1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Braun, Heinrich

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BRAUN, HEINRICH (1854-       ), German Social Democrat and writer on social questions, was born Nov. 23 1854 at Leipzig, and studied at Vienna, Göttingen, Berlin and Halle. He successively edited the important Socialist publications, Die neue Zeit; the Archiv für soziale Gesetzgebung und Verwaltung; Die neue Gesellschaft; and Annalen für Sozialpolitik und Gesetzgebung. After the revolution and the election of a Prussian Constituent Assembly, Braun was Minister for Agriculture in the Prussian Socialist Ministry formed under the presidency of Hirsch on March 24 1919.

LILY BRAUN (1865-1916), wife of the above, was one of the most remarkable women Socialists and writers of modern Germany. She was the daughter of Gen. von Kretschmann, of an old East Prussian Junker stock, and was born at Halberstadt on July 2 1865. Her grandmother was the issue of one of the amours of Prince Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. Her whole early life was passed in a Junker and militarist atmosphere, on the East Prussian estate of her grandfather, or in the various garrisons where her father held command. She had a deeply introspective nature and read widely. The romantic as well as the social and ethical ideas which she developed contributed to alienate her from her class and her family and to draw her into the Socialist movement. Her first marriage (against the wishes of her family) was with an invalid socialistic professor, von Gizycki. After his early death she was attracted by the Socialist author and politician Heinrich Braun and married him in 1895. She visited England and was on terms of friendship with leading members of the Fabian Society. She was the author of many books and pamphlets on social questions, particularly on the place of woman in politics and industry, e.g. Frauenfrage und Socialdemokratie (1901); Frauenarbeit und Handwirtschaft (1901); Die Politik und die Frauen (1904). But her most remarkable work was the story of her own life, told, like Goethe's auto- biography, with some embellishments of fancy and, indeed, professedly in the form of a novel. The two volumes are entitled Memoiren einer Sozialistin (1) Lehrjahre (2) Kampfjahre (1909 and 1911). They give an elaborate picture, coloured no doubt by the intense self-consciousness of the writer, of the growth of the German Social Democratic movement in the ’nineties, with sketches of the leading figures, such as Bebel, Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, and her own husband, Heinrich Braun. No German book brings out more clearly the nature of the cleft between the German and Prussian governing and military classes on the one side and the industrial masses and their leaders on the other. The contrast between German life in the country and in the cities is also vividly portrayed, as is the social life of a regiment and a garrison. Other books of hers are Im Schatten der Titanen (memoirs of her grandmother, who lived for a time in Goethe's circle); Liebesbriefe einer Marquise; a play, Mutter Maria, and a novel, Lebenssucher. She died on Aug. 8 1916.