Paul Frölich: In the Radical Camp

A Political Autobiography 1890-1921


Paul Frölich was a key figure in the formative years of German Communism. From a working-class family, he was active in the Social Democratic Party from the late 1890s, a left radical opposed to the First World War, and a founder member of the KPD. His previously unpublished memoir, only recently discovered, casts valuable new light on a key period, particularly the Comintern intervention that led to the disastrous ‘March action’ of 1921.

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Biographical Note
Paul Frölich, 1884--1953, was a communist journalist, politician, biographer of Rosa Luxemburg, and one of the major observers of the politics of the early twentieth century. Reiner Tosstorff, Dr. phil. habil., teaches at the history department at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. He has published monographs and articles on Spanish history as well as on the international workers' movement in the twentieth century.
Table of contents
Introduction: Paul Frölich’s uncompleted memoirs
Reiner Tosstorff

Political Autobiography 1890–1921

1 Leipzig
A party worker from the time of the anti-socialist law
Leipzig hotchpotch
‘Bolshevism’ among the Leipzig Social Democrats
Other times
‘Socialism as a Commodity’

2 Hamburg
A cockfight
The ‘mammoth’
Old and young

3 The War
4 August
With the army
The conflict in the party
The Arbeiterpolitik
Spartacus and the left radicals
General strike in Bremen
Army experiences, 1916–17
The wanderings of a soldier

4 November 1918
The revolutionary shop stewards
The Hamburg left in the war
6 November 1918
Revolutionary politics in Hamburg

5 Foundation of the Communist Party (Spartacus League)
Conference of the left radicals
The merger with the Spartacus League
January to March 1919
Leo Jogiches as party leader

6 Munich 1919
Polemical interlude

7 The Split in the Party

8 The Kapp Putsch

9 From the Kapp Putsch to the March Action

10 The March Action of 1921

Karl Radek to the Central Committee of the KPD, 9 January 1919
Paul Levi to the Central Committee of the KPD, 16 March 1920

Selected Biographies
Scholars of German Communism, the German Revolution, Rosa Luxemburg, Marxism, and the KPD.
Index Card