By Ben Fowkes
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Extra resources for Communism in Germany under the Weimar Republic
Have made this "defeat" a member of that series of historic defeats which are the From Radical Sect to Mass Party 27 pride and strength of international socialism. This is why the future victory will flourish on the soil of this "defeat". ll 8 The same day Luxemburg and Liebknecht were arrested by the Free Corps. Shortly afterwards the two unquestioned leaders of Spartacism were murdered by their captors, a crime for which a military court later handed out the derisory sentences of two years in one case, four months in another.
Its support for them had always been conditional: they had to be genuine organs of workers' power and not parallel bodies anchored in a parliamentary constitution and limited to economic functions. This distinction was expressed by the use of 34 Communism in Germany under the Weimar Republic of the phrase 'political Workers' Councils'. As RF editorialised in February, 'The proletariat must ... ' 51 Councils of this kind, if they had ever existed, would have genuinely deserved to be described as Soviets.
There were also many acquittals. 19 Wilhelm Pieck, arrested along with Luxemburg and Liebknecht, was spared by the soldiers, perhaps because he was less prominent, and succeeded in making his escape two days later. 20 'Order' now reigned in Berlin. It remained for Ebert and Noske to restore its benefits to the other parts of Germany which had risen up in mid-January in solidarity with Berlin. What the contemporary bourgeois and Social Democratic press described as 'communist putsches' were in the main just protests against repression and solidarity actions.
Communism in Germany under the Weimar Republic by Ben Fowkes