SPD Hessen

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SPD Hessen
Nancy Faeser
Nancy Faeser
Logo SPD LV Hessen.svg
Chairperson Nancy Faeser
Deputy Kirsten Fründt
Timon Gremmels
Kaweh Mansoori
Secretary General Christoph Degen
Treasurer Katrin Hechler
executive Director Wilfried Lamparter
Establishment date October 16, 1977
Place of foundation Neu-Isenburg
Headquarters Rheinstrasse 22
65185 Wiesbaden
Landtag mandates
Number of members 52,007 (as of end of 2016)
Website www.spd-hessen.de

The SPD Hessen is the state association of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) in the state of Hesse . At the end of 2016, the SPD Hessen was the party with the largest number of members in Hessen with around 52,000 members. The chairman is Nancy Faeser and the general secretary is Christoph Degen .


In the empire

When the General German Workers' Association was founded on May 23, 1863, Social Democrats from today's Hesse were also represented. The 2nd General Assembly took place in Frankfurt am Main . In 1867 a local club was formed in Kassel. The most famous founding member was Wilhelm Pfannkuch . Since the merger in 1875, the party appeared as the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany . Under the socialist laws and the three-class suffrage in Prussia and the census suffrage in the Grand Duchy of Hesse , however, it was only able to exercise little influence.

In 1884, with Carl Ulrich and Franz Jöst , Social Democrats were elected to the Hessian state parliament for the first time . From the autumn of 1890 the party appeared as the SPD.

On February 22, 1891, the first social democratic party congress for Hessen-Darmstadt and Hessen-Nassau took place in Frankfurt am Main . This form of organization (at that time transnational) (today's district of Hessen-Süd of the SPD) was chosen because the Prussian and Hessian areas did not form a closed geographic unit. Delegates from the Grand Duchy and the Wiesbaden administrative region were represented . The north Hessian districts were not represented. A three-person commission based in Frankfurt formed the organizational core of the district association. The Frankfurter Volksstimme was declared the district's sole party newspaper and the other four existing party newspapers were discontinued.

The SPD increased its share of the vote continuously and in 1911 reached 33.7% of the vote. In the state parliament of the Grand Duchy of Hesse it had the following seats:

year 1884 1887 1890 1890/1 1890/2 1897 1899 1902 1905 1908 1911
Seats 2 2 3 3 4th 5 6th 6th 5 8th 8th

A similar picture emerged in the Reichstag elections:

year 1871 1874 1877 1878 1881 1884 1887 1890 1893 1898 1903 1907 1912
Percentages 3.2% 5.3% 8.7% 10.4% 12.2% 15.9% 11.3% 20.8% 24.6% 33.9% 35.5% 32.7% 39.3%
Seats 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 2 2 2 2 4th

In the Weimar Republic

The November Revolution also led to revolutionary events in Hesse. As elsewhere in the country, workers 'and soldiers' councils were formed , in which Social Democrats were actively involved. On November 8, 1918, part of the troops stationed in the then state capital Darmstadt revolted in Hesse . Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig responded by appointing a Council of State in which two representatives of the parties represented in the state parliament and the Grand Duke and his ministers were represented. In this body, the SPD advocated the Grand Duke's abdication. The Grand Duke refused this request. Thereupon the Darmstadt Workers 'and Soldiers' Council declared on November 9, 1918 the removal of the Grand Duke. With the recognition of this dismissal by the chairman of the SPD parliamentary group Carl Ulrich, this dismissal was a fact and Hessen-Darmstadt officially became a people's state or republic.

The workers 'and soldiers' council commissioned Ulrich to form a government. On November 14th, the interim government was formed from Carl Ulrich, Heinrich Fulda (SPD), Konrad Henrich ( Progressive Party ) and Otto von Brentano di Tremezzo ( center ). Even if the republic was created by the Workers 'and Soldiers' Council, Carl Ulrich was a staunch supporter of representative democracy . On November 27, he instructed the country's authorities not to accept orders from the councils, but only from the government. At the same time, free elections were scheduled for January 26, 1919.

In the election to the Landtag of the People's State of Hesse , the SPD was clearly the strongest party with 44% and formed a grand coalition with the DDP and the center. The USPD was unable to translate the influence it had exercised in the councils into parliamentary seats and came down to 1.5%.

In the state elections, the SPD achieved the following results:

year 1919 1921 1924 1927 1931 1932
Percentages 44.0% 32.6% 35.2% 32.6% 37.1% 23.1%
Seats 31 24 26th 24 27 17th

Carl Ulrich became the first democratically elected Prime Minister and remained in this office until 1928, when his party friend Bernhard Adelung took over this office.

