- (1871-1919)political activist; a founder of the Spar-tacus League* and the KPD. Born in Leipzig, he was, as the son of an SPD founder, steeped in socialist ideology. During 1890-1893 he studied law and economics. In 1897 he took a doctorate and launched a legal practice in Berlin* with his older brother, Theodor, in which he chiefly represented workers and socialists. He joined the SPD in 1900 and was elected to the city assembly in 1901; he retained his seat until 1913. He was first elected to the Prussian Abgeordnetenhaus in 1908 and entered the Reichstag* in 1912.Liebknecht was among the SPD's outspoken radicals and was also a pacifist who organized and presided over the Socialist Youth International in 1907-1910. His book Militarismus und Antimilitarismus (Militarism and antimilitar-ism) brought arrest and incarceration during 1907-1909. Once he was in the Reichstag, he assailed the armaments industry while advocating disarmament and international conciliation. Unsuccessful in August 1914 at convincing his faction to vote against war credits—he submitted to SPD discipline when the vote was taken—he broke ranks in December 1914 by casting the lone vote against a second round of credits.Before the war Liebknecht was not in the circle centered on Rosa Luxem-burg*; this changed after his December 1914 vote. A symbol for those opposed to the war, he was the bane of militarists. An attempt to draft him in February 1915 failed due to his parliamentary status. Despite a gag order, he published the provocative Der Hauptfeind steht im eigenen Land (The main enemy is at home) in May 1915 and then helped organize the Gruppe Internationale. Com-posed of radical socialists who took the name Spartakusgruppe in 1916, Gruppe Internationale soon initiated Die Spartakusbriefe (Spartacus letters).In April 1916 Liebknecht attended an illegal assembly in Jena and then or-ganized a May Day demonstration on Potsdamer Platz. Arrested, he was con-victed of high treason in June and sentenced to thirty months hard labor (the sentence was increased by a higher court to four years). The SPD expelled him first from its Reichstag delegation and then, late in 1916, from the Party. Lieb-knecht used imprisonment to refine his philosophy. Wishing to retain Marxism as the basis for socialism, he nonetheless rejected its rigid linkage to economics and historical laws.On 23 October 1918 Liebknecht profited from a general political amnesty. Joining Luxemburg in the thick of Berlin s revolutionary ferment, he heralded a "free socialist Republic from the Imperial Palace on 9 November (Philipp Scheidemann* had already proclaimed "the German Republic ) and two days later helped found the Spartacus League. Declining Friedrich Ebert s* invitation to join the Council of People s Representatives,* he mobilized the masses against Ebert and in support of a Raterepublik. At what became the KPD's founding convention in late December, he demanded—against Luxemburg s ad-vice—separation from the USPD and formation of a new party. With Luxem-burg, he became cochairman.Ever impatient, Liebknecht refused to admit that the masses sought little more than peace and order. On 5 January he proclaimed Ebert s ouster and launched the Spartacist Uprising.* But he was unequal to the event he helped generate. Facing a coalition of Freikorps* and army troops, the revolt collapsed on 12 January. Arrested with Luxemburg, Liebknecht was brutally murdered on 15 January.REFERENCES:Angress, Stillborn Revolution; Bassler, "Communist Movement ; Trot-now, Karl Liebknecht; Waldman, Spartacist Uprising.
A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. C. Paul Vincent.
Look at other dictionaries:
Liebknecht, Karl — born Aug. 13, 1871, Leipzig, Ger. died Jan. 15, 1919, Berlin German socialist leader. Son of Wilhelm Liebknecht, he became a lawyer and a Marxist. In 1912 he entered the Reichstag and led the opposition to Germany s pre World War I policy. In… … Universalium
Liebknecht, Karl — ► (1871 1919) Político comunista alemán. Fue uno de los creadores del movimiento socialista juvenil alemán. Fundó con Rosa Luxemburg la Liga Espartaquista (bolchevique). * * * (13 ago. 1871, Leipzig, Alemania–15 ene. 1919, Berlín). Líder… … Enciclopedia Universal
Liebknecht, Karl — (1871–1919) A significant figure in the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), Liebknecht was also a leader of the ultra left Spartacist movement along with Rosa Luxemburg. The son of Wilhelm Liebknecht, he was born in Leipzig, where he also… … Historical dictionary of Marxism
Liebknecht — Liebknecht, Karl … Enciclopedia Universal
Karl Liebknecht — (n. Leipzig (Alemania), 13 de agosto de 1871 † Berlín (Alemania), 15 de enero de 1919), político y dirigente socialista alemán de origen judío. Vida Hijo del político revolucio … Wikipedia Español
LIEBKNECHT (K.) — LIEBKNECHT KARL (1871 1919) Né à Leipzig, Karl Liebknecht est le fils d’un des fondateurs du Parti social démocrate allemand, Wilhelm Liebknecht. Bachelier à dix neuf ans, docteur en droit et en sciences politiques en 1897, il ouvre un cabinet… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Karl Kautzky — Karl Johann Kautsky Karl Johann Kautsky (* 16. Oktober 1854 in Prag; † 17. Oktober 1938 in Amsterdam) war ein führender Theoretiker der deutschen und internationalen Sozialdemokratie. Inhaltsverzeichnis … Deutsch Wikipedia
Karl Gröhl — Karl Retzlaw (* 10. Februar 1896 in Schneidemühl; † 20. Juni 1979 in Frankfurt am Main, eigentlich Karl Gröhl) war ein deutscher sozialistischer Politiker und Publizist. Seine Memoiren (s. Literatur) sind eine faszinierende Quelle eines Arbeiters … Deutsch Wikipedia
Karl Frohme — Karl Franz Egon Frohme (* 4. Februar 1850 in Hannover; † 9. Februar 1933 in Hamburg) war ein deutscher Politiker der SPD. Inhaltsverzeichnis … Deutsch Wikipedia
Karl Liebknecht — Audio|De Karl Liebknecht.ogg|Karl Liebknecht (August 13, 1871 January 15, 1919) was a German socialist and a co founder of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany. Early lifeBorn in Leipzig, Karl Liebknecht was the son of Wilhelm … Wikipedia