Rosa Luxemburg Talks



Published 28 February 2011


LONDON EVENTS – made possible by the support of Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung:

Monday 7 March at the Swedenborg Society, 7pm:

Letters of Rosa Luxemburg launch at the Swedenborg Society – a panel discussion with chair Susie Orbach, award–winning playwright David Edgar, editor Dr Lea Haro and writer and cultural historian Lesley Chamberlain, with readings by Dame Harriet Walter. Booking and details here:


Tuesday 8 March at the LRB bookshop, 7pm:

The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg launch on International Women’s Day, founded 100 years ago by Luxemburg’s close friend, comrade and confidante Clara Zetkin, to whom many of the letters are addressed. A discussion about socialism and feminism with Dr Nina Power, Lea Haro, Lisa Appignanesi and chair Natalie Hanman, editor of Guardian Comment is Free. Booking and details here:

Wednesday 9 March at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, 6pm:

Rosa Luxemburg (1986) film screening followed by rare Q&A with the director Margarethe von Trotta, as part of Birds Eye View Film Festival 2011, celebrating women in filmmaking. Booking and more details here:

Tuesday 22 March at the LSE, 6.30pm:

6.30pm    Jacqueline Rose: ‘Freedom is always freedom for the one who

thinks differently’: Rosa Luxemburg for our times A Public Lecture co- hosted by the Gender Institute and The Ralph Miliband Programme.

Booking and details here:


“I want to affect people like a clap of thunder, to inflame their

minds not by speechifying but with the breadth of my vision, the

strength of my conviction, and the power of my expression.” ROSA


“Rosa goes on being our source of fresh water in thirsty times”.


“Intrepid, incorruptible, passionate and gentle. Imagine as you read

between the lines of what she wrote, the expression of her eyes. She

loved workers and birds. She danced with a limp. Everything about her

fascinates and rings true. One of the immortals.” JOHN BERGER


March 5th, 2011 will mark 140 years since the birth of a figure who

should be as well-known and celebrated as Che Guevara: her name is

Rosa Luxemburg. Inaugurating a decade-long project to properly restore

the life and thought of this extraordinary woman, Verso presents THE


Blending a passionate sensibility and a steely intellect with an

unshakeable commitment to revolutionary socialism, ‘Red Rosa’ is one

of the great personalities of the twentieth century. Disappointed in

love and physically infirm, a Pole and a Jew, the iconic revolutionary

was nonetheless dauntless in her climb to the top of German Social

Democracy struggles: a movement often hostile to independently-minded


Resolute and unwavering in her opposition to the First World War and

any form of injustice, Luxemburg began her revolutionary activities at

the age of 16 and at the time of her tragic death, led the Spartacist

league with Karl Liebknecht. Following the failed Spartacist uprising

against the Weimar government, Luxemburg was murdered by two soldiers

and her body dumped in a canal.

Exuding the atmosphere of her times, Luxemburg’s intimate letters to

friends, lovers, and colleagues include many to prominent figures in

the international labour and socialist movements whom she counted

amongst her closest friends: Leo Jogiches, Karl Kautsky, Clara Zetkin

and Karl Liebknech. The most comprehensive collection of her

correspondence ever published in English—over half of it translated

here for the very first time, the letters illuminate the inner life of

their thoughtful writer. For Red Rosa, writing letters was part of her

daily routine, a passion, and a source of strength in overcoming

solitude in prison.

Readers will discover a multifaceted woman, who was at once a self-

effacing humourist, an economic and social theorist, a political

activist, journalist and lyrical stylist with a strong bond with

nature and the spiritual. Even for those who are familiar with her

work, this collection provides a new, deeper appreciation of the

complexity of this remarkable individual, artist, and political

figure, in all her wit, eloquence and warmth.


WORKS OF ROSA LUXEMBURG which will make her entire body of work

available for the first time: currently, less than a quarter of her

total writings are available in English. It will contain all of her

books, pamphlets, essays, articles, letters and manuscripts, many of

which have never before appeared in English. It will also include

writings of hers that have only recently been discovered. All of her

previously published work in English will be newly translated from

German, Polish, Russian, and Yiddish originals. THE COMPLETE WORKS OF

ROSA LUXEMBURG will be published in fourteen volumes, each with

comprehensive annotations and introductions.  The project is supported

by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung and Karl Dietz Verlag.


“One of the most insightful theorists and original personalities of

modern radicalism, Rosa Luxemburg deserves a new hearing in light of

the complex problems facing efforts at social transformation today …

Her painstaking analysis and opposition to the logic of capital speaks

especially powerfully to our time, poised as we are at the edge of an

economic, political and ecological catastrophe.” Peter Hudis, from the



ROSA LUXEMBURG was a Polish-born Jewish revolutionary and one of the

greatest theoretical minds of the European socialist movement. An

activist in Germany and Poland, the author of numerous classic works,

she participated in the founding of the German Communist Party and the

Spartacist insurrection in Berlin in 1919. She was assassinated in

January of the year and has become a hero of socialist, communist and

feminist movements around the world.


ISBN: 978 1 84467 453 4  $39.95 / £25.99 / Hardback / 512 pages