While the SPD had always become the strongest parliamentary group in the 1920s (although the outstanding result of the first election was no longer achieved in the local elections in the People's State of Hesse in 1919/1920 ), the party collapsed in the state elections in the People's State of Hesse in 1932 and became with 23.1% only the second strongest party after the NSDAP , which had reached 44.0%. Especially in the strongholds of the SPD in North and Central Hesse, the Nazis had become particularly strong. With the seizure of power by the National Socialists, the Social Democrats losing about possibility of legal political work.

On July 7th, the ordinance to safeguard the leadership of the Reich Minister of the Interior, Frick , repealed all SPD mandates in the Hessian state parliament and the local parliaments; on July 14th, the law against the formation of new parties followed . The party's assets were confiscated by the new rulers and were only restituted after the war.

Rebuilding after the war

During the period of National Socialism an official party work was not possible. The Social Democrats in Hesse tried to maintain conspiratorial organizational structures underground and to network with the organizations of the SPD in exile. After the war, these structures should help the SPD in Hesse to build a new organizational structure as quickly as possible of all parties. The fact that the American occupying power mainly installed Social Democrats in leading offices also helped build it up . SPD members were appointed to all regional presidents in Greater Hesse : Ludwig Bergsträsser became regional president in the Darmstadt administrative region , Fritz Hoch in the Kassel administrative region and Martin Nischalke in the Wiesbaden administrative region .

On July 15, 1945, a provisional state party leadership of the SPD was formed. This included Wilhelm Knothe as chairman as well as Franz Ulrich , Rudi Menzer , Heinrich Zinnkann and Johannes Maaß . On September 19, 1945, General Dwight D. Eisenhower's Proclamation 2 formed the state of "Greater Hesse". With the decision of the military government of November 23, 1945, the party was allowed to work at the state level. This was preceded by the permission of the occupation authorities of August 27, 1945 to form parties at the district level. As a result, a nationwide network of local and district associations was formed.

In the Advisory State Committee appointed on February 19, 1946 , each of the four approved parties, the SPD, CDU , KPD and LDP, had twelve members each. However, this did not correspond to the majority in the population, as the following elections showed.

The discussion about the relationship between the SPD and the KPD shaped the internal party discussion in 1945. However, under the impression of the forced unification of the SPD and KPD in the Soviet Zone , a clear majority of the Hessian Social Democrats decided to appear independently. On December 30, 1945 the state executive passed a resolution according to which the SPD should appear in the elections with its own list. The party conference of all state boards of the SPD in the American zone on January 6, 1946, spoke out against a merger with 148 against 6 votes.

The local elections in early 1946 showed that this policy was correct. The SPD reached 43.2%. Together with the KPD (9.3%), the majority of the population had decided in favor of the two workers' parties. The election for the state constitutional assembly also confirmed this picture: The SPD received 44.3% of the votes and was able to determine the assembly together with the KPD (9.7%). In the discussion of the constitution of the state of Hesse , the SPD was able to largely prevail with its ideas.

In the state elections in Hesse in 1946 , the SPD achieved 42.7% of the vote and was dependent on a coalition partner. Based on the experience in the Soviet occupation zone, she decided not to go for a Popular Front government with the KPD, but for a grand coalition with the CDU, which at that time represented decidedly left-wing politics in Hesse. Christian Stock (SPD) was the first elected Prime Minister .

The establishment of a regional association in Hesse was rather slow. The districts of Hessen-Süd (regional council Darmstadt and Wiesbaden) and Hessen-Nord (regional council Kassel) were formed. These district associations (which were to be the actual centers of power in the party for decades) could not agree on an organizational statute for the state association. In May 1947 it was agreed that a state praesidium should be formed, to which both districts would send members. The state board should only meet in exceptional cases and consisted of the boards of both districts. An original committee at the state level should only be the state party congress (which had to decide on the state election list), which was sent due to the size of the membership of the respective organizations.

The era of tin

At the joint meeting of the boards of directors of the SPD districts of Hesse-South and Hesse-North on October 15, 1947, the Hessian Minister of Justice Georg August Zinn was elected as Hessian state chairman instead of Knothe. Zinn also ran as the top candidate for the state elections in Hesse in 1950 and achieved a historic election victory. Although the SPD only increased its share of the vote slightly to 44.4%, it achieved an absolute majority in parliament due to the right to vote and the KPD's departure from the state parliament. Georg August Zinn was elected Prime Minister and is continuing the tradition of the proverbial “Red Hesse”.

