Liebknecht was the only SPD member of the Reichstag who voted against war credits, and was branded a traitor for his principled stance.
Luxemburg eventually walked out of prison, shortly after Liebknecht, and at the end of the year their Spartacus League faction of the SPD was transformed into the Communist Party of Germany.
The memorial for which the base was intended was initiated in 1951 by East Berlin mayor Friedrich Ebert Jr., son of the first democratically elected president of the Weimar Republic, to commemorate the eightieth anniversary of Liebknecht's birth and to serve as a symbolic protest against the just-initiated rearmament of West Germany.
Having withstood a three-decade stint at the very fulcrum of the Cold War, Liebknecht's empty pedestal barely survived the redevelopment of Potsdamer Platz.
, she was sent to prison for treason in 1916.
The focus of the figures' grief is the body of Liebknecht
, rendered as a simplified horizontal form.
's and Rosa Luxemburg's short critiques of military build-up seem as relevant today as when they were written.
It revolves around documents produced by Lenin, but also includes a large number of documents illustrating the perspectives of other ideological strains within the international communist movement (documents expressing the views of Leon Trotsky, Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht
, and Grigory Zinoviev also appear, for example).
Treating testimony as a script, Ana Torfs, for her installation Anatomy, 2006, has re-created parts of the trial for the murders of Karl Liebknecht
and Rosa Luxemburg, the pacifist cofounders of the Spartacist League, who were abducted and killed by Freikorps militia on January 15, 1919, in Berlin.
Luxemburg and fellow radical Karl Liebknecht
publicly broke with the SPD after its vote in 1914 to support the kaiser's entry into World War I; her left-wing splinter group, the Spartacist League, would subsequently emerge to chastise even further the SPD for its nationalist, promilitary position.