Rosa Luxemburg

[Translate to en:] Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg (1871–1919) was a prominent advocate of democratic socialist thought and action in Europe. She opposed the butchery of the 1914–1918 World War with all her strength. She and Karl Liebknecht were the most important supporters of internationalist and anti-militarist positions within the Social Democratic Party (SPD). She was a passionate and convincing critic of capitalism, and it was from this critique that she drew the strength for revolutionary action. She welcomed the Russian Revolution full of hope, but as a revolutionary democrat remained critical and alert, and had the foresight to condemn the dictatorial policies of the Bolsheviks.

Rosa Luxemburg belonged to disadvantaged, often persecuted minorities throughout her life. On the one hand, this fate was determined by her birth: she was Jewish, and although she had no connection to religion, she did not escape anti-Semitism. On the other hand, it was equally determined by her will to lead an independent life contrary to the narrow ideas of her time. Rosa Luxemburg was an academic who earned a doctorate at a time when hardly any women attended university. She was also one of the few women active in politics, and left-wing parties were not free of contemporary prejudices against women who played a role in the public sphere.

Rosa Luxemburg never left anyone unimpressed. She defended her convictions uncompromisingly and with a powerful voice. With human warmth and great charisma, she was able to win over anyone who was prepared to engage with her without prejudice. But those who did not feel that they were up to her level tended to react with fear.

Rosa Luxemburg was a martyr of the German Revolution of November 1918. She was killed by uniformed murderers on 15 January 1919 — members of the same milieu that would later openly support the handover of power to the Nazis.

Rosa Luxemburg’s implacable struggle against war and the radicalism with which she insisted on the combination of political freedom and social equality have lost none of their intensity to this day.

The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is committed to the legacy of this great democratic socialist.

As Lassalle said, the most revolutionary act is and will always be to ‘say the truth out loud’.