Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany
The Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany ( USPD ) was a socialist party in the German Empire and in the Weimar Republic . Founded by Social Democrats in the second half of the First World War , it was a split from the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) (which was then called MSPD ). The USPD lasted until 1931 after massive party entries by SPD members, the founding of party-internal organizations and their splitting off, as well as numerous withdrawals and transfers to other parties.
The party emerged from the Social Democratic Working Group that split off from the SPD Reichstag parliamentary group (the 13th electoral term) in 1916 . The disputes within the SPD, including its parliamentary group, began with different standpoints on the question for or against the war ( see also → Burgfriedenspolitik ). In this context, Hugo Haase , Karl Liebknecht and other members of the SPD parliamentary group voted against war credits in the parliament of the German Reich during the First World War or did not take part in the votes. The opponents of the vote included not only party leftists, but also representatives of other SPD party currents. The disciplinary policy of the majority of the faction, its leadership and other parts of the party escalated towards all of them. Even the criticism within the SPD against the circle around Haase got out of hand and took a. also anti-Jewish forms.
After the founding of the party in April 1917, the high points of her work in the November Revolution 1918 were the USPD's participation in government in the Council of People's Representatives and in the countries of the German Reich. For example, in the Free State of Bavaria and the Free State of Saxony , Kurt Eisner and Richard Lipinski were the prime ministers . Representatives of the new party played an important role in the mass strikes in April 1917 and January 1918 . Just as other socialist parties worked together in international associations, the USPD did so from 1921 in the Vienna International . In 1917, the year it was founded, the USPD had around 100,000 members; the number of members reached its peak in 1920 with almost 900,000 ( see also below → table of membership numbers ).
The USPD lost many of its positions of power through resignations, dismissals, electoral defeats, etc. In addition, there was the split off from members of the Spartakus group or federation , which founded the Communist Party of Germany in January 1919 . While the unity of the party was preserved at the Leipzig party congress in 1919, the party collapsed between 1920 and 1922. Following a decision of the Hall-fish USPD Party Congress in October 1920 many members went to the SPD back, further established the USPD (left) , dealing with the KPD to VKPD merged. In 1924, the inner-party group Socialist Bund around Georg Ledebour , a member of the former SAG parliamentary group, left the party. In 1931 the other members around Theodor Liebknecht , the last USPD chairman, joined a new split from the SPD - the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAP) .
Hugo Haase and Karl Liebknecht
The two members of the SPD parliamentary group in the Reichstag from 1912 Hugo Haase and Karl Liebknecht had already appeared as opponents of the war before the First World War. At the end of the 19th century, delegates from various countries said at meetings of the Second International that a war should be fought in the affected countries with general strikes and other political actions including uprisings. Hugo Haase was an envoy from Germany and supported the demand.
Karl Liebknecht published Militarism and Antimilitarism in 1907 , whereupon he was charged with high treason and sentenced to imprisonment for a year and a half.
First World War
It is true that during the course of the world war an ever larger number of SPD members in the Reichstag spoke out against support for the war, the civil peace policy and the progressive integration of the SPD into the state and social system of the empire.
In the parliamentary group meeting of the SPD immediately after the outbreak of war on the issue of the approval of war credits, a minority of 14 MPs, including Karl Liebknecht and Hugo Haase, spoke out in favor of rejection. In the vote in the Reichstag on August 4, 1914, however, they bowed to parliamentary group discipline and all members of the SPD, like everyone else, voted in favor. In December 1914, at the second vote in the Reichstag, Karl Liebknecht, as the only (!) Member of the Reichstag, voted against the renewed approval.
In addition, regardless of the formation of the opposition at the management level, significant parts of the party base refused to follow the board course in 1914. It is known that Karl Liebknecht was heavily criticized for his voting behavior on August 4th at party meetings in Stuttgart (September 21) and Potsdam (November 4). In the SPD constituency organization Niederbarnim (at this time including Lichtenberg and other eastern suburbs of Berlin at the time) there was a strong opposition current, which in autumn 1914 supported the duplication and distribution of the first materials of the group around Liebknecht and Luxemburg (cf. Spartakusbund ). The SPD newspaper in the Duchy of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha (cf. Gothaer Volksblatt ) has pursued an uncompromising opposition course since the outbreak of war and had to cease publication in February 1915 - banned several times. Under the leadership of Otto Geithner and Wilhelm Bocks, she had previously openly attacked the board and reversed the accusation of breach of discipline that came from there:
- "By the way, if you want to know where the party-discipline-breakers and their glorifiers are, we recommend studying the revisionist movement of the last 15 years and in particular the negotiations at the Magdeburg Party Congress of 1910."
In Württemberg , the action of the state executive against the Swabian Tagwacht , led by left-wing editors, led to a de facto split in November 1914, first of the Stuttgart party, and finally of the state party organization in July 1915. Individual union officials also opposed the new course from the start, especially in Berlin.
It should also be noted that in 1914 many "nameless" members left the SPD because of an opposition, including Karl Plättner , Hermann Matern and Adolf Benscheid . The exit from the “social-imperialist” SPD and the immediate establishment of a new party was propagated by Julian Borchardt in his magazine Lichtstrahl .
In January 1915, Carl Legien called on the party and trade union leaderships for the first time to take active action against the “anarchists” on the ground. The opposition activities in this area repeatedly led to outbursts of hatred among exponents of the right wing party like Eduard David
At the next vote for further war credits in March 1915, Liebknecht's vote against was another one from an SPD MP, Otto Rühles .
The need of the hour and recapture of the party
In contrast to Borchardt's reaction when he left the party, the group around Liebknecht and Luxemburg oriented towards a “recapture of the party” until autumn 1916. An appeal by Liebknecht, published as a leaflet on June 9, 1915 and signed by more than 1,000 party officials and members, argued in this way.
Ten days later, Karl Kautsky , Hugo Haase and Eduard Bernstein , who had not supported Liebknecht's appeal, published a declaration in the Leipziger Volkszeitung under the title The requirement of the hour , with which they tried to put themselves at the head of the opposition movement. The text spoke only in general terms against the war and in favor of a negotiated peace, but caused considerable sensation because of the prominence of the signatories and, after Liebknecht's "No" in the Reichstag, was perceived as the second big blow to the truce policy of the party executive.
Social democratic working group
After 18 MPs - mostly coming from the centrist tendency of the pre-war SPD - voted in December 1915 with Liebknecht and Rühle against further war credits, the parliamentary group and party executive took more administrative action against the opposition: Liebknecht died on January 12, 1916 excluded from the parliamentary group, Rühle resigned two days later out of solidarity with Liebknecht, the 18 other dissenters were expelled on March 24th and then formed the parliamentary group Social Democratic Working Group (SAG), but continued to regard themselves as members of the SPD. Liebknecht - who was stripped of his mandate a few months later after his conviction for "war treason" - and Rühle refused the offer to join the SAG.
The confrontational statements by the Reichstag deputies Eduard David against the opposition in the Group now also contained anti-Jewish passages, as well as the deputies sounded Gustav Bauer and Carl Legien, with the Jewish gang (must) layer are made .
SPD party conference
In July 1916, the majority of the then SPD executive board decided to hold a party conference as soon as possible. Eugen Prager wrote in 1921 that the board of directors massively underestimated the fact that the opposition was anchored within the party in "hardly credible myopia". The original intention was to convene a party congress, but this was vehemently rejected by the opposition, which practically no longer had the opportunity to legally and publicly advertise their positions; The party left also reluctantly consented to the party conference, since it assumed that the party authorities would try, despite assurances to the contrary, to have the course taken in 1914 confirmed at this conference. Since a party conference was not provided for in the statute, the party leadership was able to replace the delegate key from regular party congresses with a new one that was highly detrimental to the well-known strongholds of the opposition and thus "manipulatively influence" the composition of the conference. In order not to leave anything to chance, the 77 members of the Reichstag parliamentary group and members of the party executive, the party committee and the control commission were given full delegate rights. Despite the structural disadvantage in the selection of delegates, the opposition surprisingly provided around half of the 307 elected delegates when the conference met in Berlin on September 21, 1916. This made it clear that the party executive no longer represented the majority of party members. As soon as the event opened, it became clear that the two wings were “on a collision course”: In a bitterly conducted debate on the rules of procedure, there was a dispute over whether Hugo Haase, who had resigned as party chairman on March 25, had the same right to speak as Friedrich Ebert and Philipp Scheidemann are entitled. Occasionally there were fights between conference participants. In their speeches, Ebert and Scheidemann tried once again to justify the credit approval by referring to the supposedly “forced defensive war” against the “reactionary tsarist empire”. They denied (against their better judgment) that the imperial government had expansive intentions. Ebert admitted that the number of members of the party had declined by 64% since the beginning of the war, but attributed this solely to drafts for military service and the hardships of the war. The opposition speakers emphasized that the Reich leadership could make peace at any time if they renounced annexations and contributions. Haase, like Ebert, invoked the unity of the party, "but not a party in which concessions are made to imperialism openly or covertly." The party executive had a comfortable majority (276 against 169 votes) through the delegates of the Reichstag parliamentary group and the party apparatus ) and therefore tried, as expected by the opposition, to get the hoped-for place for his policy. However, the opposition delegates rejected a decision under these distorted conditions and did not take part in the relevant votes. At the end of the conference, for example, the right-wing majority "unanimously" passed several resolutions that confirmed the board's policy. At the Reich Conference , Paul Frassek , Friedrich Schnellbacher and Käte Duncker were able to represent the positions of the Spartacus group, which had originally promoted the boycott of the conference, for the first time before a larger party public. In her speech, Duncker attacked the right wing, but also distanced herself from the line of the SAG and thus exposed the conceptual rift within the left opposition that soon pervaded the USPD:
- “The working group and its supporters, insofar as their position is not limited to the rejection of war credits, endeavors to bring the party back to the position it took before August 4th, to restore the state of the International in this way, ours to resume so-called 'tried and tested' and 'victorious' tactics before the war. Although August 4th proved most clearly that this tactic has not proven itself, that it has not led us to victory, but to a devastating defeat, precisely where it should have put its test. "
After the Reich Conference, the SPD authorities continued to take action against regional and journalistic positions of the left. The split in the party was at least accepted, but was also deliberately “longed for” by quite a few spokesmen from the extreme right wing. The highlight of this part together with censorship authorities and courts-driven measures was the so-called forward - robbery in October 1916 fell by the hitherto dominated by centrist editors sheet under the control of the national leadership. On November 10, Eugen Ernst and Otto Wels founded the association Vorwärts - Reading and Discussing Club for Greater Berlin , which endeavored to bring together the factional grouping of the board members in the Greater Berlin party district , who had been completely marginalized since the Vorwärts crisis.
Bans on contributions, exclusions and withdrawals from parties
At the beginning of December 1916, the summary exclusion of the social democratic electoral association in Bremen , which had blocked the board from making contributions, caused a sensation. Here, too, the right minority had previously created a parallel structure.
Against this background, the SAG board of directors called the first Reich conference of the social democratic opposition in Berlin on January 7, 1917. 138 delegates and 19 members of the Reichstag took part in it. The circle around Karl Kautsky in particular advised the SAG leadership to take this step, aiming to counter the gain in influence of the radical left around Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg by organizing a “responsible opposition”: for Kautsky the question no longer existed therein, “ whether the opposition wins, but what kind of opposition will win. [...] The danger posed by the Spartacus group is great. [...] Liebknecht is the most popular man in the trenches today, that is unanimously assured by everyone who comes from there. "Although the Reich Conference approved the initiatives of the Spartakus group - contribution ban, call for an open fight against the party executive while accepting the split in the party, Orientation towards a revolutionary end to the war - the majority rejected and even committed to "national defense", the SPD executive board stuck to its confrontational course: on January 18, it excluded the SAG members and the leading figures of the Spartacus group from the SPD and called on the local party branches to do the same with their supporters on site. Although the SAG leadership then still avoided promoting the formation of a new party, now - to the surprise of the SAG and the SPD leadership - entire local associations have left the SPD. Thereupon, on February 9, 1917, the SAG, whose leadership - especially Hugo Haase - had resisted this step until the end, called for the opposition to organize. In the appeal, she named the “planned creation of special organizations by the party executive” and the fact that “a dozen party officials employed to carry out central party business, contrary to all party law, presumed to exclude individual party members and entire organizations from the party at their own discretion Party to decree. "
Foundation of the USPD
From April 6 to 8, 1917, the SAG hosted a second Reich conference of the opposition in Gotha, the city of the historical unification congress of 1875 , in the Volkshaus zum Mohren . Here the USPD constituted itself as an independent party. Some delegates suggested the name Communist Workers' Party as an alternative party name . The final decision to found a new party was probably only made in Gotha. It is not exactly clear from whom the final impetus for this came from. At least some of the delegates seem to have traveled to Gotha in the expectation that there would only be a stronger connection between the social democratic opposition inside and outside the SPD. Kautsky tried to suggest - albeit in the context of his return to the SPD five years later - that the establishment of the USPD was due to a kind of surprise by the "Spartakists":
- “Suddenly the proposal arose in Gotha that we should constitute ourselves as the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany . Eisner, Bernstein, and I spoke in vain against this proposal, which meant open split with its fateful consequences. Ledebour, Herzfeld and Heckert spoke against us , and they won the majority, 77 against 42 votes. [This is the result of the vote on the draft organizational statute which, among other things, established the new party name. A large part of the dissenting votes came from delegates who favored a different name, but did not oppose the founding of the party as such.] If the supporters of the working group had stayed among themselves, without the involvement of the Spartacists, the result would have been different. "
The war-affirming wing of the SPD henceforth traded as the majority Social Democratic Party of Germany (MSPD) with Friedrich Ebert as party chairman.
124 delegates from 91 social democratic constituency organizations and 15 members of the Reichstag took part in the Gotha founding assembly in the Volkshaus zum Mohren . Hugo Haase and Georg Ledebour were elected as chairmen , Wilhelm Dittmann became executive secretary. The delegates elected Hugo Haase, Luise Zietz , Adolf Hofer , Robert Wengels , Wilhelm Dittmann, Georg Ledebour and Gustav Laukant to the central committee of the party . Overall, the USPD was composed extremely heterogeneously and was fed by currents that were partly openly fighting each other: Social democratic traditionalists such as Haase, revisionist opponents of the war such as Kurt Eisner and Eduard Bernstein, leading theorists of the former “Marxist center” such as Karl Kautsky and the Marxist groups gathered in it Revolutionaries of the Spartacus group. In Berlin, with the revolutionary stewards, a conflict-ridden grassroots union movement emerged that was closely linked to the USPD organization there. Only the radical left groups in northern Germany (see Bremer Left Radicals ) refused to join the new party on principle (and strongly criticized the Spartacus group for their attitude towards the USPD).
