Red November 1918
Ninety years ago, the destiny of the world revolution lay in the hands of the German working class. Ben Lewis describes the tumultuous events and draws some lessons for today
“Without the revolution in Germany, we are doomed.” Vladimir Ilych Lenin’s words of January 1918 underline how the world revolution, initiated and set into motion by Russia, relied on spreading the flame to Germany. Germany was the leading industrial power in continental Europe and its working class was highly organised with a deeply entrenched political consciousness.
Without the Germans acting, Lenin feared that the young Soviet republic would be condemned to isolation and inevitable defeat, surrounded as it was by a sea of hostile imperialist powers and subject to the overarching economic dictates of the world division of labour.
Little wonder then that Lenin and the Bolsheviks were so enthused when news arrived from Germany in September 1918. The kaiser’s empire was cracking under the weight of military defeat and mass discontent, while a deep-seated desire for radical change was manifesting itself in strikes and demonstrations: “The decisive hour is at hand.” Lenin looked to his German comrades around the Spartacist Group headed by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht to follow the example set by Russia a year earlier.
The Russian masses were enthused too - at last there would be an end to their suffering and grinding poverty. The names of Luxemburg and Liebknecht were on every lip. Events in Germany were followed closely and every advance was celebrated. The gamble that the Bolsheviks took in October 1917 seemed to be paying off. The Austro-Hungarian empire was also collapsing under pressure from below and workers’ councils were spreading across Europe. Nothing less than the future course of humanity was at stake.
In hindsight we know that the German revolution was cruelly betrayed by the ‘socialists’, Soviet Russia was left high and dry and our class internationally drifted towards a whole series of defeats. We are still feeling the effects. A critical examination of the events of November 1918 will allow us to understand how and why the German working class was able to come within inches of taking state power, but also how, in the absence of a tried and tested revolutionary party, the rightwing Social Democrats were able to manoeuvre, confuse and save the day for capitalism.
Let us start by putting the revolutionary crisis of 1918 into context, so that we can grasp the social dynamics underpinning it.
The Prussian state and SPD
Karl Marx once quipped that the Prussian state was “nothing but a police-guarded military despotism, embellished with parliamentary forms, alloyed with feudal admixture”. This situation could, of course, be traced back to the failure of the bourgeoisie to unite Germany in the 1848 revolution. Instead it was reactionary Prussia which remade Germany in 1871. That meant Prussian landowners - the Junker class, with the kaiser at its head - dominating the officer corps and the state bureaucracy of the united Germany, with the capitalist class expected to quietly get on with the business of making money as privileged subordinates.
The Reichstag, or parliament, elected by the highly undemocratic three-tier voting system, had no more than formal powers in being able to veto government bills. Not only did the kaiser choose the government himself: he could recall parliament at any time, and together with the Oberste Heeresleitung (supreme command), he controlled the Prussian-German army.
Yet growing within this contradictory framework was a force pointing to the future - the workers’ movement, centred on the Social Democracy Party, which constantly pushed against the boundaries of the old order. Three and a half decades of rapid capitalist development saw it grow into a state within a state. By 1912 it had become Germany’s biggest party with 110 Reichstag seats and over 28% of the popular vote. The SPD had around a million members, and a slick party apparatus producing almost a hundred daily newspapers and running numerous sports clubs, women’s associations, youth clubs, etc.
As Clara Zetkin put it, the SPD really was “a way of life”. It was a party in the true sense of the word - a genuine part of the working class - and was officially guided by Marxism. It was no sect: ie, it was not a Socialist Workers ‘Party’ or a Communist ‘Party’ of Britain. Nor was the SDP a Labour Party, as Socialist ‘Party’ leader Peter Taaffe seems to imply.
Capitalist expansion had, however, also planted the seeds of revisionism and opportunism - a gulf opened up between theory and practice. Party trade union leaders and functionaries saw no further than higher wages and better conditions. Reichstag deputies aimed for minor reforms and parliamentary deals. High politics and the goal of socialism were increasingly relegated to Sunday speeches and party congresses. In other words the politics of the labour bureaucracy were gaining ground and found theoretical expression in the writings of Eduard Bernstein. Luxemburg polemically savaged him. But it was Karl Kautsky who spoke for the majority.
