Perspectives on Anarchist Theory

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Vol. 2 - No. 2
Fall, 1998


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Anarchist Memoirs

Rudolf Berner

Rudolf Berner, 1937

Two new books underscore the vital connection between anarchist history and anarchist memoirs. The recent publication of Rudolf Berner’s (alias Frank Tireur) Die Unsichtbare Front: Bericht Über Die Illegale Arbeit In Deutschland (1937) (translation: The Invisible Front: A Report from the Underground Activists in Germany (1937)) helps us understand a long-overlooked dimension of anarchist history. In 1937, Rudolf Berner, a Swedish anarchist, traveled in disguise as a tourist from revolutionary Spain on a "secret mission" to establish clandestine contacts between German anarcho-syndicalists in exile and the anarcho-syndicalist underground in Germany. Ana Delso.jpg (6369 bytes)In this story of his journey Berner describes the resistance of German anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists to the Nazi regime. He conveys a vivid impression of the extreme life situations and the fears and hopes of a small but important section of the German resistance (160 Pages, Libertad Verlag Berlin/Köln 1997, Hardcover: DM 32,00). Ana Delso’s new memoirs, Trescientos Hombres y Yo: Estampa de una Revolución (translation: Three Hundred Men and I: Picture of A Revolution) adds to existing literature on the travails faced by exiled Spanish anarchists. It is one of the few accounts of this period written by a woman. This book, which includes a preface by Martha Ackelsberg, is published by Madrid’s Fundación de Estudios Libertarios ‘Anselmo Lorenzo’ (1998, 157 pages).