Rudolf Rocker Shall disappear

Statement of the Institut für Syndikalismusforschung (Institute for Syndicalism Research)

The Institute for Syndicalism Research keeps its main focus on the research and monitoring of the (anarcho)-syndicalist movement in the German speaking area. Through our own unpaid intensive and hard work and the solidarity legwork from historians and researchers we have built up since 2007 a voluminous and steadily growing database on the history of the German language speaking (anarcho)-syndicalist movement –

Thereby the Institute holds a worldwide fruitful correspondence with numerous historians, publishers and research institutions. However, there are not only supportive researchers. On the 1st June 2011 all texts of the most outstanding anarcho-syndicalist thinker Rudolf Rocker (1873-1958) got erased from our database.

A certain Heiner Becker demands the exclusive ownership rights to all literary works of Rudolf Rocker. Unfortunately, he didn’t get in contact with us by himself; instead of this, he has delegated it to the department of public prosecution Münster and to a lawyer’s office. We met the demands of the injunction because it is not our wish to fill the pockets of a small-mind – to which we would have been forced otherwise.

However, we think Heiner Becker´s approach is dishonourable and unacceptable. We have no understanding that the literary work of Rudolf Rocker should be denied to the public through the ownership of a single person. We consider it a scandal that since 1999 this so called „holder of rights” is not able to publish even one single book of Rudolf Rocker, not at all to speak about publishing the complete works and making them reachable for the public. However, he seems quite able to prevent others from doing it.

We hope that this approach which brings about the oblivion of Rudolf Rocker comes to the ear of all people familiar with this topic, as well as to research-institutions and also to the offspring of Rocker and that they take the adequate measures.

We declare ourselves explicitly in solidarity with all those who got affected by complaints because of the publishing of Rocker-texts. Rudolf Rocker belongs to the progressive humankind and not to a private complainer.

Institut für Syndikalismusforschung,

Bremen, June 2011