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Encyclopedia > Social Democratic Party of Germany
Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
SPD logo
Leader Kurt Beck
Founded May 23, 1863
Headquarters Willy-Brandt-Haus
D-10911 Berlin
Political Ideology Social Democracy/Democratic Socialism
International Affiliation Socialist International
European Affiliation Party of European Socialists
European Parliament Group PES
Colours Red
Website http://www.spd.de
See also Politics of Germany

Political parties
Elections SPD party logo. ... Kurt Beck, 2004 Kurt Beck (* 1949 in Bad Bergzabern) is a German politician and since 1994 the prime minister of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz). ... May 23 is the 143rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (144th in leap years). ... 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar). ... Berlin is the capital city and one of the sixteen states of the Federal Republic of Germany. ... Social democracy is a political ideology emerging in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from supporters of Marxism who believed that the transition to a socialist society could be achieved through democratic evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The official symbol of Socialist International The Socialist International is a worldwide organization of social democratic, labor, and democratic socialist political parties. ... The Party of European Socialists (PES) (French: Parti socialiste européen (PSE); German: Sozialdemokratische Partei Europas (SPE); Spanish: Partido socialista europeo (PSE); Italian: Partito socialista europeo (PSE)) is a European political party whose members are 30 social democratic, socialist and labour parties of the European Union member states as well... The Party of European Socialists (PES) (French: Parti socialiste européen (PSE); German: Sozialdemokratische Partei Europas (SPE); Spanish: Partido socialista europeo (PSE); Italian: Partito socialista europeo (PSE)) is a European political party whose members are 30 social democratic, socialist and labour parties of the European Union member states as well... Red may be any of a number of similar colours at the lowest frequencies of light discernible by the human eye. ... Politics of Germany takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Federal Chancellor is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. ... This is a list of political parties in Germany. ... Elections in Germany gives information on election and election results in Germany, including elections to the Federal Diet (the lower house of the federal parliament), the Landtage of the various states, and local elections. ...

SPD redirects here. For other uses, see SPD (disambiguation)

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD – Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands) is the oldest political party of Germany and also one of the oldest and largest in the world, celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2003. With more than 600,000 members it is the largest party in Germany. Rooted in the workers' movement, it formerly was more explicitly socialist (and is still a member party of the Socialist International); more recently, under Gerhard Schröder's lead, it has adopted a few tenets of neoliberalism while remaining committed to social democracy. Members of the party who are younger than 35 are organized into the "Jusos" (German: Jungsozialisten in der SPD, "Young Socialists in the SPD"). It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with SPD. (Discuss) SPD is a common acronym, it may stand for: Social Democratic Party of Germany Shimano Pedaling Dynamics - A service mark that now defines a common type of clipless bicycle pedal for mountain bicycles. ... A political party is an organization that seeks to attain political power within a government, usually by participating in electoral campaigns. ... Socialism is a social and economic system (or the political philosophy advocating such a system) in which the economic means of production are owned and controlled collectively by the people. ... The official symbol of Socialist International The Socialist International is a worldwide organization of social democratic, labor, and democratic socialist political parties. ...   [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Social democracy is a political ideology emerging in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from supporters of Marxism who believed that the transition to a socialist society could be achieved through democratic evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. ... Jungsozialistinnen und Jungsozialisten in der SPD (Young Socialists in the SPD), generally called Jusos, are the youth organization of the German Social Democratic SPD. Generally far more left-wing in their approach to current events than their mother party, they tend to criticise leading politicians whatever their affiliation. ...

Contents

History

Pre-republic (1863 - 1918)

