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Rosa Luxemburg

Rosi Wolfstein-Fröhlich

For nine years Rosi Wolfstein-Fröhlich and Rosa Luxemburg were collaborators in the battle for socialism, women’s rights, worker emancipation, anti-militarism and pacifism. Her life constituted a battle against war, racism and social injustice.

Poland: Women Leaders in the Jewish Underground During the Holocaust

The presence of so many young women in the Jewish Underground leadership and their unique role within this leadership are unusual phenomena, not only against the background of a pre-feminist era, but even in comparison with social and political organizations today.

Rosa Luxemburg

Rosa Luxemburg was one of the great Marxist theorists of the twentieth century; her radical conception of socialist democracy stands in opposition to both bolshevik authoritarianism and technocratic reformism. Born in the Polish city of Zamosc (75 km SE of Lublin), she grew up in an assimilated, middle class Jewish family. She learned German at home and, undoubtedly, a certain affinity for enlightenment ideals. Luxemburg would never join the famous Jewish socialist organization known as the Bund, and she was basically unconcerned with issues of identity. It was during her high school years that she met Leo Jogiches (1867–1919), who would play a central role in the history of continental socialism. They became youthful lovers, but even after the end of their romantic relationship, they would continue to work together. Her engagement with political issues began while she was still in high school as a member first of the Proletariat, the first socialist organization in Poland. Internationalist in orientation, concerned with building a mass base, it was decimated by the government following the strike wave of the 1880s. Luxemburg fled her homeland in 1887 and later enrolled in the University of Zurich, where she completed a dissertation on “The Industrial Development of Poland” (1898).

Higher Education in Central Europe

Many more Jewish men than Jewish women received a higher education in Central Europe before the Nazi era, but once Swiss, and later Austrian and German, universities began admitting women, the proportion of Jewish women among the female student population remained at least twice as high as the proportion of Jewish men among male students.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rosa Luxemburg." (Viewed on December 19, 2014) <http://jwa.org/taxonomy/term/10003>.

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