The small but very active group Internationale , which has existed since 1915 - mostly discussed in public as the "Spartacus group" since 1916 - around Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, Leo Jogiches , Julian Marchlewski , Franz Mehring , Wilhelm Pieck , August Thalheimer and Clara Zetkin , which had resolutely rejected the SPD's truce policy from the start and adhered to the party decisions from the pre-war period, played a special role in many ways. With the Spartacus letters, the group published its own illegal periodical as well as pamphlets and leaflets on an ongoing basis. She joined the USPD as a whole and subject to complete political independence. The Spartacus group consisted of about 2,000 activists in 1917, but was far more influential than the relatively small number of members suggests. Their relationship with the USPD was contradicting itself: although it decided - even against resistance in its own ranks - to join the party, in its agitation it did not take any account of its official line and instead subjected it to permanent criticism. The deliberate renunciation of the undoubtedly possible establishment of an independent left-wing radical party in the spring of 1917 was the only fundamental decision of the Spartakus leadership, which was later openly and vehemently criticized by authors of the KPD and the relevant historiography in the GDR . Wilhelm Pieck, who had supported the course in 1917, spoke in 1943 of a "serious failure to fail" which continued to surrender the revolutionary current of the German workers' movement to a reformist leadership - the USPD - and bitterly avenged itself, especially in the course of the November Revolution .
The closer leadership of the USPD, despite the disparate collection character of the party, initially consisted almost exclusively of members of the traditionalist-centrist current. She understood the USPD primarily as a re-establishment of the “old SPD” and accordingly announced in her appeal of April 13, 1917 that “the old social democracy has re-emerged in Gotha”. In this sense, the Prussian state parliament members who converted to the USPD described themselves as the Social Democratic Group (old direction) . This claim was underlined by the extensive adoption of the Chemnitz party statute from 1912 in the basic lines of the USPD. Rosa Luxemburg criticized this as "tragicomic slapping after its own shadow" and accused the party leadership of "deliberately [avoiding] addressing the political roots of bureaucratism and the entire degeneration of democracy in the old party".
A few months after it was founded, the USPD had around 120,000 members (SPD in March 1917: 243,000). The SPD districts of Greater Berlin, Halle / Saale , Erfurt , Leipzig , Braunschweig and Frankfurt am Main (with a total of 36 constituency organizations) had almost completely converted to the USPD, as had some important constituency organizations such as Königsberg City, Solingen , Essen , Düsseldorf and Gotha and Bremen. In Leipzig and the surrounding area, the old core area of social democracy, “the old SPD literally collapsed”: immediately after the split it had fewer than 100 members, while the USPD had over 30,000 members, while in Greater Berlin there were 28,000 USPD members still 6,475 SPD -Members opposite. On May 30, 1917, Otto Wels complained to SPD functionaries that everything “that is still available in the form of energetic people” tends towards the independents. In the first few months of its existence, the USPD nonetheless suffered greatly from the particularly repressive handling of the state of siege by the military authorities, which had been expressly instructed to deprive the party of the "opportunity to spread its convictions among the people". Censorship, bans on speaking for party leaders, bans on meetings and newspapers as well as targeted summons of leading functionaries put the party “in a kind of semi-legality” in many places.
The policy of the USPD until the end of the world war
Under the impression of the Russian February Revolution and the almost simultaneous constitution of the USPD, the SPD leadership was forced to make a number of course corrections, which were not without consequences for the USPD's political prospects. The formula of the Petrograd Soviet "Peace without annexations and contributions" had met with broad approval in all currents of the German labor movement. On April 19, 1917, the SPD party committee backed this orientation in a resolution; at the end of June it even urged the party leadership to reject the new war loan proposal if the Reich government did not clearly declare itself to the war goals and ensure that it would be closed after the war an internal reorganization will come. This swing limited the influx of the USPD, which was not the last time it was initially speechless to a fundamental U-turn by the SPD:
- “The majority party tried to cover up and cover up its pathetic attitude through a noisy polemic with the Pan-Germans. [...] Anyone who has witnessed the attitude of the majority socialists since the beginning of the war, as we did in the opposition, could no longer cease to be amazed. In their polemics with the Pan-Germans, the 'government socialists' behaved as if they had been fighting an uninterrupted vigorous fight against the annexation politicians since the beginning of the war and had demanded from the government an unequivocal commitment to a peace without annexations and war compensation. […] The most zealous agitator for 'peace without annexations and contributions' was in the government socialist camp now - Philipp Scheidemann, the same Scheidemann who had previously worked most to prevent such agitation. "
The center and progressists joined the new line of the SPD ; Together, the three parties brought the so-called peace resolution through the Reichstag on July 19, 1917 . The USPD parliamentary group pointed out the ambiguities of this text, characterized it as easily transparent domestic and foreign policy tactics and consequently rejected it. A competitive resolution that it introduced, which was absolutely unequivocal against annexations, in favor of lifting the state of siege and democratizing the empire, was rejected by all other parties. The following day, against the votes of the USPD, the Reichstag approved the new war loan proposal.
Almost two months later, a delegation from the party (Haase, Ledebour, Käte Duncker and Arthur Stadthagen) took part in the international socialist conference in Stockholm (so-called third Zimmerwald conference , September 5-12), the final resolution of which was in favor of "mass actions" and pronounced a "mass strike" to end the war. While Duncker and sometimes on key issues Ledebour - Relationship to the right Social Democrats, manner of anti-war struggle question of a new International - in principle the views of the Bolsheviks divided, Haase stepped restrained and prevented among others, the adoption of a against the Mensheviks directed Resolution. The USPD's prominent spokesmen in the Reichstag followed the orientation given in the final resolution in the next few months, however, without any discernible reservations.
Already before - practically at the moment of its founding - the USPD had been involved in "mass struggles" of the kind demanded in Stockholm. In mid-April 1917, strikes broke out in several arms industrial centers - namely in USPD strongholds such as Berlin, Leipzig, Braunschweig and Halle - in which hundreds of thousands of workers took part. The last trigger for the strike movement was the cut in bread rations on April 1st. In addition to purely economic demands, the strikers also formulated a large number of political demands. In two Berlin companies - at Knorr-Bremse and DWM - workers' councils were formed for the first time in Germany . By April 24, however, the union leaderships and military authorities managed to stifle the strikes. According to Friedrich Thimmes , the "gentlemen of the social democracy" - meaning the leadership of the SPD - saw the strikes as "pure treason" and told him that their main task was to "contain and blow off the same" The USPD was largely unanimous and unreservedly behind the strike movement. Many local USPD functionaries had prepared the strikes (at the founding party congress in Gotha, according to one participant, individual delegates "apart from and without the participation of the leading spirits of the conference" agreed to meet) and actively carried them out, the Spartacus group promoted them in leaflets the expansion and further politicization of the strikes, with Haase, Ledebour, Arthur Stadthagen and Adolph Hoffmann, the front row of the party appeared as speakers at strike meetings. A delegation from the Leipzig USPD ( Richard Lipinski , Arthur Lieberasch , Hermann Liebmann ) was commissioned by the strikers there to present the Reich Chancellor with an extensive catalog of demands; in the event of a negative answer, “a workers' council should be set up immediately.” It was only years later that it became known that Hugo Haase had met the head of the War Office , General Wilhelm Groener , in confidence at the height of the strike movement and assured him that he would exert influence in this regard to assert that there will be no more strike by May 1st at the latest. Groener, who made the meeting public in 1925 as a witness in the Munich stab in the back trial, claims that Haase was "everything else, just not a revolutionary leader." Haase did not act in April 1917 - as the SPD soon afterwards did. Leadership during the January strike - with the direct intention of undermining the strike movement as such, saw here and later a shock-free, democratic-“social-pacifist” evolution towards external peace and finally to socialism as theoretically possible and practically desirable. Haase and the rest of the USPD leadership - apart from Ledebour - were therefore passive and secretly opposed to illegal and unpredictable extra-parliamentary “actions” that not only the Spartacus group had been calling for since the Russian February Revolution. Nonetheless, repeated general appeals to “the masses” from the Reichstag tribune and in the party press favored activist advances by local USPD branches. For example, on August 15, 1917 , the Merseburg USPD led all 12,000 workers of the Leuna-Werke to a 24-hour protest strike, which ended with a demonstration through the city and which also spread to some places in the vicinity.
The April strikes indirectly pushed the USPD leadership into yet another controversy that they did not want. Despite assurances to the contrary, numerous strike participants had been called up after the standstill had ended, many of them with the deep-sea fleet . Special notes were made in their ordinary files; In individual cases, the domestic military authorities expressed that they would welcome it if the person concerned did not return. The presence of these highly politicized newcomers contributed significantly to the radicalization of the ship's crews, who were already largely recruited from the skilled workers of the big cities and sympathized with the USPD ( dozens of copies of the Leipziger Volkszeitung were constantly circulating on the liner Friedrich the Great alone ) and already complaints about harassment by officers, poor food and the forced labor to be performed by parts of the crews in the shipyards. Since June 1917, based on the cruet commissions formed by the sailors against the resistance of the officers, an illegal organization of around 5,000 men came into being, the leaders of which were preparing a “general strike” in the fleet. At the beginning of August, this organization was uncovered by spies, the startled naval justice sentenced five death sentences (two of which - against Albin Köbis and Max Reichpietsch - were carried out) and more than 50 prison sentences. The investigations revealed that Köbis, Reichpietsch and Willy Sachse had sought direct contact with the leadership of the USPD and had also met Dittmann, Luise Zietz and Adolph Hoffmann several times. However, they had advised them against illegal actions and, above all, against recruiting members for the USPD as suggested by the sailors. At least Reichpietsch - and thus the real head of the organization - saw his work as party work and himself as a member of the USPD. Because of these connections, which were rated as "endangering the state", Reich Chancellor Michaelis and State Secretary Capelle attacked the USPD on October 9 in the Reichstag and indirectly threatened to ban the party. Haase, Vogtherr and Dittmann sharply criticized the death sentences that were imposed, but on this occasion they also successfully tried to prove that the party leadership had never exceeded the legal limit. In this way they disavowed those military personnel who campaigned for the USPD within their units and missed the "great opportunity to create illegal organizations within the army."
The Russian October Revolution was unreservedly welcomed by the vast majority of the USPD. Immediately after the events in Petrograd became known, the party leadership sent “warmest congratulations to the Russian proletariat for seizing political power,” and numerous local organizations expressed themselves in the same vein. For November 18, 1917, the Berlin USPD announced ten (without exception prohibited) large-scale meetings on this subject. Under the impression of the October Revolution, however, the last stage of the momentous political-theoretical transformation of the old “Marxist center” began - initially hardly noticed - and was not completed until 1921/1922. While its political practitioners in the leadership of the USPD - with Haase at its head - welcomed the developments in Russia not only outwardly but also "subjectively honestly", the inner circle around Kautsky, who also included Mensheviks living in exile in Germany, stepped in. rejecting this revolution from the very beginning. The unconvincing attempts to give a theoretical basis for this rejection made a major contribution to the fact that Kautsky's personal influence within the USPD increasingly declined and reached a low point in 1919/1920. The core of Kautsky's argument was the “proof” that a socialist revolution in Russia was “impossible” because of its socio-economic backwardness. Since he tried on other occasions to justify the "outmodedness" of a socialist revolution in Western Europe, which he also claimed - understood here as a contrast to the "inevitable" evolution - with reference to the high level of social development there, this point of view already had an effect on the Paradoxical at first sight and was pointed by his critics to the consequence, which Kautsky can no longer credibly deny, "renounce the revolution everywhere and under all circumstances!" With this, Kautsky set himself not only and once again in complete opposition to the Spartacus group, but also to the self-image of the overwhelming majority of the members and functionaries of the USPD. Haase tried repeatedly (and in vain) to call Kautsky to order in personal letters because of the anti-Bolshevik polemics in the parts of the USPD press influenced by him in the following months:
- “Right now, when the Bolsheviks are being overtaken by all capitalist governments, I consider it a grave mistake to lead a polemic against them. […] More than ever, I am of the opinion that the socialist foreign correspondence should bring objective reports about Russia for the orientation of the readers […]. I would like to warn urgently against any statement that could even be interpreted as if the counter-revolutionary forces in Russia, as if the capitalist circles - even if against the intent of the author - are supported. […] We would thereby unleash struggles in our party, while we need the closest alliance against the imperialists of all directions, including the government socialists. "
The aggressive behavior of the German delegation at the Brest-Litovsk negotiations , which gradually became known in January 1918 , sparked a strong bitterness in the workers' movement, urging action. Ledebour, Adolph Hoffmann and Joseph Herzfeld pushed through against the considerable resistance of moderate USPD leaders that the Reichstag parliamentary group finally published a leaflet that was widely distributed - similar to the calls of the Spartacus group The Hour of Decision! and high the mass strike! Let's fight! shortly before - called for concrete and immediate “expressions of will of the working population” (“The hour has come to raise your voice for such a peace! You now have the floor!”). On January 28, the largest political strike in Germany to date began, which started in Berlin and spread to other industrial centers. Kurt Eisner was arrested in Munich on January 31, after speaking to strikers. In Berlin, the strike was led by an eleven-member action committee of the factory stewards (almost all members of the committee belonged to the USPD), who initially co-opted three USPD board members (Haase, Ledebour and Dittmann), but finally - which was initially clearly rejected - asked the SPD to send three representatives. After the military intervened and the aggravated state of siege was imposed, the action committee decided, at the urging of the SPD representatives, to break off the strike on February 4th. In Berlin alone, around 50,000 strikers were immediately drafted, and some 200 “ringleaders” were sentenced to severe imprisonment. The January strike, undoubtedly a failure as such, had, however, also strengthened the structural preponderance of the USPD in the Reich capital and tended to tighten rather than slow down the militancy of the activists. Friedrich Ebert had - apparently badly advised - given a speech with nationalistic tones at a large strike meeting in Treptower Park (at which Wilhelm Dittmann was arrested and beaten with sabers by police officers) and was reviled by hecklers as "traitors to workers" and "strikers." , the SPD continued to lose influence in large Berlin companies.
