Leo Jogiches (1867- 1919)
Jogiches was born in Wilna (Vilnius) in the Russian Empire, the son of a wealthy Jewish family. He was forced to flee into exile in the early 1890s as a result of his involvement in the revolutionary movement. As a student at Zurich University, he met Rosa Luxemburg, with whom he formed a romantic relationship which lasted for many years and a political and ideological partnership which continued until their deaths.
A co-founder of the Social Democracy of Kingdom of Poland (SDKP), which later merged with the Lithuanian organisation to become the SDKPiL, Jogiches remained a leader of the Party until 1918, when it merged to form the Polish Communist Party.
During the First World War, Jogiches became involved in German politics for the first time as a member of the Spartacus League, established by Rosa Luxemburg and others in opposition to the war. While its prominent leaders languished in prison for their anti-war activities, Jogiches became the group’s leader, operating underground.
A somewhat reluctant co-founder of the German Communist Party (KPD) in December 1918, Jogiches argued against the so-called ‘Spartacist Rising’ in January 1919. After the murders of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht on 15 January, Jogiches became the leader of the KPD and in that role campaigned for the punishment of the murderers. On 10 March, Jogiches was arrested by government Freikorps in the working-class Berlin suburb of Neukolln. After interrogation and torture, he was murdered. His killers, like those who murdered Luxemburg and Liebknecht, escaped punishment.
A short film about Rosa Luxemburg’s 1914 trial in Frankfurt for an anti-war speech in which she called on German workers to refuse to shoot their French brothers. From Hessischer Rundfunk. She was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment.
Follow link: http://www.hr-online.de/website/specials/extended/index.jsp?jmpage=1&rubrik=85575&mediakey=fs/hessenschau/2014_02/140220195527_hs_1914_23673&type=v&jm=1&key=standard_document_50910311
Rosa Luxemburg was born on 5 March 1871 in the small Polish city of Zamosc and grew up in Warsaw. She earned a doctorate from Zurich University in 1897 and co-founded the Polish social-democratic party (SDKPiL). Living in Germany from 1898, she joined the German social-democratic party (SPD) and rose to prominence as a left-wing journalist, speaker and theorist. Imprisoned several times in Germany, she was active in the 1905 Revolution in Poland before returning to exile in Berlin. Luxemburg was a leading figure in the Second Socialist International and a campaigner against imperialism, war and dictatorship. She believed in socialism and democracy and called for the overthrow of the capitalist system.
During the First World War, Luxemburg was imprisoned for her anti-war activities and expelled from the SPD. She co-founded the Spartakusbund, which sought to end the war and overthrow the Kaiser and capitalism. During the German Revolution, which ushered in the Weimar Republic, Luxemburg was a co-founder of the German Communist Party (KPD). On 15 January 1919, she was arrested by government soldiers and murdered.
Nearly one hundred years later, her life and ideas continue to be an inspiration to people all over the world. To read some of her works online go to: marxists.org/archive/luxemburg.
Happy 143rd Birthday Rosa Luxemburg!
Rosa Luxemburg at a family gathering (Berlin, c. 1902)
Rosa Luxemburg addresses crowds at the International Socialist Congress, held in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1907.
Rosa Luxemburg at her desk in her Berlin apartment (c. 1907)
(Source: International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam)