Communist Party of Germany

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Communist Party of Germany
KPD logo
Emergence SPD October 12, 1890
Spartakusbund August 4, 1914
USPD April 6, 1917
founding December 30, 1918 to January 1, 1919
Place of foundation Berlin
resolution 1946 Forced merger of the SPD and KPD to form the SED in the Soviet Zone.
1956 KPD ban in the Federal Republic
head office Karl Liebknecht House , Berlin-Mitte
Alignment Communism
Marxism-Leninism (from 1928)
To dye) Red
Number of members up to 330,000 (November 1932)
International connections Comintern

The Communist Party of Germany ( KPD ) emerged at the end of 1918 from a merger of the Spartakusbund with smaller radical left groups. Their goal was the establishment of communism in Germany . The founding party congress from December 30, 1918 to January 1, 1919, which was dominated by left-wing extremists, rejected the party's participation in the elections to the German National Assembly. After the January uprising in 1919 , government troops murdered the KPD leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg and shortly afterwards the founding member Leo Jogiches . In December 1920 the KPD merged with the left majority of the USPD and temporarily adopted the name United KPD . The KPD saw itself from the beginning as a revolutionary alternative to the SPD and tried during the Weimar Republic to work towards socialist production conditions and a dictatorship of the proletariat based on the model of the Soviet Union . Their relationship to parliamentarism and democracy was divided, as they wanted to replace “bourgeois democracy” with a socialist council republic under the leadership of the party, but still took part in elections. Since 1919 she was a member of the Communist International (Comintern), which was dominated by Lenin and later by Stalin . In order to combat social democracy in the labor movement , the KPD declared the SPD to be “ social-fascist ” and its “main enemy” from 1928 , which prevented a joint defense against National Socialism . From 1929 the Stalinization of the KPD took place, the personality cult around Stalin and Ernst Thälmann increased more and more.

After the Reichstag fire on the night of February 28, 1933, the emerging National Socialist dictatorship pushed the KPD underground. The party leadership went abroad. In 1935, the VII Congress of the Comintern prompted the abandonment of the social fascism thesis in favor of the popular front policy . Many members of the KPD, which had existed illegally for years, died in the resistance against Hitler or went into exile, where a large part of the Soviet Union fell victim to the Stalinist purges . In exile in Moscow, Walter Ulbricht gained increasing influence in the party leadership.

With the end of the Second World War , the rebuilding of the party began. In the Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ), the KPD, at the urging of the Soviet Military Administration (SMAD), forced the SPD and KPD to merge . With the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), the dictatorial ruling party of what was to become the GDR emerged.

In West Germany , the KPD received 5.7% of the votes in the first federal election in 1949 , in 1953 it failed with 2.2% because of the five percent clause . 1950 issued Adenauer government a professional ban for Communist Party members in the public sector . The KPD was regarded by the other parties represented in the Bundestag as complicit in the fall of the Weimar Republic, the Soviet Union and the SED, and was considered unconstitutional . At the request of the federal government that imposed on 17 August 1956 the Federal Constitutional Court , a party ban on the KPD.

From the ranks of the banned KPD, the German Communist Party (DKP) was founded in the Federal Republic in 1968 . Furthermore, in the years after 1968, various, often Maoist , communist splinter groups formed party building organizations , confederations or parties that claimed the successor to the KPD for themselves. In January 1990, disappointed communists in the GDR came together in a “ Communist Party of Germany ” in view of the development of the SED into the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) .

Origin (1914-1919)

Graphic representation of the development of German workers' parties between 1863 and 1933 (development of the KPD from the left wing of the SPD )

The KPD was constituted during the three-day founding conference from December 30, 1918 to January 1, 1919 in the ballroom of the Prussian state parliament through the merger of the Spartakusbund , which had previously fallen out with the USPD , with the Bremen Left Radicals , a radicalization of the Bremen local group of SPD, and other left groups. The controversial naming and the presence of Karl Radek , who gave a speech in which he conjured up the future fighting community between a Germany and Soviet Russia ruled by the KPD, showed the close ties of the KPD to Soviet Russia. The ultra-radical forces prevailing at the founding conference of the KPD accepted Rosa Luxemburg's draft program, but in fact they pursued a putschist course, such as the rejection of Luxemburg's demand for participation in the elections for the National Assembly and in the debates about the use of revolutionaries that she rejected Terrorist methods became apparent. The SPD described Radek's speech as pure war agitation and demanded that he be expelled. Max Levien appeased that the Bolsheviks were opponents of the terrorism practiced by the Socialist Revolutionaries, and claimed that they would “at most engage in counter-terrorism”. Karl Liebknecht tried to mediate and defended Luxemburg's program, which had to be defended with an iron fist against all opponents of the revolution, but the two lacked the assertiveness to put a stop to the putschist radicalism.

At the founding conference, the delegates elected a party executive to which the leaders of the most important sub-groups belonged: from the Bremen left-wing extremists Otto Rühle , from the International Communists of Germany (IKD) Johann Knief and Paul Frölich , from the Spartakusbund Hermann Duncker , Käte Duncker , Hugo Eberlein , Leo Jogiches , Paul Lange , Paul Levi , Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Ernst Meyer , Wilhelm Pieck and August Thalheimer .

Although Karl Liebknecht tried to get the revolutionary chairmen to join the KPD in negotiations and the founding party congress was interrupted for this purpose, a connection between the two currents did not materialize. The reasons were, on the one hand, personal differences between Liebknecht and the spokesman for Richard Müller , and on the other hand tactical differences on the trade union issue and participation in the national assembly elections. The KPD thus remained without a broader operational base in the first few years of its existence. Only in 1920, with the split in the USPD, did the majority of the chairmen and their infrastructure join the KPD. Co-founders and functionaries of the KPD were Franz Mehring , Julian Balthasar Marchlewski , Ernst Meyer, Hermann Duncker, Wilhelm Pieck, Leo Jogiches and Clara Zetkin .

Rosa Luxemburg (around 1900)
Memorial plaque on the house, Sophienstrasse 18, in Berlin-Mitte

In the run-up to the founding of the party, Liebknecht in December 1914 and Otto Rühle in January 1915 were the first SPD members to refuse to approve further war loans . At the beginning of 1916 there were 20 MPs. In the spring of 1917, the growing opposition within the SPD to the truce policy and further approval of war credits finally led to the exclusion of the war opponents from the party. They responded on April 9, 1917 by founding the USPD . Now the Spartacus group, which had been organized nationwide since January 1916, joined this group and formed the revolutionary wing there too until the KPD was founded. The imprisonment of most of the group's members, especially Liebknecht and Luxemburg, severely hampered the work.

