Karl Liebknecht

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The son of Wilhelm Liebknecht, one of the founders of the SPD, Karl Liebknecht was trained to be a lawyer and defended many Social Democrats in political trials. He was also a leading figure in the socialist youth movement and thus became a leading figure in the struggle against militarism.

As a deputy in the Reichstag he was one of the first SPD representatives to break party discipline and vote against war credits in December 1914[1]. He became a figurehead for the struggle against the war. His opposition was so successful that his parliamentary immunity was removed and he was imprisoned.

Freed by the November revolution he immediately threw himself into the struggle and became with Rosa Luxemburg one of the founders of the new Communist Party (KPD). Along with Luxemburg he was murdered by military officers with the tacit approval of the leaders of the SPD after the suppression of the so-called “Spartacist Uprising” in January 1919.


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