were arrested in connection with the Spartacus uprising. Whether they were actually directly connected with the revolutionary movement, or were simply arrested because of their relationship to the troublesome revolutionist, did not appear from the news that was received in this country.

In their early youth, the three sons of Wilhelm Liebknecht completely vanished from the public eye. It was a common thing in the editorial rooms of socialist papers to receive letters from comrades far and wide asking to know what had become of the three sons of the staunch old fighter, whether they had deserted the cause for which their father had made such enormous sacrifices. These questions invariably remained unanswered, for a public avowal of allegiance to the socialist cause in Germany at that time would have made it impossible for the three young students, (two of whom were studying law, while the youngest had chosen the medical profession) to complete their university courses or to obtain their degrees. It is true, Karl Liebknecht founded a “Sozial-Wissenschaftlicher Verein” among the students of his Alma Mater. But this organisation remained always simply a medium for more or less radical discussion of social-political topics without a definite party allegiance.

Liebknecht becomes a public figure

When Karl Liebknecht was admitted to the bar, however, he immediately threw off all restraint and threw himself whole-heartedly into the movement. His appearance was greeted everywhere with open delight, and the welcome that was accorded to the son of the beloved old fighter was enough to have turned the head of many an older and wiser man. But the young Liebknecht at once won the sympathy of the masses for himself as well. His fearless radicalism, his untiring zeal and devotion to the cause and his undoubted gift of public speaking and his great personal magnetism captured his audiences wherever he went.

His first efforts were directed toward the building tip of a radical and militant Young People’s Movement, which at that time was just beginning to gain a foothold in Germany. At this period in his career Liebknecht already evidenced the intense anti-militaristic spirit that runs, like a red thread, through his whole life in the socialist movement. He foresaw that militarism in Germany was fast becoming the dominant factor in German political life. He insisted that the struggle against capitalism in Germany must go hand in hand with an intense, determined agitation against armaments, against military service, against war. He was among the first to recognise that militarism in Germany was more than the tool of the capitalist class, that it was becoming the spirit that dominated and controlled the very destinies of the nation.

“Since we are not in a position,” he said at the National Party Convention at Bremem in 1904, “to carry out our agitation in the barracks, as is being done in other countries, let us carry out our agitation while we can still do so within the law… Let us systematically spread our ideas among the young people of the proletariat, laying particular emphasis upon the character of militarism; social-democratic recruits will know what to do when once they are drafted into military service … But we must see to it that the powers that be, when once they come into actual conflict with the organised proletariat, cannot feel themselves as invincible as they does at the present time, that they will no longer be able to rely absolutely upon the obedience of their army, even for illegal purposes.”

The persistent anti-militaristic propaganda that was carried on under the direction and influence of Liebknecht and his followers was not without effect. It is a fact that at the outbreak of the war Young People’s Organisations in many parts of Germany were in open revolt against the position adopted by the party, and that in Hamburg and other localities, their organisations were summarily dissolved by the official party organisation. The same radical anti-war position was adopted by the Young People’s International, which was founded chiefly by Liebknecht’s efforts, and which, in the early part of the war, actually furnåished the only channel for international communication at the disposal of the radical anti-war minorities in the belligerent countries.

Liebknecht unpopular with party leaders

Karl Liebknecht soon enjoyed the whole-hearted dislike of the party officials of the German Socialist Party movement. They attributed his radical speeches and actions to a natural desire to be something more than simply the son of a famous father and refused to take him seriously.

Their bureaucratic souls were completely out of sympathy with the whole-hearted disregard for petty considerations that characterized his every action, and regarded him with ill-concealed contempt. Even in later years, after he had served a four-year sentence in a military prison for his anti-militarist agitation, even after he had won international fame in 1913-1914 by his celebrated Krupp revelations, he was looked upon as an irresponsible troublemaker by the more “solid” elements in the party.

