Karl Liebknecht - Revolution and Death

Revolution and Death

Liebknecht was released again in October 1918, when Max von Baden granted an amnesty to all political prisoners, on his return to Berlin on 23 October he was escorted to the Soviet embassy by a crowd of workers. Following the outbreak of the German Revolution, Liebknecht carried on his activities in the Spartacist League; he resumed leadership of the group together with Luxemburg and published its party organ, Die Rote Fahne (The Red Flag).

On 9 November, Liebknecht declared the formation of a Freie Sozialistische Republik (Free Socialist Republic) from a balcony of the Berliner Stadtschloss, two hours after Philipp Scheidemann's declaration of a German Republic from a balcony of the Reichstag.

On 31 December 1918/1 January 1919, Liebknecht was involved in the founding of the KPD. Together with Luxemburg, Leo Jogiches and Clara Zetkin, Liebknecht was also instrumental in the January 1919 Spartacist uprising in Berlin. Initially he and Luxemburg opposed the revolt, but participated after it had begun. The uprising was brutally opposed by the new German government under Friedrich Ebert with the help of the remnants of the Imperial German Army and militias called the Freikorps; by 13 January, the uprising had been extinguished. Liebknecht and Luxemburg were captured by Freikorps gangs, on 15 January 1919, with considerable support from Minister of MSPD Defense Gustav Noske, and brought to the Eden Hotel in Berlin, where they were tortured and interrogated for several hours. Following this, Luxemburg was beaten with rifle butts and afterwards shot, her corpse thrown into a nearby river while Liebknecht was forced to step out of the car where he was being transported and then shot in his back. Official declarations later claimed he had been shot in an attempt to escape. Although the circumstances were disputed by the perpetrators at the time the Freikorps commander Captain Waldemar Pabst would later claim "I had them executed".

In 1930 the Soviet government renamed a village near Kursk after him in central Russia - Imeni Karla Libknekhta.

Read more about this topic:  Karl Liebknecht

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