The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg
By: Georg Adler, Peter Hudis, and Annalies Laschitza (editors)
Verso Books, 2011
Reviewed by George Fish
Summer 2011 Vol:XIII-3
The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg is the first volume in a projected 14-volume set, The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, of all the extant writings of this great revolutionary socialist in English—all available newspaper articles and speeches, significant polemical and Marxist theoretical writings, and her letters and telegrams, prepared collaboratively by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Karl Dietz Veralg, and Verso Books.
The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg contains 230 letters by Luxemburg to 46 different people, and is an English translation by George Shriver of the original German text of 1990, Herzlichst, Ihre Rosa (literal translation, Warmly from the Heart, Yours, Rosa). The first letter is to her friends in Zurich, Nadina and Boris Krichevsky, in Zurich, dated July 17, 1891 (when Luxemburg was only 20 years old, yet already active in the socialist movement); and the last letter, dated January 11, 1919, is to her friend and comrade Clara Zetkin in Stuttgart, four days before her murder by the proto-fascist Freikorps in collusion with the right-wing Social-Democratic government of Germany headed by Philip Scheidemann and Friedrich Ebert, two leaders of the Social-Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) who had supported World War I.
The significance of Rosa Luxemburg’s quite extensive and active correspondence over these years is emphasized well by one of the general editors of the editorial board preparing the Complete Works, Peter Hudis.
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