Two Ruhr anarchists

A brief account of the lives of Stefan Bellman and Heinrich Hellmann, two anarchists active in the Ruhr

Stefan Bellmann

An anti-militarist during World War I, Stefan Bellmann took an active part in the strike movement as a member of the Spartakusbund. He later participated in the Spartakus uprising of Winter 1918 and the rising against the Kapp putsch in March 1920. An anti-parliamentarian and anti-capitalist, he was forced to flee to the Ruhr as a political refugee. There he took part in the activities of the anarcho-syndicalist Freie Arbeiter Union Deutschlands (FAUD), which at one point had 12,000 members in the Ruhr. During the Second World War he continued with illegal underground agitation.
He died on March 19th 1949

Heinrich Hellmann

“Known to many as a splendid comrade and friend”, Heinrich lost both his father Wilhelm and his brother Willi, killed during the Ruhr uprising of 1920. Active in the Ruhr FAUD. His mother Rosa was also an active anarchist and was arrested along with her companion Karl Börder and her son when Hitler came to power. He was described in the Freedom notice on his death (Feb 7th 1948) as one of the few Ruhr anarchist miners left. He died in a mining accident. He was popular and well-known in the Ruhr as attested by the thousands who joined his burial procession

Sources: Freedom June 11th, 1949

Nick Heath

Posted By

Jun 8 2013 11:33


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Jan 10 2016 18:58
here he took part in the activities of the anarcho-syndicalist Freie Arbeiter Union Deutschlands (FAUD), which at one point had 12,000 members in the Ruhr.

The FAUD at one point had more than 20,000 members only in what today is the city of Duisburg. The total membership for the Ruhr area in the early twenties is estimated to have been some 70.000 to 80.000.

Jan 10 2016 23:28
Jan 11 2016 06:09

You should take into account Ulrich Klan / Dieter Nelles: Es lebt noch eine Flamme - Rheinische Anarcho-Syndikalistinne/-innen in der Weimarer Republik und im Faschismus, 1. Auflage 1986, ISBN 3-922209-72-6

As vor Duisburg (Duisburg, Hamborn, Hochemmerich) the FAUD Geschäftskommission gave the following numbers for the founding congress (p. 73):

alle Berufe: 10,000
Bergarbeiter: 3,011

Bauarbeiter: 600
Bergarbeiter: 8,000
Metallarbeiter: 921

Bergarbeiter: 1,760

The entire Rheinland and Bergisches Land region was representated with 47,060 members at the founding congress (111,675 in the whole country). The numbers increased after the founding congress before declining due to constant splits, the defeat of the Red Ruhr Army and the economic crackdown and hyper inflation after 1922.

Jan 11 2016 11:11
Battlescarred wrote:
See here:

I fear you misread or misremembered, I did not reread the whole text, but it also states higher numbers, f.e. footnote 11:

"Dortmund and Hörde combined, the FVdG/FAUD had about 16 000 members at the end of 1919, half of them miners"