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Grave of Rosa Luxemburg in Berlin

In December 2009, Berlin authorities seized the corpse to perform an autopsy before burying it in Luxemburg's grave.[97] The Berlin Public Prosecutor's office announced in late December 2009 that while there were indications that the corpse was Luxemburg's, there was not enough evidence to provide conclusive proof. In particular, DNA extracted from the hair of Luxemburg's niece did not match that belonging to the cadaver. Tsokos had earlier said that the chances of a match were only 40%. The remains were to be buried at an undisclosed location while testing was to continue on tissue samples.[98]

Works

Writings

This is a list of selected writings:

Writing Year Text
The Industrial Development of Poland 1898 English
In Defense of Nationality 1900 English
Social Reform or Revolution? 1900 English
The Socialist Crisis in France 1901 English
Organizational Questions of the Russian Social Democracy 1904 English
The Mass Strike, the Political Party and the Trade Unions 1906 English
The National Question 1909 English
Theory & Practice 1910 English
The Accumulation of Capital 1913 English
The Accumulation of Capital: An Anti-Critique 1915 English
T

The forensic pathologist Michael Tsokos, head of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences at the Berlin Charité, discovered a preserved corpse lacking head, feet, or hands in the cellar of the Charité's medical history museum. He found the corpse's autopsy report suspicious and decided to perform a CT scan on the remains. The body showed signs of having been waterlogged at some point and the scans showed that it was the body of a woman of 40–50 years of age who suffered from osteoarthritis and had legs of differing length. At the time of her murder, Luxemburg was 47 years old and suffering from a congenital dislocation of the hip that caused her legs to have different lengths. A laboratory in Kiel also tested the corpse using radiocarbon dating techniques and confirmed that it dated from the same period as Luxemburg's murder.

The original autopsy, performed on 13 June 1919 on the body that was eventually buried at Friedrichsfelde, showed certain inconsistencies that supported Tsokos' hypothesis. The autopsy explicitly noted an absence of hip damage and stated that there was no evidence that the legs were of different lengths. Additionally, the autopsy showed no traces on the upper skull of the two blows by rifle butt inflicted upon Luxemburg. Finally, while the 1919 examiners noted a hole in the corpse's head between left eye and ear, they did not find an exit wound or the presence of a bullet within the skull.

Assistant pathologist Paul Fraenckel appeared to doubt at the time that the corpse he had examined was Luxemburg's and in a signed addendum distanced himself from his colleague's conclusions. This addendum and the inconsistencies between the autopsy report and the known facts persuaded Tsokos to examine the remains more closely. According to eyewitnesses, when Luxemburg's body was thrown into the canal, weights were wired to her ankles and wrists. These could have slowly severed her extremities in the months her corpse spent in the water which would explain the missing hands and feet issue.[36]

Tsokos realized that DNA testing was the best way to confirm or deny the identity of the body as Luxemburg's. His team had initially hoped to find traces of the DNA on old postage stamps that Luxemburg had licked, but it transpired that Luxemburg had never done this, preferring to moisten stamps with a damp cloth. The examiners decided to look for a surviving blood relative and in July 2009 the German Sunday newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported that a great-niece of Luxemburg had been located – a 79-year-old woman named Irene Borde. She donated strands of her hair for DNA comparison.[96]

In December 2009, Berlin authorities seized the corpse to perform an autopsy before burying it in Luxemburg's grave.[97] The Berlin Public Prosecutor's office announced in late December 2009 that while there were indications that the corpse was Luxemburg's, there was not enough evidence to provide conclusive proof. In particular, DNA extracted from the hair of Luxemburg's niece did not match that belonging to the cadaver. Tsokos had earlier said that the chances of a match were only 40%. The remains were to be buried at an undisclosed location while testing was to continue on tissue samples.[98]

Works

  • The Accumulation of Capital, translated by Agnes Schwarzschild in 1951. Routledge Classics 2003 edition. Originally published as Die Akkumulation des Kapitals in 1913.
  • The Accumulation of Capital: an Anticritique, written in 1915.
  • Gesammelte Werke (Collected Works), 5 volumes, Berlin, 1970–1975.
  • Gesammelte Briefe (Collected Letters), 6 volumes, Berlin, 1982–1997.
  • Politische Schriften (Political Writings), edited and with preface by Ossip K. Flechtheim, 3 volumes, Frankfurt am Main, 1966 ff.
  • The Complete Works of Rosa Luxemburg, 14 volumes, London and New York, 2011.
  • The Rosa Luxemburg Reader, edited by Peter Hudis and Kevin B. Anderson.

Writings