Spartacus League

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Rosa Luxemburg
Karl Liebknecht

The Spartakusbund was an association of Marxist socialists in Germany who, during the First World War , held fast to the goal of an international revolution of the proletariat in order to overthrow capitalism , imperialism and militarism worldwide.

From August 1914, these goals were pursued by the “International Group” as an opposition group within the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). It called itself from 1916 "Spartakusgruppe" and in 1917 joined the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD), split off from the SPD, as a left wing. In the November Revolution of 1918, the federal government was re-established as a Germany-wide, party-independent organization with the name "Spartakusbund" and the goal of an all-German Soviet republic . On January 1, 1919, he went into the newly founded Communist Party of Germany (KPD).

The name of the covenant referred to Spartacus , the leader of a slave revolt (73-71 BC) in the ancient Roman Empire . For the Spartacists, his name symbolized the persistent resistance of the oppressed against their exploiters . In doing so, they expressed the Marxist conception of historical materialism , according to which history is driven by class struggle .



At the congresses of the Socialist International in London and Stuttgart in 1907 , the opposition of the European workers' parties to the impending war between the major European powers was resolved. In 1912 in Bern , additional joint measures were decided against, including the means of a general strike . The SPD had also expressly and repeatedly rejected an imperialist war in Europe, resolved and publicly announced combat measures against it. During the July crisis in 1914, she reaffirmed her rejection of the war in large nationwide demonstrations by her supporters.

On August 4, 1914, the Reichstag voted on war credits. The SPD parliamentary group in the Reichstag now unanimously agreed to a truce policy , whereby Karl Liebknecht consented while adhering to the parliamentary group obligation. With its approval of the imperial government's war policy, the SPD parliamentary group abandoned three program points that had been in effect since the party was founded: the opposition to militarism, proletarian internationalism and the class struggle .

The response to the SPD's approval of the war was the approval of the French socialists for a declaration of war by France against Germany. With the beginning of the First World War, the Socialist International collapsed.

The International Group

The "International Group" was based on an initiative by Rosa Luxemburg . Immediately after the vote on the war credits, she invited her friends in the SPD to come to her Berlin apartment. Six guests took part in this evening meeting on August 4, 1914, who, together with the hostess, formed the nucleus of the later Spartakusbund: Hermann Duncker , Hugo Eberlein , Julian Marchlewski , Franz Mehring , Ernst Meyer and Wilhelm Pieck . In the following week the following other people joined the group: Martha Arendsee , Fritz Ausländer , Heinrich Brandler , Käte Duncker , Otto Gäbel , Otto Geithner , Leo Jogiches , Karl Liebknecht , August Thalheimer and Bertha Thalheimer .

The “Gruppe Internationale” saw the SPD's approval of the war credits as a betrayal of the goals of pan-European social democracy , especially the international solidarity of the workers' movement against the war. It adhered to these pre-war goals and rejected war as an imperialist genocide of the ruling bourgeoisie directed against the interests of the peoples and the proletariat . The Internationale Gruppe did not include any members of the SPD parliamentary group in the Reichstag who had agreed to the war credits even though they rejected the war, or who only subsequently turned into opponents of the war.

The contemplated exit from the SPD was quickly discarded, as it was expected that the government would soon be banned from acting on behalf of the SPD and that the SPD majority would then move away from the “truce”. It was decided to organize the fight against the war within the SPD, to persuade the SPD majority to refuse further war credits and to restore international solidarity with other European workers' parties.

First, the group sent 300 telegrams to SPD members to get them to publicly reject the resolution of the SPD parliamentary group on August 4th. Only Clara Zetkin reacted immediately and with unreserved approval. The SPD local groups in Berlin-Charlottenburg and Berlin-Mariendorf were initially the only ones who accepted the group's call. On October 30, 1914, the group publicly distanced itself from the SPD leadership in the Swiss newspaper Berner Tagwacht , which had previously criticized the Second International. From then on, its members were under police surveillance, and some were arrested and detained soon after.

Karl Liebknecht voted on December 2, 1914 as the first and initially only SPD member in the Reichstag against the extension of the war credits. In January 1915 there was with Otto Rühle and others an opposition to war and to the war affirmation of the SPD majority within the SPD parliamentary group.

In March 1915, the group published a magazine called "Internationale" which appeared only once and was immediately confiscated by the police.

