Memoirs of Lotte Pulewka


[…] On 6 December, a large demonstration moved from the North of Berlin to the centre. It was headed by the leader of the [Roter] Soldatenbund (Red Soldiers’ League), Willi Budich. When the demonstration reached the corner of Chausseestrasse and Invalidenstrasse, officers and soldiers waiting there started firing on the demonstrators with machine guns. Willi Budich was severely injured; he had been hit by several shots. No one knew of his whereabouts, and he was presumed to have died.

     The Spartacus League immediately organised a demonstration for the next morning. Leaflets were produced overnight and we distributed them in the factories and workplaces. I did not believe Willi Budich was dead, and when Rosa [Luxemburg] saw me during these hurried preparations, she instructed me to go and search for Willi Budich. With some difficulty, I eventually managed to find him at the Virchow Hospital. He was alive. I was able to speak to him. Without hesitating, he gave me several messages for Rosa, Karl [Liebknecht] and Leo Joriches.

     When I joined the comrades in Wilhemstrasse to deliver my messages, they initially could not believe that Budich was alive. Yet the messages I conveyed convinced them, and there were cheers of joy. „ Where is my purse?”, Rosa cried excitedly. […] She took out a 20 Marks note, tenderly placed it in my hand and whispered, still exultant: „ Buy him some flowers!”

     Now, I for my part am a practical person. And money was quite scarce in those days. So I asked whether I could perhaps use part of the money to buy a bottle of red wine or something similar. „ Yes, yes, buy whatever is necessary. Get him back on his feet. We need him.”

     And I went and carried out Rosa’s order.

Quotes taken from: Karl und Rosa. Erinnerungen. Zum 100. Geburtstag von Karl Liebknecht und Rosa Luxemburg, herausgegeben von Ilse Schiel und Erna Milz, Berlin (Ost) 1971, p. 205-206.

Translated by Zachary Murphy King.