Stephan Born

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stephan Born (original name Simon Buttermilch ; * December 18, 1824 in Lissa , Province of Posen ; † May 4, 1898 in Basel , Switzerland ) was an early socialist politician in the area of ​​the German Confederation . As the founder of the General German Workers ' Brotherhood, he created the first supraregional trade union organization of the German workers' movement . After participating in the revolution of 1848/49 , which ultimately failed , he lived in exile in Switzerland and took on citizenship there. In 1860 he became an honorary professor in Basel.

Stephan Born (1824–1898) politician, editor of the Basler Nachrichten.  Photography by J. Höflinger and Son, Basel
Stephan Born

He also worked as a translator from French, namely from Alphonse Daudet and François-René de Chateaubriand .

Live and act

Born was Simon Buttermilch, the son of a realtor. Although he successfully attended high school, university studies failed due to a lack of financial means in the family. He originally belonged to the Jewish religious community . After his conversion to Protestantism , he had his name changed to Stephan Born. In Berlin he learned the printing trade in a publishing house that also published scientific papers, and this motivated Born to do self-taught studies, including attending university lectures as a guest auditor. He became a member of the "Berliner Handwerkerverein" and was active in the developing labor movement. Born wrote mainly political pamphlets, but also theater reviews and a story.

The people (sample number)

In 1846 he went on a wandering abroad, came into contact with Robert Blum in 1847 and met Friedrich Engels in Paris . A little later he came into contact with Karl Marx in Brussels , where Born worked as a typesetter for the Deutsche-Brusser-Zeitung . In the following years Born was active for the " League of Communists ", which was largely shaped by Marx and Engels. What impressed him most about her position was the "scientific ground on which she started."

When he got the news of the March Revolution in Prussia and other states of the German Confederation , which was historically motivated by a liberal and national state , Born returned to Berlin. There he was instrumental in founding the "Central Committee of Workers". He became its president and editor of his journalistic organ Das Volk . As chairman of the Berlin “Association of Berlin Book Printers Journeyman”, he led two strikes in late April and early August with varying degrees of success.

Some time later he was instrumental in the preparation and implementation of the first general workers' congress. After the congress had decided to found the " General German Workers' Association ", it was above all Born's organizational talent that made the movement so successful. After the victory of the counter-revolution in Prussia , Leipzig became the seat of the organization. There Born was editor-in-chief of the association's journal The Fraternization . During this time, Born moved away from the theoreticians Marx and Engels in terms of content in view of active political freedom. “All of a sudden, all communist thoughts were wiped away for me, they had absolutely no connection with what the present demanded. […] What did I care about distant centuries, when every hour offered only urgent tasks and work in abundance! "

Stephan Born (1824–1998), original name Simon Buttermilch.  Politician.  Grave in the Wolfgottesacker cemetery, Basel
Grave on the Wolfgottesacker

In the last phase of the revolution, Born participated in the so-called imperial constitution campaign in part in the barricade struggle, for example during the May uprising in Dresden , and later also in Baden and Bohemia in the resistance of the radical democrats against the forces of reaction that led to the March Revolution until July 1849 finally reflected. After the end of the revolution, he emigrated to Switzerland and later became a Swiss citizen.

First he worked as a teacher in Küsnacht in the canton of Zurich . In 1860 he became a professor at the grammar school and academy of Neuchâtel for about twenty years . Later he was editor of the Basler Nachrichten and taught German and French literature as an honorary professor at the University of Basel . He also dedicated himself to the work of Heinrich Heine and was editor of the memoirs of Jodocus Donatus Hubertus Temme Stephan Born was the brother of David Born and is related to Max Born . He found his final resting place in the Wolfgottesacker cemetery in Basel.


Born as author or editor:

