Talk:Rosa Luxemburg

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What is tne cementery name where is Rosa Luxemburg?

Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde. andy 12:10, 17 Sep 2003 (UTC)

The cemetery of your Rosa was Landwehrkanal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:45, 20 August 2012 (UTC)


I removed a comment regarding Isaac Deutscher's memorial for Rosa, and also the calling of him a Trotskyist. No proof for either, and they seemed quite clearly to be insults. (talk) 13:02, 1 January 2009 (UTC)


I have reworked for readability. I removed the "nicknames", since they seem to have been in fact pseudonyms used by Rosa Luxembourg for some of her writings. They should be put back in when we include the information on the writings. Zocky 17:23, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I've proofread up to paragraph starting "Together with Karl Liebknecht, ", comparing with the German article, and it looks pretty good, except what is her correct birth date? 1870 or 1871? The German and Polish articles and [1] all have 1871, Google has 2800 hits for Rosa Luxemburg 1870 and 3730 for 1871. -Wikibob | Talk 23:58, 2004 Sep 20 (UTC)

Meyers Taschenlexicon says 1870. Saintswithin 10:33, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Aha, it seems no-one is sure. Apparently she wrote 1871 on her CV for Zürich university, but her Abitur certificate in 1887 says she was 17, in which case she was born in 1870. There are other sources for both dates. (According to Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Sachsen e.V. Saintswithin 10:50, 24 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Chambers Biographical Dictionary says 1871, and Google suggests 1871 is preferred to 1870 by around 1.5-2:1. But suggest leaving text as it is to explain.

External links[edit]

The first German external link (Rosa-Luxemburg-Internet-Archiv) should point to this address: Which is the German language archive for Luxemburg. The current link points to a German translation of biography of Luxemburg by Tony Cliff. -- 19:23, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)


The link above can (should?) point to the English website of the International Marxist archive which is available there.

Also, the German article on Rosa L. has developed a lot and seems to be covering some of the lacking points mentioned above. It also has an own section of her political positions citing some of her typical works. If somebody would like to translate it? How can this be requested? Greetings from Germany, de:Benutzer:Jesusfreund -- 19:18, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)


There was a little dispute in connection with her nationality. My current opinion is that she was more Jewish or Polish as German. I think it because her parents were jewish - both by religion and by nationality -, reached adulthood as a Polish Jew, but lived some decades in Germany. I can't even imagine she ever thought herself as a German, because her ideology - left-wing communism - inherently opposes any nationality. In my opinion, her nationality is ambigous, and so I suggest the solution not to mention any nationality to her, but take care the factual accuracy to all of the possible alternatives (Jewish birth, Polish adulthood and a German husband). 21:45, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe it is reasonable to keep her German citizenship mentioned in the introduction.
1. Luxemburg's importance, notability, and thus the main reason for being included with such a large article in Wikipedia, is for her influence on the history of Germany.
2. In 1898, when she was 28/29, she obtained German citizenship by her marriage to Gustav Lübeck. So she was German for most of her adult life (she was murdered when she was 48/49).
--Luxem 22:41, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Leszek Kolakowski describes Luxemburg as "a Polish Jewess."[1] In fact the chapter cited makes no mention of her German citizenship. (I will ignore that "jewess" would now be considered archaic).
The description of Luxumberg as a "a Polish-born German" would presumably sound odd to one who feels as close to the subject as Kolakowski does. (For of course he himself is Polish). However, if we interpret "German" as being synonymous here with "German citizen," the appellative is accurate (and not without precedent within Wikipedia).
Christopher Lee Adams (talk) 17:16, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
  1. ^ Kolakowski, Leszek (1978). Main Currents of Marxism 2: The Golden Age. Oxford University Press. p. 61. 

The nationality is further complicated, as Poland was prior to 1918 part of the Russian Empire - therefore there was not really such a thing as a Polish citizen - she was ethnically Polish/Jewish but in terms of state citizenship, first a subject of the Russian Empire, later a citizen of Germany. The German citizenship came prior to Polish independence, so she was never a Polish citizen. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Years mixup[edit]

There is something strange in section:

In 1898, Luxemburg obtained German citizenship by her marriage to Gustav Lübeck, and moved to Berlin. She became active in the left wing of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), where she sharply defined the border between her faction and the Revisionism Theory of Eduard Bernstein, attacking him in 1889 in

If she obtained citizenship and moved to Berlin in 1898, it is very odd that she atacked Bernstein in 1889 on internal party matter (as if she had a faction 9 years before she became German citizen). It is probably a lapsus, so could someone verify this data and change it if necessery -- Obradović Goran (talk 5 July 2005 16:32 (UTC)


