SPD Hamburg

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SPD Hamburg
Melanie Leonhard
Melanie Leonhard
Logo SPD Hamburg.svg
Chairperson Melanie Leonhard
Deputy Matthias Bartke
Inka Damerau
Nils Weiland
Treasurer Christian Bernzen
executive Director Kerstin Bake-Völsch and Lars Balcke
Establishment date before 1863 1
Place of foundation Hamburg
Headquarters Kurt-Schumacher-Haus
Kurt-Schumacher-Allee 10
20097 Hamburg
Landtag mandates
Number of members 10,405 (as of end of 2016)
Website spd-hamburg.de

The SPD Hamburg , officially the SPD state organization Hamburg , is the state organization of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and is considered to be the state association of a party in the city-state with the largest number of members.

From 1946 to 1953 and from 1957 to 2001 it provided the first mayor of Hamburg . After attaining an absolute majority of the seats in the mayor elections on February 20, 2011 , Olaf Scholz was elected as the new Mayor on March 7, 2011 with 62 of 118 votes cast. Thus, after almost ten years of opposition, the Hamburg SPD is again providing the head of government.

Results of the citizenship elections

Results of the citizenship elections
year Top candidate be right Seats
1946 Max Brewer 43.1% 83
1949 Max Brewer 42.8% 65
1953 Max Brewer 45.2% 58
1957 Max Brewer 53.9% 69
1961 Paul Nevermann 57.4% 72
1966 Herbert Weichmann 59.0% 74
1970 Herbert Weichmann 55.3% 70
1974 Peter Schulz 45.0% 56
1978 Hans-Ulrich Klose 51.5% 69
1982 (June) Klaus von Dohnanyi 42.7% 55
1982 (December) Klaus von Dohnanyi 51.3% 64
1986 Klaus von Dohnanyi 41.7% 53
1987 Klaus von Dohnanyi 45.0% 55
1991 Henning Voscherau 48.0% 61
1993 Henning Voscherau 40.4% 58
1997 Henning Voscherau 36.2% 54
2001 Ortwin round 36.5% 46
2004 Thomas Mirow 30.5% 41
2008 Michael Naumann 34.1% 45
2011 Olaf Scholz 48.4% 62
2015 Olaf Scholz 45.6% 58
2020 Peter Tschentscher 39.2% 54

History of the SPD Hamburg

The beginnings

Hamburgers were also involved in the founding of the General German Workers' Association (ADAV) in 1863, such as Theodor Yorck , chairman of the carpenters and woodworkers, Jakob Audorf , author of the Arbeiter-Marseillaise, and August Geib , poet and bookseller, the latter became one of the central leaders of the ADAV and - together with August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht - the Socialist Workers' Party (SAP) founded in 1875 . Hamburg had already been the most important center of the socialist labor movement and the seat of most of the trade union boards in the early 1870s; With 4,000 members represented, Hamburg provided 17 percent of the Reich's membership at the 1875 party congress.

The enactment of the “Law against the Social Democracy's Endangered Efforts”, the so-called Socialist Law (1878–1890), led to house searches, club closings, and lawsuits against party and trade union members despite the Hamburg police minister's liberal approach compared to Prussia . The party and unions withdrew into replacement organizations. At the instigation of Prussia, the minor state of siege was imposed on Hamburg and the surrounding area in the autumn of 1880 , which made it possible to expel 300 Social Democrats whose families were left in need.

Hamburg, the stronghold

The customs connection buildings started in 1882 created a special boom in Hamburg, which led to the boom of the trade union “Fachvereine”, whose well-paid members raised enormous sums of money for the banned party, which thus became the financial support of SAP throughout the Reich. In all three Hamburg constituencies and constituency 8 Altona-Wandsbek-Stormarn, the votes for the SAP increased continuously in the Reichstag elections, in 1890 the SAP was successful in all three social democratic constituencies in the "stronghold of Hamburg" and constituency 8 Altona was also won . August Bebel, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Dietz and Wilhelm Metzger moved into the Reichstag for Hamburg . Karl Frohme represented constituency 8 . They remained in the hands of SAP until the end of the German Empire, which was renamed the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in 1890 .

