Wilhelm Liebknecht

Wilhelm Liebknecht

Wilhelm Liebknecht (March 29, 1826 – August 7, 1900) was a German social democrat, one of the founders of the SPD and father of Karl Liebknecht and Theodor Liebknecht.


Born in Gießen as the son of Hessian public official Ludwig Christian Liebknecht and Katharina Liebknecht (nee Hirsch), Liebknecht grew up with relatives after the death of his parents in 1832; from 1832 to 1842, he went to school at the Gymnasium of Gießen, then began studying philology, theology and philosophy in Gießen, Berlin and Marburg.

After working briefly as a teacher at the "Musterschule" of Karl Fröbel in Zürich and as a correspondent for the "Mannheimer Abendzeitung", Liebknecht took part in the revolutionary fights in Paris in February 1848; in September the same year, he was arrested in Baden and remanded following his involvement in the republican uprising of Gustav von Struve. Following his release in May 1849, he became a member of the "Badische Volkswehr" and an adjutant of Struve and fought in the "Reichverfassungskämpfe" ("federal constitution wars"); after the revolutionaries' defeat, he escaped to Switzerland and became a member of the "Genfer Arbeiterverein" (Worker's Association of Geneva), where he met Friedrich Engels.

In 1850, Liebknecht was arrested for his initiatives to unite Switzerland's German workers' associations and banished from the country, moving to his exile in London, where he stayed from 1850 to 1862 and became a member of the communist association, meeting Karl Marx in the process. He returned to Germany in 1862 after an amnesty for the participants in the revolution of 1848 / 1849 and became a member of Ferdinand Lassalle's ADAV ("Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein", "General German Workers' Association"), the precursor of the SPD.

From 1864 to 1865, Liebknecht also worked on the magazine "Der Social-Demokrat" ("the Social Democrat") published by Jean Baptist von Schweitzer; however, he soon found himself in disagreement with the paper's Prussia-friendly position, leaving the editorial staff and also being forced to leave the ADAV due to pressure from Schweitzer. After being evicted from Berlin, Liebknecht moved to Leipzig, where he met August Bebel, with whom he founded the "Sächsische Volkspartei" ("Saxon People's Party") in 1867 and the SDAP ("Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands", "Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany") in 1869 in Eisenach. Liebknecht became one of the leaders of the SDAP and the leading publisher of the party organ, "Der Volksstaat" ("the People's State").

In 1872, Liebknecht, together with August Bebel, was sentenced to two years of "Festungshaft" ("imprisonment in a fortress") for high treason in a political prosecution known as the "Leipziger Hochverratsprozess".

After being elected into the Reichstag in 1874, Liebknecht played a key role in the merger of the SDAP and ADAV into the SAPD ("Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands", "Socialist Workers' Party of Germany") in Gotha in 1875; he also became publisher of the newly-founded party organ "Vorwärts" ("forward"), arguing for the integration of Marxist theories into the SAPD's program in his articles.

From 1878 to 1890, Liebknecht used his position as a Reichstag member to criticize the political situation even under Otto von Bismarck's "Sozialistengesetz" ("Socialists' law"); in 1891, he became editor-in-chief of "Vorwärts" and one of the originators of the SPD's new Marxist-inspired party platform. He also continued to appear at political conventions as a referent despite his advanced age until July 28 1900; in 1896, he was briefly jailed for four months after being convicted of lèse-majesté.

Liebknecht died on August 7 1900 in Charlottenburg, near Berlin; more than 150,000 attended his funeral.

ee also

*Karl Liebknecht
*Karl Marx
*Social Democratic Party of Germany

External links

* [http://www.marxists.org/archive/liebknecht-w/index.htm Internet archive of Wilhelm Liebknecht] (selected works)

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wilhelm Liebknecht — (Fotografie aus den 1870er Jahren) Wilhelm Liebknecht − vollständiger Name: Wilhelm Philipp Martin Christian Ludwig Liebknecht[1] − (* 29. März 1826 in Gießen, Großherzogtum Hessen; † 7. August 1900 in Charlott …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Liebknecht — Naissance 29 mars 1826 Gießen Décès 7 août 1900 (à 74 ans …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wilhelm Liebknecht — (Giessen, 29 de marzo de 1826 Charlottenburg, Berlín, 7 de agosto de 1900) fue un político socialista alemán, uno de los fundadores del Partido Socialdemócrata de Alemania en 1869. Padre de …   Wikipedia Español

  • Wilhelm Hasenclever — Wilhelm Hasenclever, Porträtaufnahme aus dem Jahr 1884 Wilhelm Hasenclever (* 19. April 1837 in Arnsberg, Provinz Westfalen, Preußen; † 3. Juli 1889 in Schöneberg bei Berlin) war von Beruf Lohgerber, später Journalist …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Hasenclever — (born 19 April 1837 in Arnsberg, Prussia (Westphalia province); died 3 July 1889 in Berlin Schöneberg) was a German politician. He was an originally a tanner by trade, and later became a journalist and author. However, he is most well known for… …   Wikipedia

  • LIEBKNECHT (W.) — LIEBKNECHT WILHELM (1826 1900) D’une famille de fonctionnaires, Wilhelm Liebknecht fait des études de théologie, de philologie et de philosophie aux universités de Giessen, de Berlin, de Marburg. Il se rend à Paris dès le déclenchement de la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • LIEBKNECHT (K.) — LIEBKNECHT KARL (1871 1919) Né à Leipzig, Karl Liebknecht est le fils d’un des fondateurs du Parti social démocrate allemand, Wilhelm Liebknecht. Bachelier à dix neuf ans, docteur en droit et en sciences politiques en 1897, il ouvre un cabinet… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Wilhelm Blos — Wilhelm Josef Blos (* 5. Oktober 1849 in Wertheim; † 6. Juli 1927 in Bad Cannstatt) war ein deutscher Journalist, Schriftsteller und Politiker. Blos war Mitglied des Reichstags für die SPD und erster …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Hasselmann — vor seiner Emigration Wilhelm Hasselmann (* 25. September 1844 in Bremen; † 25. Februar 1916 in New York, USA) war ein sozialistischer Politiker im Deutschen Reich des 19. Jahrhunderts und Redakteur bei verschiedenen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Wilhelm Bock — (vollständig Friedrich Louis Wilhelm Bock) (* 28. April 1846 in Großbreitenbach; † 22. Juni 1931 in Bad Sulza) war ein deutscher sozialdemokratischer Politiker und Gewerkschafter. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.