And here was another problem. Although Kautsky opposed Bernstein, he in effect was himself gutting Marxism of its revolutionary content. Kautsky talked about simply taking over the bureaucratic-coercive apparatus of the German state. Above all, however, he was resolutely committed to maintaining the unity of the SDP. That increasingly meant subordination in deed if not word to the labour bureaucracy and the SDP’s right wing.
World War I, which caused the death of at least two million Germans, was to push both the SPD and the Prussian state to breaking point.
The true extent of the SPD’s transformation became painfully clear on August 4 1914, when its parliamentary fraction voted to approve the proposed war credits. This scab act, combined with a deal the trade union bureaucracy had made just a day earlier promising to avoid strikes and social unrest, cleared the way for the army to mobilise and cast the German working class into the mincing machine of war - “the insatiate Moloch into whose bloody jaws are thrown millions upon millions of fresh human sacrifices” (Karl Liebknecht).
Yet even Liebknecht submitted himself to bureaucratic discipline on that fateful day. But never again. Recognising his error, he was soon to join the Spartacist Group, along with Luxemburg, just a few days later in issuing an illegal anti-war statement. His punishment was to serve time both in prison and at the front.
However, the patriotic wave that had allowed union leaders to promise class peace was gradually replaced by a burgeoning anti-war sentiment. Shortages, repression and the horrific reality of the carnage altered perceptions. The longer the war continued, the more examples there were of workers taking action. Inspired by the events in Russia, strikes against bread rationing in April 1917 saw 300,000 munitions workers flood the streets. The Obleute, the movement of leftwing, pro-Bolshevik shop stewards, gained in strength. By now there were secret groups in the navy, such as the League of Soldiers and Sailors, organising meetings and strikes and looking for political leadership. Some were court-marshalled. Lenin heralded these actions as showing the underlying drive to revolution and the necessity of defeatism - “turning the imperialist war into a civil war”.
The developing revolutionary situation highlighted the contradictions within the German workers’ movement - particularly on the nature of the capitalist state. Future battle lines were becoming clear between the different factions of the workers’ movement - factions that until a year beforehand had been active in the same organisation. 1917 saw a huge split, with the formation of the Independent Social Democrats (USPD) after the expulsion of leading SPD comrades for refusing to vote for further war credits.
As developments were later to underline though, the USPD was far from clear on the Russian Revolution, and it was precisely this question that distinguished its revolutionary elements from its centrists. Those around Luxemburg and Liebknecht viewed the revolution as the “vanguard of humanity and peace”, whilst others were convinced that it would end in “social and political discomposition, in chaos” (Kautsky, Bernstein, Hugo Haase).
The Prussian state was descending into chaos. The Allied counterattack of August 1918 hit hard, forcing the German army into retreat with inevitable consequences at home. The military apparatus was crumbling and quickly losing legitimacy. Army loyalty was more and more called into question. Many demanded its democratisation and the abolition of military privilege.
Anti-war agitation, particularly in Berlin and key industrial centres such as Bremen and Hamburg, made a big impact in terms of mass consciousness.
A revolutionary crisis was developing, but, as historian Pierre Broue notes, “Whilst Lenin spoke of the ‘eve of the world revolution’, the approaching tragedy in Germany was summed up … in the contrast between the readiness of the young workers to act and the impotence of leaders crushed by responsibilities, and convinced that the future of humanity could be settled in terms of subscriptions, local branches and speeches in parliamentary assemblies.”
‘Revolution from above’
By September 28 Germany’s inevitable defeat was obvious to the military leaders, the emperor and leading industrialists alike. They were now discussing how they could best bring the war to an end. The highly discredited general von Ludendorff was pressing for urgent action. He was quite clear: it was necessary to broaden the government to include the SPD in order to head off revolution. Military dictatorship was not an option in view of the disarray in the army, so if a situation along the lines of a “Russian October” were to be avoided what was demanded was, in the words of admiral von Hintze, a “revolution from above” - that is, a new government and an armistice.
The SPD was thrown into confusion. Initially hesitant, the leadership eventually decided to join the new administration, following acceptance of SPD demands that were far less than the minimum conditions outlined in the Erfurt programme of 1891 - failing which socialists would not even consider entering into government. They were bought off with the promise of an equal franchise in Prussia, and the restoration of the Belgian state, which would receive reparations.
