Austria, 1866. Mass Workers Assemblies. Andreas Scheu

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T La Palli
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Feb 13 2012 13:21
Austria, 1866. Mass Workers Assemblies. Andreas Scheu

I have been trying to find out more about Andreas Scheu who was active in the Edinburgh branch of the Scottish Land and Labour league, and Socialist League. He played a prominent role in early socialist politics in Scotland and was a leading figure in the Socialist League. Somebody translated part of his autobiography from German which was useful. There are a fair few other resources in English about his involvement in England and Scotland, including his association with Johanne Most. I am trying to find out more about his involvement in Austria. And general background to the politics of this time and place.

Scheu was born in an industrial suburb of Vienna. After the 1866 war between Austria and Germany, the mass General Assemblies of workers greatly impressed on Scheu. Does any body know where I can find out more about these assemblies?

It made him realise that this form of democary as an alternative to representative democary and a vital principle of worker self-organisation. Scheu trained first as a Goldsmith's apprentice. During this time he began to read Lasalle, Marx and Albert Langes. When he comepleted his training, he lived in Prague, before returning to Austria, where he joined the Workers Self-Education League. By 1868 he was a speaker for the League, which would later become a radical within the Social Democratic Workers' Party. The following year, he became involved in the International Workers' Association. He then took part in the Eisancher Programme and also became the Editor of Volkwille (People's Will). In 1870, he was arrested and charged with 5 years imprisonment, along with 14 other leaders of the movement, including Johanne Most, and Heinrich Oberwinder. This was for their part in a 20,000 strong demonstration which led to the League being banned, but the legal recognition of Trade Union. Scheu received an amnesty after 1 year. But in 1874, he was arrested again. He was released the same year, which was he left for England.

This is from his autobiography. What I am looking for is futher information on Scheu or at least these organisations and trials.

Thanks for you help.

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Entdinglichung
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Feb 13 2012 14:34

I'll have a look if I can find something

T La Palli
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Feb 13 2012 15:10

Thanks

T La Palli
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Feb 24 2012 12:26

Cany andybody else suggest any broader readings on working-class socialist politics of this period in Austria?

T La Palli
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Jul 23 2012 12:09

Entdinglichung, did you ever come across anything?

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Entdinglichung
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Jul 23 2012 13:26

no, haven't found anything

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Entdinglichung
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Sep 4 2012 10:37

the Austrian National Library has scanned all 16 issues of the anarchist journal Die Arbeit (1885/1886) which was produced by Johann Rismann:

http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno?aid=dar&datum=1885&zoom=33 & http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/anno?aid=dar&datum=1886&zoom=33

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bambule
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May 31 2017 17:11

The assemblies might have been the emerging workers' educational associations (Arbeiterbildungsvereine) (Günther Sander, Sozialdemokratie in Österreich, online). After austria lost the war with prussia they were forced to make liberal concessions to the middle classes, including a more liberal right of assembly and association. This gave the right to form non-political organisations - some political organisation were allowed by 1870 (Koalitionsgesetz). This was used by workers to form Arbeiterbildungsvereine. They were kind of the beginning of the organised austrian workers movement (Das Rote Wien, Arbeiterbildungsvereine, online). The most active one in austria was the Arbeiterbildungsverein Gumpendorf in Mariahilf (Vienna). Andreas Scheu was an important member of the association. I couldn't find any detailed information on it online - whether they were also some kind of community council of working class people. There is a book in German by Wilhelm Ellenbogen (Geschichte des Arbeiter-Bildungsvereines in Gumpendorf, 1892, 32 pages). Many people came to its founding meeting on 8 December 1867 and it had to be postponed to the 15th to the Schwender Kolloseum. Around 3,000 people turned up (Das Rote Wien, Schwenders Kolosseum, online).
There was a split in the austrian labour movement in 1872 (Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon, Andreas Scheu, online) between a radical camp which supported self-reliance (like credit and consumption cooperatives promoted by Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch), was against any compromise with liberal parties, for a proletarian class party and internationalist (oriented towards the first international (IWA)); and a "moderate" camp which stressed the help of the state (promoted by Lasalle), compromise and cooperation with liberal parties and a 'Greater German solution' (german national state including austrian germans). Whereas the former camp was represented by Andreas Scheu and the newspaper Die Gleichheit (english: equality, founded in Vienna 1869, not the feminist paper lead by Clara Zetkin), the later was represented by Heinrich Oberwinder and the society Volkswille (Günther Sander, Sozialdemokratie in Österreich, online; august krcal, zur geschichte der artbeiter-bewegung oesterreichs, online (anarchistische bibliothek)). The radical wing prevailed after Oberwinder's activities with liberal parties got public and he went to Germany to later join an anti-Semitic, nationalist christian party (Christian Social Party).
1923 Scheu published an autobiography in 3 volumes (Umsturzkeime - Erlebnisse eines Kämpfers: 1.Teil: Kinder-, Lehr- und Wanderjahre; 2.Teil: Werdegang; 3.Teil: Auf freiem Boden; english: Seeds of Subversion – experiences of a fighter: Part 1: years of childhood, apprentice and travel; Part 2: personal career; Part 3: on free ground). Besides the international institute of social history in amsterdam, the society for the history of the labour movement might also have some of his literary remains (Verzeichnis der künstlerischen, wissenschaftlichen und kulturpolitischen Nachlässe in Österreich, online).

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bambule
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May 31 2017 17:20

Scheu published articles on his experience in Britain in 11 parts in the SPD newspaper Die Neue Zeit. Although they were published between 1893-95 they seem to be written in 1875. They are all accessible online (http://library.fes.de/cgi-bin/populo/nz.pl).

maar
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Jun 16 2017 10:31

Wow! How did you find these?