"Spartacus Group"

In 1916 the group organized itself nationwide. On January 1st, she accepted the “Guiding Principles on the Tasks of International Social Democracy”, written by Rosa Luxemburg while she was in custody, as her program. On January 27, the first of the so-called illegal "Spartacus letters" appeared, which carried out the group's goals. That is why the vernacular gave the group the name "Spartacus", so that it now called itself "Spartacus group".

The minority of declared war opponents within the SPD parliamentary group had grown to 20 by December 1915. Karl Liebknecht was expelled from the parliamentary group in January 1916, Otto Rühle then resigned in solidarity with Liebknecht, the 18 other dissenters were expelled in March 1916.

The Spartacus group meanwhile gained new members. The better known included Willi Budich , Edwin Hoernle , Paul Lange , Jacob Walcher and Friedrich Westmeyer .

Connection to the USPD

The war opponents within the SPD founded their own party in April 1917, the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD). This joined the Spartacus group, although they had previously always rejected the split in the SPD. But it kept its group status as a "closed propaganda association" in order to influence the USPD. For there, too, the internationalist Marxists were a minority. “ Revisionists ” like Eduard Bernstein and “centrists” like the former SPD program author, Karl Kautsky and Hugo Haase , agreed with the Spartacists only on the rejection of war credits. At the Zimmerwald conference (September 1915) they refused to represent this rejection against the factional discipline of the MSPD in the Reichstag. The Spartacus group strongly criticized this.

Relationship with the Bolsheviks

The Spartacus Group hailed the February Revolution in Russia in 1917 as an important victory for the whole world and Europe. It did not mention the Bolsheviks, however, and was not influenced by them. Rosa Luxemburg saw educating the German workers about this revolution as the most important task of Spartacus. From the summer of 1917 she and Leo Jogiches criticized the putschist policy of the Bolsheviks against the government of Alexander Kerensky . They also rejected Lenin's ( April Theses : Peace at Any Price ) and Leon Trotsky's striving for a separate peace with the German Empire , because this peace would jeopardize an international proletarian war opposition and the prospect of success of a German revolution. From the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 3, 1918), Rosa Luxembourg distanced well as the Supplementary Agreement thereto (27 August 1918). The terrorist measures of the Bolsheviks under Felix Dzerzhinsky met with reluctance. The fact that Lenin's friend Karl Radek threatened to "slaughter the bourgeoisie" after attempting an assassination attempt was what she called "an idiocy of the first order" in September 1918.

In her essay “The Russian Revolution” (autumn 1918), Rosa Luxemburg welcomed the October 1917 Revolution in Russia, in which the Bolsheviks under Lenin and Trotsky dissolved the Duma and gained state power. But she criticized the party organization of the Bolsheviks, Lenin's cadre concept and intra-party dictatorship , because they would prevent and stifle the democratic participation of the workers in the revolution. The remaining Spartacists at the time postponed public criticism of the Bolsheviks out of loyalty. Paul Levi did not publish the essay until 1922, three years after the author's death.

The Spartakusbund remained organizationally and politically independent of the Bolsheviks until it was absorbed into the KPD. Politically, he only approached them in the course of the November Revolution, when he decided in December 1918 to found their own party together with other left-wing radicals. He was reacting to the fact that the USPD rejected a party congress proposed by Rosa Luxemburg.

Revolutionary program

On October 7, 1918, the Spartacus group reacted to the constitutional amendment and the participation of the SPD in the October reform of October 5, 1918 with an illegally held Reich conference in Berlin. A revolutionary program against war and capitalism was decided there. Were required

The demands for the democratization of the army were particularly detailed, as this was seen as the key to a successful revolution:

  • Granting the right of association and assembly to soldiers in official and off-duty matters,
  • Repeal of superiors' disciplinary criminal law; discipline is maintained by soldiers' delegates,
  • Repeal of the courts-martial,
  • Removal of superiors by majority decision of their subordinates,
  • Abolition of the death penalty and penal sentences for political and military offenses.

The Spartacus group issued a leaflet covering all of the empire with these demands. She stressed that these were a touchstone for the actual democratization intentions of the MSPD , whose entry into the warring government she saw as a fraud against the real interests of the workers.

The Spartacus group referred to the Communist Party's manifesto published by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 and professed to support the “ dictatorship of the proletariat ”, thus controlling the workers over the means of production and factories. Unlike the Bolsheviks, however, the Spartacus group was not structured as an elite and cadre party.

