of the Spartakusbund was a left-revolutionary combination of oppositional SPD -, and/or. starting from 1917 USPD - members in the German empire for the end of the 1. World war. It went during the November revolution at the 11. November 1918 from the Spartakusgruppe (also group international one) out. This had thatlink wings of the USPD, which abgespalten themselves 1917 of the SPD had, in an educated manner. Together with other communist groupings the Spartakusbund came up to the turn of the year 1918/19 in the again created communist party of Germany (KPD).

Table of contents


as forerunner organization of the Spartakusbunds was created „the group international one “in March 1915 as realm-far internal party-line oppositionals grouping in the SPD by pink Luxembourg. Reason for this was the almost unanimousEndorsement of the war credits for the financing of the 1. World war by the SPD in appropriate tunings of Reichstag (see. Burgfrieden). Only Karl dear farmhand had been correct with the second tuning as only delegates against the war credits, after he first first still for reasons of the Parteiraison stayed awaywas.

With the agreement to the war politics of the emperor and its government the SPD gave two substantial principles up , which were since their establishment basic attitudes of the party: the proletarian internationalism and the attitude against the war between the states. The group international one stood against it for thoseMaintenance of these principles.

Only sieved party-left belonged with the foundress at first to this group of oppositions: Franz Mehring, Julian Balthasar Marchlewski, August Thalheimer, Hermann Duncker, Heinrich Brandler as well as the Polish in a revolutionary manner Leo Jogiches. Clara Zetkin, William Pieck, Karl dear farmhand, Bertha Thalheimer and further war opponents in the SPD followed it a little later. They tried to induce the SPD majority to the break with their politicspolitics politics and refusal of further war credits and to re-establish the international solidarity with other European labour parties.

In addition the group gave in March 1915a magazine under the name “international one” out, which appeared only once and by the public authorities one konfisziert immediately. In the year after, after the group become larger and realm far had organized, it published the illegal “Spartakusbriefe “under leadership of pink Luxembourg. Therefore gavethe vernacular of the group the name “Spartakus “, from which again the name “Spartakusgruppe” was derived.

At the 1. January 1916 „the guiding principles were accepted over the tasks of the international social-democracy “, those by pink Luxembourg during the detention were written and then for the program of the groupbecame.

In of the Spartakusgruppe illegaly held conference of realm to 7. October 1918 in Berlin was decided the program of the people revolution. Contents were the immediate end of war, fighting for democratic rights and liberties, the fall of the imperialistic and militaryistic system and proclaiming a socialist republic.

The members of the group international one were not identical to the war opponents within the SPD Reichstag parliamentary group, which bent themselves at the beginning of the party discipline and which war credits agreed.Karl dear farmhand was to 2. December 1914 first, against further credits was correct and thus its life risked: Because itthereupon despite its political immunity as only realm tag delegates to the front beordert. Since January 1915 there was however with Otto Rühle and further also without it in the SPD faction a internal-party opposition, gradually on 20, later up to 45 delegates finally grew up andin March 1917 from the SPD majority one excluded. Thereupon the war opponents in the SPD created their own party in April: the independent social-democratic party of Germany (USPD).

The USPD followed now also the Spartakusbund, although it had not wanted the party splitting. It kept howeverits group status as „closed propaganda combination “, in order to affect the USPD. Because the consistent internationalists were a minority also there. Revisionists such as Eduard amber and Hugo Haase and “Zentristen” like the former program author of the SPD, Karl Kautsky, were with the savings TACists only in the refusalthe war support unite.

The October Revolution in Russia, with which the Bolsheviks under Lenin and Trotzki dissolved the parliament and whom conquered power, the members of the federation faced, positively partially in addition, critically. Above all pink Luxembourg saw the danger of a bolschewistischen dictatorship,those the democratic co-operation of the workers at the revolution to prevent and suffocate can. It wrote in addition in the prison an essay, which admits only after its death became.

After Karl dear farmhand, to 23. Octobers 1918 from the prison dismiss, to 8. November in Berlin had arrivedand the line of the Spartakusgruppe had taken over, became it at the 11. November 1918 in “Spartakusbund” renamed. This should be at the same time expression of a higher stage of the organization and should a demarcation of the “zentristischen” USPD.

goals in the November revolution

to 7. October 1918the Spartakusgruppe published a realm-far handbill with demands for a fundamental transformation of economics, state, condition and law system. It reacted with it to the government participation of the SPD of 5. October, which it regarded as fraud on the true interests of worker. It demanded among other things the socializationmeans of production, above all the armaments industry, the democratization of the military, the abolishment of the class right to vote and the class law. Many of these demands were taken up one month later by the revolutionary worker and soldier advice in completely Germany. This happened spontaneously and without a leading effectthe Spartakusbundes.

The “Spartakusbund” reminded consciously of Spartakus, the thrakischen leader of the slave rebellion from 73 to 71 v. Chr. in the antique Roman realm. The world-wide release from the slave rule of capitalism was the avowed goal of the savings TACists. Thus they wanted “Communist manifesto “of Karl Marx realize. The federation did not understand yourself as a cadre party after Lenin model, also not as if elite of the workers' movement, probably however as Antreiber and guardian of the socialist ideals of the SPD , isolated the this to 4. August 1914 from its viewhad betrayed.

To 9. November 1918 proclaimed Karl dear farmhand only in the zoo, then from the citizen of Berlin city lock from the “free socialist republic” Germany. The majority Social Democrat Philipp sheath man of the balcony of Reichstag from a “German Democratic Republic” had briefly before proclaimed. This sat down in the processthe November revolution through: The Weimar Republic guaranteed finally the private property at means of production and continued the imperial military, which had once begun the social-democracy to entmachten.

