The Left Party wanted to commemorate the founding of the KPD in 1918 in the Bundestag. But AfD and Union prevented this.
The founding congress of the KPD did not go well for them: Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg Photo: dpa
"I have the conviction that you want to make your radicalism a bit comfortable and quick," said Rosa Luxemburg on December 30, 1918, at the founding congress of the KPD. The congress did not go well for Karl Liebknecht and her. Both pleaded to participate in the Reichstag election. But the majority rejected participation in the election and opted for radical action.
The founding of the KPD manifested the split in the workers’ movement, the seeds of which had been laid by the SPD’s Burgfrieden policy in 1914. The final act of this drama was the inability of the SPD and KPD to unite against the Nazis in 1933.
Luc Jochimsen, formerly editor-in-chief of Hessischer Rundfunk and later a member of parliament for the Left Party, has distilled a script for a staged reading from the minutes of the KPD founding party conference at the end of 1918. This reading, attended by Dietmar Bartsch, Daniela Dahn, Oskar Lafontaine, Ingo Schulze and Sahra Wagenknecht, is not particularly well suited to retrospective embellishments, if only because of its documentary form.
The Left Party wanted to hold the reading on a December evening in the Paul Lobe House, where MPs’ offices are housed. Nothing unusual, a routine matter. All parliamentary groups have to give their nod to such events – approval for such festivities has never been refused.
Union and AfD side by side
The Bundestag administration had no objections to the KPD reading. The AfD parliamentary group did. Reason: "The KPD was already banned in the Weimar Republic in 1919. In the Federal Republic, there was another party ban in 1956." The AfD does not want to "support a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of a totalitarian and anti-democratic party." The fact that Liebknecht and Luxemburg fell victim to right-wing terror two weeks later does not seem to make an impression on the AfD.
The CDU/CSU parliamentary group is also blocking the reading. Reason: "Approval cannot be given from the point of view of our group, since it seems to be a party event." The KPD was a parliamentary party in the Weimar Republic from 1920 to 1933. To declare memories of party formations, which logically precede that of parliamentary groups, inadmissible in this venue is sleight of hand. Apparently, the Union is not afraid to find itself alongside the AfD in this case.
Union parliamentary group
"Approval cannot be given from the point of view of our parliamentary group, as it appears to be a party event".
Jan Korte, parliamentary director of the Left Party, sees an "uncanny alliance of a history-forgetting Union and an anti-communist AfD" at work. After all, he says, the KPD "defended democracy in 1920 against the right-wing Kapp Putsch, while the precursors of the AfD and, in parts, the CDU wanted to destroy the republic." The KPD had been "part of the Weimar Republic and the result of the November Revolution." "A critical appreciation" said Korte, "should be a matter of course."
The Left Party has rescheduled the staged reading. It will take place on December 11 at the Babylon cinema in Berlin-Mitte.