Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 January 2019

Non-fiction: The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg "reveals the brutal lengths capitalists will go to protect their system"

Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

On 15 January 1919, two key leaders of the German working class and the German Communist Party were murdered by soldiers.

The cold-blooded killings of Karl Leibknecht and Rosa Luxemburg represented an attempt to behead the German revolution.

Klaus Gietinger's newly translated book (originally published in German in the 1990s) attempts to unpick the conspiracy of army and naval officers and the government responsible for both deaths, but particularly that of Rosa Luxemburg, whose real killer was never brought to justice.

Gietinger's method is somewhat like peeling back the various layers of an onion, prying into each stage of the cover-up, from early attempts to evade justice through a rigged military court, to a prison escape by one the people convicted (not of murder, but of 'lesser' crimes such as 'disposing of a corpse').

As well as legal action aimed to prevent the screening of a TV film about the events that came very close to the truth.

What is revealed is the very serious threat to their attempt to stabilise German capitalism that senior figures believed that Luxemburg and Liebknecht posed.

When they got their hands on them, they were not going to pass up an opportunity to dispose with them.

Naturally, those senior figures found subordinates to do the dirty work, but also went to great lengths to protect them.

As one would suspect, these figures were generally held in high regard by Hitler's Nazi regime, but also by the representatives of the post-war West German state as well - indicting those proponents of 'liberal' capitalism too.

Gietinger's research documents the various threads between the conspirators well, particularly through interviews and correspondence of one of the main conspirators, Captain Waldemar Pabst, who directly ordered the murders.

But he also details how capitalist figures helped finance such repression. What's more, he explains how the key leaders of the German Social Democratic Party government at the time were complicit in the murders and the cover-ups afterwards, particularly Gustav Noske, who appointed himself the 'bloodhound' of the counter-revolution.

He helped establish the reactionary Freikorps militias. Many of those involved went on to be involved in the Nazi party.

This isn't the book to read if you want to know more about the ideas of Luxemburg and Liebknecht, but it does reveal the sheer brutal lengths that the capitalists and their 'armed bodies of men' will go to protect their system.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 23 January 2019:

What we think

Corbyn: stand firm for a general election

Socialist Party news and analysis

Nationalise big pharma: end this profit-driven NHS crisis

Duke's car crash: one law for them and another for us

Racist jobs discrimination same for 50 years - unions must fight for jobs for all

Wales is Europe's prisoner capital: capitalist cutters' crimes to blame

Them & Us

Socialist history

Cuban revolution at 60: defend the gains and fight for workers' democracy

Workplace news and analysis

Birmingham: hostile Labour council attacks striking workers

Mass strike wins historic step towards victory in Glasgow equal pay battle

John Lewis workers count the cost of the retail crisis

Unison union higher education conference: a missed opportunity to develop a fighting strategy

Bristol Deliveroo workers walk out

PCS union: re-elect Chris Baugh for assistant general secretary

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Enfield North CLP backs no-cuts budget - now councillors must act

We need May Day greetings!

Leeds: don't let the far right divide us

International socialist news and analysis

Europe: school students strike against climate change

Poland: thousands mourn death of murdered mayor

International round-up


Theatre: Rouse, Ye Women to tell story of 1910 chainmakers' strike

Non-fiction: The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg "reveals the brutal lengths capitalists will go to protect their system"

The Socialist inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 23 January 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Rosa Luxemburg:

triangle150th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's birth

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Rosa Luxemburg and the German Revolution

triangleJoin the fight to defend women's lives

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Rosa Luxemburg- Revolutionary and Marxist thinker

triangleHeroic martyrs of German Revolution


triangle1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Reform or revolution?

triangleOnline rally - 150 years since the Paris Commune

triangle150th anniversary of the Paris Commune


triangleThe 'Fall of Paris' 150 years ago

triangleDevon Socialist Party: Revolution and Counter-Revolution

triangleCounter-revolution in Sudan

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



Response to Observer article on China



TV review: Mrs Thatcher vs the miners



Readers' Opinion



The Socialist Inbox



Film review: Nomadland



TV review: Three Families is excellent. But protest movement is missing



Readers' opinion



Readers' opinion



Bobby Sands - Nothing but an Unfinished Song



The Socialist Inbox



The Socialist Inbox



The Socialist Inbox



The Socialist Inbox


Labour Party

Warning: Labour Party cutters - careful who you phone!



The Socialist Inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021