In the months following the strike, the USPD had an impact on political developments primarily through the statements of the members of the Reichstag that were reprinted in their press. Numerous local activists also played a part in the low-level wave of strikes, which again reached considerable proportions between June and September. The USPD parliamentary group in the Reichstag was the only one to speak out unanimously against the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty and on several occasions took the unreserved side of Soviet Russia . When the SPD entered the Reich government in early October 1918, this was sharply criticized by the USPD in an appeal:
- “The Social Democratic Party is called into government to protect civil society after the collapse of imperialism. It has taken on the task of organizing 'national defense' and protecting civil 'order'. It has given up the demand of the international congresses that the catastrophe of the world war must be exploited by the social democracy to replace the capitalist system with the socialist system. "
Instead, the “slogan of the German proletariat” was “unity under the immaculate banner of the Independent Social Democratic Party.” In some cities, USPD members took offensive action in October 1918 against rallies by bourgeois parties to “persevere” and “national defense” “Was called. In Essen , such a meeting was "blown up right at the beginning by the independents" who "cheered Liebknecht, [sang] verses from the socialist march and [threw] heaps of leaflets into the hall." Such declarations and actions, however, covered up the issue that the USPD was by no means able to react clearly, firmly and uniformly to the crisis of the old order that was now beginning to arise. At its October conference, in which members of the left-wing radical groups from northern Germany not represented in the USPD also took part for the first time, the Spartacus group marked some of the predetermined breaking points within the party. On the eve of the revolution, the USPD members themselves had only loosely agreed on essential basic issues and - as it soon became apparent - not very resilient, the undecided leadership group of the party was tactical to the SPD executive board, which at least knew exactly what it did not want inferior and also harbored illusions about his political intentions.
The role of the USPD in the November Revolution
The revolutionary crisis and the decision to join the government
While the SPD, as the ruling party, initially continued the course it had taken on August 4, 1914, called for subscribing to the ninth war loan, and at the end of October agitated together with bourgeois parties against the "Flaumacher", the USPD once again gained greater influence in the He had called for extra-parliamentary action in the run-up to the January strike, but had temporarily faded into the background after its crackdown. The Spartacus group, too, was now able to rely on a considerable mass base. On October 23, 1918, the amnestied Karl Liebknecht returned to Berlin and was enthusiastically welcomed at the Anhalter Bahnhof by around 20,000 people who spontaneously rushed up. Two days later, the USPD board decided to co-opt Liebknecht into the body; He was assured that the "development of the USP (...) had led to a complete agreement with the views of the International Group." Liebknecht agreed to work on the condition that the USPD clarify its course at a party congress to be convened as soon as possible bring about and reshape the party leadership accordingly (no decision on this was made before the revolution). Liebknecht was now at the height of cross-stream popularity within the USPD, and prominent party speakers referred to him several times as the future president of a German socialist republic.
The USPD leadership was surprised by the place and time of the start of the open insurrection movement (see Kiel Sailors' Uprising ). Unlike the Reich government, which immediately sent Gustav Noske and Conrad Haußmann to Kiel at the suggestion of the Secretary of State for the Navy, Ritter von Mann , to bring the movement under control, it initially underestimated the importance of the events. A telegram with which the sailors had called Haase, Ledebour or Oskar Cohn to Kiel had been withheld. Haase did not arrive in Kiel until the evening of November 7th - three days after Noske - did not intervene in the events and left a few hours later.
After Liebknecht's return, a controversial debate about how to proceed had developed among the three Berlin USPD groups. The Spartacus group wanted to gradually bring the masses closer to the revolutionary takeover of power through a successively increasing series of rallies and demonstrations. The representatives of the party executive were ready to hold rallies, but shied away from demonstrations and any other deliberately induced escalation. The strictly conspiratorial supervisors had a purely technical relationship to this problem and rejected the Spartacus proposals as "revolutionary gymnastics". As Liebknecht noted with disappointment, their approach came down to “'All or nothing' - that is, nothing”; Liebknecht's repeated references to the “danger that the Scheidemanns might seize the movement” did not impress them at first. On November 2nd, a meeting of the stewards and the Spartakus representatives decided to risk a general strike and an open uprising in the capital of the Reich on November 4th. At the urging of Haase and Dittmann, who had hurried up, this date was postponed to November 11 that same evening. Shortly afterwards, the authorities began to take action against the Berlin USPD. Arrests have been taking place since November 4th, the meeting of the stewards - who had meanwhile constituted themselves as a "workers' council" - on November 6th was dispersed by the police, several large factories were militarily occupied as in January, those of the party for the Events planned for November 7 to mark the anniversary of the Russian Revolution were banned without exception. On November 8, the police searched the building of the party executive on Schiffbauerdamm and arrested Ernst Däumig , who was involved in planning for November 11 , while other prominent party leaders were monitored at every turn. The USPD in Berlin was thus effectively illegal. Only under the impression of these persecution measures were the leaders and some leading members of the USPD finally ready on the evening of November 8th, together with the Spartacus group, on leaflets for November 9th for a general strike, for large demonstrations in the city center and for the formation of workers and workers To call up soldiers' councils. The fact that this improvised decision could be fully implemented within a few hours documents the high level of authority and prestige that the USPD enjoyed at that time. This was also clearly recognized by Friedrich Ebert, who warned the Chancellor on November 7th that “the whole of society [runs] to the independents” if the emperor's abdication is not immediately promised.
When hundreds of thousands of people streamed into Berlin's city center on the morning of November 9th, train stations, bridges and important public buildings were occupied by armed workers and soldiers, a large number of the leading USPD members found themselves in the Reichstag building . Dittmann and Ledebour had already spent the night there for fear of arrest. Haase had not yet returned from Kiel. A political conception for dealing with the new situation did not exist in this circle, which observed the events completely passively. Dittmann did not believe in an immediate success of the mass actions and seriously expected months of civil war. Now the superior "cold-bloodedness and organizational direction" of the SPD leadership had its full effect. In the morning, a surprise delegation (Ebert, Scheidemann and David) appeared in the room of the USPD parliamentary group executive and made the astonished audience an offer to take over the government together. Ledebour is said to have been almost speechless at first and only exclaimed “Oh, so what!”. Dittmann later described the situation as follows:
- “We were faced with an unexpected decision that none of us had thought of. Our mass strike action, which was in full swing, was directed against the government and thus necessarily also against the majority socialist party which, to our knowledge, was still represented in it. [...] Just now on the political opposite side, now with us on the same front, and also the offer of the joint government! It was a sudden, total change in the situation that came as a complete surprise. […] The responsibility for the individuals who were there was enormous. The mood of our friends tended more and more towards the approval of the offer of the majority socialists, of whom it was reported that they were already in and out of the Reich Chancellery as if they had already taken over the government. "
A few hours later it became known that Max von Baden had transferred the office of Reich Chancellor to Ebert. Ebert was aware that at this point in time he could not form a government capable of acting without or even against the USPD - based solely on the "legitimation" of the last Chancellor appointed by the Kaiser. The SPD negotiators therefore presented the USPD representatives with the alternative of either taking over the government themselves or working on an equal footing with the SPD. At the same time, Ebert had the intended formation of a joint government announced publicly in a leaflet, thus putting the USPD under additional pressure. As early as lunchtime the SPD had circulated an appeal claiming that it was leading the mass movement together with the USPD. Under the decisive influence of Liebknecht - who had initially harshly rejected any negotiation with the "Imperial Socialists", but now modified his position somewhat at the insistence of several military delegations - the USPD leadership then formulated several conditions for participation in the government (Germany socialist republic, all power with the Workers 'and soldiers' councils, dismissal of the bourgeois state secretaries, joint government only until the armistice is concluded). This radical program was rejected immediately by the SPD executive committee. Liebknecht then withdrew from the negotiations and left the field to Haase, who had meanwhile arrived in Berlin - who had also rejected cooperation with the SPD in an initial emotional reaction, but then quickly accepted it. Under Haase's skilful leadership, an agreement was reached with the SPD in the early afternoon of November 10, despite the resistance of the stewards and Ledebours. The new conditions of the USPD supported the institution of workers 'and soldiers' councils to some extent, but no longer precluded the convening of a national assembly in principle.
With the agreement reached at the last minute, the USPD and SPD executive boards jointly thwarted the calculations of the stewards and the Spartakus group, who had hoped for a moment at the plenary assembly of workers' workers convened for the evening of November 10 in the Busch circus. and soldiers' councils to establish a radical left government. The formation of a joint government of the workers' parties, based on the popular slogans “Unity of the socialists” and “No fratricidal struggle”, “created a fait accompli that the Circus Busch Assembly could not easily ignore.” In the council assembly campaigned Haase and Ebert for the “socialist government”, the existence and composition of which was recently confirmed by the delegates with a large majority (cf. Council of People's Representatives ). The composition of the executive council , also elected in the Busch Circus , whose USPD members were all close to the stewards and the Ledebour group, and Liebknecht's appearance, which was accompanied by tumult, who, with a view to the majority Social Democratic People's Representative, proclaimed that “the counter-revolution [...] is already taking place on the march, […] already in action, […] already here with us ”, highlighted the fundamental differences within the USPD, which a few weeks later led to the first split in the party .
The USPD as the ruling party in the empire and in the individual states
The relationship of the USPD leaders to the political power that had fallen to them was initially largely unclear. They had not actively sought such positions of influence and did not have an adequate program of action, their relationship to the council movement was not free from uncertainty and contradictions. At no point in time could they use the great pressure potential that had initially secured them their overwhelming influence on the mass movement. Another reason for the relative passivity of the USPD in the following weeks was that after November 9, 1918, part of the party was honestly and subjectively convinced that the “socialist republic” had already been won and the influence of the workers 'and soldiers' councils - theirs The position on the parliamentary representative system had hardly been clarified so far - was secured. This attitude was clearly expressed in the USPD's November 12 appeal. In addition, individual party leaders - but above all those party members who urged the revolution to continue - felt the sudden governmental cooperation with the SPD, whose leadership had opposed the revolutionary movement until the last moment and then put itself at its head without a transition At the beginning as a “grotesque situation” Haase, Dittmann and Emil Barth appeared in the Council of People's Representatives, not least because of this atmospheric distance, much more cautiously than the three representatives of the SPD. In addition, Ebert, Scheidemann and Landsberg were largely accepted by the state secretaries and civil servants, but the USPD representatives were ignored as much as possible, and sometimes even demonstratively pushed back. Wilhelm Solf , the State Secretary in the Foreign Office, even refused to greet Hugo Haase (who had formally assumed responsibility for foreign policy in the Council of People's Representatives). The Prussian war minister Heinrich Schëuch turned his back on Emil Barth when he spoke to Emil Barth for the first time, and, according to an eyewitness note, also met Haase with a "cold and cool rejection". This highly selective cooperation on the part of the old state apparatus, which had remained intact, made it possible for Ebert to act almost smoothly as, as it were, the unofficial Chancellor of the Reich and "to reduce the participation of the three USPD members in the Council of People's Representatives to almost insignificance." not a few issues decided without consulting the USPD people's ombudsman, came to their knowledge late or not at all. This applied in particular to Ebert's ongoing agreements with the OHL and the Prussian War Ministry, their content and purpose - according to Wilhelm Groener's sworn statement from 1925, this was "the complete fight against the revolution, re-establishment of an orderly government, support of this government through the power of a troop, and the earliest possible convening of a national assembly ”- was completely incompatible with the political line of the USPD and, if it had become known, would have made the immediate resignation of the USPD people's representative inevitable.
This very unequal “parity” was already fully reflected in the official government program, which was published on November 12, 1918. Although it was declared “socialist”, it never went beyond the political platform that had been developed in previous years by the right wing of the SPD and reform-minded forces of the Progressive People's Party and the Center. Above all, however, it assumed as a matter of course, without further discussion, that a constituent national assembly would be elected, although the decision on this highly controversial question was formally with the Berlin Executive Council. This decided on November 17 to finally deal with this question at a delegates' congress of the workers' and soldiers' councils (see Reichsrätekongress ). While not only the Spartakusbund, but also other influential USPD leftists such as Richard Müller and Ernst Däumig criticized the “cry for the National Assembly” as “the way to rule the bourgeoisie” and “rallying call from all counter-revolutionary capitalist circles”, Haase, Dittmann and - with the fluctuations typical for him - even Barth internally only on the date of such an election at this point in time, despite ongoing public commitments to the workers 'and soldiers' councils. They tried to push through as late as possible; beforehand the repatriation and demobilization of the troops at the front should first be completed and a certain consolidation of the power relations created by the revolution should be achieved. On the other hand, the SPD representatives - and in addition, in a rapidly starting campaign, large parts of the press and all bourgeois parties - demanded that it be carried out promptly in January or February 1919. After sometimes heated arguments, they were able to prevail on November 29th in the Council of People's Representatives. With the ordinance on the elections to the German constitutional assembly published the next day, a fait accompli was again created, as was the case with the formation of the government on November 10th, which anticipated the decision of a council assembly in the interests of social democratic rights. It was characteristic of the fluctuating line of the USPD people's ombudsman, which was not only contradicting on this issue, that the party leadership had only three days earlier in a call to criticize the “suspicious haste” with which the national assembly was being called; The intention is to prevent "all profound, social transformations" by the organs of power that emerged from the revolution.
The constellation and outcome of the debate on the National Assembly were reproduced again and again in the deliberations of the People's Representatives. The political initiative lay largely with the SPD representatives; Haase, Dittmann and Barth usually limited themselves to modifying their advances with regard to positions of the USPD. As a result, this meant that the USPD essentially supported the line of the SPD. One of the few far-reaching decisions that the USPD People's Representative was able to push through concerned the German-Polish relationship. On December 28, 1918, Haase, Dittmann and Barth prevented a German declaration of war on Poland, which was advocated by Ebert, Scheidemann and Landsberg. Independent concerns of the USPD in domestic political questions, however, regularly petered out. This applied, for example, to the request made by the independents in the first days of the activity of the Council of People's Representatives to completely demobilize the old army and - in line with the Erfurt program of 1891 - to create a democratic people's armed forces. Ebert and Schëuch rejected this, arguing that the workers were tired of war and had no desire to continue doing military service.
