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Remembering Red Rosa, Martyred Revolutionary Democrat

The world paid tribute to the memory of martyred Rosa Luxemburg, the revolutionary, socialist, communist, activist, politician, writer, journalist, thinker, lover and strident anti-war campaigner, who was tortured and murdered a century ago on January 15, by demobilised former soldiers, known as Freikorps. That mutilated flesh , dumped in a canal in Kreuzberg, was found only months later. Her companion Karl Liebknecht was executed with a bullet to the head. They were later buried alongside in the Friedrichsfelde Cemetery. Born in 1871, Rosa came from present day Poland, then part of the Russian Empire. Members of the centre-left Social Democrats they broke away from the SPD over its support for World War I and helped to form the Spartacist League, which became the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in 1918. She was imprisoned in 1916 during the war. On her release in 1918 she returned to Berlin in the chaos that enveloped Germany after its defeat in WWI. As the November Revolution or German Revolution raged on, she polemicised against seizing power without majority support. Although she had gone into hiding, on that fateful day she was discovered. Above all, she was a democrat, who criticised her old friend Lenin for shutting down the press after the revolution. Her most famous quote is “Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for those who think differently.” She wrote her own epitaph: “I was, I am, I shall be!”