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German communist leaders honored 100 years after slayings

January 13, 2019
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Carnations lay on the grave of former German socialists' leader Rosa Luxemburg at a cemetery Berlin, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019. Prominent figures from the country's left have paid tribute to the founders of the German Communist Party and other socialistic heroes. With the event they are marking the 100th anniversary of the deaths of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, who were killed Jan. 15, 1919, by right-wing militiamen during a failed uprising. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — Left-wing German politicians and supporters have gathered at a Berlin cemetery to honor two communist leaders who were killed 100 years ago in the turbulent aftermath of World War I.

Leaders of the opposition Left Party laid wreaths honoring Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht at the capital’s Friedrichsfelde cemetery on Sunday. The party derives in part from East Germany’s ruling communists.

Many others laid red carnations at the site in the annual commemoration.

Those present included East Germany’s last hardline leader, Egon Krenz, under whom the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, and his successor Hans Modrow, the now-defunct state’s last communist leader.

Liebknecht and Luxemburg were killed on Jan. 15, 1919, by soldiers who arrested them shortly after a failed uprising.

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