(Droemer Knaur) • 2005 • 384 p.
: Steve Novak
Luxemburg-Komplott (The Luxembour Plot) takes place
at the time of the German revolution and counter revolution, a time
when somebody’s life didn’t count for much. Instead of
precipitating the demise of the 1918/19 revolution, Ditfurth helps
its triumph. But it is a Pyrrhic victory, onto which a sophisticated
criminal plot gets grafted.
The Workers and Soldiers Council votes in some members of the
KPD and the USP to the new government. Karl Liebknecht enters
to the People’s Commisars Council, Rosa Luxemburg is put in
charge of the economy. Sebastian Zacharias, the central character
of the novel, next to Rosa Luxemburg, is a social democrat who’s
taken as war prisoner in the young Soviet Republic, and becomes a
convinced communist. He works for the Tcheka and soon learns the
price paid for a victorious revolution. On orders of Lenin, Zacharias
goes back to Germany to watch over Rosa Luxemburg and check on the
political evolution of the revolution. Following a bombing directed
at Rosa Luxemburg in the Reich chancelry, he becomes her bodyguard
and the head of the inquiry commission formed to uncover the authors
of the attack. The siuation becomes tense. In the background, the
army is getting ready to intervene. Inside the KPD there is a fight
between two factions : one that has no confidence in the dynamics
of the revolution and wants to impose strict control, a precursor
of stalinism, and another one which, with Rosa Luxembourg, opts for
a social democratic regime.
is swept away in the maelstrom of revolutionary society: "In
one day, everything had collapsed around him. If he was arrested
one more time by the police, his life wouldn’t
be worth much. Now he was totally dependent on Jogiches and
Rosa. But they wouldn’t do anything more for him if they
discovered the mission he had been entrusted with by Lenin in Moscow.
other hand, if he didn’t fullil the assigned task, the
Russians could very well drop him or even accuse him of treason.
If they dropped
him, there were great chances that the police would arrest
him, especially if the spartakists dropped him too. He would
feel much better in
the devil’s kitchen.. And what had happened to Margarete
? And Sonja ? There was nothing in his life devoid of ambiguity" (p.
One find exceptional descriptions of the immediate after war
period, of the misery, the militarism, of a country out of
brings out known historical characters like Radek, Ernst
Reuter, Lenin or Wilhelm Pieck. Revolution and criminal plot
intertwined until in the second of the three novel parts,
when the plot wins and implacably destroys the revolutionary