Did she ever run for office or attempt to gain any political position? If not, she cannot rightfully be called a politician. Should this be changed? Homagetocatalonia 02:07 9 September 2005 (UTC)

She could not run for political office, since it was illegal. The only way that women could be active was within the (more progressive) political parties like the SPD, which allowed women to participate in internal party structures. I think it would be fair to refer to her as a politician given her level of political activism. Jonberndt (talk) 20:18, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

...and Death?[edit]

Ignore last post, I didn't see the section at the end of the "life in Germany" section-- 18:37, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

murder vs. execution[edit]

Execution implies a formal & public killing by the state. While Luxemburg was beaten by the police, it was private & her body was tossed into the Landwehr Canal. Murder seems more appropriate. yokyle 15:22, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

sorry, wrong. execution does not imply "formal" or "public" (though it may include them), and as the summary (<-- see, there's a word for it) execution of Rosa Luxemburg was carried out by an official of the state, it was more an execution than a murder. Of course, in English, words have overlapping meanings and these words overlap. Murder is the wrong choice in this case. (talk) 17:02, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
It wasn't murder, not even remotely. This becomes very clear, when the historical context is taken into consideration. Berlin/Germany was in the state of belligerency. Rosa Luxemburg + Karl Liebknecht were Communist revolutionaries that incited what boils down to civil war in Germany (With all the mess that one could have observed in the USSR in the decades following). The executioners had a mandate to carry out the killing of both of them. However that also got messy and that's why they were put on trial as well, but still no murder. -- (talk) 20:42, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Bearing this in mind I'd like to add that by using the loaded term murder this article violates wikipedia's neutrality policy. -- (talk) 20:45, 18 June 2016 (UTC)
Given this mentality the Holocaust was also not murder. Germany after 1940 was surely in the state of belligerency, even total war. The circumstances of the revolutionaries' deaths show them to be murders. Nazi Germans also had "a mandate to carry out the killing", a ridiculous argument. Orczar (talk) 14:26, 20 June 2016 (UTC)


This article sounds as though it has been translated from German. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

And your point is what exactly? How does this comment help improve the article? ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 15:03, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
The phrase "rifle-butt-stroked" does not mean much in English. The phrase "summary execution death" is not good English and is misleading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:21, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

The author of this piece keeps using the word "resultingly" which makes no sense. I have replaced it with a better alternative where I have spotted its use. I have also replaced the bizarre "rifle-butt-stroked" with "rifle-butted".
Finally, I have substituted "murder" for "summary execution death", since it is more accurate and plainly better English. Rosa Lichtenstein 17:53, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree that murder is more accurate. I'm simply stating that because you simply stated the opposite and I didn't want an absolute statement like that to go unchallenged. There is an element of POV operating here (murder is agreed to be always heinous, while execution could conceivably be for cause) and as you chosen name is Rosa Lichtenstein, one might assume you have the POV to go with it. It is, of course, nigh impossible for any page on wikipedia concerning socialism and communisam not to attract acolytes. (talk) 17:06, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Nationality Question Again[edit]

As a result of several Polish Wikipedians having objected to the hyphenating of the nationalities of several prominent personages in different articles like Frederick Chopin, Jan Dzierzon, Jozef Pilsudski, Jan Matejko and others, people who clearly had either dual citizenship, mixed parentage, or demonstrably other than Polish heritage or ethnicity, should there be some sort of consistency applied to this question? Luxemburg acquired German citizenship through marriage at the age of twenty eight, Chopin acquired French citizenship (and actually I don't think he had Polish citizenship) by his own volition as a young adult also. Should the "German" be removed from this article, or should the "French" be allowed in this one? And the same regarding the other aforementioned articles? Is there any kind of a consistency policy on English WP, or is this up for grabs? Dr. Dan (talk) 23:43, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

actually, when luxemburg left warsaw for zurich, she did so with a russian passport because at that time eastern poland, including warsaw and her home town further east, were russian. when she married lübeck she gave up her russian citizenship. this and her involvement in german politics justify keeping "german" in. at one time, when she was imprisoned in germany during ww1, with no idea how long she would be held, she considered re-applying for her russian citizenship in order to get herself deported. alas, as we know, history took a different course.Sundar1 (talk) 15:36, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
In addition, when Luxemburg was arrested in the aftermath of the 1905 revolution the fact that she had German citizenship was one of the major factors that led to her relatively speedy release. We also shouldn't forget that there wasn't really a Polish state during Luxemburg's lifetime, the state came into existence a short time after her murder. --Mia-etol (talk) 20:54, 28 April 2008 (UTC)
Are you then, by extension of this line of reasoning, suggesting that there were no Poles in existence during the Partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth? Dr. Dan (talk) 00:29, 29 April 2008 (UTC)


I have removed the following sentence and bring it here for discussion:

The doubt about her birthdate stems from a discrepancy between her Zürich University curriculum vitae (1871) and her 1887 Abitur certificate (1870).

