A short biography of Paul Schreyer, German anarchist who opposed the First World War
"We Anarchists have always prepared the working classes for the fact that whenever the danger of war will come next Social Democracy will show no friendship for peace: nay, that when war will break out it will go so far as to support it, and will, therefore, find itself on the side of the oppressors against the workers of other countries". Paul Schreyer, Social Democracy and War.
Paul Schreyer was born on 21st September 1887 in Zahna, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. A member of the Hamburg Anarchist Federation, he was editor of its weekly paper Kampf (1912-1914). He was one of the most active members of the Federation alongside Karl Roche and Ernst Schneider (Ikarus). He worked as a cooper.
He emigrated at the outbreak of the War to Switzerland to escape his conscription as a soldier. Writing in the British anarchist paper Freedom he stated that the Hamburg anarchists had held their last public meeting, on Juky 31st, attended by 2,000 people. On August 2nd he escaped to Basle as on the 6th of the month he was due to be drafted into the Army. In December 1914 his pamphlet Die Sozialdemokratie und der Krieg (Social democracy and War) attacking the complicity of the Social Democrats with the war, was published in Copenhagen by Solidaritet and distributed in Germany. The German government began to put pressure on the Swiss government. which finally delivered him unlawfully to the Germans . He was thrown into jail for desertion, being sentenced in 1916 to 41 years for as a reservist, illegally removing himself !. The appalling prison conditions ruined his health ; he died at the end of the First World War, some time after 26th April 1918 in the Spandau prison fortress.
Information from www.syndikalismusforschung.info/Vaterland-Streik.pdf byFolkert Morhof
Some additions and
Some additions and corrections to the biography of Paul Schreyer.
Most of the following information is drawn from the Hamburg anarchist paper "Kampf".
Paul Schreyer in the paper "Kampf" also used as aka "P. S." and "S."; possibly also "P."
His brochure (not a simple leaflet!) "Die Sozialdemokratie und der Krieg" (Social democracy and War) was reviewed by Karl Radek in the paper "Arbeiterpolitik" (Worker's Politics), edited in Bremen by Johann Knief (one of the main papers of the radical left in Germany during WW I); the review - under the title "Der Anarchismus und die Internationale" (Anarchism and the International) - was published in Vol. I/ 1916, No. 4 & 5, and republished in Radek's "Gesammelte Aufsätze und Abhandlungen, Band 1. In den Reihen der Deutschen Revolution 1909-1919. Einleitung Paul Frölich, München 1921, Kurt Wolff Verlag", p. 339-346 (Collected Essays and Papers, Vol. 1: Within the Ranks of the German Revolution. Introduction by Paul Froelich, Munich 1921).
Paul Schreyer officially was editor of the paper "Kampf" for No. 11/ Vol. I, May 1913 – No. 14/Vol. II, August 1913; No. 16/Vol. II, Oktober 1913 – No. 20/Vol. II, Februar 1914. He also was printer for No. 2/ Vol.. I, August 1912 - No. 14/Vol.. II, August 1913; No. 16/Vol. II, Oktober 1913.
His private adress is identical with the adress of "Kampf" & the "Anarchistische Föderation Hamburg" (Anarchist Federation of Hamburg);
A complete list of the editors & printers of "Kampf" (not translated!) is:
a. Verantwortliche Redakteure & Verleger
Albert Fricke (Verleger, ab 1/1912: Verantwortlich für Redaktion und Verlag): »Verlag Albert Fricke, Hamburg 6, Sternstraße 39, H. 18 p. l.« (Mai-Zeitung 1912; No. 1/Jg. I, Juli 1912 - No. 10/Jg. I, April 1913)
Paul Schreyer: »Verantwortlich für Redaktion und Verlag P. Schreyer, Hamburg-St. Pauli, Sternstraße 39, H. 18, pt. l. (No. 11/ Jg. I, Mai 1913 – No. 14/Jg. II, August 1913; No. 16/Jg. II, Oktober 1913 – No. 20/Jg. II, Februar 1914)
Ernst Schneider: »Verantwortlich für Redaktion und Verlag« (No. 15/ Jg. II, September 1913)
H. Noll: »Verantwortlich für Redaktion und Verlag« (No. 21/Jg. II, März 1914 – No. 22-23/Jg. II, April-Mai 1914 [Doppelnummer])
W. Krauß: »Verantwortlich für Redaktion und Verlag« (No. 24/Jg. II, Juni 1914)
R. Fick : (Mai-Zeitung 1912; No. 1/Jg. I, Juni 1912)
Paul Schreyer: (No. 2/ Jg. I, August 1912 - No. 14/Jg. II, August 1913; No. 16/Jg. II, Oktober 1913)
Fr. Janssen: (No. 15/ Jg. II, September 1913; No. 17/Jg. II, November 1913 - No. 24/Jg. II, Juni 1914)
The "Archiv Karl Roche",
The "Archiv Karl Roche", Hamburg, Germany, has started to republish a digital (PDF) Version of the anarchist & syndicalist monthly paper "Kampf!" (s.above).
The paper was published between Mai 1912 & June 1914. Its 'soul' was Paul Schreyer. André Tridon (The New Unionism, New York 1913 (B. W. Huebsch) 198 pp - http://ia311018.us.archive.org/2/items/newunionism00tridiala/newunionism00tridiala_bw.pdf) wrote: »The localists publish three papers, Die Einigkeit [The Unity], a propaganda publication, Der Pionier [The Pioneer], which is the official organ of the Freie Vereinigung, and Der Kampf [Struggle or Fight] issued quite recently in Hamburg.« (p. 161). This is not completely correct, as 'Kampf!' was no official paper of the "Freie Vereinigung deutscher Gewerkschaften" (Free Association of German Trade-Unions], although its sub-title - "Unabhängiges Organ für Anarchismus und Syndikalismus" [independent organ for anarchism and syndicalism] - indicates the direction the paper preferred (which can also clearly be seen in its content).
'Kampf!' obviously had an important impact on the struggles of the harbour-workers and sailors in Hamburg, esp. on the dockers strike 1913 and the the strike aboard the 'Imperator'-class ocean-liner "Vaterland" (see Folkert Mohrhof, Der syndikalistische Streik auf dem Ozean-Dampfer 'Vaterland' 1914, Hamburg 2008 (Archiv Karl Roche) (www.syndikalismusforschung.info/Vaterland-Streik.pdf).
By now, the first seven issues (Vol. 1912) have been published, together with the complete content of all issues & an appendix, including all authors (pseudonymous & clear name, as far as identified), printers and (official) editors. The idea is, to republish from now on at least one issue monthly.
This paper is an important source not only for scholars, but also for all, who are interested in the history of the working classes, esp. in Northern Germany. Alas, you have to be able to understand German. But some do.
Here is the source:
And now for something completely different:
A good 2010 to us all. The Beat goes on.
thanks for the article and
thanks for the article and the informative comments!
To update the information:
To update the information: The Hamburg (Germany) syndicalist-anarchist monthly paper Kampf is now completely available online as PDF under the above link - except for the very first issue, May 1912, then printed on red paper (which aged to purple), so it was impossible to make a readable digital copy from the photocopy at the "Archiv Karl Roche". :(
Added a little more info
Added a little more info about Schreyer.
A much expanded version of
A much expanded version of the above biography at: