1860 – Victor Louis (Luitpold) Berger Born

On this date was born in Nieder-Rehbach, Austria-Hungary. He arrived in the U.S. in 1878 where he became a Socialist, newspaperman, and Congressman. He migrated to Milwaukee in 1881 where he taught German. In the 1880s he became interested in social reform. In 1889, along with like-minded German socialists, he abandoned the Socialist Labor party in favor of a more flexible approach to reform. In 1893 he became editor of the , a Milwaukee-based German-language daily. He was also editor of the from 1901-1902. Berger was instrumental in influencing Eugene V. Debs to declare in favor of socialism. He assisted Debs in forming the Social Democracy of America in 1897. Berger was the first Socialist representative to be elected to Congress, serving 1911-1913. He was known as the spiritual . In January 1919 he was convicted on espionage charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Society has published several books by or about Berger that you can learn about on our . [Source: , SHSW 1960, pg. 33]