Rosa Luxemburg (1986) Movie Script

Sonjusha, you're bitter about
my long imprisonment, and ask,
"How is it that some people
may decide the fate of others?"
My dear, the history of civilisation
is based on people
deciding the fate of others,
and that is deeply rooted in the
conditions of our material existence.
Only an agonising new development
can bring about change.
And you ask, "What's it all for?"
"What for" conveys nothing about
the totality of life and its many forms.
Why are there blue tits in the world?
I really don't know.
But I'm really glad they do exist,
and it gives me great comfort
when suddenly, over the prison wall,
I hear their tweets in the distance.
be happy and calm for my sake.
Everything will turn out for the best,
believe me.
Give my regards to Karl.
Many embraces,
Firing squad! Attention!
Quick, help me up!
- Who is it?
- One of them's Brodna.
Kaminski, Kozinski.
I don't know the others.
- Murderers! Executioners!
- Stop!
Anna Matschke.
How long are you going to watch it?
I want to see it bloom.
It sleeps at night, just like you do.
Tomorrow you'll see it bloom.
Time for bed, darling.
Remove the blindfold.
It was a misunderstanding, madam.
Leave us.
Which doesn't mean
that you won't be shot one day.
Sit down.
- Have you got anything to tell me today?
- No.
Why not?
For the same reason as always -
because I don't know anything.
There's one thing you do know -
your name isn't Anna Matschke.
The Prussian authorities
were very helpful.
It would appear that the Tsar authorities
have an equally poor opinion of you.
Rosa Luxemburg is a leading figure
in the German social democratic
and international socialist movements.
She passionately incites her listeners
to carry out acts of propaganda,
the aim of which is to overthrow
the present social order
by means of revolution,
using the most contemptible methods.
Good work, eh?
Now all we need to find out
is the name of the man
who was arrested with you.
My name's Anna Matschke now.
- Tell the comrades who I really am.
- Understood.
We use agitation, not weapons.
What does Leo say?
Weapons are intended only for defence.
We must protect our own.
Of course, agitation is most important...
Disrupting the government
with group action
is only dangerous for absolutism.
It's Socialist agitation,
not throwing bombs
or wounding the police,
that actually defeated
the Tsarist administration in Georgia.
Agitation will pave the way
to a general strike
and lead to street revolt,
which will extend the revolutionary
turmoil to the countryside, the villages,
thereby increasing the area of conflict...
I told you not to come here.
You can't give me orders, Leo.
I'm a party member of the council,
just like you.
You're more useful in Berlin
than in Poland.
I was, as long as you kept me informed.
Recently, I've had to beg for news,
so I make sure I'm getting it myself,
right here and now.
I don't want you to stay.
What use am I in Berlin,
when there's a revolution in Russia?
You can't exclude me from
such an important moment in our history.
I'm no longer a little student,
and I won't be dictated to.
You still don't seem to understand that.
Give me a hug.
I've missed you.
Not: "the so-called reasonable
people consider socialism
"the product of a sick imagination,"
but: "the so-called reasonable people
consider socialism an illusion."
The way you put it,
it's too watered down.
The main thing is that it's clear.
You'll spoil everything
by being so pedantic.
And stop pacing up and down.
It makes me nervous!
And you, my dear, are letting
your temperament affect the way you write.
I'm going to write the article myself.
We'll have to wait a week
before we can go to press.
Try to understand - what we need
is dialectics and a radical new idea.
Dialectics - do you understand?
New ideas require time to develop.
That's the dialectic.
Time will tell which of us
has a better grasp of that, you ape!
Your answer is better than your article.
"What we should do..."
Are you the author?
Among other things,
it's about the freedom of the press.
The right of everyone to express
their views in speech and in writing.
But not everyone has the means
to publish their opinions.
That's why we came to you.
In the end, I'd prefer
to publish my own opinions.
Here you go.
Anton. Prepare this.
Open up! Police!
It seems that you don't know
who you have living here.
- Did you publish this?
There must be some kind
of misunderstanding.
We're journalists from Germany.
- Anna Matschke and Otto Engelmann.
- Come with us.
Please wait outside,
my friend has to get dressed.
Hurry up!
Listen, I don't want my family
to make a martyr out of me.
You can't ignore my wishes,
just because I'm in prison.
I beg you - no more pleas for clemency.
And don't involve the German consul.
They're in for a long wait
if they expect me to beg for protection.
Get me transferred to a single cell,
so I can write.
I can't wait to convey everything
I've heard and seen to Germany.
But you may face a war tribunal.
If you keep speaking German,
this visit is over.
Those months in Warsaw
were the best in my life.
I'm worried about you, sister.
Oh! These are times of upheaval.
The existing order
deserves to be destroyed.
It doesn't make any sense to be in jail
for a lost cause.
It only seems that way!
We need patience, Josef.
And good spirits.
Your time's up.
- See you soon.
- See you.
I'll come again.
To your freedom.
I thought I was only let out
because of my bad health.
Any news about Leo?
The German Press revealed him.
He was prosecuted.
The charge read:
"Attempt, via armed insurgency,
to overturn the monarchist administration
"prescribed in the Russian constitution."
You know what it means.
You can expect the same prosecution too
if you don't leave Warsaw soon.
Will you say good night, Aunt Rosa?
Of course I will.
Are you staying with us now?
- I have to return to Berlin.
- Why?
I work in the German Socialist Party.
It's the largest and strongest
labour movement in Europe.
Are you coming back?
I don't know.
I'll write to you a lot.
- Will you put flowers inside?
- Lots of flowers.
Sing something.
The valley, the valley
The valley of a small brook
Why don't you love me?
Was I not nice?
The valley, the valley
The valley of a small meadow
Why don't you love me?
Am I just a toy...
Dziodziu, you kept your promise!
- Pick me up, Dziodziu.
- You're too heavy, Rosa.
Please, Dziodziu.
Pick me up, just for a moment.
You know I like it.
So begins your reign of terror, huh?
I want you to be kind.
Confess your love for me.
You needn't fear that
you're going to humiliate yourself.
What do you want to hear?
That you're the smartest
and most beautiful woman I know?
The best! I'm better than you,
so I have a right to make you my subject.
I want us to be together
as man and wife.
But we've been living together
for a long time, Rosa.
I mean in our own place,
with our own furniture, and a library.
Quietly working together
and taking walks together.
We can go to the opera
every now and then,
and take a trip to the country
once a year.
