Pehr Götrek

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Pehr Götrek

Pehr Götrek (1798 – 1876) was an early Swedish Christian communist. He was also a teetotaler and a vegetarian.

Götrek was a teacher, a book printer and also kept an antiquarian bookshop in Stockholm. He published books explaining Saint-Simon's "revealed religion" in the 1830:ies, then turning his focus towards Étienne Cabet in 1846 and in 1847 he wrote a book expounding on Charles Fourier. He was the first to import and translate the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in 1848, the same year it was published in German. However, Götrek, took the liberty to alter some parts of the Manifesto, including the now famous quote, Workers of the world, unite!, which Götrek, being a religious man, changed to Folkets röst, guds röst! (i.e. "Vox populi, vox Dei", or "People's voice is God's voice").

He had a small group of intellectual followers and the group became an underground club for political discussions, but never really any practical political work. Even though Götrek read Marx, he was more of a utopian socialist than a revolutionary Marxist.

The Communist Manifesto was later more correctly retranslated by Axel Danielsson, and then Zeth Höglund.

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