Wilhelm Liebknecht’s Worker Education School

[Anonymous]. Arbeiter-Bildungsschule I. Lecture notes of an anonymous student at the Berlin Arbeiterbildungsschule, an unusual night school for the working class.

The goal of the school was to provide workers with a proletarian education and basis in Marxist ideology. Founded in 1891 by Wilhelm Liebknecht, a principal founder of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Under Liebknecht’s leadership the SPD grew from a Marxist fringe party to the largest political party in Germany. The school was located at Grenadierstr. 37 in the traditionally Jewish quarter of Berlin (Scheunenviertel). For 50 Pfennig workers could attend 6 month courses from 8:30PM to 10:30PM. Curiously, Rudolf Steiner (founder of the Waldorf School) lectured at the school for six years. Few records remain of this interesting school. For more information, see Heid, Ludger, Ein Sozialist und Zionist im Kaiserreich und in der Weimarer Republik, Frankfurt: 2002 and Olbrich, Josef, Geschichte der Erwachsenbildung in Deutschland, Bonn: 2001. 

The manuscript contains the following extensive class notes:

Naturerkenntnis I + II [Laws of Nature] taught by Emanuel Wurm;

Wissenschaftlicher Sozialismus [Academic Socialism] taught by Julian Borchardt;

Französische Revolution [French Revolution] taught by Alexander Conrady;

Die Geschichte der letzten 20 Jahre [The Story of the Last 20 Years] taught by Konrad Haenisch;

Nationalökonomie [Macroeconomics] taught by Max Grunwald;

Gewerkschaftswesen. [Trade unions] taught by Emil Dittner;

Literaturgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts. [History of 19th Century Literature] taught by Ernst Däumig.

All of the lecturers were important politicians, authors, and socialist activists. For example, Ernst Däumig was co-chairman of the Communist Party of Germany and delegate to the 2nd World Congress. Konrad Haenisch described himself as a radical Marxist” and authored numerous books on the state of the German worker. Julian Borchardt was a participant in the Zimmerwald Left and member of the Association of Proletarian-Revolutionary Authors. His papers are at the International Institute of Social History. 

This manuscript helps us understand the development of socialism in Germany during the early 20th century. 

Format 6.5″ x 8.25″ (17 x 21cm)
Extremely neat; a treasured manuscript book with
hand-made cover. Completely filled. In German. Along with a photo and small newspaper clippings pertaining to the school.

Extent 202 pp.

Condition Some rust on interior staples; last six leaves unbound, otherwise near fine. 

Published [Berlin:] 1909–1914


In stock

Stock Code: 1047A20 Collection:


For more information or to request additional photographs, please send an e-mail.

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