Harden, Maximilian

born Maximilian Felix Ernst Witkowsky (1861-1927)
   journalist and publisher; among Germany's important political commen-tators. Born in Berlin* to a Jewish silk merchant, he left school early, converted to Christianity, and traveled for ten years with a stage group, assuming the name Maximilian Harden. Turning to journalism in 1888, he wrote initially for the Deutsche Montagsblatt and Gegenwart. A friend and supporter of Bismarck, he was the pronounced opponent of his successors. In 1892 he founded Die Zukunft (Future); he published, edited, and substantially authored the journal for thirty years.
   Harden was a combative spirit. Hugo von Hofmannsthal claimed that he was "hard to define and easy to abuse," and a biographer called him "the caricature of the crusading polemicist." He used Zukunft for fierce and often-effective attacks on Germany's political and social life, not refraining from harassing the Kaiser himself (the latter having snubbed Harden's proffer of support); he ini-tiated an assault on the Kaiser's friend Philipp Eulenburg, including accusations of homosexuality, which served to discredit the Kaiser and his entourage while creating one of the famous scandals of the century's first decade. Such attacks led to several prison sentences. When he accused Walther Rathenau,* an erst-while friend, of plagiarism, Rathenau challenged him to a duel (Harden refused to fight). Although Harden was an early devotee of Alfred von Tirpitz* and an aggressive world policy, he became a determined foe of annexationism during World War I and by 1916 was campaigning for a peace of understanding.
   As someone "who followed only his conscience," Harden is difficult to clas-sify. With a vast intellect and extensive knowledge, he was a brilliant conver-sationalist and a good listener. Kurt Tucholsky,* also a journalistic force, said that he was among the few German journalists who symbolized power." But he remained quarrelsome, inclined to be at odds with almost all of his acquain-tances. By 1918 many deemed him a republican, a socialist, and a pacifist; yet he was also an elitist who spurned the Republic's bourgeois aspects. While he hailed the November Revolution,* he was soon disillusioned. A lonely admirer of the Versailles Treaty*—he called it a "work of art"—he rejected the only Party capable of applying it. Indeed, his reproach of the SPD clashed with his advocacy of workers' rights. In the pages of Zukunft he was equally as prone to champion powerful industrialists such as Hugo Stinnes* as to find generous words for Soviet Russia. On 3 July 1922, shortly after Rathenau's assassination,* a would-be assassin pummeled Harden with an iron rod. Severely injured, Harden relocated to Swit-zerland. Although he lived five more years, he never recovered from the assault.
   REFERENCES:Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon;Deak, Weimar Germany's Left-Wing Intellectuals; Young, Maximilian Harden.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • HARDEN, MAXIMILIAN — (originally Felix Ernst Witkowski; 1861–1927), German journalist and polemist. He edited his periodical Die Zukunft, founded in 1892, with vigor, erudition, and an eye for intrigue that often exposed society and government circles. Born Witkowski …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Harden, Maximilian Felix Ernst — ▪ German journalist original name  Felix Ernst Witkowski   born Oct. 20, 1861, Berlin died Oct. 30, 1927, Montana Vermala, Valais, Switz.  political journalist, a spokesman for extreme German nationalism before and during World War I and a… …   Universalium

  • Maximilian Harden — (* 20. Oktober 1861 in Berlin; † 30. Oktober 1927 in Montana, Schweiz; eigentlich Felix Ernst Witkowski; Pseudonym Apostata) war ein einflussreicher deutscher Publizist, Kritiker, Schauspieler …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Maximilian Harden — in 1914 Maximilian Harden (a pen name; he was born Felix Ernst Witkowski)[1] (20 October 1861 30 October 1927) was an influential German journalist and editor. Biography Born the son of a Jewish merchant in …   Wikipedia

  • Harden [2] — Harden, Maximilian, Schriftsteller, geb. 20. Okt. 1861 in Berlin, hieß ursprünglich Witkowski, legte jedoch diesen Namen gleichzeitig mit seinen Angehörigen um das Jahr 1886 wegen eines Familienkonflikts nieder und nannte sich H., während sein… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Harden — Harden, Maximilian, Schriftsteller, geb. 20. Okt. 1861 in Berlin, Herausgeber (seit 1892) der Wochenschrift »Zukunft«, schrieb polit. und soziale Essays u. d. T. »Apostata« (2 Bde., 1892) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Harden — Not to be confused with Hardin Harden may refer to;as a surname: * Arthur Harden * Duane Harden * Henry Eric Harden * James Harden Hickey * Marcia Gay Harden * Maximilian Harden (1861 1927), German journalist * Rich Harden, a pitcher for the… …   Wikipedia

  • Harden — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Arthur Harden (1865–1940), britischer Chemiker und Nobelpreisträger Cecil M. Harden (1894–1984), US amerikanische Politikerin Ingo Harden (* 1928), deutscher Musikkritiker und Autor James Harden (* 1989),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Harden-Eulenburg-Affäre — Philipp zu Eulenburg Hertefeld um 1905 – eine der Hauptpersonen in der Harden Eulenburg Affäre Die Harden Eulenburg Affäre, oder kurz Eulenburg Affäre, war die Kontroverse um eine Reihe von Kriegsgerichts und fünf regulären Verfahren wegen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Maximilian Harden — Pour les personnes ayant le même patronyme, voir Witkowski. Maximilian Harden en 1914 Felix Ernst Witkowski, dit Maximilian Harden, né à Berlin le …   Wikipédia en Français

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