Wolff, Wilhelm

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Wolff, Wilhelm


(pseudonym, Lupus). Born June 21, 1809, in Tarnów, Silesia; died May 9, 1864, in Manchester. German proletarian revolutionary and a close friend of Marx and Engels.

Born into the family of a peasant, Wolff studied philosophy during 1829-34 at the university in Breslau (Wroclaw). He spent 1834-38 in a Prussian prison for participating in the democratic movement. In 1846 he emigrated to London, where he joined the German Workers’ Educational Society. In April 1846, Wolff moved to Brussels, where he became acquainted with Marx and Engels. He participated in the founding of the Communist League and was a member of its central committee. In June 1848 he became an editor of Die Rheinische Zeitung. He wrote several revolutionary articles on the peasant question, including “The Silesian Billion.” Prominent in the Democratic Society of Cologne, in 1849 he was a deputy to the Frankfurt Parliament, in which he belonged to the extreme left wing. After the defeat of the Revolution of 1848-49 in Germany, Wolff emigrated to Switzerland and moved to London in 1851. From 1854 he lived in Manchester. Marx dedicated the first volume of Das Kapital to Wolff—“the bold, faithful, noble, and advanced fighter of the proletariat.”


Der Aufruhr der Weber in Schlesien (Juni, 1844). [Berlin, 1952.]
Die schlesische Milliarde. Berlin, 1954.
Wybór pism o Slqsku. [Warsaw] 1954.


Engels, F. “Vn’gel’m Vol’f.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 19.
Smirnova, V. A. V. Vol’f—chelovek, kotoromu Marks posviatil “Kapital.” Moscow, 1963.
Schmidt, W. W. Wolff: Sein Weg zum Kommunisten. Berlin, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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