With the strikes of March 1917, and even more so with the strikes in January 1918 , the German labor movement received surprising new impulses. The Reich-wide strike movement, especially in the armaments industry, strengthened the independent workers' representatives against the conservative union leaders who followed the truce. The revolutionary stewards of Berlin, but also elsewhere, later formed the energetic backbone of the council movement, which gave Germany a historic opportunity to socialize the means of production for the first time . The success of the October Revolution in Russia gave these efforts additional tailwind.

Just one year later, on October 7, 1918, the Spartakusbund demonstrated its self-confidence and responded to the entry into government of the MSPD , which had become known two days earlier, by demanding fundamental reforms in the economy, state, law and administration and, in practice, a new radical democratic constitution targeted.

At the beginning of November, the Kiel sailors' uprising quickly broke out into wildfire, in which the soldiers also chose to organize the councils themselves in order to disempower their superiors and to give their demands weight. Many of these demands took up directly or indirectly the program of the Spartakusbund.

When the November Revolution reached Berlin and caused the Kaiser to flee to the Netherlands, Philipp Scheidemann of the majority SPD proclaimed a "German Republic" there at noon on November 9, 1918. He was followed a little later by Liebknecht, who proclaimed a “Free Socialist Republic” and at the same time swore the crowd to the “international revolution”. This was followed by two months of power struggles between the representatives of these two directions, from which the majority SPD and with it the moderate and conservative bourgeoisie emerged victorious.

The founding of the KPD had been planned since around the beginning of December 1918 and then took place as a direct reaction to the events of December 24th in Berlin. The intention of Friedrich Ebert to use the imperial military against revolutionaries and to disempower them became obvious. Soon afterwards, the left learned that the SPD leadership was ready to use violence: The Freikorps were deployed against sections of the Berlin population who wanted to continue the revolution with the participation and partial leadership of the Spartacists. Since the beginning of 1919, but especially since the suppression of the so-called Spartacus uprising and the murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg on January 15, 1919, political unrest similar to civil war broke out across the empire.

Because of these experiences, the KPD saw itself from the beginning as an antithesis and counterweight to the SPD. She wanted to pursue their original goal, socialism , and thus offer the German workers a revolutionary alternative to reformism - adapted to the bourgeoisie . It saw itself as a mass party and wanted to implement the socialist soviet republic from the company level, which had been prevented by the SPD and trade union leadership and which the USPD had not striven for with enough energy.

Weimar Republic

Association with the USPD (1920)

In the debates about the program and the future political orientation, lines of conflict were already visible, especially in the behavior towards parliamentarism and social democracy , which (from the perspective of the KPD) developed into a bourgeois party. Some founding members, including Luxembourg, advocated the name Socialist Party of Germany and participation in the upcoming elections to the Weimar National Assembly . This, as well as remaining in the USPD, was rejected by a majority. Of the IKD, only Johann Knief was in favor of this proposal. Thus, contrary to the advice of the Spartacus leaders, the majority of the party decided early on to reject bourgeois democracy and its competitor, the SPD, the older and long-running workers' party. Above all, the Bremen left-wing radicals under Otto Rühle and the IKD were closely aligned with the Soviet Bolsheviks under Lenin's leadership .

In the elections to the National Assembly on January 19, 1919, the SPD asserted itself as the strongest force, but from then on it was dependent on changing coalition partners from the bourgeois camp. Now the Reichswehr Minister Gustav Noske (who, according to his own statement on January 6th, had to be the “bloodhound”) ruthlessly deployed the new, mostly right-wing extremist volunteer corps against the rebels, in order to avoid any attempt at a Soviet republic that had formed in some large cities to smash. As the last experiment of this kind, the Munich Soviet Republic was destroyed in May and its leaders executed, among them, for example, the KPD functionary Eugen Leviné . In the course of these fighting, Leo Jogiches was also murdered in the Berlin-Moabit remand prison in March .

With the adoption of the Imperial Constitution on August 11, the bourgeois parliamentary Weimar Republic was practically implemented.

The KPD initially had only a few members and did not play a leading role in the council movement, even during the uprisings: it was too new and organizationally too poorly anchored in the workers' movement. Its members were mostly former Social Democrats. The KPD was further sidelined by its refusal to vote in parliamentary elections and was also reduced by the persecution and arrest of its members. It was banned in the spring of 1919 and could only hold its subsequent party congresses illegally. That is why the party sought support by becoming a member of the Comintern , the Third International, founded in the same year .

In league with the left wing of the USPD , the KPD tried to prevent the works council law from being passed with a demonstration in January 1920 because it pursued more far-reaching council-democratic goals. The military and security police used firearms, and the result was a bloodbath in the Reichstag building on January 13, 1920 . Thereupon the Social Democratic Reich government again imposed the state of emergency , which was only lifted in December 1919, and banned the newspapers Freiheit and Die Rote Fahne . On January 19, twelve party functionaries of the USPD and the KPD, including chairmen Ernst Däumig and Paul Levi , were imprisoned for some time.

Paul Levi, a close friend of Luxemburg and after her death the editor of her works, won through the participation in the Reichstag elections of 1920 at the second, so-called Heidelberg party congress of the KPD . Some party members believed that this would leave the revolutionary path. An internal process of clarification emerged: The council-communist and utopian-oriented members resigned and formed the own Communist Workers' Party of Germany (KAPD), which Otto Rühle led and which initially (until their expulsion in August 1920) also the national Bolsheviks Fritz Wolffheim and Heinrich Laufenberg belonged. The KAPD was able to hold out until 1922 and then disintegrated into individual groups that competed with each other on a sectarian basis.

Before that, however, the attempted putsch by Wolfgang Kapp and Walther von Lüttwitz in the spring of 1920 once again mobilized the forces of the left throughout the Reich: Spontaneous mass strikes led to a general strike , which the free trade unions, SPD, USPD and KPD joined in order to save the republic together. It led to the conquest of the Ruhr area by a Red Ruhr Army . But as soon as the right-wing nationalist putschists had given up and the general strike was over, the SPD allied itself again with the previously renegade Reichswehr associations and free corps units and had them move into the Ruhr area occupied by the rebellious workers. In the civil war-like fighting known as the Ruhr Uprising , around 2,000 workers and 372 counter-revolutionary soldiers were killed.

