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Gustav Landauer Biographical Information

Born: April 7, 1870; Karlsruhe, Germany

Died: in 1919

  • April 7, 1870: Born in Karlsruhe, Germany to a Jewish family.
  • 1890s: Studied philosophy, German studies and art history in Heidleburg, Berlin and Strasbourg
  • 1892: Joins the Association of Independent Socialists, a publishing group. He writes for their paper
  • 1892: Marries the seamstress Margarethe Leuschner
  • 1893: The group splits, Landauer headed the anarchist wing
  • 1893: Arrested for acts of civil disobedience, jailed 9 months
  • 1895-1899: Publishes a new magazine titled "Socialist-Anarchist Monthly"
  • 1899: Moves to London. Meets and befriends Kropotkin
  • 1903: Returns to Berlin. Divorces first wife, remarries Hedwig Lachmann. They have two daughters
  • 1908: Founds the "Socialist Federation". It is a small organization
  • 1909-1915: Publishes the magazine "The Socialist" (Der Sozialist), it is the federation's mouthpiece
  • 1914: Resists war effort. Preaches pacificism
  • 1915: Censorship laws shut down magazine
  • 1918: Moves to Krumbach, southwestern German to escape wartime hardships
  • November 1918: His wife dies of Pneumonia
  • November 1918: Kurt Eisner invites Landauer to join the revolution in Bavaria
  • April 7, 1919: New Bavarian republic is declared Soviet, and will run by a system of councils. Landauer becomes Commissioner of Enlightenment and Public Instruction
  • April 16, 1919: Landauer resigns after Bavarian Republic is taken over by members of the KPD (German Communist Party)
  • May 1, 1919: Landauer arrested as the German Army reclaims Munich.
  • 1919: He dies "In a prison courtyard an officer stepped up and struck him across the face, the signal for a savage massacre. Set upon by the troops, Landauer was beaten with trutcheons and rifle butts, kicked, stomped and trampled upon. 'Kill me, then!' he exclaimed.'to think that you are human beings!" At that he was shot to death. His body was stripped and thrown into a wash house." (Anarchist Portraits, Avrich Paul)
  • 1933: The Nazis destroy his gravesite

Larry Gambone, "For Community: The Communitarian Anarchism Of Gustav Landauer"

James Horrox, Biography of Landauer


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