Friday, January 18, 2019

Today -100: January 18, 1919: Summary, if irregular, justice

The armistice is extended for another month.

Karl Liebknicht is reportedly shot dead while “attempting to escape.” And Rosa Luxemburg is reportedly beaten by a mob and shot dead by some rando and thrown in the canal. Both stories are, of course, bullshit (except for the canal part; it will be months before her body, um, surfaces): the two were tortured and then executed by the soldiers who held them, under orders from their commanding officer. Pre-meditated, in other words. The German press mostly blames her for her supposed mob lynching, for having aroused “the basest passions.” And so does the NYT, which calls their murders “a summary, if irregular, justice to the fomenters of robbery, murder, and anarchy.” It blames the thriving of the Spartacists on the hesitance of the Socialist government “to make the final test.” “These two leaders, the man violent but weak, the woman a termagant of the familiar revolutionary type, have perished miserably by the sword they drew.”

The press protest their exclusion from the peace negotiations, demanding the admittance of 5 journalists from each major country. The French newspapermen don’t join the protest, they’re not fussed. The Supreme War Council backs down and will allow in 3 reporters from each country, except when they don’t.

Another rumor of a counter-revolution breaking out in Petrograd. Lenin is evidently now in exile in... Barcelona.

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