August Bebel

From a letter to an Austrian Social-Democrat

May Day in Germany

Source/Published: May Day: A Short History of the International Workers' Holiday
Online Version: August Bebel Internet Archive, April 2002
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Mike B.
Proofread by: Nik McDonald (September 2005)

The idea of May Day celebrations has taken root ineradicably in Germany....The stoppage of work on the day of the celebration is, slowly but surely, being more and more adopted. The sad economic state of affairs which we have been experiencing for years and which hardly admits improvement forces hundreds of thousands to rest not only on Mayday, but also before and after. This is the main reason why the party has up to now declined to take a strong stand on the extension of the stoppage of work on May 1st. But the idea is extending further and further, the number of participants is becoming, to an ever increasing degree, a proletarian holiday which is dedicated to the demands of the proletariat for working hours, working and living conditions worthy of human beings.