At a joint party congress from December 4 to 7, 1920, the left-wing USPD (349 delegates represented 300,000 members) united with the KPD (146 delegates represented 70,000 members) to form the VKPD . This United Communist Party of Germany committed itself to the Comintern and set its sights on the dictatorship of the proletariat and the Soviet republic. Under the chairmanship of Levi and Ernst Däumig, a mass party emerged with 356,000 members in early 1921, a number that it never reached again during the Weimar Republic. However, only 5% of the workers organized in the free trade unions were among them. In the Prussian state elections in February 1921, the VKPD received only 5.5% of the vote. In 1921 the KPD headquarters called for a policy of the united front . This united front tactic was initially criticized by the Communist International (Comintern), in particular by Zinoviev and Bukharin . After an uprising of left forces against the Bolsheviks led by the Kronstadt sailors in 1921 , and the fierce factional battles and disputes between Lenin, Bukharin and Trotsky, tensions within the Russian Communist Party led to a crisis in the Comintern in March 1921 led to a radical change in the line of the VKPD.

March fights and their consequences (1921)

In March 1921, after the occupation of Central Germany by police units, which it perceived as a provocation, the KPD headquarters called on the workers to take part in armed struggle. This communist uprising in central Germany, the so-called March uprising , was put down after a few days of bloody fighting. The defeat led to a deep crisis in the KPD in 1921, which made the problem of the hegemony of the Comintern and Soviet Russia over the German Communists obvious. In February 1921 the party leader Paul Levi was together with Clara Zetkin , Ernst Däumig, Adolph Hoffmann and others. retired after differences with the Comintern. Under the chairmanship of Heinrich Brandler , the new headquarters became radicalized, and EKKI representatives were now heading towards an uprising that, along with Radek, who had allied with left-wing forces in the KPD leadership, was directed against Levi's policy of a united front. The communists, for whom the violent Russian revolution and the Russian civil war served as a model, heroized violence, which they regarded as a “necessary” political measure. Levi publicly criticized the putschist tactics of the KPD in the March uprising in 1921 and accused the Comintern leadership of having provoked the "largest Bakunist putsch in history", whereupon he was expelled from the KPD. Other KPD leaders, such as Däumig, Otto Brass, Kurt Geyer and Hoffmann, who had come from the USPD, and many “cadres” showed solidarity with Levi and also left the KPD. For the KPD, this wave of resignation was the second big bloodletting of functionaries after the split of the KAPD in 1920. The right-wing group around Levi founded the Communist Working Group (KAG) on November 20, 1921 , which merged with the USPD in August 1922. From 1921 Moscow exerted massive influence on the KPD leadership in order to discipline them.

Wing fighting and initial "Stalinization" (1923–1927)

Electoral advertising for Ernst Thälmann in the
1925 presidential election
The typical flag used by the KPD

After the failed Hamburg uprising of 1923 ( October defeat ), the leadership ranks under Heinrich Brandler , August Thalheimer and Jacob Walcher fell out of favor as “party rights” even with the Moscow Comintern , because they considered cooperation with the SPD to be the most promising politically. From November 23, 1923, the KPD was temporarily banned and district party rallies and public discussions could not take place for a few weeks. Then the leadership of the KPD was taken over by the so-called Left Opposition around Werner Scholem , Ruth Fischer , Arkadi Maslow , Ernst Thälmann and Arthur Rosenberg . This faction pursued the “Bolshevization” of the party by imitating the customs of the Soviet ruling party, the CPSU , on the basis of a reinterpreted Leninist Marxism , and subordinating the KPD members to the rule of their authoritarian, neo-absolutist functionaries. Fischer and Maslow were later removed from the party headquarters as Stalin’s alleged “left deviants”, and the head of the paramilitary Red Front Fighters League , Ernst Thälmann, was portrayed as the “infallible leader” of the KPD, imitating the Stalin leadership cult, and the party was presented with unconditional support sworn to the politics of the dictator Stalin. After the dissolution of the militant proletarian hundreds , with the founding of the Red Front Fighter League (RFB), the national steel helmet, the union of frontline soldiers, was structurally imitated. In association with the Red Youth Front , the RFB formed the politically dependent private army of the KPD. Under Thälmann's chairmanship in 1927 it had around 106,000 fighters, while the KPD had 127,000 members. In May 1929 this private army of the KPD was banned in Prussia and other countries because of its radical ideology and the violence and brutality of its members, which reached as far as political murder . As a result, a third of the RFB loyalists went underground in order to participate in the formation of communist military associations that continued the street war against the SA.

The left opposition had conflicts with the Comintern from the start due to its skeptical and negative attitude towards the policy of the united front . In addition, there were intra-Russian factional struggles: when Lenin died in 1924, these intensified, and Stalin's increase in power also had a major impact on German development. Stalin, who initially supported the left, increasingly distanced himself from its radical left theses, which were now reviled as "ultra-left". At the same time, the party base was increasingly dissatisfied with the authoritarian style of the reorganization, and the left leadership was accused of “ dictatorial methods” on various occasions. The ultra-left party leadership quickly lost its influence. When Ernst Thälmann, one of the most prominent leftists, distanced himself from the left leadership, the headquarters split. Thälmann supported himself within the party until 1927/28 also on the middle group around inter alia. Arthur Ewert and Gerhart Eisler , then mainly on members of the apparatus such as Ulbricht and on politicians closely related to Stalin such as Hermann Remmele , Heinz Neumann and Paul Merker . The excluded left and ultra-left protested violently against this development and in some cases formed an independent party under the name Leninbund .

In the opinion of the German historian Andreas Wirsching, the KPD did little or nothing to win other voters from other classes; on the contrary, the petty-bourgeois middle class was alienated by provocative actions: During the inflation of 1922/23, self-appointed control committees set arbitrary prices for grocers , In 1927, on the occasion of a meeting of the Stahlhelm in Berlin, the local innkeepers and hoteliers were threatened if they would accommodate or feed participants.

Social Fascism Doctrine and Soviet Influence (1928–1933)

The Stalinization not only meant the disempowerment and exclusion of “ultra-lefts” and “Brandlerians” from 1926, from 1928 to 1930 the group of “ compromisers ” that had emerged from the “middle group ” was also disempowered and partially excluded from the party. Thus, the policy of the KPD in the final phase of the Weimar Republic was less due to the dissatisfaction of many workers and unemployed with their social situation. a. during the Great Depression determines the KPD in the course of their voters and supporters could increase (May 1928: 130,000 members and 3.2 million voters; January 1930: 133,000 members; November 1932: 330,000 members, 6 million voters, 16.9% of votes and thus 100 seats in the Reichstag); rather, the policy of the KPD was mainly designed and controlled in Moscow in order to correspond to the foreign policy goals of the Soviet leadership.

