A short biography of German anarcho-syndicalist, Ferdinand Götze, who was also active in Sweden and Spain.
Ferdinand Götze was born in Leipzig on March 28th, 1907, the son of the FAUD stalwart Anna Götze.
He worked as a pattern maker and joined the Socialist Workers Youth and the FAUD in 1921. He soon became an important activist in the FAUD in Saxony. His wife, Elly Büchner, and their daughter, Annemarie, (born in 1924) were also involved in the FAUD.
He was interned in a concentration camp in May 1933. After this he became an important animator of the underground FAUD networks, with other members of his family. He perfected the networks and linked them up in the main industrial centres. He established contact with FAUD members in exile.
He and his associates published the periodical Die Soziale Revolution (The Social Revolution), which had the biggest distribution of all the illegal FAUD publications. Things became too hot for him and at the end of 1934 he fled via Czechoslovakia, Italy and France to Spain, where he lived under a false name. His wife and daughter joined him there.
He was one of the main activists within the DAS (German Anarcho-syndicalists) in Barcelona along with Rudolf Michaelis and Helmut Rüdiger which organised militia groups during the social revolution.
After the May Days of 1937 he was hunted feverishly by the Soviet secret police. He had to go into hiding and leave Spain at the beginning of 1938. He failed to obtain a residence permit in Paris, and he and the family moved on to Oslo, Norway in the summer of 1938. He was granted the status of political refugee by the Swedish authorities and received financial support.
Things weren’t that good for them as they had to live in a small hut outside Oslo, sleeping on straw. After the German invasion of Norway, he was forced to flee again, with Elly and Annemarie. In the course of the flight, Annemarie got separated from her parents and she was not to be re-united with them for six months. Ferdinand was interned in neutral Sweden until he receives a restricted residence permit in August 1940, and he survived the war there.
The Götzes remained in Sweden for the rest of their lives and were active within the Swedish anarcho-syndicalist movement.
Ferdinand’s daughter Annemarie married the great writer Stig Dagerman, whom she had met through the Swedish anarchosyndicalist movement, when they both worked on the syndicalist union SAC's daily paper Arbetaren.
Ferdinand Götze died on February 22nd 1985.