The Berlin Christmas fights put an end to the USPD's participation in government. On the one hand, it became clear to Haase's group after these events that they would be jeopardizing their political influence within the USPD if they remained in government. Emil Barth was already distrusted by the stewards on December 21. A week later, when the USPD candidate list in Berlin was drawn up for the election to the National Assembly, a scandal broke out when Ledebour, Däumig and Richard Müller refused to run on a list with Haase, who was only second on the list (after Emil Eichhorn ) was awarded. On the other hand, even regardless of pressure from the left wing of the party, Haase had come to the conclusion that further cooperation with the SPD people's representative was no longer justifiable. According to Dittmann's testimony, the atmosphere in the Council of People's Representatives was “frosty and icy” after Christmas, when Ebert repeatedly assured that he had “no idea” about how the attack on the People's Navy Division had come about ; after this - according to Dittmann - "the blatant untruthfulness and deviousness of Ebert, Scheidemann and Landsberg" also saw the "always conciliatory Haase" no longer any basis for cooperation. On December 28, the three independents raised this matter in the Central Council , which partially accommodated them on the matter, but rejected the implicitly requested dismissal or replacement of the SPD representatives. Thereupon Haase announced in the early morning hours of December 29, 1918 before the Central Council the resignation of the USPD people's representative.
The activities of the USPD in the governments of the individual states were just as fruitless as at the national level. The independent profile of their representatives was often even lower here than in the Council of People's Representatives. A definite exception was the Prussian minister of education Adolph Hoffmann , whose energetic measures to separate state and church met the protests of the conservative and clerical press and also of Konrad Haenisch , with whom Hoffmann shared the office, were blocked where possible. The image of USPD politics in November and December 1918 was not shaped by comparatively self-confident personalities like Hoffmann, but by the USPD members of the Haase direction, who were concerned with strict legality and who shaped the government work of the USPD almost everywhere. This was especially true for Saxony and Prussia, where after just a few days there was a pronounced dualism between the governmental wing of the party - whose leading figure was Rudolf Hilferding within a few weeks - and the council activists. On the other hand, where the influence of the radical wing predominated, the party sometimes undertook far-reaching advances that went beyond simply assuming government responsibility. In Hamburg , on November 12, 1918, against the bitter resistance of the SPD, she was able to enforce the (temporary) dissolution of the Senate and the citizenship . In the former Duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, too, the local party leadership initially dissolved the state parliament and all city council assemblies and community committees. A special case was Bavaria, where the USPD provided Kurt Eisner, a head of government who was personally alien to both the radical and the centrist wing of his party.
The crisis of USPD politics and the secession of the Spartakusbund
At this point in time (January 1, 1919) the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) was founded under the leadership of Liebknecht and Luxemburg.
In the following January uprising (January 5–12, 1919), the USPD briefly gained a mass base through the independent activity of the Berlin workers . They occupied the Berlin newspaper district and called a general strike , which was followed by around 500,000 people. In the executive committee, Haase and Liebknecht now affirmed the arming of the Berlin workers, against which Rosa Luxemburg had previously warned decisively. Attempts to win parts of the pro-revolutionary military into an armed uprising failed.
On January 9, after unsuccessful negotiations, Ebert initially put the regular military on the march. In the house-to-house fighting that followed, the occupiers suffered heavy losses and gave up. Hundreds were shot on the spot, however. On January 12th, heavily armed volunteer corps that had been set up since the beginning of December also moved into the city. Leading members of both the Spartakists and the USPD were murdered in the wake of calls for murder and rewards offered, including Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht, Leo Jogiches and Wolfgang Fernbach .
The USPD in the founding phase of the Weimar Republic
Measured against the expectations expressed in advance by the USPD leadership, the election for the National Assembly on January 19, 1919 was a huge disappointment. Rosa Luxemburg's warning that under the given conditions this parliament could be nothing more than “a counter-revolutionary fortress” was rejected by Rudolf Hilferding , who had taken over the management of the new USPD central organ Freedom in November 1918 , as “petty doubt” . Internally, at most, it was expected that women's suffrage, practiced for the first time, would favor the conservative parties and the SPD rather than the USPD. Skeptical voices like those of Rudolf Breitscheid , who, with a view to the unfinished state of the party organization, had remarked that the election "in my opinion was taking place much too early", were ignored. The Spartacus group and USPD members who wanted a Soviet republic called for a boycott of the elections. In the election, the USPD came as a complete surprise to only 7.6% of the vote, while the SPD received almost 38% and - which was even more serious from the USPD's point of view - the bourgeois parties together attracted 16.5 million voters, SPD and USPD on the other hand only 13.8 million. The “socialist majority”, which the group around Kautsky had declared to be “absolutely certain” before the election, turned out to be - together with the accompanying assumption that a new edition of the Council of People's Representatives in the form of an SPD-USPD coalition was about to take place Door - as just as illusory as the opinion advocated by the same authors that “pure democracy” automatically secures the majority for the workers' parties. For many voters in January 1919 it was no longer clear what the USPD, which a few weeks before the elections in the Reich and in several individual states had been working with the SPD and, just like the latter, presented the National Assembly in its press as a necessary step towards socialism, actually different from the majority social democracy. It was not until February that the USPD began to attack the Ebert government and the new state, which until then had been undaunted as a “socialist” or at least “social republic”, as “bourgeois”.
The January election was a clear turning point for the USPD. The previously undisputed leadership position of the circle around Haase eroded to the extent that it became apparent how terrifyingly little the party had achieved in the weeks and months after November 9, 1918. An explicitly socialist-revolutionary, council-oriented current, the spokesman of which was former Vorwärts editor Ernst Däumig, now won - just a few weeks after the Spartacus League and with it many key figures on the left-wing party had separated from the USPD short time in contour and influence. The fact that the USPD got so much in the rear in this election was due not only to political but also - as Breitscheid feared - simple organizational reasons. Up to this point in time it was still a pure metropolitan party that was not present at all or only very weakly; Only after the electoral disaster did the party leadership recognize the necessity of anchoring the party organizationally in smaller cities and in the country (in the state elections in Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Strelitz on December 15, 1918, the first parliamentary elections after the collapse of the German Empire the USPD did not even start due to a lack of operational structures). In the few constituencies in which the USPD had an effective nationwide organization, it did comparatively well on January 19: In constituency 13 ( administrative district Merseburg ) it received 44.1%, in constituency 29 (urban and rural district Leipzig, Döbeln , Oschatz , Grimma , Borna ) 38.6% of the vote. In Berlin (constituency 3), where the party's infrastructure was on the ground after the January fights and the election took place in a state of emergency, it still came to 27.6%. These successes were contrasted with a long series of catastrophic results, such as in constituencies 25 (administrative districts of Lower Bavaria and Upper Palatinate ) and 7 ( province of Pomerania ), where the party only received 0.5% and 1.9% of the vote, respectively. The strongest parties in the constituency benefited disproportionately from the allocation of mandates, which also had an adverse effect on the USPD. Ultimately, she received only 22 seats, ten fewer than she would have been entitled to based on the exact nationwide share of votes.
In the Weimar National Assembly , the USPD faction was politically isolated from the start, but conversely, it is now also willing to take a course of stiff opposition. Even before the National Assembly met for the first time, Haase had decided to refuse any government participation that might be offered. Albert Südekum pointed out to Ebert in a private letter on February 1 that there was "absolutely reliable information" in this regard. With this knowledge and with the intention of putting the USPD “in the wrong”, as he explained to Conrad Haussmann, Ebert supported - to the astonishment of party rights like Eduard David - in the SPD parliamentary group, Adolf Braun's suggestion that the USPD offer a coalition submit to. The USPD's cancellation was on February 6th:
- “For the faction of the USPD, entry into the government is out of the question until the current tyranny is abolished and until all members of the government not only give up their confession but also act decisively to counter the democratic and socialist achievements of the revolution to ensure the bourgeoisie and the military autocracy. "
The USPD's “refusal” attitude was repeatedly used by the SPD leadership in the following months to justify their own coalition practice; In doing so, she did not mention that at the time of the offer to the USPD she had already agreed in principle with the DDP to form a government and that the offer was calculated from the outset to be rejected. The main speakers of the USPD parliamentary group in Weimar were Haase, Oskar Cohn, Alfred Henke and Emanuel Wurm . When the “Emergency Constitution” - the law on provisional imperial power - was being discussed on February 10 , Cohn pointed out that neither the word “revolution” nor the word “republic” appeared in the draft that was rejected by the USPD (“Is that a coincidence, dear assembly? ”). The amendments proposed by the USPD - state designation German Republic instead of German Reich , abolition of the State Committee , replacement of the Reich President by a multi-member presidium, referendums on laws in the event of a veto by a central body of the workers 'and soldiers' councils that had yet to be created - were all and generally without Discussion voted down. On February 27, only the USPD members voted against the law on the formation of a provisional Reichswehr , on the basis of which several Freikorps units were converted into Reichswehr brigades and the soldiers' councils were finally abolished in the following months .
The big strike movements in the spring of 1919 (in the Ruhr area in February and April, in the Central German industrial area at the end of February / beginning of March, in Berlin at the beginning of March, in Upper Silesia in March and April, in Württemberg at the beginning of April) in the spring of 1919, turned into armed conflicts here and there USPD leadership largely at a loss. These strikes were largely carried out by supporters, members and functionaries of the USPD and were often directed against the disempowerment of the local workers' councils by the Freikorps, which were now sent to one industrial center after another. Since the party leadership had conceptually distant from the "pure" Soviet system - Hilferding wrote in the freedom still against the slogan "All power to the Soviets!" On - you remained little more choice but to protest verbally and in writing to the violent crackdown by government forces . The party leadership also took this position on the occasion of the smashing of the Soviet republics in Bremen and Munich . The fact that this emphatically legal appearance was only appreciated to a very limited extent by those responsible in politics and administration was proven, among other things, by the city council election in Halle on March 2: A large part of the mandates went to the USPD, whereupon the old city council voted at the behest of Mayor Rive unceremoniously declared invalid.
From March 2 to 6, 1919, under dramatic external conditions (see Berlin March fights ), an extraordinary party conference discussed the previous and future course of the USPD in the former Prussian mansion . After the political bankruptcy in the Council of People's Representatives and the debacle in the January election, the party leadership, which feared a split and the conversion of larger parts of the USPD to the KPD, had long tried to delay the party congress. The discussion in Berlin was initially shaped by the criticism of the role of the USPD representatives in the Council of People's Representatives. A delegate from Dortmund described it as an unforgivable mistake to have entered a government with Ebert and Scheidemann - "people who were against the revolution until the last day" - last November. Haase and other spokesmen for the party leadership refrained from aggressively justifying the party line they were responsible for in the face of the unanimous, but as yet hardly fundamentally justified, rejection of their political approach. They benefited from the fact that Ledebour (who was awaiting trial behind bars), the most prominent advocate of an alternative course, was unable to attend the party congress and many delegates from the particularly active party districts with a large number of members did not appear at all or did not appear in time because of the strikes. Haase emphasized that nothing was lost and the revolution was not over, we were "in the midst of a world revolution" and a new revolutionary upswing was undoubtedly imminent in Germany too. He now expressly ruled out reunification with the SPD. With this in mind, the party congress decided to no longer tolerate double membership. Eduard Bernstein, who had rejoined the SPD in December 1918, then resigned from the USPD and in an open letter denounced the party a “policy of negation and disintegration”. The Central Office for the Unification of Social Democracy , which he founded, developed some activity in the summer of 1919, but remained almost completely without a response in the USPD. Clara Zetkins left the party, who initially remained in the USPD on the advice of Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches and now used the party congress to declare her conversion to the KPD. In doing so, she took Kautsky's position on the question of socialization - since January 1919 he had repeatedly stated that he "considered the question of the mode of production [to be less urgent than] [...] that of production itself" - as an occasion. In the debate on the council system, there was still no fundamental clarification. In the programmatic rally decided by the party congress, the party leadership managed to include the wording that the USPD was striving to “integrate the council system into the constitution [to be passed by the national assembly]”. Ernst Däumig, who had set out his considerations on a pure council constitution in detail, did not agree to this document. His criticism of the USPD delegation's appearance at the international socialist conference in Bern (February 3–10, 1919) also caused violent disputes . Däumig called it “simply unheard of” that the party leadership had sent men to Bern, “whose hostile attitude towards Bolshevism is known throughout the International, Kautsky and Bernstein, who take every opportunity to condemn Bolshevism to the core, and that at a time when we are here in Germany under the sign of the wildest Bolshevik incitement. ”Haase, whose personal reputation was still unshaken and who severely condemned this public questioning of the“ unity of the party ”, then refused, with Däumig had initially been elected party chairman alongside him to work together. The left majority of the party congress then elected the little-known Stuttgart delegate Arthur Crispien, who at the time was a supporter of Däumig, to this office. Wilhelm Dittmann noted:
- “Those who knew him from earlier as a radical and who now put him on the sidelines saw - as far as they even knew about it - in their embarrassed situation, deliberately overcoming the 'blemish' that Crispien in the Württemberg state government not only with right-wing socialists, but even with commoners had sat together. Those who didn't know him better trusted the assurance given to them that he was radical. So far it had not been offensive in any direction and was therefore not controversial. "
After the Berlin party congress, the organizational upward development of the USPD, which had already become apparent in February, picked up speed. The party now expanded across the board, its press grew quantitatively and qualitatively. At the beginning of March, the Central Council warned the SPD leadership of this development; there is "something in the air", the "workers just run over to the USP."
After the peace conditions became known on May 7, 1919, the USPD immediately and unanimously advocated the signing of the peace treaty. She did not deny the harshness of the regulations, but at the same time tried to fight against the nationalist campaigns that were now breaking out. She accused the other parties, who had ratified the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty the previous year , of hypocrisy. The freedom advised Ebert and Scheidemann to pay attention to the right-wing threat and to stop it, the face of this growing threat to pose as "athletes of nationalism". It is noteworthy that the party managed to get crowds to sign the treaty. On May 13th, 40 major USPD meetings took place in the Berlin area alone. In the parallel debates on the draft constitution, the USPD parliamentary group appeared in the National Assembly with the positions and arguments it had already put forward in February against the “provisional imperial power”. In addition, she advocated the abolition of the individual states and, overall, advocated increasing the guarantees of fundamental rights and democratic participation rights to a maximum. The spokesman for the USPD also tried several times to address the dictatorial “emergency exit” built into the constitution in the form of Article 48 . On July 5th, Oskar Cohn applied - in vain - to delete this article. Wilhelm Koenen described the adaptation of the council idea made in Article 165 of the Constitution - legalization of works councils (obliged to cooperate with entrepreneurs) and creation of a Reich Economic Council - as “crude fraud” in the final debate. In the vote on the constitution on July 31, 1919, no member of the USPD voted for the draft. 17 group members voted no, five stayed away from the vote. The freedom characterized the new constitution on August 5, 1919 as "perpetuating the shame of the Right Socialist Party."