Good evening, August.
May I present Leo Tyszka?
Party chairman August Bebel
and his wife.
- Nice to meet you. Do you speak German?
- A little. Not very well.
We'll meet again later.
I've had a wonderful time,
but I'd rather be alone with you.
You wanted to dance.
It's a great opportunity to meet
the comrades without any formalities.
Good evening. May I present Leo Tyszka?
He's a comrade from Poland.
Luise Kautsky, Hans Kautsky.
- Nice to meet you.
- It's my pleasure.
Luise is a real friend,
and we hardly ever talk about politics.
- What about you two?
- More than I want to, sometimes.
- Where's Carolus Magnus?
- Over there. He doesn't dance.
Good evening, Carolus Magnus.
Leo Tyszka, my teacher
and mentor from Poland.
Karl Kautsky, my teacher in Germany.
- Ignaz Auer.
- Pleased to meet you.
Thank you.
Have you come here from Poland?
No, from Zurich.
An emigrant...
Will you be staying in Berlin long?
I don't know yet.
So, you're a member of the
Polish Socialist Party, like Rosa?
Yes, I'm one of the founders.
So it was you who had
a dispute with Plekhanov?
- Yes.
- Interesting.
- May I ask you a couple of questions?
- Go ahead.
Clara, how nice to see you again.
Rosa! Good evening!
- May I introduce you to my sons? Maxim.
- Good evening.
- Kostja.
- Good evening.
I didn't know that your children
were grown up.
You should come and visit me
in Stuttgart sometime.
- I think we'd get along well.
- So do I.
Do sit down.
May I?
I don't want to dance with you,
Comrade Bernstein.
This isn't a party meeting,
dear comrade.
You've got the right
to enjoy yourself at a party.
I can't have fun with you today
and argue with you tomorrow.
Excuse me, please, Clara.
I'll see you later.
It's a wonderful party.
Rosa has snubbed him again.
Bernstein will complain bitterly
about your lack of humour.
He mistakes humour for opportunism.
That's just the way he is.
Let's see when you'll expel me.
I won't expel anyone.
I'm the one who's leaving.
Come on Leo, let's dance!
What impression did you get of Karl?
He doesn't know a thing about Poland.
That's why he lets me write about it.
You should pull a few strings
with each of them.
Dziodziu, that method works
in a Polish puppet show,
but not for the majority of the party!
May I? Thank you.
They make a nice couple!
In high spirits
and full of confidence
the class-conscious proletariat
enters the 20th century.
It will be a century of achievement,
just as the 19th century
was a century of hope.
We have made great progress,
and the further we go,
the greater our achievements will be.
Recently I've been angry and unhappy,
and therefore ill.
Now I feel better, and I vow
never to listen to my inner demons again.
Can you blame me
for being unhappy at times?
I, who can only hear and see from afar
all that means life and joy to me?
I swear that from now on, I'll be patience
and gentleness personified.
- Luise!
- Rosa!
- Hello, Doctor.
- Hello, Erna.
You're even prettier than before.
Here, this is for you,
and this is for the children.
- Let me look at you.
- I'll take off the apron. I know you hate it.
If only you knew how much
I've missed seeing you in it.
Please leave it on.
I couldn't wait to get back to Berlin,
but I didn't know whether they would
arrest me again at the German border.
Oh, Luise,
how I've missed all this.
How are the children?
Bendl has been asking about you
and Karl wants to draw with you.
And Leo? What about him?
They're going to sentence him
to several years of hard labour.
Without the bail money,
you'd have suffered the same fate.
What bail money?
What bail money, Luise?
Tell me the truth.
I thought you knew.
- Bebel arranged it.
- What did Bebel arrange?
Your brother told us about your condition
and that you'd only be released on bail.
For God's sake, Rosa, it was the only way
to get you out of there.
I specifically said I didn't want that!
I don't want to be indebted to anyone,
especially not the party leadership!
- You would have died in Siberia.
- How I hate being patronised!
As my friend,
you should have prevented it.
How little you all know me.
Oh, you're right, Lulu.
What's important is
that we're together again.
And that I can fire up the comrades
who have become complacent.
Why is this written so cautiously?
You have to force yourself to read it to
the end. It's so schoolmasterly and dry.
How boring you've all become, Karl!
It's as if you didn't have any blood left
in your veins.
We certainly don't have
as much Russian blood as you do.
How did the comrades
react to my article?
Some value their seat in parliament
more than street fights and mass strikes.
Union leaders like Legien say that strikes
jeopardise the unions' position,
and unfortunately such views
are gaining ground in the party.
They obviously don't know
that Russia's trade union movement
is a child of the revolution.
Before the revolution, there was no trace
of a professional organisation.
It's nonsense to think
that unions thrive in peacetime.
- You don't have to convince me, Rosa.
- I wrote a pamphlet on that in Russia.
In prison?
How did you manage that?
There are courageous people
even in the Tsar's jails.
They smuggled out
these articles for you.
How much space do I get?
As much as you need
to give us a good dressing down.
I would like to introduce
Dr Rosa Luxemburg!
She's returned from Warsaw,
where she has been risking her life
for the Russian revolution.
At the end
of the previous speaker's speech,
I was called a martyr and sufferer
for the Russian revolution.
I must begin my speech
by protesting against this description.
I believe the view commonly held
of the revolution is false.
The bourgeois press in Russia
depicts it as a huge bloodbath,
causing unprecedented suffering
to ordinary people.
But that is the bourgeois view,
not that of the working classes.
The people of Russia
have suffered for centuries.
Russia has lived for centuries
under the yoke of absolutism.
But did anyone ever ask
how many thousands
have died of starvation or scurvy?
Did anyone ever ask about
the thousands of proletarians
who perished on the battlefield
that was their place of work?
How many infants
are rotting away in the villages
and how many have failed to reach
their first birthday due to lack of food?
So you'll understand that, compared to
these countless sacrifices and hardships,
the present suffering is insignificant.
Though once the Russian people
lived without hope of a better tomorrow,
they now know
what they are dying for,
what they are suffering and fighting for.
Everyone knows that it is for the sake
of their children and grandchildren
that they are participating
in the liberation of their people.
That also applies to women.
They're just as oppressed.
I must speak to you alone.
It's a personal matter.
I have to decide
whether I should get married or not.
I mean, marriage is an outdated
and discredited idea, isn't it?