The party considers itself to have been founded on May 23, 1863, by Ferdinand Lassalle under the name Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein (ADAV, General German Workers' Association). In 1869, August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht founded the Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei (SDAP, Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany), which merged with the ADAV in 1875, taking the name Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAPD). Through the Anti-Socialist Laws, Otto von Bismarck had the party outlawed for its pro-revolution, anti-monarchy sentiments in 1878; but in 1890 it was legalized again. That same year it changed its name to Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD), as it is known to this day. As social democrats could be elected as list-free candidates while the party was outlawed, it had continued to be a growing force in the parliament, becoming the strongest party in 1912 (in imperial Germany, the parliamentary balance of forces had no influence on the formation of the cabinet). As a reaction to the prosecution, the Erfurt Program of 1891 was more radical than the Gotha Program of 1875, demanding socialisation of Germany's major industries; still, the revisionism of Bernstein and the increasing loyalty of the party establishment towards Emperor and Reich made it possible that the party under Bebel's successor Friedrich Ebert supported the war credits. May 23 is the 143rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (144th in leap years). ... 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar). ... Ferdinand Lassalle Ferdinand Lassalle (born April 11, 1825 in Wrocław, died August 31, 1864), was a German socialist politician. ... The General German Workers Association, in German Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein, ADAV) was founded on 23 May 1863 by Ferdinand Lassalle and existed under this name until 1875, when it combined with August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknechts SDAP to form the Socialist Workers Party of Germany, what is now the... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... August Ferdinand Bebel (February 22, 1840 – March 18, 1913) was a German social democrat and one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. ... Wilhelm Liebknecht Wilhelm Liebknecht (March 29, 1826 - August 7, 1900) was a German social democrat, one of the founders of the SPD and father of Karl Liebknecht and Theodor Liebknecht. ... The Social Democratic Workers Party of Germany, in German Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, SDAP, was a German left-wing political party founded in 1869 in Eisenach, Germany by, among others, Wilhelm Liebknecht and August Bebel. ... 1875 (MDCCCLXXV) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... A contemporary printing of the Socialist Laws The Anti-Socialist Laws or Socialist Laws (German: Sozialistengesetze) were a series of acts, the first of which was passed on October 19, 1878 by the German Reichstag. ... Bismarck redirects here. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar). ... The Erfurt Program was adopted by the SPD in 1891, formulated under the political guidance of August Bebel and the ideological tutelage of Karl Kautsky. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... Eduard Bernstein Eduard Bernstein (January 6, 1850 - December 18, 1932) was a German social democratic theoretician and politician, member of the SPD, and founder of evolutionary socialism or reformism. ... Friedrich Ebert (February 4, 1871–February 28, 1925) was a German politician (SPD), who served as the 9th Chancellor of Germany and its first president during the Weimar period. ...


Those who were against the war were expelled from the SPD in January 1917 (including Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, Hugo Haase...), and founded the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany, in which the Spartacist League was a current. Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (March 5, 1870 or 1871 – January 15, 1919, in Polish Róża Luksemburg) was a Polish-born German Jewish Marxist political theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary. ... ▶ (help· info) (August 13, 1871 - January 15, 1919) was a German socialist and a co-founder of the Spartacist League and the Communist Party of Germany. ... Hugo Haase (September 29, 1863 - November 7, 1919) was a German politician, jurist, and pacifist. ... For the Independent Social Democratic Party of Romania, see Romanian Social Democratic Party (defunct). ... The Spartacist League (Spartakusbund in German) was a left-wing Marxist revolutionary movement organized in Germany during and just after the politically volatile years of World War I. It was founded by Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg (nicknamed Red Rosa) along with others such as Clara Zetkin. ...


In the 1918 revolution, Ebert sided with the imperial army command against communists, while the bundestag elected him as head of the new government. Revolutionaries at machine gun posts, Berlin, November 1918 The German Revolution describes a series of events that occurred in 1918-1919, culminating in the overthrow of the Kaiser and the establishment of a democratic republic. ...

SPD election poster of 1932. "Against Papen, Hitler, Thälmann; List 2, Social Democrats".
SPD election poster of 1932. "Against Papen, Hitler, Thälmann; List 2, Social Democrats".

Download high resolution version (431x624, 38 KB)SPD poster for 1932 general elections. ... Download high resolution version (431x624, 38 KB)SPD poster for 1932 general elections. ... Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen (29 October 1879 – 2 May 1969) was a German noble Catholic statesman, General Staff officer, and diplomat, who served as Chancellor of Germany in 1932. ... Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... Ernst Thälmann memorial in Weimar. ...

