Arnold Ruge - Encyclopedia

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ARNOLD RUGE (1802-1880), German philosopher and political writer, was born at Bergen, in the island of Rugen, on the 13th of September 1802. He studied at Halle, Jena and Heidelberg, and became an adherent of the party which sought to create a free and united Germany. For his zeal he was confined for five years in the fortress of Kolberg, where he studied Plato and the Greek poets. On his release in 1830 he published Schill and die Seinen, a tragedy, and a translation of Oedipus in Colonus. Ruge settled in Halle, where in 1837 with E. T. Echtermeyer he founded the Hallesche Jahrbiicher fiir deutsche Kunst and Wissenschaft. In this periodical he discussed the questions of the time from the point of view of the Hegelian philosophy. The Jahrbiicher was detested by the orthodox party in Prussia; and was finally suppressed by the Saxon government in 1843. In Paris Ruge tried to act with Karl Marx as co-editor of the Deutsch-Franzosische JahrNicher, but had little sympathy with Marx's socialistic theories, and soon left him. In the revolutionary movement of 1848 he organized the Extreme Left in the Frankfort parliament, and for some time he lived in Berlin as the editor of the Die Reform. The Prussian government intervened and Ruge soon afterwards left for Paris, hoping, through his friend Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, to establish relations between German and French republicans; but in 1849 both Ledru-Rollin and Ruge had to take refuge in London. Here, in company with Giuseppe Mazzini and other advanced politicians, they formed a "European Democratic Committee." From this Ruge soon withdrew, and in 1850 went to Brighton, where he supported himself by teaching and writing. In 1866 and 1870 he vigorously supported Prussia against Austria, and Germany against France. In his last years he received from the German government a pension of 1000 marks. He died on the 31st of December 1880.

Ruge was a leader in religious and political liberalism, but did not produce any work of enduring importance. In 1846-48 his Gesammelte Schriften were published in ten volumes. After this time he wrote, among other books, Unser System, Revolutionsnovellen, Die Loge des Humanismus, and Aus fruherer Zeit (his memoirs). He also wrote many poems, and several dramas and romances, and translated into German various English works, including the Letters of Junius and Buckle's History of Civilization. His Letters and Diary (1825-80) were published by Paul Nerrlich (Berlin, 1885-87). See A. W. Bolin's L. Feuerbach, pp. 127-52 (Stuttgart, 1891).

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