August Bebel Papers

Biographical / Historical Note

Bebel, Ferdinand August. Born in Cologne 1840, died in Passug, Switzerland 1913; politician and leader of the German social democrats; one of the founders of the Sächsische Volkspartei in 1866; member of the Reichstag from 1867; with Wilhelm Liebknecht founder of the Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei (SDAP) on the basis of the so-called Eisenach program of 1869; one of the promoters of the fusion of the social democrats with the Lassallean Allgemeine Deutsche Arbeiterverein (ADAV) into the Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands (SAPD) in 1875; one of the main spokesmen of the Reichstag delegation of the SAPD, from 1890 of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD); treasurer of the SPD 1890-1892 and one of its two chairmen 1892-1913; author of among others `Die Frau und der Sozialismus' 1879 and `Aus meinem Leben' 1910-1914.


The original papers were part of the historical party-archives of the SPD. The IISH acquired this collection from the SPD in exile in 1938 with financial support of the Centrale Arbeiders- Verzekerings- en Deposito-Bank (the Centrale). The collection, including the papers of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Eduard Bernstein, and Wilhelm Liebknecht, was mentioned in the Annual Report of 1938 (p. 37-42). The contract was signed 19 May 1938.


Correspondence with Victor Adler 1893-1912, Ignaz Auer 1879-1903, Johann Philipp Becker 1867-1884, Eduard Bernstein 1882-1913, Camille Huysmans 1908-1911, Benno Karpeles 1895-1901, Karl and Minna Kautsky 1879-1913, Wilhelm Liebknecht 1885-1900, Franz Mehring 1899-1903, Julius Motteler 1874-1900, Hermann Schlüter 1877-1910, Georg von Vollmar 1892-1903, Clara Zetkin 1899-1903 and others; some manuscripts, excerpts and notes; some printed material;

correspondence by Julie and Frieda Bebel with Ferdinand August Bebel and others 1874-1910 and n.d.

Processing Information

Adjusted for purposes of digitization by Eva van Oene in 2015.

Alternative Form of Material

Complete Papers digitized as part of the Centrale Project 2012-2016.

Security microfilms 1975 Partly published in: August Bebels Briefwechsel mit Karl Kautsky. Hrsg. von Karl Kautsky jr. Assen, 1971; Wilhelm Liebknecht, Briefwechsel mit deutschen Sozialdemokraten. Band 1. 1862- 1878. Hrsg. und bearbeitet von Georg Eckert. Assen, 1973. Band 2. 1878-1884. Hrsg. von Götz Langkau unter Mitwirkung von Ursula Balzer und Jan Gielkens. Frankfurt/New York, 1988.

Location of Originals

Microfilms in possession of the Deutsche Zentralarchiv in Potsdam

Related Material

August Bebel Papers from RGASPI