The Vagabond Movement

Submitted by Juan Conatz on December 23, 2010

The Vagabond Movement exerted some influence on organized Anarcho-syndicalism, albeit limited. This movement expanded greatly at the end of the 1920s and was organized under the so-called “Vagabond King” Gregor Gog into the “International Fraternity of the Vagabonds” in 1927. Gog arranged for the first “World Congress of the Vagabonds” in Stuttgart in 1929, an event that won international attention. A number of Hunger Marches were also organized.

Gog and his wife Anni Geiger-Gog were closely associated with the FAUD and agitated for their cause in the union’s publications. … As a result of his offensive performances and behaviour, Gog was the target of several court proceedings, blasphemy being among the charges. In direct contradiction to the majority view in the anarcho-syndicalist movement, Gog elevated laziness to a revolutionary act. He sharply criticized authoritarian Communism in all its forms until a tour of the Soviet Union in 1930 caused him to make a 180 degree adjustment to his views.

In the months following his return to Germany, the “Vagabond King” made a number of polemical speeches against Anarchism and Syndicalism at events across the country, even those of erstwhile friends, denouncing them as “petit bourgeois” movements. These were received with sneers and personal attacks in the syndicalist press.