Die Rote Fahne

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Die Rote Fahne
Type Daily newspaper
Founder(s) Karl Liebknecht
Rosa Luxemburg
Publisher Spartakusbund
Founded 1918 (1918)
Ceased publication 1933 (1933)
Headquarters Berlin

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.[1]

History of newspaper[edit]


Wilhelm Hasselmann (de) of the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany and member of the German Reichstag founded a short-lived, weekly newspaper called Die rote Fahne.


Karl Liebknecht

Using the newspaper's subtitle as indicator of its political allegiance, Die Rote Fahne was successively the central organ of:

Many prominent Germans and others worked on the newspaper:


Outlawed after the end of the Weimar Republic and the Reichstag fire in 1933, it was illegally distributed during the Nazi dictatorship by underground groups close to the Communist Party until 1942.

Newspaper in history[edit]


Rosa Luxemburg

On 15 January 1919, Freikorps soldiers arrested co-founders Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht, interrogated, and shot them.

Ban 1923-1924[edit]

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).


  1. ^ Weitz, Eric D. (1997). Creating German Communism, 1890-1990: From Popular Protests to Socialist State. Princeton University Press. pp. 91–92. 

External sources[edit]