Max Bedacht Autobiographical Typescript: On the Path of Life: Memoirs of Your Father
Language of Materials
Max Bedacht was a communist activist, official, and theoretician who established and led the International Workers Order, a communist-led U.S. fraternal organization. The collection consists of an autobiographical typescript, On the path of life : memoirs of your father.
Max Bedacht was a communist activist and theoretician. After an impoverished childhood and career as a journeyman barber and trade union leader in Germany and Switzerland, he immigrated to the United States in 1908 where he supported himself as a barber and German language newspaper editor. Bedacht became an early leader of the German Federation of the Socialist Party in California, while continuing to edit German language and labor newspapers in Detroit, San Francisco and South Dakota. From World War I onward his sympathies were increasingly with the left wing of the Socialist Party and at the 1919 convention he joined the Communist Labor Party. Caught up in the Palmer Raids in California and Chicago, he was arrested and tried for conspiracy. He was convicted but never imprisoned and was soon traveling to Europe and Russia as an international delegate for the American Communist Party.
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Scope and Content Note
This typescript autobiography, "On the path of life," deals with Bedacht's reflections on American and international communist leaders and the workings of the Comintern. He describes the factional feuds within the Communist Party, refutes Whittaker Chambers' charges against him in Witness! and recounts the circumstances around his expulsion from the Party in 1948, and his reinstatement in 1960. His work establishing and leading the International Workers Order is also traced. Throughout the memoir he comments on world events and their implications for socialism. Copies of photographs and of important documents are included.
Conditions Governing Access
Materials are open without restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright (or related rights to publicity and privacy) for materials in this collection, created by Max Bedacht was not transferred to New York University. Permission to use materials must be secured from the copyright holder.
Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by Elsie Feinstein, daughter of Max Bedacht, 1978. The accession number associated with this gift is 1978.008.