Rosalina Luksemburg,known as Rosa Luxemburg, was born on March 5, 1871, in ZamoÊç, Poland. When she and her Jewish family moved to Poland’s capital, Warsaw, in 1873, she could go to school. In 1884, she got into high school and started to become politically active – even illegally, since she joined the proletarian cause which opposed the Russian government and invoked the Communist Manifest of Karl Marx. As a result, when she graduated high school as best in class, she had to flee Warsaw. In 1889, she settled down in Zurich, Switzerland, to study among other subjects: philosophy, jurisprudence and political sciences. During her studies, it was the first time she made a plea to overthrow capitalism and monarchy in all countries of Europe. In 1893, she founded with friends the “Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland” (SDKP). In order to get involved in the German Social DemocraticParty (SPD) and to be able to better support the part of Poland under German occupation, she moved to Berlin in 1898. To get a German citizenship, she married a friend without further ado.
In the ensuing years, she committed herself to the SPD and became the chief editor of a labor newspaper. She became famous internationally and was known for her sharp tongue and intelligence. However, she made enemies, too: In 1904 and 1906 she was put in prison for several months for insults and inciting class hatred. When World War I was about to start in 1913 and she called upon soldiers to refuse military service, she was punished with one year of imprisonment which was extended so that she was released only in 1918, during the November Revolution.
After her release, Rosa Luxemburg travelled to Berlin to continue publishing articles to terminate the war. In 1919 when the Weimarer Republik was founded and when women in Germany got the right to vote, she founded with other fellows, such as Karl Liebknecht, the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). When she organized a huge revolt against the government by means of the KPD, she officially became an enemy of the government. That is why she had to go underground and could not organize any political actions any more. Nevertheless, she was found and murdered on January 15 1919. Over one million people attended her funeral. Today, her day of death is a memorial day for all socialists.
Source: “Tatsachen und Anekdoten der Familien Kirchner und Hintze” by Jürgen Kirchner, my grandfather.