48 THE CLASS STRUGGLE the history of this movement within the German party, and the position taken by its leaders, not only during the war but for two decades in the past, they would be forced to admit that Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht did not act madly and rashly, but consistently, in absolute agreement with standards that they have always upheld in the past.
Karl Liebknecht Born a Revolufionist Karl Liebknecht was born to a revolutionary heritage.
He was the son of Wilhelm Liebknecht, one of the founders of the Socialist movement of Germany, who, side by side with August Bebel, led the young and undeveloped party through a period of the stormiest struggles against Public sentiment and governmental autocracy. He was one of a family of five children, three sons and two daughters, all of Whom have faithfully carried on the great work that their splendid father egan.
One of the daughters became the wife of Bruno Geiser, a Socialist deputy to the Reichstag, who was expelled from the Social Democratic Party of Germany together with Viereck, the father of the gentleman who has won for himself a rather undesirable reputation in this country, for cowardice, because they refused to sign an appeal for the forbidden party convention to be held at St. Gallen, under the notorious antiSocialist laws of. 1878 1890. Geiser was later readmitted to the party, upon a motion by Bebel, Liebknecht most intimate friend, against the vehement protests of Wilhelm Liebknecht himself.
Recently it was reported in the American press that the sisters of Karl Liebknecht were arrested in connection with the Spartacus uprising. Whether they were actually directly connected with the revolutionary movement, or were simply arrested because of their relationship to the troublesome revolutionist, did not appear from the news that was received in this country.
In their early youth, the three sons of Wilhelm Liebknecht completely vanished from the public eye. It was a common KARL LIEBKNECHT AND ROSA LUXEMBURG 49 thing in the editorial rooms of Socialist papers to receive letters from comrades far and wide asking to kn0w what had become of the three sons of the staunch old fighter, whether they had deserted the cause for which their father had made such enormous sacrifices. These questions invariably remained unanswered, for a public avowal of allegiance to the Socialist cause in Germany at that time would have made it impossible for the three young students. two of whom were studying law, while the youngest had chosen the medical pro: fession) to complete their university courses or to obtain their degrees. It is true, Karl Liebknecht founded a SocialWissenschaftlicher Verein among the students of his Alma Mater. But this organization remained always simply a medium for more or less radical discussion of social political topics without a definite party allegiance.
Liebknecht Becomes a Public Figure When Karl Liebknecht was admitted to the bar, however, he immediately threw off all restraint and threw himself whole heartedly into the movement. His appearance was greeted everywhere with open delight, and the welcome that was accorded to the son of the beloved old fighter was enough to have turned the head of many an older and wiser man.
But the young Liebknecht at once won the sympathy of the masses for himself as well. His fearless radicalism, his untiring zeal and devotion to the cause and his undoubted gift of public speaking and his great personal magnetism captured his audiences wherever he went.
His first efforts were directed toward the building up of a radical and militant Young People Movement, which at that time was just beginning to gain a foothold in Germany.
At this period in his career Liebknecht already evidenced the intense anti militaristic spirit that runs, like a red thread, through his whole life in the Socialist movement. He foresaw that militarism in Germany was fast becoming the dominant factor in German political life. He insisted that the struggle against capitalism in Germany must go hand in hand with an intense, determined agitation against armaments, against