The Leipzig Party Congress and the Question of the International
Despite the considerable dissonance during the Berlin party congress (March 2–6, 1919), at which Hugo Haase had finally refused to work with Ernst Däumig as an equal chairman and who thereupon, although elected, resigned the office, appeared in the USPD In the summer of 1919 there was still no clear manifestation of fundamentally conflicting wings. The party structures and the party press had unanimously rejected the Weimar Constitution, and the solidarity stance towards Soviet Russia and the Hungarian Soviet Republic was repeatedly affirmed. The "most dynamic workers' party of this period" grew rapidly and was able to more than double the number of its members between spring and autumn 1919. That two irreconcilable currents had developed within the USPD - a left that represented a basically communist conception of the party and a right that ideologically moved more and more towards the SPD - became almost immediately clear when at the Berlin Reich Conference ( September 9-10, 1919) the further course of action on the question of the International was discussed.
Until then, representatives of the USPD had participated, albeit usually with a certain distance, in the attempts that began after the end of the war to reanimate the Second International , which collapsed in 1914 (conferences in Bern , Amsterdam and Lucerne ). This was criticized from within the party from the start, but not yet addressed as a question of groundbreaking importance. In the run-up to the Lucerne Conference, however, the fundamentally negative voices were already so numerous that at the end of July the party leadership was forced to co-opt two opposition spokesmen, Wilhelm Koenen and Walter Stoecker, into the Central Committee and to announce that they wanted to force the newly emerging International “To decide for us or for the right-wing socialists.” At the Berlin conference, Rudolf Hilferding spoke out in favor of this reservation, but ultimately also openly in favor of joining a renewed Second International. Stoecker, on the other hand, was in favor of the Communist International and the irreversible break with the German and Western European "National Socialists". In late summer and autumn, this question was discussed with increasing intensity by party members, and it quickly became apparent that the vast majority favored Stoecker's position. This tendency was favored by the fact that in October 1919 the official German section of the Comintern, the KPD, separated its ultra-left wing, which at the founding party congress had still not participated in parliamentary elections and was agitating against participation in the ADGB unions, initiated (see Heidelberg Party Congress ). This split, which was concluded in February 1920 with the exclusion of several party districts, probably cost the KPD half of its 100,000 members in autumn 1919 (including almost the entire Berlin party organization), but with the loss of openly sectarian voices, it prepared the ground for rapprochement with those willing to cooperate Local organizations of the USPD. Under the impression of the statements of party membership, the USPD leadership began to maneuver in the run-up to the extraordinary party congress convened in Leipzig and to deviate from its previous line. She now spoke out in favor of organizing a “world socialist congress” to which all parties based on the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat should be admitted. So she hoped to prevent a decision in favor of the “Moscow International” and the inevitable programmatic and political determinations.
On November 7, 1919, a few weeks before the party congress, USPD chairman Hugo Haase died as a result of an assassination attempt. He was struck down with several shots on October 8 in front of the Reichstag building - on the way to the plenary session of the National Assembly, where he wanted to discuss the support of German government agencies for the counter-revolution in the Baltic States. The perpetrator, an Austrian worker, was immediately portrayed by the judiciary as a “limited monomaniac” and “idiot” acting alone; Investigations into possibly existing backers were not carried out, the attack was never fully resolved.
The start of the party congress, which opened on November 30, 1919 in the Leipziger Volkshaus , left no doubt that the moderating tactics of the party leadership had only partially worked. The leadership group of the left around Däumig, Stoecker, Koenen and Otto Braß did not long remain hidden that “they had a very considerable majority at the party congress.” There were three motions on the question of the International (Hilferding for the Second International, Ledebour for the “World Congress”, Stoecker for the Comintern). When collecting signatures, more than half of the delegates supported Stoecker's proposal. Until these requests were dealt with on December 4th, there were no major direct clashes between the currents; a move by right-wing delegates to the chairman of the shoemaker's union Josef Simon , who accused Koenen, Stoecker and Curt Geyer on December 2 of cooperation with an "enemy party" because of a meeting with Paul Levi that had become known, fizzled out. Arthur Crispien's speech, which lasted several hours, on the political situation, met with general approval; the action program also put to the vote by Crispien, which spoke out in favor of the “smashing” of the bourgeois state and its replacement by “political workers' councils as the ruling organization of the proletariat”, was unanimously adopted. The program of action went far beyond the programmatic declarations of March, in which a rather unclear "classification" of the councils in the bourgeois state had been propagated. It thus reflected the experiences made since then, but above all the growing influence of revolutionary-Marxist conceptions and the parallel discrediting of Kautsky's positions. The fact that the USPD leadership came unexpectedly far towards the left on the program question ensured with some probability that the party did not break up at the end of 1919. The left, however, was aware of the problem of this type of "unity":
- “But the left wing […] soon realized that its [Crispiens] radicalism was limited to ideological disputes and broke up immediately when it came to activist revolutionary decisions. For us he was the typical representative of word radicalism and at the same time the politics of procrastination, neglect and helplessness in combat situations that characterized the party leadership of the USPD in 1919. No wonder that when it was printed, we looked through the back doors and found some of them. "
The action program, however, lent the controversy over the International additional sharpness: In order to secure the same bindingly, the left wing was now more interested than ever in being part of the Comintern, while the group around Hilferding emphasized the “autonomy” of the USPD for precisely opposite reasons and warned against the "instructions of Moscow". Hilferding's speech on the fifth day of the negotiations was greeted coolly by the delegates, his remark that the - so he said - the Bolsheviks, who are about to “need the world revolution”, “need the world revolution” with the interjection “Do we not need that?”. Since Hilferding had also expressed himself decidedly critical of the terrorist measures of the Bolsheviks, Stoecker based his remarks entirely on this point. Unlike Hilferding, and with recourse to statements by Marx and Engels, he interpreted it not as a strength, but as a weakness of past revolutions that “they felt bound by the laws of humanity and humanity, while the reaction acted in the most inhuman way”. With reference to the thousands of deaths claimed by the German counter-revolution since November 1918, Stoecker emphasized that "even in Germany [...] the proletarian revolution cannot be carried out with ice cream gloves and rose water". In view of the desperate struggle of the Bolsheviks, he advised to abstain from “judging the red terror”. According to the minutes, his remarks met with "stormy, long-lasting applause, which also spread to the galleries". Then Ledebour justified his proposal for an international, open-ended conference of all revolutionary parties. Since a majority in favor of Stoecker's proposal was certain in this initial situation, Hilferding and Ledebour withdrew their proposals in coordination with the party leadership at the beginning of the following day of negotiations. Subsequently, the management introduced a new motion which skilfully excluded any further participation in the Second International, committed itself to the council system and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and made joining the Communist International a long-term goal. Before doing this, however, an attempt should be made to win other “social revolutionary parties” in Central and Western Europe for this course in negotiations. On the one hand, this compromise solution meant a step forward from the point of view of the left party - the party publicly and clearly committed itself to the Communist International - but on the other hand, attentive observers could not hide the fact that the party leadership was only trying to buy time. Stoecker therefore did not withdraw his application, but was ultimately defeated in a roll-call vote with 111 to 170 votes, since many left-wing delegates were also not willing to intensify the wing struggle because of a dispute over the mere time of joining the Communist International. The party leadership's compromise resolution was then passed with 227 votes to 54. The majority of the delegates who initially voted for the Stoecker proposal also voted for the compromise paper after the failure in the first ballot, including the later KPD chairman Ernst Thälmann and Stoecker himself. Ernst Däumig, who had not agreed to the compromise, was subsequently next to Crispien elected party chairman. It had far-reaching consequences for the further development of the USPD that, despite their preponderance at the party congress, the party left remained astonishingly severely underrepresented in the newly elected executive committee - only nine of the 26 leadership members had supported Stoecker's resolution. Nevertheless, the Leipzig party congress was perceived by the public as a drastic shift to the left by the USPD.
The USPD had attentively registered the strongly increasing anti-Semitism after the end of the war and dealt with this topic at the Leipzig party congress (resolution against anti- Jewish hate speech ).
The USPD and the Kapp Putsch
In alliance with the KPD , the left wing of the USPD tried in January 1920 to mobilize masses of needy Berlin workers for a new attempt at the establishment of council rule. The result was a bloodbath in the Reichstag building on January 13, 1920 . Thereupon the Social Democratic Reich government declared a state of emergency and banned the newspapers Freiheit and Die Rote Fahne . On January 19, twelve party functionaries of the USPD and KPD, including chairmen Ernst Däumig and Paul Levi , were imprisoned for some time.
In 1920, the attempted coup by the East Prussian general landscape director Wolfgang Kapp and General Walther von Lüttwitz was successfully fought off, a renewed general strike by the unions and the civil servants' refusal to obey . In the following Reichstag election in June 1920 , the USPD received 17.9% of the vote, while the SPD fell to 21.3%.
The “21 Conditions” and the party conference in Halle
In the meantime, the debate on the question of international ties, although temporarily pushed into the background by the internal German entanglements, took on a development that ultimately led to the split in the party.
In mid-December 1919, the USPD leadership wrote to the Executive Committee of the Communist International (EKKI) and 18 “friendly” parties, including the ILP and the BSP in Great Britain, the French SFIO , the Austrian SDAP and the US SPA , the Norwegian Workers' Party and the Italian PSI . In the letter she explained the resolutions of the Leipzig party congress and proposed that a preparatory meeting be held in February 1920 for an international conference to be held in Germany or Austria. Even this letter was in a certain tension to the resolution of the just ended party congress. It spoke of an "effective international" that had yet to be created and invited the Russian KPR as well as the 17 other parties to the February meeting. In this way it clandestinely withdrew the commitment made in Leipzig to join the Comintern and indirectly even questioned its existence. The BSP pointed out this problem in its reply and rejected the USPD's proposal. Other parties addressed, whose leadership groups were mostly also under pressure from a strong left wing, showed interest.
The centrist majority of the USPD executive board, confirmed in Leipzig, mainly used the time after Ernst Däumig's arrest (January 19, 1920) to relativize the Leipzig decisions publicly. At short notice she called a Reich conference in Berlin (January 28), at which Crispien showed “in complete contradiction to his appearance in Leipzig” “where he really stood on the question of the International.” Here and during a discussion with Swiss and French The party chairman made it clear to socialists in Bern that joining the Comintern “without conditions” was out of the question for him. In response to this, since February 1920 - especially after the start of the Polish attack on Soviet Russia in April - a steadily growing number of local and regional organizations have been in favor of immediate and unconditional accession. Thus, just a few months after the Leipzig party congress, the camp formation of autumn 1919 had been reproduced.
The next round of disputes was heralded by the letter with which the ECCI responded to the USPD's letter of December 1919. The document was not handed over to the USPD leadership by Mikhail Borodin until April 9, 1920, after a two-month delay . Presumably the West European Secretariat of the Comintern in Berlin withheld the text because of its "implacable tone". Based on an even more harsh draft from Lenin's pen , Grigory Zinoviev criticized the USPD's December initiative in the extensive reply as an attempt to “pull the movement back into the swamp of the yellow Second International.” In drastic terms, he demanded the “ Purge ”the USPD leadership and the union of the“ best elements ”of the party with the KPD.
The unexpectedly hostile reply from the EKKI was of fundamental importance because it made it clear that the Comintern placed no value whatsoever on membership of a (supposedly) “Kautskyan” USPD. Crispien's and Hilferding's tactics, which provided for an extreme case to apply for membership under “conditions” and, through the provoked rejection, to put the EKKI in the wrong in front of the party public, were irrelevant from the outset. The USPD board initially avoided answering the letter and kept it a secret from the party. Only when the Rote Fahne and left-wing USPD newspapers quoted it, did he officially hand it over to the party press on May 20, thus initiating the open intra-party factional struggle in which the left wing, despite the control exercised by the leadership majority over the central party apparatus and initially found most of the party press clearly on the offensive. A clear symptom of this was that the demand was now being raised to exclude particularly exposed spokesmen from the extreme right wing - above all Heinrich Ströbel, Siegfried Nestriepke and Karl Kautsky - from the USPD. While Nestriepke resigned from the party and Ströbel was actually excluded from his party organization in Steglitz at the beginning of July 1920 , Kautsky adhered to a letter from Otto Bauer : He should not express himself publicly for the time being, but not leave the USPD and under no circumstances should he join Change SPD, because no one from the USPD will follow him, but the “right-wing socialists” are “ internationally so compromised not only by their war policy, but also by the Noske and Heine policies (...) that you have any connection with them would have to pay a heavy loss of prestige. "
In July 1920 a USPD delegation - Crispien, Dittmann, Stoecker and Däumig - traveled to the Second World Congress of the Communist International (opened on July 19 in Petrograd, then from July 23 to August 7 in Moscow). On June 19, she had received a mandate from the party executive to conduct official negotiations on joining the USPD. The congress was dominated by the discussion of the right and left "deviations" identified by the leadership of the KPR in the revolutionary labor movement. However, while ultra-left positions were indeed emphatically articulated during the deliberations (two representatives of the KAPD had also traveled from Germany ), none of the speakers with clearly “right-wing opportunistic” positions spoke up. But primarily against these - and above all against the leadership groups of the USPD and SFIO - the guiding principles adopted by the Congress on the conditions for admission to the Communist International (the "21 Conditions"), which regulated exactly what one was under of a communist party and how its only conditionally autonomous position in a centrally organized international should be shaped.
