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Fischer, Ruth (11 December 1895–13 March 1961), Communist activist in Germany in the 1920s and later an American opponent of Stalinism, was born Elfriede Eisler in Leipzig, Germany, the daughter of Rudolf Eisler, a Jewish savant and writer, and Maria Ida Fischer. She became active during World War I in socialist politics as a student at the University of Vienna, where her father lectured in philosophy after 1901. In 1915 she married Paul Friedländer, a journalist, with whom she had her only child. She helped found the Communist party of Austria early in November 1918 and was placed under arrest on several occasions. Frustrated by the lack of revolutionary élan in Austria, she decided in August 1919 to leave her family and move to Berlin, which she saw as the key to social revolution in Central Europe. She divorced Friedländer and assumed the name Ruth Fischer....