The archives of Georges Haupt: new research on the history of socialism

A few months ago, the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme library in Paris made public the archival fonds of historian Georges Haupt (1928-1978). This fonds includes important archives related to the history of European socialism before the First World War, especially about socialism history in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. In particular, Haupt kept a significant part of Camille Huysmans’ archives – a Belgian politician who was Secretary of the International Socialist Bureau (ISB), the governing body of the Socialist International at the beginning of the 20th century and founded in 1900. In this fonds, many unpublished documents were discovered, including correspondences between the ISB and numerous socialists in Europe and in the world. Haupt had published in his lifetime the first part of these correspondences.

In all, more than a thousand original documents that were entrusted to Georges Haupt can be found in this archival fonds, some of them being completely unpublished. This is the case, for instance, of a letter written by Hardling and addressed to Huymans about the early developments of socialism in China. This letter written in English will be translated in Chinese and published in the Yearbook of socialism (Shanghai) in 2016, in the framework of the partnership established by EUROSOC. That letter was partially quoted by Haupt himself – a letter he thus possessed – in La Deuxième Internationale et l’Orient (The Second International and the East, cowritten with Madeleine Rebérioux in 1967) but had remained in its entirety completely unpublished. Extensive research will certainly allow us to identify the same type of documents.

Georges Haupt’s archives also contain many manuscripts – some of whom are unpublished – on the history of socialism. In particular, he devoted a lot of time to working on the figure of Christian Rakovski, the socialist and then communist revolutionary. Several French researchers are thus currently working on this rich archival fonds; for example, Lucie Guesnier will defend a doctoral thesis under the supervision of Michel Dreyfus on the history of socialism in Romania in September 2016.

The readers who are keen to better know Georges Haupt’s life may refer to the special issue of the Cahiers Jaurès coordinated by Jean-Numa Ducange and Marion Fontaine (Cahiers Jaurès « Georges Haupt, l’Internationale pour méthode », Cahiers Jaurès, n° 203, January-March 2012), whose texts essentially come from a study day held at the University of Bergamo, new partner of EUROSOC.

A few biographical elements can be here reminded. Haupt was born in Romania in 1928 and died prematurely of a heart attack in Rome in 1978. He was born in Satu Mare, Transylvania, in a family of the Jewish Bourgeoisie and spent his teenage years in Auschwitz as a deported Jew. When the war ended, he first led a lightning academic career in the new Socialist Republic of Romania. After studying in Leningrad, he became a young professor at the Academy of Sciences as expert in the history of socialism, especially on the relationships between Romanian and Russian social democrats before 1914. In 1958, while attending a symposium in Paris, he decided to stay and not go back to Romania. After serious difficulties, he obtained a teaching position at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (French: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, EHESS) and led a seminar on the history of the Second International where the best specialists of the time were invited. He defended a thesis under the supervision of Ernest Labrousse – the great economic historian and expert on the history of socialism – that was published in 1964: La Deuxième Internationale, 1889-1914. Etude critique des sources. Essai bibliographique (Translation: The Second International, 1899-1914. Critical study of the sources. A Bibliographic Essay). At the same time, he led an active publication policy, especially as part of the publishing house of François Maspero where he was the editor of the “Bibliothèque socialiste” (socialist library) collection as from 1963. The collection published many classics as well as rare material – even unknown ones – on the history of labor movements in their different sensitivities. Forty books were published in this collection, many of whom remain usable references nowadays. It is worth mentioning the whole collection[1]:

— 1. BOUKHARINE Nicolas & PREOBRAJENSKY Eugène, The Rudiments of Communism, preface by Pierre Broué, Paris, Maspero, 1963.

— 2. LUXEMBURG Rosa, Mass Strikes, Party and Trade Unions, Paris, Maspero, 1964.

— 3. LUXEMBURG Rosa, The Russian Revolution, preface by Robert Paris, Paris, Maspero, 1964.

— 4. COLLECTIF, The Bolsheviks and the October Revolution, Minutes of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik party, August 1917-February 1918, introduction by Guiseppe Boffa, Paris, Maspero, 1964.

— 5. LAFARGUE Paul, The Right to Be Idle, preface by Jean-Marie Brohm, Paris, Maspero, 1965.

— 6. HAUPT Georges, The Failed Congress: The International on the Eve of the First World War, Paris, Maspero, 1965.

— 7. COLLECTIF, Stalin Against Trotsky, 1924-1926. The Permanent Revolution and Socialism in a Single Country, introduction and selection of texts by Guiliano Procacci, Paris, Maspero, 1965.

— 8. FRÖLICH Paul, Rosa Luxemburg, Her Life, Her Work, Paris, Maspero, 1965.

— 9. FISCHER Georges, The Labour Party and the Decolonization of India, Paris, Maspero, 1966.

— 10. ADLER Max, Democracy and Workers’ Councils, translation and introduction by Yvon Bourde, Paris, Maspero, 1967.

— 11. LUXEMBURG Rosa, The Accumulation of the Capital, introduction by Irène Petit, 2 volumes., Paris, Maspero, 1967.

— 12. ARCHIVES MONATTE, Revolutionary Trade Unionism and Communism, introduction by Colette Chambelland and Jean Maitron , Paris, Maspero, 1968.

