|Died||2 May 1919 (aged 49)|
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Gustav Landauer (7 April 1870 – 2 May 1919) was one of the leading theorists on anarchism in Germany at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. He was an advocate of social anarchism and an avowed pacifist.
In 1919, he was briefly Commissioner of Enlightenment and Public Instruction of the short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic during the German Revolution of 1918–1919. He was killed when this republic was overthrown.
Landauer is also known for his study of metaphysics and religion, and his translations of William Shakespeare's works into German.
Landauer was the second child of Jewish parents Rosa née Neuberger and Herman Landauer. He supported anarchism by the 1890s. In those years, he was especially enthusiastic about the individualistic approach of Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche, but also "cautioned against an apotheosis of the unrestrained individual, potentially leading to the neglect of solidarity".
He was good friends with Martin Buber, influencing the latter's philosophy of dialogue. Landauer believed that social change could not be achieved solely through control of the state or economic apparatus, but required a revolution in interpersonal relations.
He felt that true socialism could arise only in conjunction with this social change, and he wrote, "The community we long for and need, we will find only if we sever ourselves from individuated existence; thus we will at last find, in the innermost core or our hidden being, the most ancient and most universal community: the human race and the cosmos."
One of Landauer's grandchildren, with wife and author Hedwig Lachmann, was Mike Nichols, the American television, stage and film director, writer, and producer.