|Born||13 August 1871|
|Died||15 January 1919 47) (aged|
|Alma mater||Humboldt University of Berlin|
|Occupation|| Lawyer |
|Spouse(s)||Julia Paradies (m. 1900; died 1911) |
Sophie Liebknecht (m. 1914)
|Relatives|| Wilhelm Liebknecht (father)|
Natalie Liebknecht (mother)
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Karl Paul August Friedrich Liebknecht (German: [ˈliːpknɛçt] (
The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic political party in Germany.
Rosa Luxemburg was a Polish Marxist theorist, philosopher, economist, anti-war activist, and revolutionary socialist who became a naturalized German citizen at the age of 28. She was, successively, a member of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD), and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD).
The Spartacus League was a Marxist revolutionary movement organized in Germany during World War I. The League was named after Spartacus, leader of the largest slave rebellion of the Roman Republic. It was founded by Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Clara Zetkin, and others. The League subsequently renamed itself the Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands (KPD), joining the Comintern in 1919. Its period of greatest activity was during the German Revolution of 1918, when it sought to incite a revolution by circulating the newspaper Spartacus Letters.
After their deaths, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg became martyrs for Socialists. According to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, commemoration of Liebknecht and Luxemburg continues to play an important role among the German left, including Die Linke .
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution is the Federal Republic of Germany's domestic security agency. Together with the Landesämter für Verfassungsschutz (LfV) at the state level, it is tasked with intelligence-gathering on threats concerning the democratic order, the existence and security of the federation or one of its states, and the peaceful coexistence of peoples; with counter-intelligence; and with protective security and counter-sabotage. The BfV reports to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. Between 1 August 2012 and 18 September 2018, the agency was headed by Hans-Georg Maaßen.
Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. It typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others (prioritarianism) as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished. The term left-wing can also refer to "the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system".
The Left, also commonly referred to as the Left Party, is a democratic socialist political party in Germany. It is considered to be left-wing populist by some researchers. The party was founded in 2007 as the result of the merger of the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and the Electoral Alternative for Labour and Social Justice (WASG). Through the PDS, the party is the direct descendant of the ruling party of the former East Germany (GDR), the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED).
Liebknecht was born in Leipzig, Saxony, Germany, the son of Wilhelm Martin Philipp Christian Ludwig Liebknecht and his second wife Natalie (née Reh), who also came from a family with a strong political background; her father, Theodor, was a member of the Frankfurt Parliament of 1848.Liebknecht's parents were second cousins; his maternal great-grandmother was the sister of one of his paternal great-grandfathers.
Leipzig is the most populous city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. With a population of 581,980 inhabitants as of 2017 it is Germany's tenth most populous city. Leipzig is located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) southwest of Berlin at the confluence of the White Elster, Pleiße and Parthe rivers at the southern end of the North German Plain.
The Kingdom of Saxony, lasting between 1806 and 1918, was an independent member of a number of historical confederacies in Napoleonic through post-Napoleonic Germany. The kingdom was formed from the Electorate of Saxony. From 1871 it was part of the German Empire. It became a Free state in the era of Weimar Republic in 1918 after the end of World War I and the abdication of King Frederick Augustus III of Saxony. Its capital was the city of Dresden, and its modern successor state is the Free State of Saxony.
The German Empire, also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.
His father was a co-founder with August Bebel of the Marxist Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Karl Liebknecht became an exponent of Marxist ideas during his study of law and political economy in Leipzig and Humboldt University of Berlin. After serving with the Imperial Pioneer Guards in Potsdam from 1893 to 1894 and internships in Arnsberg and Paderborn from 1894 to 1898, he earned his doctorate at Würzburg in 1897 and moved to Berlin in 1899, where he opened a lawyer's office with his brother, Theodor. Liebknecht married Julia Paradies on 8 May 1900; the couple had two sons and a daughter before Julia died in 1911.
Ferdinand August Bebel was a German socialist politician, writer, and orator. He is best remembered as one of the founders of the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany (SDAP) in 1869, which in 1875 merged with the General German Workers' Association into the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAPD). During the repression under the terms of the Anti-Socialist Laws, Bebel became the leading figure of the social democratic movement in Germany and from 1892 until his death served as chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
Potsdam is the capital and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. It directly borders the German capital, Berlin, and is part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel 24 kilometres southwest of Berlin's city centre.
Arnsberg is a town in the Hochsauerland county, in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is the location of the Regierungsbezirk Arnsberg's administration and one of the three local administration offices of the Hochsauerlandkreis.
