Socialist Reich Party

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Socialist Reich Party
Socialist Reich Party of Germany
Emergence Spin-off of DKP-DRP
founding October 2, 1949
Prohibition October 23, 1952
Youth organization Reich youth
Alignment National Socialism

The Socialist Reich Party (SRP) , more rarely the Socialist Reich Party of Germany (SRPD) , was an openly neo - Nazi party in the Federal Republic of Germany , which saw itself in the tradition of Hitler's NSDAP . The party was primarily anchored in north-west Germany .

In 1952, the SRP was the first political party to be banned by the Federal Constitutional Court in the Federal Republic of Germany as part of a party ban proceedings . 1956 followed with the KPD ban, the second and so far last party ban in the Federal Republic.


Fritz Dorls, Otto Ernst Remer and Wolf Graf von Westarp (1952)

The Socialist Reich Party was established in Hameln on October 2, 1949 as a split from the National Socialist wing of the DKP-DRP around Otto Ernst Remer , a former major general of the Wehrmacht , and the nationalist writer and member of the Bundestag Fritz Dorls . The other nine co-founders were Wolfgang Falck , August Finke , Bernhard Gericke , Gerhard Heinze, Helmut Hillebrecht , Gerhard Krüger and Wolf Graf von Westarp . They also formed the first party executive (apart from Remer and von Westarp, who renounced). A prominent supporter of the party was also the former Air Force Colonel Hans-Ulrich Rudel . The former SS General Leo von Jena also appeared as a speaker in the SRP between 1949 and 1950. He also initially supported the party with generous monetary donations in the hope of moving up to the party executive committee. When von Jena was not elected to the board at the 1950s party congress, he withdrew from any political activity, disappointed.

The SRP recruited its members and voters mainly from former NSDAP members. At times it had nearly 40,000 members, about half as many as the FDP at that time, of whom every second had experienced the National Socialist dictatorship as a youth.

Ideology and program

The SRP's party program was largely based on that of the NSDAP, including open anti-Semitism . According to the statutes of the party, “race” was not decisive for SRP membership, so that theoretically Jews could also have become SRP members. However, the Federal Constitutional Court opposed this statute with numerous anti-Jewish statements by SRP members and stated that the party had set this provision "apparently to take public opinion into consideration". The SRP rejected a legal identity between the German Reich and the Federal Republic of Germany and claimed a right of resistance to protect the Reich.

Demands included:

  • "Loyalty to the Reich",
  • "Protection and Honor of the German Soldier" and
  • "Claim to the entirety of the realm", as well as the
  • “Necessary solution to the Jewish question ”, but with different means than during the time of National Socialism ; It was not the “necessity” of a “solution to the Jewish question” that was criticized, but only the methods used by the NSDAP.

Through an open glorification of the National Socialist ideology, the SRP quickly isolated itself from the rest of the party spectrum . During the Korean War , like the KPD , it rejected the UN intervention (under the leadership of the USA ) and made itself attractive to the Soviet Union as a potential ally against the western-bound Adenauer government.

Elections and regional strongholds

The party took part in the regional elections in North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein for the first time on a supraregional level in 1950 , but remained without a mandate with 0.2 and 1.6% respectively. In 1951 she moved into both the Lower Saxony state parliament and the Bremen citizenship .

The party had its main distribution area in Lower Saxony. In the state elections in May 1951, it won 11.0% of the vote and 16 seats, including four direct mandates in constituencies. It achieved its greatest success with 21.5% of the votes in the area of ​​the then administrative district of Stade and in the city of Holzminden with 30%. In the constituency of Verden , with 27.7% of the vote, it was 6.2 percentage points above the government district average. Just six years after the end of the NSDAP regime, a National Socialist party had become the strongest political force again in two out of three village communities .

In October 1951 the party was able to win 7.7% of the votes and thus eight seats in the general election in Bremen .

In the election for the state constitutional assembly in Baden-Württemberg in 1952 , which later became the first state parliament in Baden-Württemberg, the SRP achieved 2.4%.

Subsidiary organizations

The SRP maintained the Reichsjugend as a youth organization and the Reichsfront as a paramilitary police force .


Federal Interior Minister Robert Lehr , himself a former resistance fighter against the Nazi regime, made a name for himself as a sharp opponent of the SRP . After Remer's speech in Braunschweig , in which the SRP politician had denigrated resistance fighters as “traitors”, Lehr announced an “immediate attack” against the SRP, which, in his opinion, was “in no way different from the NSDAP”. As a result, on May 4, 1951 , the federal government banned affiliated organizations such as the paramilitary steward group Reichsfront and at the same time decided to initiate a ban procedure for the party itself.

