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Splits overshadow German far-left commemoration

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Splits overshadow German far-left commemoration

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Thousands have gathered in Berlin for the traditional anniversary commemoration of the deaths of Rosa Luxembourg and Karl Liebknecht, the founders of the German Communist Party.

Prominent among those attending were Gregor Gysi and Lothar Byski of the far-left Die Linke party. They faced questions over recent splits it has suffered.

“All the problems in our society exist within our party,” said Gysi. “To say it is a question of East and West would be too easy a reply – it seems to be like that, but it is more profound. There are different factions. Everything plays a part.”

Die Linke has been hit recently by revelations of links between party members and the East German secret police, the Stasi.

Liebknecht and Luxembourg were assassinated in January 1919 in the aftermath of a failed attempt to provoke a Communist revolution.

In the Cold War era, the commemoration attracted tens of thousands of people.