An important basis for the success was the integration of the GB / BHE in state politics. Due to its central location, Hesse had become a preferred destination for refugees from eastern Germany and the GDR . Many of these found their political home in the BHE. As early as January 10, 1952, Zinn and the BHE parliamentary group secretary Anno von Gebhardt discussed a collaboration. The result of these discussions is a formal agreement between the SPD and the BHE on cooperation, which the BHE bodies agree to on March 31, 1952. On the basis of this cooperation, a coalition with the BHE could be formed both after the state elections in Hesse in 1954 and in 1958 . Even after the SPD won an absolute majority in 1962 , the coalition (now with the All-German Party ) was continued.

The Hessen Plan, first presented by Zinn in 1951, was an instrument for integrating refugees and for global control of the economy . It was a medium-term investment plan that also placed a focus on the development of rural areas. Numerous village community houses in Hesse still bear witness to the construction work at that time. On April 28, 1965, the plan was updated with the "Great Hesse Plan". With the Hessentag (which first took place in 1961), the Zinn government developed another tradition that contributed to the growing together of Hesse.

In November 1954, the party assets confiscated by the National Socialists were restored. This affected the party's own print shops and newspaper publishers (including the Union print shop , the Oberhessische Volkszeitung , the Offenbacher Abendblatt and others). The party-owned real estate had already been transferred back. As part of a settlement, the SPD received an amount of 3,082,759 DM (in today's purchasing power € 7,987,972). To this day, the SPD is the party in Hesse with the largest party assets.

In the 1957 Bundestag election , the CDU succeeded for the first time in becoming the strongest party ahead of the SPD (40.9% versus 38% for the SPD). This election success was to remain an episode for the CDU. In the state elections in Hesse in 1958 , the SPD clearly took first place with 46.9% and was to achieve absolute majorities in 1962 (50.8%) and 1966 (51.0%). In 1962 the SPD advertised itself for the first time with the slogan Hessen Front , which symbolized the self-confidence of the state party in "red Hessen".

The district association Hessen-Süd traditionally represents decidedly left-wing positions in the SPD. This became clear z. B. when the Godesberg program was passed in 1959. 58 of the 276 amendments came from southern Hesse, almost all of which were rejected.

Social liberal years

Albert Osswald with Federal President Walter Scheel , 1975

In 1969 Zinn resigned as SPD Chairman and Prime Minister after 22 years due to illness. Albert Osswald was his successor . After the SPD had lost its absolute majority in the state elections in 1970 and now had 45.9%, Osswald formed a social-liberal coalition based on the Bonn model.

In state politics, the discussion increased during these years. The main point of conflict was initially the regional reform in Hesse . The large municipalities and district mergers demanded (and enforced) by the SPD led to bitter strife and resistance in many places. In particular, the town of Lahn , formed from Gießen and Wetzlar , was violently attacked by the citizens and had to be dissolved again after a short time.

Another polarizing topic of state politics was school politics. With the “Law to Change the Hessian School Laws”, the state parliament decided on March 29, 1969, with votes from the SPD and FDP, to introduce a support level and comprehensive school . The support level had already been tested as a school trial since 1958. With the new law, the school authority was transferred to the districts. Education Minister Ludwig von Friedeburg was a symbol of the social democratic educational reforms of the time at the beginning of the 1970s. In addition to comprehensive school and the support level, the introduction of set theory in mathematics lessons, the new framework guidelines for German and social studies , which were based on emancipatory, socially critical socialization and communication theories, and the abolition of history lessons in favor of a new subject of social studies were key points of the SPD's educational policy.

Also in the 1970s the discussion about the creation of an effective regional association and the disempowerment of the two districts continued. On March 19, 1972, the office of the state manager of the SPD Hessen was newly created. Heiner Dudene became the first country manager . A regional office was set up in Wiesbaden . In May 1975, the state executive decided to set up an executive state executive. On October 16, 1977, an independent state association was founded at the constituent state party congress in Neu-Isenburg . 261 delegates adopt the statutes of the regional association and confirmed Holger Börner as regional chairman.

The Helaba scandal and the fundraising affair of the Frankfurt SPD put a heavy burden on the SPD Hessen in the first half of the 1970s. The opposition CDU denounced the “red felt” in Hessen. On March 26, 1976, the majority of the SPD and FDP in the state parliament rejected the CDU's motion of censure against Osswald. But just a few months later, on October 3, 1976, the evening of the 1976 federal election , Osswald resigned, and Holger Börner , the chairman of the SPD district of Hesse-North, was elected Prime Minister on October 12, 1976. The hope of improving the electoral chances through this personnel decision was initially in vain. In the local elections in Hesse in 1977 on March 20, the SPD fell from 49.5% to 42.1%. The CDU's profit hit the comrades even harder, with a gain of 11.5 percentage points to 44.8%. On April 19, 1977, Osswald resigned as state chairman of the SPD due to this debacle.