On November 19, the federal government applied to the Federal Constitutional Court for a declaration of unconstitutionality . Initially, the SRP was represented by the former leading Nazi lawyer Erwin Noack , who resigned when the party was unable to pay his fees and their application for legal aid had been rejected. Five final judgments were pronounced by June 1952, another 25 speakers from the SRP were involved in criminal proceedings at that time. The SRP was finally banned on October 23, 1952 because of its open reference to the NSDAP ( BVerfGE 2, 1). With this ruling, all mandates were canceled without replacement. The dissolution of the party and the confiscation of all party assets were ordered and at the same time the formation of substitute organizations was prohibited.

In detail, the court found:

  1. The Socialist Reich Party is unconstitutional.
  2. The Socialist Reich Party is dissolved.
  3. It is forbidden to create substitute organizations for the Socialist Reich Party.

In anticipation of this ruling, the party dissolved itself on September 12, but this decision was not accepted by the Federal Constitutional Court. Even before the ban, Remer had compared the situation of the SRP with that of the early Christians and declared that he and his party comrades should go down into the catacombs in the event of a ban like this.

With this ruling, the Federal Constitutional Court drew a line under the almost three years of activity of the SRP.

After the ban

The attempts, especially by Fritz Dorls , to create a replacement organization, initially failed completely because they became known early on - not only were V-people from the constitutional protection on the board of the SRP, but also Dorls' right-hand man, his lawyer Rudolf Aschenauer , had worked for the Office for the Protection of the Constitution since the spring of 1952 and was also a member of the Naumann Circle , which the SRP was a hindrance to trying to get former National Socialists back into political leadership positions. It was not until the Naumann district was initially incapable of acting due to arrests by the British occupation authorities in the spring of 1952 that Dorls, together with Alfred Loritz , chairman of the Economic Reconstruction Association , succeeded in an initially quite successful election campaign in Lower Saxony for the German Reconstruction Association (DAV) and Hessen to carry out. However, as there were not enough promising direct candidates, the DAV did not take part in the 1953 federal election.

The German Reich Party is seen as a collecting tank for former SRP members and thus as a successor party to the SRP . This party remained insignificant; Parts joined the NPD founded in 1964 .


  • Henning Hansen: The Socialist Reich Party (SRP). Rise and failure of a right-wing extremist party . In: Commission for the history of parliamentarism and political parties (ed.): Contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties . tape 148 . Droste Verlag, Düsseldorf 2007, ISBN 978-3-7700-5280-6 .
  • Martin Will: Ephoral Constitution. The party ban of the right-wing extremist SRP from 1952, Thomas Dehlers Rosenburg and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2017, ISBN 978-3-16-155893-1
  • Norbert Frei: Politics of the past. The beginnings of the Federal Republic and the Nazi past. New edition reviewed by the author and expanded by an epilogue, CH Beck, Munich 2012 (1st edition 1996), ISBN 978-3-406-63661-5

Web links

Commons : Sozialistische Reichspartei  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Overcoming the multi-party state. In: . Retrieved on December 4, 2018 : "The Socialist Reich Party founded in Hameln on October 2, 1949"
  2. Dominik Geppert: The Adenauer era . 3. Edition. WBG, Darmstadt 2012, ISBN 978-3-534-24900-8 , p. 77 .
  3. a b c The judgment on the website of the Institute for Public Law at the University of Bern .
  4. Martin A. Lee: The Beast Reawakens. Fascism's Resurgence from Hitler's Spymasters to Today's Neo-Nazi Groups and Right-Wing Extremists, New York 2000, pp. 73-74.
  5. ^ Right-wing radicals SRP: Secret ins Reich Spiegel Online , March 2, 2012, accessed on February 20, 2020
  6. Only the very best Nazis Die Zeit , March 29, 2012, accessed on February 20, 2020
  7. Lee: The Beast Reawakens, pp. 82-83.
  8. ↑ However, recent publications take the view that this ban would no longer be possible today. See: Tobias Betz: Party bans: How defensive democracy was 50 years ago. In: Spiegel Online . September 22, 2006, accessed June 19, 2014 .
  9. Beate Baldow: Episode or Danger? - The Naumann affair . Dissertation FU Berlin, Berlin 2013, p. 176 , note 1075 ( online [PDF; accessed April 5, 2014]).
  10. Beate Baldow: Episode or Danger? - The Naumann affair . Dissertation FU Berlin, Berlin 2013, p. 183 f . ( online [PDF; accessed on April 5, 2014]): “The popularity of the DAV speakers led to panic-like reactions, especially in the middle-class camp. So the FDP, DP and CDU let themselves be carried away to hire former Nazis as campaign speakers. "
  11. 50 years of the Bavarian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Section 2: Field of activity right-wing extremism. (No longer available online.) Bavarian State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, June 7, 2000, archived from the original on June 11, 2007 ; Retrieved June 22, 2014 .