On This Day: 4 August 1914: Rosa Luxemburg; War, Suicide and the Birth of the Spartacus League

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Rosa Luxemburg (c. 1915, Berlin)

Ninety-eight years ago today, on 4 August 1914, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) voted in favour of war credits in the Reichstag, thus demonstrating their support for the Imperial German government in its war against the Russian Empire, France and Great Britain.

For twenty-five years, the socialist parties of Europe had sworn that in the event of war, they would do everything in their power to prevent a conflict and to maintain solidarity with their brothers and sisters in other nations. Rosa Luxemburg herself was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment for telling a crowd in Frankfurt:

“If they think we are going to lift the weapons of murder against our French and other brethren, then we shall shout: ‘We will not do it!'”

Rosa Luxemburg speaking at the Stuttgart Congress of the Socialist International in 1907

In a resolution drafted by Rosa Luxemburg…

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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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