— 13. HAUPT Georges & MARIE Jean-Jacques, The Bolsheviks As They Described Themselves, Paris, Maspero, 1969.

— 14. BERNSTEIN Samuel, Auguste Blanqui, Paris, Maspero, 1970.

— 15. KOSIK Karel, The Dialectic of Hard Facts, Paris, Maspero, 1970 et 1978.

— 16. DOMMANGET Maurice, On Gracchus Babeuf and the Conspiracy of the Equals, Paris, Maspero, 1970.

— 17. LIEBKNECHT Karl, Militarism, War, Revolution, selection of texts and introduction by Claudie Weill, Paris, Maspero, 1970.

— 18. LOWY Michaël, The Theory of Revolution in Young Marx’s works, Paris, Maspero, 1970.

— 19. SADOUL Jacques, Notes about the Bolshevik Revolution, Paris, Maspero, 1971.

— 20. GRAS Christian, Alfred Rosmer and the International Revolutionary Movement, Paris, Maspero, 1971.

— 21. NETTL John Peter, The Life and Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume 1, Paris, Maspero, 1972.

— 22. NETTL John Peter, The Life and Works of Rosa Luxemburg, Volume 2, Paris, Maspero, 1972.

— 23. FLECHTHEIM Ossip K., The German Communist Party under the Weimar Republic, Paris, Maspero, 1972.

— 24. CONFINO Michaël, Violence in the Violence, the Debate Bakounine-Netchaïev,  Paris, Maspero, 1973.

— 25. KOLLONTAÏ Alexandra, Marxism and the Sexual Revolution, preface and introduction by Judith Stora-Sandor, Paris, Maspero, 1975.

— 26. GRANDJONC Jacques, Marx and the German Communists, Paris, Maspero, 1974.

— 27. HAUPT Georges, LOWY Michael & WEILL Claudie, Marxists and the National Issue 1848-1914, Paris, Maspero, 1974.

— 28. MAITRON Jean, The Anarchist Movement in France. I – from its origins to 1914, Paris, Maspero, 1975.

— 29. MAITRON Jean, The Anarchist Movement in France. I – from 1914 to the present day, Paris, Maspero, 1975.

— 30. HEMERY Daniel, Vietnamese Revolutionaries and Colonial Power in Indochina, Paris, Maspero, 1975.

—31. LUXEMBURG Rosa, Long Live the Fight ! Correspondence 1891-1914, Paris, Maspero, 1975.

— 32. MONATTE Pierre, The Union Struggle, Paris, Maspero, 1976.

— 33. WEILL Claudie, Russian Marxists and German Social Democracy 1898-1904, Paris, Maspero, 1977.

— 34. LUXEMBURG Rosa, I was, I am, I will be ! Correspondence 1914-1919, Paris, Maspero, 1977.

— 35. SERGE Victor & TROTSKY Léon, The Struggle Against Stalinisn, Paris, Maspero, 1977.

— 36. BOURDÉ Guy, The Defeat of the Popular Front, Paris, Maspero, 1977.

— 37. COHEN Stephen, Nicolas Boukharine, The Life of a Bolshevik, Paris, Maspero, 1979.

— 38. LOWY Michaël, Marxism in Latin American from 1909 to the present day: an anthology, Paris, Maspero, 1980.

— 39. HAUPT Georges, The Historian and the Social Movement, Paris, Maspero, 1980.

— 40. LUKACS György, Letters from the Youth: 1908-1917, selection of letters, prefaced and annotated by Éva Fekete et Éva Karádi, translated from Hungarian and German by István Fodor, József Herman, Ernö Kenéz and Éva Szilágyi, Paris, Maspero, 1981.

The list of these works allows one to measure just how much the Maspero collection contributed to socialism knowledge in the world, its theorists, and it history. As shown by these archives, many other projects existed. In other publishing houses, Haupt also published several outstanding contributions on the history of Bolshevism and the international labor movement. For example, he also coordinated a dictionary relating to the history of the Austrian labor movement. Moreover, it is interesting to note the book that he published with Michael Löwy et Claudie Weill : Les marxistes et la question nationale (reedited by l’Harmattan publishing house). This book reunited numerous texts about the controversial issue that is the nation and nationalisms in international labor movements.

Several of the most noteworthy articles are reunited in a collection published post-mortem in 1980: L’historien et le mouvement social (Maspero publishing house). An English version of this work, different from the French edition, was published and prefaced by the famous British historian Eric Hobsbawm (Aspects of International Socialism 1871-1914, Cambridge-Paris, 1986).

A study day will be held at the University of Rouen – during a EUROSOC meeting – on Georges Haupt’s archives on 7 December 2016. EUROSOC, with other partners, is engaged in a valuation process of these archives. The study day will be the opportunity to deal with the elements we have here briefly presented in depth.

Jean-Numa Ducange
EUROSOC coordinator

[1] We are using the list established by the Smolny group on the very rich website by confronting it to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France catalogue.

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Frank-Olivier (2016, 27 juin). The archives of Georges Haupt: new research on the history of socialism. EUROSOC Normandie. Consulté le 16 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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