In setting up and conducting the debate on the 21 conditions that radically questioned the USPD's previous political and organizational model in one way or another, the EKKI, the leadership of the Russian party and the representatives of the KPD present in Moscow made a serious mistake their "supporters [in the USPD] were maneuvered into a very vulnerable tactical position". In their fixation on Kautsky, who was practically influential in the USPD at the time, they attacked Crispien and Dittmann - who in Moscow advocated a collective merger of the revolutionary parties of Western Europe with the Comintern and a corresponding defuse of the "guiding principles" - several times in plenary as his " Representative "; Lenin, for example, called Crispien's contribution a “decidedly Kautskyan speech”, although Crispien had once again committed himself to the action program of the Leipzig party congress - and thus to the council system and the dictatorship of the proletariat - that was, at least publicly, clearly represented positions that Kautsky flatly rejected. Through this style of argument, the current of the USPD, which shared Crispien's position - without his tactical ulterior motives - was pushed into a resolute opposition to the Comintern, which by no means took itself for granted. The right wing now had the full use of the opportunity to defend the Leipzig decisions - and the identity of the party itself - and to steer the debate in a direction that was no longer about joining the Comintern, but merely about it the acceptance or rejection of the 21 conditions seemed to go. Curt Geyer therefore saw the document in the 21 conditions of admission that "set the scene for the wild party struggle that was now beginning and the split party congress in Halle", since the "real" Kautskyaners in the party apparatus - especially Hilferding - immediately recognized " What an excellent weapon against the radical left in the party these conditions represented. ”For a short time the clumsy congressional directors even conjured up the risk of a rupture with the protagonists of the left wing of the USPD. Stoecker and Däumig, who politically accepted the conditions of admission, warned during the deliberations of the associated high risk and in particular rejected the call openly expressed by some congressional speakers to split the party: The USPD is developing inexorably to the left, but if you turn back, so Däumig, only "with an exclusion list" back from Moscow, this "good result" will be endangered without need; Apart from that, he, Däumig, does not want to fight an “international of sects and groups”, but politically for majorities in the existing workers' organizations. Stoecker explicitly described the “splintering of the KPD from our party” in 1918/19 - immediately before the upward development of the left wing of the USPD - as a “fatal error”; it is also a mistake to “openly propagate terrorism as a programmatic tactic,” in Germany there are undoubtedly different prerequisites for the dictatorship of the proletariat than in Russia. Because of these remarks, Zinoviev and Radek attacked the two USPD leftists in plenary not only politically but also in a personally hurtful manner, whereupon Däumig and Stoecker briefly toyed with the idea of leaving Congress. Despite these upheavals, the USPD delegation, which despite fierce internal discussions to the outside, was reasonably closed to the end, declared its agreement in principle with its resolutions and decisions at a final meeting with ECCI representatives two days after the end of the congress. Only Dittmann expressed cautious doubts about the complete feasibility of the admission conditions.
After the delegation returned, the factional struggle broke out again with all violence. Crispien and Dittmann polemicized - spurred on by Hilferding - in the party press against the admission conditions, which they now castigated as "unacceptable" (which they had not done in Moscow). Stoecker and Däumig were all the more determined in favor of their literal implementation. The right wing, which was able to effectively mask its fundamental opposition to the Communist International by ostentatiously rejecting the 21 conditions, took this opportunity to abandon the previously positive discussion of the Russian revolution; Dittmann, for example, published a highly regarded article entitled The Truth About Soviet Russia , in which he painted a bleak picture of the situation there. For this reason, too, the disputes at the Berlin Reich Conference (September 1–3), which was convened to evaluate the Moscow deliberations, were already characterized by “open hostility”. At the conference, Georg Ledebour, a former figurehead of the left wing, went openly to the right wing.
The majority of the Central Committee now planned to decide the matter quickly at an extraordinary party congress, which they tried to hold as soon as possible against the resistance of the left. She wanted to avoid a lengthy party debate, as she had to expect her arguments to wear out soon. At district and district conferences it was already apparent that the majority of the now almost 900,000 USPD members, despite the "shock effect" resulting from the 21 conditions, still supported Stoecker, Däumig and Koenen. In the preparation of the party congress, the party leadership did not shy away from attempting a manipulative modification of the delegate key, by means of which the number of delegates in the districts with secure left majorities should be reduced to a minimum. She also documented her determination to split the party in case of doubt. At the conference of the Württemberg regional organization on 2-3. October, the right-wing minority (44 of 214 delegates) with Crispien at the head demonstratively moved out of the hall after the majority had forced the new election of the state executive. Subsequently, on the grounds that the majority of delegates had “defected” to the Communists, it was re-established as the “legitimate” national organization of the USPD. A similar thing happened in the Lower Rhine party district. In Berlin, the freedom controlled by the Hilferding Group refused to carry out the new appointments to the editorial team decided by the district organization. The left wing also relied on a final clarification in this situation and rejected the attempts at mediation made by Kurt Löwenstein , Emil Höllein , Mathilde Wurm , Gerhard Obuch and Fritz Kunert , among others .
The party congress in Halle, which opened in the Volkspark on October 12, 1920 , brought about the decision. Both sides had won prominent guest speakers. The EKKI chairman, Grigori Zinoviev, spoke on behalf of the supporters of the union with a speech that lasted several hours and was given in German. The right wing offered Jean Longuet and Julius Martow . The resolution of the party left was introduced by Stoecker and Däumig, that of the right - which did not speak out openly against the Comintern, but only against the 21 conditions - by Ledebour. Only the Stoecker / Däumig resolution was put to the vote. With two abstentions, 236 delegates voted for and 156 against the joining of the USPD to the Communist International on the basis of the resolutions of the Second World Congress. When the conference chairman called for a vote on the Ledebour resolution, Crispien spoke up and stated that the majority of the party congress had de facto left the USPD and joined the KPD as a result of the previous vote. The meeting could no longer be considered a party congress of the USPD. As a result, the minority left the conference venue and proclaimed a manifest elsewhere, which "ironically contained the most decisive of the beliefs of the left USPD laid down in the Leipzig program." The remaining left majority, which in the following weeks as the USPD (left) or as the USPD ( Third International), elected a new party executive and addressed the party and the public with several resolutions. The party was chaired by Ernst Däumig and Adolph Hoffmann.
The vast majority of party functionaries, editors and elected officials - including 59 of the 81 members of the Reichstag - joined the direction of Crispien / Hilferding / Ledebour. Of the 60 party newspapers, only 19 ended up in the hands of the left. In contrast, the majority of the members - at most around 550,000 - initially joined the USPD (Left), which merged with the KPD to form the VKPD in early December 1920. At the time of the unification, the USPD (Left) still had more than 400,000 members according to its own statements (very probably too optimistic). The KPD brought around 78,000 members into the merger. It is considered certain that the majority of the old members broke away from the USPD in the course of the split, but did not find their way to the VKPD to this extent. In January 1921, according to Wheeler's calculations, the VKPD had around 448,500 members. This was the highest membership level that a communist party in Germany had before 1945. However, the parties to the left of the SPD lost at least a third of the members they had previously organized due to the political and organizational upheavals of the USPD split.
The return of the right wing of the party to the SPD in 1922
Initially, a majority of the rest of the USPD rejected any rapprochement with the SPD. The minority of the delegates at the Halle party congress had, after moving out, in a manifesto differentiated themselves from “putschism on the left”, but just as clearly from “opportunism on the right”. The USPD, now led by Arthur Crispien and Georg Ledebour, theoretically continued to support the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat and expressly rejected coalitions with bourgeois parties; it initially oriented itself more towards the KPD than the SPD. The concept of a renewed centripetal “Marxist center” of the German labor movement, which Ledebour, Kurt Rosenfeld and Robert Dißmann in particular championed, did not seem to be politically feasible either: In April 1921 the party still had around 340,000 members and published around 50 daily newspapers. In addition to the traditionally strong party districts of Berlin-Brandenburg (50,000 members), Leipzig (52,900 members) and Thuringia (36,000 members), districts such as Pomerania (10,100 members), East Prussia (10,000 members) and Bavaria (19,600 members) also remained able to act. The USPD's participation in the founding of the International Working Group of Socialist Parties in Vienna in February 1921 was an expression of the insistence on independence .
As early as the spring of 1921 - especially after the March fights in central Germany - it became clear that a majority of the party executive around Dittmann, Crispien, Hilferding and Breitscheid were largely exclusively using the USPD and SPD - albeit still for the sake of “unifying the proletariat” not in the sense of an organizational merger - related. When working out a line aimed at rapprochement with the SPD and at the same time sharp demarcation from the KPD, Karl Kautsky, whose views had been rejected since 1919 "by the great majority of the party as completely incompatible with the essence and intentions of the USPD" and who withdrew from party work during the phase of dominance of the left wing of the party and stayed in Tbilisi between September 1920 and January 1921 at the invitation of the Georgian Mensheviks . His anti-communist and anti-Bolshevik platform, which had been elaborated in several writings since 1917, was now widely received for the first time. Kautsky now also stated quite openly that he considered all programmatic differences between the SPD and the USPD with regard to “the common opposition to communism” to be of secondary importance. At the same time, with a view to the seemingly insurmountable aversion of most USPD members to the “Noske SPD”, he initially took the view that a possible unification of the two parties would in any case take place under - as he understood them - “Marxist” auspices . The SPD took note of the uncertainty in the USPD and, in May 1921, after the resignation of the Fehrenbach government, proposed to form a new government together with the center . Although the USPD rejected this, its parliamentary group in the Reichstag expressed its confidence in the Wirth minority government on June 4th. On July 3, 1921, Scheidemann discussed the unification ideas of the SPD for the first time in detail in Vorwärts .
However, the SPD's Görlitz program of September 1921 proved to be a serious obstacle to deepening the unification debate. With this document, the SPD had drawn the conclusions from the political line it had pursued since 1914 and its theoretical statements were still formal in terms of the date always valid Erfurt program - moved far to the right. The contemporary state has now been denied any class character, the old "public hostility" has been declared outdated and replaced by an express commitment to the "democratic people's state". The program, whose socio-philosophical foundation - at the request of the party executive - was contributed by the neo-Kantian Karl Vorländer , described socialism more as an immaterial ethical than an economic concept. In the first draft program, which was also rejected by a majority within the SPD, there was even no reference to class and class struggle. Even Rudolf Hilferding, in 1921/1922 one of the spokesmen for the SPD-friendly wing of the USPD, initially thought it would be pointless to continue the unification discussion under these circumstances:
- “The raging wolf has become an affable pet. The revolutionary party has developed into an association for social reform, in which, apart from the commitment to the republic, at most the phraseology reminds of the past. Civil society can get along with such people, [they] [...] have become capable of forming alliances for the bourgeoisie according to theory and practice. "
Under the heading The Surrender of Görlitz , the Leipziger Volkszeitung also commented :
- “He [the Görlitz party congress] was expected to take a big step towards unifying the German workers. The step has been taken in the opposite direction. The decision to form a government and the new program are obstacles that have again been thrown in the way not only of the organizational unification of the two social democratic parties (...), but also of their practical cooperation, the well-established working group. At the moment when the right-wing socialists were expected to call out to the proletariat, they capitulated to the heavy industry party. "
Once again it was Kautsky who resumed the discussion that had broken off. He tried to relativize the stipulations of the Görlitz program and emphasized that it was "decidedly preferable to the commitment of the Leipzig Action Program of the Independent Social Democrats of 1919 to the council system". In a way that is typical for him, he also tried to justify the SPD's coalition policy, which a majority of the USPD saw as the main problem, "Marxist" and went so far as to "appropriately" reformulate a well-known phrase from Marx's criticism of the Gotha program :
- “Between the period of the purely bourgeois state and the purely proletarian state there is a period of transformation from one to the other. This corresponds to a political transition period, the government of which will usually take the form of a coalition government. "
In the spirit of Kautsky, the USPD central organ Freedom and the influential Leipziger Volkszeitung began at the end of 1921 to propagate the “coming together of the working masses standing to the right of the communists”. At the Leipzig party congress (January 8–12, 1922) it was already evident that Ledebour, who was still campaigning for an action group of all three large workers' parties, was now almost alone in this position - at least among the leading functionaries of the USPD. This was not changed by the fact that a few weeks later Kautsky went too far when he repeatedly spoke out against the party executive after it had paved the way for the Communist Working Group, which had split off from the KPD, to join the USPD. In doing so, he received harsh negative comments from most of the leading party members, who now clearly recognized that Kautsky's “Marxist” argumentation boiled down to a simple reintegration of the USPD into the SPD. Not least, however, the circle around the Leipziger Volkszeitung rejected this. Kautsky found himself isolated again and published a statement in May 1922 in which he broke with the USPD.
Nevertheless, the majority of the party leadership was also aware that the time in which a halfway successful maneuvering between KPD and SPD was possible was coming to an end. At the time of Kautsky's departure, the political and organizational disintegration of the USPD had already begun. The party suffered particularly badly from galloping inflation since the beginning of 1922 because, unlike the SPD, it had hardly any material assets. In the summer of 1922 the USPD was on the verge of bankruptcy, and for a short time it was seriously questioned whether it would be able to finance election campaigns at all. In the course of the arguments about the positions of Kautsky the party leadership forced on the initiative Ledebour in April, led by Hilferding editors of freedom to retreat. Conversely, a rapidly growing group of MPs in the Reichstag parliamentary group, who feared losing their seats in new elections, pushed for a union with the SPD and repeatedly broke parliamentary group discipline during votes. The last political assets of the USPD were - apart from the faction in the Reichstag, which had grown to 72 members through the accession of the KAG members - the coalition governments that it had formed in Braunschweig, Saxony and Thuringia with the “left” regional organizations of the SPD there. In this crisis situation, Reich Foreign Minister Rathenau fell victim to an assassination attempt by right-wing extremists on June 24, 1922 . After this attack - which preceded the attacks on Karl Gareis , Erzberger and Scheidemann - and in view of the parallel campaign carried out by a majority of the bourgeois camp against the "compliance policy" of the Wirth government , which was clearly anti-republican and monarchist, one emerged The majority of the USPD leadership took the position that the political climate had changed significantly to the detriment of the left and that a quick agreement of the divided social democracy was urgently needed. The verdict of Wilhelm Dittmann, who spoke of a “situation like before the Kapp Putsch”, met with approval. The Rathenau murder made a decisive contribution to the surprisingly quick unification of the two social democratic parties.
On July 14, 1922, the SPD and USPD parliamentary groups formed a working group in the Reichstag. The USPD thus effectively became a ruling party; Among other things, she brought the Republic Protection Act through the Reichstag on July 18 . At the end of August, the boards of both parties met and agreed to have a vote on the association at separate special party congresses and then to implement the same at a joint party congress. The SPD leadership knew about the widespread skepticism among members and supporters of the USPD, which was only temporarily concealed by the Rathenau crisis, and wisely admitted that the union was formally processed as a merger of two equal parties. As the programmatic basis of the "new" party announced in this way, the party executive committee agreed on an action program published on September 6th by Freiheit und Vorwärts , whereby the Görlitz program, which was still indisputable for the USPD, was tacitly withdrawn from circulation. The action program contained only daily political demands and completely omitted long-term determinations and theoretical discussions about the state, revolution, socialism and capitalism. This gave rise to the impression among USPD leftists like Robert Dißmann, who, according to his own admission, “only took part in the unification process with a lot of overcoming”, that the future political direction of social democracy was in a certain way open and shapeable. Despite the skillful preparation, the USPD's special party congress in Gera (September 20-23, 1922) temporarily experienced a serious crisis, as 122 of 192 delegates unexpectedly supported a proposal initiated by Dißmann, Toni Sender and Fritz Zubeil in which the The SPD's previous coalition policy was sharply disapproved and demanded that the new party on the coalition issue be determined by the resolutions of the USPD's Leipzig party congress. This resulted in a "strange situation": Apparently a majority of the delegates rejected the association at this point in time and under these conditions, but at the same time were not in a position to give reasons for the continued existence of the USPD that were politically more viable than the dissent in the coalition question and the deep-seated human aversion to the "Noskites" and "Ebertines". Taking advantage of this, the group around Crispien and Hilferding was able to ensure that Dißmann's motion, which was unacceptable to the SPD, was not voted on and was merely noted in the minutes. Only a small minority of left-wing delegates, led by Ledebour, persistently opposed unification as "the suicide of the USPD". The decisive motion submitted by Crispien was finally accepted with an overwhelming majority (against 9 votes), although Fritz Zubeil on behalf of the left wing was “horrified by Crispien's unified speech”. Ledebour had previously involuntarily contributed to the breakup of the left wing, because in his speech he described all delegates who had not supported his proposal, which rejected any unification negotiations, as sympathizers of the Bavarian Social Democrat Erhard Auer - in the USPD alongside Noske "the epitome of betrayal" (Unlike Noske, Auer, now largely forgotten, was, alongside Wolfgang Heine and August Winnig , who later emigrated to the nationalist and finally to the conservative camp , one of the social democrats who publicly celebrated their role in the suppression of the council movement - among other things, Auer had the Eisner- Have murderer Count Arco brought a lush bouquet of flowers after the crime).
