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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Red Rosa and the Lost Revolution


In 1919, Bertolt Brecht wrote the poetic memorial Epitaph honouring Rosa Luxemburg, and, in 1928, Kurt Weill set it to music as The Berlin Requiem:

Red Rosa now has vanished too. (...)
She told the poor what life is about,
And so the rich have rubbed her out.
May she rest in peace.

Of Rosa Luxemburg, Trotskyist writer-historian Isaac Deutscher wrote: "In her assassination Hohenzollern Germany celebrated its last triumph and Nazi Germany its first."


Rosa Luxemburg was one of the greatest revolutionary socialists of the 20th Century. Come to the Workshop organised by Socialist Aotearoa to discuss her life and involvement with the German Revolution, and the questions that this raised- reform or revolution, the power of the mass strike, the Dialectic of Spontaneity and Organisation, what kind of revolutionary organisation do workers need, and the treacherous role of Social Democracy using nascent fascist forces in Germany to murder her and her comrades.

The workshop will start with a presentation by our own Chris Hoffmeier, a militant of the Marx21 group within Germany's Die Linke party, and will then break into smaller discussion groups of four or five to facilitate wider debate. Handout material will be supplied, and there will be a short film screening. Then we will give Comrade Chris a good seeing off in Tom Forde's on Anzac Ave, as he leaves Aotearoa to continue the work of Rosa and the German revolutionaries.

"The leadership has failed. Even so, the leadership can and must be recreated from the masses and out of the masses. The masses are the decisive element, they are the rock on which the final victory of the revolution will be built. The masses were on the heights; they have developed this 'defeat' into one of the historical defeats which are the pride and strength of international socialism. And that is why the future victory will bloom from this 'defeat'.
'Order reigns in Berlin!' You stupid henchmen! Your 'order' is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will already 'raise itself with a rattle' and announce with fanfare, to your terror:
I was, I am, I shall be!"

Workshop: Red Rosa and the Lost Revolution
7-9pm Thursday 26th June
Room 260-219
Business School
University of Auckland
Symonds Street

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