In the meantime, Hamburg employers' associations had come together and when the Hamburg workers demonstrated for the eight-hour day on May 1, 1890 , almost 20,000 workers were locked out for months. This led within the workers' organizations to a change in bitterness and radicalism previously unknown in Hamburg. Nevertheless, the SPD took part in the emergency committee during the cholera epidemic in 1892. Previously, on August 27, the Hamburg Senate commissioned the SPD in Hamburg to print 250,000 leaflets with information on hygiene and to distribute them at short notice by their members for a fee. No other printing company or organization in the city was able to do both. The Hamburg port workers 'strike in 1896/97 , which could not be held against the local employers' associations together with the Ruhr industry , had far-reaching consequences .

The right to vote for the Hamburg citizenship , which is linked to citizenship and a certain income level , meant that Otto Stolten was the first Social Democrat to be elected to the state parliament until 1901; in 1904 there were already 13 (of 160 seats). The attempt by the citizens to change the electoral law to the disadvantage of the workers led to a half-day general strike, the first political mass strike in Germany.

During this period, Hamburg remained the capital of the labor movement and the center of the trade union movement. Under the decisive influence of Adolph von Elm , the cooperative consumer, building and savings association "Production" eGmbH and the trade union-cooperative insurance company Volksfürsorge were founded . The cooperative and community-based companies set in motion what has been called the third pillar of the labor movement. The impressive trade union building was inaugurated in 1913 by Bebel, who was a member of the Hamburg Reichstag until his death in the same year. It was not until the First World War that social democrats were given offices in the Hamburg administration and citizenship.

In government responsibility 1919–1933

In 1919 the majority social democracy (1917-1919) in Hamburg was able to prevail against the USPD leadership after a new election in the Hamburg workers' council . In the general election on March 16, 1919, the SPD won 50.5 percent of the vote, the USPD 8.1. The Social Democrats formed a coalition government with the German Democratic Party (DDP - previously United Liberals ). In the 1921 election, the SPD, which had over 72,000 members in Hamburg, received 40.6 percent of the vote, the KPD 11 percent. In addition to the Second Mayor Otto Stolten, School Senator Emil Krause and Police Senator Adolph Schönfelder were among the leading Social Democrats. A variety of reforms were implemented, e.g. B. Introduction of a modern administration, change in welfare, reform-oriented school and youth policy, an exemplary urban development policy ( Fritz Schumacher ).

Karl Meitmann, around 1930

The increasing violent clashes led to the foundation of the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold in February 1924 , in which Hamburg Social Democrats played a key role. After the success of the NSDAP in the Reichstag elections in 1930 , the SPD chairman Karl Meitmann warned that Hitler wanted “power, all power”, which he would secure with “rivers of blood” if necessary.

Resistance and persecution 1933–1945

After Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor on January 30, 1933, the fire in the Reichstag provided the pretext for an emergency decree of February 28, 1933 to restrict the freedom of rights guaranteed in the constitution, including freedom of the press. When the Nazi regime asked the Hamburg Senate to ban the SPD party newspaper " Hamburger Echo ", the Social Democratic Mayor Rudolf Ross and the SPD Senators Emil Krause, Adolph Schönfelder, Paul Neumann , Heinrich Eisenbarth and John Ehrenteit stepped in on March 3, 1933 back. With the election of a National Socialist Senate on March 8, 1933, state terror also began in Hamburg. The new rulers systematically restricted the SPD's freedom of movement and public appearance, and the first arrests followed.

The three Hamburg SPD MPs Adolf Biedermann , Gustav Dahrendorf and Hans Staudinger were among the 94 members of the SPD parliamentary group who voted against the Enabling Act on March 23, 1933 .

With the confiscation of the party's assets on May 10, 1933, the party's ability to act was further restricted. Preparing for illegality and sticking to the legality course was also discussed in Hamburg. The adjustment policy of the General German Trade Union Federation (ADGB) led to the resignation of part of the trade union wing from the SPD parliamentary group at the end of May 1933. On June 15 and 16, 1933, the Hamburg SPD leadership - the party executive, members of the Reichstag and citizenship and the district leaders - met in the editorial building of the "Hamburger Echo" to discuss the political situation. The more than 30 participants were arrested and, in some cases, severely mistreated by the National Socialists. After a charge of preparation for high treason failed, all prisoners were released after several weeks in prison. The events in Hamburg also served the National Socialists at the Reich level to ban the SPD on June 22, 1933.