Holger Börner, 1978

In the state elections in Hesse in 1978 , the SPD's losses were lower. With 44.6% it was still only the second strongest force after the CDU, which received 46%, but was able to continue its coalition with the FDP. The environmental policy shifted more in the center of the country's politics. The Green List Environmental Protection (GLU) received 2% of the votes in the state elections. Within the SPD, the wings fought violently over environmental issues. In terms of nuclear policy , the SPD slowly abandoned its support for nuclear power . At the district party convention Hessen-Süd on 16./17. In September 1978 the SPD rejected the commissioning of the power plants under construction and the construction of new nuclear power plants.

The second environmental issue that split the SPD Hessen was the construction of the West Runway . On November 15, 1980, 80% of the delegates at the Hesse-South District Party Congress voted to stop the expansion plans. However, the Börner government stood by the expansion plans. In the local elections on March 22, 1981 , the SPD only achieved 39.9%.

From the “Hessian Conditions” to the Red-Green coalition

1982 brought the break of the social-liberal coalition in the federal government. Before that, on June 17, 1982, the state party convention of the Hessian FDP had spoken out in favor of a coalition with the CDU after the state elections in Hesse in 1982 . Nine days before the Hesse election, the FDP federal ministers resign to make room for a CDU / FDP coalition. The SPD, which until then had lagged behind in opinion polls, posted “Treason in Bonn” and was able to limit the loss to 2 percentage points. Above all, however, the FDP failed with 3.1% at the five percent hurdle . Because of this and because of the Greens, who entered the state parliament with 8%, the expected change to black and yellow had become impossible.

The SPD rejected the offer made by the CDU state chairman Walter Wallmann on November 24, 1982 to form a grand coalition . Rather, Börner remained in office as a manager. The press spoke of the " Hessian conditions ". On August 4, 1983, the Hessian state parliament dissolved with the votes of the SPD and CDU. In the state elections in Hesse in 1983 , the SPD achieved 46.2%. This meant that neither the SPD nor the CDU / FDP still had a majority. Before the election, Holger Börner had ruled out any cooperation with the Greens. Despite the excessive distancing of the SPD from the Greens in the election campaign (Holger Börner: "Photos with me and the Greens at a negotiating table will not even be seen as a montage"), a red-green collaboration took place.

On November 5, 1983, the SPD state party conference decided, at the request of Holger Börner, to explore the possibilities of working with the Greens. The first public round of negotiations between the SPD and the Greens took place on November 14th. On December 21, 1983, the Red-Green majority in the state parliament approved a partial budget. On May 19, 1984, the state assembly of the Greens voted by a large majority to tolerate an SPD minority government . After the state party congress of the SPD on June 2, 1984 approved this course, a tolerance agreement was signed between the two parties on June 4, 1984 and the regular budget was approved two days later. In June 1984, Holger Börner was elected Prime Minister with the votes of the Greens.

In October 1985 the first red-green coalition finally came about in the Federal Republic . Both the tolerance phase and the coalition time were determined by the conflict between “ Fundis ” and “ Realos ” on the part of the Greens and various conflicts between the coalition partners SPD and Greens. The opposition and the press spoke of "red-green chaos".

In February 1987 the coalition broke up over the dispute over the approval for the Hanau nuclear company Alkem . The nuclear policy was deliberately excluded from the coalition agreement because no agreement could be reached. Since nuclear law is federal law , the State of Hesse only implemented the nationwide laws. Economics minister Ulrich Steger was forced by law to issue a permit to operate the plant. The state assembly of the Greens in Langgöns on February 8, 1987 gave the SPD state government an ultimatum to waive the approval. Prime Minister Börner interpreted this as Joschka Fischer's offer to resign . In April 1987 new elections were held.

A new experience: opposition

On February 10, 1987, Holger Börner announced his resignation. Hans Krollmann became his successor as SPD chairman and led the party to the early state elections. The main focus of the election campaign was - in addition to the dispute over the results of the Red-Green cooperation - above all school policy. The compulsory support level covering the whole area was introduced for all school children with the “Promotion Level Completion Act”. The "Citizens' Action Free School Election", which had organized broad protests against this project, failed on February 11, 1987 before the Hessian State Court of Justice with an action against the law. But the alkem question was also widely discussed. On March 10, 1987, Federal Environment Minister Walter Wallmann instructed Economics Minister Steger to issue the permit.