- That depends on you.
- I've learnt this from my studies.
If I were you, I'd just give it a go.
I'm so glad you advise me to do it,
because my girlfriend is expecting.
She's a comrade,
and we weren't sure
whether or not marriage
was a bourgeois aberration.
- Thank you very much, Doctor.
- I wish you all the best.
You know, if you'd been pregnant,
I'd have enjoyed your speech even more.
Rosa, you need to decide if you want to be
a mother or a revolutionary.
- Both!
- Impossible.
- A child will make you fearful.
- You don't love me.
Rosa, your mission
is to bring ideas into the world.
Those are your children.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Are you going to come back tomorrow?
- As often as you want me to. Good night.
To your health, dear Rosa.
To the return of the little dervish.
To the revolution.
Oh, dear Auer.
August, we're witnessing
the Russian revolution.
We'd be fools
if we didn't want to learn from it.
Until now, you said that the Russians
could learn from us, dear Rosa.
I don't think that anymore.
The centre of the revolution
has moved eastwards.
History is progressing
in leaps and bounds.
Your leaps are a tad too big for me.
You can't compare the situation in Russia
to the one in Germany.
If you adhere to parliamentary process,
then any kind of progress is a giant leap.
I know that you can't have a revolution
or a mass strike at the drop of a hat.
The point at issue is
what Social Democracy can do
to be at the forefront
of a historical development.
You see?
Our Rosa has become
an ultra-radical in Russia.
Be warned. When the revolution
comes to Germany,
she'll be on the left,
and I'll be on the right.
But we'll hang her.
We won't let her stand in our way.
You don't know yet who hangs who.
August, I love you.
I'd like to say a few words
in reply to Bebel's speech.
I'm just not sure
I got what he was saying,
because I sat on the left side
and he was speaking to the right today.
He talked about what could
and should happen in Germany
if the Prussians drag us
into a war with Russia.
I don't know
if I understood him correctly,
but I think he meant to say
that if we're faced with war,
there's nothing we can do about it.
- Nonsense!
- You're twisting his words!
I wouldn't dare cast doubt
on anything the party leadership says,
for as a faithful party member
I observe the old dictum -
when the party leadership has spoken -
"Credo quia absurdum!"
"I believe, because it is absurd."
I'm afraid we will cause our friends
in France considerable embarrassment,
if that's how Bebel's speech
is meant to be interpreted,
for our comrades there have stated that
they'd rather have an uprising than war.
Those were the brave words
of the French proletariat,
and I hope that Germans will also have the
courage to say, "No war against our will!"
Bravo! No war against our will!
The issue of a general strike
in the event of war has been raised.
At the Brussels Congress of 1868,
practical measures for
the prevention of war were proposed.
It was said that, in fact,
society could not function
if production were stopped for a while,
and that the working classes,
who are mostly the ones
drafted into military service,
just need to suspend their work,
to thwart the ambitions
of the despotic regime.
- It's not as easy as that!
- Nonsense!
Bebel said,
"Do you think a mass strike
can be organised by the party leadership?"
The party leadership
must be forced into it by the masses.
If our party leaders...
If our party leaders
do not understand their role,
they will - and must - be pushed!
Therefore I ask you
to support Kautsky's proposal.
I think this hat looks better on you.
- No, it looks better on you.
- No, on you.
- No, on you.
- On you!
There isn't one for August.
- I don't think I'm in his good books.
- Because of your speech in Mannheim?
He offered me money again,
but I turned him down.
But you need the money.
You help your Polish friends as well.
- That's different.
- How come?
I must be free to speak as I wish,
without obligations.
You'd do exactly the same.
I don't know.
I've never been short of money.
This one's nice. Go on, write!
- Dearest August.
- No! "Dear August."
That's much too common.
"Dear Party Executive.
"My beloved Augustin."
Augustin, Augustin
The money's gone,
and his wife with it
Augustin's in the shit
- We need to get a grip.
- There's plenty of time for that.
You're the only German
I can clown around with like this.
To your acquittal in Weimar.
To life.
I often went rowing with Leo
when we studied together in Zurich.
"We'll stay away from the Germans,"
I later wrote to him from Berlin.
"There's no other couple in the world
that's destined to be happy as we are."
May God grant me to keep him.
I've done a lot of work.
I didn't always have much success.
German Marxism
has become a gouty old uncle
who's afraid of every gust of fresh air.
Thank you, Gertrud.
Does that mean you've buried
your ridiculous idealism?
Rubbish. Far from it.
I'm just not an obedient donkey anymore,
slaving away for others.
At least you seem to have learnt
that passion alone is not enough.
Yes, you ape!
Aren't you going to tell me
about your escape?
There's much to do, Rosa.
I know, Leo. Business.
But I'd still like to hear about it.
Do I know the people
who you were hiding with?
Were they comrades?
Maybe there was also a woman there?
What are you trying to do, Rosa?
Was she pretty?
Well, it's more enjoyable to hide
with a pretty comrade, isn't it?
Did you sleep with her?
- No.
- Swear it.
Rosa, stop this nonsense.
I just want to know the truth,
that's all.
Answer me, Dziodziu.
You loved her.
If I had loved her,
I wouldn't have come to Berlin.
- Did you sleep with her without loving her?
- Yes.
Why did you lie?
I can't be with someone
without loving them!
Oh, Dziodziu.
You can't compare it to us.
Why not?
It was completely different.
- Because we work together?
- That's one of the reasons.
- Did you work with her?
- Of course. She was a party member.
Then you must've loved her.
For you, work and love are inseparable.
If it makes it any easier...
then I loved her!
It doesn't make it easier!
I don't want to talk about this anymore.
I want you to leave.
- Please.
- Where should I go?
I don't want to live with you anymore.
I'm serious, Leo.
Over something so trivial?
Have you lost your reason?
If you loved her, it wasn't trivial.
And even if you didn't love her,
it doesn't make things any better.
Rosa, I only came to Berlin
because of you.
You came to Berlin
because you had to leave Poland.
I couldn't work underground.
Your work is more effective here.
And you'd give up any woman
for your work.
Do you need anything else, Doctor?
No, you can take the evening off.
- Thank you, Doctor.
- Please stop calling me 'Doctor'.
When is Dr Krzystalowicz coming?
He's no longer living with us, Gertrud.
Good night.
You overestimate my serenity.
My inner harmony and joy
can be shattered by the slightest shadow
that touches me.
