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Edgard Leuenroth


Edgard Leuenroth

Brazilian labor militant, anarchist, journalist, publisher.
Born in São Paulo October 31, 1881; died September 28, 1968.

As a young man Edgard Leuenroth worked in crafts, as store clerk, typographer, as journalist & an archivist.

Early on Edgard he became interested in social issues & soon became involved in the Movimento Anarquista.

In 1904 he became part of the editorial group for "O Trabalhador Gráfico" (Graphic Worker). In the following year one he began collaborating with Neno Vasco on "A Terra Livre" (Free Land), one of most important anarchist periodicals.

His immersion in writing & publishing periodicals became an integral part of his militant activities throughout his life. Writing under his own name, he just as often used numerous pseudonyms (Frederico Brito, Palmiro Leão, Len, Leão Vermelho, etc.). He was part of the "Folha do Povo" (Leaf of the People) & shortly afterwards, in 1909, of "A Lanterna." Other publications he was associated with were "A Lucta Proletaria," "Ação Direta" (Direct Action), "Spartacus," "A Guerra Social" (Social War), "O Combate," "A Voz do Povo" (Voice of the People); two he founded were "A Plebe" (Common People) & "The Vanguard."

In May 1912 in São Paulo, "Ecole Moderne" opens, established on the principle of rationalist education recommended by the Spanish libertarian Francisco Ferrer (shot in 1909). Four anarchists are founders: Neno Vasco, Edgard Leuenroth, Oreste Ristori & Gigi Damiani. See Régina Jomini-Mazoni's book, Ecoles anarchistes au Brésil (1889-1920).

September 1913, Second National Labor Congress, Río de Janeiro. Edgard Leuenroth, Secretary.

Confederação Operário Brasileiro (COB; Brazilian Labor Confederation): Anarchist workers & anarcho-syndicalists held 12 sessions at Centro Cosmopolita, debating 24 items with the presence of 117 delegates from eight states, including two state federacies, five local federacies, 52 unions & four libertarian periodicals. anarchist Cat

As a labor militant & anarchosyndicalist, Edgard participated in organizing many of the first workers' & anarchist congresses, regional & national. He was a founder of the Confederação Operária Brasileira (COB; Brazilian Labor Confederation) & the Communist Party of Rio De Janeiro (then a polyglot organization of libertarian bent, bringing together socialists & anarchists).

In 1917 he began publishing "A Plebe," an anarchist periodical with an enormous impact on the Brazilian labor movement, which became a daily paper in 1919.

During this same year Edgard became a central figure in the General Strike of 1917 in São Paulo. He was imprisoned at various times for his ideas & militancy, but his role as an organizer of the general strike led to his longest term behind bars.

In July 1917, a 3-day General Strike erupts in São Paulo following the killing of the anarchist shoemaker, Antonio Martinez.

Martinez was killed police during a demonstration in support of textile strikers.

A Workers' Committee of Defense is formed, composed of six people, including the anarchists Edgard Leuenroth & Gigi Damiani. Despite heavy repression, the strike spread to Rio & elsewhere & by the end of the month all of industrial Brazil is stopped & controlled by the workers.

Further details / context, click here[Details / context]

In November 1919, João Penteado, a teacher & anarchist militant, is ordered to close the São Paulo Modern School n°1 — open since May 1912 — when a bomb explodes (accidental?) in a house, killing four anarchists, including José Alvés, the principal of l'Ecole moderne de São Caetano.
Further details/ context, click here[Details / context / links]

In the following decades, despite repressive dictatorships & governments, his militancy remained uninterrupted.

In December of 1948, he was an organizer of the Brazilian Anarchist Congress, whose objective was the creation of an organization to pull together the various anarchist groups from around the country.

As one of the most active anarchists, participating in nearly all the Brazilian publishing & movement activities until the end of his life, Edgard Leuenroth is a considerable figure in the history of Brazilian anarchism & the labor movement.

Appropriately, honoring his achievements & legacy, there is in his name the Archivo Edgard Leuenroth, comprising one of the important collections on the Brazilian anarchist & anarchosyndicalist movement. The Archive was founded in 1974, but quickly went went underground until 1986. (Leuenroth's archives, whose records form the basis for today's most important social history archive in Latin America, survived dictatorship intact by being cemented inside a wall.) It currently houses 280,000 documents: 28,000 books, 171 bulletin titles, 3,811 periodical titles, 3,878 newspaper titles, 854 videos, 289 films, 1,419 audio tapes, 2200 “cartazes”, 13,330 audio records, 621 scores, & 45,000 photographs.

Azis Simão & Edgard Leuenroth meet in 1967 to recall the general strike of 1917 São Paulo, 50 years ago.


Arquivo Edgard Leuenroth, see


  • Mirrored copy of the old "e-album" which the Archivo seems to have abandoned, in Portuguese, includes many photos

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