The state elections in Hesse in 1987 marked a turning point in the history of Hesse's SPD. After more than 40 years, the comrades had to take the seats of the opposition in the state parliament for the first time. 42.1% for the SPD meant a loss of 4.1% and the narrowest possible majority for a Christian-liberal government.

The election result led to internal power and wing struggles in the SPD. Hans Krollmann was blamed by parts of the party for the election defeat. On February 22, 1988 Ernst Welteke took over the leadership of the parliamentary group and a year later Hans Eichel took over the chairmanship of the party.

After the 1991 election victory

The state elections in Hesse in 1991 were just as close as in 1987 . Only this time red-green had won a narrow majority. Hans Eichel was elected Prime Minister and formed a coalition with the Greens. The cooperation of the coalition parties with each other was diametrically different from the “red-green chaos” of the first attempt. The SPD, which had moved closer to the positions of the Greens, particularly on issues of nuclear policy, and the Greens, in which the Realpolitiker had prevailed, worked together harmoniously and appeared united. In the state elections in Hesse in 1995 , the Greens in particular benefited from this, with 11.2%. The SPD continued to lose votes and seats and came in at 38.0%. The possibility of continuing the red-green coalition more than made up for this loss from the perspective of the SPD.

A crash

The state elections in Hesse in 1999 were overshadowed by federal politics. In particular, the dissatisfaction with the plans of the Red-Green federal government on the subject of dual citizenship (which was taken up in the CDU / CSU signature campaign against the reform of German citizenship law in the election campaign) led to the SPD, despite slight gains (to 39.4%) ) had not achieved a majority together with the Greens. Roland Koch became prime minister of a black-yellow coalition, and SPD state chairman Hans Eichel became finance minister in Berlin.

In 2003 he was followed by Gerhard Bökel as SPD state chairman. Gerhard Bökel also took over the chairmanship of the parliamentary group and became the top candidate in the state elections in Hesse in 2003 . This was a disaster for the Social Democrats. The SPD lost 10.3 percentage points and only got 29.1%. These losses hit the SPD particularly in their strongholds. As a result, all but two constituencies for the SPD were lost.

The SPD appointed Jürgen Walter as the new parliamentary group leader and Andrea Ypsilanti as the new party leader.

The "felt election victory" and the failed formation of a government

The state elections in Hesse in 2008 were an emotional roller coaster for the Hessian social democrats.

Already the definition of the top candidate of the SPD was sensational. The party leader of the SPD, Jürgen Walter , who belongs to the right wing of the party, declared that he did not want to run himself. But when his preferred candidate Gerhard Grandke did not run for election and Andrea Ypsilanti announced her candidacy in August 2006, Walter also ran. The SPD then postponed the nomination party congress and organized regional conferences to get the vote of the grassroots. In this (non-binding) survey of the base, two thirds of the subdistricts decided in favor of Walter. It was not possible to determine with certainty who had won the majority of the members present at the conferences, as no uniform procedure had been established for the conferences. Both Walter and Ypsilanti claimed to have received the majority of the total votes cast.

On December 2, 2006, the state party congress of the SPD Hessen in Rotenburg had to decide the candidate question. There was a stalemate in the first ballot. Both Walter and Ypsilanti received 172 votes. In the second ballot, Ypsilanti prevailed with 175 votes to 165.

In the election campaign, the SPD campaigned with the demand for minimum wages , the abolition of tuition fees , a massive expansion of renewable energies and the nuclear phase-out . The SPD and top candidate Ypsilanti repeatedly and categorically rejected any kind of collaboration with the Left Party .

On the evening of the election, the Social Democrats were able to celebrate a historic crash for the CDU, which had lost 12 percentage points. The SPD itself was able to improve significantly with 36.7% compared to 2003 and almost catch up with the CDU, but still only achieved the second worst result in its post-war history. Neither the SPD and the Greens nor the CDU and FDP had a parliamentary majority thanks to the Left Party's entry. After the FDP rejected the formation of a Jamaica coalition , the SPD decided, contrary to its clear election promises, to seek a red-green minority government with tolerance by the left ( Magdeburg model ). This constellation only had a slim majority of two votes.

This attempt failed only a few weeks later when Dagmar Metzger , member of the state parliament, announced that it would refuse to approve such a government. Even if the SPD, the Greens and the Left Party would have had a majority without Metzger, the attempt to form a government was initially canceled and Roland Koch remained in office as managing director.