And it causes me unspeakable suffering,
because it is my way
to accept it in silence.
Take cover!
Take cover!
Get up!
Take cover!
- At last!
- I'm sorry.
We feared the worst.
We got too close
to a military firing exercise.
If they'd known who you were,
they'd have taken better aim.
And maybe they'd have hit you.
We'd be writing your epitaphs now.
- "Two great women have gone from us."
- "We shall never forget them."
"Here lie two brave and noble women,
"whose tireless efforts
for progress, peace and justice
"will always be an example to us."
Why not, "Here lie the last two men
of German Social Democracy"?
We've achieved more than the parties
in many other countries.
We're in a much stronger position.
We don't have to
operate underground anymore.
We can do it openly-
within limits, granted.
At every election,
our share of the vote has increased.
Rosa is aware of that.
But that's exactly why
we have much more to lose!
That's what Rosa fails to understand.
What is it that you have achieved?
That the unions decide
and the masses aren't consulted?
The masses gave us their vote.
The masses are fed up
with your parliamentary methods.
They want a party that shapes events,
not one that merely reacts to them.
We can't call a mass strike
before it's really necessary.
When the time is right,
we shan't refrain from using such methods.
At the moment, however,
I share the view
that impatience might be detrimental
rather than beneficial, Rosa.
You mistake patience for convenience.
I've got more than enough patience.
What about the women's franchise? Why does
the party support it only formally?
- Clara, that's not the issue here.
- Yes, it is.
Clara's absolutely right.
I've asked you all along
to concentrate more on women's issues.
An intelligent and argumentative woman
should devote herself to her own sex.
And leave the big issues in politics
to men, right?
If they were up to it, I wouldn't object.
- Rosa isn't argumentative, just courageous.
- We don't deny that.
Courage in itself is not a virtue.
What we need is courage at the right time,
and we shall have it. I promise!
And I promise to remind you
of your promise, August.
I've given you permission to work here,
but not on Sundays.
I wanted to talk to you... about us.
There's nothing to talk about.
"My only Dziodziu.
"Our lives are better
than those of others,
"because I know that our souls
are richer than most people."
Burn them,
they're no longer relevant.
"Precious one.
How I need you.
"We need each other.
"No other pair but us
has such a task in life,
"each of themselves, of one another,
"to make a human being.
"We have within ourselves
all the conditions of happiness."
Do you remember what you wrote back?
Long screeds about party work.
Not the least mention of a normal life.
Sometimes I was so tired I almost
passed out trying to read your scrawl.
When did we really live, Dziodziu?
All we did was talk.
- What about Zurich?
- That was a long time ago.
And Warsaw?
- Warsaw!
- Don't shout, Kostja's asleep.
Who's Kostja?
Kostja Zetkin, Clara's son.
He's staying here while he's in Berlin.
Clara asked me to put him up.
Good day.
Good day.
- Has that young pup fallen in love with you?
- That's none of your business.
I can't imagine
Clara will be very happy about that.
I'll kill you, and him too.
- Don't be so childish.
- What do you want?
Do you want me to grovel
on the floor in front of you?
I just want you to leave me alone.
You'll never be free of me.
I won't give you a moment's peace.
Party politics
doesn't suit your character.
It's a constant offence
against all that is decent in people.
Devote yourself to something
tranquil - philosophy, economics, history.
Or start writing.
I'm sure you would write wonderfully.
Listen, a great tit.
You haven't experienced yet
how animals can help people.
"Night calmly sets foot upon the land,
"leans dreaming
against the mountain wall.
"Its eyes see the golden scales of time
"at rest in even balance.
"The streams babble more boldly.
"They sing in the ear
of their mother night
"of the day that has just ended."
When are you going to London?
In three days.
Can't you skip it?
Oh, Bubu.
A party congress isn't like school.
- Will Leo Jogiches be there?
- Of course.
All the Russian
and Polish Social Democrats.
What if he threatens you again?
I've got myself a small pistol.
- Let me explain to you...
- Is there anything you can't explain?
Yes, there is.
Why do you love
such an ungainly duck as me?
You find it hard to accept
that we've become so close, don't you?
He tried to hide it from me.
I asked him to.
I thought it would upset you.
As your friend, I deserved
a bit more trust.
You know how hard it is for me
to talk about personal matters.
Your love isn't a personal matter.
It concerns me as well.
I'd be upset
if Kostja came between us.
He should be grateful
to have met a woman like you.
Why didn't you publish my article?
I was torn,
but there could never be any doubt that
I thought publishing would be a mistake,
particularly now, when elections
are around the corner.
Chances are we're going to emerge as the
strongest party. We mustn't spoil that.
We won't! The party will become powerful
in the mass struggle.
Unlike you, I don't think the masses
are ready for revolution.
Karl, revolution as such
isn't the issue.
We need a strong mass movement
to bring about a democratic republic.
And you don't talk about that.
Let the people decide for themselves.
We have to present them with the arguments
for and against - that's our job.
If I had published the article, I'd also
have had to publish my dissenting opinion.
It's the same situation
as in Russia in 1905.
There are mass demonstrations in Berlin
every weekend. The miners are on strike.
Rather than lead the way,
the party limps along behind the events.
- Most party members disagree with you.
- The leadership, you mean.
Oh, Karl. I always thought
that we agreed on the main issues.
But now I feel your Marxism
starts to waver the moment
a revolutionary situation develops.
Twenty years from now,
you'll share my way of thinking, Rosa.
I don't intend to be a bore
twenty years from now.
Karl is under a lot of pressure
because he went too far.
That's no reason to retreat.
Not now that the German monarchy
is starting to crumble
and there's a real chance
we can establish a democratic republic.
What are you going to do?
If the party leadership silences me,
I'll have to address the masses directly.
I'll speak in twelve cities,
to 50,000-100,000 people.
I hope my voice will hold up.
Oh, Luise.
Your husband's a coward.
He doesn't deserve a wife like you.
He's not as bad
as you make him out to be.
Can't you put yourself
in his shoes for once?
If you want to see me,
you'll have to come to me.
I won't set foot in this house again.
You can be very hard on people, Rosa.
Yes, but I'm hard on myself as well.
I shall plunge myself into activity
and deaden this troubled heart of mine.
That's the best thing for me.
The only thing I really want to do
is live with you, Mimi.
Ladies and gentlemen,
not too long ago,
many of us liked to point out
that we have enjoyed 40 years of peace.
