Heinrich Braun (publicist)

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Heinrich Braun (born November 23, 1854 in Budapest , Austrian Empire ; died February 9, 1927 in Berlin ) was a German social-democratic publicist and politician. He belonged to the revisionist wing .


He was the son of the Jewish railway engineer Ignaz Braun. His mother was Ida (nee Neubrunn). His brother was the later social democratic politician Adolf Braun , his sister Emma married the Austrian socialist leader Victor Adler through his mediation . He himself was married to his first wife Josefine from 1883. The marriage ended in divorce in 1890. He then married one of his housemaids by the name of Frieda in 1895. A scandal broke out when he divorced her during her pregnancy in 1896 in order to marry the widow Lily von Gizycki . After her death in 1916, he married Julie Vogelstein in 1920 . He had four children from his marriages. Among them was the poet Otto Braun .


Braun was educated in private schools in Leipzig and Vienna before studying law , economics and history at the universities of Vienna , Strasbourg , Göttingen , Berlin and Halle an der Saale . He received his doctorate in Halle as Dr. phil.

At the beginning of his studies, inspired by the writings of Lorenz von Stein , he came to socialism together with his friend Viktor Adler , who later also became his brother-in-law. In 1879 he joined the SAPD . Because of his Jewish denomination and political stance, he was denied a university career.

He supported Karl Kautsky financially so that he could move to London as an employee of Friedrich Engels . Braun served the party as secretary around 1887. He was at times viewed by August Bebel as one of the party's future leaders. From 1901 to 1906 he took part regularly in the social democratic party congresses. In 1903 and 1904 he was a member of the Reichstag for a short time until his election was subsequently canceled. Another candidacy failed in 1907. He belonged to the reformist or revisionist wing of the party and spoke out in favor of an alliance with the left wing of the bourgeois democrats.

He was of great importance as a social democratic journalist. In 1883 he was one of the founders of the Neue Zeit alongside Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Dietz , Kautzky and Wilhelm Liebknecht . In 1888 he was one of the founders of the “Archive for Social Legislation and Statistics”, also known as “Braun's Archive”. He published this magazine until 1903. It was then renamed the Archive for Social Sciences and Social Policy . Max Weber , Werner Sombart and Edgar Jaffé took over the editing. Braun remained an employee. He was also the editor of the Sozialpolitische Centralblatt from 1892 to 1895.

Together with his wife Lily Braun, he published the weekly “Die neue Gesellschaft” from 1903 onwards. The paper saw itself as an organ of criticism also towards its own party. Braun invested his fortune in the magazine. It failed after the second edition, after the couple was sharply attacked at the Dresden party congress together with other revisionist supporters. Franz Mehring accused them of working in the “bourgeois press”. The party congress had approved a motion that refused participation in the non-social democratic press. In 1905 Braun tried to revive the project. This time it failed because of resistance from the party press, which was loyal to the party line. In 1907 he gave up efforts to renew the party “from within”. From 1911 to 1913 he published the "Annals for Social Policy and Legislation".

During the November Revolution he offered the party his support again, but the party refused. He turned down a professorship that Konrad Haenisch had offered him in 1919 . After 1919 he also worked as an insurance expert in Berlin.

Fonts (selection)

  • Albert Lange as a social economist after his life and his writings. (Dissertation Halle August 5, 1881) Dissertation
  • Socialpolitisches Centralblatt . Edited by Heinrich Braun. First volume. ( January - October 1892 ). J. Guttenberg Verlagbuchhandlung, Berlin 1892. Digitized
  • Socialpolitisches Centralblatt . Edited by Heinrich Braun. Second volume. ( October 1892 to September 1893 ). Carl Heymanns Verlag , Berlin 1893. Digitized
  • Annals for Social Policy and Legislation ed. by Heinrich Braun. Springer, Berlin 1912-1919.
  • Julius Altenburger, Heinrich Braun among others: Insurance-mathematical treatises . Mittler, Berlin 1911. (= publications of the German Association for Insurance Sciences, issue 20)
  • Life insurance . Mittler, Berlin 1932. (= Insurance Library 9)


  • Julie Braun-Vogelstein : A Human Life. Heinrich Braun and his fate . Wunderlich, Tuebingen 1932.
    • Julie Braun-Vogelstein: Heinrich Braun. A life for socialism. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1967.
  • Elisabeth Heimpel:  Braun, Heinrich. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 546 ( digitized version ).
  • Franz Osterroth : Biographical Lexicon of Socialism. Volume 1, Dietz, Hannover 1960, pp. 41-43.
  • Braun, Heinrich . In: Wilhelm Kosch : Biographisches Staats Handbuch. Lexicon of politics, press and journalism. Continued by Eugen Kuri . 2nd vol., Franke, Bern / Munich 1963, pp. 153-154.
  • Wolfgang Beese: Heinrich Braun and his relationship to Marx's “Capital” . In: … win our party a victory. Studies on the history of the origins and effects of “capital” by Karl Marx. An anthology . Verlag Die Wirtschaft, Berlin 1978, pp. 230–237.
  • A. Thomas Lane: Biographical Dictionary of European Labor Leaders. Vol. A-L. Westport 1995, pp. 135f.
  • Braun, Heinrich. In: Lexicon of German-Jewish Authors . Volume 3: Birk – Braun. Edited by the Bibliographia Judaica archive. Saur, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-598-22683-7 , pp. 435-437.
  • Ingrid Voss: Heinrich Braun and The New Society . In: Le milieu intellectuel de gauche en Allemagne, sa presse et ses réseaux (1890-1960) études réunies par Michel Grunewald. Lang, Bern 2002 ISBN 3-906768-78-3 , pp. 55-74.
  • Dorothee Wierling : A family at war. Living, Dying and Writing 1914–1918 . Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2013.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Braun-Vogelstein, Julie: Heinrich Braun. A life for socialism, Stuttgart 1967, p. 12.
  2. ^ Jacob Toury: The political orientations of the Jews in Germany. From Jena to Weimar. Tübingen 1966, p. 230
  3. ^ Franz Osterroth and Dieter Schuster: Chronicle of the German Social Democracy. Until the end of the First World War. 2. edit again and exp. Edition, Berlin 1975 ( digitized version )