Communist Review

Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxeburg: Last Hours

Source: The Communist Review, January 1924, Vol. 4, No. 9.
Publisher: Communist Party of Great Britain
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2006). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

ON Wednesday, January 15th, 1919 Karl Libeknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were murdered. The Burgergerwehr (Civil Guard) of Wilmersdrof, a suburb of Berlin, raided the illegal dwelling of Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg and arrested and took them both to the Eden Hotel in Berlin, the Staff Headquarters of the Gardeschuetzen (Horse Guards) Division.

The murderers are at work, Their enemies are in their power. Liebknecht, the Jew, Liebknecht, the Spartacist, Liebknecht, the agitator and rebel, the man without a country, the man who wants to level everything, the man who wants to nationalise women, the man who wants to abolish money. He, Liebknecht, is in their power.

Rosa Luxemburg is in their power. Rosa Luzemburg, the Polish Jewess, Rosa Luxemburg, the Spartacist, the agitator, the rebel, Rosa Luxemburg, Red Rosa, bloody Rosa. Rosa Luxemburg is in their power.

And the imperialist officers of the German Republic rub their hands, Captain Pflungk-Hartung, Lieutenants Stiege, Liepmann, von Rietgen, Schulze and Heinz Pflungk-Hartung rub their hands. Captains Hoffmann, Pabst and Petry and Lieutenant Vogel and Jaeger zu Pferd Runge stand at the door. All is well for the murderers.

“Swine! He’ll not reach Moabit (the prison) alive.” “Nor Rosa.”

Jaeger Runge hits Liebknecht, who sits in the automobile, twice on the head from behind with a rifle butt. He also hits Rosa Luxemburg over the head. She falls. Runge hits a second time, and leaves her for dead. The automobile drives away into the night with Liebknecht, but not in the direction of Moabit, but into the Tiergarten (a large well-wooded park in the centre of Berlin). It stops in a dark side avenue. The half-senseless. man is told that the motor has broken down, and is asked if he can walk. Armed soldiers bunch around him, and he is led deeper into the dark wood. Then he is struck down, a shot and somewhere in the night the wood groans.

Liebknecht is delivered to a first aid station as an “unknown man, found dead,” by Lieutenant Liepmann.

Rosa Luxemburg has been dragged, senseless, into another car, Ober-Lieutenant Vogel sits at the side of the blood-soaked woman. A man strikes her again on the head with the butt end of a pistol. Ober-Lieutenant Vogel puts his pistol to her head, and blows her brains out with a bullet. They drive to the Landwehr canal and throw her dead body over the bridge into its dark waters.

The murderers make their report. “Liebknecht shot whilst attempting to escape.” They write further, “Rosa Luxemburg lynched by an infuriated crowd.”

The murderers arrange a drinking bout at the Eden Hotel. Their photographs are taken. They smile. They rub their hands. They are immune, no one dare touch them. All is well for murderers.