‘Hermann Greulich: A Pioneer of Socialism’ from The Comrade. Vol. 3 No. 12. September, 1904.

‘Hermann Greulich: A Pioneer of Socialism’ from The Comrade. Vol. 3 No. 12. September, 1904.

HERMANN GREULICH, a member of the City Council of Zurich, and of the national legislature of Switzerland, is at present traveling and lecturing in this country. He has seen forty years of uninterrupted service in the Socialist movement. Comrade. Greulich, who also holds the position of secretary of the Swiss National Bureau of Labor Statistics, was born in Breslaii, Germany, April 9, 1842. His parents were proletarians. He learnt the trade of book binding. He says of himself:

“In 1862 I started on my first journey as a ‘traveling mechanic’ I traveled and worked in Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia, Lower-Austria, Bavaria, Tyrol and Wuerttenberg. In those days there were no labor organizations. General ignorance and carelessness prevailed in the ranks of the toiling masses.

“The. first labor society I found in Reutlingen, Wuerttenberg, and I joined immediately. In 1864 Lassalle’s movement came up for discussion, but met with little success in Southern Germany. In 1865 I was elected delegate to a labor congress in Stuttgart, where I met August Bebel, the present great leader of the Socialist movement of Germany. Soon after the Stuttgart congress I went to Switzerland.

This was the time when the International Workingmen’s Association, organized by Karl Marx and. F. Engels, was creating considerable enthusiasm among the working people of Europe.

“In. 1869 the labor movement made good progress in Zurich, and many clubs and labor unions were organized. We had a movement, but no press. We started a paper— without money. I was selected as editor. After four years of hard struggle we managed to pay the editor and manager about $20 per month, for which salary I was envied by many.

“For eleven years we were fighting for a national factory law, and finally succeeded. For several years the anarchist movement did considerable harm to the labor movement. Our organization grew weaker, our labor paper went out of business, and its editor was placed way back in the corner to sit down for the time being.

“The year of 1881 was a hard one for me and my family. In 1884 I was appointed chief of the statistical Labor Bureau of the Canton of Zurich. Soon the labor movement recovered. New unions and Socialist clubs were organized. In 1886 the national Bureau of Labor Statistics of Switzerland was organized, under the management of the labor organizations, while the government appropriated a certain amount for the maintenance of the institution. June 1, 1887, I was elected secretary of the bureau by the united labor organizations, and I have held this position ever since, being re-elected at every succeeding convention.

“In 1890 I was elected a member of the County Council of Zurich by the Socialists, and in 1892 the Socialists also elected me to the City Council. In 1902 I entered the national legislature of Switzerland on the Socialist Party ticket.

“Thanks to the strong Socialist representation in the municipal county and state legislatures, we have secured many a good law, and what is equally important, we have made it impossible for the capitalist lawmaker to pass any laws against the working class.”

“A strong trade union and political Socialist movement is, in my opinion, the strongest weapon of the working class.”

The Comrade began in 1901 with the launch of the Socialist Party, and was published monthly until 1905 in New York City and edited by John Spargo, Otto Wegener, and Algernon Lee amongst others. Along with Socialist politics, it featured radical art and literature. The Comrade was known for publishing Utopian Socialist literature and included a serialization of ‘News from Nowhere’ by William Morris along work from with Heinrich Heine, Thomas Nast, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Edward Markham, Jack London, Maxim Gorky, Clarence Darrow, Upton Sinclair, Eugene Debs, and Mother Jones. It would be absorbed into the International Socialist Review in 1905.

PDF of full issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/comrade/pht/v3n12-%5b20-pgs%5d-sep-1904-The-Comrade-P-H.pdf

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