Beginning of the November Revolution

Berlin City Palace

The November Revolution started from the Kiel sailors' uprising , when mutinous ship crews resisted the militarily senseless continuation of the war and spontaneously appointed or elected workers' and soldiers' councils without the initiative or leadership of any of the left-wing parties . The January strike in 1918 in the German armaments industry was an essential prerequisite for this revolutionary union of workers and soldiers . Revolutionaries who were independent of parties, but who were often close to the USPD, emerged who now carried the revolution into the big cities. These newly formed workers' councils took up some of the demands of the Spartakusbund all over Germany without the latter having asked them to do so or being able to influence them organizationally, as it had been forbidden until then. The German workers 'and soldiers' councils arose spontaneously in parts of the imperial military, local government and large industrial enterprises, were not subject to any party and, unlike the Russian Soviets, did not serve to pave the way for one party to rule.

Karl Liebknecht was released from prison early on October 23, 1918, in anticipation of the end of the war. On October 26, he joined the Berlin Executive Council of the Revolutionary Obleute and planned mass demonstrations with them to initiate a national revolution. Because the stewards wanted to postpone such actions until November 11th, their schedule was overtaken by the Kiel sailors' uprising and the November revolution it triggered.

On November 9, 1918, the republic was declared twice : the majority social democrat Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed “the German Republic” from the balcony of the Reichstag in the morning. About two hours later Liebknecht called out in the Lustgarten , then from the Berlin City Palace, "the free socialist republic of Germany".

Re-establishment of the Spartakusbund

Memorial plaque on the house, Sophienstrasse 18, in Berlin-Mitte

On November 11, 1918, the Bund was re-established on Liebknecht's initiative in the Berlin Hotel Excelsior . It now formed an independent, party-independent, Reich-wide organization. The new name "Spartakusbund" should express a higher level of organization and at the same time differentiation from the USPD. During the November Revolution, the Spartakusbund fought for the disempowerment of the military, the socialization of key industries and a soviet republic as the future all-German constitution . Rosa Luxemburg wrote his program calling for immediate measures to protect the revolution:

  • Disarm the police and all members of the ruling classes,
  • Arming the proletariat and forming a Red Guard,
  • Takeover of all local councils and state parliaments by freely elected workers 'and soldiers' councils,
  • Socialization (transfer into public property) of all banks, mines, smelters and large companies,
  • Contact with all foreign fraternal parties for an internationalization of the revolution.

In the next few weeks the Spartakusbund tried to influence political developments in this direction with the daily newspaper Die Rote Fahne . In its first edition, Rosa Luxemburg again called for the nationwide general abolition of the death penalty as a first step towards a fundamental reform of the judiciary and society. Since December 10th, she advocated a soviet republic and the controlled disarmament of soldiers by workers' councils. Because on December 6th there were first shootings between imperial soldiers and supporters of the USPD or the council movement. Behind this was the secret Ebert-Groener Pact that the chairman of the transitional government , Friedrich Ebert , had agreed with General Wilhelm Groener of the Supreme Army Command on the evening of November 9, 1918 : To prevent the imperial military from being disempowered, he wanted the for prevent the planned December 16 Reichsrätekongress in Berlin.

The Red Flag (1918), the "central organ of the Spartacus League"

On December 14th, Rosa Luxemburg published her programmatic article “What does the Spartacus League want?” In the Rote Fahne , in which it said:

“The Spartakusbund will never take over government power other than through the clear, unambiguous will of the great majority of the proletarian masses in Germany, never other than by virtue of their conscious consent to the views, goals and methods of struggle of the Spartakusbund. [...] The victory of the Spartakusbund is not at the beginning, but at the end of the revolution: It is identical with the victory of the large masses of the socialist proletariat.

The connection to the 1918 council movement and Rosa Luxemburg's theory of the spontaneity of the working class as the engine of the revolution were thus decisive for the revolutionary theory of the Spartakusbund.

At the Reichsrätekongress only ten of 489 delegates represented the Spartakusbund. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were not even allowed to take part as guests. The majority of the delegates decided to elect a constituent national assembly for January 19, 1919. The disappointed Rosa Luxemburg then described the congress as a “willing tool of the counter-revolution”. The results of the congress accelerated the efforts of the Spartakists to break away from the USPD and to found their own party.