From 1929 the KPD radicalized, and its main opponent was not the NSDAP, but the SPD: The KPD's political course now included the social fascism thesis , which declared the social democracy to be the main enemy because it was supposedly a mere variant of fascism , which the KPD made the weakened anti-fascist forces and favored the rise of National Socialism.

In fact, the defense of the “fatherland of all working people” - the Soviet Union - seemed to have top priority for the German communists and to be directly linked to the struggle against German social democracy. At the congress of the Communist International in 1928, for example, the KPD chairman Ernst Thälmann said that "the counterrevolutionary social democracy" had gone over to supporting capitalism on all issues, and even claimed:

“The SPD is the driving factor in the line of preparations for war against the Soviet Union. Therefore the fight against the imperialist war is a fight against the social democracy. "

At the 12th party congress of the KPD in June 1929, Thalmann polemicized against German social democracy “as the most active champion of German imperialism and its war policy against the Soviet Union”. In contrast, the KPD leadership publicly described National Socialism just a few months before it came to power as merely a secondary phenomenon in the final phase of capitalist development. The central committee of the KPD adopted Radek's “national Bolshevik” tactics, and authoritative German communists tried several times to recruit supporters from the radical right. The völkisch writer and later member of the Reichstag of the NSDAP Ernst Graf zu Reventlow was invited to expand his positions in the Red Flag . The KPD propaganda took advantage of the anti-Semitic mood, called for a fight against “the Jewish capitalists”, distributed leaflets with slogans such as: “Down with the Jewish republic” and Ruth Fischer from the KPD executive committee once vulgarly and hysterically even called for a physical one Violence against Jews : "If you step down on the Jewish capitalists, hang them on the lantern, trample them down". In the election campaigns of 1932, however, the KPD came up with the slogan: "Whoever votes Hitler, votes for war!"

The Soviet communists were repeatedly shocked by this attitude. It strengthened them in their conviction that life in a pluralistic democracy leads to a "softening of the functionaries" and to the infiltration of the parties by agents and " saboteurs ". Stalin and his followers, who had been shaped by violent political conflicts in the Tsarist Empire and during the Russian Civil War , regarded the German communists as "coffee house socialists" and "babblers" who had neither suffered the toil of the underground struggle nor the fire of a real revolution . It was therefore clear to them that the German Communists would have to inculcate the Bolsheviks' code of conduct in the event that such a political defeat as during the Wittorf affair in 1928 did not occur: at that time, the Central Committee of the KPD had temporarily deposed Chairman Thälmann afterwards It had become known to be involved in an embezzlement affair because it feared pressure from the German public. This way of thinking was completely alien to the Soviet dictator and the leadership functionaries of the Comintern he sponsored because an independent press played no role in their imagination.

Stalin and his followers could not use disciplinary force against foreign communists, as they have been practicing in the Soviet Union since the revolution - and the instrument of disfavouring confidence and dismissing insubordinate party leaderships, as the Comintern itself admitted, could not be used indefinitely. In order to clarify the question of why Stalin nevertheless succeeded in essentially getting his will through in the KPD leadership, it makes sense to break away from the understanding that the Comintern functioned primarily on the principle of command and obedience. Stalin's power over the German party leadership arose less from his formal position of power - rather, his success was due to the fact that he transferred the system of feudal allegiance to the KPD. With this technique of rule, which was primarily based on personal principles such as loyalty and honor , he had already successfully integrated the party organizations on the previously barely controllable Soviet periphery into the power network of the Bolsheviks. It was not so much the much-cited “bureaucratization” of the Comintern and the KPD that made the German Communists susceptible to outside influence, but rather the almost complete fixation of the KPD leadership on the Soviet dictator. This became particularly clear in the last months before the transfer of power to Hitler, when the party chairman Thälmann and his competitor Heinz Neumann fought a ludicrous fight for the leadership position in the KPD behind the scenes: Thälmann was ultimately able to assert himself not least because he was himself profiled himself as the more loyal follower towards Stalin - 40 years later, Stalin's closest companion Molotov remembered that Thalmann had “made a very good impression” in Moscow because he had always behaved “loyally”.

Subsidiary and apron organizations

Results in Reichstag elections

Reichstag election results
election day Number of votes Share of votes Mandates
June 6, 1920 589.454 2.1% 4th
May 4, 1924 3,693,280 12.6% 62
December 7, 1924 2,709,086 8.9% 45
May 20, 1928 3,264,793 10.6% 54
September 14, 1930 4,590,160 13.1% 77
July 31, 1932 5,282,636 14.3% 89
November 6, 1932 5,980,239 16.9% 100
March 5, 1933 4,848,058 12.3% 81

The KPD did not take part in the election to the German National Assembly (1919). After the 1933 election, the KPD seats were annulled on March 8 with reference to the Reichstag Fire Ordinance. With the law against the formation of new parties from July 16, 1933, all parties besides the NSDAP were prohibited; this was the only party to take part in November 1933, as well as in 1936 and 1938 .

Nazi period (1933-1945)

KPD membership book from 1933
Commemoration of the " Brussels Party Conference of the KPD " of 1935 - special stamp of the GDR for the 20th anniversary of the
end of the war

As Adolf Hitler on 30 January 1933 by Reich President Hindenburg as chancellor was appointed , the KPD called for a general strike rich. However, this appeal hardly met with any public response. Only in the small Swabian industrial town of Mössingen were communist workers attempted to implement the general strike on January 31, 1933 . The strike actions in the three local textile companies were quickly put down. 80 people involved were sentenced to prison terms of up to two and a half years. In the Stuttgart cable attack on February 15, 1933, KPD members cut the main connecting cable of a radio tower near Stuttgart , where Hitler was giving a speech. As a result of the sabotage, the speech was not broadcast on the radio in some parts of Württemberg .

When Hitler's cabinet was formed , the KPD leadership believed that the National Socialist dictatorship would only last for a short time and that it was unstable. This optimistic assessment determined the political work of the next few months.

After the fire in the Reichstag on February 27, 1933, on February 28, 1933, under the pretext of having to avert an acute danger of communist overthrow, the Reich President's decree for the protection of the people and the state , with which all basic rights were suspended and the ban on the KPD and the SPD press. On the night of February 28, a number of KPD members of the Reichstag and functionaries were taken into “ protective custody ” and the party offices were closed. By March 1933, 7,500 communists, including Thälmann, had been arrested. In the Reichstag election on March 5, 1933 , the KPD received 12.3% of the vote, but the seats in the Reichstag remained vacant and were canceled on March 8, citing the Reichstag Fire Ordinance. The KPD was no longer involved in the vote on Hitler's Enabling Act of March 23, 1933, through which the Weimar Republic was formally abolished. After the KPD was expelled, only the SPD deputies voted against this law.

