Berlin Corpse May Be Slain Leftist Hero

Doc thinks body in Berlin hospital cellar is 'Red Rosa' Luxemburg
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2009 2:55 PM CDT
File picture shows carnations laying on the grave of former German socialist leader Rosa Luxemburg at a cemetery in Berlin.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – For nearly a century, left-wingers have mourned at the tomb of Rosa Luxemburg, a murdered academic who fought to make Germany communist. But one pathologist insists Luxemburg’s body isn’t there, rather abandoned in a hospital cellar, Der Spiegel reports. The corpse Michael Tsokos found had no head, feet, or hands, and legs of different lengths—attributes Luxemburg bore.

After World War I, right-wing militants shot Luxemburg, who co-founded the Social Democratic Party. She was supposedly buried in Berlin, but Tsokos says her autopsy report doesn’t fit the circumstances of her death. Searching the grave won’t help because anti-communist Nazis raided it in 1935. Tsokos is now looking for other possible DNA samples, particularly from Luxemburg’s missing, mentally handicapped niece.