by Rosa Leviné-Meyer
“You are striving for the happiness of the whole of mankind – this is very dangerous”. These words of official rebuke were delivered to Eugene Leviné, a socialist revolutionary and a leader of the German Communist movement. They eloquently express the ever-present goal of a man who, alongside figures like Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, was at the forefront of the biggest wave of class struggle ever to hit Europe.
Born in Russia to wealthy aristocrats, Leviné rejected his heritage to join radical leftist forces first in Russia then in Germany, becoming renown for his organisational understanding and inspiring oratory. Initially sent to calm the region's ultra-leftist tendencies, through circumstance Leviné found himself at the head of the ill-fated Second Bavarian Soviet Republic. Though initially successful, the movement was crushed by proto-fascist forces organised by the treacherous German Social-Democratic Party, and Leviné was quickly tried and sentenced to death for his role in the upsurge. Staring down the barrel of the firing squad, Leviné’s final words: “Long Live the World Revolution”