On May 26, 1933, the KPD's assets were confiscated. Many of their supporters and those of their splinter groups were arrested and as early as 1933 were the first to be locked up in the Dachau concentration camp or the camps in Emsland . In the “Third Reich” they were systematically persecuted politically, locked in concentration camps and murdered, simple members as well as leading cadres (for example Ernst Thälmann or Werner Scholem ). The KPD suffered great losses in the fight against the fascist dictatorship from 1933 to 1945.

The KPD continued its anti-fascist struggle underground. The Saefkow-Jacob-Bästlein-Organization became a relatively important resistance movement of KPD members who did not go into exile . Other communists gathered in various resistance groups of the Rote Kapelle , which worked for the Soviet Union during the Second World War and, among other things, tried to obtain secret information.

With the Prague Manifesto of the SPD in 1934 and the resolutions of the Brussels Conference of the KPD in 1935, the social fascism thesis was recognized as a mistake and the basis for a joint approach was created. The KPD opened the manifesto of the Brussels party conference to the Popular Front , since the idea of ​​a united front was considered to have failed in the mid-1930s. The style of the manifesto consequently also addresses the interests of the petty bourgeoisie or national, but anti-fascist-minded people.

Like the other member parties of the Comintern, the KPD also agreed to the German-Soviet non-aggression pact . On August 25, 1939, the Central Committee of the KPD explained:

“The non-aggression pact exposes the Nazi regime's agitation about the alleged 'encirclement' of Germany. […] The German people welcomes the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany because they want peace […] because, like the alliance between Hitler and Mussolini and the Japanese militarists, it is not an instrument of war and the imperialist rape of other peoples, but a pact to maintain the peace between Germany and the Soviet Union. "

The war between the Western powers and Germany was seen as a clash between imperialist powers:

“The war of the great imperialist powers in Europe has become a fact. Again millions of people are driven onto the battlefield, chased to their death. All illusions about permanent peace systems, disarmament and understanding in the world of capitalism have been shattered. [...] The real cause lies in the struggle of the imperialists for supremacy in Europe and for the redistribution of the earth. For 20 years, imperialists have been striving to satisfy their thirst for robbery at the expense of the Soviet Union. "

The KPD Central Committee, headed by Pieck and Ulbricht, developed a program to save the German nation (for example at the KPD's Brussels and Bern party conferences ). In exile in the Soviet Union, the KPD founded the National Committee Free Germany (NKFD) in Moscow , a center for the struggle of anti-fascists from all camps. Exiles built similar cross-party and ideological organizations in France , the Netherlands, and even Mexico. Members of the KPD worked in the Lutetia district (Paris) and in the Council for a Democratic Germany (New York).

During their exile in Moscow, numerous communists who had emigrated to the Soviet Union fell victim to the Stalinist "purges" as part of the Great Terror , with the express approval of Pieck and Ulbricht. At least 242 KPD top officials were murdered and buried in mass graves at execution sites such as Butowo ; Over 4,000 members were deported to Germany after the Hitler-Stalin Pact, where most of them were immediately arrested by the Gestapo and deported to concentration camps.

In addition to exiles and the resistance, there were also former KPD supporters, as from other parties, who were convinced of the economic successes of the National Socialists in the first years of the regime and abandoned their oppositional stance. The motives of these defectors were mostly to be seen either in opportunism or in a change of attitude.

The KPD's losses through repression and active resistance were "tremendously high". Allan Merson , British historian and communist , estimated in 1985 that 150,000 German Communists were imprisoned for longer or shorter periods and that 25,000 to 30,000 were murdered, executed or died in custody. In the last twelve months of the war, numerous KPD cadres, including the party chairman Thälmann and the former Reich and Landtag members Theodor Neubauer , Ernst Schneller , Mathias Thesen , Rudolf Hennig , Gustl Sandtner and Georg Schumann . The Gestapo offices near the front were instructed in January 1945 to "destroy German communists and foreigners suspected of" subversive "activity" without having formally requested special treatment from the RSHA "(cf. final phase crimes ).

post war period

From the KPD (East) to the SED (1945/46)

Membership card of a KPD member in the Soviet occupation zone in 1945
Max Reimann (1950), party and parliamentary group leader of the KPD

As early as the days of the end of the war, three groups of German communists sent from the Soviet Union to support the occupying power in the Soviet occupied area had also started organizing the KPD to rebuild the administration. The Ulbricht group operating in the German capital Berlin was of particular importance . The guidelines for the reorganization of the party, drawn up in Moscow in February and March 1945, were based on an extensive reorganization: people who were in possession of a membership book of the KPD in 1932/33 should no longer be able to consider themselves as members of the party. In each individual case, it was necessary to check how the person concerned had behaved after 1933. Initially, the resumption of "formerly due to membership of anti-party groups (Brandlerists, Trotskyists, Neumann group)" was also rejected. One day after Order No. 2 of the SMAD of June 10, 1945 enabled the establishment or re-establishment of German anti-fascist parties in the Soviet Zone and Berlin, the KPD came forward with a call from the Central Committee of the Communist Party to the German people to build an anti-fascist democratic Germany to the public.

Sometimes communists saw the KPD as an exclusive cadre party committed to the Leninist avant-garde concept and in the summer of 1945 openly accused the party leadership of “anti-Leninism”. They were particularly influential in the areas in which anti-fascist committees or anti-fascist committees had spontaneously emerged after the liberation . In the course of combating these “sectarian weaknesses”, the party leadership also disbanded the anti-fascist committees.

In addition to the KPD members who had returned from Soviet exile, it was primarily the Sudeten German communists who gained influence in the Soviet Zone. In 1945 the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) transferred 30,000 of its Sudeten German party members to the KPD, a large number of whom were subjected to a strict ideological test. In 1946 the KSČ made another 15,000 Sudeten German members available to the KPD. Furthermore, 2000 Social Democrats were transferred from Czechoslovakia , who were benevolent towards the proposed unification of the SPD (East) and KPD (East). The Sudeten Germans did not leave their country voluntarily and were only allowed to take 120 kilos of luggage with them.

On April 21, 1946, the SPD and KPD were forced to merge into the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in the Soviet occupation zone and Berlin . In the four- sector city ​​of Berlin , the elimination of the SPD failed due to the member survey, the ban of which the SMAD was only able to enforce in the Soviet Zone and in the Soviet sector of Berlin . In their zones of occupation, the western occupying powers forbade the party to bear the name of the unified party, which had to continue to appear there under the name KPD. Today it seems strange that on September 28, 1945, before the first democratic election in Bavaria, the KPD formed a government coalition in the Hoegner I cabinet together with the CSU and the SPD. With Heinrich Schmitt she provided the special minister for political liberation . The area of ​​responsibility was the denazification of society. After the events in the east, the KPD left the coalition prematurely.