“He makes himself absolutely ridiculous,” said Scheidemann of Liebknecht during his American visit. “Whenever you see him he is in a tremendous hurry, with a package of books and notes under his arm. He rushes from one meeting to another; in the morning he speaks in the Landtag, in the afternoon he has an important commission meeting. Then he runs into the Reichstag to deliver a speech there before the session closes. It is impossible to get him to attend to his law business. If it were not for his brother William, he would not earn the salt for his bread.”

The first Russian Revolution in 1905 and the period of black reaction that followed made a deep impression on the intense personality of Karl Liebknecht. He threw himself heart and soul into the propagation of revolutionary tactics in Germany, and, together with Rosa Luxemburg, launched a campaign against the pacific, purely political tendency that was taking root in the Social-Democracy. At the National Convention of Magdeburg (1910) he bitterly assailed the party authorities for failing to arouse the whole country to a determined protest against the visit of the Bloody Tsar to Germany.

“The Tsar has dared to appear openly, as if he were a citizen, before the public in a number of German cities. He is moving through Germany at the present time more freely than he has ever dared to move in Russia. The thought is unbearable that he may dare to do in Germany what he could not think of doing in Italy or in France, or anywhere else, that Germany, of all nations should have been the one to give this man, who must flee from place to place in his own country, who must hide everywhere, like a robber, can appear before the German people like one who has a right to command the respect of his fellow-men.”

Rosa Luxemburg

Liebknecht was by no means alone in his demands for a spiritual and revolutionary revival in the party. For years he fought for the realization of these ideas side by side with some of the finest men and women that the International has produced: Clara Zetkin, Franz Mehring and the heroic Rosa Luxemburg.

Luxemburg were chief among the supporters of this more radical trend in the movement, and every party conference, every great party movement found them at their post, staunchly braving the ridicule and the misunderstanding of the party leaders. Among them all, none was braver and more courageous, none more ready to carry out her ideas to the last bitter consequence, none more far-seeing and theoretically sound in her opinions than Rosa Luxemburg.

Rosa Luxemburg was born in 1870 in Warsaw, Russian Poland. As a very young girl she came to Germany as a student, and immediately became so active in the revolutionary movement that she was forced to flee to Switzerland in order to escape deportation into the land of the Tsar. She continued her studies in Switzerland, but remained in constant communication with her German comrades. In order to be able to return to Germany she entered upon one of those political marriages that were very common in those days among young Russian women who had been driven from Russia and desired to acquire German citizenship. She married a young German student, thus, as his legal wife, acquiring German citizenship, and returned to Germany where she immediately became one of the most promising agitators and writers the movement had at that time.

She was one of the most profound students of Marxist philosophy in a movement that was rich of theoreticians. She possessed a remarkable memory for facts, and her speeches were full of references, quotations and examples from the most diversified sources. In repartee she was unexcelled, she gave no quarter, and her attacks were feared by her opponents as much for their merciless clearness, as for the logical brilliancy with which they were presented. An accomplished linguist, she was equally at home in Russian or German, in Polish as in French, and was well known in most countries of Europe as a fascinating and thoroughly learned speaker.

In Poland she became a member of the Polish Social-Democratic Party, the strictly socialist, anti-national wing of the Polish socialist movement and led the fight against the nationalistic PPS (Polish Socialist Party).

Although always at variance with the majority of the German party, she was unalterably opposed to all separatist tendencies, opposed to all outside organisations and propaganda to such a degree that she refused to counternance any kind of separate organisations or agitation even for propaganda among women*.

The fight for revolutionary methods

During the last two decades, every Party Congress, every important discussion of party tactics found Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht together in the radical minority. Political conditions in Germany, the unparalleled success of the party on the political field, the enormous membership, the power and strength of the trade union and co-operative movements, the extraordinary development of its educational institutions — all of these factors encouraged the growth of a distinctly conservative spirit in its membership, but especially in its leaders. Strikes and labour struggles in Germany had become the exception rather than the rule, because the labour organisations, backed up by the Social-Democracy, were too formidable an opponent to be lightly alienated, even by a powerful capitalist class.

