Max Goldstein: The Anarchist Revolutionary (1898-1924)

Max Goldstein, a Romanian born Jew, was one of the few Romanians who advocated for the anarcho-socialist cause that was sweeping Eastern and event some parts of Western Europe. Goldstein, was one of the early left-wing revolutionaries of Romania who has been pretty much a kingdom all of its existence, even prior to its formation in the 19th century.

Goldstein was born in the small l town of Barlad, where he led his towards socialist convictions until he was condemned to 10 years prison by the Romanian government for being a socialist. He ran away and moved to Odessa.Goldstein however was famous for his many bombings that shook the Romanian kingdom in the name of anarcho-communism. He meant to destruct the autocratic government by sheer violence and terror- not so different from the anarchists of Russia who killed Alexander II.


What did he do?

In a way Goldstein is regarded as a terrorist because of the bombings, but by some he is regarded as a hero for the socialist cause against Romanian monarchism. He is primarily known for two major terrorists attempts in Romania

In 1920 he made a homemade explosive and placed it under a train compartment carrying Constantin Argetatoianu who was an ardent anti-communist politician and influence on Romanian politics. However the attempt failed miserably as only a part of the train carriage was damaged. Goldstein was never found out. A month later him and a few associated made a bomb out of old German shells used in WW1 and there it in front of the Romanian Senate in Bucharest. This time the attempt killed a couple of senators and injured others. The bombing led to further anti-communist insurrection in Romania as the Communist Party was entirely put against the wall and questioned.

Goldstein escaped Romania and left for Budapest where he was arrested for terrorism and later he died in jail at the age of 26 after a month long hunger strike.

So What?

The importance of this is that Goldstein was among the first of the Romania generation of Communists and anarchists who wanted to topple the Tsar-styled monarchy yet they did so in the old style of terrorism. The question thus remains even though he wanted to enact change for the better, was he justified to provoke such terrorism. Was it terrorism?

In my opinion although I hate monarchism I have to agree that his actions were meant to cause anarchist terrorism-which I do not agree with. I personally do not believe individual violence and acts of terrorism invoke any change but only function to bring to light the shortcomings of a particular movement- when a group throws bombs at others to make a point it seems that they are rather week in their reasoning. Therefore the best way to invoke change is through passive and systemic institution of ideals among the masses. Once you have the backing of the masses, you do not need to terrorism but you can invoke a revolution( either passive or violent). Terrorism is shameful and always will be.

Read more about Max Goldstein:

Flag of the Kingdom of Romania, National Histo...


3 thoughts on “Max Goldstein: The Anarchist Revolutionary (1898-1924)

  1. King Ferdinand of Romania had accomplished the union of the Romanian Principalities into what is today the Romanian state, yet he was a target of Goldstein. This foreign ethnic did not speak for the Romanian people – nor for being against the King, nor for committing a terrorist act which is totally alien to the nature of Romanian people. You cannot just compare the monarchy with Russia on the principle “its monarchy so its bad!”. There is no justification for Goldstein’s actions – he was a terrorist, period.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s