Weimar Republic (1918 - 1933)

Subsequently the Social Democratic Party and the newly founded Communist Party of Germany (KPD, which consisted mostly of former members of the SPD) became bitter rivals, not least because of the legacy of the German Revolution. While the KPD remained in staunch opposition to the newly established parliamentary system, the SPD became a part of the so-called Weimar Coalition, one of the pillars of the struggling republic, leading several of the shortlived interwar cabinets. The threat of the Communists put the SPD in a difficult position. The party had the choice between becoming more radical (which could weaken the Communists but lose its base among the middle class) or stay moderate, which would damage its base among the working class. On July 20, 1932, the SPD-led Prussian government in Berlin, headed by Otto Braun, was ousted by Franz von Papen, the new Chancellor, by means of a Presidential decree. This development proved to be a significant factor contributing to the ultimate downfall of the Weimar Republic. Following the appointment of Adolf Hitler as chancellor on January 30, 1933 by president Hindenburg, the SPD received 18.25% of the votes during the last (at least partial) free elections on March 5, gaining 120 seats. These were not enough seats to prevent the ratification of the Enabling Act, which granted extra constitutional powers to the government, by two-thirds majority, as the SPD was the only party to vote against the act (the KPD being already outlawed and its parliamentary representatives under arrest, dead, or in exile). It still holds to this day a certain pride in being the only party that voted against it. After the passing of the Enabling Act, the party was finally banned by the Nazis on July 14, 1933. Anthem: Das Lied der Deutschen The Länder of Germany during the Weimar Republic, with the Free State of Prussia (Freistaat Preußen) as the largest Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1919-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann  - 1933 Adolf Hitler... 1932 KPD poster, End This System The Communist Party of Germany (German Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands – KPD) was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period. ... The German November Revolution was one of many Revolutions across Europe at the end of World War I in 1918-1919. ... The Weimar Coalition is the name given to the coalition of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), the German Democratic Party (DDP), and the Catholic Centre Party, who together had a large majority of the delegates to the Constituent Assembly which met at Weimar in 1919, and were the... Alternate meanings in cabinet (disambiguation) A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of government, typically representing the executive branch. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... Otto Braun to the left, 1932 Otto Braun (28 January 1872 - 14 December 1955) was a German Social Democratic politician, who was Prime Minister of Prussia. ... Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen (29 October 1879 – 2 May 1969) was a German noble Catholic statesman, General Staff officer, and diplomat, who served as Chancellor of Germany in 1932. ... Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, known universally as Paul von Hindenburg (2 October 1847 – 2 August 1934) was a German Field Marshal and statesman. ... The Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz in German) was passed by Germanys parliament (the Reichstag) on March 23, 1933. ... The Nazi party used a right-facing swastika as their symbol and the red and black colors were said to represent Blut und Boden (blood and soil). ...


Nazi period (1933 - 1945)

Being the only party in the Imperial Diet to have voted against the Enabling Act (with the Communist Party prevented from voting), the SPD was banned in the Summer of 1933 by the new Nazi government. Many of its members were jailed or sent to Nazi concentration camps. An exile organization was established first in Prague. Others left the areas where they had been politically active and moved to other towns where they were not known. Friedrich Kellner, an organizer for the SPD in Mainz from 1920 to 1932, moved to Laubach, Oberhessen, where he then spent the war years risking his life to write the Friedrich Kellner Diary. This diary was exhibited in the George Bush Presidential Library in 2005 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day. The Reichstag (German for Imperial Diet) was the parliament of the Holy Roman Empire, the North German Confederation, and of Germany until 1945. ... The Enabling Act (Ermächtigungsgesetz in German) was passed by Germanys parliament (the Reichstag) on March 23, 1933. ... The Communist Party of Germany (in German, Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands – KPD) was formed in December of 1918 from the Spartacist League, which originated as a small factional grouping within the Social Democratic Party (SPD) opposed to the First World War on the grounds that it was an imperialist war... Prior to and during World War II Nazi Germany maintained concentration camps (Konzentrationslager or KZ) throughout the territory it controlled. ... Friedrich Kellner in Kaisers army 1914 During the First World War Friedrich Kellner was a soldier in a Hessian infantry regiment fighting in the trenches in France, getting wounded for Kaiser and Fatherland. ... August Friedrich Kellner (1885 - 1970) was a justice inspector in the courthouse in Mainz and a political activist for the Social Democratic Party of Germany between 1918 and 1933. ... Bush Library at Texas A&M. The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the presidential library of U.S. President George H. W. Bush. ...


