Otto Bauer

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BAUER, OTTO

BAUER, OTTO (1881–1938), Austrian socialist leader; first foreign minister of the Austrian Republic (1918–19). Bauer, the son of a Jewish industrialist, became one of the most important Austro-Marxist theoreticians soon after joining the socialist movement along with many other young Jewish intellectuals of his time. In 1907, together with Karl Renner and Adolf *Braun, he founded the monthly Der Kampf, which became a forum for socialist discussion. In his famous study Die Nationalitaetenfrage und die Sozialdemokratie (1907), he contended that no socialist could disregard the problem of nationalities, and provided an original definition of the nation: "the totality of men united through a community of fate into a community of character." Bauer favored the granting of cultural autonomy to every national group in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He praised the Jewish role in history, but argued that the Jews could not be regarded as a nationality, especially in Western Europe. He advocated assimilation and was sharply criticized by Zionists as a consequence. In November 1918, with the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of World War i, Bauer became foreign minister of the new Austrian Republic. He resigned in 1919 when his main objectives, a merger with Germany and retention by Austria of the German-speaking parts of the Tyrol, failed to materialize. When the Dollfuss regime came to power in 1934, Bauer took a leading part in the uprising of the workers in Vienna and subsequently took refuge in Czechoslovakia after its suppression. In May 1938, he fled to Paris and died there a few weeks later – on the day the London News Chronicle published his appeal to world conscience to save the 300,000 Jews of Austria. Bauer was an outstanding figure within the Socialist International, where, although an opponent of Communism, he represented the Marxist left wing. He was a prolific writer on socialist problems, including the books Bolschewismus oder Sozialdemokratie? (1920), in which he contrasted the economic conditions of Soviet Russia and Western Europe, and Kapitalismus und Sozialismus nach dem Weltkrieg (1931), which was intended to be his magnum opus. After his death, his Die illegale Partei was published in Paris by Friedrich *Adler (1939).

bibliography:

V. Reimann, Zu gross fuer Oesterreich (1958); J. Braunthal, Eine Auswahl aus seinem Lebenswerk, mit einem Lebensbild Otto Bauers (1961). add. bibliography: A. Barkai, "The Austrian Social Democrats and the Jews," in: Wiener Library Bulletin, 24 (1970); J. Bunzl, "Arbeiterbewegung, 'Judenfrage' und Antisemitismus: am Beispiel des Wiener Bezirks Leopoldstadt," in: Bewegung und Klasse: Studien zur österreichischen Arbeitergeschichte (1979); H. Gruber, Red Vienna: Experiment in Working Class Culture 19191934 (1991); J. Jacobs, On Socialists and the "Jewish Question" after Marx (1992); O. Leichter and O. Bauer, Tragödie oder Triumph (1970); R. Loew, Otto Bauer und die Russische Revolution (1980); A. Rabinbach, The Crisis of Austrian Socialism: from Red Vienna to Civil War, 19271934 (1983); P. Riesbeck, Sozialdemokratie und Minderheitenrecht: der Beitrag der oesterreichischen Sozialdemokraten Otto Bauer und Karl Renner zum internationalen Minderheitenrecht (1996); R.S. Wistrich, Socialism and the Jews: The Dilemmas of Assimilation in Germany and Austria-Hungary (1982).

[Robert Weltsch /

Lisa Silverman (2nd ed.)]

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German chancellors

Years

Chancellor

Party

D. Volk = German People's Party SPD = Social Democratic Party CDU = Christian Democratic Union FDP = Free Democratic Party

1 Führer from 1934 to 1945

2 Born Karl Herbert Frahm

German Empire

1871–90

Prince Otto von Bismarck-Schönhausen

1890–94

Count Leo von Caprivi

1894–00

Prince Chlodwig von Hoh.-Schillingsfirst

1900–09

Prince Bernhard von Bülow

1909–17

Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg

1917

George Michaelis

1917–18

Count George von Hertling

1918

Prince Maximilian of Baden

1918

Friedrich Ebert

Weimar Republic

1919

Philipp Scheidemann

SPD

1919–20

Gustav Bauer

SPD

1920

Hermann Müller

SPD

1920–21

Konstantin Fehrenbach

Centre-Catholic

1921–22

Joseph Wirth

Centre

1922–23

Wilhelm Cuno

――

1923

Gustav Stresemannn

D. Volk

1923–25

Wilhelm Marx

Centre

1925–26

Hans Luther

――

1926–28

Wilhelm Marx

Centre

1928–30

Hermann Müller

SPD

1930–32

Heinrich Brüning

Centre

1932

Franz von Papen

National

1932–33

Curt von Schleider

――

1933–45

Adolf Hitler1

Nazi

Federal German Republic

1949–63

Konrad Adenauer

CDU

1963–66

Ludwig Erhard

CDU

1966–69

Kurt Georg Kiesinger

CDU

1969–74

Willy Brandt2

SPD

1974–82

Helmut Schmidt

SPD

1982–90

Helmut Kohl

CDU

Reunified Germany

1990–98

Helmut Kohl

CDU

1998– 

Gerhard Schröder

SPD


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Otto Bauer (bou´ər), 1882–1938, Austrian politician. His Die Nationalitätenfrage und die Sozialdemokratie (1907) advocated creating nation-states to solve the Austro-Hungarian nationalities problem. A prisoner of war in Russia during World War I, he led the left wing of the Social Democratic party when he returned, presenting them as a third force between the Communists and nationalists in the revolution of 1918. Named secretary of foreign affairs (1918) in the new Austrian republic, he signed a secret Anschluss agreement with Germany (1919) that was repudiated by the Allies. He resigned in 1919, and led the opposition to conservative governments. He was the guiding personality of the Social Democrats and the principle advocate of unification with Germany. His second theoretical work was Die Österreichische Revolution (1923). The failure of a socialist workers' revolt (1934) led to his exile abroad. He died in Paris.