The (renewed) "Hessian conditions" also acquired great national political importance, since the possible tolerance of a government by the Left Party in Hesse would have been the first in a West German state. On the part of the critics, the project, which was described as a “word break”, was sharply criticized, and there were also conflicting positions within the Federal SPD. The federal chairman of the SPD, Kurt Beck , came under the impression of the internal party dispute in the criticism. Beck also ruled out the formation of a government together with the left during the election campaign.

Shortly before the state elections in Hamburg in 2008 , however, he gave Ypsilanti a free hand for tolerance by the Left Party and thus offered the opposing parties a field of attack shortly before an important election. Leading SPD politicians then criticized the chairman, which never fell silent in the months that followed. Beck's resignation as party chairman on September 7, 2008 is also seen on his reduced public and intra-party reputation due to the crisis of the Hessen-SPD and his possibly unhappy behavior on this issue.

The model of a red-green minority government was discussed with the SPD delegates in a series of regional conferences. After a large majority voted for a red-green government to be formed with the help of the Left Party, a coalition agreement was negotiated and confirmed at the state party conference on November 1, 2008. The election of Ypsilanti as Hessian Prime Minister, scheduled for November 4th, was not to take place.

One day before the election, other SPD members of the state parliament ( Jürgen Walter , Carmen Everts and Silke Tesch ) announced that they would not support the formation of a government (according to their own statement for reasons of conscience) and because of the content of the coalition agreement, which Jürgen Walter helped to negotiate. Thus the attempt to form a red-green minority government with tolerance of the Left Party had finally failed. A few days later the Hessian state parliament decided unanimously to dissolve the "Hessian situation" by means of new elections. For this purpose, the SPD selected Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel, a member of the state parliament, who was previously quite unknown to the public, as the top candidate. The SPD ran for election with Andrea Ypsilanti as party leader, following the same program of the previous year, but without a binding coalition statement (and thus without rejection of a coalition with the Left Party).

SPD poster for the state election campaign 2009

The early state elections in Hesse in 2009 resulted in a heavy loss of 13 percentage points for the SPD. With 23.7%, it achieved its historically worst result in Hesse after the Second World War and had reduced its voting result by a third. Only 10 out of 56 constituencies were held by the SPD. Andrea Ypsilanti resigned as state chairwoman on the evening of the election. On January 27, 2009, the parliamentary group appointed Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel as the new group chairman.

In the local elections in Hessen in 2011 , the SPD lost 3.2 percentage points (compared to the previous elections in 2006 ). At 31.5%, however, the SPD performed significantly better than in the state elections and remained the second largest Hessian local party. The SPD candidate Peter Feldmann surprisingly won the highly acclaimed mayoral election in Frankfurt am Main in 2012 .

The state elections in Hesse in 2018 led to a sharp loss of 10.9 percentage points for the SPD. With 19.8% it achieved its historically worst result in Hesse after the Second World War and, as in 2009, had reduced its voting result by a third.

Results of the state elections from 1946

State election results
year be right Seats Top candidate
1946 42.7% 38 Christian Stock
1950 44.4% 47 Georg August Zinn
1954 42.6% 44 Georg August Zinn
1958 46.9% 48 Georg August Zinn
1962 50.8% 51 Georg August Zinn
1966 51.0% 52 Georg August Zinn
1970 45.9% 53 Albert Osswald
1974 43.2% 49 Albert Osswald
1978 44.3% 50 Holger Borner
1982 42.8% 49 Holger Borner
1983 46.2% 51 Holger Borner
1987 40.2% 44 Hans Krollmann
1991 40.8% 46 Hans Eichel
1995 38.0% 44 Hans Eichel
1999 39.4% 46 Hans Eichel
2003 29.1% 33 Gerhard Bökel
2008 36.7% 42 Andrea Ypsilanti
2009 23.7% 29 Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel
2013 30.7% 37 Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel
2018 19.8% 29 Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel



The SPD Hessen is divided into two district associations (Hessen-Nord and Hessen-Süd). The North District has been chaired by Timon Gremmels , Member of the Bundestag since May 2019 , and Kaweh Mansoori has been chairman of the South District since June 2019. The districts are divided into sub-districts. A sub-district corresponds to a district or an independent city.

The sub-districts are in turn subdivided into city and municipality associations, local associations (OV) or local districts. These then correspond to individual municipalities, municipal associations or in cities, districts or settlements.