During 1936 and 1939 some SPD members fought in Spain for the Republic against Franco and the German Condor Legion. Combatants Spanish Republic CNT-FAI UGT POUM Soviet Union International Brigades Spanish State Falangists Carlists Fascist Italy Nazi Germany Army Comrades Association Commanders Manuel Azaña Francisco Largo Caballero Juan Negrín Francisco Franco Casualties Civilians killed/wounded = hundreds of thousands The Spanish Civil War, which lasted from July 17...


After the annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938 the exile party resettled in Paris and after the defeat of France in 1940 in London. Only a few days after the outbreak of the World War II in September of 1939 the exiled SPD in Paris declared its support for the Allies and for the military removal from power of the Nazi government.


Post-War period (1946 - present)

The SPD was recreated after World War II in 1946 and admitted in all 4 occupation zones. In West Germany, it was initially in the opposition from the first election of the newly founded Federal Republic in 1949 until 1966. In 1966 the coalition of the civic CDU and the liberal FDP broke and a Grand Coalition between CDU and SPD was formed under the leadership of CDU Chancellor Kiesinger. In 1969 the SPD won a majority for the first time since 1928 by forming a coalition with the FDP and led the federal government under Chancellors Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt from 1969 until 1982. In its 1959 Godesberg Program, the SPD officially abandoned the concept of a workers' party and Marxist principles while continuing to stress social welfare programs. Although the SPD originally opposed West Germany's 1955 rearmament and entry into NATO while it favoured neutrality and reunification with Middle and Eastern Germany, it now strongly supports German ties with the alliance. Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... The C-Pennant Occupation zones in Germany (1945) Capital Berlin (de jure) Organizational structure Military occupation Governors (1945)  - US zone G.A. Eisenhower  - UK zone F.M. Montgomery  - French zone Gen. ... The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU - Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands) is the largest conservative political party in Germany. ... Categories: Politics stubs | Liberal related stubs | German political parties | Liberal parties ... The head of government of Germany is called Chancellor (German: Kanzler or Bundeskanzler meaning federal chancellor). ... Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm (December 18, 1913 - October 8, 1992) was a German politician, Chancellor of West Germany 1969 – 1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) 1964 – 1987. ... Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt (born December 23, 1918) is a German Social Democratic politician. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... We dont have an article called Godesberg Program Start this article Search for Godesberg Program in. ... Marxism is the political practice and social theory based on the works of Karl Marx, a 19th century philosopher, economist, journalist, and revolutionary, along with Friedrich Engels. ... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation[1] (NATO), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, the Atlantic Alliance or the Western Alliance, is an international organisation for collective security established in 1949, in support of the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington, DC, on 4 April 1949. ... Disambiguation Page Global Depositary Receipt East Germany ... Historical Eastern Germany or Former German Eastern Territories are terms which can be used to describe collectively those provinces or regions east of the Oder–Neisse line which were parts of Germany after its unification in 1871 and were internationally recognised as such at the time. ...


In the Soviet occupation sector which later became East Germany, the Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party of Germany were forced to merge to form the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in 1946. During the fall of Communist rule in 1989, the SPD was re-established as a separate party in East Germany, independent of the rump SED, and then merged with its West German counterpart upon reunification. GDR redirects here. ... 1932 KPD poster, End This System The Communist Party of Germany (German Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands – KPD) was a major political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933, and a minor party in West Germany in the postwar period. ... The logo of the SED The Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) (German: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) was the governing party of East Germany from its formation in 1949 until the elections of 1990. ... 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In 1982 the SPD lost power to the new CDU-FDP coalition under CDU Chancellor Helmut Kohl who subsequently won 4 terms as chancellor. He lost his 4th re-election bid in 1998 to his SPD challenger Gerhard Schröder. Dr. Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (born April 3, 1930) is a Catholic German conservative politician and statesman. ...   [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ...


