Short History of Anarchist Participation in the Esperanto Movement

A short history of Anarchist participation in the Esperantist Labour movement.

Submitted by Reddebrek on August 7, 2021

20th July 2003

Anarchists were among the forerunners of the Esperantist workingmen movement. In Stockholm, in 1905, and Paris in 1906, the first Esperantist groups were formed. The Paco-Libereco Group (Peace and Liberty Group) realized a great work of publishing. In Shanghai, Pa Chin (Ba jin)studied Esperanto. In a dictionary of Chinese and foreign writers, published in 1934, he was classified as an Esperantist intellectual.

Slowly but surely, Esperanto was introduced in revolutionary and workingmen circles. Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists (who were the most numerous members of the Esperantist proletarian movement before World War I) gathered in the international association "Paco Libereco" which edited the parper Internacia Socio Revuo (Social and International Review - 1906). In 1914, in Paris, the Tenth Universal Congress appeared as an opportunity for revolutionary Esperantists who wished to create an organization in the fringe of the peace movement. But as war broke out, the Congress was cancelled.

It was only in 1921 in Prague that the first Congress of Esperantist Workingmen took place and witnessed the creation of SAT (Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda - Anational and Worldwide Association). SAT was not a political party but a cultural and educational organization. Its gaol was to facilitate the creation of rational minds able to compare, understand and judge different ideas, themes and tendencies. Members were to obtain the most information possible in order to choose the most honest and realiable ways of emancipating their own class.

The principle of blind neutrality was given up and the idea of Esperanto as an aid in fighting for the emancipation of the working class emerged. Three objectives were mentioned :

The practice of Esperanto to help the international world working-class ;

The facilitation of relations between SAT members and the development of human solidarity ;

Information and education of the members with the aim of transforming them into the most able and accomplished fellows among the Anationalists.

SAT was created at a time when many workingmen from all tendencies were still looking towards the Russian revolution as a first step in the triumph of the socialist idea. But as the myth of Revolution was vanishing, the revolutionary Esperantists that had been influenced by the Russian events began to feel disappointed. Moreover, Communists were more and more demanding and tried to convert SAT in an organization dedicated exclusively to Moscow. For ten years, there was a fight between communists and their opponents, who wanted SAT to remain a cultural and educational organization, in favour of the working-class, politically independent, as had been decided in Prague. Finally, at the 11th Congress, held in Amsterdam in 1931, the majority refused the communist domination, and the followers of Moscow left the association to create a separate, communist organization.

Two Russians and a Frenchman created the nucleus of TLES (Tutmonda Ligo de Esperantista Senŝtatano - Worldwide League of Esperantist Anarchists) which in a few months had members from fifteen different countries. But the context in Russia was one of Bolshevik repression of anarchist voices. After the disappearance of his two Russian friends, the Frenchman, Julien Migny, with the help of his friend Juliette, took the responsibility of the TLES administration. Belgium, China and Japan also joined this new esperantist organization.

In 1923, the Russian anarchists A. Levandowsky and J. Zilberfarb founded ISAB (Internacilingua Scienca Anarkiusm Biblioteka - The Anarchist Scientific Library in International Language). They called the other anarchist Esperantists all around the world, hoping to create a worldwide organisation.

In August 1925, TLES began to publish in Berlin its monthly review Libero Laboristo (The Free Workingman) and in 1933 edited a newsletter for use by IWA, the anarcho-syndicalist international movement in collaboration with the U.S.A. But they would soon face repression, both in Germany and the United States.

During the war years in Spain, there was a systematic persecution of Esperantist activities in the zone occupied by General Franco. In Malaga, on February 1937, the Esperantist group was shot "for the unique reason they were Esperantists". Ironically, the man responsible for such a crime became honorary president of an Esperantist Congresss 31 years later.

Germany, the Soviet Union and Spain thus repressed the libertarian Esperantist movement and, finally, the TLES ceased to exist.

After World War II, the Esperantist Anarchists came into contact again with the TLES. In 1946, in Paris, "Senŝtatano" appeared first as a section from the Committee of the International Young Anarchists. They also spoke in the name of the Anarchist Esperantist Movement, continuing the work begun by the TLES. in the meantime, the libertarian Esperantist Esperantist group in Paris workind in close collaboration with the Commission of International Anarchist Relations, translating newsletters. They also delt with relations in Esperanto with comrades of other countries.

Finally, in 1969, the Anarchist section of SAT took a new start in publishing the monthly paper "Libericana ligilo" with the gaol of spreading the anarchist ideal in the Esperantist circles as well as spreading Esperanto in anarchist sections, one of the best places for Esperanto to develop. en/...


Libera Laboristo. Oficiala organo de Tutmonda Ligo de Esperantistaj Senstatanoj (TLES).