West German KPD (1945–1956)

From November 25, 1946 to February 2, 1948, the KPD was involved in the state government in Lower Saxony. In Cabinet Head I she appointed Karl Abel, Minister for Public Health and State Welfare. After the Lower Saxony state election on April 20, 1947, Abel held office in the Kopf II cabinet from June 11, 1947 until his resignation on February 5, 1948 as state minister without portfolio. In Bremen, representatives of the KPD were in the Senate of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen from June 6, 1945 . These included Senator Käthe Popall (1945–1947) and Senator Hermann Wolters (1945–1946) (see Senate Vagts , Senate Kaisen I , Senate Kaisen II ).

In 1948/49 the KPD separated organizationally from the SED in the western zones and continued to work as a formally independent party with its own party executive. With the exception of Schleswig-Holstein, where it narrowly failed because of the threshold clause with 4.7%, the KPD succeeded in entering all West German state parliaments as well as in the French-occupied Saarland by 1947 . Of the parties allowed in Saarland, the KPD was the most vehement opponent of affiliation with France. In the 1949 Bundestag election , the KPD achieved an election result of 5.7% and thus entered the first German Bundestag . In the following years, however, the KPD clearly lost its approval and supra-regional parliamentary influence. In the election year 1950, in which five state elections took place, it only reached the five percent mark in North Rhine-Westphalia, so that it was eliminated from the state parliament in Bavaria and Hesse.

Outside of parliament, the KPD continued to try to maintain its influence in the labor movement and the trade unions, which was particularly large in the Ruhr area . However, their importance in the trade unions perished after the 1951 party congress and Thesis 37 . In that thesis, the KPD formulated a primacy of the party over trade union action. On the part of the trade unions, all functionaries were obliged to sign a declaration which rejected this thesis. The consequence of the signature was an expulsion from the KPD, the refusal an expulsion from the union. Most of the trade unionists voted against the KPD and in favor of the trade unions.

Between 1948 and 1952, the KPD was also weakened by internal disputes. With the help of the SED and the GDR government , between 1948 and 1952, party members who spoke out in favor of tolerating the political structures of the Federal Republic of Germany and for political work within them were removed or excluded from leadership positions . The deputy chairmen Kurt Müller and Fritz Sperling were lured to the GDR in 1950/51, partly with the help of the later honorary chairman of the DKP Max Reimann , where they were arrested and sentenced to long prison terms.

In 1950 the Adenauer government issued the " Adenauer Decree ", the first professional ban for KPD and FDJ members in the public service . At the party congress in 1951, the KPD took up the call for national resistance formulated by the SED. The federal government proposed on 23 November 1951, the declaration of unconstitutionality of the KPD under Art. 21 para. 2 of the Basic Law by the Federal Constitutional Court and banned both the West FDJ and numerous other "communist organizations." In January 1952 the rules of procedure of the Bundestag were changed, as a result of which the KPD lost its parliamentary group status and with it the right to submit motions and inquiries. The party's extra-parliamentary agitation then intensified. From 1953 the KPD was no longer represented in the Bundestag with 2.2% (607,860 voters) and was subsequently only able to move into a few state parliaments. Although the KPD et al. their goal, the "revolutionary overthrow of the Adenauer regime", had dropped shortly before the prohibition ruling, was banned from the party on August 17, 1956 . At the time of its ban, the KPD was still represented in the state parliaments of Lower Saxony, Bremen and Saarland.

Even before the KPD was banned, various communist activities had been sanctioned by an amendment to the criminal code on charges of being unconstitutional .

As a result of the ban, there were many thousands of preliminary investigations, between 7,000 and 10,000 final convictions and numerous arrests. The trials were usually accompanied by layoffs resulting in permanent unemployment, often even when the lack of evidence did not result in a conviction. After the Saarland joined the Federal Republic in 1957, the Saar Communist Party was also banned as a substitute organization for the KPD. The verdict is still harshly criticized within the left .

Illegal activities (1956–1968)

After the KPD ban, former members continued their activities illegally until the small communist party DKP was founded in 1968. Up until then there were house searches, arrests and judicial convictions, including Josef Angenfort , member of the NRW state parliament , who was arrested several times and sentenced to prison terms. Many members of the party executive went to the GDR, from where they sometimes returned to the Federal Republic of Germany in a conspiratorial manner in order to continue their work.

For the Bundestag election in 1957 , the KPD called for the SPD to be elected.

In the 1960s, the prerequisites for the legalization of a communist party, which the KPD had always strived for as re-approval, changed. The reconstitution of the Communist Party in the form of the German Communist Party (DKP) on September 22, 1968 was preceded by a conversation between two KPD officials in July 1968 with the Minister of Justice Gustav Heinemann of the ruling grand coalition, in which the latter refused to allow the KPD to be re-admitted and recommended the formation of a new party as the way to legalize communist political work in the Federal Republic.

Results of federal and state elections

Bundestag election results
election day Number of votes Share of votes Mandates
August 14, 1949 1,361,706 5.7% 15th
September 6, 1953 611,317 ( first votes )
607,860 ( second votes )
2.2% (first votes)
2.2% (second votes)

The KPD had two representatives in the Parliamentary Council (1948/49) . On August 17, 1956, the KPD was banned .

State election results in percent
1946 10.0
10.3 *
- 5.3
19.8 11.5 * 10.4 * 9.8
1947 7.4 7.3 - 8.8 5.6 * 14.0 * 8.7 * 8.4 4.7
1948 - n. k.
1949 - 7.4
1950 4.9 - 1.9 n. k. 4.7 5.5 2.2
1951 - 6.4 1.8 4 4.3
1952 - - - 4.4 3 9.5
1953 - - - 3.2
1954 - - - 2.1 2.7 3.4 3.8 2.1
1955 - - - 5.0 1.3 4 3.2 6.6
1956 - - - 3.2
  Entry into the state parliament
* Participation in the subsequently formed state government
  Highest result in the state, without entering the state parliament
Results of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED); for further election results up to 1989 see Socialist Unity Party West Berlin (SEW).
Results of the Saar Communist Party (KPS).
Since the 5% hurdle applied in the individual parts of the state in the election for the state constitutional assembly in Baden-Württemberg in 1952 , the KPD moved into the state parliament.
No threshold clause

In the Soviet occupation zone (federal states of Brandenburg , Mecklenburg , Saxony , Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia ) there were partially free state elections in 1946 . The SED achieved 47.5% of the votes for the entire Soviet Zone. The 1950 sham elections officially yielded over 99% for the unit lists of the National Front in each of the five countries .