  • (Anonymous): The Association for the Raising of the Working Class and the popular voices about it. Berlin, 1845.
  • The Heinzen State. A criticism from Stephan . printed by E. Rätzer, Bern 1847.
  • The fraternization. Correspondence sheet of all German workers . Published: Leipzig: [1848], [sample number] (May 25); 1848.1 (June 1) -33 (August 29); 1.1848, Oct. 3 = Sample no. 1 / 2–3. 1850, June 29, (Reprint Glashütten / Ts.)
  • The people. Organ of the Central Committee for Workers. A sociopolitical journal . Leipzig 1848. (Reprint Auvermann, Glashütten / Ts. 1973)
  • Circular to all German workers. Leipzig, November 22nd, 1848 . In: Karl Obermann : Leaflets of the Revolution . Berlin 1970, pp. 352-353.
  • Marcel. Tragedy in five acts . Schabelitz, Basel 1852.
  • Lord and servant. Play in 4 acts . Bloch, Berlin 1856.
  • Heinrich Heine . Lecture given in the large hall of the Bernoullianum in Basel on January 10, 1875 . Schweighauser (Richter), Basel 1875.
  • Nicolaus Lenau . Lecture given at the Bernoullianum in Basel on March 12, 1876 . Schweighauser (Richter), Basel 1877.
  • The romantic school in Germany and France . Winter, Heidelberg 1879.
  • Beaumarchais. Lecture given at the Bernoullianum in Basel . Schweighauser (Richter), Basel 1881.
  • Jodocus Donatus Hubertus Temme : Memories. Edited by Stephan Born . Keil, Leipzig 1883.
  • Chateaubriand's works. Trans. U. with entrance vers. by Stephan Born . Spemann, Berlin 1884. (German Hand and House Library. Spemann Collection, 219)
  • Heinrich Zschokke . Lectures. B. Schwabe, Basel 1885.
  • Heinrich Heine's complete works in twelve volumes. With a biographical and historical introduction by Stephan Born, Cottasche Buchhandlung, Stuttgart 1886.
  • Memories of a forty-eight. With the portrait of the author . Georg Heinrich Meyer, Leipzig 1898. (Reprint JHW Dietz Nachf., Berlin Bonn 1978. ISBN 3-8012-0031-0 ) Reprint 2017
  • Memories of a forty-eight . Berlin 1978


  • Wilhelm Friedensburg: Stephan Born and the organizational efforts of the Berlin workers up to the Berlin workers' congress (1840-September 1848) . In: Supplement 1. Archive for the history of socialism and the labor movement . Leipzig 1923.
  • Paul Mayer:  Born, Stephan. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 467 ( digitized version ).
  • Stephan Born . In: Werner Blumenberg : Fighters for Freedom . JHW Dietz Nachf., Berlin / Hanover 1959, pp. 40–45.
  • Helga Grebing : History of the German labor movement . Munich, 1966. p. 43 f.
  • The League of Communists. Documents and materials, Vol. 1. 1836–1849 , Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1970
  • Walter Schmidt : Born, Stephan . In: History of the German labor movement. Biographical Lexicon . Dietz Verlag 1970, pp. 56-57.
  • Franziska Rogger: Stephan Born. Biography. The first years in Switzerland , licensing thesis phil.-hist. Bern 1977.
  • Detlef Lehnert: Social democracy between protest movement and ruling party 1848–1983 . Frankfurt, 1983, p. 36 ff.
  • Stefan Born . In: Franz Osterroth : Biographical Lexicon of Socialism . Volume I. Dying Personalities . JHW Dietz Nachf., Hannover 1960, pp. 34-36.
  • Franziska Rogger: “We help ourselves!” The collective self-help of the workers' brotherhood 1848/49 and the individual self-help of Stephan Born; Born's life, development and his reception of contemporary teachings . Palm and Enke, Erlangen 1986.
  • Klaus Tenfelde : The emergence of the German trade union movement: From the Vormärz to the end of the Socialist Law . In: Ulrich Borsdorf (Hrsg.): History of the German trade unions. From the beginning until 1945 . Bonn, 1987 pp. 51 f., 55-57, 97.
  • Doris Lorenz: Stephan Born. A typesetter for the labor movement, 1848/1849 . University of applied sciences, library and information department, term paper for the diploma examination, Hamburg 2001
  • Jacques Grandjonc : “On the correct use of memories in historiography. Stephan Born on Marx and Engels, fifty years later. ” In: Doris Obschernitzki (Ed.): France's German Emigrants. Texts by and memories of Jacques Grandjonc (1933–2000). Hentrich & Hentrich, Teetz 2003. ISBN 3-933471-36-2 , pp. 132-148.
  • Wolfgang Blumenthal: Stephan Born. In: From the printing association to the unified union. 150 years of verdi. Berlin 2016, pp. 48–50.
  • Kurt Wernicke: Collection of first solidarity contributions . In: Berlin monthly magazine ( Luisenstädtischer Bildungsverein ) . Issue 7, 1999, ISSN  0944-5560 , p. 14-20 ( ).

Web links

Commons : Stephan Born  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Born wrote six articles for this newspaper, the "Stephan B." or "St.B." were drawn.
  2. Detlef Lehnert: Social Democracy Between Protest Movement and Government Party 1848–1983 . Frankfurt, 1983, p. 37.
  3. The fraternization. Correspondence sheet of all German workers . Edited by the Central Committee for the Workers. Editing: Stephan Born, F. Schwenninger and K. Gangloff. Berlin 1849-1850. (Reprint Zentralantiquariat der DDR, Leipzig 1975. With an introduction by Rolf Weber.)
  4. Stephan Born: Memories of a forty-eight person . Georg Heinrich Meyer, Leipzig 1893, p. 65.