Götze, Anna, 1875-1958

Anna Gotze

A short biography of anarchist and German revolutionary Anna Götze.

Submitted by Battlescarred on November 26, 2007

Anna Götze was born on April 6th 1875. She was a member of the Social Democratic Party from 1897 up to 1917 and with the end of the war and the Revolution was one of the founders of the Spartakusbund. At the beginning of the 1920s she moved to a clear anarchist position and joined the FAUD. She worked as a folder in the printing industry.

She had three children born out of wedlock. Her son Ferdinand Götze, known as Nante, and her daughter Irma were also active in the FAUD, whilst her other son Waldemar was a militant in the KPD (the official German Communist Party). This led to blazing rows in the family, although Waldemar was later ready to cooperate with the rest of the family in underground work.

Anna had an emancipated approach to sexuality. The anarchist Karl Brauner was to testify how impressed he was by the way Anna was able to talk about sexual matters to her daughter.

After the rise of Hitler Anna was active in the underground FAUD networks. Her apartment in Leipzig was one of the centres of these networks.

She was arrested for the first time in 1935 and then again on October 1, 1937. She was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment on April 12th 1938, which she served in Waldheim jail. She was then imprisoned in the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where her daughter Irma was also held. They both managed to escape from there when the Nazis began the death march of prisoners from there in April 1945.

Her son Waldemar managed to escape to the Soviet Union, and he was most likely murdered there by the Stalinists.

After the war Anna and indeed her daughter Irma joined the SED (East German communist party) as did many other surviving Leipzig FAUD members like Karl Brauner, Richard Theide and Paul Helberg.

She died on 18th July1958.



6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on May 9, 2017

Somehow only discover round to reading this, a fantastic bio, thanks!


6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by altemark on May 13, 2017

An interesting connection is that Anna Götze's grandchild, Annemarie Götze ended up marrying Stig Dagerman, probably the most well-known of Swedish anarcho-syndicalist proletarian writers.

Her mother was one of Anna Götze's three children; there was Ferdinand and Irma, both anarchists, and the younger brother Waldemar, who ended up joining the communists. Ferdinand first met his future wife Elly in the German libertarian youth movement. When their daughter Annemarie was born in 1924, the whole family was living in Anna's home, and even though political disagreements often led to hot discussions, the imminent threat of the nazi rise to power kept the family together.

After Hitler came to power the family successively escaped to Spain - in 1934 Elly Götze installed herself in Barcelona, leaving Annemarie at her grandparents until she joined her in 1935. In Barcelona the family became active in the DAS - the Deutsche Anarcho-Syndikalisten im Ausland - and when interviewed in 2012 Annemarie still remembered how she witnessed the funeral of Durruti together with among others Emma Goldman.

As Barcelona fell, the family managed to flee, first ending up in Norway, but when Wehrmacht invaded in 1940, they scrambled for the Swedish border. After the bus they were on had been fired upon by nazis, only young Annemarie managed to cross the border. She managed to establish contact with the SAC, and thanks to the union she eventually ended up getting her parents released from the state-run internment camps for refugees they were put in after finally getting across the border.

As mentioned in the article above, the rest of the family had been interned in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Ferdinand, Elly and Annemarie remained in Sweden, where they became very active in the syndicalist movement. I guess I should just do a more thorough write-up on this, though.

There is a lot of great information in the interview by Herranz and Lindblom, previously published in Arbetaren in may 2012 - http://anarkism.nu/pa-liv-och-dod-i-katalonien/


6 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on May 10, 2017

Hi, that's fascinating info! And yes if you could do a write-up as an additional biography or two for our site that would be fantastic!


6 years 1 month ago

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Submitted by Battlescarred on May 10, 2017

I'd already detailed some of that in bio of Ferdinand Gotze I put up in 2007


5 years 1 month ago

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Submitted by Battlescarred on April 29, 2018

I've added precise date of birth and death and fact that she and IIma joined the SED (East German Communist Party) after the war