Foundation of the KPD

On December 24, 1918, Friedrich Ebert tried to dissolve and dismiss the People's Naval Division , which was commissioned to protect the transitional government . The resulting Christmas battles with the imperial military resulted in the first deaths. The USPD representatives blamed Ebert on this and saw his actions, without suspecting his secret agreement with Groener, as an attempt to prevent the revolutionary goals that were jointly agreed upon. They therefore resigned from the interim government on December 29, 1918.

Because of Ebert's approach and the USPD's fickle and inconsistent behavior, the Spartakusbund decided on December 22nd, 1918, to hold a Reich Congress in Berlin on December 30th to discuss the establishment of a party, the relationship to the USPD and the parliamentary elections. Until then he had delegates elected all over Germany. Many of them arrived in Berlin on December 29th and the majority decided on the same day to found a new party. Above all, the Russian guest Karl Radek convinced most of the representatives of the Spartakusbund, the Bremen left-wing radicals and the International Communists of Germany (IKD) of the necessity and prospects of unification. Radek contradicted the central statement of the Spartacus program that the party would only take over government through the clear will of a majority of the population: a proletarian revolution always begins when a minority seizes political power.

On December 31, 1918, a total of 127 delegates, including 94 Spartakists and 29 IKD representatives, decided to unite to form the “Communist Party of Germany (Spartakusbund)”. Accession negotiations with the Revolutionary Obleuten failed, among other things, because Liebknecht did not want to drop the addition "Spartakusbund" in the party name. Rosa Luxemburg had advocated the name “Socialist Party” in order to preserve the independence of the German communists from the Bolsheviks and to facilitate their cooperation with other socialists.

In addition to the party name, the relationship to parliamentarianism was particularly controversial. The leading Spartacus members Rosa Luxemburg, Paul Levi, Leo Jogiches, Käte Duncker and, hesitantly, Karl Liebknecht, supported the KPD's participation in the upcoming elections. Otto Rühle and the IKD, on the other hand, strictly refused to participate. Their motion to boycott the election found a majority of 62 to 23 votes. This majority of the party congress shared the view formulated by Liebknecht a week earlier:

“The National Assembly means nothing more than a formal political democracy. It does not mean the kind of democracy that socialism has always called for. The ballot paper is certainly not the lever with which the power of the capitalist social order can be thrown out of joint. "

January uprising

Just a few days later, the KPD was faced with an endurance test: since January 5, 1919, the revolutionary chairmen of the Berlin armaments factories, who had organized the January strike the previous year, propagated the armed uprising against the dismissal of Berlin police chief Emil Eichhorn . The KPD joined the call. In the Spartacus uprising she tried to involve the soldiers' councils of the Berlin regiments in the overthrow of Friedrich Ebert's remaining government. This failed, so that units of the imperial army gathered around Berlin and newly formed Freikorps put down the uprising on Gustav Noske's orders .

On January 15, the two most important Spartacists and KPD leaders, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, were captured, badly mistreated and murdered by members of the Guard Cavalry Rifle Division . Franz Mehring died at the end of January 1919. In March 1919 Leo Jogiches was also murdered. With the deaths of four founders of the Spartakusbund its history ended. It is considered likely that the following history of the KPD in the Weimar Republic would have been different with them and that some divisions and one-sidedness would not have occurred.


Until 1945

The Spartakusbund advocated the cohesion of all revolutionary forces and permanent ties to the goals of the communist manifesto. Until the founding of the KPD, he saw himself as part of the class-conscious international social democracy, which is really supported by the working masses of the peoples, so that their organizations have to express and enforce their will. Its founders had therefore criticized the reformism of the majority social democracy as well as Lenin's one-party system and the tendencies towards state bureaucracy after the October Revolution in Russia .

In March 1919 the KPD became a member of the Communist International, which was founded at the time and was dominated by the Bolsheviks, and from then on it leaned more and more to its political line. After Lenin's death, his successor Josef Stalin dogmatized Lenin's ideas on Marxism-Leninism and made them the dictatorial state ideology of the Soviet Union. The KPD leadership followed his ideological course more and more and excluded the critics of this Stalinization , including former Spartacists such as Paul Levi, August Thalheimer, Heinrich Brandler and others. Since the excluded groups were unanimous in their rejection of Stalinization, the “ left opposition ”, the council communist Communist Workers 'Party of Germany and the General Workers' Union united in 1926 to form the “ Spartacus League of Left Communist Organizations ”, also known as the “Spartacus League No. 2”. This tried to unite other radical left groups as an alternative to the KPD, but only achieved further fragmentation.