See also


  • Eric D. Weitz : Creating German communism, 1890-1990. From popular protests to socialist state . Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ et al. 1997, ISBN 0-691-02594-0 .
  • Klaus Kinner (ed.): The German Communism - Self-Understanding and Reality , 4 volumes, Karl-Dietz-Verlag, Berlin 1999 ff.
KPD 1918 to 1945
  • Ossip K. Flechtheim : The KPD in the Weimar Republic , Offenbach 1948.
  • Paul Heider et al .: History of the military policy of the KPD (1918-1945) , ( Military Publishing House of the German Democratic Republic ) Berlin 1987. ISBN 3-327-00278-9 .
  • Bert Hoppe : In Stalin's company. Moscow and the KPD 1928–1933 . Oldenbourg, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-58255-0 , ( Studies on Contemporary History 74), (At the same time: Berlin, Humboldt-Univ., Diss., 2004) ( full text available digitally ).
  • Klaus Kinner: German communism. Self-image and reality . Volume 1: The Weimar Period . Dietz, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-320-01979-1 , ( History of Communism and Left Socialism 1).
  • Klaus-Michael Mallmann: Communists in the Weimar Republic. Social history of a revolutionary movement . Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1996, ISBN 3-534-13045-6 , (At the same time: Essen, Univ., Habil.-Schr., 1995: Milieu und Avantgarde ).
  • Allan Merson : Communist Resistance in Nazi Germany. Vorw. Peter Gingold . Pahl-Rugenstein Verlag , Bonn 1999, ISBN 978-3-89144-262-3 ; First edition: Communist resistance in Nazi Germany . Lawrence and Wishart, London 1985.
  • Andreas Petersen : The Muscovites. How the Stalin trauma shaped the GDR. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2019, ISBN 978-3-10-397435-5 .
  • Hermann Weber : The transformation of German communism - the Stalinization of the KPD in the Weimar Republic , 2 volumes, Frankfurt am Main 1969.
  • The way into the abyss. The leap year 1928 - The KPD at a crossroads (Part I) and Biographical Research on KPD History (Part II). Colloquium on historical research on socialism and communism. Pankower Lectures 51 and 52, Helle Panke, Berlin 2003.
  • Hermann Weber, Andreas Herbst : German Communists. Biographical Handbook 1918 to 1945 . Dietz, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-320-02044-7 (2nd edition, 2008 can be researched online here ; online review at )
  • Hermann Weber, Jakov Drabkin, Bernhard H. Bayerlein, Aleksandr Galkin (eds.): Germany, Russia, Comintern. I. Overviews, analyzes, discussions. New perspectives on the history of the KPD and German-Russian relations (1918–1943) . De Gruyter, Berlin, Boston 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-030134-2 .
  • Hermann Weber, Jakov Drabkin, Bernhard H. Bayerlein, (Eds.); Gleb Albert (Mitw.): Germany, Russia, Comintern. II. Documents (1918-1943). After the Archive Revolution: Newly Developed Sources on the History of the KPD and German-Russian Relations . De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin, Munich, Boston 2015, ISBN 978-3-11-033978-9 .
  • Ralf Hoffrogge , Norman LaPorte (ed.): Weimar Communism as Mass Movement 1918-1933 , Lawrence & Wishart, London 2017.
KPD 1945 to 1968
  • Josef Foschepoth : Unconstitutional! : The KPD ban in the Cold Civil War , Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2017, ISBN 978-3-525-30181-4 .
  • Till Kössler: Farewell to the revolution. Communists and Society in West Germany 1945–1968 . Droste, Düsseldorf 2005, ISBN 3-7700-5263-3 , ( Contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties 143), (At the same time: Bochum, Univ., Diss., 2002).
  • Wilhelm Mensing, Manfred Wilke : Take or accept. The banned KPD in search of political participation . Edition Interfrom and others, Zurich and others 1989, ISBN 3-7201-5220-0 , ( texts + theses 220).
  • Dietrich Staritz : The Communist Party of Germany. In: Richard Stöss (Ed.): Party Handbook. The parties of the Federal Republic of Germany 1945–1980 . Vol. 2: FDP to WAV . Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1984, ISBN 3-531-11592-8 , ( publications of the Central Institute for Social Science Research of the Free University of Berlin 39), pp. 1663-1809.
  • Herbert Mayer: Enforced by party enemies, agents, criminals ...? On the party purges in the KPD (1948–1952) and the participation of the SED , Volume 29 of the series “Hefte zur DDR-Geschichte” at Helle Panke eV, Berlin 1995.


