Karl Kautskys literarisches Werk - Werner Blumenberg

Karl Kautsky

Bibliography of Kautsky, 158 pp., The Hague, 1960.

Submitted by Noa Rodman on February 6, 2017

(thanks go to D.G.)

Karl Kautsky papers online:

The papers contain the manuscript of his autobiography, which was edited and published after his death by his son Benedikt with the help of Sam de Wolff: Erinnerungen und Erörterungen (1960). His underground years in Austria are recounted onward from p.135, and in Germany onward from p.152. Kautsky details (p. 189) his (ultimately thwarted) plan for a dissertation. After stumbling on a copy of Memoir, correspondence, and miscellanies from the papers of Thomas Jefferson he chose as topic 'Jefferson as American ambassador in Paris', allowing him to write both on the American and French revolutions. At university in 1876 Kautsky heard North American history from Max Büdinger (who would hopefully accept to become Kautsky's doctoral advisor). On French revolution Kautsky heard August Fournier. Other material Kautsky could find in Vienna was a translation of Jared Sparks' Life and writings of George Washington. He also got the French translation, which contains a 100 page intro by Guizot. He further got George Bancroft's 10 volume History of the United States (German translation), Washington Irving's The life of George Washington, and Talvj (Therese Robinson)'s Geschichte der Kolonisation von Neu-England.

The papers contain correspondence, from which a lot could be learned for a true biography of Kautsky and his politics (it's just that the handwriting is difficult to decipher). His mother, Minna Kautsky, died in 1912.

Kautsky wrote that he had a child with Milica Ninkovic (1854-1881), but it died shortly after birth in Paris (while he was visiting Marx in London) and Milica also died thereafter (she had some disease). Only Bernstein and Bebel knew about it. He wrote this painful (and potentially infamous) episode down for posterity, after Živko Topalović asked him if he could recall anything about this Serbian socialist Milica Ninkovich from his time in Zürich. For example Kautsky's article 'Tschernyschewski und Malthus' is said to be inspired by conversations with her.

A lot of Kautsky's works still remain unpublished. Volume 2 of Krieg und Demokratie (Nationalkriege 1850-1880) was not published due the Nazi take-over (already typewritten, the manuscripts are a massive 1600 pages). It's a sweeping overview of nineteenth century history. An OCR'd file of most of it can be found here. Volume 1 of Krieg und Demokratie had appeared in 1932 (470 pp., attitudes to war, from Hussites to 1848). The final (third, but originally there were 4 planned, just 2 published) volume in the series is Sozialisten und Krieg (1937, 702 pp.), documenting the whole socialist response to WW1, his own attitude in the first days (p. 544 in the online typewritten manuscript), the position of parties in each country, Zimmerwald, Kiental, communists, Stockholm, Brest-Litovsk, etc..