It was on October 4 1918 that the SPD joined the coalition of Progressives, National Liberals and the Centre. These bourgeois parties held the key ministries - the foreign office, war ministry and ministry of the interior. Phillip Scheidemann and Gustav Bauer were the SPD representatives in the new government.
Yet resolving the crisis would take more than a few token reforms and adjustments. Although the chancellor was now accountable to the Reichstag, which could make key decisions on war and peace, Count Hertling was replaced by Prince Max von Baden! The Junkers still held sway, with echoes of Prince Lvov’s provisional government in Russia the previous year. Some of the key names in the new government were despised for the way they had dealt with working class resistance to the effects of the war. General von Linsingen’s name, for example, was synonymous with the prohibition of meetings, arrests and censorship.
The Spartacists and the left wing of the USPD reacted to this development with a conference on October 7. they demanded the immediate release of political prisoners, an end to the state of siege, cancellation of compulsory labour, expropriation of the entire banking capital and all large and middle-sized estates, plus the establishment of a minimum wage. On October 16, a demonstration demanded the release of the still incarcerated Karl Liebknecht under the slogan “Down with the government, long live Liebknecht!”
Confidence was high. On November 1 the Obleute assembled to decide on the day of the insurrection and to begin preparations. A very close vote of 21-19 set the date for November 11. However, Liebknecht, now released, and Willhelm Pieck of the Spartacists disagreed with the decision, rightly insisting that more time was necessary to win mass working class support for the taking of power. However, things were moving so quickly that by November 11 the revolution was well underway - it had taken even the most advanced elements by surprise.
If war is the locomotive of revolution, then it was the mutinous German sailors who drove that locomotive. Discontented with the meagre food rations and their treatment by arrogant and overbearing military officers, they were less than keen to throw themselves into a last battle for German ‘honour’ when it was known an armistice was imminent. Thanks to the brave efforts of comrades illegally organising in the navy, the sailors were highly politically conscious and more than up to speed with developments on the German left.
Over 800 were imprisoned for mutiny after refusing orders to move against the British fleet off the coast of Flanders. There were mass demonstrations of sailors, even though assemblies were still banned. As one sailor recalled: “At five o’clock in the afternoon of November 3, approximately ten thousand marines and some thousand workers gathered, thereafter moved to the Waldwiese and freed men who were imprisoned there; a considerable number armed themselves”.
The workers in Kiel called a general strike in solidarity. Strengthened by arriving squadrons, they quickly proceeded to seize power locally. So profound was the crisis in the Prussian state apparatus that next to no resistance was offered. Leadership and inspiration were needed to channel the spontaneous energy of a reinvigorated working class into a direct challenge for state power. Yet it was precisely this decisive factor that was missing.
The SPD now faced a dilemma. It was flatly opposed to the new mass movement and had already made this explicitly clear to its allies in the government. On November 4 the SPD executive committee announced that the kaiser’s abdication was under discussion, and called on its supporters in the working class “not to frustrate these negotiations through reckless intervention” and to reject the calls to action of an “irresponsible minority”. Reichstag deputy Gustav Noske, well known amongst the sailors in particular for his expertise in military affairs, was sent to Kiel to sort things out, together with the Liberal secretary of state, Conrad Haussmann, and Hugo Haase of the USPD.
Noske paid lip service to the workers’ demands and declared himself on their side, despite their calls for the abdication of the Hohenzollern. He was then elected as chair of the Kiel council. At that point, few doubted his intentions The soldiers greeted him enthusiastically: “Noske was trusted and given a free hand. People saw him as a socialist comrade and nobody thought at that time he would be prepared to order workers to be shot” - a reference to the counterrevolutionary slaughter he would later unleash on the German working class.
The ramifications of Kiel were felt right across the reich. Bavaria was the first state to become a republic, declared by USPD member Kurt Eisner following a demonstration on November 7. King Ludwig III abdicated and the process of sweeping away the power of numerous petty princes and fiefs began. By November 8, Dresden, Leipzig, Chemnitz, Magdeburg, Brunswick, Frankfurt, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hanover, Nuremberg and Stuttgart had all fallen into the hands of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils.