The Schröder government

Led by Gerhard Schröder on a moderate platform emphasizing the need to reduce unemployment, the SPD emerged as the strongest party in the September 1998 elections with 40.9% of the votes cast. Crucial for this success was the SPD's strong base in big cities and Bundesländer with traditional industries. Forming a coalition government with the Green Party, the SPD thus returned to power for the first time since 1982.   [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ... The 36th German federal election, 1998 was conducted on September 27, 1998, to elect members to the Bundestag (lower house) of Germany. ... A coalition government, or coalition cabinet, is a cabinet in parliamentary government in which several parties cooperate. ... Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (literally: Alliance 90/The Greens), the German Green Party, is a political party in Germany whose regional predecessors were founded in the late 1970s as part of the new social movements. ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Oskar Lafontaine, elected SPD chairman in November 1995 had in the run-up to the election forgone a bid for the SPD nomination for the chancellor candidacy, after Gerhard Schröder won a sweeping re-election victory as prime minister of his state of Lower Saxony and was widely believed to be the best chance for Social Democrats to regain the Chancellorship after 16 years in opposition. From the beginning of this teaming up between Party chair Lafontaine and chancellor candidate Schröder during the election campaign 1998, rumors in the media about their internal rivalry persisted, albeit always being disputed by the two. After the election victory Lafontaine joined the government as finance minister. The rivalry between the two party leaders escalated in March 1999 leading to the overnight resignation of Lafontaine from all his party and government positions. After staying initally mum about the reasons for his resignation, Lafontaine later cited strong disagreement with the alleged neoliberal and anti-social course Schröder had taken the government on. Schröder himself has never commented on the row with Lafontaine. It is known however, that they haven't spoken to each other ever since. Schröder succeeded Lafontaine as party chairman. Oskar Lafontaine Oskar Lafontaine (born September 16, 1943 in Saarlouis-Roden) is a left-wing German politician and a leading member of the Left Party. ... With an area of 47,618 km and nearly eight million inhabitants, Lower Saxony (German Niedersachsen) lies in north-western Germany and is second in area and fourth in population among the countrys sixteen Bundesl nder (federal states). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


In the September 2002 elections, the SPD reached 38.5% of the national vote, barely ahead of the CDU/CSU, and was again able to form a government with the help of the Green Party. The European elections of 2004 were a disaster for the SPD, marking its worst result in a nationwide election after World War II with only 21.5% of the vote. Earlier the same year, leadership of the SPD had changed from chancellor Gerhard Schröder to Franz Müntefering in what was widely regarded as an attempt to deal with internal party opposition to the economic reform programs set in motion by the federal government. The 15th German federal election, 2002 was conducted on September 22, 2002, to elect members to the Bundestag (lower house) of Germany. ... The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU - Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands) is the largest conservative political party in Germany. ... The Christian Social Union of Bavaria (CSU – ) is a conservative political party in Germany. ... Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (literally: Alliance 90/The Greens), the German Green Party, is a political party in Germany whose regional predecessors were founded in the late 1970s as part of the new social movements. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...   [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ... Franz Müntefering, 2004 Franz Müntefering (born January 16, 1940) is a German politician and former chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). ...


While the SPD was founded in the 19th century to defend the interests of the working class, its commitment to these goals has been disputed by some since 1918, when its leaders supported the suppression of the more radical socialist and communist factions. But never before has the party moved so far away from its traditional socialist stance as it did under the Schröder government. Its ever increasing tendency towards liberal politics and cutbacks in government spending on social welfare programs led to a dramatic decline in voter support, and to Gerhard Schröder being pejoratively called "der Genosse der Bosse", meaning the (socialist) comrade (who is a friend) of the (big) bosses". The term working class is used to denote a social class. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ...


For many years, membership in the SPD has been declining. Down from a high of over 1 million in 1976, there were about 775,000 members at the time of the 1998 election victory, by August 2003 the figure had dropped to 663,000. 2003 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December A timeline of events in the news for August, 2003. ...

"For nuclear phase-out, against new nuclear plants." Election placard of the Social Democratic Party of Germany for the German federal election, 2005.
"For nuclear phase-out, against new nuclear plants." Election placard of the Social Democratic Party of Germany for the German federal election, 2005.

