V. I. Lenin

Speech at a Protest Rally Following the

Murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg

January 19, 1919[1]

Brief Newspaper Report

Sent: 19 January, 1919 First Published: Pravda No. 14, January 21, 1919; Published according to the Pravda text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 28, page 411
Translated: Jim Riordan
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Online Version: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive May, 2002

Today the bourgeoisie and the social-traitors are jubilating in Berlin-they have succeeded in murdering Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Ebert and Scheidemann, who for four years led the workers to the slaughter for the sake of depredation, have now assumed the role of butchers of the proletarian leaders. The example of the German revolution proves that "democracy" is only a camouflage for bourgeois robbery and the most savage violence.

Death to the butchers!


[1] On January 15, 1919, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were murdered by officers of Noske’s counter-revolutionary troops with the connivance of the government of the Right Social-Democrats Ebert and Scheidemann. News of the murder reached Moscow on January 17 and on the same day it was announced by Y. M. Sverdlov by to a joint session of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee, the Moscow Soviet and All-llussia Congress of Trade Unions. On January 18 Izvestia and Pravda published anappeal “To All Soviets in Germany and All Workers” signed by Sverdlov on behalf of the joint session. The Party’s Central Committee and the All-Russia Central Executive Committee called on all Party organisations and all Soviets to hold demonstrations and protest meetings. On January 19 Moscow workers and Red Army units assembled in mourning on Sovetskaya Square. Lenin, Sverdlov, Lunacharsky and others addressed the demonstrators from the balcony of the Moscow Soviet building.