On This Day: 11 November 1918

On 11 November 1918, Polish independence was declared after 123 years of partition and foreign rule.

Meanwhile, in Berlin, Polish-born socialist Rosa Luxemburg was thrown out of the offices of Die Rote Fahne (Red Flag) newspaper by the workers there- and this is in the midst of the German Revolution!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Karl Liebknecht- DHM rosa luxemburg older- rls

First issue of ‘Die Rote Fahne’ (9 Nov 1918) with the headline: ‘Berlin under the Red Flag’ (left), Karl Liebknecht (middle) and Rosa Luxemburg (right)

Luxemburg had been released from prison on 8 November and returned to Berlin, where she became co-editor of Die Rote Fahne, established in the offices of the Berliner Lokalanzeiger, occupied by Karl Liebknecht and a small band of revolutionaries. The first issue of the new paper was printed on Friday the 9th, on the 10th the workers refused to print and on the 11th, in soldarity with the owners of the Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger, they ejected Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and the rest of the leadership of the Spartakusbund, from the premises. Luxemburg had appealed to the print workers to assist them, in an eloquent speech. They were not interested.


The Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger, with headlines ‘Berlin’s Liberation from Spartakus’ (12 Jan 1919) and ‘Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg killed’ (16 Jan 1919)

It was an auspicious beginning for the Spartacists and a poignant demonstration of their limited support amongst the workers, even in Berlin.

(Sources: Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM), Geschichte der Deutsche Arbeiterbewegung, J. P. Nettl, Rosa Luxemburg (1966))


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.
This entry was posted in Karl Liebknecht, On This Day, Rosa Luxemburg. Bookmark the permalink.

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