The contradictions latent within the state burst open and the revolution spread like wildfire. In Cologne, 45,000 soldiers swelled its ranks, almost without a shot being fired. The soldiers and now unemployed veterans in particular moved remarkably quickly: “Across the compact mass of the moving crowd big military lorries urged their way, full to overflowing with soldiers and sailors who waved red flags and uttered ferocious cries … These cars, crowded with young fellows in uniform or in mufti, carrying loaded rifles or little red flags, seemed to me characteristic. These young men constantly left their places to force officers or soldiers to tear off their badges of rank.”
Berlin and the Kaiser
On November 9 the empire was finally brought to its knees. The revolution had infected Berlin. A meeting of the USPD the night before had planned a general strike and, although the Jägerbatallion was sent in by prince von Baden to suppress it, the soldiers could not bring themselves to move against the throng. Officers across the empire were complaining that their soldiers were no longer willing to accept orders.
Von Baden hoped that the empire could be salvaged if he personally appointed Friedrich Ebert, secretary general of the SPD, as chancellor. Ebert told him: “If the kaiser does not abdicate, then social revolution is unavoidable. But I do not want it; no, I hate it like sin.”
By midday on November 9 Ebert was chancellor. Meanwhile, leading SPD member Phillip Scheidemann had found out that Liebknecht was about to proclaim the socialist republic. He decided to act. Against Ebert’s wishes, Scheidemann declared the dawn of the republic and that von Baden had given his office over to “our friend Ebert”, who would “form a government which all socialist parties will belong to”.
Almost at the same time, Liebknecht was indeed proclaiming the socialist republic. The Obleute and their supporters, with the memory of Ebert’s and Scheidemann’s betrayals of August 1914 still in their minds, were clear that the revolution had to deepen and widen in order to sweep power from beneath Ebert’s feet. At 8pm around a hundred of them stormed and occupied parliament. Their plan was quite simple - tomorrow elections had to take place in every factory and every regiment in order to form a revolutionary government from the two workers’ parties.
Circus Busch and dual power
The SPD was unsure whether the workers’ councils would cooperate with the government declared by Scheidemann or would themselves become an alternative centre of power. It had to quell the mass movement and hijack the councils. Its next step would be to push for the USPD to join it in forming a provisional government.
Distrust between members of the USPD and the SPD ran deep, but the comrades knew each other’s politics inside out and the SPD was confident that there was a softer layer of USPD leaders who could be won over to stem the movement from below and prevent a descent into “Bolshevik chaos”. They were split on the question of the war, but many leading USPD members were later to rejoin the SPD - their politics had become increasingly indistinguishable from the Eberts and Scheidemanns. Ebert even implied, hypocritically, that he wanted Liebknecht on board - just hours earlier he had been absolutely committed to a parliamentary monarchy in coalition with the Liberals and the Progressives.
There was huge pressure on the USPD. Liebknecht insisted that government participation should be made contingent on all power being vested in the councils, following the signing of an armistice. This was rejected by the SPD leaders, who claimed that a “class dictatorship” of the workers would be undemocratic. The people could only decide on their government following properly organised elections - an impossibility, as they well knew. Their idea was to win time to strengthen their hand against the far left.
A second attempt at negotiations - this time without Liebknecht’s presence in the USPD delegation - proved far more fruitful. The USPD later accepted the invitation on condition that any bourgeois politicians would be mere “technical assistants” who would be directly recallable and accountable to the people. The other condition was that the constituent assembly should not meet until “the gains of the revolution had been consolidated”. This vague concession had counterrevolutionary implications.
Liebknecht was clear that he would not join the proposed government with Ebert, who had smuggled himself into the revolution to further his own reactionary aims. So the new government was set up without Liebknecht - it consisted of three representatives from each group: Ebert, Scheidemann and Otto Landsberg for the SPD; and Hugo Haase, Willhelm Dittmann and Emil Barth for the USPD.
But the SPD also had to deal with the Obleute proposal for elections to the Vollzugsrat, which was to act as an executive council of a revolutionary government. In order to be able to keep control, the SPD leadership mobilised in every factory and regiment it possibly could in order to get its supporters onto the Vollzugsrat. The 3,000-strong meeting on November 10 at Circus Busch in Berlin was dominated by SPD-loyal soldiers whose insistence on an unconditional “Unity!” made for a highly charged atmosphere. Numerous fist-fights broke out. At one point during his speech, Liebknecht actually feared that he might be shot. His prescient warning about how the revolution’s “enemies surround us” and condemnation of the “insidious” exploitation of the soldiers by those enemies certainly did not go down well with the majority of those present.