The conclusion was
that we're entering an era
in which peaceful development is possible.
But this mad idea of ever-growing peace
has faded away.
Those who point
to 40 years of peace in Europe
are forgetting about the wars
that took place outside Europe,
and in which Europe had a hand!
The threat of war that hangs over us
is the fault of those classes
who promote the madness of rearmament,
both on water and on land,
under the guise of peace-keeping!
But the liberal parties
have also given up
their opposition to war hysteria.
Some people claim that fighting
is part of human nature,
and that those who don't defend themselves
risk falling victim to their neighbours.
We disagree.
People can and must
live together in peace!
Those in power believe
they have the right
to make these important decisions
without consulting the public.
I ask you now,
do we have to put up
with a war that we didn't want?
If we are expected to raise
weapons of murder
against our French
or other foreign brothers,
we will shout, "We won't do it!"
My stomach hurts.
It is remarkable
that in recent years the accused
has made the most inflammatory speeches
without being guilty of an offence.
It's an indication
of her extraordinary intelligence.
She is known for her incisive oratory.
There's a reason
she's been dubbed "Red Rosa".
The defendant must therefore accept
a punishment that takes into account
her notoriety, her past
and her strongly-held opinions
that amount to treason.
Let me get to the crux of the matter.
The prosecution concludes as follows:
As I agitated against militarism
and wanted to prevent a war,
there was obviously no better way for me
to do this than to say to the soldiers,
"When you are told to shoot, don't shoot."
Isn't that right, Your Honour?
What a concise,
convincing conclusion.
What irresistible logic.
Yet let me explain that this
merely reflects the prosecutor's attitude,
not the position of Social Democracy.
Here's what we think:
Whether there's going to be a war
and what the outcome is...
is not decided by the army,
with its orders from above
and blind obedience from below.
We believe it is - and should be -
decided by the masses, by the people.
If the vast majority of the people
comes to the conclusion -
and it is our duty as Social Democrats
to raise their awareness -
if, as I say, the majority
comes to the conclusion
that wars are a deeply immoral, barbarous
and reactionary phenomenon,
then wars will be impossible.
- Thank you, Paul.
- What for?
- For coming here with me so I'm not alone.
- You can see you're not alone.
I didn't mean that.
The people love you.
Even the right-wing press respects you.
- They respect "Red Rosa"?
- They call Bebel "The Anti-Emperor"!
A wicked criminal stands before you,
outlawed by the state
and called "a stateless woman"
by the prosecutor.
As for being stateless, I wouldn't want
to trade places with the prosecutor.
For I have a great, much loved home that
no Prussian prosecutor ever possessed.
For what is my homeland but the great mass
of working men and women?
Ladies and gentlemen,
you know what Wallenstein says
in Schiller's play that night,
when he gazes searchingly at the stars
in order to discern
the future course of events:
"The day is nigh.
Mars rules the hour."
That still holds true today.
Mars, the bloody god of war,
still rules the hour.
Power is still in the hands of those
who put their trust in murderous weapons.
People are still preparing to go to war
and keeping parliaments under control.
More and more army bills
are being pushed through.
Still, as Wallenstein said,
"The day is nigh.
The day that belongs to us."
The day will come when we,
the downtrodden, will rise up!
Not to unleash the horrifying bloodbath
of butchery and mutiny
suggested by the scaremongering
state prosecutor.
No, when we come to power,
we will create a society
worthy of humanity.
A society which outlaws exploitation
of man by his fellow man,
where genocide is unknown,
a society which will finally realise
the ideals of the world's oldest religions
and its greatest philosophers.
To ensure that day dawns
as soon as possible,
we must use all our strength
in defiance of all prosecutors,
and in defiance of all military power.
Dearest Lulu,
I've become
a bit like a person without skin.
I flinch every time
a shadow falls on me.
Do you know what thought
haunts and scares me?
I imagine that once more
I have to enter a crowded lecture hall.
The glaring lights and the murmur
of men's voices surround me,
and I'm greeted by deafening applause
as I make my way to the podium.
All of a sudden, I feel like running away.
- Mr Liebknecht and Mr Levi are here.
- Oh!
Your attorney appears to be
very fond of you. Do you like him?
Leo, when will you learn to keep
our work and my private life separate?
You didn't want to keep
them separate before.
I used to think we needed each other
to be more human.
- And did we become more human?
- Leo!
Karl, it's a pleasure
to have you as an ally.
I hope we'll be friends as well.
- Hello, Paul.
- Hello.
- Are you feeling better?
- Much better. How wonderful... Gertrude!
- Hello.
- Hello.
Hello. Mathilde Jacob,
I'm the secretary.
Have you read the "Forward" paper?
There's a quote from the right-wing press.
It says that "The behaviour of this
presumptuous woman must be stopped."
- The authorities are bound to take note of it.
- I've lodged an appeal.
Rosa's not healthy,
and we need her here, not in prison.
Would you please pour the tea, Leo?
Can I have that?
Come and join us, Mathilde.
Do you think it's conceivable
that the Social Democrats
would vote against the government
in the event of war breaking out?
Only if they put so much pressure
on the representatives
that they wouldn't dare
act against the will of the people.
I've prepared a statement
that I'd like to discuss with you.
Do you know what the proletariat is?
It is a group of people who collectively
love peace and hate war.
Chauvinists and nationalists, however,
are people who collectively
love war and carnage.
But when they personally
experience the threat of conflict -
wars that mow down
bourgeois and workers alike -
then they remember they have friends
and seek to calm the tempest.
But for the masters of war,
the terrain is mined.
Perhaps in the heat of the moment,
in the euphoria of early victories,
they will succeed in carrying
the masses with them.
But as typhus finishes off
the carnage wrought by the shells,
as death and misery succeed
in bringing the people to their senses,
they will turn on their German,
French, Italian and Russian leaders,
asking why there are so many corpses.
Then the unleashed revolution
will say to them:
"Go and ask for forgiveness
from God and man."
Allow me to salute
the courageous Rosa Luxemburg,
the ardour of whose thoughts
has fired up the German proletariat.
The floor is yours, madam.
I can't.
You shouldn't have remained silent.
Leo, you weren't there.
If you'd seen them...
The atmosphere in that hall
and the workers shouting,
"They wouldn't dare start a war,
"and even if they do,
we have the Socialist International."
Well, that's true, isn't it?
