On This Day: 23 June 1898: “I cannot stand Berlin and the Prussians”

Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz at the turn of the century and Rosa Luxemburg.

Rosa Luxemburg wrote to her friend Robert Seidel (1850- 1933), a German socialist living in Swiss exile. Seidel was a lecturer and later sat in the Swiss National Council at Bern (1911- 1917). A month before writing this letter in June 1898, Rosa had moved from Switzerland to Berlin. She wrote back to Seidel from her new home:

Just think: in this huge city of Berlin, with two and a half million inhabitants, not a single friend. At this moment I am so content with this thought that I even have a complacent smile on my face…

But of course that’s only for the moment. One day of solitude is all I need to find myself again…

Do you know what gives me no peace nowadays? I’m dissatisfied with the form and manner in which people in the Party, for the most part, write their articles. It’s all so conventional, so wooden, so stereotyped…

I believe that the source of this lies in the fact that people, when they’re writing, forget for the most part to go deeper inside themselves and experience the full import and truth of what they’re writing…

I cannot stand Berlin and the Prussians, and I will never be able to tolerate them.

I warmly press your hand,

Your Rusza’

Rosa Luxemburg to Robert Seidel (Berlin to Switzerland) 23 June 1898.


About rosaluxemburgblog

I was awarded a PhD in History by Swansea University for a thesis on Rosa Luxemburg (2016). I am currently co-editing the fourth volume of 'The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg' and am a member of the Advisory Board of the International Rosa Luxemburg Society.
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