Rosa Luxemburg  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Rosa Luxemburg (5 March 1871 – 15 January 1919) was a Polish Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist, and revolutionary socialist who became a naturalized German citizen at the age of 28. She was, successively, a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD), and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).

In 1915, after the SPD supported German involvement in World War I, she and Karl Liebknecht co-founded the anti-war Spartacus League (Spartakusbund), which eventually became the KPD. During the November Revolution she co-founded the newspaper Die Rote Fahne ("The Red Flag"), the central organ of the Spartacist movement.

She considered the Spartacist uprising of January 1919 a blunder, but supported it as events unfolded. Friedrich Ebert's majority Social Democratic government crushed the revolt and the Spartakusbund by sending in the Freikorps (government-sponsored paramilitary groups consisting mostly of World War I veterans). Freikorps troops captured and summarily executed Luxemburg and Liebknecht during the rebellion. Luxemburg's body was thrown in the Landwehr Canal in Berlin.

Due to her pointed criticism of both the Leninist and the more moderate social democratic schools of socialism, Luxemburg has had a somewhat ambivalent reception among scholars and theorists of the political left. Nonetheless, Luxemburg and Liebknecht were extensively idolized as communist martyrs by the East German communist regime. The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution notes that idolization of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht is an important tradition of German far-left extremism.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rosa Luxemburg" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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