Rosa Luxemburg was born on 5 March 1871 in the small Polish city of Zamosc and grew up in Warsaw. She earned a doctorate from Zurich University in 1897 and co-founded the Polish social-democratic party (SDKPiL). Living in Germany from 1898, she joined the German social-democratic party (SPD) and rose to prominence as a left-wing journalist, speaker and theorist. Imprisoned several times in Germany, she was active in the 1905 Revolution in Poland before returning to exile in Berlin. Luxemburg was a leading figure in the Second Socialist International and a campaigner against imperialism, war and dictatorship. She believed in socialism and democracy and called for the overthrow of the capitalist system.
During the First World War, Luxemburg was imprisoned for her anti-war activities and expelled from the SPD. She co-founded the Spartakusbund, which sought to end the war and overthrow the Kaiser and capitalism. During the German Revolution, which ushered in the Weimar Republic, Luxemburg was a co-founder of the German Communist Party (KPD). On 15 January 1919, she was arrested by government soldiers and murdered.
One hundred years later, her life and ideas continue to be an inspiration to people all over the world. To read some of her works online go to: marxists.org/archive/luxemburg.
Happy 148th Birthday Rosa Luxemburg!