Ferdinand GÖTZE (1907-1985)

Ferdinand GÖTZE (1907-1985)

Elli Götze was born in Leipzig in 1907 and died in Stockholm in 2003. Ferdinand Götze was born in Leipzig on 28 March 1907 and died in Stockholm on 22 February 1985. Ferdinand was a carpenter.

Elli and Ferdinand (Nante) Götze met in the anarchist youth in Leipzig. Both went on to become active members of the FAUD, Ferdinand’s mother – Anna Götze – had, as a young girl, joined the Social Democratic Party (SPD); during the First World War she moved over to the Spartakusbund and thereafter to the Communist Party (KPD), before joining the FAUD in the early 1920s.

Beginning in 1933, Götze organized the FAUD’s illegal activities and in Leipzig published a newspaper based on microfilms, Die Soziale Revolution. From autumn 1933 on he headed the FAUD’s Standing Commission. At Easter 1934 he took part in a gathering of outlawed militants from the DAS, in Amsterdam. 

Via Schmiedeberg near the border with Czechoslovakia, he smuggled propaganda materials into Germany. In early 1935, with arrest looming over him, he fled to Barcelona. His wife and daughter had been living there since April 1934. After the beginning of the revolution, Ferdinand Götze was one of most outstanding militants in DAS. At the beginning of 1937, due to difficulties with the DAS, Götze broke away from the group and joined with Eugene Scheyer to launch the SRDF (German Social Revolutionary Libertarian Movement). For which reason his wife Elli Götze was stood down in April 1937 as spokesperson for the DAS group. 

Following the May Events 1937 Ferdinand managed to evade arrest. However, Elli spent a short time in the Puerta del Ángel cheka in Barcelona. After which they both fled, initially to France and later to Norway from where they moved on to Sweden after German troops overran the country. In Sweden, Ferdinand, Elli and their daughter Annemarie were active, post-war, in the Swedish trade union movement.

Dieter Nelles

From Biografias del ‘36 edited by Paolo Casciola and Agustín Guillamón https://descontrol.cat/portfolio/biografias-del-36/ 

Translated by: Paul Sharkey.