Born May 29, 1842, in Braunschweig (Brunswick); died there on Apr. 27, 1880. Figure in the German workers’ movement. One of the leaders of the German Social Democratic Party.
Bracke was a bookseller and publisher by profession. In 1869 he participated in the founding of the Eisenach party. Bracke played a prominent role in the struggle against Lassallism and Bakuninism, and he was critical of the plan outlined in the Gotha Program. After the adoption of the Exceptional Law Against Socialists (1878), Bracke spoke out against anarchistic elements in the party, but he underestimated the danger from the right wing. Under the influence of the “Circular Letter” by K. Marx and F. Engels (see Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 19, pp. 161–75), Bracke joined the struggle against the right-wing opportunistic tendency.
REFERENCESMarx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vols. 19,33, 34. (See index of names.)
Marx, K., and F. Engels. Briefwechsel mit Wilhelm Bracke (1869–1880). Berlin, 1963.
Seidel, J. W. Bracke: Vom Lassalleaner zum Marxisten. Berlin, 1966.