But the Spartakusbund before tried red flag “by the daily publication of the newspaper “on the political developmentTo take influence. Since at the beginning of December occurred pink Luxembourg openly for the establishment of a soviet republic , in order to reach so the subordination of the military under the policy. When it showed up that the transition regent Friedrich Ebert prevented these goals actively, the Spartakusbund decided the summoning oneCongress of realm, of 29. to 31. December 1918 in Berlin took place.

There the members at the 1 based. January 1919 the communist party of Germany (KPD). This represented a consistent socialism and demanded the continuation of the revolution begun by the seizure of power of the worker advice in the enterprises. ThatRelationship to the parliamentarism was disputed thereby. The prominent members of the Spartakusbundes endorsed all together a participation of the KPD at the coming elections for national assembly, however by a party majority were clearly outvoted. Thus the new party isolated itself just in its establishment phase and closed ofpolitical influence possibilities out.

Few days later the KPD was already placed before a large load test: Since that 6. Independent worker advice the armed rebellion publicised January 1919. That followed the KPD and tried, the soldier advice of the citizens of Berlin of regiments for participation in the fall of the government To win Friedrich Ebert. This failed, so that the rebellion attempt failed because of the brutal weapon delivery of the imperial military and the republic-hostile free corps. To 15. In addition January the two most important KPD leaders, pink Luxembourg and Karl dear farmhand, by members of the guard Kavallerie contactor division imprisoned, heavily were abused and murdered.

Thusthe history of the Spartakusbundes was to end, and which began own history of the KPD in the Weimar Republic.

aftereffects in Germany since 1945

the development from the genuinen marxism to an adapted reformism in the social-democracy and a state-bureaucratic Stalinismus, as well as thoseappropriate splitting of the workers' movement into totally disliked camps favoured the ascent of fascism. Beside Hitler, a whose goal was smashing the workers' movement, also Stalin , whose politics pervertierte according to opinion of many the original goals of the European socialists and communists, became a partial responsibility onthe lasting attenuation of the international workers' movement given. This development was the accurate opposite its that the Spartakusbund had wanted and had aimed at.

In the cold war militaryistic, capitalistic or state-bureaucratic and authoritarian structures in both parts of Germany were again animated. The broken off Entnazifizierung and Remilitarisierung begunin the west and the ordered obligation combination of SPD east and KPD in the east solidified German splitting. Therefore easily a continuity can be accepted to the goals of the Spartakusbundes with none of the communist postwar organizations.

In the course of the arising student movement historians remembered - about Peter Brückner - and critical students, apart from new thoughts, also to buried traditions that linking, which had pursued the perspective of a totalEuropean socialist basis democracy.

The SDS stood first in the spell of the Marxist-Leninistic historical view, according to which the goals of the savings TACists of the KPD smoothly continued and inthe Soviet Union well are “waived”. But gradually became generally accepted there not least by the commitment a view more differentiated from Rudi Dutschke: One recognized now more strongly the problem of the “repressive tolerance” (harsh ore Marcuse), the “authoritarian character” (Erich pious) and accordinglyrigider society and party structures, so that now the Neomarxismus of the Frankfurt school at influence won. In addition, different other (also anti-Marxist) ideas and groups developed and became stronger. Lining up education and social reforms and the opposition against the Viet Nam war became as learning field for the structure onenew radical-democratic international one seen and used.

Also the party concept building on the Spontaneität and self organization of the working class was rediscovered by pink Luxembourg and understood as an impulse for new political beginnings, a permanent culture revolution for the overcoming of the general repression in citizen-light late capitalism (Hans Jürgen Krahl). An effective interest and action committee of workers and students showed up however only in temporary beginnings (Prager spring, Paris May 1968).

In the changed political tendency situation, to which also the student movement disintegrating meanwhile had contributed, at the beginning of the 1970er developedYears a set of so-called K-groups. From these K-groups some the savings TACists incorporated into its Marxist ancestor gallery, while others led her expressly in the name: so the “Marxist student federation (MSB) Spartakus “, to which the DKP was close. This was 1968 as a follow-up party of the 1956 based in the Federal Republic of Germany forbidden remainder KPD again. The MSB Spartakus played a role in the 1970ern and 1980ern occasionally in some general student committees of different universities, dissolved however after the German reunification .

In their apron the tradition of the savings TACists worked likewise latentlyfurther in as much as both system-critical groups of citizen rights and SED deviationists in the GDR often and gladly appointed themselves to pink Luxembourg and Karl dear farmhand. The democratic communist Robert Havemann was one of it.

Independently of the fact is questionable where the tradition of the old Spartakusbundes actually away-lives: Because thesealways understood yourself up to the establishment of the KPD as part of the class-conscious international social-democracy, which is really carried by the worker masses of the peoples, so that their organizations must express and implement their will. The new formation of a “tip of the spear” of the international, revolutionary workers' movement similarly decided is thusonly as result of a broad, totalEuropean proletarian mass movement with socialist goals conceivablly.

important members (surnames in alphabetical order)


  • Wolfgang Abendroth: “History of the workers' movement”, volume 1, thistle publishing house, Heilbronn 1985, ISBN 3923208197
  • ML-institute of the SED: “History of the German workers' movement” volume 3, Dietz publishing house, Berlin (east) 1966 (collectsdespite ideological view original source documents)

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