A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004 | of 2005

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Britain, Organise! #65 - The FAUD Undergound in the Rhineland anarchist resistance to nazism

Date Sat, 05 Nov 2005 11:37:56 +0200

The anarcho-syndicalist union the Freie Arbeiter Union (FAUD) had a strong
presence in Duisberg in the Rhineland, with a membership in 1921 of around
5,000 members. Then this membership fell away and by the time Hitler rose to power
there were just a few little groups. For example, the number of active militants in
Duisberg-South was 25, and the Regional Labour Exchange for Rhineland counted
180 to 200 members. At its last national congress in Erfurt in March 1932, the
FAUD decided that if the Nazis came to power its federal bureau in Berlin would be
dissolved, that an underground bureau would be put in place in Erfurt, and that
there should be an immediate general strike. This last decision was never put
into practice, as the FAUD was decimated by massive arrests.
In April or May 1933, doctor Gerhard
Wartenburg, before being forced to leave
Germany, had the locksmith Emil Zehner
put in place as his replacement as FAUD
secretary. He fled to Amsterdam, where he
was welcomed, with other German
refugees, by Albert de Jong, the Dutch
anarcho-syndicalist. At the same time the
secretariat of the International Workers
Association (the anarcho-syndicalist
international) was transferred to Holland in
1933, though the Nazis seized its archives
and correspondence.
In autumn 1933, Zehner was replaced by
Ferdinand Goetze of Saxony, then by
Richard Thiede of Leipzig. Goetze
reappeared in western Germany in autumn
1934, already on the run from the Gestapo.
In the meantime, a secret group of the
FAUD was set up, with the support of the
Dutch section of the IWA, the NSV. A
secretariat of the FAUD in exile was set up
in Holland.
Up to the rise to power of the Nazis, the
worker Franz Bungert was a leading
member of the Duisberg FAUD. Without
even the pretence of a trial, he was interne
in the concentration camp of Boegermoor
in 1933. After a year he was freed but wa
put under permanent surveillance. His
successor was Julius Nolden, a
metalworker then unemployed and
treasurer of the Labour Exchange for the
Rhineland. He was also arrested by the
Gestapo, who suspected that his activity i
a Society for the Right to Cremation(!) hi
illegal relations with other members of the
In June 1933, a little after he was released
he met Karolus Heber, who was part of th
secret FAUD organisation in Erfurt. He
had been part of the General Secretariat in
Berlin, but after many arrests there had to
move to Erfurt. They arranged a plan for
the flight of endangered comrades to
Holland and the setting up of a resistance
organisation in the Rhineland and the Ruh
Nolden and his comrades set up a secret
escape route to Amsterdam and distribute
propaganda against the Nazi regime.
Albert de Jong visited Germany and via th
FAUD member Fritz Schroeder, met
Nolden. De Jong arranged for the sending
of propaganda over the border via the
anarchist Hillebrandt. One pamphlet was
disguised with the title Eat German Fruit
And You Will Be In Good Health. It
became so popular among the miners that
they used to greet each other with: "Have
you eaten German fruit as well?" As for
the escape route, the German-Dutch
anarchist Derksen, who had a very good
knowledge of the border zone, was able to
get many refugees to safety. Many of those
joined the anarchist columns in Spain.
After 1935, with the improvement of the
economic situation in Germany, it was
more and more difficult to maintain a
secret organisation. Many members of the
FAUD found jobs again after a long period
of unemployment and were reluctant to
engage in active resistance. The terror of
the Gestapo did the rest. On top of this, no
more propaganda was sent from
The outbreak of the Spanish Revolution in
1936 breathed new life into German
anarchism. Nolden multiplied his contacts
in Duisberg, Düsseldorf and Cologne,
organising meetings and launching appeals
for financial aid to the Spanish anarchists.
As a result of Nolden's tireless activities,
several large groups were set up. Nolden
went everywhere by bike! At the same
time Simon Wehren of Aachen used the
network of FAUD labour exchanges to find
volunteer technicians to go to Spain.
In December 1936, the Gestapo, thanks to
an informer they had infiltrated, uncovered
A-infos-en mailing list

A-Infos Information Center