- Category : 1870-births
- Type : MS
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (20,25)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Penetration 1
German Jew who was one of the leading theorists on anarchism in Germany in the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. He was an advocate of social anarchism and an avowed pacifist. Landauer is also known for his study and translations of William Shakespeare's works into German.
As a student he joined the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). Due to his political activities, which led to a spell in prison, he was refused entrance to the School of Medicine at Freiburg University. Because of his extreme views, he was also one of a small group who were expelled from the SPD in 1891.
By age 21 he became the editor of a journal, The Socialist. Despite its name, Landauer espoused an anarchist philosophy that he learned and adapted from the French thinker, Pierre Proudhon and the Russian thinker, Peter Kropotkin. In 1893 and again in 1899, Landauer was imprisoned for acts of civil disobedience, serving a total of 17 months.
He continued to develop his non-violent revolutionary ideology in the years before to World War I and influenced Jewish intellectuals in search of libertarian solutions, including Ernst Bloch (see essay on Bloch), Gershom Scholem, Walter Benjamin and Martin Buber. He became a close friend of Martin Buber, who introduced him to Hasidic legends that appeared to fulfill his vision of an egalitarian society.
After the City of Munich was reconquered by the German army and Freikorps units, Gustav Landauer was arrested on 1 May 1919 and stoned to death by troopers one day later in Munich's Stadelheim Prison.