Web links

Commons : Communist Party of Germany  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. ^ Laufer: Constitutional jurisdiction and political process . Tübingen 1968, p. 476.
  3. Jürgen Zarusky : The German Social Democrats and the Soviet Model 1917–1933. Ideological debate and foreign policy concepts . Oldenbourg, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-486-55928-1 . P. 77f.
  4. There were z. B. the magazine Der Arbeiterrat as well as the Berlin works council headquarters part of the KPD structures. See Ralf Hoffrogge : Richard Müller. The man behind the November Revolution . Dietz Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02148-1 , pp. 96–99, 144–149.
  5. Hermann Weber et al. (Ed.): Germany, Russia, Comintern Overviews, Analyzes, Discussions: New Perspectives on the History of the KPD and German-Russian Relations (1918–1943). Walter de Gruyter, 2014. pp. 38–40.
  6. ^ Edited by Hermann Weber , Jakov Drabkin, Bernhard H. Bayerlein, Aleksandr Galkin: Germany, Russia, Comintern Overviews, Analyzes, Discussions: New Perspectives on the History of the KPD and German-Russian Relations (1918–1943). Walter de Gruyter , 2014. pp. 40–43.
  7. Hans-Ulrich Wehler : Deutsche Gesellschaftgeschichte Vol. 4: From the beginning of the First World War to the founding of the two German states 1914–1949. 2008, ISBN 3-406-32264-6 . P. 538.
  8. Harald Jentsch, Die KPD and the “German October” 1923 , Rostock 2005, pp. 291–337.
  9. Hans-Ulrich Wehler: Deutsche Gesellschaftgeschichte Vol. 4: From the beginning of the First World War to the founding of the two German states 1914–1949. 2008, ISBN 3-406-32264-6 . P. 538 .; See also Mario Keßler : Arthur Rosenberg - A Historian in the Age of Disasters . Weimar / Vienna 2003, pp. 100–119.
  10. Hans-Ulrich Wehler: German History of Society Volume 4: From the beginning of the First World War to the founding of the two German states 1914-1949. 2008, ISBN 3-406-32264-6 . P. 395f.
  11. Harald Jentsch: The KPD and the "German October" , p. 378 ff.
  12. Hermann Weber: The change of German communism , p. 104 ff.
  13. Cf. Rüdiger Zimmermann: Der Leninbund - Left Communists in the Weimar Republic . Düsseldorf 1978.
  14. Andreas Wirsching: From World War to Civil War? Political extremism in Germany and France 1918–1933 / 39. Berlin and Paris in comparison . Oldenbourg, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-486-56357-2 , p. 170 (accessed from De Gruyter Online).
  15. ^ Hermann Weber: The change of German communism. The Stalinization of the KPD in the Weimar Republic . Frankfurt am Main 1969.
  16. Klaus Schönhoven, Strategy of Idleness? Social Democratic Legalism and Communist Attentism in the Era of the Presidential Cabinet , in: Heinrich August Winkler (Ed.): The German State Crisis 1930–1933. Spaces of action and alternatives , Munich 1992, p. 63.
  17. ^ Thomas Weingartner: Stalin and the rise of Hitler, contributions to foreign and international politics . Vol. 4, Berlin 1970.
  18. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: The way into the disaster. 1930 to 1933. (= workers and labor movement in the Weimar Republic , vol. 3). Dietz, Berlin 1987, p. 874.
  19. Minutes of the 6th Comintern Congress 1928, Volume I, pp. 16 ff. And 302.
  20. ^ Protocol XII. Party Congress of the KPD 1929, p. 72.
  21. ^ Thälmann speech before the Central Committee of the KPD in February 1932. In: Der deutsche Kommunismus . Doc. 47, p. 157 ff.
  22. ^ Heinrich August Winkler : Weimar 1918–1933. The history of the first German democracy. Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-37646-0 . P. 196.
  23. Hans-Ulrich Wehler : Deutsche Gesellschaftgeschichte Vol. 4: From the beginning of the First World War to the founding of the two German states 1914–1949. CH Beck Verlag 2008, ISBN 3-406-32264-6 . P. 505.
  24. Molotov in conversation with Feliks Chuev on June 9, 1976. In: Albert Resis (Ed.): Molotov remembers: inside Kremlin politics; conversations with Felix Chuev . Chicago 1993.
  25. ↑ Date of entry into force of the law against the formation of new parties .
  26. Digital version of the original leaflet of the KPD Württemberg with the call for a general strike against Hitler as PDF ( Memento from April 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  27. Hans-Joachim Althaus (editor), inter alia: “ There was nothing there except here - the red Mössingen in the general strike against Hitler. History of a Swabian Workers' Village ”; Rotbuch-Verlag Berlin 1982, 229 pages, ISBN 3-88022-242-8 .
  28. Allan Merson: Communist Resistance in Nazi Germany . Pahl-Rugenstein, Bonn 1999, ISBN 3-89144-262-9 , pp. 45 .
  29. Hans-Ulrich Wehler : Deutsche Gesellschaftgeschichte Vol. 4: From the beginning of the First World War to the founding of the two German states 1914–1949. CH Beck Verlag 2008, ISBN 3-406-32264-6 . P. 604f.
  31. Manifesto of the Brussels party conference of the CP of Germany . In: Documents of the Central Committee of the KPD 1933–1945 . Offenbach 2002, p. 226.
  32. ^ Declaration by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Germany on the conclusion of the non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany . In: Documents of the Central Committee of the KPD 1933–1945 . Offenbach 2002, p. 394 f.
  33. Against the imperialist war - for peace and freedom of the peoples (Dec. 1939) . In: Documents of the Central Committee of the KPD 1933–1945 . Offenbach 2002, pp. 399-405.
  34. Communists: Such Traitors: Der Spiegel, 29/1989 , July 17, 1989.
  35. Allan Merson , Communist resistance in Nazideutschland , Bonn 1999, p. 293 (English original 1985: Communist resistance in Nazi Germany ).
  36. See Merson, Resistance, p. 293.
  37. See Wolfgang Schumann , Olaf Groehler ( inter alia), Germany in the Second World War . Volume 6. The smashing of Hitler's fascism and the liberation of the German people (June 1944 to May 8, 1945), 2nd, revised edition, East Berlin 1988, p. 643.
  38. Quoted from Schumann, Groehler, Deutschland, p. 643.
  39. Call of the Central Committee of the Communist Party to the German people to build an anti-fascist-democratic Germany from June 11, 1945 on
  40. See Pritchard, Gareth, The making of the GDR 1945–1953. From antifascism to Stalinism, Manchester-New York 2004, p. 65.
  41. Quoted from Keiderling, Staatspartei, p. 89.
  42. ^ Frank Hirschinger: 'Gestapo Agents, Trotskists, Traitors' (Schriften Des Hannah-Arendt-Institut Fur Totalitarismusfors) Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2005. p. 124.
  43. ^ Sarah Langwald: Communist persecution and legal counter-defense: the "Defense Committee Movement" and the "Main Committee for Referendum" , in: Arbeit - Bewegungs - Geschichte, Issue I / 2018, pp. 92-109; as well as Rolf Geffken : Labor and industrial action in the port: On the history of port work and the port workers' union. Edition Falkenberg 2015. p. 90.
  44. See, for example, Jan Korte , Instrument Anti-Communism: the special case of the Federal Republic , Dietz, Berlin 2009.
  45. ^ Georg Fülberth: KPD and DKP. Two communist parties in the fourth period of capitalist development . Heilbronn 1990. ISBN 3-923208-24-3 . P. 94 f.
  46. ^ Siegfried Heimann: The German Communist Party , in: Richard Stöss (Ed.), Party Handbook. The parties of the Federal Republic of Germany 1945–1980 (= writings of the Central Institute for Social Science Research at the Free University of Berlin; vol. 38), Wiesbaden 1983, pp. 901–981.
  47. The KPD in Württemberg-Baden was over 5 percent, see p. 112-113 of the essay Baden-Württemberg - "Home of Liberalism" and stronghold of the CDU by Reinhold Weber , in parties in the German states , Andreas Kost, Werner Rellecke , Reinhold Weber, Verlag CH Beck , 2010, pp. 103–126.
  48. Information from the publisher on the content (PDF's)
  49. Information from the publisher on the content (PDF's)