A proposal from Barth sought the election of an executive council which would have supreme legislative power, and to which the people’s commissars would be responsible. But it also sanctioned the SPD-USPD provisional government, unwittingly becoming a source of support for those who had been opposed to the revolution from the very start.
With the SPD enjoying the support of the majority of the meeting, the principle of parity between the two groups was only partly enforced: the SPD and USPD each had seven worker members elected, but the 14 soldiers on the Vollzugsrat were overwhelmingly supporters of or sympathetic to the SPD. The conference also confirmed the provisional government as the basis of the revolution.
Although initially unhappy with the Circus Busch result, Ebert was actually now in a stronger position. Setting up a cabinet with the USPD was crucial and control over the Vollzugsrat also allowed him to prevent the formation of a counterweight to the provisional government and its state apparatus. Moreover, although bourgeois politicians formally operated only as “technical advisors”, they essentially carried on with many of the functions of the old order.
Business as usual
The situation was highly contradictory. The SPD was schizophrenically portrayed as both the heir of the old regime and the head of a revolutionary cabinet approved by the popular will of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils. Yet SPD intentions were clear - the priority was not to arm the people, not to expropriate and socialise industry, but to use its influence within the remnants of the old order to prevent the workers from exercising control of the workplace, localities or media, while itself claiming to represent both the “community of labour” and “national interests”.
Right from the outset the SPD-USPD government sought to undermine the executive council. Whilst the latter had voted through a motion declaring that Germany was now a “socialist republic”, where power lay in the “workers’ and soldiers’ councils”, this was not even mentioned in the SPD-controlled press. When the executive sought to form red guards, Ebert and Barth worked with the military commander of Berlin, Otto Wels, in order to form a ‘republican defence force’ to defend the government, consisting of around 15,000 volunteers. There could be no question of arming the people. Unsurprisingly, funding for the republican defence force poured in from numerous bourgeois sources.
Crucial was the deal struck between the officer corps and the SPD apparatus. General Groener - successor to Ludendorff as quartermaster general - later wrote: “The officer corps could only cooperate with a government which undertook the struggle against Bolshevism … Ebert had made his mind up on this … We made an alliance against Bolshevism … There existed no other party which had enough influence upon the masses to enable the re-establishment of a governmental power with the help of the army.”
The Hohenzollern bureaucracy, most significantly at the level of the military apparatus, remained in place. For Rosa Luxemburg this meant “leaving the administrative organs of the state intact from top to bottom, in the hands of yesterday’s pillars of Hohenzollern absolutism and tomorrow’s tools of the counterrevolution”.
A cabinet meeting on November 12 showed just how far things had gone. It confirmed that the officers’ power of command was to remain and military discipline was to be upheld. This made things uncomfortable for the USPD, which had gained so much support from soldiers and sailors precisely as a reaction to the military hierarchy’s bullying. But the SPD won the day by using the pretext of the Versailles treaty and the demand to retreat “in good order” to the east bank of the Rhine. It also introduced measures like the right to vote from the age of 20, an end to censorship and to the state of siege.
Meanwhile, the councils were thrown into a state of confusion. Largely products of spontaneity, their make-up had always differed across the country. Bremen and Hamburg, for example, were always extremely militant. They had abolished the local administration and taken over its affairs, in Bremen forming Red Guards to replace the standing army and police. In other areas like Cologne and Duisburg, the SPD was able to win the inclusion of bourgeois forces. Other councils were simply organisationally ineffective or even totally corrupt. The strength of the SPD lay in the fact that it was able to rely on political backwardness amongst the newly politicised and on connections with the old state. In addition since the Circus Busch the USPD was committed to parity between the two parties even when it was in a distinct majority.
Whereas radical councils like Dresden and Leipzig would produce programmes proclaiming working class power and calling for socialisation to begin immediately, they were the exception rather than the rule. Many of the councils simply left many functions like the police and judicial system in the hands of the old state machinery.
Luxemburg was quite clear that what had happened was not the equivalent of October 1917. The task of the working class was to consolidate its gains and prepare for further advances. “Above all”, she wrote, November 9 was a “political revolution”, reflecting to “a very small extent the victory of a new principle; it was little more than a collapse of the extant system of imperialism.”
