Eugene Dietzgen

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Eugene Dietzgen (1862–1929) was the first son of socialist philosopher Joseph Dietzgen, born in Germany.

Early life[edit]

At age two he was taken with his father to Tsarist Russia to educate himself in Russian as well as learn his father's business of tannery. They both returned in 1868.

In 1881, Eugene's father Joseph sent him to America in order to escape the draft of the Kaiser as well as to hide some of his father's socialist literature. Eugene had to safeguard his father's literature because it had already landed Joseph in jail a few years before. Eugene was only 19 years old when he arrived in New York City. He started to work for a German drafting company, but eventually moved to Chicago and started the Eugene Dietzgen Drafting Company, which is still in operation today under different management.

At the time Eugene was heavily influenced by his father, one of Karl Marx's favorite philosophers on socialist theory. As a result, Eugene was very working-class conscious and provided his factory workers with many amenities not found in the mid 19th century. Some of these amenities include separate bathrooms for men and women, open windowsills with flowers decorating the air, and a general atmosphere of a healthy working community.[1] The original building still stands at 218 23rd Street, Chicago.[2] The company still exists, and its second building remains as a part of DePaul University, at the corner of Fullerton Avenue and Sheffield, in Chicago's once heavily German neighborhood of Linçoln Park.[3]

Eugene's first wife could not bear him children, so he got divorced and moved to Zurich, Switzerland, in 1912. There he met his second wife, Jansen, and they had a total of six children: three boys and three girls.[2]


  1. ^ Feldmann, Vera Dietzgen, interview by Joshua J. Morris. Joseph Dietzgen Research (April 16, 2008)
  2. ^ a b Feldmann, Vera Dietzgen, interview by Joshua J. Morris. Joseph Dietzgen Research (May 2, 2008)
  3. ^ "Eugene Dietzgen Company Historÿ". Dietzgen (division of Nashua Paper). Retrieved 26 May 2013.