The SPD and its press organs presented the Spartakusbund in 1919 as an offshoot of the Bolsheviks and the originator of uprisings and coup attempts. They invoked the danger of “ Bolshevism ”, which had to be fought off militarily in order to save democracy. Although the Spartakusbund had neither created, organized nor directed the council movement and had no real options for power, conservative and right-wing extremist parties also shared this view, so that it prevailed in the Weimar Republic.

The development of reformism on the one hand, and Stalinism on the other, deepened the division of the workers' movement into hostile camps and parties belonging to them. In 1933 Adolf Hitler smashed the German workers' organizations and left-wing parties and had around 20,000 of their representatives murdered. After that, at the latest with the wave of purges that began in 1936 , Stalin had Russian Bolsheviks, supporters of Trotsky, Social Democrats and German communists who fled to the Soviet Union from Hitler arrested and murdered en masse. His policies are widely interpreted as a complete departure from the goals of Marx and Engels, which have permanently weakened, divided and destroyed the international labor movement.


50th anniversary of the Reich Conference of the Spartakus Group (GDR stamp block 1966)

The historiography of the GDR judged the Spartakusbund and its politics controversially until 1958. In 1938, Stalin classified the November Revolution as a “bourgeois”, non-socialist revolution, devalued the councils of the time as “docile tools of the bourgeois parliament” and made them responsible for the failure of the revolution. The leadership of the SED has followed these guidelines since it was founded and therefore did not interpret the Spartakusbund as a revolutionary party, but instead emphasized its weaknesses and organizational deficiencies. In doing so, she justified the need for a centralized cadre party for a successful revolution. Otto Grotewohl made the MSPD primarily responsible for the failure of the November Revolution and the Weimar Republic. The Spartakusbund and KPD had made “tactical”, not strategic, mistakes.

In one of hundreds of Stalinist show trials in the 1950s, the Hungarian Michael Jagodit's contacts with members of the second, left-communist Spartacus League were accused and equated with the suspicion of Trotskyism . This was judged to be anti-Soviet agitation or counter-revolutionary activity and was punishable by the death penalty by shooting.

In the course of the de-Stalinization in the Soviet Union in 1956, the leading GDR historiographer Albert Schreiner , who had been one of the KPD founders in 1918, carefully tried to rehabilitate the Spartacists and German old communists of the “Left Opposition”. He interpreted the November Revolution as a failed socialist revolution and emphasized that socialism had also been struggled with in Germany at that time. Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg had “a lot to say” to the revolutionary left at the moment. The workers they led were by no means just dreamers and adventurers. In doing so, he indirectly questioned the monopoly claim of the CPSU , according to which a successful socialist revolution was only possible with Lenin's strategy and tactics. He also referred to the illustrated history of the German revolution published by the KPD opposition and supporters of Lenin murdered by Stalin in 1929, and to the history of the German republic by Arthur Rosenberg , whom the SED rejected as a deviator. In 1957 Robert Leibbrand , Rudolf Lindau and Roland Bauer supported his position in the GDR . Hanna Wolf and Walter Nimtz , representatives of the party college of the SED, made sure that Schreiner's view was officially rejected, so that he withdrew it publicly. Walter Ulbricht ended this historians' dispute on June 18, 1958.

System-critical civil rights groups and dissidents in the SED also appealed to the Spartacists, especially Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht: for example, the democratic communist Robert Havemann , his friend, songwriter Wolf Biermann and Rudolf Bahro . Since the violently suppressed uprising of June 17, 1953, such deviants denied the SED the right to invoke the tradition of the Spartakusbund. Therefore, in the GDR, where this tradition lives on remained a matter of dispute.

Federal Republic of Germany

The West German KPD, which had been allowed by the Western Allies in 1946, had been striving for the reunification of Germany as a socialist state with no bloc affiliation since 1952 and referred to the KPD's founding program of 1919. From this it directed strict opposition to the rearmament of the Federal Republic and its accession to NATO . In 1956 the Federal Constitutional Court decided to ban the KPD because of anti-constitutional goals of the party, which included the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, the violent class struggle and a call for the overthrow of the then Chancellor Konrad Adenauer .

