- Wilhelm Weitling
Wilhelm Weitling (
October 5, 1808– January 24 1871) [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9406EFD9133EEE34BC4F51DFB766838A669FDE Obituary in New York Times, January 27, 1871, Wednesday] ] was important early German anarchist, communist or socialist. Part of the utopian socialismmovement, he was respected by Marx, who broke with him in 1846. Considered the founder of German communism by Friedrich Engels. [ [http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/10/23.htm Frederick Engels: Progress of Social Reform On the Continent, II Germany and Switzerland, The New Moral World No. 21, November 18, 1843] ]
He was born in
Magdeburg, Prussia. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9406EFD9133EEE34BC4F51DFB766838A669FDE Obituary in New York Times, January 27, 1871, Wednesday] ] As a travelling sartorialjourneyman/ apprenticehe came to Parisin 1838, during the July Monarchy, and later to Switzerland. Working twelve-hour days as a tailor, he still found time to read Strauss and Lamennais. After joining the League of the Just in 1837, Weitling joined Parisian workers in protests and street battles in 1839.
In the book "Gospel of Poor Sinners" he traced communism back to early Christianity. [ [http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/communist-league/1885hist.htm Frederick Engels: On The History of the Communist League, Nov 12-26, 1885 in Sozialdemokrat] ] [ [http://www.marxists.org/archive/labriola/works/al05.htm Antonio Labriola, Socialism and Philosophy, VII, Rome, June 16, 1897.] ] His book "Guarantees of Harmony and Freedom" was praised by
Bruno Bauer, Ludwig Feuerbachand Mikhail Bakunin, the latter of whom Weitling was to meet in Zürichin 1843. [Leier, 106.] Karl Marxwas greatly impressed by what he called the "unbounded brilliance of the literary debut of the German worker." [Marx, cited in Nicolaievsky and Maenchen-Helfer, 83.]
During his stay in Zürich, he was arrested for
revolutionaryagitation, and extraditedto the Kingdom of Prussia. From there he got the chance in 1846 to immigrateto United States(as one of the " Forty-Eighters").
He published several revolutionary works:
* "Die Menschheit. Wie Sie ist und wie sie sein sollte", (1838/39) [http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/referenz/weitling/1838/mensch/index.htm German text online]
* "The Poor Sinner's Gospel", ("Das Evangelium eines armen Sünders." 1845)
* "Ein Nothruf an die Männer der Arbeit und der Sorge, Brief an die Landsleute", (1847)
* "Guarantees of Harmony and Freedom", ("Garantien der Harmonie und Freiheit"), (1849) [http://books.google.com/books?id=BHVDAAAAIAAJ German text online]
Mark Leier. "Bakunin: The Creative Passion". New York: St. Martin's Press, 2006.
Boris Nicolaievsky and Otto Maenchen-Helfer. "Karl Marx: Man and Fighter". Harmondsworth: Pelican Books, 1983.
Wolf Schäfer. "Die unvertraute Moderne. Historische Umrisse einer anderen Natur und Sozialgeschichte", Frankfurt, 1985, ISBN 3-596-27356-0
League of the Just
* [http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/referenz/weitling Wilhelm Weitling at Marxist Internet Archive]
* [http://www.marxists.org/deutsch/referenz/weitling/1838/mensch/index.htm Die Menschheit online at Marxist Internet Archive]
* [http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/w/weitling.shtml Wilhelm Weitling at the German page Bautz]
* [http://www.leksikon.org/art.php?n=2756 Danish reference]
* [http://www.litlinks.it/w/weitling_w.htm Wilhelm Weitling at Italian Literature links]
* [http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/Quad/6460/bio/W/eitling.html American Page]
* [http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/spe/rbk/faids/weitling.pdf Guide to the Wilhelm Weitling papers held at the New York Public Library]
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