In January 2005, some SPD members left the party to found the Labour and Social Justice Party (WASG) in opposition to what they consider to be neoliberal leanings displayed by the SPD. Former SPD chairman Oskar Lafontaine also joined this new party. (Later, to contest the early federal election called by Schröder after the SPD lost heavily in a state election in their traditional stronghold of North Rhine-Westphalia, the western-based WASG and the eastern-based post-communist Party of Democratic Socialism would merge to form the Left Party.) These developments put pressure on the SPD to do something about its social image. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1168x1760, 590 KB) Election placard in Berlin of the Social Democratic Party of Germany for the German federal election, 2005. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1168x1760, 590 KB) Election placard in Berlin of the Social Democratic Party of Germany for the German federal election, 2005. ... Labour and Social Justice - The Electoral Alternative (German: Arbeit und soziale Gerechtigkeit – Die Wahlalternative or WASG) is a German political party founded in 2005 by activists disenchanted with the Social Democratic-Green government. ... The term neoliberalism is used to describe a political-economic philosophy that had major implications for government policies beginning in the 1970s – and increasingly prominent since 1980 – that de-emphasizes or rejects positive government intervention in the economy, focusing instead on achieving progress and even social justice by... Oskar Lafontaine Oskar Lafontaine (born September 16, 1943 in Saarlouis-Roden) is a left-wing German politician and a leading member of the Left Party. ... Party of Democratic Socialism is a political party in India; see Party of Democratic Socialism (India) the former name of a German political party; see Left Party (Germany). ... The Left Party (In German: , officially with a period at the end), formerly Party of Democratic Socialism (Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus, PDS) is a left-wing socialist political party in Germany. ...


In April 2005, party chairman Franz Müntefering publicly criticized excessive profiteering in Germany's free market economy and proposed stronger involvement of the federal state in order to promote economic justice. This triggered a debate that dominated the national news for several weeks. Müntefering's suggestions have been met with popular support, but there has also been harsh criticism not only by the industrial lobby. Political opponents claimed that Müntefering's choice of words, especially his reference to foreign private equity funds as "locusts", were bordering on Nazi language. Franz Müntefering, 2004 Franz Müntefering (born January 16, 1940) is a German politician and former chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). ... Private equity is a broad term that refers to any type of equity investment in an asset in which the equity is not freely tradable on a public stock market. ...


In the German federal election, 2005, the SPD ended up trailing its conservative rivals by less than 1%, a much closer margin than had been expected. Although the party had presented a program that included some more traditional left themes, such as an additional 3% tax on the highest tax bracket, this did not prevent the Left Party from making a strong showing, largely at the SPD's expense. Nevertheless, the overall result was sufficient to deny the opposition camp a majority. German federal elections took place on September 18, 2005 to elect the members of the 16th German Bundestag, the federal parliament of Germany. ...


The Merkel-led grand coalition

In the current German government, the SPD is now the junior partner in a grand coalition with the CDU/CSU under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel, with Franz Müntefering as Vice-Chancellor. A grand coalition is a coalition government in a parliamentary system where political parties representing a vast majority of the parliament unite in a coalition. ... The Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU - Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands) is the largest conservative political party in Germany. ... The Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU – ) is a conservative political party in Germany. ...   (IPA //) (born in Hamburg, Germany on July 17, 1954) is the current Chancellor of Germany. ... Franz Müntefering, 2004 Franz Müntefering (born January 16, 1940) is a German politician and former chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). ...


However, Müntefering resigned as party chairman and was succeeded as chairman by Matthias Platzeck, prime minister of Brandenburg. Müntefering's decision came after the party's steering committee chose a woman from the left wing of the party, Andrea Nahles, as secretary general over Müntefering's choice, his long-time aide Kajo Wasserhövel. However, after Müntefering said her election indicated that he had lost the confidence of the party and he would therefore resign, Nahles turned down the post of secretary general to prevent the party splitting. Hubertus Heil was elected in her place. Matthias Platzeck, born 29 December 1953 in Potsdam, is a German politician. ... A prime minister is the most senior minister of a cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ...   (Lower Sorbian: Bramborska; Upper Sorbian: Braniborska) is one of Germanys sixteen Bundesländer (federal states). ... Andrea Nahles Andrea Maria Nahles (* 20. ... Hubertus Heil (born November 3, 1972 in Hildesheim) is a German politician. ...


On April 10, 2006 Matthias Platzeck announced his resignation of the Chair because he suffered a major hearing loss in March 2006. The interim Chairman from April 10 to May 14 was Kurt Beck. He won the full leadership on a small party convention on May 14. April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Hearing impairment or deafness is decreased or absent ability to perceive auditory information. ... Kurt Beck, 2004 Kurt Beck (* 1949 in Bad Bergzabern) is a German politician and since 1994 the prime minister of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz). ... May 14 is the 134th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (135th in leap years). ...


