COMMEMORATING ROSA LUXEMBURG
Performance by Kathleen Chalfant - NYC
94 years ago, on 15 January 1919, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht in Berlin were beaten to death by murderers in uniform—people who were part of the same crowd that would later openly support handing power over to the Nazis. To commemorate this occasion we publish the reading of Rosa Luxemburg’s letters, performed by Kathleen Chalfant at our office opening last November in New York City.
THE LETTERS OF ROSA LUXEMBURG
Performed by Kathleen Chalfant
Introduction by Albert Scharenberg, Co-executive director of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung – New York Office.
4:35 Leo Jogiches, July 16, 1897. A prominent figure in Russian, Polish, and German labor movements; Luxemburg’s lover from the early 1890s to 1907.
12:35 Robert Seidel, June 23, 1898. Social Democrat, teacher, and journalist; later moved from Saxony to Zurich in Switzerland.
16:10 Karl Kautsky, October 3, 1901. Chief Editor of journal Neue Zeit; once colleagues and friends, Luxemburg broke from him in 1910 over issues of reform politics.
19:50 Henriette Roland Holst, December 17 and October 27, 1904. Dutch writer and socialist; active in the proletarian women’s movement.
27:05 Karl and Luise Kautsky, February 5, 1906. Chief Editor of journal Neue Zeit and his wife, a longtime friend of Luxemburg.
32:55 Kostya Zetkin, May 23, 1907. Physician and son of Clara Zetkin; Luxemburg’s lover after her breakup with Jogiches in 1907.
35:30 Paul Levi, August 31, 1914. Luxemburg’s lawyer and publisher of her book “The Russian Revolution”; adherent of the Spartacus Group.
38:10 Karl Moor, October 12, 1914. Swiss Social Democrat and communist; supported Luxemburg’s anti-war views during World War I.
45:00 Luise Kautsky, April 15, 1917. Wife of Karl Kautsky and longtime friend of Luxemburg.
51:50 Clara Zetkin, January 11, 1919. Close friend of Luxemburg; leader of the proletarian women’s movement and initiator of International Women’s Day.
EXCERPTED FROM: “The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg” (2011), Edited by Georg Adler, Peter Hudis, and Annelies Laschitza. Verso Books: Brooklyn, NY (in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung).
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The Russian Revolution is usually considered a watershed between the “long” 19th and the “short” 20th century. What Eric Hobsbawm referred to as the “Age of Extremes” was consequently initiated by the events in Russia that obviously had a tremendous impact on the United States as well; especially when it comes to the U.S. perception of revolutions and communism as two determining and “dangerous” factors......
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