Toward the end of 1914, a group of left-wing socialists, led by Karl Liebknecht, in Germany established an underground political organization that came to be known as the Spartacus League or Spartakusbund. Liebknecht was the son of the founder of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), and most members of the Spartacus League originated from the left-wing of SPD. Other notable leading members included Franz Mehring, Clara Zetkin, Rosa Luxemburg, and Leo Jogiches.
The Spartacus League was born out the betrayal by the SPD to support Germany’s involvement in World War I; they saw World War I as an imperialist war. Inspired by the Bolsheviks in Russia, members of the Spartacus Leagues turned the nationalist conflict into a real revolutionary war. Luxemburg and Liebknecht emerged as leaders of the Spartacus League; they maintained the revolutionary methods in opposition to the leadership of the SPD.
At first the Spartacus League were using underground methods to push for the revolution, but in about May of 1916, they decided to come out and started, openly, organizing demonstration against the war in Berlin. Several leaders of the Spartacus League including Luxemburg and Liebknecht were eventually arrested and imprisoned from 1916 to 1918 because of their involvement in helping organized demonstrations against German involvement in the First World War. Their release came as a result of the amnesty given to all political prisoners by Max Von Baden in 1918.
Early in 1919, things went from bad to worse in German history. During this period, members of the Spartacus League organized, in Berlin, what became to be popularly known as the “Spartakist Rising”. Unfortunately, the governing party (SPD) led by the new chancellor (Friedrich Ebert) called in the German Army for reinforcement. The Army’s involvement was a blow to the revolutionary war; the army crushed the rebellion, and several members of the Spartacus League were arrested, and eventually executed. Among those who were put to death included Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, and Leo Jogiches; these leaders and several hundreds of their followers were executed without giving them a trial. This I believe was the beginning of the darkest days that followed the German people, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the evil empire.