Rocker, Rudolf, 1873-1958

Alternative names
Birth 1873-03-25
Death 1958-09-19

Biographical notes:

Born in Mainz, 1873; confined to an orphanage in Mainz, 1883; transferred to a reformatory; bookbinder's apprentice; joined the Fachverein für Buchbinder and was inducted into the local German Social Democratic Party (SPD), 1890; became a member of the young left-wing oppositionists, the Jungen, and with them, was expelled from the SPD, 1891; joined the underground movement led by the German anarchist Johann Most; German police discovered that Rocker had been smuggling illegal propaganda into Germany and he escaped into France, 1892; increased anti-anarchist police operations in Paris forced Rocker to return to London, 1895; librarian of the first section of the Communist Workers Educational Union; led East End Jews against sweatshops in the London clothing trade; editor of the Yiddish political journal, the new Arbeter Fraint , 1898-1915; helped set up the Jubilee Street Club, 1906; interned as an 'enemy alien', 1914-1918; after a short stay in Holland, settled in Berlin; activist and writer involved in a marginalised syndicalist group; contributed many articles to the Syndikalist , 1920s; fled the Nazis and emigrated to New York, 1933; embarked on a final career both as a writer and coast-to-coast lecturer across the USA and Canada, addressing vast audiences on the dangers of racialism and especially of political authoritarianism; died, 1958.

Publications: Nationalism and Culture (1937).

From the guide to the ROCKER, Rudolf (1873-1958), c 1950s, (Queen Mary, University of London)


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  • Anarchism
  • Wars (events)
  • Humanitarian law
  • World wars (events)
  • International conflict
  • World War One (1914-1918)
  • Syndicalism
  • Internment camps
  • War


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