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    Hannah Arendt, A Heroine of Revolution + Sidonia Blättler, Irene M. Marti and Senem Saner, Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt: Against the Destruction of Political Spheres of Freedom

    Johnathan R. Razorback
    Johnathan R. Razorback
    Admin


    Messages : 9923
    Date d'inscription : 12/08/2013
    Localisation : France

    Hannah Arendt, A Heroine of Revolution + Sidonia Blättler, Irene M. Marti and Senem Saner, Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt: Against the Destruction of Political Spheres of Freedom Empty Hannah Arendt, A Heroine of Revolution + Sidonia Blättler, Irene M. Marti and Senem Saner, Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt: Against the Destruction of Political Spheres of Freedom

    Message par Johnathan R. Razorback Mer 24 Mar - 18:05

    https://www.nybooks.com/articles/1966/10/06/a-heroine-of-revolution/

    "The definitive biography in the English style—lengthy, thoroughly documented, heavily annotated, and generously splashed with quotations—is among the most admirable genres of historiography, and it was a stroke of genius on the part of J. P. Nettl to choose the life of Rosa Luxemburg, the most unlikely candidate, as a proper subject. For this is the classical genre for the lives of great statesmen and other persons of the world, and Rosa Luxemburg was nothing of the kind. Even in her own world of the European socialist movement she was a rather marginal figure, with relatively brief moments of splendor and great brilliance, whose influence in deed and written word can hardly be compared to that of her contemporaries—to Plekhanov, Trotsky and Lenin, to Bebel and Kautsky, to Jaurès and Millerand.

    How could Mr. Nettl succeed with this woman who when very young had been swept into the German Social Democratic Party from her native Poland; who continued to play a key role in the little-known and neglected history of Polish socialism; and who then for about two decades, although never officially recognized, became the most controversial and least understood figure in the German Left movement? For the success and failure of English biography depend not merely on the chosen person’s fame or the interest of his life story. In this genre, history is not treated as the inevitable background of a given life-span; rather it is as if the colorless light of historical time were forced through and refracted by the prism of a great character so that in the resulting spectrum a complete unity of life and world is achieved. In other words, success in the world seems almost a prerequisite for success in the genre. And it was precisely success—success even in her own world of revolutionaries—which was withheld from Rosa Luxemburg in life, death, and after death. Can it be that the failure of all her efforts as far as official recognition is concerned is somehow connected with the dismal failure of revolution in our century? Will history look different if seen through the prism of her life and work ?

    HOWEVER THAT MAY BE, I know no book that sheds more light on the crucial period of European socialism from the last decades of the nineteenth century to the fateful day in January 1919 when Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, the two leaders of Spartakus, the precursor of the German Communist Party, were murdered in Berlin—under the eyes and probably with the connivance of the Socialist regime then in power. The murderers were members of the ultra-nationalist and officially illegal Freikorps, a paramilitary organization from which Hitler’s stormtroopers were soon to recruit their most promising killers. That the government at the time was practically in the hands of the Freikorps because it enjoyed “the full support of Noske,” the Socialists’ expert on national defense, then in charge of military affairs, was confirmed only recently by Captain Pabst, the last surviving participant in the assassination. The Bonn government—in this as in other respects only too eager to revive the more sinister traits of the Weimar Republic—let it be known (through the Bulletin des Presse- und Informationsamtes der Bundesregierung) that the murder of Liebknecht and Luxemburg was entirely legal, “an execution in accordance with martial law.” This was more than even the Weimar Republic had ever pretended, for it had “punished” the murderers by meting out a sentence of two years and two weeks to the soldier Runge for “attempted manslaughter” (he had hit Rosa Luxemburg over the head in the corridors of the Hotel Eden), and four months to Lieutenant Vogel (he was the officer in charge when she was shot in the head inside a car and thrown into the Landwehr Canal) for “failing to report a corpse and illegally disposing of it.” During the trial, a photograph showing Runge and his comrades celebrating the assassination in the same Hotel on the following day was introduced as evidence, which caused the defendant great merriment. “Accused Runge, you must behave properly. This is no laughing matter,” said the presiding judge. Forty-five years later, during the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, a similar scene took place; the same words were spoken.

    With the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Liebknecht, the split of the European Left into Socialist and Communist parties became irrevocable; “the abyss which the Communists had pictured in theory had become…the abyss of the grave.” And since this early crime had been aided and abetted by the government, it initiated a death-dance in post-war Germany: The assassins of the extreme Right started by liquidating prominent leaders of the extreme Left—Hugo Haase and Gustav Landauer, Leo Jogiches and Eugene Leviné—and quickly moved to the center and the right-of-center—to Walter Rathenau, Matthias Erzberger, both members of the government at the time of their murder. Thus Rosa Luxemburg’s death became the watershed between two eras in Germany; and it became the point of no return for the German Left. All those who had drifted to the Communists out of bitter disappointment with the Socialist party were even more disappointed with the swift moral decline and political disintegration of the Communist party, and yet they felt that to return to the ranks of the Socialists would mean to condone the murder of Rosa. Such personal reactions, which are seldom publicly admitted, are among the small, mosaic-like pieces that fall into place in the large riddle of history. In the case of Rosa Luxemburg they are part of the legend which soon surrounded her name. Legends have a truth of their own, but Mr. Nettl is entirely right to have paid almost no attention to the Rosa myth. It was his task, difficult enough, to restore her to historical life."
    -Hannah Arendt, "A Heroine of Revolution", Review of Rosa Luxemburg by J.P. Nettl, in The New York Review, October 6, 1966 issue.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/3811165?seq=1





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