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The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung at the fifteenth annual Historical Materialism conference, London, 8–11 November 2018

As in previous years, the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung will be sponsoring a panel at the fifteenth annual Historical Materialism conference, held at SOAS in London, UK from 8–11 November. This panel will feature three Stiftung-affiliated historians and focuses on recent RLS and Dietz Verlag publications on Rosa Luxemburg and the 1918–19 German Revolution. We look forward to seeing many new and familiar faces this Friday!

In the Shadow of “Red October”: The German Left in 1918–19
Friday, 9 November, 14:00–15:45, Room G51

“Voices from Russia” (Marion Schütrumpf)
In an ironic historical twist, the Bolsheviks were the political force most able to popularize their interpretation of events in revolutionary Russia for a German audience after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The most effective depictions were those published by Karl Radek, which appeared without state interference. The only left-wing voice that did not publish Bolshevik propaganda in the months before the November Revolution was the magazine Stimmen aus Russland (“Voices from Russia”). The paper began publication on 20 June 1918 in Stockholm and was the German edition of Les Échos de Russie, published since January 1918. Its editors were the co-founder of Russian Social Democracy and Menshevik leader, Pavel Axelrod, the Marxist-oriented Socialist Revolutionary Nikolay Rusanov, and the Socialist Revolutionary Vassily Suchomlin. Stimmen aus Russland published translations from Maxim Gorki’s Novaya Zhizn (“New Life”), not-yet-illegal provincial left-wing newspapers, as well as eye-witness accounts. Rosa Luxemburg had copies in her prison cell, Paul Levi read it while in hospital, and Karl Kautsky and Eduard Bernstein cited it in their articles. An annotated edition of the magazine is to be published in late 2018.

“Completing the German Edition of the Collected Works of Rosa Luxemburg” (Evelin Wittich)
The first volume of Rosa Luxemburg’s Collected Works appeared in German in 1970. The German Collected Works were completed in 2017 with Volume 7/2, a supplemental volume covering the years up to the 1918 revolution. Evelin Wittich will present the new volume and the history of the series.

“The So-Called ‘Spartacus Uprising’” (Jörn Schütrumpf)
This paper constitutes the first English-language presentation of the repressed “Report of the Committee of Inquiry of the Prussian Constituent Assembly on the January Disturbances of 1919 in Berlin”. The report was kept out of the public’s hands because of its conclusion: namely, that there was no Spartacist uprising.

Marion, Evelin and Joern will speak in German and be translated by RLS English editor Loren Balhorn.