Paul Frölich (1884–1953) was a journalist and left wing political activist who was a founding member of the Communist Party of Germany and founder of the party's paper, Die Rote Fahne. A Communist Party deputy in the Reichstag on two occasions, Frölich was expelled from the Party in 1928, after which he joined the organized German Communist Opposition movement. Frölich is best remembered as a biographer of Rosa Luxemburg.
Paul Frölich was born 7 August 1884 in Leipzig into a German working-class family. He was the second child of eleven. As a young man he studied history and social science at the Leipzig Workers' School.
Frölich joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in 1902.
Frölich's common-law wife from the 1920s was the communist Rosi Wolfstein (1888-1987). The pair were formally married in 1948.
Frölich worked as a journalist during the first decade of the 20th Century, writing for the Hamburger Echo from 1910 to 1914 and for the Bremer Bürgerzeitung from 1914 to 1916.
In 1918, Frölich founded the newspaper Die Rote Fahne (The Red Flag) in Hamburg. This was later to become the official organ of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which Frölich helped to establish at the end of December 1918. During this period, Frölich sometimes wrote under the pseudonym "Paul Werner."
The founding congress of the KPD elected Frölich to its governing Central Committee. He was re-elected to this position by the 1920 Congress of the KPD, but at the end of the year he was squeezed off the body as a result of a merger of that organization with the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD).
Frölich was a delegate of the KPD to the 3rd World Congress of the Comintern, held in Moscow in the summer of 1921. Frölich was selected by the congress as the representative of the KPD to the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI).
Frölich was expelled from the KPD in December 1928, ostensibly as a supporter of so-called "Right-wing" conciliation. Thereafter, he joined the Communist Party Opposition (KPD-O), and in 1932 helped to establish the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAP).
Imprisonment and emigration
Frölich returned to West Germany in 1950, where he spent the last years of his life.
Death and legacy
Paul Frölich died on 16 March 1953 in Frankfurt. He was 68 years old at the time of his death.
Frölich is best remembered as a pioneer biographer of the assassinated Communist Rosa Luxemburg. His book about her, first published in German in 1928, has been translated into a number of languages, including Spanish, English, French, Italian, Slovenian, Korean, Greek, Hebrew, and Japanese. A new edition of this work appeared in English in 2010, published by the radical Chicago publisher Haymarket Books.
- Branko Lazitch with Milorad M. Drachkovitch, Biographical Dictionary of the Comintern: New, Revised, and Expanded Edition. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1986; pg. 127.
- Guide to the Paul Froelich Papers, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam.
- See this OCLC search.
- Paul Frölich, Rosa Luxemburg: Ideas in Action, Haymarket Books, www.haymarketbooks.org/ Retrieved April 12, 2011.
- Die politik des Hamburger arbeiterrats (The Politics of the Hamburg Workers' Council). Berlin : G. Schumann, c. 1919.
- Keinen Pfennig den Fürsten! (Not a Penny for the Prince!) Berlin: Vereinigung Internationaler Verlagsanstalten, c. 1919.
- Der Weg zum Sozialismus (The Way to Socialism). Hamburg: Kommunistische Arbeiterzeitung, 1919.
- Die Bayerische Räterepublik. Tatsachen und Kritik (The Bavarian Soviet Republic: Facts and Criticism). Leipzig: Franke, 1920.
- Taktik und Organisation der revolutionären Offensive: Die Lehren der März-Aktion (Tactics and Organization of the Revolutionary Offensive: Lessons of the March Action). Leipzig : Frankes Verlag, 1921.
- Wider den weissen Mord (Against the White Murder). Berlin: Vereinigung Internationaler Verlagsanstalten, 1922.
- Der Steuerbote nimmt dein Brot! : Ein Kapitel indirekte Steuern (The Tax Collector Takes Your Bread! A Chapter on Indirect Taxes). Berlin: Vereinigung Internationaler Verlags-Anstalten, 1922.
- 1848: Ein Lesebuch für Arbeiter (1848: A Reading Book for Workers). Berlin : Vereinigung Internationaler Verlags-Anstalten, 1923.
- 10 Jahr Krieg und Bürgerkrieg (Ten Years of War and Civil War). Berlin: Vereinigung Internationaler Verlags-Anstalten, 1924. —Memoir.
- Die deutsche Sozialdemokratie: 14 Jahre im Bunde mit dem Kapital (German Social Democracy: 14 Years in League with Capital). With A. Schreiner. Berlin: 1925.
- "Introduction" to Speeches of Georges Jacques Danton. New York: International Publishers, 1928.
- Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Work.  Edward Fitzgerald, trans. London: Victor Gollancz, 1940.
- Illustrierte Geschichte der deutschen Revolution (Illustrated History of the German Revolution). Berlin : Internationalen Arbeiter-Verlag, 1929.
- Photographic Portrait of Paul Frölich by August Sander (1929), J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California.