The Socialist German Student Association (SDS) took after his expulsion from the SPD (1961) the majority of a Marxist-Leninist view of history, according to which the Soviet Union, the GDR and the SED tried to achieve the objectives of the Spartacus League. During the West German student movement of the 1960s , the neo-Marxism of the Frankfurt School gradually gained greater influence in the SDS. Pending educational and social reforms and the opposition to the Vietnam War were seen and tried to be used as a learning area for the construction of a new radical democratic international. The West German extra-parliamentary opposition was guided by historical attempts at council democracy and, like the Spartacists and other Marxist authors, viewed these as a form of direct democracy superior to parliamentarism .

In 1967 the student leader Rudi Dutschke adopted the conception of the Spartacus program of 1919, according to which the historic victory of the proletariat was only conceivable as a result of its independence and the expression of the broad will of the population. With this he justified his rejection of the K groups that had been formed since 1968 and later of the terrorist RAF .

SDS supporters occupied the sociological institute of the Goethe University in Frankfurt in December 1968 and called it the “Spartacus Seminar” in order to organize their studies and its topics independently. They saw it as a step towards a revolution at the university. Under the name "Spartacus Seminar" they also published the texts they had worked out there, which often also dealt with the Spartacus League or its representatives. The effective interest and action community of workers and students aimed for by the SDS was not realized in West Germany; it began to appear in the Paris May 68 and the Prague spring .

The SDS disintegrated as a result of conflicts between “traditionalists” and “anti-authoritarians” since 1968. At that time, the DKP was re-established as the successor party to the West KPD, which was banned in 1956. The Frankfurt SDS excluded some members in 1971 because of their collaboration with the DKP. In protest against this, the “orthodox” Marxists withdrew from the SDS and founded the Marxist Student Union Spartakus (MSB) in 1971 . This was based in particular on the Spartakusbund and in terms of content on the DKP. He was temporarily represented in some general student committees of West German universities until it was dissolved in 1990.

Trotskyist splinter parties such as the Spartakist Workers' Party of Germany, founded in 1990, and the “Gruppe Spartakus (German Section of the International Bolshevik Tendency)” refer to the Spartakusbund by name today. The latter united in 2002 with the “Leon Trotsky Group” to form the “International Bolshevik Tendency Germany”.


  • Wolfgang Abendroth : History of the labor movement . Vol. 1. Distel-Verlag, Heilbronn 1985, ISBN 3-923208-19-7 .
  • Marcel Bois: Between truce, repression and mass strike. On the influence of the Spartacus group on the peace movement during the First World War , in: Andreas Braune, Mario Hesselbarth and Stefan Müller (eds.): The USPD between Social Democracy and Communism 1917–1922. New Paths to Peace, Democracy and Socialism? Stuttgart 2018, pp. 91-106.
  • History of the German labor movement. From 1917 to 1923 . Vol. 3. Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1966, pp. 447 ff, 462 ff., 466 ff. And 480 ff. (Contains original source documents)
  • Ottokar Luban : The Role of the Spartacist Group after 9 November 1918 and the Formation of the KPD , in: Ralf Hoffrogge and Norman LaPorte (eds.): Weimar Communism as Mass Movement 1918-1933 , Lawrence & Wishart, London 2017, p. 45-65.
  • Ottokar Luban : Rosa Luxemburg's concept of democracy. Her criticism of Lenin and her political work 1913-1919 , Rosa Luxemburg Research Reports, no.6, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Saxony, Leipzig 2008
  • Franz Neuland: "Off to the last stand". Spartakusbund and KPD in Frankfurt am Main and the Rhine-Main region from 1916/18 - 1956. An organizational history . Ed .: Association for Frankfurter Arbeitergeschichte eV VAS - Verlag für Akademische. Writings, Bad Homburg vd Höhe 2013, ISBN 978-3-88864-510-5 .
  • William A. Pelz: The Spartakusbund and the German working class movement, 1914-1919 . Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY 1987, ISBN 0-88946-355-7 .


