The “Anarcho-Syndicalist Youth of Germany” (SAJD)

Submitted by Juan Conatz on December 23, 2010

Two auxiliary organizations within the FAUD were formed for the benefit of specific groups. The youth constituted themselves from 1921 onwards in the “Anarcho-Syndicalist Youth of Germany” (SAJD). This group’s chief activities were the organization of events, hiking trips and agitating for the anarcho-syndicalist cause. The SAJD had a nationwide membership of several thousand youths, distributed all across Germany. It was technically independent of the FAUD, but was closely aligned with the union following its formation, the SAJD itself being a product of the internal conflicts of the earlier “Free Youth,” which was split among “Syndicalists” and “Individualists…”

The SAJD’s official organ, “Young Humanity,” was distributed as an extra section of the FAUD’s Der Syndikalist. An additional monthly publication, “Young Anarchists,” catalyzed a new round of sectarian conflicts between individualistic/anti-organizational factions and partisans of organized class struggle, the latter eventually excluding the others from the SAJD. The SAJD aligned itself even more closely to the FAUD as a result of this development and recognized the union’s “Declaration of Principles” as guidelines for its own membership. The youth organization also modelled its organizational structure on that of the FAUD, setting up regional and national “Information Offices” that corresponded roughly to the Agitational Committee and executive Geschäftskommission of the FAUD.

Out of this youth organization came numerous leading members of the FAUD in the late 20s and early 30s, the so-called “Second Generation” of the FAUD, which followed that of the pre-war generation. This earlier group, which was more strongly oriented towards industrial and workplace organizing, lost influence within the organization as time went on, while the successor generation better embodied the sought-after synthesis of Syndicalism and Anarchism.