National Democratic Party of Germany

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National Democratic Party of Germany
Party flag of the NDPD
Party leader Lothar Bolz (1948–1972)
Heinrich Homann (1972–1989)
Günter Hartmann (1989–1990)
Wolfgang Glaeser (1990)
Wolfgang Rauls (1990)
founding 1948
Place of foundation Potsdam , SBZ
fusion August 12, 1990
(incorporated into: FDP )
Headquarters East Berlin , GDR
Alignment Conservatism ,
national conservatism ,
Colours) yellow
Number of members approx. 110,000 (late 1980s)
Minimum age 18 years

The National Democratic Party of Germany (NDPD) was a bloc party in the GDR . It was founded in the Soviet occupation zone in 1948 and supported the policies of the SED . In 1990 it went into the all-German FDP .


Memorial plaque at the founding place of the NDPD in Potsdam, Lindenstrasse 44
House of the NDPD in East Berlin, Friedrichstrasse 65 (1959)

The Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) allowed four parties in the summer of 1945: the KPD , the SPD , the CDU and the LDP . In April 1946 the SPD was forcibly united with the KPD to form the SED . Due to the good results of the CDU and LDP in the state elections in the Soviet Zone in 1946 , the SED tried to create artificial competition for these parties. To this end, she founded a farmers' party ( DBD ) on instructions and in coordination with the SMAD in April 1948 and the National Democratic Party of Germany on May 25, 1948. On that day the chairmen of the founding committees met; that was later set as the foundation date.

In March 1948, Stalin said that it was time to "break the line between former Nazis and non-Nazis". As early as February 26, 1948, SMAD Order No. 35 had ended denazification in the Soviet zone; This made it possible for NSDAP members who were not “incriminated” to “work honestly to secure the unity and democratic development of Germany”. On March 22, 1948, the new National-Zeitung appeared for the first time , later the central organ of the NDPD.

In addition to old NSDAP members, former officers and displaced persons were also to be taken in by the new party. At its meeting in May 1948, the SED executive committee stated that “these politically unclear people” should not give up “the voting cattle” for the bourgeois parties CDU and LDP in the next election.

The first chairman of the NDPD was Lothar Bolz , a KPD member since 1928 and later a member of the National Committee for Free Germany (NKFD, 1943–1945) in the Soviet Union . The party joined the Democratic Bloc in September 1948 . According to Klaus Schroeder , significantly more former NSDAP members were involved in the SED than in the NDPD.

Political work in the GDR

State Council Chairman Walter Ulbricht and Heinrich Homann (1968)

In its party program, the NDPD called for, among other things, the promotion of the middle class , the integration of former professional civil servants, an end to discrimination against simple NSDAP members and Wehrmacht officers , a complete land reform and the expropriation of the corporations. The national conservative members of the middle class and returnees from captivity made up the majority of the members. The NDPD was organized on the model of the SED and the principle of democratic centralism . The highest body was the party congress , which met every five years and which elected a main committee. A secretariat took care of the day-to-day business. In addition to the national newspaper , which appears on weekdays , the party executive also published the bimonthly magazine Die Nation (“magazine for the theory and practice of national politics”). The party-owned publishing house of the nation specialized "in so-called 'conversion literature'" for the party clientele of former Nazis, officers and professional soldiers.

The NDPD sent 52 delegates to the People's Chamber and provided one deputy each for the chairman of the Council of Ministers and the chairman of the Council of State of the GDR. The party member Ferdinand Graf von Thun und Hohenstein was a high-ranking diplomat of the GDR ( ambassador to Iran ).

According to its own information, the NDPD had the following membership figures:

  • 1949: 17,000
  • 1953: 232.605
  • 1975: 80,000
  • Late 1980s: around 110,000

Turning point 1989/90

On December 7, 1989, the party left the " Democratic Bloc ". The party participated in the round table with three representatives .

At the 14th party congress on 20/21 In January 1990 Wolfgang Glaeser was elected chairman with 32 percent against; In his closing remarks he took a strongly reform-oriented standpoint. Executives and parts of the membership distanced themselves from it, and Glaeser resigned two days later. At the party congress on February 11, 1990, Wolfgang Rauls was elected as the new chairman of the party.

The NDPD received only 0.39% of the vote and two mandates in the free Volkskammer election on March 18, 1990. During the election campaign she advocated a social market economy , a step-by-step plan for German unity through economic and monetary union and the GDR's accession to the European Community .

An electoral alliance of national and liberal parties in the GDR proposed by the NDPD was rejected by the parties that formed the Bund Free Democrats . Thereupon the NDPD also joined the League of Free Democrats and went with it on August 12, 1990 in the Free Democratic Party ( FDP ).

Party congresses

NDPD party congress (1950)
  • 1st party conference in Potsdam in September 1948
  • 1st party congress in June 1949 in Halle
  • 2nd party congress in June 1950 in Leipzig
  • 3rd party congress in June 1951 in Leipzig
  • 4th party congress in June 1952 in Leipzig
  • 5th party congress in October 1953 in Leipzig
  • 6th party congress in September 1955 in Leipzig
  • 7th party congress in May 1958 in Leipzig
  • 8th party congress in May 1963 in Erfurt
  • 9th party congress in September 1967 in Magdeburg
  • 10th party congress in April 1972 in Potsdam
  • 11th party congress in April 1977 in Leipzig
  • 12th party congress in April 1982 in Leipzig
  • 13th party congress in May 1987 in Leipzig
  • 14th party congress in January / February 1990 in East Berlin
  • Last party conference in March 1990 in East Berlin


