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Ludwig Quidde Collected Papers

Identifier: SCPC-CDG-B-Germany-Quidde, Ludwig

Scope and Contents

Collected papers of Ludwig Quidde include: biographical information; correspondence with Ellen Starr Brinton (first Curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection); correspondence with Frederick J. Libby (founder and executive secretary of National Council for Prevention of War); pamphlets and other writings by Quidde.


  • Creation: 1881-1941


Language of Materials

Materials are in German and English.

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use



Dr. Ludwig Quidde was born on March 23, 1858 in Bremen, Germany. He studied history, philosophy and economics at the Universities of Strasburg and Goettingen, graduating from the latter in 1881. After receiving a doctorate, he spent much time in foreign travel and then became chair of history at the University of Munich. In 1889, he founded the German Review of Historical Societies.

Quidde came to national attention in 1894 with the publication of his satire on the Kaiser, called "Caligula: A Study in Caesarian Insanity," a severe attack on the regime of the then youthful monarch, Wilhelm II. Two years later Quidde was imprisoned for three months for his critique of the adoration bestowed on William 'the Great.'

In 1895, Quidde became President of the Democratic Party of Bavaria. From 1902-1910, he was a member of the Town Council of Munich, 1907-1919 of the Bavarian Parliament, and 1919-1920 of the Constituent National Assembly of Weimar.

The German Peace Society was founded in 1892, with Quidde being one of its earliest members. In 1894, he established a Munich branch of the Society. He became President of the German Peace Society in May 1914, and was also Vice-President of the International Peace Bureau. In these capacities, he worked against Prussian militarism and imperialism, as well as against German-French rivalry, earning for himself the dislike of the monarchial government. In fact, his correspondence was under secret surveillance for years. He joined many pacifist societies, wrote on peace issues, and traveled widely to promote peace through negotiation. He was also active in the International Union of Democratic and Radical Parties. He favored the disarmament of Germany, and in 1928 proposed that it incorporate the Kellogg Peace Pact in its constitution. Quidde was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1927, which he shared with Prof. Ferdinand Buisson of France.

During World War I, Quidde was exiled from Berlin for his peace principles; he escaped imprisonment only because he was a member of the Bavarian Parliament. He lived in Switzerland until the war ended. In 1924, Quidde was indicted for high treason for an article he wrote warning the German government about the dangers inherent in the country's increased toleration of militarism. He was imprisoned, and was liberated only because of international pressure. In 1938, Quidde was living in Austria but was forced to flee to Switzerland when the Nazis invaded Austria. He lived in Switzerland until his death at 82 in early March 1941. No information about his wife is available.

In 1937, Quidde informed Ellen Starr Brinton, the curator of the Swarthmore College Peace Collection, that his 40 years of peace correspondence had been confiscated by the Munich Police. It contained valuable letters from Jane Addams, William Jennings Bryan, David Starr Jordan, and others. For several years Brinton attempted to get the correspondence released, but was not successful. His papers were never retrieved and were eventually destroyed in the bombing of Munich during the Second World War.


0.42 linear ft. (5 linear in.)


Ludwig Quidde, editor and historian, was elected president of the German Peace Society in 1914, a position he held for fifteen years. He was the winner of the 1927 Nobel Peace Prize, which he shared with Ferdinand Buisson of France.

Other Finding Aids

For the catalog record for this collection, and to find materials on similar topics, search the library's online catalog

Custodial History

The Swarthmore College Peace Collection is not the official repository for these papers/records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Related Materials

  1. Deutsche Friedensgelsellschaft [German Peace Society] Collected Records (CDG-B Germany)
  2. Helene Stöcker Papers (DG 035)
  3. "Der erste Schritt zur Weltabrustung: Denkschrift" by Quidde in the Book Collection

Separated Materials

Items removed: photographs of Quidde are available in the Photograph Collection (4"x5"/5"x7") and in a scrapbook (Oversize Scrapbook: Germany).

Legal Status

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendents, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Processing Information

Processed by SCPC staff; checklist prepared by Anne Yoder, December 1997; this finding aid created by Eleanor Fulvio, August 2010; updated by Wendy Chmielewski, December 2015.

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Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Swarthmore College Peace Collection Library

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