Organismes : Tutmondo Ligo du Esperantistaj Senstatenoj - TLES (fédération mondiale des espérantistes anarchistes) ; FAUD(AS), Berlin (Allemagne).

Editorial board : Arthur Bolle, w de Berlin 57ème Hochkirchstr.8 ; Josef enrichit ;

K. Admin. Editors : Faure, Sébastien ; Rocker, Rudolf ; Souchy, Augustin

Language : Esperanto

Dates of publication : Jg.1 (1925/26) - Jg.6 (1932)

Twice a month (1925) ; monthly (as from 1927)

Typographie : Lettre d'appareil hektogr. (en 1926, Nr.2)

Was succeeded by : L'esperanto revuo de la Internacia Laborista Asocia (I.L.A./A.I.T.)

Comments : The world federation of esperantist anarchists, which was composed of anarchists, syndicalists and antiautoritarians, called itself TLES as from 1924. Members of the AAU-TLES were equally represented. Groups of TLES could be found, among other places, in Kassel, Krefeld, Duesseldorf, Mannheim, Riesa, Gera, Erfurt and Berlin. The anarchist esperantist information center was in Leipzig. The headquarters of the world organization was transferred in September 1929 from Leipzig to Berlin. The paper ceased publication in 1932 (See the notice in Syndikalist, du14.Jg.1932, Nr.18.)

Ruebner : Pain et Liberté, P. 199, Anm. 133, P. 291 ; Seywald, No 1183

Faure, Sébastien · La krimoj de Dio / El la franca trad. Luis Carlos kaj F. Buokin. - Paris : Librejo "Paco-libereco", 1911. - 32 p.

Grav, Johano · En anarkista socio, kiel kondutos la individuo ?. - Laroque Timbaut : La Juna Penso, 1972. - 8 p. - ( Brosura Serio de LJP ; 82B )

Kropotkin, Petr · Etiko / El la rusa trad. I.S.A.B. - Leipzig : SAT, 1924.

Kropotkin, Petr · La salajro / Trad. D.J. - Amsterdam : Nutters, 1914. - 22 p. - ( Internaca Socia Revuo ; 8 )

Kropotkin, Petr · Al la junuloj : Biografio (pri Kropotkin) / (de M.Orseti, el la pola trad. Duo). - Paris : SAT, 1938. - 44 p.

Lanty, E. La langue internationale. Ce que tout militant ouvrier doit connaître de la question. 1925. Lanti, E. · El verkoj de E. Lanti. - Laroque Timbaut : Bros^urservo de SAT, 1982. - 140 p.

Lanti, E. · Arbeiter-Esperantismus. - Frankfurt : Socialista E-Asocio, 1928. - 335.7 Lanti, E. · For la neu^tralismon ! : 2a eld. - Leipzig : SAT, 1924. - 23 p. 335.7 Lanti, E. · For la neu^tralismon ! : 3a eld. - Leipzig : SAT, 1928. - 32 p. 335.7 Lanti, E. · La laborista esperantismo : Antau^rimarkigo /por la stencilita reeldono/ N. Bartelmes. - Laroque Timbaut : La Juna Penso, 1971. - 16 p. 335.7 Lanti, E. · La laborista esperantismo. - Leipzig : SAT, 1928. - 38 p. 335.7 Lanti, E. · Manifesto de la sennaciistoj kaj dokumentoj pri Sennaciismo : 2a eldono reviziita kaj kompletigita. - Paris : SAT, 1951. - 83 p. 335.7 Lanti, E. · Manifesto de la Sennaciistoj kaj Dokumentoj pri Sennaciismo : 3a eldono. (fotoreproduktis Zavod...Beograd). - Paris : SAT, 1970. - 83 p. 335.7 Lanti, E. · Sennaciulo : For la neu^tralismon ! : (unua eldono). - Paris : Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda, 1922. - 14 p. - ( (Sennaciulo. Volumo 2) ) 335.7 Manifesto de la sennaciistoj. - Nov-Jorko : Sennaciista frakcio el membroj de SAT, 1931. - 32 p.

Domela Nieuwenhuis, F. · La piramido de l'tirano / El la nederlanda trad. D.J. - Amsterdam : W. Nutters, 1913. - 31 p. - ( Serio de "Internacia Socia Revuo", No. 4 )

Most, Johann · La Dia pesto / El la germana trad. Seman Tarano. - Detroit : Tobias Sigel, 1932. - 23 p.

Nieuwenhuis, F. Domela · La piramido de l'tiranismo / Tradukis D.J. . - Laroque Timbaut : La Juna Penso, 1974. - 30 p. - ( (La Juna Penso - suplemento de Jun. 1974 - n-ro 98B) )

Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda · Jarlibro 1924 de SAT : 3a jaro. - Paris-Leipzig : SAT, 1924

Vivancos, Eduardo "Une langue pour tous : l'Esperanto," in Volonté anarchiste

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