Success on the political field had made it possible for the socialist movement to achieve the passage of important reforms and social legislation, achievements that were naturally stressed and pushed to the foreground in the propaganda work of the party, thus acquiring undue importance and influence upon the tactical programme of the party. In consequence the party bureaucracy met every suggestion in favour of more radical measures with active resentment, because they honestly feared that such measures might alienate its voters, that the failure of such revolutionary demonstrations might shake the confidence of the masses in the party and strengthen the power of the capitalist class. Years of success had bred in the bureaucrats of the party a holy horror of failure. They were desperately opposed to any action that did not, at the outset, bear assurance of a successful outcome.

The radical minority waged constant war upon this deadening conservatism. In Prussia it demanded the adoption of a policy of active opposition to the three-class election system, against which the party had used its political weapons in vain. In 1904, at Bremen, Karl Liebknecht moved that the question of the general political strike against the unequal suffrage laws of Prussia be discussed. At the International Socialist Congress at Stuttgart, in 1907, Rosa Luxemburg called out to the delegates who had adopted a resolution celebrating the martyrs of the Russian counter-revolution: “If they could speak they would cry out to you, ‘We do not need your praises. Learn rather from our example.’” In 1913, at the celebrated Party Convention of Jena, the unceasing agitation of this small group of revolutionists had so far born fruit that they succeeded in securing the adoption of the following resolution, against the vehement opposition of David, Bernstein, Scheidemann, and others:

“The Party Congress of Jena, 1913, sees in the general application of mass cessation of labour, under certain circumstances, one of the most effective methods, not only against proposed attacks upon existing political rights, but also for the conquest of new political reforms and rights.

“The achievement of general, equal, direct and secret suffrage for all public offices is a necessary condition for the liberation of the proletariat. The existing three-class suffrage system not only deprives the propertyless class of its political liberties, but hampers them in every movement for the improvement of their standard of life; it makes the worst enemies of labour-union activity and social progress, the Junker caste, the controllers of all legislation.

“The Party Congress, therefore, calls upon the politically enslaved masses to use all their powers in the fight against the three-class election system, realizing that this struggle cannot be carried out without great sacrifices to a victorious conclusion.

“While the Party Congress opposes the use of the general strike as an unfailing weapon that may be used at all times for the abolition of social wrongs in the anarchistic sense, it is of the conviction that the proletariat must be prepared to use its whole power for the achievement of political equality. The political mass strike can be successful only with the united effort of all organs of the labour movement, by class-conscious masses, inspired by the ultimate aims of socialism, prepared for all sacrifices. The Congress pledges every comrade, therefore to work tirelessly for the political and labour union organisations of the working class.”

On this occasion Rosa Luxemburg delivered a half hour speech that has become famous in the annals of the socialist movement of Germany.

…”We declare that in Germany, as in all other countries, it is not necessary to wait with the eventual application of the general-strike weapon until the last man and the last woman have paid their dues as organised members of a socialist local, when we call attention to the fact that where a revolutionary situation has arisen, when we face great historical tasks, the organisation of the party will exert a moral and spiritual influence that will sweep the unorganised masses into our movement, when we… declare that the policies and tactics of the party must be such that will awaken enthusiasm and the self-sacrificing spirit outside of the organisation, for only in this way can we carry the masses with us — the Executive Committee protests, and says that we are preparing to disrupt the organisation. That means lack of discipline, that is sowing suspicion against the party functionaries!

“They have spoken of our lack of responsibility, of our unscrupulousness. I will not use such expressions, but allow me to say that such methods in the discussion of party questions border on demagogy… We have been accused of being direct actionists and conspirators. We here declare that they are the conspirators who would apply the typical tactics of the conspirators to the strike, because they believe that the outbreak of a mass strike must be a surprise, that it must be worked out and prepared secretly, behind closed doors, by a handful of officials…

