Rosa Luxemburg and her pupils; President Ebert and President Pieck

As well as a journalist, theoretician and revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg was a teacher. In 1907, a photograph was taken of Luxemburg and her pupils, who included two future German Presidents; Friedrich Ebert and Wilhelm Pieck.


3- Parteischule- Heinemann, Schulz, Rosenfeld, Luxemburg, Bebel, Stadthagen, Cunow, Mehring, Wurm, Pieck and Ebert

SPD Party Schoool, Berlin (1907): Rosa Luxemburg ( standing left), Wilhelm Pieck (seated to right of Luxemburg) and Friedrich Ebert (third row back on left-hand side of right row)

Luxemburg was a teacher at the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) School on Lindenstrasse in Berlin, which educated social democratic activists and trade-unionists in politics, history and economics, among other subjects. Two of the students in Luxemburg’s class went onto become German Presidents.

President Friedrich Ebert (1871- 1925, President 1919- 1925)

Die engere Parteifuehrung der SPD 1913

President Ebert (right) with Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno in Berlin (1923) and with fellow socialist leaders Philipp Scheidemann (second from left) and Hugo Haase (centre) in Jena, 1913 (right)

Photographs: Bundesarchiv and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Friedrich Ebert became leader of the SPD following the death of August Bebel (standing to the left of Luxemburg) in 1913. Ebert supported the German war effort  and the imprisonment of anti-war socialists including his former teacher, Luxemburg. Ebert became German Chancellor on 9 November 1918 during the German Revolution and was voted first President of the German Republic by the National Assembly at Weimar on 11 February 1919, a post which he held until his death on 28 February 1925. As Chancellor, Ebert was responsible for the crushing of the ‘Spartacist Rising’ in January 1919, which culminated in the murders of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Although he did not publicly endorse the murders, Ebert was considered responsible by the Communists and other left-wingers.

President Wilhelm Pieck (1876- 1960, President 1949- 1960)

Wilhelm Pieck Giving a Speech at Friedrichstadt-Palast in East Berlin (c. 1950) File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-08783-0009, Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Einweihung Gedenkstätte.jpg

President Pieck giving a speech in Berlin (1950) and making a speech at the ‘Memorial to the Victims of The November Revolution’ at the graves of Luxemburg and Liebknecht in Berlin, 1926. The Memorial was destroyed by the Nazis in 1933 and the graves desecrated.

© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Jochen Moll and Bundesarchiv

Wilhelm Pieck was a Spartacist and later Communist, who served as the first (and only) President of the German Democractic Republic (GDR) from 11 October 1949 until his death on 7 September 1960. A survivor of the Nazi regime and Stalinist purges, Pieck was a staunch Stalinist and was Head of State of the East German dictatorship during its most repressive period.


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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2 Responses to Rosa Luxemburg and her pupils; President Ebert and President Pieck

  1. Pingback: What’s a Good Political Eduation? A Debate from the SPD

  2. Pingback: What’s a Good Political Education? A Debate from the SPD

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