“Emancipate!” That was the cry of socialist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg who was born a Polish Jew and devoted her life to improving the plight of workers around the world through her political theories. She helped found the Spartacus League in Germany and worked ceaselessly toward change, cranking out more than 700 books, pamphlets, and treatises.
She dazzled everyone she encountered with her fierce intelligence; Lenin himself became one of her biggest fans even though she publicly disagreed with him. In 1905, Rosa staged a worker’s revolt in Poland and protested World War I very vocally, prompting the authorities to throw her in jail for the entire war. Shortly before her fiftieth birthday, Rosa Luxemburg was murdered in 1919 by political opponents during the German revolution she helped create.
Rosa Luxemburg’s standing as one of the great intellectuals of the turn of the century is in danger of obscurity. The Nazis set about to obliterate her writings and Stalinists undertook a smear campaign to distort Luxemburg’s theories. But she was a great political theoretician, one who sought to bring equality to the working class.
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