FAUD communities

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FAUD communities

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FAUD communities were communal settlements organised by members of the anarchosyndicalist FAUD in Germany after WW1.

Contents

FAUD and the settlement movement:

The Freie Arbeiter Union Deutschland (Free Workers Union of Germany) was formed out of a number of non-aligned industrial and trade unions in December, 1919. At its peak it had about 300,000 members. It became the german section of the anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association [1] founded in 1922. The secretariat of the IWA was based in Germany until the Nazi regime came to power. The FAUD was often critical of the communal settlement movement of the time, seeing a need for widescale workplace and community organisation rather than the formation of libertarian communism on a small scale in communes. The national co-ordinating commitee (Geschäftskommission – GK) of the FAUD was dominated by syndicalists who were especially critical of “communal” tendencies within the organisation. Nonetheless, FAUD members were involved in a number of post WW1 communal settlements, sometimes as individuals and sometimes as groups.

The FAUD in Düsseldorf:

The FAUD in Düsseldorf often opposed the line taken by the GK in Berlin and that of the FAUD paper, the “Syndikalist” . They produced their own paper, “Die Schopfung”, supported the creation of consumer co-operatives and started their own anti-authoritarian free school. In the summer of 1921, some FAUD members in Düsseldorf were involved in the formation of the “Freie Erde” community, and the project was supported materially and financially by FAUD members. (A further “Freie Erde” community in Stuttgart was also influenced by anarcho-syndicalism). (See also post WW1 german communities.)

The Bakunin Hutte:

Image:BakuninhuettePostkarte.jpg

In 1920, FAUD members in Meiningen (Thüringia) bought half a hectare of land, with the aim of setting up a “workers’ colony”. They began to cultivate it, and, in 1927, they finished building the “Bakunin Hutte”. The building had a common room, a kitchen, a dormitory and a cellar. There was space for eight to ten people to stay there, and it was primarily used for picnic outings and for educational meetings. Various left and libertarian groups used it, as well as the FAUD. It was confiscated by the Nazis in 1933, and after the second world war it came into the hands of the KPD (Communist Party of Germany), later the SED (Socialist Unity Party, the GDR governing party until 1990). It has now been regained by the local anarchists, and the idea is to use the house again for its original functions.

Settlements in Kassel:

In 1921, when five members of the FAUD group in Kassel were made unemployed, they decided to start a communal settlement. As one of them, Johannes Ziegler, was a saddle-maker, their aim was to produce and sell leather goods. They called their commune, “Neue Leben” (New Life), however the community was short-lived. In 1922, a new group calling itself “Siedlungsgruppe Gustav Landauer” (settlement group Gustav Landauer) was also in existence in Kassel, although it is not known if this was a follow-up project or a completely new group. The FAUD group in Kassel was one of the few FAUD groups that continued as an underground resistance group during the early years of the Nazi regime.

Sources:

Part 10 of Hartmut Rübner’s “Freiheit und Brot” (Freedom and Bread), Libertad Verlag Potsdam, 1994.

Anarchosyndikalismus an der Fulda” (Anarcho-syndicalism on the Fulda),Jürgen Mümken, Verlag Edition AV, 2004. Introduction by Helge Döring.