People

Leading members of the SPD before World War I

August Ferdinand Bebel (February 22, 1840 – March 18, 1913) was a German social democrat and one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. ... Eduard Bernstein Eduard Bernstein (January 6, 1850 - December 18, 1932) was a German social democratic theoretician and politician, member of the SPD, and founder of evolutionary socialism or reformism. ... Karl Kautsky (October 18, 1854 - October 17, 1938) was a leading theoretician of social democracy. ... Wilhelm Liebknecht Wilhelm Liebknecht (March 29, 1826 - August 7, 1900) was a German social democrat, one of the founders of the SPD and father of Karl Liebknecht and Theodor Liebknecht. ... Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (March 5, 1870 or 1871 – January 15, 1919, in Polish Róża Luksemburg) was a Polish-born German Jewish Marxist political theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary. ...

Chairmen of the Social Democratic Party

In the Kaiserreich and the Weimar Republic: Anthem: Das Lied der Deutschen The Länder of Germany during the Weimar Republic, with the Free State of Prussia (Freistaat Preußen) as the largest Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1919-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann  - 1933 Adolf Hitler...

In exile: August Ferdinand Bebel (February 22, 1840 – March 18, 1913) was a German social democrat and one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. ... August Ferdinand Bebel (February 22, 1840 – March 18, 1913) was a German social democrat and one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. ... Hugo Haase (September 29, 1863 - November 7, 1919) was a German politician, jurist, and pacifist. ... Friedrich Ebert (February 4, 1871–February 28, 1925) was a German politician (SPD), who served as the 9th Chancellor of Germany and its first president during the Weimar period. ... Hugo Haase (September 29, 1863 - November 7, 1919) was a German politician, jurist, and pacifist. ... USPD election poster, 1919 The Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, or USPD) was a short-lived political party in Germany during the Second Reich and the Weimar Republic. ... Friedrich Ebert (February 4, 1871–February 28, 1925) was a German politician (SPD), who served as the 9th Chancellor of Germany and its first president during the Weimar period. ... Philipp Scheidemann ( 26 July 1865– 29 November 1939) was a German Social Democratic politician, who was responsible for the proclamation of the Republic on 9 November 1918, and who became the first Chancellor of the Weimar Republic. ... Otto Wels (September 15, 1873 - September 16, 1939) was the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1919 and a member of parliament from 1920 to 1930. ... Hermann Müller may refer to: Hermann Müller, (1829-1883), German botanist whose work provided important evidence for Darwins theory of evolution, and with whom Darwin corresponded. ... USPD election poster, 1919 The Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, or USPD) was a short-lived political party in Germany during the Second Reich and the Weimar Republic. ... Otto Wels (September 15, 1873 - September 16, 1939) was the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1919 and a member of parliament from 1920 to 1930. ... Otto Wels (September 15, 1873 - September 16, 1939) was the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1919 and a member of parliament from 1920 to 1930. ... Hans Vogel (February 16, 1881 - October 6, 1945) was a German politician and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany until 1933. ...

After the war: Otto Wels (September 15, 1873 - September 16, 1939) was the chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1919 and a member of parliament from 1920 to 1930. ... Hans Vogel (February 16, 1881 - October 6, 1945) was a German politician and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany until 1933. ... Hans Vogel (February 16, 1881 - October 6, 1945) was a German politician and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany until 1933. ...

  • Otto Grotewohl chairman of a Central Committee claiming national authority, chairman of the SPD in the Soviet zone, merged with the Eastern KPD to form the SED in 1946.
  • Kurt Schumacher, chairman of the SPD in the British zone, resisting Grotewohl's claims and implementing the formation of the SPD in West Germany.

Chairmen in West Germany: Otto Grotewohl (March 11, 1894 - September 21, 1964) was an East German politician. ... Central Committee most commonly refers to the central executive unit of a communist party, whether ruling or non-ruling. ... The Communist Party of Germany (in German, Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands – KPD) was formed in December of 1918 from the Spartacist League, which originated as a small factional grouping within the Social Democratic Party (SPD) opposed to the First World War on the grounds that it was an imperialist war... The logo of the SED The Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) (German: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) was the governing party of East Germany from its formation in 1949 until the elections of 1990. ... Dr Kurt Schumacher (13 October 1895 - 20 August 1952), was the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in the early years of the German Federal Republic. ...

