Karl Liebknecht
The Future Belongs to the People

The Situation in Austria

(At the same meeting Assemblymen Nissen (Dane) and v. Trampcynski (Pole) protested against the prosecution of their nationalities by the authorities of the Department of Justice. To them the Minister of Justice gave no definite reply. This situation gave Liebknecht another chance and he took the floor again to add his protest and by a few remarks to show the conditions existing in Austria, Germany's ally.)

DR. LIEBKNECHT: The disciplining of a nationality living in Prussia fits exactly into the general picture which I just sketched. Such a "liberation" of our Danish compatriots I took as certain. The Minister of Justice limited himself to general remarks about my speech, saying that I resorted to insults. In that way he thought to provide himself a comfortable retreat. I have no desire, after such words, to concern myself any longer with the Minister of Justice. Only at one point I shall have to add something, and that is in relation to his denial of my remarks about the conditions in Austria. The Minister of Justice represented that my facts had been invented. But in Austria courts-martial are carrying out a true regime of terror, such as was not carried on in the worst days in Russia. (Lively "Hear, hear!" from the Soc.-Dem. – continued noise from the majority parties.) I have the material in my hands. ("Hear, hear!" from the Soc.-Dem.) In Austria there is no possibility of discussing those things from the tribune of a Parliament. (Continued noise and shouts from the majority parties to finish the debate.)

ASSEMBLYMAN STRÖBEL (Soc.-Dem.): You make yourselves accomplices of those bloody sentences. (Again continued noise.)

DR. LIEBKNECHT, continuing: In a few months hundreds of years of hard labor were decreed and also the death sentence which I mentioned before, and which was pronounced by a military court on account of the poem I spoke of before. (Lively "Hear, hear!" from the Soc.-Dem. Commotion among the majority.) One of my party comrades was sentenced to death on account of a so-called seditious speech.

(A few other sentences of the speech remain unheard on account of the noise among the majority parties in the House. That closes the debate. The Budget is approved.)

Table of Contents | Next Section