Walter Schmedemann then built up the illegal SPD leadership in Hamburg, which maintained a broad organizational network with its own intelligence service. The resistance work, however, was not organized uniformly. Numerous groups that were recruited from SAJlers ( socialist workers ' youth ), young socialists, Reichsbanner people and workers' athletes developed their own activities.

The illegal leadership of the Hamburg SPD was arrested several times and had to be replaced. Until March 1938, Walter Siering and Wilhelm Bock succeeded in maintaining contact with the border secretariat of the SPD exile executive in Copenhagen. Gustav Dahrendorf belonged to the inner circle of the social democratic union resistance around Julius Leber and Wilhelm Leuschner since the end of 1942 . In 1943 he informed Adolph Schönfelder and Herbert Ruscheweyh about the overturn plans.

Post War and Reconstruction

Immediately after the end of the war, the Social Democrats under Karl Meitmann , Walter Schmedemann and Adolph Schönfelder began to rebuild the Hamburg party. At the end of 1946 the SPD had around 44,000 members, by 1948 the number of members in the party organization, which as a result of the Greater Hamburg Law now also extended to Altona, Harburg-Wilhelmsburg and Wandsbek , rose to 55,000. With the first general election on October 13, 1946 , the majority structure was clearly expressed: the SPD won the election with 43.1% of the vote. The majority vote decreed by the occupying power gave the Social Democrats 83 of the 110 seats in parliament. The former Lord Mayor of Altona, Max Brauer , became the first mayor of the heavily destroyed city .

Herbert Weichmann, 1971

In the 1949 state election , the SPD again achieved an absolute majority in the citizenry with 42.8% of the vote. Four years later , the SPD won 45.2% of the vote, but had to give in to the Hamburg Bloc , a bourgeois electoral alliance, and go into the opposition. With the top candidate Max Brauer, the SPD won 53.9% of the vote in 1957 and took over government responsibility again. Opposition leader Paul Nevermann , who had done a lot for the reconstruction of Hamburg as a building senator, took over the mayor's office in 1960 and won the 1961 mayor election with 57.4%. His successor in 1965 was the 69-year-old Herbert Weichmann , who in 1966 achieved the best parliamentary election result for the SPD to date with 59.0% of the vote.

With Helmut Schmidt and Herbert Wehner , two social democrats from Hamburg have had a major impact on the SPD's federal policy.

Big city party

Despite the electoral successes, the number of members of the Hamburg SPD, which has been based in the Kurt-Schumacher-Haus at Kurt-Schumacher-Allee 10 since 1957 , fell to 34,700 by 1966. The decoupling of the degree of organization and votes was an expression of social changes. New topics like the student movement and the Vietnam War determined the political discussion. The achievements in the reconstruction of the Hanseatic city and the close and diverse links with Hamburg's club life no longer guaranteed election success for the SPD.

Peter Schulz, 2010

With Herbert Weichmann, who served as mayor until 1971, the era of politicians who had gained political experience before 1933 finally came to an end. His successor was Peter Schulz , who was only 41 years old . During this time, the nationwide optimistic mood under Willy Brandt once again ensured a significant increase in membership. With 3,600 entries, mainly young people, in 1972 and 2,900 in the following year, the Hamburg SPD was able to show an increase in party members to 36,229.

Internal party conflicts broke out, which led to extensive and sharp discussions. In the 1974 general election , the SPD lost 10 percentage points and only got 44.9% of the vote. Soon after forming a coalition with the FDP , Peter Schulz resigned. He was followed by Hans-Ulrich Klose , who regained an absolute majority in 1978, but failed to find a majority in his own senate in 1981 for the exit he was pursuing from the construction of the Brokdorf nuclear power plant and resigned.