November 15 saw an agreement between SPD trade union leader Carl Legien of the SPD and big capitalists Hugo Stinnes and Carl Friedrich von Siemens. It promised to end strikes, roll back the influence of the councils and stymie workers’ control of production. Although gestures were made by the new Council of People’s Commissars through the appointment of a commission to investigate which industries were suitable for socialisation, this more or less did nothing until April 1919.
The foreign policy pursued by the new government spoke volumes. Ever since the outbreak of the revolution, the Bolsheviks had made offers to help to overcome the scarcity of food in Germany. But the new government refused to accept Russian grain, despite the best diplomatic efforts of German-speaking Bolsheviks like Karl Radek. Then it issued a statement on the deal reached with US president Woodrow Wilson, which laid down that food supplies to address the desperate shortages would be considered “only on condition that public order in Germany is genuinely re-established and maintained and a just distribution of food supplies guaranteed”.
It was claimed that this had been enforced by Wilson himself. but the French daily Le Temps later revealed that this extra clause had been insisted upon by Ebert, not Wilson. The intention was clear. Instead of establishing the German working class as a key battalion in the international proletariat, the SPD aim was to join in the campaign to strangle the Russian Revolution. The government used the threat of starvation and appealed for national unity in the face of the Allies’ demands.
The counterrevolution was thus painted in ‘socialist’ colours. And it was of a national and international nature. While claiming that law and order was essential for a return to normality, the SPD was preparing to join forces with rightwing militias such as the Freikorps at home, while supporting direct military collusion with the Entente imperialist states to keep German troops in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and hold back the Russian Revolution. Supporting the ‘free press’, the SPD was complicit in the dissemination of anti-Jewish and anti-Bolshevik propaganda. This, combined with the killing of Luxemburg and Liebknecht in 1919 and the failed attempt to stabilise capitalism would eventually culminate in the counterrevolutionary horror of Hitler.
The success of the Russian Revolution confirmed the necessity of a deeply rooted revolutionary party. The German Spartacists, although operating independently and at least as a ‘proto-party’ formation since the launch of the International Group in January 1916, were not sufficiently demarcated from the USPD. The Spartacist publication Die Rote Fahne was established too late in the day.
Ninety years on from one of the greatest and most inspiring events in working class history, it is incumbent upon us to strive to understand why the German revolution was defeated. The foundation of the German Communist Party under the leadership of Luxemburg and Liebknecht did not take place until the end of 1918 and at the outbreak of crisis months earlier the Spartacists had only 50 comrades in Berlin. Their bravery, determination and enthusiasm ensured that their numbers grew quickly, but they were not an established political party like the Bolsheviks in Russia when crisis broke.
If there is one thing we can learn from the events of November 1918, it is that it is never too early to fight for a party openly committed to working class power. Delay can only serve to strengthen the labour bureaucracy and their acolytes - the future Eberts, Noskes, and Scheidemanns.
- C Harman The lost revolution London 1982, p11.
- Quoted in P Broue The German revolution Chicago 2006, p131.
- J Riddell (ed) The German revolution and the debate on soviet power Atlanta 1986, p21.
- The Socialist November 4. Taaffe claims the bureaucratisation, growth of revisionism and gradualism within the SPD is “something similar” to what has occurred in the Labour Party over the past few decades. A desperate attempt to excuse his group’s past auto-Labourism, and provide cover for the call to set up a Labour Party mark two. Bizarrely, he goes on to lambast the USPD for having a “halfway house political position, sometimes using very radical, ‘revolutionary’ phraseology”, and for being “passive in deeds, refusing to go the whole way in the struggle against capitalism”. In reality the USPD was way to the left of Taaffe and his Socialist Party.
- Kautsky, one of the leading theoreticians of the centrist tendency, was virulently anti-Bolshevik. Quoted in P Broue The German revolution Chicago 2006, p101.
- J Riddell (ed) The German revolution and the debate on soviet power Atlanta 1986, p38.
- C Harman The lost revolution London 1982, p53.
- P Broue The German revolution Chicago 2006, p177.
- Ibid p169.
- Rosa Luxemburg The beginning: www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1918/11/18b.htm
- J Riddell (ed) The German revolution and the debate on soviet power Atlanta 1986, p66.