PÜCKLER-MUSKAU, WALTER, COUNT:
German anti-Semitic agitator; born Oct. 9, 1860, at Rogan, near Breslau. He graduated from the University of Breslau with the degree of doctor of law, and was appointed referendar, but soon left the public service. After 1899 he became very notorious in connection with the anti-Semitic movement, his harangues being distinguished for extreme vulgarity of language. In all his addresses, mostly delivered in Berlin, he has advised the most violent measures against the Jews—breaking into their stores, plundering, whipping, driving them from their homes, killing them. From his constant repetition of "beat the Jews," "crack their skulls," "kick them out," "thrash them," and similar rowdyisms, he has received the cognomen "Dreschgraf" (the thrashing count). He considers himself the legitimate successor of Stöcker and Ahlwardt, although the former sharply criticized him for his violence and vulgarity. The anti-Semitic journals, especially the Berlin "Staatsbürgerzeitung," which published his addresses, have greeted him as a worthy ally; yet a few of them have repudiated his appeals to violence. Generally, no restraint has been put upon him by the authorities, though he has occasionally been tried for inciting to violence. His declaration before the court of Glogau, May 12, 1899, often repeated since, that his expressions were figurative and meant no harm to the Jews, was accepted as a valid plea.
On Jan. 12, 1905, a Berlin court sentenced Pückler-Muskau to six months' imprisonment. He objected to one of the judges, Simonson, on account of his Jewish descent, but his objection was not sustained. His plea that he had been acquitted several times when he had used much sharper language was not considered valid. After being sentenced he challenged the presiding judge to a duel, whereupon he was sentenced to three days' further imprisonment for contempt of court. Dr. Neumann, expert alienist, expressed the opinion before the court that Pückler was mentally unsound and should be sent to an asylum for the insane. Thereupon Pückler challenged Neumann also to a duel and was condemned to two months' imprisonment in the fortress of Weichselmünde. He then issued a paper entitled "Der Retter aus der Judennot," the first number of which was seized by the police. See Anti-Semitism.
- Mittheilungen aus dem Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus, 1899-1905.