On This Day: 13 January 1919: The ‘Spartacist Rising’ ends in failure… but for Rosa Luxemburg the resulting order is nothing but a ‘House of Cards’


Vorwarts Building after rising- 11 Jan 1919- IISGAnti-Spartakist Flyer- 11 Jan 1919- DHM

(The ‘Vorwarts’ newspaper building after being re-taken by government forces- 11 Jan 1919 (International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam) and an anti-Spartacist flyer from the same date (Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM), Berlin)

Over the weekend of 11- 12 January, government forces regained control of Berlin from the armed revolutonary forces led by the Independent Socialists, Communists and Revolutionary Shop Stewards.

Berlins Befreiung von Spartacus- Berlin Lokal-Anzeiger- 12 Jan 1919- DHMVorwarts is Taken! leaflet- 12 Jan 1919- DHM

(‘Berlin’s Liberation from Spartakus’ Berliner Lokal-Anzeiger, 12 Jan 1919 (DHM) and ‘Vorwarts is taken!’ leaflet from same day (DHM))

By Sunday 12 January, it was clear that the ‘rising’ (as the victorious government labelled it) had failed. Hundreds lay dead and the leaders of the demonstrations and armed revolutionaries were either imprisoned, dead or in hiding.

The leaders of the fledgling Communist Party, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, refused to flee Berlin to a safer city and went underground, moving from house to house around Berlin to avoid capture by the…

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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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