I fear the Socialist International is dead
and nationalism will prevail.
There will be war.
And most Socialists will join up.
I know it.
Should I have pretended
to be optimistic, Leo?
You're right.
I've never felt such despair
in all my life.
Congratulations, gentlemen.
This is a big moment.
It's a fantastic election result.
- Let's get started, gentlemen.
- The Emperor was right.
No more political parties -
just a united Germany!
Everyone voted in favour,
without exception.
The war loans have been approved.
- What about the dissenters?
- They had to follow the party whip.
Haase made a speech.
"In the hour of need, the political right
shouldn't have a monopoly on patriotism.
"The workers wouldn't understand."
This wouldn't have happened
if August were still alive.
They called me a traitor.
Two of his sons were conscripted,
and all he could come up with was,
"In troubled times,
we must learn to bear our cross."
We'll show that Socialists also know
how to die for the Fatherland.
If robbers attacked my house, I'd be
a fool to be reflecting about humanity
instead of shooting them.
And I suppose you'd wipe out
the Socialist International as well?
The workers are in favour of war.
What are we supposed to do?
Abstentions would've
disappointed the masses.
They would consider us to be traitors.
It wouldn't bode well
for the future of the party.
- I must go back in.
- I'll see you this evening, Karl.
This is a call to discuss
Reichstag issue no. 486/14.
Don't go in.
It's all over, Sonja.
Come home with me.
I think Karl needs me now.
We'll never see each other again, Rosa.
Kostja! How can you say such a thing?
The war won't last long,
you'll see.
When hunger sets in,
the tables will turn quickly.
Everything that's alive
in the hearts of these young people
will drown in the dirty swamp
of chauvinism and xenophobia.
They'll all be sacrificed
to the juggernaut of capital.
There's no party for us anymore, Rosa.
- We should resign.
- Oh, Clara.
Do you want to resign
from humanity as well?
It has crossed my mind.
Mine too.
But if we kill ourselves,
who's going to do our work?
I think we'll start by initiating
a newspaper with Mehring.
We must try to organise meetings
with Liebknecht.
I'll go to the post office and send
telegrams to all opposition deputies.
You'll get nothing but pretexts
and lame excuses.
They've even spoiled Christmas for us.
Look what I have for you.
Yes, that's for you.
Yes, look.
And this is for me.
It's for me. No.
Oh, Mimi.
Someone should write a book
about what's going on
that would club some sense
into the whole of humanity.
Time's running out, Mimi.
Hurry up, please.
Ask Miss Jacob to notify
my lawyer immediately.
The most important thing is Mimi.
She mustn't forget
to take her plush armchair.
Don't be sad, Mimi.
I'm going to write a pamphlet against war
when I'm in prison.
I've got a score to settle
with those goddamn cowards.
- Get undressed.
- I've already been inspected today.
We want to make doubly sure.
Hurry up.
Keep going.
Take off your pants.
Turn around. Bend over.
Cell 45.
You'll get your things tomorrow.
- What about my nightgown?
- Tomorrow.
- Let me keep a book, at least.
- The censors have to look at them first.
This house, this houses.
No, these houses.
- This house, these houses.
- Good.
- The chimney smoke...
- Smoke.
- The chimney is smoking.
- Good.
Smoke, smoking.
Here are Ala and Ola.
Ala stands and Ola stands.
You're making really good progress, Nana.
Ola's doll stands.
What are you doing here?
The food's burning,
get back to work.
- How are you?
- Reading's more important than potatoes.
- You're just indulging Nana.
- I want to be a teacher.
How's your leg? Let's see. Does it hurt?
Not today. Could you take care
of my letters?
Where are they?
So many!
Your siblings won't get a chance to reply.
Wouldn't it be better
for them to be answered verbally?
It's fun when they come,
but letters must still be answered.
Karl! How did you manage to get here?
- I still have immunity as an MP and a lawyer.
- Sit down.
I brought the essentials -
a nightshirt, comb, soap, eau de Cologne.
Life's little pleasures.
Sonja got them. She gives you her regards,
and everyone else does too.
Mathilde's taking care of Mimi,
Leo's taking care of the organisation,
and I'm campaigning.
But not for long -
I've been drafted to the French front.
- But you have immunity, don't you?
- I do, but I'm a thorn in their side.
I'll only get leave when parliament sits.
There are fewer and fewer of us.
Leo's going to fill in for us.
I'm worried about him. He won't get
any food stamps without a passport.
- Mathilde can help him.
- He acts as if he didn't need any help.
You have to trick him.
She'll manage.
Here's what you need for your article.
Sonja will come next time.
You can give it to her.
- Do you think that's possible?
- I think so.
Any messages for Leo?
- How did you...
- I've had plenty of practice.
Do you have any suggestions
for the name of our group?
Is there no woman in history
who opposed slavery?
Ask Clara.
She'll invent one if need be.
Five more minutes.
How is Clara?
Have you heard from her?
She wrote us a pretty sad letter.
Her house is under surveillance,
her phone is monitored,
and her mail is opened.
Comrades who are seen with her
are conscripted,
even if they're too old
or unfit for service.
- Would you rather I hadn't told you?
- No!
I hate it when things are kept from me.
Of course I'm ill, which is why everything
affects me so deeply at the moment.
Sometimes I feel
I'm not a real person,
but a bird or an animal in the
unsuccessful guise of a human being.
Deep inside,
I feel much more at home
in a garden or a meadow,
surrounded by bumblebees and grass,
than at a party conference.
I can tell you this,
for I know you won't accuse me
of betraying socialism.
I still hope to die in my rightful place,
in a street battle or in prison.
However, deep inside I feel closer
to my birds than to my comrades.
You come from Poland, don't you?
Why did you come to Germany?
Or am I being too nosy?
I thought German Social Democracy
was a powerful international force.
You don't think that anymore?
Have you heard the phrase,
"Workers of the world, unite"?
Now they say,
"Workers of the world, unite in peace,
"but slit each other's throats at war."
That's a contradiction.
Thank you.
- What's your name?
- Elisabeth.
Could you smuggle a letter out for me?
I'd do anything for you.
Thank you.
I'm so happy to see you!
Cheer up, Lulu.
I know you've got a lot on your mind,
but everyone who writes to me
complains about the state of the world.
You were right.
Social Democracy has failed miserably.
Ebert and Scheidemann are pushing through
one war credit after another.