On September 24, 1922, 146 delegates from the SPD and 135 from the USPD met in Nuremberg for the unification congress. In order not to let any discrepancies arise, Otto Wels, as chairman of the meeting, declared every discussion to be “superfluous” right from the start. The conference lasted just under three hours and ended at noon. The delegates had previously unanimously confirmed the action program, elected three chairpersons ( Hermann Müller , Otto Wels, Arthur Crispien) and a control and program committee (headed by Kautsky). The merger to form the United Social Democratic Party of Germany was deemed to have taken place. In the party's committees, the representatives of the old SPD set the tone from the start. The USPD provided one of three chairmen (Arthur Crispien), of the six party secretaries also only one (Wilhelm Dittmann), of three cashiers one ( Konrad Ludwig ) and of the ten assessors four ( Franz Künstler , Rudolf Hilferding, Julius Moses , Anna Nemitz ). In the party executive, the ratio SPD: USPD was 15: 7. After all, about a third of the 290,000 USPD members did not join the VSPD. Quite a few apparently joined the KPD, whose membership rose noticeably in the autumn of 1922.
The USPD as a splinter party 1923–1931
A group of functionaries around Georg Ledebour, Gustav Laukant, Paul Wegmann , Gerhard Obuch and Theodor Liebknecht rejected any coalition policy with bourgeois parties and thus also the return to the SPD. Liebknecht - whose brother Karl had been murdered in 1919 - and Ledebour also made it clear several times that it was impossible for them personally to ever be a member of the same party with Ebert, Scheidemann and Noske again. They planned to make the USPD the nucleus of a new unity party of the labor movement and therefore continued it. The weekly class struggle was published in Berlin as the new central organ in October 1922 .
Hardly any information can be given about the influence and organizational scope of the rest of the USPD that existed in 1922/1923. Apparently in many places it initially had a certain appendix. The actual collapse did not occur until the spring of 1924, after Ledebour had been expelled from the party (January 11) and had founded a new organization, the Socialist Bund , in March 1924 . The reason for this was the dissent over the line on the question of the occupation of the Ruhr : Ledebour supported the KPD's course, a majority around Liebknecht rejected their slogan “Beat Poincaré on the Ruhr and Cuno on the Spree!” As nationalistic. The Liebknecht-USPD held party conferences in Eisenach in 1924 , in Berlin in 1925 and in Leipzig in 1926. There are practically no sources on the further development of the party. It is known that she called for abstention in the 1925 presidential election, while the Ledebour group called for Ernst Thalmann to be elected. On November 1, 1931, the USPD announced that it would become part of the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany . During the preliminary negotiations, it had not been able to enforce any of the accession conditions it had initially formulated.
|choice||Votes (absolute)||Votes (relative)||Mandates|
|Election to the German National Assembly||2,317,290||7.62%||22nd|
|Reichstag election 1920||4,897,401||18.81%||84|
|Reichstag election May 1924||235.145||0.80%||0|
|Reichstag election December 1924||98,842||0.33%||0|
|Reichstag election 1928||20,815||0.07%||0|
|Reichstag election 1930||11,690||0.03%||0|
The election results of 1920 do not include constituencies 1 (East Prussia), 10 (Opole) and 14 (Schleswig-Holstein), as these were not elected until 1921 and 1922 respectively. Taking into account the by-elections up to 1922, the corresponding percentage is 17.63%.
|year||Number of members|
|November 1918||approx. 100,000|
|Late January 1919||approx. 300,000|
The central organs were the daily newspaper Freiheit and the theoretical organ Der Sozialist, published weekly by Rudolf Breitscheid . The illustrated weekly supplement The Free World was also created centrally . In addition, the USPD had a number of regional daily newspapers, some of which, such as the Leipziger Volkszeitung and the Volksblatt für Halle and Saalkreis , were SPD newspapers that had been transferred to the USPD, others such as the Hamburger Volkszeitung were newly founded. The party organs dominated by the left wing (like the last two newspapers mentioned) went to the VKPD at the end of 1920, others to the SPD in 1922, merged with social democratic papers or were discontinued. From October 1922 the weekly class war appeared as the central organ , which from 1928 appeared again under the title of the old central organ Freedom .
The USPD had no party youth association in the strict sense. Initially, parts of the Free Socialist Youth (FSJ) were close to the USPD. After a majority of the FSJ orientated towards the KPD, a minority was constituted in 1919 under the name of the Socialist Proletarian Youth (SPJ) as an independent association that was closely related to the USPD but was organisationally independent. The SPJ, which had 20,000 members at that time, merged in autumn 1922 with the social democratic association of workers 'youth associations in Germany to form the Socialist Workers' Youth (SAJ).
New foundations after 1945
After the end of the Second World War, the historical significance of the USPD led to the fact that left-wing party branches from the SPD took up this name several times. However, none of these splinter parties achieved comparable political success.
Around 1950 left Social Democrats in West Berlin, disappointed by SPD politics, formed a USPD, which received 9,782 votes (0.7%) in the House of Representatives elections in 1950 and 1,482 votes (0.1%) in 1954 , and dissolved a few years later .
The USPD in the GDR
On February 16, 1990, another USPD was formed in Fürstenberg / Havel . She felt connected to the left-wing social democratic legacy and wanted to fight for democratic socialism in the GDR . The splinter party remained unsuccessful in the 1990 Volkskammer election with 3,891 votes.
New foundations 2006/2007
On February 8, 2006, at a founding party conference in Gladbeck, a USPD was brought into being by former SPD members and WASG disappointed. The Independent Social Progressive Democrats , a group of former SPD members and community representatives in Rösrath , were prohibited from using the abbreviations USPD and UspD in the spring due to interim injunctions by the SPD federal executive committee . The group no longer used an abbreviation of their name. She has since joined the Left Party.
- Bernward Anton: The split in the Bavarian social democracy in the First World War and the emergence of the USPD. History-course-causes , dissertation. Augsburg 2015, 1367 S. ( data set for publication at opus.bibliothek.uni-augsburg.de incl. Free link to pdf download).
- Hans Manfred Bock : Syndicalism and Left Communism from 1918–1923. On the history and sociology of the Free Workers' Union of Germany (Syndicalists), the General Workers' Union of Germany and the Communist Workers' Party of Germany (= Marburg Treatises on Political Science. Vol. 13, ). Hain, Meisenheim am Glan 1969, (At the same time: Marburg, Universität, Dissertation, 1968), ( Syndicalism and left communism from 1918 to 1923. A contribution to the social and intellectual history of the early Weimar Republic. Updated new edition with an afterword. Scientific book society, Darmstadt 1993, ISBN 3-534-12005-1 ).
- Andreas Braune, Mario Hesselbarth and Stefan Müller (eds.): The USPD between social democracy and communism 1917–1922. New Paths to Peace, Democracy and Socialism? (= Weimar writings on the Republic, Volume 3). Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2018, ISBN 978-3-515-12142-2
- James Broh : Draft of a USP program. Written on behalf of the Political Commission of the Charlottenburg Action Council as well as criticism of the Action Program and the Revolution Program . Publishing house society and education, Berlin-Fichtenau 1920.
- Dieter Engelmann : The successor organizations of the USPD. In: Contributions to the history of the labor movement. (BzG). Vol. 33, No. 1, 1991, , pp. 37-45, (on the USPD and the Socialist Bund 1922-1931).
- Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. The Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1917–1922. Edition New Paths, Berlin 1993, ISBN 3-88348-212-9 .
- Curt Geyer : The revolutionary illusion. On the history of the left wing of the USPD. Memories (= series of the quarterly books for contemporary history. No. 33). Edited by Wolfgang Benz and Hermann Graml . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1976, ISBN 3-421-01768-9 .
- Alfred Hermann: The history of the Palatinate USPD. Verlag Pfälzische Post, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse 1989, ISBN 3-926912-12-X (also: Mannheim, University, dissertation, 1989).
- Hartfrid Krause : USPD. On the history of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany. European publishing house, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1975, ISBN 3-434-20075-4 .
- Ottokar Luban : The role of the Spartakusgruppe in the origin and development of the USPD January 1916 to March 1919. In: Year book for research on the history of the labor movement . Vol. 2, 2008, pp. 69-75.
- Ottokar Luban: Russian Bolsheviks and German Left Socialists on the eve of the German November Revolution. Relationships and Influence. In: Yearbook for Historical Research on Communism . 2009, pp. 283-298.
- David W. Morgan : The Socialist Left and the German Revolution. A History of the German Independent Social Democratic Party, 1917–1922. Cornell University Press, Ithaca NY et al. a. 1975, ISBN 0-8014-0851-2 .
- Richard Müller : A History of the November Revolution. New edition. Die Buchmacherei, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-00-035400-7 (reprint of the three volumes: Vom Kaiserreich zur Republik , The November Revolution , The Civil War in Germany , Malik-Verlag, Vienna / Berlin 1924–1925).
- Eugen Prager : History of the USPD. Origin and development of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany. Verlagsgenossenschaft "Freiheit", Berlin 1921, digitized version , ( The order of the day. History of the USPD. With a foreword by Ossip K. Flechtheim . 4th, annotated edition. Dietz, Berlin et al. 1980, ISBN 3-8012-0049-3 ) .
- Robert F. Wheeler : USPD and Internationale. Socialist internationalism in the time of the revolution (= Ullstein books. No. 3380, Ullstein materials ). Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1975, ISBN 3-548-03380-6 .
- Michael Jäger : 1917: The short third way ; Article in the weekly magazine der Freitag from April 8, 2017 (print edition 14/2017) on the history of the origins of the USPD with a focus on its first party chairman Hugo Haase and his controversy with Rosa Luxemburg as the protagonist of the Spartakus group (online at www.freitag.de, accessed on April 8, 2017)
- Karena Kalmbach: The Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) In: LeMO of the German Historical Museum
- Mario Hesselbarth: On the history of the USPD. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of its founding in Gotha in 1917 , publication for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation from April 2017 (PDF file)
- Overview maps of the USPD's share of votes in the Reichstag elections during the Weimar Republic according to constituencies
- Homepage of Ernst-Albert Seils with articles on Hugo Haase and his time
- Ludger Heid : Oskar Cohn. A socialist and Zionist in the German Empire and in the Weimar Republic (= Campus Judaica. Vol. 19). Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 2002, ISBN 3-593-37040-9 , pp. 75 ff.
- Curt Geyer: The revolutionary illusion. 1976, p. 42 ff.
- See Walter Bartel : The Left in German Social Democracy in the Fight against Militarism and War. Dietz, Berlin 1958, p. 195.
- See Dieter Fricke : Handbook on the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 625.
- Quoted from Dieter Fricke: Handbook for the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 634.
- See Ralf Hoffrogge : Richard Müller. The man behind the November Revolution (= history of communism and left-wing socialism. 7). Dietz, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02148-1 , p. 28.
- See author collective: History of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. Volume 1: From the beginnings to 1917. Dietz, Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-320-00928-1 , p. 761.
- Annelies Laschitza : The Liebknechts. Karl and Sophie. Politics and family. Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-351-02652-3 , p. 261.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 17 f.
- Ludger Heid: Oskar Cohn. A socialist and Zionist in the German Empire and in the Weimar Republic (= Campus Judaica. Vol. 19). Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 2002, ISBN 3-593-37040-9 , pp. 75 ff.
- Eugen Prager: History of the USPD. 1921, p. 97.
- Hans Mommsen: Introduction. In: Peter Friedemann (ed.): Materials on the political dispute over the direction of the German social democracy. 1890–1917 (= Ullstein books. No. 3015). Volume 1. Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1978, ISBN 3-548-03015-7 , p. 5. See also Dieter Fricke: Handbook for the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 374 ; Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 69; Author collective: History of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. Volume 1: From the beginnings to 1917. Dietz, Berlin 1988, ISBN 3-320-00928-1 , p. 804; as well as Klaus-Peter Müller: Politics and Society in War. The loss of legitimacy of the Baden state 1914–1918 (= publications of the Commission for Historical Regional Studies in Baden-Württemberg. Series B: Research. 109). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-17-009619-2 , p. 104, (also: Freiburg (Breisgau), University, dissertation, 1984).
- Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 70.
- Scheidemann admitted in 1921 that the Reich Chancellor, in a meeting with “shop stewards” of the Reichstag factions on March 8, 1915, had designated a “stronger and bigger Germany” as the goal of the war; Scheidemann was then "freezing cold on the back", he had secretly known that it would actually be "impossible to approve loans." See Eugen Prager: History of the USPD. 1921, p. 98 f.
- Quoted from Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 71.
- See Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 482.
- Quoted from Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 71.