Development of membership numbers

After the war, the SPD was the fastest growing party in Hesse with by far the largest number of members. After the rapid growth, a phase of consolidation began between 1947 and 1954 in which the SPD Hessen lost almost a third of its members. Between 1955 and 1978, the number of party members grew every year without exception. The high point of the increase was the year 1972 for the Bundestag election, when 10.8% new members could be won. The number of members has been falling continuously since 1979 and has almost halved compared to the maximum number. 27.8% of the members are female. Due to the quota of women , the proportion of women officials is higher.

year SPD Hessen-Nord SPD Hessen-Süd SPD Hessen
1946 20,532 53,311 73,843
1947 28,757 57,649 86,406
1954 17,445 42,962 60,407
1966 28,232 68,675 96.907
1978 45,320 97,530 142,850
1987 40,936 81,190 122.126
2008 22,977 41,951 64,928
2014 55,383

Working groups

In Hessen (as in the other federal states) there are a number of working groups for certain population groups:

Working group Chairman in Hessen
Working group 60+ Siegfried Richter (North), Peter Schöbel (South)
Working group self-employed in the SPD (AGS) Heinz Schneider (North), Dr. Dieter Falk (South)
Working Group for Employee Issues (AfA) Ludwig Vogt (north), Rainer Bicknase (south)
Working Group for Education (AfB) Dr. Hartmut Quehl (North), Christoph Degen (South)
Working Group of Social Democratic Women (ARSP) Monika Vaupel (North), Ulli Nissen (South)
Working Group of Social Democratic Lawyers (ASJ) Mario Hirdes (north), Jürgen Gasper (south)
Jusos in the SPD Hessen Sophie Frühwald (Hesse), René Petzold (North), Natalie Pawlik (South)
Lesbians and gays in the SPD (SPDqueer) Florian Schneider (North), Johannes Frass (South)
Working group on migration and diversity Cono Morena (north), Turgut Yüksel and Uta Zapf (south)
Working group self-active Georg Einhaus (South)
Working Group of Social Democrats in Health Care (ASG) Stefan David (North), Dr. Christian Lukosch (South)
SJD Die Falken Hessen Nord Lisa Simlar
Social Democratic Community for Local Politics (SGK) Kirsten Fründt


The current program of the SPD Hessen is the government program adopted at the state party conference in Hanau on March 9, 2013. It is entitled: “Renew Hessen. Social Democratic Government Program for Hesse 2014–2019 ”.


SPD Grand Duchy of Hesse

1892–1912 Carl Ulrich was chairman of the SPD state organization in Hesse (-Darmstadt or -Süd).

SPD People's State of Hesse

Wilhelm Weber was 1927-1933 chairman of the SPD state executive committee Hesse (Darmstadt).

SPD Hessen

Years Chairman
1945-1947 Wilhelm Knothe
1947-1969 Georg August Zinn
1969-1977 Albert Osswald
1977-1987 Holger Borner
1987-1989 Hans Krollmann
1989-2001 Hans Eichel
2001-2003 Gerhard Bökel
2003-2009 Andrea Ypsilanti
2009-2019 Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel
since 2019 Nancy Faeser

Group leader of the SPD Volksstaat Hessen

Leader of the SPD Hessen parliamentary group

Years Chairman
Advisory State Committee Willy Knothe
Constitutional Assembly Willy Knothe
December 1, 1946 to July 16, 1947 Rudolf Freidhof
July 16, 1947 to November 9, 1949 Albert Wagner
November 9, 1949 to January 14, 1953 Ludwig Bodenbender
January 14, 1953 to January 11, 1955 Heinrich Schneider
January 11, 1955 to January 1959 Ludwig Bodenbender
January 1959 to March 30, 1960 Georg book
March 30, 1960 to October 17, 1961 Willi Zinnkann
October 17, 1961 to September 7, 1964 Rudi Arndt
September 7, 1964 to January 19, 1967 Johannes Strelitz
January 19, 1967 to October 21, 1969 Erwin Lang
October 21, 1969 to December 8, 1970 Werner Best
December 8, 1970 to January 18, 1972 Heribert Reitz
January 18, 1972 to October 9, 1973 Hans Krollmann
October 9, 1973 to November 30, 1974 Willi Görlach
December 7, 1974 to October 18, 1976 Armin Clauss
October 18, 1976 to March 26, 1980 Karl Schneider
March 26, 1980 to June 26, 1984 Horst Winterstein
June 26, 1984 to April 5, 1987 Ernst Welteke
April 5, 1987 to February 22, 1988 Hans Krollmann
February 22, 1988 to April 4, 1991 Ernst Welteke
April 5, 1991 to January 25, 1994 Lothar Klemm
January 25, 1994 to June 19, 2001 Armin Clauss
June 20, 2001 to February 11, 2003 Gerhard Bökel
February 11, 2003 to January 16, 2007 Jürgen Walter
January 16, 2007 to January 18, 2009 Andrea Ypsilanti
January 28, 2009 to September 4, 2019 Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel
since September 4, 2019 Nancy Faeser


