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Publication information
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Source: Truth Seeker
Source type: magazine
Document type: article
Document title: “John Most and Freiheit”
Author(s): Mitchell, Frederic W.
Date of publication: 30 November 1901
Volume number: 28
Issue number: 48
Pagination: 759

 
Citation
Mitchell, Frederic W. “John Most and Freiheit.” Truth Seeker 30 Nov. 1901 v28n48: p. 759.
 
Transcription
excerpt
 
Keywords
Johann Most; anarchists (New York, NY); Freiheit; anarchism (newspapers, magazines, etc.).
 
Named persons
Johann Most.
 
Document

 

John Most and Freiheit [excerpt]

     The case of John Most involves such a clear question of the freedom of the press that no Freethinker can afford to overlook it. There is something interesting about the personality of this man. He and his famous weekly, Die Freiheit, are well known by name to two continents, but it is only a select few who can judge both understandingly.
     Herr Most, like all of the radical Anarchists, was born a Catholic. He has served terms of imprisonment in Germany, England, and the United States, always for what are recognized to be political crimes, with one exception. This exception will not lower him in the eyes of the majority of readers of this paper, whatever they may think of any form of Anarchy. Augsburg, where Most was born, is a Bavarian city, and there Catholicism is particularly bigoted and intolerant. The youthful Most rebelled against going to confession, and the priest, a licentious and choleric fellow, attempted to give him corporal punishment. The priest got the worst thrashing he ever had in his life. Young Most was sentenced to jail, and registered a vow that he would never enter a church as long as he lived, which oath he has solemnly kept.
     Most is a well-educated man. He is an omnivorous reader, and has made a special study of history. On this subject he has often lectured both in English and German. In the popular mind Herr Most is so thoroughly identified with the extreme Auarchists [sic] that the yellow press with one accord determined to exploit him after the Buffalo affair last September. It is said that all Most assignments given to reporters on the Journal and the World were marked respectively in the corner “P. F.” and “C. S.,” which meant that an interesting “story” or interview with Most could be prepared right in the office, as it invariably was. P. F. means “pure fake” and C. S. signifies “color strongly.”
     Die Freiheit (Liberty) contains about one-third as much matter as The Truth Seeker. Herr Most writes a most peculiar style of German. He excels in lurid invective. His paper can be understood and appreciated only by one who adds to a knowledge of German a knowledge of New York life and both German and American slang. Nobody understands and relishes pure High German better than John Most, but it suits his fancy to get up the greater part of the Freiheit in a strange macaronic tongue that is very puzzling to a newly-arrived German, be he ever so learned.

 

 


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