What Rosa Luxemburg was reading in 1917

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Sat May 13 10:58:53 MDT 2000

Rosa Luxemburg in a letter to a friend on May 2, 1917:

What am I reading? For the most part, natural science: geography of plants
and animals. Only yesterday I read why the warblers are disappearing from
Germany. Increasingly systematic forestry, gardening and agriculture are,
step by step destroying all natural nesting and breeding places: hollow
trees, fallow land, thickets of shrubs, withered leaves on the garden
grounds. It pained me so when I read that. Not because of the song they
sing for people, but rather it was the picture of the silent, irresistible
extinction of these defenseless little creatures which hurt me to the point
that I had to cry. It reminded me of a Russian book which I read while
still in Zurich, a book by Professor Sieber about the ravage of the
redskins in North America. In exactly the same way, step by step, they have
been pushed from their land by civilized men and abandoned to perish
silently and cruelly.

 —The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, Stephen Bonner ed. (Atlantic Highlands New
Jersey: Humanities Press, 1993) pp. 202-03.

Louis Proyect
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