|Known for||Skepticism and mysticism, Revolution, For socialism, Der Todesprediger, Friedrich Hölderlin in seinen Gedichten|
|Was||Politician Translator Writer Journalist|
|Type||Journalism Literature Politics|
|Birth||7 April 1870, Karlsruhe, Germany|
|Death||2 May 1919, Munich, Germany (aged 49 years)|
Gustav Landauer (7 April 1870 – 2 May 1919) was one of the leading theorists on anarchism in Germany at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. He was an advocate of social anarchism and an avowed pacifist. In 1919, during the German Revolution, he was briefly Commissioner of Enlightenment and Public Instruction of the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic. He was killed when this Republic was overthrown.
Landauer is also known for his study of metaphysics and religion, and his translations of William Shakespeare's works into German.
Life and career
Landauer was the second child of Jewish parents Rosa (Neuberger) and Herman Landauer.
Landauer supported anarchism already in the 1890s. In those years, he was especially enthusiastic about the individualistic approach of Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche, but also "cautioned against an apotheosis of the unrestrained individual, potentially leading to the neglect of solidarity". Landauer believed that social change could not be achieved solely through control of the state or economic apparatus, but required a revolution in interpersonal relations. True socialism could result only in conjunction with this spiritual work, writing "the community we long for and need, we will find only if we sever ourselves from individuated existence; thus we will at last find, in the innermost core or our hidden being, the most ancient and most universal community: the human race and the cosmos."
- Skepsis und Mystik (1903)
- Die Revolution (trans. Revolution) (1907)
- Aufruf zum Sozialismus (1911) (trans. by David J. Parent as For Socialism. Telos Press, 1978. ISBN 0-914386-11-5)
- Editor of the journal Der Sozialist (trans. The Socialist) from 1893–1899
- "Anarchism in Germany" (1895), "Weak Statesmen, Weaker People" (1910) and "Stand Up Socialist" (1915) are excerpted in Anarchism: A Documentary History of Libertarian Ideas – Volume One: From Anarchy to Anarchism (300 CE–1939), ed. Robert Graham. Black Rose Books, 2005. ISBN 1-55164-250-6
- Gustav Landauer. Gesammelte Schriften Essays Und Reden Zu Literatur, Philosophie, Judentum. (translated title: Collected Writings Essays and Speeches of Literature, Philosophy and Judaica). (Wiley-VCH, 1996) ISBN 3-05-002993-5
- Gustav Landauer. Anarchism in Germany and Other Essays. eds. Stephen Bender and Gabriel Kuhn. Barbary Coast Collective.
- Gustav Landauer. Revolution and Other Writings: A Political Reader, ed. & trans. Gabriel Kuhn; PM Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1-60486-054-2