Is there a source for this? My online search finds that most people give her year of birth as 1871, including the Encyclopedia Britannica, though that is hardly definitive. If there is a book that shows these documents, that would be very helpful. At this point, I can only go by what the sources I have found say. Anyone have anything further? ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 22:00, 6 December 2008 (UTC)


Where are the references stating that she was tortured? Torture was mentioned in the opening of the article, but in the death section it says she was butted with a rifle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:24, 10 February 2009 (UTC)

I've changed it to "badly treated", see also Not Tortured?. 84user (talk) 22:55, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Rosa Luxemburg - Rather disturbing situation.[edit]

It appears there appears to be a rather disturbing possibility that the body that is in the official grave is not Rosa Luxemburg as according to a pathologist who spoke to Der Spiegel.

Have a look at: "German corpse 'may be Luxemburg'"

Is it possible someone could add a section???

--Joshuaselig (talk) 19:01, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Not Tortured?[edit]

Please remove reference to torture in first paragraph...unless we're using a very loose definition of torture that includes being "rifle-butted" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I've changed it to "badly treated", pending reliable sources for other descriptions. See also Torture?. 84user (talk) 22:55, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


I have removed this section from the introduction; "(right wing death squads answering to the Weimar regime and composed of World War I veterans)" because it is neither an accurate description of the Freikorps (curious that a right wing death squad would answer to a government they were sworn to overthrow...) nor does it add anything to the context of Luxembourg's involvement in the Spartacist Uprising and eventual death. -- (talk) 23:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I have reverted your deletion. The term is accurate, and, in this instance, the Freikorps were acting on behalf of the Weimar government. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 14:42, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but to claim that they were a right wing death squad is inaccurate and misleading. I do not disagree with the premise that they were acting on the orders of Ebert, I disagree with the premise that they were akin to a "death squad." The word is not only disingenuous when applied to the Freikorps, it is also a highly emotive which is liable to evoke images of the Cheka, KKK or Pinochet's Caravan of Death. This is not the correct term to apply to the Freikorps given their nature; while some undoubtedly engaged in "death squad" activities, others were paramilitary units deployed by the Weimar Republic to suppress the uprisings in the nation.

I believe my revert still stands because of the reasons I mentioned; a descriptor of them as "right wing death squads" does not add anything to the summation of Luxemburg's death, nor is it an accurate one. You reverted it on the basis they were acting on the wishes of Ebert. That was not my point of contention.

The Friekorps is a fractured term which can apply to a huge range of groups operating in Weimar Germany at the time. To bind them under a term so simple as a "right wing death squad" is inaccurate and misleading as to their true nature. -- (talk) 23:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

The terms "right wing" and "nationalistic" tend to contradict the info in the original article. I think those tendencies emerged later.radek (talk) 00:15, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Wronki Prison[edit]

At some point she was imprisoned there (I just stubbed the article on the prison), but when was it? The article mentions she was imprisoned several times, gives dates but not places. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:57, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Revisionism or Reformism?[edit]

The link about the SPD members she wanted ousted and who are called "revisionists" links to reformist left wing politics. So what is meant here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:03, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Shot or drowned?[edit]

The lead of the article says Luxemburg "was drowned in the Landwehr Canal", while later the article states "Luxemburg was knocked down with a rifle butt by Otto Runge (1875–1945), then shot in the head by lieutenant Hermann Souchon (1894–1982); her body was flung into Berlin's Landwehr Canal." Which was the actual cause of death? –Jopo (talk) 12:04, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

  • It appears that this inquiry has gone unanswered for quite some time. I did some research myself, and the only Source I really found appears to be a blog of some sort. I tagged the section indicating a lack of a source until myself or someone else can find something more reliable. Stubbleboy 20:30, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
This may be a difficult question to answer with any certainty, since they actually only found her body relatively recently. It might be best just to state that, as the source says, she was shot and her body then thrown into the canal. Kate (talk) 07:20, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Criticism of the Russian Revolution section problematic[edit]