“Can you not understand that the masses themselves must become familiar with this new weapon? After all, we here are not speaking to the masses, we are merely formulating propositions that must be thought out, digested and accepted by the comrades outside… The mass strike in Germany, as in all countries, to be sure, must come from the masses, and that is the reason why we say in our resolution that the mass strike cannot be ordered, from one day to another, by party and union leaders, as our party authorities seem to assume. Nor can it be stopped once it has reached the historic stage of ripeness. But this does not, by any means take from us the responsibility for the conduct of the mass strike if it is to be successful, if it is to bring us the maximum of positive results and advantages, in the political and socialist awakening of the masses…

“The party must stand at the head of the movement, but in order to be at its head when it comes, it must not wait patiently until the revolutionary situation has become a fact, to be dragged along by the masses, no, it must prepare the masses, by the a complete reorientation of its tactics and methods toward a revolutionary tendency, to take the offensive, that the masses may follow us with full confidence in our powers.”

In this connection, and because both Rosa Luxenburg and Liebknecht, and in fact all supporters of a more general adoption of mass action in Germany, and other countries, have been accused of anarchistic and syndicalistic ideas and aspirations, it is of interest to know that both at all times fought against anarchistic and syndicalistic tactics. They consistently opposed the anarcho- syndicalist movement in Germany that was organised in the so-called “Lokale Gewerkschaften.” In 1910, at Magdeburg, Comrade Luxemburg expressed this in a speech on the same subject:

“A political mass strike can only arise out of historic conditions, out of the ripeness of the political and industrial situation.

“If anything could prove that one may talk indefinitely of mass strikes without the slightest practical result, so long as the initial conditions for its outbreak are not given, it is the history of the idea of the mass strike itself. You know that anarchists, of the type of Nieuwenhuis, propagated the idea of the mass strike for decades, as a panacea against all evils in society and against war as a means of bringing about the social revolution within 24 hours. And today, who talks more of the general strike than the French Syndicalists of the anarchistic school? . . . . And yet the country where the general strike has been least put into practice is France, where the syndicalists are forever mouthing its phrases.”

During the war

The position taken by Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg from the beginning of the outbreak of the war, their struggle not only against the power of a war-mad government, but what was far harder to bear, against a deluded people, need not be repeated here. Only those who understand what party discipline means in Germany, only those who know what the Social Democratic Party as the expression of the political and social aspirations of the working class meant to Karl Liebknecht, can appreciate that inner struggle that he and his comrades that later formed the Independent Social Democratic Party had to undergo before they took the step that separated them irrevocably from the movement that had been the end and aim of their very existence.

In the caucus that preceded the vote in the Reichstag on the first war loan, Liebknecht, Haase, Ruehle and a few others stood alone against an overwhelming opposition. And so strong was the hold of the party upon them that not even Liebknecht voted against the first loan in the Reichstag, that Hugo Haase, the chairman of the Socialist Reichstag group, delivered the declaration explaining the action of the majority, although every word he uttered seared his very soul.

When the second war loan vote was taken, Liebknecht alone voted against it, and was condemned by the Executive Committee of the party, by a vote of 65 to 26.

On Christmas, 1914, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg sent letters of greeting to their comrades in England:

“Confusion reigns in the ranks of the Socialist movement,” writes Liebknecht. “Many Socialists make our principles responsible for our present failure. The failure is due, not to our principles, but to the representatives of our principles.

“All such phrases as ‘national defence’ and ‘freedom of the people,’ with which imperialism decorates its instruments of murder, are lying pretence, The emancipation of each nation must be the result of its own efforts. Only blindness can demand the continuation of murder until its opponents are crushed.

“The welfare of all nations are inseparably interwoven. The world war that destroyed the International will surely teach the world a mighty lesson. It will bring a new International, an International with a power greater and more unshaking than that which fell last August before the blows of the capitalist powers. In the cooperation of the working classes of all nations alone, in war and in peace, lies the salvation of mankind.”

The greeting sent by Rosa Luxemburg breathes this same confidence in the victory of the socialist ideal, in spite of the downfall of the socialist movement:

“It is necessary that we express the bitter truth, not to encourage futile despair and resignation, but, on the contrary, to learn from the mistakes we have committed in the past and the facts of the existing situation, valuable lessons for the future.”