In this politically difficult situation for the SPD, which was also burdened by high unemployment as a result of the economic crisis, the NATO double resolution under Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, the emerging environmental party GAL and the occupation of the houses in Hafenstrasse , took over on June 24, 1981 Klaus von Dohnanyi took up the post of First Mayor. The SPD did accordingly poorly in the 1982 state election . With only 42.7% of the vote, the SPD was still behind the CDU . Since the first democratic elections in 1919, the Social Democrats had not emerged from a citizenship election as the strongest political force for the second time after 1932. The GAL, which was elected to parliament for the first time, immediately received 7.7% of the vote, but was not yet considered capable of forming a coalition among the SPD and CDU. For months no solution emerged, so that the “ Hamburg conditions ” became a nationwide synonym for the ungovernability of the city. New elections on December 19, 1982 brought the SPD another 51.3% of the vote. Helmut Schmidt had previously been replaced as Federal Chancellor when the FDP switched to the CDU. A circumstance that made Hamburg's SPD voters flock to the ballot boxes.

Four years later, the "Hamburg conditions" were repeated. The SPD was discredited by the “ Hamburger Kessel ” and by the events surrounding the union's own “ Neue Heimat ”. In the 1986 state elections , the SPD was just behind the CDU with 41.7% of the vote. The GAL strengthened as the third force. Again there was no government majority, so the SPD Senate remained in office. In the new election on May 17, 1987 , in which the SPD gained and again became the strongest party, a new coalition option arose with the re-entry of the FDP, which after lengthy negotiations led to an SPD-FDP government.

Henning Voscherau, 1988

In 1988, Henning Voscherau, chairman of the parliamentary group for many years, succeeded Dohnanyis. He led the Social Democrats in 1991 in a successful election campaign and achieved an absolute majority in the Hamburg citizenship with 48% of the votes and 61 seats. However, the election was annulled two years later by the Hamburg Constitutional Court because the CDU had "serious violations of democratic principles of electoral law" during the candidate list. After the parliamentary elections in 1993 , the SPD entered into cooperation with the STATT party .

The poor 1997 election result with 36.2% prompted Henning Voscherau to resign. The new first mayor was Ortwin Runde , who now formed a red-green government together with the GAL. Although the SPD was the strongest party with slight gains in the 2001 general election, the coalition no longer had a majority and was replaced by an alliance made up of the CDU, FDP and the Rule of Law Party .

Until February 2011 the SPD was in opposition in Hamburg. After the breakup of the CDU / Schill / FDP coalition and the subsequent new election, which gave the CDU an absolute majority in the citizenry, the SPD only got 30.5%. Internal party conflicts had overshadowed the 2008 primaries. As a mayoral candidate placed the SPD under the new state chairman Ingo Egloff the time -Herausgeber and former Culture Minister Michael Naumann on, who scored with 34.1% a moderate success, but could not regain the ability to govern for the Social Democrats. Instead, the first black and green state government in Germany was formed under Ole von Beust . The SPD member of the Bundestag and former Federal Labor Minister Olaf Scholz , who had already been SPD state chairman from 2000 to 2004, took over the party office again in 2009. Under his leadership, the SPD managed to demonstrate unity and gain a political profile. The regional association confirmed Scholz in his office in 2012 with 94.2%, 2014 with 94.8% and 2016 with 97.4% of the votes.

After the break of the black-green Senate, Olaf Scholz was nominated as the top candidate for the state election in February 2011 at the state party conference on December 17, 2010. With 48.4% of the votes, the SPD received 62 seats and thus not only the absolute majority of the citizenship seats, but also more than twice as many votes as the CDU. Four years later, the SPD lost its absolute majority and only had 58 citizenship seats. With a share of the vote of 45.6%, however, it was almost three times as strong as the CDU, which is still losing ground. Thereupon the Social Democrats under Scholz entered into a red-green coalition for the second time after 1997 to 2001, which was confirmed by the Hamburg citizenship on April 15, 2015.

After Olaf Scholz joined Merkel's fourth cabinet as Federal Minister of Finance on March 14, 2018 , Senator for Finance Peter Tschentscher was elected as his successor as First Mayor.

