August Bebel

August Bebel

August Ferdinand Bebel (February 22 1840 – August 13 1913) was a German social democrat and one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.


Bebel was born in Deutz, near Cologne; he founded the "Sächsische Volkspartei" ("Saxon People's Party") in 1867 together with Wilhelm Liebknecht, and the SDAP ("Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei", Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany) in 1869, which merged with the ADAV ("Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein", "General German Workers' Association") in 1875 to form the SAPD ("Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands", "Socialist Workers' Party of Germany"), which renamed itself SPD in 1890.

In 1872, Bebel was convicted in a political lawsuit, the so-called "Leipziger Hochverratsprozess", and sentenced to two years in "Festungshaft" ("imprisonment in a fortress", a variant of a jail sentence that was not considered dishonouring), which he spent at the famous Königstein Fortress. Later in his life, he acted as chairman of the SPD and member of the Reichstag. Bebel's book, "Women and Socialism" was translated into English by Daniel DeLeon of the Socialist Labor Party of America as "Woman under Socialism". [August Bebel: [ "Women and Socialism"] , Translation by Meta L. Stern (Hebe), Socialist Literature Co., New York 1910.] It figured prominently in the Connolly-DeLeon controversy after James Connolly, then a member of the SLP, denounced it as "a lewd book" subversive of traditional values. [James Connolly & Daniel DeLeon: [ "The Connolly-DeLeon controversy"] . Cork Workers' Club, Cork 1976.]

After living in Berlin-Schöneberg for many years, where a commemorative plaque commemorates him at Hauptstraße 97; he died on August 13 1913 during a visit to a sanatorium in Switzerland and was buried in Zürich.

His basic laws of a socialist society are
#Enlistment of all able-bodied people, irrespective of sex, to work [August Bebel: [ "Society of the Future"] , Progress Publishers, Moscow 1971, Chap. 1.]
#Abolition of Private Ownership of Land [ [ "Ibid."] , Chap. 2.]
#Withering Away of the State [ [ "Ibid."] , Chap. 3.]


*"The masses demand that something be done … today."
*"Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools."
*"... the Imperial Chancellor can rest assured that German Social Democracy is a sort of preparatory school for militarism", said to Bismarck in 1892.Fact|date=June 2008
*"Christianity is the enemy of liberty and civilization."


External links

* [ Biography of August Bebel] , retrieved on May 31st 2007.
* [ August Bebel Archive] at
*gutenberg author | id=August_Bebel | name=August Bebel

NAME= Bebel, August
SHORT DESCRIPTION=German social democrat politician
DATE OF BIRTH=February 22 1840
PLACE OF BIRTH=Deutz, Germany
DATE OF DEATH=August 13 1913
PLACE OF DEATH=Switzerland

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