In the second year of the war Liebknecht was sent to the front as a non-combatant soldier, where he was shortly afterward seriously hurt by a falling tree trunk. In March of the same year Rosa Luxemburg was sentenced to a year in prison for alleged libels of officers’ corps and the Crown Prince, in a speech in which she protested against the ill-treatment of the soldiery.

During 1916 Liebknecht was sentenced to thirty months in prison for a speech delivered in a soldier’s uniform, at a peace demonstration held on the Potsdamer Platz, Berlin. This sentence was increased to four years on an appeal to a higher court. Variously after that there came to this country reports of Liebknecht’s illness and death in prison, until he was released, a few weeks before the German revolution broke out, by the Coalition-Socialist-Liberal-Ministry that had been created in Germany as a last desperate attempt to pacify a nation already in the throes of revolution.

The German revolution

In the few weeks that preceded the German revolutionary uprising Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were in the forefront of events. They addressed gigantic demonstrations. Liebknecht was met with tremendous ovations whenever he appeared in public. The memory of the meetings he addressed from the portico of the Embassy of the revolutionary Russian government will be unforgettable in the memory of those who witnessed them.

And yet, by the strange irony of fate, the very men who had always vehemently opposed revolutionary tactics in the German proletariat, the very men who, up to the last day of the coming of the revolution tried with all means to stem the rising tide that threatened the overthrow of the German military autocracy, assumed the reigns of government upon the Emperor’s abdication.

Ebert and Scheidemann became the rulers of the new German Republic. But even though majority socialists stood at the head of the government, the spirit that filled the masses was undeniably revolutionary. Soldiers’ and Workmen’s Councils everywhere took over the reigns of government in the cities, and proclamations and orders were usually signed in the name of the “Socialist Republic of Germany”. Even the Vorwarts, the organ of the majority group, spoke of “social revolution”.

The control of the government was placed in the hands of a council made up of three supporters of the Social Democratic Party and three Independents. But at the outset there were radical differences of opinion between the two groups, that were only with difficult overcome. True to their old theory that Germany would grow into the socialist state by a process of gradual evolution, the Socialist Democratic Party remained, as it always has been, opposed to any action that might precipitate the working class of Germany into an active conflict, either within the nation or without. To a proposal made by the Executive Committee of the Independent Social Democratic Party, on 8 November, as a basis for united action, that “in this Republic the entire executive, legislative and judicial power shall rest exclusively in the hands of the entire labouring population and soldiers”, the Executive of the Social Democratic Party replied: “If this demands means the dictatorship of a part of a class that has not the support of the majority of the people, we must decline it, because it is not in accord with our democratic principles.”

Street demonstrations everywhere breathed the most revolutionary spirit. The decisions and decrees of the different Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Councils showed a radicalism and firmness towards the socialist goal that was refreshing and promising.

And yet, prompted probably by the fear of renewed warfare of the Allies against Germany should the spirit of unrest grow, the leaders of the Independents in the end acquiesced and abandoned their opposition to the National Assembly. For a time even closer affiliation with the Social Democratic Party was under consideration. But the lengths to which the Ebert-Scheidemann group went in their concessions to the capitalists and militaristic clique of Germany, the boldness with which military leaders like Hindenburg and officers of all ranks came out with counter-revolutionary sentiments and proposals under the spiritual protection of the government that retained them in power in spite of all protests, showed the hopelessness of such an alliance, and finally led the representatives of the Independents to resign from the socialist cabinet.

During the entire period of indecision and concessions Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, and with them the Spartacus group, remained in the Independent Social Democratic Party. On the Sunday before Christmas the Independents held a convention at Berlin in response to a demand made by the Spartacus group for a clarification of its position. At this conference Haase defended the action taken by the Independent leaders in trying to come to some kind of an understanding with the majority Socialists. The position of the Spartacus group was defended by Rosa Luxemburg, who attacked the government (at that time the Independents were still in office) and maintained that the present rulers of Germany were doing nothing to prevent the growth of a counter-revolutionary movement. The Spartacus group then presented a resolution containing the following demands:

1. The immediate resignation of the Independent representatives from the government.

2. That the conference repudiate the calling of a National Assembly which can only strengthen the counter-revolution and cheat the revolution of its socialist aims.

