ROCKER, Rudolf (1873-1958)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Typescript translation with annotations of Behind Barbed Wire and Bars , an unpublished work by Rudolf Rocker on his internment during the First World War. Translator unknown, but possibly Joseph Leftwich (1892-1984).

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in Mainz, 1873; confined to an orphanage in Mainz, 1883; transferred to a reformatory; bookbinder's apprentice; joined the Fachverein für Buchbinder and was inducted into the local German Social Democratic Party (SPD), 1890; became a member of the young left-wing oppositionists, the Jungen, and with them, was expelled from the SPD, 1891; joined the underground movement led by the German anarchist Johann Most; German police discovered that Rocker had been smuggling illegal propaganda into Germany and he escaped into France, 1892; increased anti-anarchist police operations in Paris forced Rocker to return to London, 1895; librarian of the first section of the Communist Workers Educational Union; led East End Jews against sweatshops in the London clothing trade; editor of the Yiddish political journal, the new Arbeter Fraint , 1898-1915; helped set up the Jubilee Street Club, 1906; interned as an 'enemy alien', 1914-1918; after a short stay in Holland, settled in Berlin; activist and writer involved in a marginalised syndicalist group; contributed many articles to the Syndikalist , 1920s; fled the Nazis and emigrated to New York, 1933; embarked on a final career both as a writer and coast-to-coast lecturer across the USA and Canada, addressing vast audiences on the dangers of racialism and especially of political authoritarianism; died, 1958.

Publications: Nationalism and Culture (1937).

Arrangement

Awaiting arrangement.

Conditions Governing Access

The Archives are available for access in an Archives Reading Room located on the 2nd Floor of the Mile End Library. The Archives Reading Room is open Tuesdays to Thursdays 10am-4.30pm and Monday and Friday by appointment only. Users are invited to contact the Archives in advance, so that more information can be supplied concerning archive collections of relevance to their research. Contact the Archives for more information: Archives, Mile End Library, QMUL, 328 Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS, telephone: 020 7882 3873, email us. For more information about the Archives see the website: Queen Mary Archives.

Acquisition Information

Unknown. Possibly deposited with the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers archive, 1991.

Other Finding Aids

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Drewery. Sources: Oxford DNB.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for copies for research or publication should be made to the College Archivist: Main Library QMUL, Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS, telephone 020 7882 3873, email us.