While the section is referenced, the source has misrepresented Luxemburg's thought. From the primary source:

Let the German Government Socialists cry that the rule of the Bolsheviks in Russia is a distorted expression of the dictatorship of the proletariat. If it was or is such, that is only because it is a product of the behavior of the German proletariat, in itself a distorted expression of the socialist class struggle. All of us are subject to the laws of history, and it is only internationally that the socialist order of society can be realized. The Bolsheviks have shown that they are capable of everything that a genuine revolutionary party can contribute within the limits of historical possibilities. They are not supposed to perform miracles. For a model and faultless proletarian revolution in an isolated land, exhausted by world war, strangled by imperialism, betrayed by the international proletariat, would be a miracle.

What is in order is to distinguish the essential from the non-essential, the kernel from the accidental excrescencies in the politics of the Bolsheviks. In the present period, when we face decisive final struggles in all the world, the most important problem of socialism was and is the burning question of our time. It is not a matter of this or that secondary question of tactics, but of the capacity for action of the proletariat, the strength to act, the will to power of socialism as such. In this, Lenin and Trotsky and their friends were the first, those who went ahead as an example to the proletariat of the world; they are still the only ones up to now who can cry with Hutten: “I have dared!”

This is the essential and enduring in Bolshevik policy. In this sense theirs is the immortal historical service of having marched at the head of the international proletariat with the conquest of political power and the practical placing of the problem of the realization of socialism, and of having advanced mightily the settlement of the score between capital and labor in the entire world. In Russia, the problem could only be posed. It could not be solved in Russia. And in this sense, the future everywhere belongs to “Bolshevism.”

I have quoted Luxemburg at length because it is so common to quote a few snippets here or there to try to "reconstruct" Luxemburg into whatever one wants her to be. These paragraphs, the conclusion of her work on the Russian Revolution, make very clear that the Luxemburg's criticism was tactical. Here she apologizes for the revolution's short-comings and declares her loyalty to it.

The section should be amended (honestly: rewritten) to reflect Luxemburg's own views, plainly stated, and not those of secondary sources. --Nixin06 (talk) 14:41, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

people in general are not completely self aware, so historically it is not only important what a person says themselves, but also what other people say about them. It is important, for a Godwin example, that somebody else's page contain more than what was in Mein Kampf. And in the case of revolutionary propagandists, what they write is more for public consumption more than to include their own misgivings. (talk) 18:53, 20 April 2016 (UTC)

Unformatted section[edit]

In this edition I removed a section who doesn't have Wikipedia format, and seems to be copied directly from a web. --JaviP96 22:37, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Popular culture reference[edit]

It is a minor thing, but as the article is locked.....perhaps when it is next unlocked someone can add that Rosa is mentioned in season 5, episode 2 of the television program "Downton Abbey." 2601:D:D103:7F63:90A5:B738:BC1C:1DAD (talk) 18:22, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 05:19, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Is there any source saying Rosa Luxemburg's religion is "None"? Bus stop (talk) 23:34, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Have you actually read what she had to say on the subject of religion? [2] AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:36, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
And, to state the obvious, 'none' is not a religion... AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:40, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
"none is not a religion" is a common idea, but as an atheist myself I would point out that for a long time nobody believed that zero was a number; it is. (talk) 18:54, 20 April 2016 (UTC)


We're quoting refugees now? The bit below does not belong in a wikipedia article. Besides, opponentS of Marxism implies more than one. To support this claim, one editor has added a quote from a refugee.

Opponents of Marxism, however, had a very different interpretation of Luxemburg's murder. Anti-communist Russian refugees occasionally expressed envy for the Freikorps' success in defeating the Spartakusbund. In a 1922 conversation with Count Harry Kessler, one such refugee lamented,

"Infamous, that fifteen thousand Russian officers should have let themselves be slaughtered by the Revolution without raising a hand in self-defense! Why didn't they act like the Germans, who killed Rosa Luxemburg in such a way that not even a smell of her has remained?"[45] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:07, 3 November 2015 (UTC)


In the infobox, it's probably appropriate to insert a subsection for who her influences were, and who she in turn influenced. Perhaps we can standardize the infoboxes across the socialism portal as well. (talk) 07:07, 26 January 2016 (UTC)


The Freikorps were nationalist and mostly right wing, not "mostly of extreme right-wing". Their opposition to communist revolution does not make them extreme right wing, but anything from far left to far right.Royalcourtier (talk) 21:53, 31 January 2016 (UTC)