The current Senator for Social Affairs, Melanie Leonhard, was elected to succeed Olaf Scholz as the state chairwoman of the SPD Hamburg .

State chairwoman of the SPD Hamburg

Ortwin Runde, 2002
Years Chairman
1906-1919 Heinrich Stubbe
1919-1928 Max Leuteritz
1928-1933 and 1946-1952 Karl Meitmann
1952-1966 Karl Vittinghoff
1966-1970 Paul Nevermann
1970-1980 Oswald Paulig
1980-1981 Werner Staak
1981-1983 Jörg König
1983-1988 Ortwin round
1988-1991 Trust Müller
1991-1994 Helmuth Frahm
1994-2000 Jörg cow beer
2000-2004 Olaf Scholz
2004-2007 Mathias Petersen
2007-2009 Ingo Egloff
2009-2018 Olaf Scholz
since 2018 Melanie Leonhard

Member of the SPD Hamburg in the German Bundestag

The regional association of the SPD in Hamburg is currently represented by five members in the German Bundestag .

Niels Annen 2005–2009, again since 2013 Member of the Bundestag constituency Hamburg-Eimsbüttel
Matthias Bartke since 2013 Member of the Bundestag constituency Hamburg-Altona
Metin Hakverdi since 2013 Member of the Bundestag constituency Hamburg-Bergedorf - Harburg
Dorothee Martin since 2020 Member of the Bundestag constituency Hamburg-Nord
Aydan Özoğuz since 2009 Member of the Hamburg-Wandsbek constituency


  • Christel Oldenburg: Tradition and Modernity. The Hamburg SPD from 1950–1966 (= texts on politics and contemporary history . Vol. 10) Lit, Berlin a. a. 2009, ISBN 978-3-8258-1970-5 .
  • Günter Pumm : Candidate selection and intra-party democracy in the Hamburg SPD. An empirical study of the nominations for the Bundestag election in 1969, the state election in 1970, the Senate and the deputations (= contributions to political science . Vol. 10). Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1977, ISBN 3-261-02366-X .
  • Walter Tormin : The history of the SPD in Hamburg 1945 to 1950 (= Forum Contemporary History . Vol. 4). Results Verlag, Hamburg 1995, ISBN 3-87916-028-7 .
  • Friedrich-Wilhelm Witt: The Hamburg social democracy in the Weimar Republic. With special consideration of the years 1929 / 30–1933 (= series of publications of the research institute of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung . Vol. 89.). Publishing house for literature and current affairs, Hanover 1971.
  • Helga Kutz-Bauer , Holger Martens : Persecution as Political Experience - Hamburg Social Democrats after 1945 , publisher: Working Group of Former Persecuted Social Democrats Hamburg (AvS), Hamburg 2013, ISBN 978-3-929728-76-7

Individual evidence

1Delegates from Hamburg, including Jacob Audorf , were already involved in the founding of the General German Workers 'Association in the year mentioned , and also in 1869 at the unification congress of the Social Democratic Workers' Party in Eisenach .
  1. ^ Oskar Niedermayer : Party members according to federal states. Federal Agency for Civic Education , July 8, 2017, accessed on August 25, 2017 .
  2. Change of power in Hamburg - Olaf Scholz is the new mayor , article on SpiegelOnline , accessed on March 8, 2011
  3. ^ Results of the state elections in Hamburg
  4. ^ Richard J. Evans : Death in Hamburg. City, Society and Politics in the Cholera Years 1830–1910. (Original title: Death in Hamburg , translated by Karl A. Klewer), Rowohlt , Reinbek bei Hamburg 1990, ISBN 3-498-01648-2 , pp. 400–402.
  5. Scholz re-elected with a large majority. (HTTPS) In: ndr.de. June 11, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2016 .
  6. "Scholz re-elected mayor" , on www.welt.de, accessed on April 19, 2015.
  7. Tschentscher is to become Hamburg's mayor on ndr.de, accessed on March 10, 2018
  8. Tschentscher is to become Hamburg's mayor on ndr.de, accessed on March 10, 2018
  9. Member of the Bundestag on the homepage spd-hamburg.de. Retrieved December 14, 2016 .