Still, don't let your present worries
crowd everything else out.
Rosa, there's not enough food
for the people.
Maybe you don't hear
about these things here.
But there's no point
railing against the whole of humanity.
This is my garden.
They had to lock me up
before I had time to create a garden.
Look what the seeds you've sent me
have turned into.
I often sit there as well.
You know, Lulu,
I think this whole madhouse,
this moral swamp
that we're wading through,
can be transformed overnight into
something truly great, as if it was magic.
My dear,
don't live like a squashed frog.
I came to cheer you up
and now you're cheering me up.
- Oh, Lulu!
- Embracing is forbidden!
Your time is up.
From a filthy spy like you... can't expect anything else.
Ah! Elisabeth!
- Have you finished reading your book?
- I cried three times.
It must be nice
to be reading all the time.
- Could you lend me another book?
- Of course.
I'll give you something by Tolstoy.
Have you heard of him?
He's the greatest Russian poet.
What can I give you?
You'll like this.
Everything from Russia
is frowned upon now.
You don't take any notice
of that nonsense, do you?
Anna Karenina.
Anna Karenina.
I'm only sad that I have to enjoy
such beauty alone.
I'd like to shout over the wall,
"Oh, please look up and see
what a wonderful day it is."
Even if you're busy,
don't forget to lift up your heads
and look up at the silver clouds.
Smell the air laden with the passionate
breath of the last lime blossom
and notice the shine and the splendour
that lie upon this day,
for it will never ever return.
It was given to you like a rose in full
bloom that's been laid at your feet
and that's waiting for you to pick it up
and press it to your lips.
What about my books?
There's no room for books.
And no light for the plants.
The books can be stored
in a separate cell.
- But how will I have access to them?
- Knock on the door.
Or make a request
to the prison governor.
Thank you.
I can't believe it.
First Mimi dies,
- and now...
- Don't, Luise.
I can't...
If you have nothing to say,
the visit will be terminated.
No, please don't.
Should I tell you about me?
I have enough courage for myself.
But when something happens
to someone else,
my strength fails me.
Oh, Sonitshka,
I had a painful experience here.
A few days ago,
a cart loaded with sacks arrived.
The load was piled up so high that the
oxen couldn't get through the gate.
The soldier who came with the cart,
a brutal fellow,
began to beat the animals
until one of them began to bleed.
When the cart was unloaded, the animals
stood there in silence, exhausted.
That one that bled looked on
with an expression on its black face
that reminded me of a crying child.
I stood before the animal
and it looked at me.
Tears were running down my cheeks.
They were its tears.
One could not feel more pain
for the dearest brother
as I in my helplessness
watched its silent suffering.
Oh, my poor ox.
My poor dear brother.
We both stand here in silence,
and we're one
in pain, helplessness, yearning.
Sonitshka dear,
stay calm and keep your spirits up.
That's life, and you have to
accept it as it is,
with unflinching courage and a smile.
In spite of everything.
There's a visitor from Berlin.
Ms Sonja Liebknecht.
I sense that it's hard for you
that the years come and go
and life is passing us by.
But we shall live again,
and we shall experience great things.
Sometimes I think
that the war will go on forever,
and Karl and you will never be free.
Oh, my dear!
I wish I could plunge you
into a frenzy of happiness.
And I'll defend your right to do so,
You see, we're about to witness
how the old world is disappearing,
little by little.
Maybe we'll all disappear, forever.
I believe in the story of the brave mole.
It keeps digging until it has undermined
a reality that seemed rock-solid.
Even in a prison yard
a mole can reach the light.
As of today,
Germany is a parliamentary democracy.
The Social Democrats
have been voted into government.
The new government has asked
the American president for an armistice.
This means a defeat and surrender
for Germany.
You can read the rest in the newspapers.
Please take one each.
Have your wishes come true now,
Dr Luxemburg?
Your party's in power.
That's what you've been waiting for
for 20 years, isn't it?
I fear Ebert and his comrades will abuse
their power and betray the workers again.
- Hello.
- Hello, Director.
On the 12th of October,
a general political amnesty was declared.
I should have been released
three weeks ago.
The amnesty is for convicted
political prisoners, Dr Luxemburg.
You're in protective custody.
The government feared
I would speak out against the war.
The war's as good as over. What does
the government need to be protected from?
- Revolution, I suppose.
- Liebknecht was released two weeks ago.
Maybe they can't handle
more than one radical.
I can't release you
before I get a warrant.
- May I ask you a question?
- Go on.
Do you love or hate Germans?
Germans are like children
who have never experienced freedom.
Director, Breslau is far from the capital.
With the army disbanding, trains
and phone lines can't meet the demand.
Couldn't you contact Berlin
and ask them about me?
You've always been a model prisoner.
You have always
adhered to peace and order.
How did you get your name,
"Bloody Rosa"?
To be frank,
your patience has surprised me.
I preserved my strength to survive...
and for this moment.
To make sure my rights are adhered to.
And that means that I'm released!
Mathilde, you've cared for me so lovingly
all these years.
- My God, what misery.
- You don't look well.
No more talk about me.
We've talked enough about me.
We can't go to your flat yet.
Why not? I was looking forward
to my own four walls.
You've got to be careful.
Come on.
We've aged, haven't we?
Even your wrinkles
can no longer be ignored, Leo.
Breslau was your ninth imprisonment.
For once in my life
I've managed to beat your score.
Tell me, what is there to be done?
We've seized this printing shop
at Leo's suggestion.
- Like Warsaw in 1906?
- Something like that.
We've changed the name of the paper
to "The Red Flag".
The first issue appeared yesterday.
You will take over as editor.
Leo is in charge of the organisation
but is still at your disposal.
I'll meet the people in the street,
but of course I'll continue to write.
Can I see today's issue?
Will we succeed this time?
We're not as fast
as the young radicals want.
Don't talk like an old man, Leo.
Look at our revolutionaries.
A few weeks ago,
they were just obedient soldiers.
If we'd won the war,
they still would be.
- Enough of this.
- Rosa...
You've been gone a while.
Spartacus isn't as powerful
as we'd like it to be.
People change, soldiers change.
And Germany's changing too.
How wonderful it is to be in a proper bed.
I'll have a good night's sleep, Leo.
When, at the beginning of the war,
I gathered a small, courageous,
selfless group of comrades
to make a stand against
the enthusiasm for war,
we were shouted down,
persecuted and imprisoned.
