1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Luxemburg, Rosa
|←Lutyens, Sir Edwin Landseer||1922 Encyclopædia Britannica
|See also Rosa Luxemburg on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
LUXEMBURG, ROSA (1870-1919), German Socialist and revolutionary agitator, was born a Jewess on Dec. 25 1870 in Russian Poland. Her earliest political activities in her student days were connected with the Socialist movement in the country of her birth, but about 1895 she migrated to Germany. She there went through the form of marriage with a German workman named Luxemburg with the object of acquiring German nationality. In 1898 she edited for a short time the Saxon Arbeiterzeitung, but soon afterwards became a member of the staff of the Leipziger Volkszeitung. She took part in the Russian revolutionary movement of 1905 in Russian Poland, but soon returned to Germany in order to engage in extreme Communist propaganda and founded together with Karl Liebknecht the Spartacus League. In 1914, after the outbreak of war, she was sentenced to a year's imprisonment for inciting to insubordination and remained throughout the war in preventive custody (Schutzhaft). After the revolution she edited in conjunction with Karl Liebknecht the Rote Fahne, the organ of the Spartacist or Communist advocates of violent revolutionary methods. After the Jan. (1919) street fighting in Berlin, of which she and Liebknecht were the chief instigators, both agitators were for some days in hiding, but were ultimately arrested and conveyed to temporary military headquarters of the Government forces at the Eden Hotel in the west end of Berlin, on the night of Jan. 16 1919. The mob and some of the soldiers became menacing in their attitude towards the prisoners, so that it was deemed advisable to convey them to one or other of the Berlin prisons. Liebknecht was shot on his way to the Moabit prison, while Rosa Luxemburg was brutally attacked on leaving the hotel and was finally shot dead as she was being conveyed, insensible from her injuries, in a motor-car under a military escort. Her body was thrown into a neighbouring canal and was only recovered some months later.