  • Spartacus letters . Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1958
  • Spartacus in the war. The illegal leaflets of the Spartakusbund in the war . Collected and introduced by Ernst Meyer. Association of International Publishers, Berlin 1927 Digitized
  • Spartacus letters . With a foreword by Ernst Meyer . Association of International Publishing Houses, Berlin 1926
  • The United Communist Party of Germany. Section of the III. Internationale (Ed.): Spartacus letters . Franke, Berlin-Leipzig 1921
  • Communist Party of Germany (Spartakusbund) (Ed.): Spartakusbriefe. No. 1, September 20, 1916 - No. 12, October 1918 . Franke, Berlin 1920

Web links

Commons : Spartakusbund  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hugo Eberlein: Memories of Rosa Luxemburg at the outbreak of war in 1914 (pdf; 89 kB)
  2. ^ Rosa Luxemburg: The Rhodus. Spartacus, No. 1 of September 20, 1916. In: Spartakusbriefe, Berlin 1958, pp. 211-217. After Gesammelte Werke, Volume 4, pp. 209–214
  3. Ernst Meyer (Ed.): Spartakus im Kriege: the illegal leaflets of the Spartakusbund in the war. Vereinigung Internationaler Verlagsanstalten gmbh, 1927, p. 10 (data) and 147 (name declaration)
  4. Annelies Laschitza , Günter Radczun: Rosa Luxemburg. Your work in the German labor movement. Verlag Marxistische Blätter, Frankfurt am Main 1971, p. 451.
  5. Joachim Mehlhausen: And beyond Barmen. Studies on contemporary church history. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1997, ISBN 3-525-55723-X , p. 56
  6. ^ Giselher Schmidt: Spartacus. Athenaion, 1971, ISBN 3-7997-0081-1 , p. 130
  7. ^ Ernst Stock, Karl Walcher: Jacob Walcher (1887-1970): Trade unionist and revolutionary between Berlin, Paris and New York. Trafo, 1998, ISBN 3-89626-144-4 , p. 204
  8. Theodor Bergmann, Wolfgang Haible, Galina Iwanowa: Friedrich Westmeyer: from social democracy to the Spartakusbund - a political biography. VSA, 1998, ISBN 3-87975-719-4
  9. Hans W. Holub: An introduction to the history of economic thinking 1: The Austrian school in the 20th century and the currents in socialism of the 20th century. Lit Verlag, 2011, ISBN 3-643-50283-4 , p. 230 ( Memento of the original from December 16, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. Ernst Meyer (Ed.): Spartakus im Kriege: the illegal leaflets of the Spartakusbund in the war. Vereinigung Internationaler Verlagsanstalten gmbh, 1927, p. 10
  11. Annelies Laschitza, Günter Radczun: Rosa Luxemburg. Your work in the German labor movement. Verlag Marxistische Blätter, Frankfurt am Main 1971, p. 416.
  12. Gerd Koenen: The Russia Complex: The Germans and the East 1900-1945. CH Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-53512-7 , pp. 191-193
  13. ^ Rosa Luxemburg: On the Russian Revolution. (Original manuscript from 1918)
  14. Elizaveta Liphardt: Aporias of Justice. Political speech of the extreme left in Germany and Russia between 1914 and 1919. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-11-091186-8 , p. 101
  15. ^ Paul Frölich : Rosa Luxemburg: Thought and Action. Dietz, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-320-01575-3 , p. 305
  16. Björn Laser: Cultural Bolshevism! On the semantics of the discourse of the «total crisis» 1929-1933. Peter Lang, Bern 2010, ISBN 3-631-59416-X , p. 61
  17. ^ Peter von Oertzen : Works Councils in the November Revolution. Dietz, Berlin 1976, ISBN 3-8012-1093-6
  18. Gerhard Schulz: Between Democracy and Dictatorship Volume I: The period of consolidation and the revision of the Bismarckian Reich construction 1919-1930. Walter de Gruyter, 2nd edition, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-11-011558-1 , p. 70
  19. Elizaveta Liphardt: Aporias of Justice. Political speech of the extreme left in Germany and Russia between 1914 and 1919. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-11-091186-8 , p. 103
  20. ^ Karl Liebknecht: Proclamation of the free socialist republic , November 9, 1918.
  21. ^ Heinrich Hannover , Elisabeth Hannover-Drück : The murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Documentation of a political crime. Suhrkamp, ​​3rd edition, Frankfurt am Main 1972, ISBN 3-518-10233-8 , p. 22
  22. Rosa Luxemburg: What does the Spartacus League want? (Rote Fahne, December 14, 1918)
  23. ^ Volker Arnold: Council theories in the November Revolution: Councils as organizational forms of struggle and self-determination. New edition, Soak-Verlag, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-88506-133-3 , p. 104
  24. Elizaveta Liphardt: Aporias of Justice. Political speech of the extreme left in Germany and Russia between 1914 and 1919. Berlin 2005, p. 105 and fn. 62
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