3. The immediate assumption of all political power by the Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Councils, armament of the working-class population, the creation of a Red Guard for the protection of the revolution, dissolution of the Ebert Council of People’s Plenipotentiaries and the placing of full political control into the hands of an Executive Council of the Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Councils.

A resolution by Hilferding was finally adopted with 485 against 195 votes.

The most important task of the ISP at the present time is the organisation of the campaign for a National Assembly. We must now muster the supreme power of the proletariat to assure the victory of socialism over the bourgeoisie.

On 30 December a National Conference of the Spartacus group was then held that finally severed all connection with the Independents and organised its forces into the “Revolutionary Communist Labour Party” by unanimous vote.

From this we see that Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and the Spartacus group by no means rushed rashly and madly into the revolutionary uprising that followed. They left no stone unturned to secure the support of their comrades of the Independents, and far from being prompted by motives of self-aggrandisement, actually remained in the background of events until the situation showed that only by independent action could they hope to prevent the overthrow of the proletarian revolution that threatened. Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg made one mistake. But they erred, not on the side of rashness, but, on the contrary, on the side of the great hopefulness, to create confidence in the steadfastness of principle, to create confidence in the steadfastness of principle of the Independent Social Democracy. Had they struck at once, while the whole country was still aglow with the excitement of the first revolutionary uprising, had they taken advantage of the socialistic spirit that dominated the first days and weeks of the revolution to firmly establish the power of the Workmen’s and Soldiers’ Councils, the Germany proletariat would not be facing today a National Assembly in which the combined bourgeoisie can and will wrest from the hands of the socialist movement the power to control the destinies of the new Republic.

Martyrdom of Liebknecht and Luxemburg

When the Spartacus revolt set in, the proletariat of Germany had already accepted the new conditions, and resented the reawakening of the revolution excitement that, in the first days of the revolution, had driven everything before it.

The Majority Socialists left nothing untried to fan resentment into an open flame. Not only did the government make use of the notoriously monarchistic regiments to quell the uprising, its press was filled with scurrilous attacks on the Spartacus followers. In one of its articles the Vorwarts declared that it would henceforward refuse to take Liebknecht seriously until he had been examined and declared sane by at least three reputable psychologists.

But their attacks reached the climax of virulence in the whole-page appeal to the working class that appeared in the Vorwarts of December 23.

[Extract:] Bolshevism, the militarism of the lazy, knows neither freedom nor equality. It is vandalism, terror at the hands of a small mob that has arrogated itself to power. Therefore, refuse to follow the Spartacides, the Bolsheviks of Germany, lest you destroy our industries and our commerce. For the downfall of Germany industries and commerce means THE RUIN OF THE GERMAN PEOPLE…

Truly, the Socialist majority leaders bear upon their souls not a little of the responsibility for the dastardly murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg.

The proletarian revolution in Germany

The immediate future of Germany lies shrouded in darkness. But the discouraging result of the elections to the National Assembly and the increasing boldness with which the counter-revolutionary and militaristic elements are raising their heads seem to indicate that the people of Germany are still far from the peaceful era of “development into a socialist state” that this National Assembly was to usher in.

There will be no peace in Germany, there can be no peace until the revolutionary proletariat, realizing the futility of “democratic” government, hand in hand with the capitalist class, will arise once more to overthrow the uncrowned kings that are preparing to take control of the nation.

Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht are dead. But the spirit they and their comrades have awakened will live on in the hearts and minds of the Germany proletariat, in the hearts and minds of the revolutionary working class of the word.

Out of their ranks new leaders will come, new leaders, who, like those honoured dead, have confidence and faith in the destiny and power of the working class.


* Footnote: It is not clear that Luxemburg did have the view. Although not active in the German socialist women’s movement led by Zetkin, she did not attack Zetkin’s work.

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