Rudolf Breitscheid Papers

Biographical / Historical Note

Breitscheid, Rudolf; born in Cologne 1874, died in Buchenwald 1944; journalist, politician; studied economy in Munich and Marburg; editor of liberal journals in Hamburg and Hannover; one of the founders of the left-liberal Demokratische Vereinigung 1908; member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) 1912; joined the Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (USPD) because of his antiwar views in 1917; prominent parliamentary spokesman for the right wing of the USPD; moved rapidly through the ranks of the reunited SPD; one of the leading SPD-parliamentarians and spokesman on foreign politics from 1925; emigrated in 1933; actively opposed fascism after 1933; contributed to several Western European periodicals; worked with the Rassemblement Universel pour la Paix in 1935-1936; sent to concentration camp in 1942.


The IISH acquired the library of Breitscheid in 1936 with financial support of the Centrale Arbeiders-Verzekerings- en Deposito-Bank (the Centrale), see Annual Report 1936 (p. 16); his archive might have been part of this acquisition, but more specific information is lacking.


Some correspondence, for the most part between others 1912-1933, 1949; manuscripts of `Über deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte' n.d., `Innenpolitische Betrachtungen' [1924] and of his speech `Rechtsblockregierung und Aussenpolitik' delivered in the Reichstag 1928; manuscripts by others 1918, 1921 and n.d.; documents of the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the German foreign policy and the different peace efforts during the First World War 1919, 1921-1924 and n.d.; files on various subjects including the execution of the Treaty of Versailles 1920-1921, the German reparations 1921-1923, 1930 and n.d., and the position of the press 1922; printed material for the most part consisting of proceedings, reports, memoranda and clippings 1914-1939.

Processing Information

Inventory made by Guus van der Ham in 1976, edited by Johannes Beermann in 2010, revised 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.