An article by Staughton Lynd about the socialist revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg.
Rosa Luxemburg is the most significant woman in the history of revolutionary activity. For those of us seeking to create a synthesis of Marxism and anarchism, she is also the most significant individual— man or woman—in that tradition.
Wild Socialism examines the rise, development, and decline of revolutionary councils of industrial workers in Berlin at the end of the First World War.
This popular movement spread throughout Germany, and was without precedent in either the theory or practice of the Social Democratic party and the trade unions allied to it.
Libcom.org's reading guide on the German Revolution of 1918, which ended the First World War and saw soldiers' and workers' councils spread throughout the country before being crushed by an alliance of the Social Democratic Party and the right-wing Freikorps.
Two separate events in Europe, the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917 followed the next year by the collapse of Germany helped to create a political vacuum.
It is in this context that Haffner examines the intricate relationships between the German Social Democratic Party, the military, and the Prussian Junkers. He draws a distinction between the Social Democrats and the Spartacus Union (which was later to become the Communist Party of Germany) and both their roles in the outright civil war that went on during the first half of 1919.
This definitive documentary history collects manifestos, speeches, articles, and letters from the German Revolution—Rosa Luxemburg, the Revolutionary Stewards, and Gustav Landauer amongst others—introduced and annotated by the editor. Many documents, such as the anarchist Erich Mühsam's comprehensive account of the Bavarian Council Republic, are presented here in English for the first time. The volume also includes materials from the Red Ruhr Army that repelled the reactionary Kapp Putsch in 1920 and the communist bandits that roamed Eastern Germany until 1921.
The German Revolution erupted out of the ashes of World War I, triggered by mutinying sailors refusing to be sacrificed in the final carnage of the war.
A biography of the German anarchist and poet Erich Mühsam, written by his friend Augustin Souchy shortly after Mühsam was murdered by the Nazis in 1934, including a brief but fascinating account of Mühsam’s role in the Bavarian Council Revolution in 1919 and featuring quotations from Mühsam evincing his sympathy for anarchosyndicalism and his advocacy of the Council system.
The German Social Background
Less highly developed than it was in other countries, anarchism in Germany has produced only a handful of combatants and thinkers. Social democratic state-worship overwhelmed all libertarian thought; its representatives were not fighters; they preferred to describe the struggles that others were fighting.
A 1974 dissertation on various left-wing radical groups in Weimar Republic era Germany.
Vincent Cassel's portrayal of Dr. Otto Gross in the film, The Dangerous Method, is very powerful. However, it doesn't say much about the real Otto Gross - who, despite his many flaws, managed to combine interests in Stirner, Nietzsche, Freud, Kropotkin, 'sexual revolution', feminism and the German Communist Party (in its early more left-communist phase). He was also an important influence on Jung, Kafka and Berlin Dada.
Here is an interesting article by Gottfried Heuer, and a classic article by Gross himself describing the revolutionary potential of psychoanalysis, years before Reich, Marcuse, Fromm or Laing:
THE DEVIL UNDERNEATH THE COUCH: THE SECRET STORY OF JUNG'S TWIN BROTHER - Gottfried Heuer