Women: International Women’s day – Germany

Rosa Luxembourg was born on the 5th.March, 1871, in Poland. As a school student she became politically active and at the age of 16 she joined the "Revolutionary Party of Poland". After finishing school, she went to Switzerland and later to Germany in order to escape the danger of getting arrested.

International Women’s Day. Report from Germany.

Rosa Luxembourg- Revolutionary and fighter for socialism

In Germany, Rosa immediately became active in the workers’ movement and very soon took up an important position in the Social Democratic Party, already a mass party. She played an important role in the political confrontation inside that party, especially in the fight against centrism, reformism and opportunism. The representatives of these trends maintained that the revolutionary strategy of Marx was outdated. Instead, they thought that it is possible to achieve socialism with a tactic of step-by-step reforms and a concentration on parliamentary work.

Luxembourg fought very hard against any illusion in the reformation of capitalism. At the same time she supported fully every fight of workers for the smallest improvement. She emphasised the importance of such struggles, because through them workers learn to organise themselves and to recognise their power. Also the bureaucratic tendencies inside the party and trade unions and amongst the Social Democrat MPs were always a thorn in Luxembourg’s side.

In 1914 the first world war broke out and millions of workers paid with their lives for the capitalists’ interests. They were betrayed by the leaders of all social democratic parties in Europe, who went over to the side of their national bourgeoisie and supported the capitalist war.

Rosa Luxembourg was one of the few who fought from the beginning very hard against the war and for the united international struggle of the working class against the warmongers. But she also explained the necessity of the building of a new workers’ international.

Immediately, she began to organise an opposition, spoke therefore at hundreds of party meetings and wrote leaflets. For that work she was arrested in 1915 and had to sit in prison until the outbreak of the German revolution in November 1918.

Together with Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxembourg was at the head of the 1918 revolution and fought with him for a full seizure of power by the workers’ soviets. At the turn of the year 1918/19 she was one of the founders of the Communist Party of Germany; she wrote the basic programme and led the editorial department of the party-paper.

On the 15th of January, 1919, Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht were brutally killed by order of the SPD leaders, who hated the revolution. The German working class lost their main leaders. Their murder marked the beginning of the smashing of the revolution which began in 1918. In the next months, the workers’ and soldiers’ soviets in the whole country were bloodily suppressed; in the next two years, tens of thousands of workers were killed.

As socialists, we become today the political inheritors of Luxembourg’s legacy. That means for us the construction of a new international workers’ party, fighting without any compromises for a socialist transformation of society.

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March 1999