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Encyclopedia > German Democratic Party
This article is part of or related
to the Liberalism series

The German Democratic Party, or Deutsche Demokratische Partei (DDP), was founded by leaders of the former Progressive People's Party (Fortschrittliche Volkspartei) and the left wing of the National Liberal Party (Nationalliberale Partei) in the early days of the Weimar Republic. Their leaders included Walther Rathenau, Eugen Schiffer, Otto Preuss, Otto Gessler, and Erich Koch-Weser.


The Democrats were a left-wing liberal party, and, along with the Social Democrats, the political party most committed to maintaining a democratic, republican form of government. The party was attacked by some for being a party of Jews and professors (and, indeed, Jews formed one of its most loyal constituencies).


The Democrats did well in the first Reichstag election, and joined the first government of the Weimar Republic as part of the Weimar Coalition of Philipp Scheidemann. They resigned from the government to protest the Treaty of Versailles later that year, but soon returned. In later elections, their showing consistently worsened. An attempted merger with the Young German Order to form the German State Party in 1930 failed miserably, and the party's Reichstag deputation became practically insignificant. The party was abolished by the Nazis in 1933.


The Free Democratic Party of Germany was formed after World War II largely by former leaders of the Democratic Party and the German People's Party.


See also


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The German Democratic Republic (GDR) (German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik), also commonly known as East Germany, was a communist state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in the former Soviet occupation zone of Germany.
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