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Max Bedacht Autobiographical Typescript: On the Path of Life: Memoirs of Your Father

Call Number





Bedacht, Max, 1883-1972
Feinstein, Elsie (Role: Donor)


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials

English .


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.

Historical/Biographical Note

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.


The folders are arranged by chapter number.

The files are grouped into 1 series:

Missing Title

  1. Inventory

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.

Preferred Citation

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.

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

International Workers Order Records (TAM 001)

Collection processed by

Tamiment staff

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-20 16:49:26 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from Bedacht.doc


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives


Box: 1 (Material Type: Mixed Materials)
Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
2nd Floor
New York, NY 10012