Rosa Luxemburg Addresses a Crowd (1907)
Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) passionately defended orthodox Marxism against the revisionism of Eduard Bernstein (1850-1932) and others. This, together with her murder in 1919, made her an iconic figure among later German Communists. Flanked by portraits of Karl Marx (right) and Ferdinand Lassalle (left), the founders of the German Socialist movement, Luxemberg addresses a Stuttgart crowd in 1907. One year earlier, she had published The Mass Strike, the Political Party, and the Trade Unions [Massenstreik, Partei und Gewerkschaften]. In this book, she argued for the necessity of the violent overthrow of capitalism and emphasized the role of workers in achieving the revolution. She and Karl Liebknecht, with whom she had founded the Spartacus League during the First World War, were murdered during the Communist uprising in Berlin in 1919. Photograph by Herbert Hoffmann.