Mühsam, Erich

BORN 6 Apr 1878, Berlin - DIED 11 Jul 1934, Oranienburg (concentration camp)
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Waldfriedhof Dahlem, Hüttenweg 47, Steglitz-Zehlendorf (Feld 015-479 (Abt. 2 A - 144) )

Erich Mühsam was born as the son of a pharmacist in Berlin. In 1879 his family moved to Lübeck. In 1898 his first writings and poems were published and in 1900 he moved to Berlin. There he worked as an author and lived the life of a Bohemian.

In 1902 he had his first contacts with anarchistic groups and he worked at a cabaret in Berlin. He lived in Charlottenburg and by 1903 the police was watching him because he was regarded as an agitator. From 1904 onwards he travelled together with Johannes Nohl through Switzerland and Italy. He published several more works and met Karl Kraus in 1906 in Wien. In 1907 he started a relationship with Frieda Gross.

In 1909 he moved to Munich and during the First World War he was in contact with the pacifists. In September 1915 he married Kreszentia Elfinger ("Zenzl"). In 1918 he called for revolution in Munich and in 1919 he was involved in the Räte-Republic. After it's failure he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He started his sentence in Ansbach and was moved to Niederschönenfeld in 1920. In 1924 he was released and moved to Berlin-Charlottenburg. There he wrote plays and he actively opposed national socialism.

In 1933 Mühsam was arrested and sent to several concentration camps. On 2 Feb 1934 he was moved to Oranienburg, where he was murderded by SS-guards. His wife Zenzl moved to Prague in 1934 and to the USSR in 1936. She was several times imprisoned between 1937 and 1956 before she returned to Berlin, where she died in 1962.

Related persons
• knew Reventlow, Franziska Gräfin zu
• was a friend of Wedekind, Frank


The grave of Erich Mühsam at the Waldfriedhof Dahlem, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (17 Jul 2005)


Baedeker Berlin, Baedeker Verlag, Stuttgart, 1994
Schriftsteller Lexikon, VEB Bibiographisches Institut Leipzig, Leipig, 1990
Startseite - Die Gesellschaft wurde zum 111. Geburtstag Erich Mühsams am 6. April 1989 in Lübeck mit der Zielsetzung gegründet, über den anarchistischen Autor zu informieren und seine Werke einer interessierten Öffentlichkeit zugänglich zu machen.

Müller, Adelheid

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 04 Jan 2022