Skip to main content

Poetry Eden, Berlin, January 15, 1919 Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht arrested

(All lines in italic are taken from Rosa Luxemburg’s writings)

The pavement is sharp with ice,
the hotel lobby stark with cavalry:
Freikorps, Riflemen, restless from war.
She sees that Karl is not here, yet.

Always proclaim loudly what is happening

Yanking her hair, Vogel pulls her head back,
stares into her dark Jew eyes.
He spits. Ropes chafe her wrists.
She hears the guests singing in the dining hall.

Your order is built on sand

‘Roschen.’  The soldier raises his rifle butt,
slams it into her temple,
strikes again as she falls.
She smells her blood on the floor.

But I am dying under the rattle of the dying

Blood streams from her nose and mouth.
She is dragged out by gloved hands
to the waiting car. Her lost shoe is a spoil of war.
She feels the wrenching in her hip.

I am at home in the entire world

In the Tiergarten birds watch from the naked trees.
Karl is falling in the snow, the bullet burning
in his back. His spectacles lie broken.
There will be no more meetings.

Where there are clouds and birds and human tears

One shot more and her head is aflame;
She hears the birds crying.
The waters of the Landwehr
wait for her.

On the streets the people are rising in a wave

 

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 8,332
We need:£ 9,668
12 Days remaining
Donate today