The refounded Social Democratic Party in the GDR: Dr Kurt Schumacher (13 October 1895 - 20 August 1952), was the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in the early years of the German Federal Republic. ... Erich Ollenhauer (March 27, 1901 – December 14, 1963) was the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany 1952-1963. ... Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm (December 18, 1913 - October 8, 1992) was a German politician, Chancellor of West Germany 1969 – 1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) 1964 – 1987. ... Hans-Jochen Vogel (born February 3, 1926) is a German politician. ... GDR redirects here. ...

  • Ibrahim Böhme, 1989-1990
  • Markus Meckel, 1990, merged with the Western SPD in October 1990

Since the German reunification:

Hans-Jochen Vogel (born February 3, 1926) is a German politician. ... Björn Engholm (November 9, 1939) is a German SPD politician. ... Johannes Rau (January 16, 1931 – January 27, 2006) was the President of Germany from July 1, 1999 until June 30, 2004. ... Rudolf Scharping, 2001 Rudolf Scharping (December 2, 1947 in Niederelbert) is a German politician (SPD). ... Oskar Lafontaine Oskar Lafontaine (born September 16, 1943 in Saarlouis-Roden) is a left-wing German politician and a leading member of the Left Party. ...   [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ... Franz Müntefering, 2004 Franz Müntefering (born January 16, 1940) is a German politician and former chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). ... Matthias Platzeck, born 29 December 1953 in Potsdam, is a German politician. ... Kurt Beck, 2004 Kurt Beck (* 1949 in Bad Bergzabern) is a German politician and since 1994 the prime minister of the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz). ...

German Chancellors from SPD

Friedrich Ebert (February 4, 1871–February 28, 1925) was a German politician (SPD), who served as the 9th Chancellor of Germany and its first president during the Weimar period. ... Philipp Scheidemann ( 26 July 1865– 29 November 1939) was a German Social Democratic politician, who was responsible for the proclamation of the Republic on 9 November 1918, and who became the first Chancellor of the Weimar Republic. ... Gustav Adolf Bauer (6 January 1870–16 September 1944) was a German Social Democratic Party leader and Chancellor of Germany from 1919 to 1920. ... For other Hermann Müllers: see Hermann Müller. ... Willy Brandt, born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm (December 18, 1913 - October 8, 1992) was a German politician, Chancellor of West Germany 1969 – 1974, and leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) 1964 – 1987. ... Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt (born December 23, 1918) is a German Social Democratic politician. ...   [] (born April 7, 1944), German politician, was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. ...

German Presidents from SPD

Under the postwar constitution, the German President needs to be impartial, therefore party membership is not exercised during the time in office. Friedrich Ebert (February 4, 1871–February 28, 1925) was a German politician (SPD), who served as the 9th Chancellor of Germany and its first president during the Weimar period. ... Gustav Walter Heinemann (July 23, 1899 - July 7, 1976) was a German politician. ... Johannes Rau (January 16, 1931 – January 27, 2006) was the President of Germany from July 1, 1999 until June 30, 2004. ...


See also

Politics of Germany takes place in a framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Federal Chancellor is the head of government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. ... This is a list of political parties in Germany. ... The Bundestag (Federal Diet) is the parliament of Germany. ... Anthem: Das Lied der Deutschen The Länder of Germany during the Weimar Republic, with the Free State of Prussia (Freistaat Preußen) as the largest Capital Berlin Language(s) German Government Republic President  - 1919-1925 Friedrich Ebert  - 1925-1933 Paul von Hindenburg Chancellor  - 1919 Philipp Scheidemann  - 1933 Adolf Hitler... Under Construction- translating from German articles Kurt Nehrling (February 13, 1899 - September 23, 1943) was a member of the Weimar Resistance, also known as the Social Democrats Against Hitler. ... The Mierscheid-Law is an empirical law, published July 14, 1983 in the German Vorwärts magazine by Jakob Maria Mierscheid, predicts the vote of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) based on the size of crude steel production in western Germany. ...

Further reading

  • Carl E. Schorske, German Social Democracy, 1905-1917: The Development of the Great Schism (Harvard University Press, 1955).
  • Vernon L. Lidtke, The Outlawed Party: Social Democracy in Germany, 1878-1890 (Princeton University Press, 1966).

External links

  • Party official website
  • Party official website in english
  • official website of the party's youth organisation
  • Is the Left Still on the Left? — Dirk Maxeiner and Michael Miersch on the German left


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