Die Rote Fahne
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Die Rote Fahne (German: [diː ˈʁoːtə ˈfaːnə], The Red Flag) was a German newspaper created on 9 November 1918 by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg in Berlin, most famously as organ of the Spartacus League.
History of newspaper
Using the newspaper's subtitle as indicator of its political allegiance, Die Rote Fahne was successively the central organ of:
- Spartacus League: 9 November 1918 to 30 December 1918
- Communist Party of Germany": 1 January 1919 to 19 September 1920 (reflecting the KPD's submission to the Comintern on
- Communist Party of Germany: 19 September 1920 to roughly 23 March 1933 (date of passage of the Nazi Enabling Act
Many prominent Germans and others worked on the newspaper:
- Founders included: Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, Paul Frölich
- Publishers included" Hans Marchwitza and Johannes R. Becher
- Editors included: Ernst Meyer (1918-1919), August Thalheimer (1919-?), Julian Gumperz (1920? -- later, second husband of Hede Massing), Werner Scholem (1920--?), Gerhart Eisler (1921-?? already, first husband of Hede Massing), Arkadi Maslow (1921-?), Heinz Neumann (1922-1928?), Max Matern (1925-?), Hans Lorbeer (1928--?), Erika Heymann (1930-1933), Albert Norden (1930-1933), Lutz Łask (1930s and husband of Franz Kafka's lover Dora Diamant), Franz Koritschoner, György Lukács, Wolfgang Harich (1923 – 1995)
- Contributors included: Emil Barth (1918?), Lilly Becher (1921--?), Willi Schlamm (1923--?), Albert Hotopp (1923-1926), Erich Mielke (1928-1931), John Sieg (1928-1933?), Jürgen Kuczynski (1930-1933), Max Zimmering (1935-1938?)
- Artists included: John Heartfield
Newspaper in history
On 15 January 1919, Freikorps soldiers arrested co-founders Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht, interrogated, and shot them.
The longest ban on the newspaper ran from October 1923 to March 1924, as part of the ban on the German Communist Party. The newspaper continued in illegal production and distribution, sometimes renamed "Rote Sturmfahne" ("Red Storm Flag") or "Die Fahne der Revolution" ("The Flag of the Revolution").
In 1926, the newspaper moved into the Karl Liebknecht House, to which it added in July 1928 a rotary press.
On 24 August 1930, the newspaper published the last KPD program before its ban in 1933. Its title was "Program Statement for national and social liberation of the German people." The program deviated from Stalinist imperialist policy by opposing "forcible annexation of a people or a nation part of other national state structure... without [that people's] consent."
During the 1932 elections, the newspaper ran the KPD slogan "Who chooses Hindenburg, selects Hitler who votes for Hitler votes for war" and supported the KPD candidate Ernst Thälmann for president.
On 23 February 1933, Nazi police occupied Karl-Liebknecht-Haus and closed it the following day, anticipating the Nazi ban on all communist and socialist press after the Reichstag fire a few days later (28 February 1933).
- Weitz, Eric D. (1997). Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State. Princeton University Press. pp. 91–92.