As a lawyer, Liebknecht often defended other left wing socialists who were tried for offences such as smuggling socialist propaganda into Russia, a task in which he was also involved. He became a member of the SPD in 1900 and was president of the Socialist Youth International from 1907 to 1910. Liebknecht also wrote extensively against militarism. In his speech at the Bremen party conference in 1904, he insisted to his audience that, "Militarism is our most deadly enemy and the best way of waging the struggle against it is to increase the number of social democrats among the soldiers."One of his papers, Militarismus und Antimilitarismus ("militarism and antimilitarism") led to his being arrested in 1907 and imprisoned for 18 months in Glatz, Prussian Silesia. In the next year he was elected to the Prussian parliament, despite still being in prison.
Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented. Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, but activist groups, companies, religious organizations and the media can also produce propaganda.
Militarism is the belief or the desire of a government or a people that a state should maintain a strong military capability and to use it aggressively to expand national interests and/or values. It may also imply the glorification of the military and of the ideals of a professional military class and the "predominance of the armed forces in the administration or policy of the state".
Antimilitarism is a doctrine that opposes war, relying heavily on a critical theory of imperialism and was an explicit goal of the First and Second International. Whereas pacifism is the doctrine that disputes should be settled without recourse to violence, Paul B. Miller defines anti-militarism as "ideology and activities...aimed at reducing the civil power of the military and ultimately, preventing international war". Cynthia Cockburn defines an anti-militarist movement as one opposed to "military rule, high military expenditure or the imposition of foreign bases in their country". Martin Ceadel points out that anti-militarism is sometimes equated with pacificism—general opposition to war or violence, except in cases where force is deemed absolutely necessary to advance the cause of peace.
Liebknecht was an active member of the Second International and a founder of the Socialist Youth International. In 1912 Liebknecht was elected to the Reichstag as a Social-Democrat, a member of the SPD's left wing. He opposed Germany's participation in World War I, but in order not to infringe the party's unity he abstained from the vote on war loans on 4 August 1914.On 2 December 1914 he was the only member of the Reichstag to vote against further loans, the supporters of which included 110 of his own Party members. He continued to be a major critic of the Social-Democratic leadership under Karl Kautsky and its decision to acquiesce in going to war. In October that year, he married his second wife, art historian Sophie Ryss.
At the end of 1914, Liebknecht, together with Rosa Luxemburg, Leo Jogiches, Paul Levi, Ernest Meyer, Franz Mehring and Clara Zetkin formed the so-called Spartacus League (Spartakusbund); the league publicized its views in a newspaper titled Spartakusbriefe ("Spartacus Letters") which was soon declared illegal. Liebknecht was arrested and sent to the eastern front during World War I despite his immunity as a member of parliament. Refusing to fight, he served burying the dead, and due to his rapidly deteriorating health was allowed to return to Germany in October 1915.
Liebknecht was arrested again following a demonstration against the war in Berlin on 1 May 1916 that was organized by the Spartacus League, and sentenced to two and a half years in jail for high treason,which was later increased to four years and one month.
Liebknecht was released again in October 1918, when Prince Maximilian of Baden granted an amnesty to all political prisoners. Upon his return to Berlin on 23 October he was escorted to the Soviet embassy by a crowd of workers.Following the outbreak of the German Revolution, Liebknecht carried on his activities in the Spartacist League. He resumed leadership of the group together with Luxemburg and published its party organ, Die Rote Fahne (The Red Flag).
On 9 November, Liebknecht declared the formation of a Freie Sozialistische Republik (Free Socialist Republic) from a balcony of the Berliner Stadtschloss, two hours after Philipp Scheidemann's declaration of a German Republic from a balcony of the Reichstag.On 31 December 1918/1 January 1919, Liebknecht was involved in the founding of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). Together with Luxemburg, Jogiches and Zetkin, Liebknecht was also instrumental in the January 1919 Spartacist uprising in Berlin. Initially he and Luxemburg opposed the revolt, but they joined it after it had begun. The uprising was brutally opposed by the new German government under Friedrich Ebert with the help of the remnants of the Imperial German Army and militias called the Freikorps. By 13 January, the uprising had been extinguished. Liebknecht and Luxemburg were captured by Freikorps troops on 15 January 1919 and brought to the Eden Hotel in Berlin, where they were tortured and interrogated for several hours. Following this, Luxemburg was beaten with rifle butts and afterwards shot, and her corpse thrown into the Landwehr Canal, while Liebknecht was forced to step out of the car in which he was being transported, and he was then shot in the back. Official declarations said he had been shot in an attempt to escape. Although the circumstances were disputed by the perpetrators at the time, the Freikorps commander, Captain Waldemar Pabst, later claimed, "I had them executed".