Party leader

Chairwoman of the regional associations 1948–1952

Chair of the district associations

Web links


  • Jürgen Frölich : Transmission belt, trade interest group or niche party? On the role, importance and impact of the NDPD. In: German Bundestag (Hrsg.): Materials of the Enquete Commission "Processing the history and consequences of the SED dictatorship in Germany". Volume II / 4. Nomos, Baden-Baden, ISBN 3-7890-4034-7 , pp. 1542–1578.
  • Bernd Gottberg: The foundation and the first years of the NDPD 1948–1954. In: Jürgen Frölich (Ed.): “Bourgeois” parties in the Soviet Zone / GDR. On the history of the CDU, LDP (D), DBD and NDPD 1945 to 1953. Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, Cologne 1995, ISBN 3-8046-8813-6 , pp. 73-87.
  • Josef Haas: The National Democratic Party of Germany (NDPD). History, structure and function of a GDR block party. Dissertation, Bamberg 1988, DNB 881230421 .
  • Andreas Herbst (eds.), Winfried Ranke, Jürgen Winkler: This is how the GDR worked. Volume 2: Lexicon of Organizations and Institutions (M – Z) (= rororo manual. Volume 6349). Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1994, ISBN 3-499-16349-7 (Art. National Democratic Party of Germany ).
  • Roland Höhne: From the turning point to the end. The NDPD during the democratization process. In: Oskar Niedermayer , Richard Stöss (Hrsg.): Parties and voters in transition. Party system and voter behavior in the former GDR and the new federal states. Westdeutscher Verlag, Opladen 1994, ISBN 3-531-12648-2 , pp. 113-142.
  • Roland Höhne: Rise and Fall of a National Block Party 1948–1990. In: Heiner Timmermann (Ed.): The GDR in Germany. A look back at 50 years. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-428-10418-8 , pp. 269-311.
  • Harald Krieg: LDP and NDP in the "GDR" 1949–1958. A contribution to the history of the “non-socialist” parties and their synchronization with the SED. West German publishing house, Cologne 1965, DNB 452589614 .
  • Roderich Kulbach, Helmut Weber: Parties in the block system of the GDR. Structure and function of the LDPD and the NDPD (=  series of publications of the preparatory college for contemporary history issues. Vol. 3). Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, Cologne 1969, DNB 457317418 .
  • Peter Joachim Lapp : The "friendly parties" of the SED. GDR block parties today. Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, Cologne 1988, ISBN 3-8046-8699-0 .
  • Peter Joachim Lapp: Sale. The end of the bloc parties. Edition Ost, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-932180-58-5 .
  • Christoph Schreiber: "Germans we are proud of." Studies on the NDPD (=  studies on contemporary history. Volume 108). Dr. Kovač, Hamburg 2018, ISBN 3-339-10360-7 .
  • Dietrich Staritz : The National Democratic Party of Germany 1948–1953. A contribution to the investigation of the party system in the GDR. Dissertation, FU Berlin 1968, DNB 482641355 .
  • Dietrich Staritz: National Democratic Party of Germany (NDPD). In: Martin Broszat , Hermann Weber : SBZ manual. State administrations, parties, social organizations and their executives in the Soviet occupation zone of Germany 1945–1949. Oldenbourg, Munich 1990, ISBN 3-486-55261-9 , pp. 574-583.
  • Michael Walter: National Democratic Party of Germany (NDPD). In: Gerd-Rüdiger Stephan, Andreas Herbst , Christine Krauss, Daniel Küchenmeister, Detlef Nakath (eds.): The parties and organizations of the GDR. A manual. Dietz, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-320-01988-0 , pp. 366-401.
  • Christoph Wunnicke: The block parties of the GDR. Continuities and Transformation 1945–1990 (=  series of publications by the Berlin State Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former GDR. Volume 34). LStU Berlin, Berlin 2014, pp. 112-133, (PDF; 434 kB).

Individual evidence

  1. Erhart Hohenstein: How Wache became quail. In: Potsdam latest news. August 14, 2009.
  2. ^ A b Andreas Herbst, Winfried Ranke, Jürgen Winkler: This is how the GDR worked . Volume 2. Rowohlt, Hamburg 1994, sv “National Democratic Party of Germany”, p. 714.
  3. Klaus Schroeder: The SED state. Party, State and Society 1949–1990 , 2nd edition, Propylaen: München 2000 (1998), p. 42.
  4. Klaus Schroeder: The SED state. Party, State and Society 1949–1990. 2nd edition, Propylaen, Munich 2000 (1998), pp. 41/42.
  5. Klaus Schroeder: The SED state. Party, State and Society 1949–1990. 2nd edition, Propylaen, Munich 2000 (1998), pp. 42/43.
  6. For example Wolfgang Rösser
  7. Simone Barck, Martina Langermann, Siegfried Lokatis: "Every book an adventure". Censorship system and literary public in the GDR until the end of the sixties . Akademie Verlag, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-05-003118-2 , pp. 108 .
  8. ^ Helmut Müller-Enbergs:  Thun, Ferdinand . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 2. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  9. ^ Andreas Herbst, Winfried Ranke, Jürgen Winkler: This is how the GDR worked . Volume 2. Rowohlt, Hamburg 1994, sv “National Democratic Party of Germany”, p. 715.
  10. ^ Andreas Herbst, Winfried Ranke, Jürgen Winkler: This is how the GDR worked . Volume 2. Rowohlt, Hamburg 1994, sv “National Democratic Party of Germany”, p. 717.