  • Axel Ulrich: For peace, freedom and democratic socialism - 50 years ago: The SPD was re-established in South Hessen. SPD district Hessen-Süd, Frankfurt 1995.
  • Gerhard Beier : SPD Hessen, chronicle 1945 to 1988. Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-8012-0146-5 .
  • Wolfgang Schroeder : The Hessian SPD between government and opposition. In: Wolfgang Schroeder: Parties and party system in Hessen. 2008, ISBN 978-3-531-16003-0 , pp. 77-107, books.google.de

Web links

References and comments

  1. ^ A b Oskar Niedermayer : Party members according to federal states. Federal Agency for Civic Education , July 8, 2017, accessed on August 25, 2017 .
  2. ^ Gerhard Beier: Labor movement in Hessen. On the history of the Hessian labor movement through one hundred and fifty years (1834–1984). Insel, Frankfurt am Main 1984, ISBN 3-458-14213-4 , pp. 202-206.
  3. ^ Election results for the Land estates
  4. ^ Reichstag election results
  5. ^ Friedrich Knöpp: The People's State of Hesse 1918–1933. In: Uwe Schultz: History of Hessen. Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-8062-0332-6 .
  6. Text of the ordinance to safeguard the governance of the state of July 7, 1933. In: Reichsgesetzblatt ; on ALEX
  7. ^ Text of the law against the formation of new parties at verfassungen.de
  8. Axel Ulrich: For peace, freedom ... 1995, pp. 27-30.
  9. ^ Gerhard Beier: SPD Hessen, chronicle 1945 to 1988. Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-8012-0146-5 , p. 73.
  10. ^ Gerhard Beier: SPD Hessen, Chronik 1945 to 1988. Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-8012-0146-5 , p. 81.
  11. ^ Gerhard Beier: SPD Hessen, chronicle 1945 to 1988. Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-8012-0146-5 , pp. 141, 145.
  12. State of Hesse: Historical Background ( Memento from April 13, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  13. ^ Gerhard Beier: SPD Hessen, chronicle 1945 to 1988. Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-8012-0146-5 , pp. 175-176.
  14. ^ Elisabeth Abendroth, Klaus Böhme: Hessen. In: Hans-Georg Wehling (Ed.): The German countries. 2004, ISBN 3-531-43229-X , pp. 153 ff.
  15. ^ Gerhard Beier: SPD Hessen, Chronik 1945 to 1988. Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-8012-0146-5 , pp. 225-226.
  16. Die Welt , September 21, 1983: “For me, the Greens stand outside of any calculation. I am not only closing a coalition, but any cooperation with them ”.
  17. Law on the authorization to take out loans, to accept guarantees and sureties, to create positions for trainees and apprenticeships within the framework of the provisional budgetary and economic management in the 1984 budget year (Credit and Guarantee Act 1984)
  18. ^ Coalition agreement 1985 persons (PDF; 197 kB)
  19. Coalition Agreement 1985 Contents (PDF; 6.4 MB)
  20. ^ Hessischer Rundfunk from September 4, 2006 ( Memento from October 1, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  21. Koch's challenger: Ségolène Ypsilanti . Spiegel Online , December 2, 2006
  22. vorwärtsHESSEN - Information from the SPD regional association and the SPD parliamentary group Hesse December 2006 / January 2007 ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF)
  23. ^ Actress Ypsilanti . Focus ; Retrieved March 6, 2008. Quotation: “I assumed the situation that actually occurred after the election and, according to the audio transcript, asked verbatim: 'How do you behave if this happens? Do you prefer Roland Koch in the State Chancellery or tolerance by Die Linke? ' Andrea Ypsilanti reacted violently, almost angrily: 'How often should I say it, Mr Markwort? Tonight you will get no other answer from me than I have always said over the last few weeks and months: There is no cooperation of any kind with the left. '"
  24. ^ Results of the state elections in Hesse
  25. ^ Gerhard Beier: SPD Hessen, Chronik 1945 to 1988. Bonn 1989, ISBN 3-8012-0146-5 , p. 472.
  26. membership; Deadline: November 30, 2008.
  27. Membership distribution by federal state ( Memento from January 10, 2017 in the Internet Archive )
  28. ^ Renew Hessen. Social democratic government program for Hesse 2014–2019 . (PDF; 494 kB)
  29. SPD parliamentary group Hessen  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.spd-fraktion-hessen.de