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Register of the Karl August Wittfogel papers, 1728-1992
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Biography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Karl August Wittfogel papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1728-1992
    Collection number: 66033
    Creator: Wittfogel, Karl August, 1896-1988
    Collection Size: 408 manuscript boxes, 11 card file boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 6 album boxes, 61 envelopes, 1 oversize folder, 15 microfilm reels, 1 videotape cassette, 2 phonorecords, 19 slides (183 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: Speeches and writings, memoirs, correspondence, notes, studies, reports, printed matter, and audiovisual materials, relating to the history of China from ancient times to the twentieth century; the development of Chinese studies in the West; the concept of an Asiatic mode of production; and the history of German, Russian, Chinese and international communist movements. Includes some papers of Esther Schiff Goldfrank and G. L. Ulmen.
    Language: English, German and Chinese.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Karl August Wittfogel papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1966.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Access Points

    Asiatic mode of production.
    China--Study and teaching.
    Soviet Union.
    Russia (Federation)
    United States.
    Civilization, Oriental.
    Communism--Soviet Union.
    Slides (Photography)
    Video tapes.
    Goldfrank, Esther Schiff.
    Ulmen, G. L.


    1896, Sept. 6 Born, Woltersdorf, Germany
    1912 Joined the German youth movement Wandervogel
    1917 Drafted, German Army Signal Corps
    1918 Joined the Unabhangige Sozialdemokratische Partei
    1920-1921 Teacher, Volkshochschule Schloss Tinz, Tinz, Germany
    1920 Joined the Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands
    1921 Married Rose Schlesinger

    Author, Rote Soldaten: Politische Tragodie in 5 Akten
    1922 Author,

    Der Mann, der eine Idee hat

    Die Mutter, Der Fluchtling

    Vom Urkommunismus bis zur proletarischen Revolution

    Die Wissenschaft der burgerlichen Gesellschaft: Eine marxistische Untersuchung
    1923 Author, Wer ist der Dummste?
    1924 Author,

    Geschichte der burgerlichen Gesellschaft: Von ihren

    Anfangen bis zur Schwelle der grossen Revolution

    Der Wolkenkratzer: Amerikanischer Sketch
    1924-1925 Author, Die spannenden Abenteuer des 12 jahrigen Freiheitshelden Antonio Mascaro im Bauernaufstand zu Mallorka
    1925 Cultural editor, Die Rote Fahne
    1925-1933 Research associate, Institut fur Sozialforschung, Universitat Frankfurt, Germany
    1926 Author, Das erwachende China: Ein Abriss der Geschichte der gegenwartigen Probleme Chinas
    1928 Ph.D. in economics, Universitat Frankfurt
    1931 Author, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Chinas: Versuch der wissenschaftlichen Analyse einer grossen asiatischen Agrargesellschaft
    1933 Married Olga Joffe

    Arrested; spent nine months in prison and in three

    concentration camps
    1934 Left Germany for England and then the United States
    1934-1939 Research associate, International Institute of Social Research, associated with and located on the campus ofColumbia University, New York City (formerly the Institutfur Sozialforschung)
    1935-1937 Researcher in China
    1936 Author (under the pseudonym Klaus Hinrichs), Staatliches Konzentrationslager VII
    1939 Joined the Wider Quaker Fellowship

    Broke with the Communist movement after the Nazi-Soviet Pact
    1939-1968 Founder and director, Chinese History Project, Columbia University, New York City (co-sponsored by the Institute of Pacific Relations and the International Institute of Social Research, and after 1947, by the University of Washington and Columbia University)
    1940 Married Esther S. Goldfrank
    1941 Naturalized American citizen
    1943-1944 Lecturer in Chinese, Columbia University, New York City
    1944-1945 Associate Professor in International Studies, Columbia University, New York City
    1945-1946 Associate Professor in the University Seminars, Columbia University, New York City
    1947-1949 Acting professor of Chinese History, University of Washington, Seattle
    1949 Author (with Feng Chia-sheng), History of Chinese Society: Liao (907-1125)
    1949 Joined the American Committee for Cultural Freedom
    1949-1966 Professor of Chinese History, University of Washington, Seattle
    1950 Subpoenaed to appear before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in executive session
    1951 Subpoenaed to appear before the Internal Security Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee in open session
    1957 Author, Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power

    1960 Author, From Marx to Mao: A Viewer's Guide
    1966-1988 Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, Seattle
    1977 Author, Beitrage zur marxistischen Asthetik
    1988, May 25 Died, New York City