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Pierre Ramus, 1882-1942

Austrian writer, pacifist, journalist & propagandist of anarchist ideas, antimilitarism & birth control.

True name, Rudolf Grossman [ Großmann ], born April 15, 1882; died at sea May 27, 1942. Pseudonyms: Klaus Morleit (C. Morelight) & Pierre Ramus.

Grossmann's pseudonym, borrowed from the French humanist Petrus Ramus, conveyed his ideal of becoming an educating rationalist (Aufklärer).

Ramus was active in anarchist movement in New York from 1898 till 1903, where he met Johann Most & contributed to his newspaper "Freiheit" (Freedom) until until 1904.

His political activities forced him to leave the US, first to England & then to Austria. Ramus fled the US after being charged with instigating strikes, while out on bail, to London.

In London Ramus was active in the Jewish & German anarchist movement. He wrote for the Yiddish communist-anarchist weekly Der Arbeyter Fraynd (The Workers Friend) as well as for several German periodicals.

In 1907 Ramus moved to Austria & introduced revolutionary syndicalism, & also founded an anarchist group in Vienna & founded the paper Wolhlstand für Alle.

In August 1907, Ramus attended the International Anarchist Congress of Amsterdam & an antimilitarist congress.

Ramus was sent to prison for refusing to serve in the military during WWI.

A pacifist who advocated the General Strike & direct action, he published many German newspapers & booklets & wrote La reconstruction de la société par l'anarchisme communiste & the five volume "L'annuaire de la génération libre" (1910-1914).

In November 1918 he founded the periodical Erkenntnis und Befreiung: Wochenschrift des herrschaftlosen Sozialismus, which appeared until 1933.

In the 1930s Ramus organized the German FKAD (Federation of Anarchist Communists of Germany) (& its newspaper "Der freie Arbeiter"), an organization parallel with the FAUD, founded by Rudolf Rocker.

On July 27, 1924, the 20th anniversary of the creation of the A.I.A. (Association Internationale Antimilitariste) an international meeting was held in the Hague in Holland, held at the "Maison du Peuple" (House of the People). Ramus attended & spoke there, as did many well-known militants, such as Rudolf Rocker, Emma Goldman, Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis, & Barthélemy de Ligt.

signed photo

In 1938 he fled Austria to France where he was arrested & interned with the declaration of war. Released in 1940, Pierre Ramus escaped the Nazis & made it to Morocco, but died on a ship in 1942 (torpedoed by the Germans) trying to make his way to Mexico.

Among his many correspondents were Diego Abad de Santillán, Alexander Berkman, Walter Borgius, Gustave Brocher, Victor Dave, Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis, Emma Goldman, Hippolyte Havel, Thomas Keell, Peter Kropotkin, Gustav Landauer, Errico Malatesta, Olga Misar, Erich Mühsam, Josef & Maria Peukert, Eugen Relgis, Emil Szittya.

  • Hommage à la non-violence: Ein grosser freiheitlicher Erzieher: Pierre Ramus (1882-1942). (Lausannne: Verlag Gegenseitige Hilfe, 2000).
    The book contains two bibliographies: the works of Pierre Ramus including translations, & those of his works available at the CIRA, Lausanne. A third bibliography lists some works on non-violence.

  • KOBLER,F. [Ed.] Gewalt und Gewaltlosigkeit. Handbuch des aktiven Pazifismus. Im Auftrage der Internationale der Kriegsdienstgegner herausgegeben. Zurich-Leipzig, Rotapfel [1928]. 388p. With 4 plates. Orig. cloth. Includes contributions by Theodor Lessing, L.Ragaz, Pierre Ramus, Kurt Hiller, H. de Man, a.m.o.

  • RAMUS, P. Der Justizmord von Chicago. Zum Angedenken 11. November 1887. Nach urkundlichen Dokumenten und historischen Quellen dargestellt, samt den Lebenslaufen der Martyrer, ihren Reden vor Gericht und der Aufdeckung des Justizverbrechens durch Gouverneur Altgeld, bearbeitet und ubertragen. Wien-Graz-Koeln, Erkenntnis und Befreiung 1922. VIII,176p. Orig. printed wrappers, damaged at back and borders. (Bibliothek der Anarchie). With presentation inscription in pencil signed by Pierre Ramus, a pseudonym of the Austrian anarchist Rudolf Grossmann. A note from the publisher indicates that this is a second edition.

  • Ramus, Pierre, : Francisco Ferrer - Die moderne Schule. Packpapier, Osnabrueck o.J., 32 S.

  • Ramus, Pierre, : Die Irrlehre und Wissenschaftslosigkeit des Marxismus. Reprint von 1920. Von unten auf, Hamburg 1990.

  • Ramus, Pierre (d.i. Rudolf Grossmann), : Die Neuschoepfung der Gesellschaft durch den kommunistischen Anarchismus. Ohne Ort und Jahr (Reprint)

  • Ramus, Pierre (d.i. Rudolf Grossmann) und Hector Zoccoli. : Die Erste Internationale (1846-1876). Libertad, Berlin 1979 48 S. 2.5 ;* anarchistische texte II,17. - Ramus: Nach vierzig Jahren - Ein historisches Gedenkblatt zur vierzigjaehrigen Gruendung der Internationalen Arbeiter Association. H.Zoccoli: Die erste Internationale (1864-1872).

  • Ramus, Pierre, : Francisco Ferrer - Die moderne Schule. Meppen: Ems Kopp 1979. 32 S. Brosch

  • Ramus, Pierre, : Was ist und was will der Bund herrschaftloser Sozialisten? Wien: Revolutionsbraeuhof 1996. kl.8to.

  • Ramus, Pierre, : Ausgewaehlte Texte. Monte Verita,Wien 1998 (ev.). ca 150 S.

Pierre Ramus, Portrait photo

See International Institute of Social History, The Yiddish Collection & also their Archive page.

In French, see

In German see Pierre-Ramus-Gesellschaft, Wien.

This page created July 31, 2001; updated July 17, 2002; April 2004, March 2006, June 2010.

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