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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Liebknecht, Karl

LIEBKNECHT, KARL, a German Socialist leader, born in Leipzig, in 1871. He was a son of William Liebknecht, the leader of the German Social Democratic Party. He was educated in the German universities and afterward studied law. He became prominent in the Socialist Party and was elected to the lower house of the Prussian Diet in 1908. Four years later he became a member of the Reichstag. At the outbreak of the war, and during its continuation, he opposed the war policy of Germany. Although he at once voted war credits, he soon refused to do so and was thrown into prison. He had previously suffered a term of imprisonment for the publication of an anti-militaristic pamphlet in 1907. In 1915 he was called to the colors and served in the Labor Battalion. Whenever opportunity afforded, he undertook to obstruct the course of business in the Reichstag. He was expelled from the Socialist Party in 1916 and was expelled from the Reichstag in the same year, following an attack on the Government's financial policy. A few weeks later he was seized on a charge of attempting high treason and was sentenced to four years penal servitude, expulsion from the army and loss of civil rights. After the end of the war he became the leader of the Spartacist group of agitators which opposed the new government. He was arrested and together with Rosa Luxemburg was being conveyed to Berlin in an automobile when both were shot and killed, Jan. 15, 1919.

Sources: “Liebknecht, Karl”, Collier's New Encyclopedia, V (New York: P.F. Collier & Son Company, 1921), pp. 477-8.