When I said out loud what no one else
at that time had the courage to say-
that Germany's political and military
leaders were responsible for the war -
I was branded a filthy traitor
who sought the downfall of Germany.
It would have been easier for us
if we'd remained silent
or joined the chorus of the chauvinists.
And now, as we once again
raise our voices
to show the German people
the only way out of their misery
towards true freedom and lasting peace,
the same people who tried
to suppress us and the truth
are trying to continue their dishonest
and slanderous campaign against us.
Let them spit and scream.
We shall not waver as we follow the way
to revolution and socialism.
Our mission, which has been in the works
for so long, is nearing completion.
The revolution is here!
But we don't call for violence
or bloodshed,
as our opponents shamelessly
accuse us of doing.
We call on you to be ready for the
revolution and to deploy all your energies
so we can take the reconstruction
of the world into our own hands.
Either we sink back
into the morass of the past,
or we carry on the fight
until we have freed the whole of humanity
from the curse of slavery.
Long live the world revolution!
Hail, Spartacus! Long live Spartacus!
- You spoke like a preacher, Karl.
- But not against my conviction.
We should stop rejoicing
and focus on self-criticism.
People don't find self-criticism
inspiring. We need inspiration, Rosa.
We've got to strike while the iron's hot.
Of course, but we mustn't act
as if the battle's already won.
We mustn't forget: When the bourgeoisie
is wounded, it will fight to the death.
We mustn't forget that.
- Was my speech that ambiguous?
- It was fine. Take no notice of me.
I'll write my article for tomorrow
on the way.
I'll see you later.
Before us lies the greatest task
mankind has ever faced.
Where's Karl staying tonight?
- With comrades in Neuklln.
- I've got to see him tonight!
He wanted to give me his article
for tomorrow.
He'll have it sent to the office tonight.
Your blanket!
Rosa! Your sandwich!
Can you tell me why I'm still living
the kind of life I don't have
the slightest desire to live?
Don't kid yourself.
If your life were different,
you'd still be unhappy.
All right.
- Why are you so tense?
- Shut up!
What's the matter?
The Spartacists have occupied
all the newspapers.
Even "Forward" magazine.
- Karl.
- Did you know about this?
I feared it might happen.
Let them through!
They're shooting.
I need to talk to them.
This is no place for a woman.
You don't belong here, Doctor.
Supposing you succeed here,
supposing you hold Berlin,
what happens in East Prussia,
Hamburg, Bavaria, the Ruhr?
Knowing the Bavarians,
they won't lift a finger.
- Because we're not unified!
- Most people aren't ready.
All of Germany will have to take part,
or it will fail.
The Russians weren't better prepared,
and Lenin still won.
This isn't Russia.
"Victory through defeat" -
isn't that what you wrote?
But you shouldn't have
to pay with your lives!
- You can only lose!
- That's not what Karl Liebknecht says.
It's all against all - complete mayhem!
The masses aren't ready!
Nothing but theories, Rosa.
Reality has its own dynamics.
And you're fuelling the flames!
There's no majority for a revolution.
Not yet.
We need more time, Karl.
Unless we stop them, there will be
mindless bloodletting, but no revolution.
The Proletariat is on the march.
That is revolution!
Nonsense! The Proletariat
is on the march? Where?
The reactionaries see what's happening.
A few street skirmishes,
occupied newspapers. So what?
Only because you and Leo
are sitting on the fence.
We're not sitting on the fence,
but you can't just act on impulse.
Who's impulsive?
You'll have to answer to posterity
why you don't stand by me!
What? You act independently,
and then you accuse us of betrayal?
- It has to be done by tonight.
- I can't give you any guarantees.
Rosa, the typesetters
are waiting for your article.
There's enough space for three columns.
There have been rivers of blood
during the four years of genocide.
Now every drop
of this precious commodity
must be protected in crystal bowls
with deepest reverence.
Do you know why we haven't heard
anything from Luise?
I think you scared her.
There was a time when we didn't let
political differences come between us.
Good. Let's continue.
Revolutionary vigour...
and all-embracing humanity
are the real spirit of socialism.
A world has to be overthrown,
but every tear that is shed -
even if it can be wiped away-
is an accusation,
and a person who hurries to do
great things and inadvertently...
steps on an unfortunate worm
commits a crime.
Come here! Quick!
That's the second time today.
She asks too much of herself.
I have to ask you to leave.
My husband's a diabetic.
All this excitement will kill him.
I'm sorry.
Go to Bremen.
You'll be safe with the comrades there.
Since when have you been afraid?
We didn't run away in Warsaw.
Don't get sentimental, Rosa.
You're still needed.
What's the worst that can happen?
A couple of years in the slammer.
You're still not going to make me
leave Berlin.
I'm staying here, and so is Karl.
- Many thanks.
- No one's going to be looking for you here.
I'd prefer to be in Neuklln.
This message is for you.
We've not been defeated, Rosa.
We're here to stay, and we'll win.
If we live long enough
to see it happening, Karl.
My article for tomorrow.
"We are used to being cast from crest
to trough on the high seas of history,
"but our ship is on course
to reach its destination.
"We may not live to see it arrive,
but our programme will survive.
"It will be a beacon for the free world,
in spite of everything."
Read the last sentences.
"Order has been restored in Berlin.
"You stupid henchmen.
Your order is built on sand.
"Tomorrow the revolution
will rear its head again
"and proclaim to your dismay:
"I was, I am, I will be."
Oh, Karl, play the piano, won't you?
I had to do without music
for such a long time.
Is there anything to eat?
Someone's given them the address.
You have to leave.
Bremen or Frankfurt -
which do you prefer?
Neuklln. The paper must go on.
We won't be silenced.
We have to show the comrades
that we're here.
- May I?
- Help yourself, comrade.
Take care of yourself.
My dear.
And you.
- There she is, the old whore!
- And the cavalier!
Spartacist pigs!
Slow down!
Are you Ms Rosa Luxemburg?
You are,
judging by the picture.
If you say so.
I assume
you'll refuse to make a statement.
It depends on what you want to talk about.
Your impudence is not acceptable here,
Ms Luxemburg.
We are in power here,
not you and your miserable comrades.
History will prove otherwise.
- Which prison are you taking me to?
- Yeah, yeah.
Where are you from?
- Do you have any siblings?
- Yes.
You're not allowed to talk to me.
Don't shoot.