By: Isidore Singer
German economist and deputy; born in Halberstadt Dec. 30, 1832. His parents removed at the end of the thirties to Magdeburg, where Max received his early education. He studied (1850-55) natural science, foreign languages, and jurisprudence at the universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg, and Berlin. After having graduated (1856) he traveled through France and northern Africa to study the economic conditions of these regions. In 1861 he founded at Frankfort-on-the-Main a publishing-house, which he soon transferred to Berlin. On the death of his father (1862) he succeeded to the latter's great produce business. Cherishing political ambitions, he took an active part in the organization of various political societies, and became so prominent that in 1864 he was elected as a member of the permanent executive committee of the German Arbeiterbildungsverein. From 1867 he devoted all his energies to politics. After a visit to England, where he studied thoroughly the organizations of the English working classes, he became one of the principal promoters of the Deutsche (Hirsch-Dunckersche) Gewerksvereine. He was the attorney at law of this great organization, and at the same time editor of its organ, "Der Gewerksverein." In 1869, 1877, 1881, and 1890 he was elected to the Reichstag. In 1898 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies of Prussia. As a member of the progressive party he turned his attention principally to commercial and industrial questions. At Hirsch's instance the Humboldt-Akademic, an institution similar to the American university extensions, was founded in Berlin in 1878 by the Wissenschaftliche Centralverein. Hirsch is at the head of the institution.
Hirsch wrote the following works: "Ueber den Einfluss der Maschinen auf die Volkswirtschaft"; "Skizze der Volkswirtschaftlichen Zustände in Algerien" (Göttingen, 1857); "Reise in das Innere von Algerien Durch die Kabylie und die Sahara" (Berlin, 1862); "Soziale Briefe aus England"; "Normalstatuten für Einigungsämter" (2 vols., ib. 1874); "Gutachten über den Arbeitsvertragsbruch" (in the writings of the Verein für Sozialpolitik, Leipsic, 1874); "Die Gegenseitigen Hilfskassen und die Gesetzgebung" (Berlin, 1875); "Gewerksvereins-Leitfaden" (with Polke, 1876); "Der Staat und die Versicherung" (1881); "Das Krankenversicherungsgesetz vor dem Reichstag" (1883); "Die Hauptsäch lichsten Streitfragen der Arbeiterbewegung" (1886); "Die Grundzüge der Alters- und Invalidenversicherung und die Arbeiter" (1888); "Arbeiterstimmen über Unfall- und Krankheitsverhütung" (1889);"Das Invaliditäts- und Altersversicherungsgesetz" (2 vols., Breslau, 1890); "Die Arbeiterschutzgesetzgebung" (2 vols., ib. 1892); "Leitfaden mit Musterstatuten für Freie Hilfskassen" (Berlin, 1892); "Die Arbeiterfrage und die Deutschen Gewerksvereine" (Leipsic, 1893).
- Meyers Konversations-Lexikon;
- Allgemeine Zeit. des Jud. Jan. 2, 1903.