Lecture by Dr. Cédric Cohen-Skalli (University of Haifa)
The brutal murder of Gustav Landauer committed by the Freikorps during the demise of the Munich Räterepublik on 2 May 1919 is a well-known tragedy that had dark consequences for the Weimar Republic. He was a fin de siècle writer, a translator, a politician, a journalist, a political thinker, and a revolutionary figure. This complexity goes along with the fact that Landauer was not a socialist and a revolutionary of a known kind, as his opposition to WWI, Bolshevism, and the new Weimar Republic made public.
Indeed, Landauer refused unto his death to surrender to Party politics or to rally a Revolution understood as a technology of seizing power. Landauer aspired to a revolutionary return to a communal life that did not rely on the separation between the care for the body and the care for the spirit and whose principle of organization was both immanent and spiritual. This lecture will reconstruct the major points of Landauer’s political outlook and shed new light on them.
Dr. Cédric Cohen-Skalli teaches early modern and modern Jewish Philosophy at the University of Haifa. He is the director of the Bucerius Institute for the research of contemporary German History and Society.