Clara Zetkin penned a moving obituary for Karl Liebknecht in September 1919,and together with Rosa Luxemburg, Liebknecht became a celebrated martyr of the German Left. The artist Käthe Kollwitz depicted his lying in state in the work Memorial for Karl Liebknecht. In 1930 the Soviet government renamed a village, near Kursk in central Russia, after him—Imeni Karla Libknekhta. Since 1919, an annual Liebknecht-Luxemburg Demonstration has been held in Berlin, the world's largest funerary parade, and the biggest meeting of the German left. The annual "L-L Demo" is held on the second Sunday in January to this day, and 14,000 people attended the rally in Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg's honor in 2016.
Friedrich Ebert was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the first President of Germany from 1919 until his death in office in 1925.
The Communist Party of Germany was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period until it was banned in 1956.
The German Revolution or November Revolution was a civil conflict in the German Empire at the end of the First World War that resulted in the replacement of the German federal constitutional monarchy with a democratic parliamentary republic that later became known as the Weimar Republic. The revolutionary period lasted from November 1918 until the adoption in August 1919 of the Weimar Constitution.
Gustav Noske was a German politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). He served as the first Minister of Defence (Reichswehrminister) of the Weimar Republic between 1919 and 1920. Noske has been a controversial figure because although he was a member of the socialist movement, he used army and paramilitary forces to bloodily suppress the socialist/communist uprisings of 1919.
Clara Zetkin was a German Marxist theorist, activist, and advocate for women's rights.
Leon "Leo" Jogiches, also commonly known by the party name Jan Tyszka, was a Marxist revolutionary active in Poland, Lithuania and Germany.
Franz Erdmann Mehring was a German communist and a revolutionary socialist politician who was a senior member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany during the German Revolution of 1918–1919.
The Ebert–Groener pact, sometimes called the Ebert-Groener deal, was an agreement between the Social Democrat Friedrich Ebert, at the time the head of government of Germany, and Wilhelm Groener, Quartermaster General of the German Army, on November 10, 1918.
Georg Schumann was a German Communist and resistance fighter against the Nazi régime.
Paul Levi was a German Communist and Social Democratic political leader. He was the head of the Communist Party of Germany following the assassination of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in 1919. After being expelled for publicly criticising Communist Party tactics during the March Action, he formed the Communist Working Organisation which in 1922 merged with the Independent Social Democratic Party. This party, in turn, merged with the Social Democratic Party a few months later and Levi became one of the leaders of its left wing.
Sophie Liebknecht was a Russian-born German socialist and feminist. She was the second wife of Karl Liebknecht, who had three children from his first marriage to Julia Liebknecht.
Die Rote Fahne is a German newspaper originally founded in 1876 by Socialist Worker's party leader Wilhelm Hasselmann, and which has been since published on and off, at times underground, by German Socialists and Communists. Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg famously published it in 1918 as organ of the Spartacus League.
Richard Müller was a German socialist and historian. Trained as a lathe-operator Müller later became an industrial unionist and organizer of mass-strikes against World War I. In 1918 he was a leading figure of the council movement in the German Revolution. In the 1920s he wrote a three-volume history of the German Revolution.
Rosa Luxemburg is a 1986 West German drama film directed by Margarethe von Trotta. The film received the 1986 German Film Award for Best Feature Film, and Barbara Sukowa won the Cannes Film Festival's Best Actress Award and the German Film Award for Best Actress for her performance as Rosa Luxemburg.
Ernst Meyer was a German Communist political activist and politician. He is best remembered as a founding member and top leader of the Communist Party of Germany and as the leader of that party's fraction in the Prussian Landtag. A political opponent of Ernst Thälmann, Meyer was moved out of the top party leadership after 1928, not long before his death of tuberculosis-related pneumonia at the age of 43.
The Spartacist uprising, also known as the January uprising (Januaraufstand), was a general strike in Germany from 5 to 12 January 1919. Germany was in the middle of a post-war revolution, and two of the perceived paths forward were either social democracy or a council republic similar to the one which had been established by the Bolsheviks in Russia. The uprising was primarily a power struggle between the moderate Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) led by Friedrich Ebert, and the radical communists of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), led by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, who had previously founded and led the Spartacist League (Spartakusbund). This power struggle was the result of the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II and the resignation of Chancellor Max von Baden, who had passed power to Ebert, as the leader of the largest party in the German parliament. Similar uprisings occurred and were suppressed in Bremen, the Ruhr, Rhineland, Saxony, Hamburg, Thuringia and Bavaria, and another round of even bloodier street battles occurred in Berlin in March, which led to popular disillusionment with the Weimar Government.
Johann Knief was a german communist editor and politician from Bremen.
Georg Ledebour was a German socialist journalist and politician.
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