|Germany | Kaiserreich||[P|S|M]|
Carl Ferdinand Freiherr von Stumm-Halberg owned the leading Saarland steel factories. The following paragraphs are excerpts from speeches Stumm held in front of his workers, in the years 1889 - 1895
"Myself, I could not stand to be one moment more in your presence, if my personal relation to each and every one of you would be replaced by negotiations with a workers' association under alien leadership. ... Both my moral sence of duty and my Christian conviction would prevent me from entering in such a relation with such an alien power. ... Should it ever come otherwise and I prevented from supervising the worker, also in his actions outside of the factory, I would not continue another day at the helm of the enterprise, because I would no longer be capable (p.14) to fulfil the moral obligations prescribed to me by my conscience in front of God and my fellow human beings. An employer who feels indifferent about his workers' actions outside of the factory, in my view violates his foremost dities. ... I could ... specify a number of ... actions of workers outside of the factory, in the case of which I regard it the duty of the morally conscious employer to step in, and not merely to take the comforting position that it does not concern him what his worker does outside of his factory, he is merely interested in the workers' labour in the factory.|
I do not list this to claim a merit; I do it to fulfil my duty as a human being, a Christian and the head of a large Neunkirchen worker family. ... I believe I can say with good conscience that I do not take second place to any of my colleagues when it comes to welfare institutions, in any case not in striving, to the best of my knowledge and conscience, to care for your material and spiritual well-being and to practice practical christianity, for which I hold myself responsible in front of God. In this way I hope to care, far beyond my own days, that you will be immune to the temptations of the Social Democrats and other false prophets, that is the best welfare institution I can grant and pass on to you. Stand firm for all times in your unshakable loyalty to our majestic monarch, stand firm in your christian love of your neighbour and in our true fear of God, no matter what your confession may be, then, according to human experience, you will continue to fare well ....
That distress and misery exists among workers, noone will contest less then myself, who thrives on a daily basis to reduce it, if it appears among you. But this is not an indication of the so-called fourth estate; because many farmers and craftsmen, even many belonging to the so-called educated estate live much worse as most factory workers, just because capital, because of its expansion in Germany in the last decades, is capable to care for its
workers better than it has been possible in past years. ... It is incomprehensible to me how the educated men define the fourth estate. There are many steps between myself and the lowest day-labourer : the director, the manager, the factory engineer, the master, the foreman - and I want to know where the third estate ends and the fourth estate begins ! No, my friends, we all belong to one estate, that is the old, honourable estate of the hammersmiths, and I have always and everywhere proudly professed to belong to this estate ..."
|After : Ernst Schraepler: Quellen zur Geschichte der sozialen Frage in Deutschland (Sources to the History of the Social Question in Germany), Vol. 2. Gottingen 1964, p.100f; p.103; quoted after: Gudrun Dormann and Alexander
Decker, Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie (The German Social Democracy), in: Materialien zum historisch-politischen Unterricht 1 (Materials for Historical-Political Instruction), ed. by H. Hoffacker. Stuttgart 1975/79, p.15f; listed on psm-data by permission|
|Dokument in deutscher Sprache|
GM & AG
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