- See Dieter Fricke: Handbook for the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 375. Examples of the “frontal attack against the opposition” (Eugen Prager) below among others with Eugen Prager: History of the USPD. 1921, pp. 102 f., 107, 116 ff. And passim. The great majority of the relevant investigations agree with the finding that the majority of the board of directors tried as planned after the Reich Conference at the latest to force the opposition - against their resistance - out of the party. In the meantime, historians close to the SPD have occasionally tried to suggest that the SAG or the Spartacus group have an equal or even greater responsibility for the eventual split; Susanne Miller is still exemplary for this point of view : truce and class struggle. The German social democracy in the First World War (= contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties. 53). Droste, Düsseldorf 1974, ISBN 3-7700-5079-7 , passim. In the "party official" presentation, as it were, Susanne Miller, Heinrich Potthoff: Brief history of the SPD. Representation and documentation 1848–1990. 7th, revised and expanded edition. Dietz, Bonn 1991, ISBN 3-87831-350-0 , pp. 76-78, the course of confrontation with the opposition is not mentioned at all, but instead emphasizes the social-democratic concept of discipline based on Miller's monograph. Manfred Scharrer, who is also part of the group of historians represented by Miller, has criticized the fact that Miller creates what was, in his opinion, the false impression in her work that “it was in the power of the SAG to prevent the split”. See Manfred Scharrer : The split in the German labor movement. 2nd, improved edition. Edition Cordeliers, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-922836-33-X , p. 75. Hans Mommsen also stated to Miller: “The break with the left came from the reformist wing.” See Peter Friedemann (ed.): Materials for political dispute about direction in the German social democracy. 1890–1917 (= Ullstein books. No. 3015). Volume 1. Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1978, ISBN 3-548-03015-7 , p. 50.
- See Dieter Fricke: Handbook on the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 375.
- See Heinz Wohlgemuth: The emergence of the Communist Party of Germany. Overview. 2nd, completely revised and expanded edition. Dietz, Berlin 1978, p. 164.
- Letter from Kautsky to Victor Adler, August 7, 1916. Quoted from Dieter Fricke: Handbuch zur Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbew Movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 398.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 79 ff.
- Quoted from Eugen Prager: History of the USPD. 1921, p. 134 f.
- Karl Kautsky: My relationship with the Independent Social Democratic Party. A review. Tony Breitscheid, Berlin 1922, p. 8 .
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 30.
- Most recently on this Ottokar Luban: The role of the Spartakusgruppe in the origin and development of the USPD January 1916 to March 1919. In: Year Book for Research on the History of the Labor Movement. Vol. 2, 2008, pp. 69-75.
- See Heinz Wohlgemuth: The emergence of the Communist Party of Germany. Overview. 2nd, completely revised and expanded edition. Dietz, Berlin 1978, p. 176.
- Quoted from Walter Bartel: The Left in German Social Democracy in the Fight against Militarism and War. Dietz, Berlin 1958, p. 423.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 31.
- Quoted from Dieter Fricke: Handbook for the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 406.
- See Dieter Fricke: Handbook for the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 2. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 791.
- Quoted from Dieter Fricke: Handbook for the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 403.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 31.
- See Dieter Fricke: Handbook on the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 407 f.
- Werner Bramke , Silvio Reisinger: Leipzig in the revolution of 1918/1919. Leipziger Universitätsverlag, Leipzig 2009, ISBN 978-3-86583-408-9 , p. 50.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 32.
- Quoted from Dieter Fricke: Handbook for the history of the German labor movement 1869 to 1917. Volume 1. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00847-1 , p. 407.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 32.
- Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 33.
- Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 544.
- See Fritz Klein et al. a .: Germany in the First World War. Volume 2: Willibald Gutsche u. a .: January 1915 to October 1917. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1968, p. 718.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, pp. 103, 109.
- this in detail Fritz Klein et al. a .: Germany in the First World War. Volume 2: Willibald Gutsche u. a .: January 1915 to October 1917. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1968, 676–695.
- Quoted from From the testimony of library director Dr. Friedrich Thimme. In: Hans Herzfeld : The German social democracy and the dissolution of the national united front in the world war. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1928, pp. 315-320, here p. 317.
- Quoted from Fritz Klein et al. a .: Germany in the First World War. Volume 2: Willibald Gutsche u. a .: January 1915 to October 1917. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1968, 677.
- See Werner Bramke, Silvio Reisinger: Leipzig in the Revolution of 1918/1919. Leipziger Universitätsverlag, Leipzig 2009, ISBN 978-3-86583-408-9 , p. 52.
- Quoted from Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 509.
- Quoted from a testimony of Lieutenant General a. D. Groener. In: Hans Herzfeld: The German social democracy and the dissolution of the national united front in the world war. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1928, pp. 347–391, here p. 352.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 38. This practice was repeated on a much larger scale after the January strike.
- detail Wilhelm Dittmann: The naval judicial murders of 1917 and the Admirals rebellion of 1918. Dietz, Berlin 1926.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 40.
- See Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 521 ff.
- Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 40.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 44.
- Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 44.
- Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 49.
- Haase to Kautsky, August 6, 1918. Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 46 f.
- Quoted from Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 526.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 58.
- See Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 527 ff.
- See Ralf Hoffrogge: Richard Müller. The man behind the November Revolution (= history of communism and left-wing socialism. 7). Dietz, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02148-1 , p. 56.
- Quoted from Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 110.
- Quoted from Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 110.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 62.
- recently Ottokar Luban : New research results on the Spartakuskonferenz in October 1918. In: Ulla Plener (Hrsg.): The November Revolution 1918/1919 in Germany for bourgeois and socialist democracy. General, regional and biographical aspects. Contributions to the 90th anniversary of the revolution (= Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. Manuscripts. 85). Dietz, Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-320-02205-1 , pp. 68-78.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 113; and Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 65.
- See Illustrated History of the German Revolution. Internationaler Arbeiterverlag, Berlin 1929, pp. 174, 181.
- Liebknecht's record, quoted from Illustrated History of the German Revolution. Internationaler Arbeiterverlag, Berlin 1929, p. 203.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 67.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 66.
- Liebknecht's record, quoted from Illustrated History of the German Revolution. Internationaler Arbeiterverlag, Berlin 1929, p. 203.
- Liebknecht's record, quoted from Illustrated History of the German Revolution. Internationaler Arbeiterverlag, Berlin 1929, p. 204.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 65; and Ralf Hoffrogge: Richard Müller. The man behind the November Revolution (= history of communism and left-wing socialism. 7). Dietz, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-320-02148-1 , p. 67 f.
- See Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 554.
- Quoted from Prince Max von Baden : Memoirs and Documents. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart a. a. 1927, p. 605.
- See Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 555.
- Hans Mommsen: Rise and Fall of the Republic of Weimar. 1918-1933. Revised and updated edition. Ullstein, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-548-26508-1 , p. 45.
- See Illustrated History of the German Revolution. Internationaler Arbeiterverlag, Berlin 1929, p. 208.
- Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , pp. 556 ff.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 67.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The November Revolution 1918 in Germany. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1968, p. 156, 161.
- See Günter Hortzschansky u. a .: Illustrated history of the German November Revolution 1918/1919. Dietz, Berlin 1978, p. 148.
- See Günter Hortzschansky u. a .: Illustrated history of the German November Revolution 1918/1919. Dietz, Berlin 1978, p. 149.
- Eberhard Kolb: The workers' councils in German domestic politics. 1918–1919 (= Ullstein-Buch. No. 3438). Edition extended by a foreword and a bibliographical appendix. Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1978, ISBN 3-548-03438-1 , p. 117, (also: Göttingen, Universität, Dissertation, 1959).
- Quoted from Jakov S. Drabkin: The November Revolution 1918 in Germany. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1968, p. 166.
- Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 69.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 115 f.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 72. See also Robert F. Wheeler: USPD and Internationale. 1975, p. 46.
- Quoted from Wolfgang Ruge : Friedrich Ebert on November 10, 1918. In: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft . Vol. 26, 1978, pp. 955-971, here p. 963.
- Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 115.
- Quoted from General Groener's cross-examination. In: Hans Herzfeld: The German social democracy and the dissolution of the national united front in the world war. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1928, pp. 383–391, here p. 384.
- See Hans Mommsen: Rise and Fall of the Republic of Weimar. 1918-1933. Revised and updated edition. Ullstein, Berlin 1998, ISBN 3-548-26508-1 , pp. 45 f., 49.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 71. See also Susanne Miller: Die Bürde der Macht. The German Social Democracy 1918–1920 (= contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties. 63). Droste, Düsseldorf 1978, ISBN 3-7700-5095-9 , p. 99.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 75.
- See Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 577 f.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 78.
- See Ralph Schattkowsky: Germany and Poland from 1918/19 to 1925. German-Polish relations between Versailles and Locarno (= European university publications. Series 3: History and its auxiliary sciences. Vol. 619). Lang, Frankfurt am Main a. a. 1994, ISBN 3-631-47136-X , p. 36. See also Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 611.
- See Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , pp. 583 f.
- See Heinz Habedank: History of the revolutionary Berlin workers' movement. From the beginning to the present. Volume 2: From 1917 to 1945. Dietz, Berlin 1987, ISBN 3-320-00826-9 , p. 57.
- Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 616.
- Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 617.
- See Susanne Miller: The Burden of Power. The German Social Democracy 1918–1920 (= contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties. 63). Droste, Düsseldorf 1978, ISBN 3-7700-5095-9 , p. 215.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The November Revolution 1918 in Germany. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1968, pp. 544, 549.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 79.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The November Revolution 1918 in Germany. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1968, pp. 540, 544.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 75.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 32.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 102; and Heinrich August Winkler : From Revolution to Stabilization. Workers and the labor movement in the Weimar Republic 1918 to 1924 (= history of the workers and the labor movement in Germany since the end of the 18th century. Vol. 9). 2nd, completely revised and corrected edition. Dietz, Berlin a. a. 1985, ISBN 3-8012-0093-0 , p. 139.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The November Revolution 1918 in Germany. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1968, p. 543, footnote 223.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 113.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 79.
- See Susanne Miller: The Burden of Power. The German Social Democracy 1918–1920 (= contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties. 63). Droste, Düsseldorf 1978, ISBN 3-7700-5095-9 , p. 245.
- Quoted from Susanne Miller: The burden of power. The German Social Democracy 1918–1920 (= contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties. 63). Droste, Düsseldorf 1978, ISBN 3-7700-5095-9 , p. 246.
- See Susanne Miller: The Burden of Power. The German Social Democracy 1918–1920 (= contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties. 63). Droste, Düsseldorf 1978, ISBN 3-7700-5095-9 , p. 246; Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 79 ff .; Heinrich August Winkler: From Revolution to Stabilization. Workers and the labor movement in the Weimar Republic 1918 to 1924 (= history of the workers and the labor movement in Germany since the end of the 18th century. Vol. 9). 2nd, completely revised and corrected edition. Dietz, Berlin a. a. 1985, ISBN 3-8012-0093-0 , pp. 144 f.
- Quoted from Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 72.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 73.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 89.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 75.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 134.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 123; and Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 88.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 107.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 124.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 106.
- Quoted from Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 132.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 133 ff.
- Quoted from Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 186.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 112.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 110.
- See Wilhelm Dittmann: Memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , p. 665.
- Quoted from Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 181.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 362.
- Quoted from Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 360.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 119.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 117.
- See Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 448.
- Quoted from Jakov S. Drabkin: The emergence of the Weimar Republic. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1983, p. 452.
- Robert F. Wheeler: The "21 conditions" and the split of the USPD in the fall of 1920. On the formation of opinion of the base. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte . Vol. 23, No. 2, 1975, pp. 117–154, here p. 118 ( PDF ).
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 126.
- So Stoecker's choice of words with a view to the SPD and the Labor Party. See Heinrich August Winkler: From Revolution to Stabilization. Workers and the labor movement in the Weimar Republic 1918 to 1924 (= history of the workers and the labor movement in Germany since the end of the 18th century. Vol. 9). 2nd, completely revised and corrected edition. Dietz, Berlin a. a. 1985, ISBN 3-8012-0093-0 , p. 254.
- See Frisch, Berndt, The consolidation and further development of the conception of the nature and the necessity of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the KPD from the founding party congress to the Heidelberg party congress (January to October 1919), in: Imig, Werner, Kissljakow, Walter (ed. ), Studies on the ideological development of the KPD 1919–1923, Berlin 1981, pp. 71–91, pp. 85 ff. See also Bock, Hans Manfred, Syndicalism and Left Communism from 1918 to 1923. A contribution to the social and intellectual history of the early Weimar Republic, updated new edition with an afterword, Darmstadt 1993, pp. 139ff.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 130.
- See Wolfram Wette : Die Wehrmacht. Enemy images, war of extermination, legends (= Fischer 15645 The time of National Socialism ). Revised edition. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 3-596-15645-9 , p. 60, (which incorrectly states that the perpetrator was French); and Wilhelm Dittmann: memories (= sources and studies on social history. 14, 2). Edited and introduced by Jürgen Rojahn. Campus-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1995, ISBN 3-593-35285-0 , pp. 683 ff.
- Curt Geyer: The revolutionary illusion. 1976, p. 152.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 150 f.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 152.
- Curt Geyer: The revolutionary illusion. 1976, p. 154.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 134.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 134.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 135.
- Quoted from Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 160.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 135.
- Quoted from Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 160.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 139 f .; Curt Geyer: The revolutionary illusion. 1976, p. 160; and Robert F. Wheeler: USPD and Internationale. 1975, pp. 179-188.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 138 f.
- Quoted from Robert F. Wheeler: USPD and Internationale. 1975, p. 190.
- Reply of the Central Committee of the British Socialist Party to the letter from the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany. (No longer available online.) Formerly in the original ; Retrieved August 21, 2013 . ( Page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- See Robert F. Wheeler: USPD and Internationale. 1975, p. 190.
- Curt Geyer: The revolutionary illusion. 1976, p. 176.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 153.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 154 f.
- Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 156.
- Quoted from Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 188.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 156.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 159.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 191.
- Principles on the conditions of admission to the Communist International In: kpd-Sozialgeschichte , accessed on July 27, 2019.
- Robert F. Wheeler: USPD and Internationale. 1975, p. 230.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 170.
- See Curt Geyer: The revolutionary illusion. 1976, p. 213; and Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 176.
- Curt Geyer: The revolutionary illusion. 1976, p. 203 f.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 167, 170 f.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 171.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 172.
- Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 174 f.
- Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 192.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 178.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 180.
- Curt Geyer: The revolutionary illusion. 1976, p. 225.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 193.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 193.
- See Robert F. Wheeler: USPD and Internationale. 1975, p. 263.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 219.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 187.
- See the list in Robert F. Wheeler: USPD and Internationale. 1975, p. 263.
- Curt Geyer: The revolutionary illusion. 1976, p. 138.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 196.
- Quoted from Heinz Niemann u. a .: History of German Social Democracy 1917 to 1945. Dietz, Berlin 1982, p. 106.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 199.
- Quoted from Heinz Niemann u. a .: History of the German Social Democracy 1917 to 1945. Dietz, Berlin 1982, p. 107.
- Marx had written: “Between the capitalist and the communist society lies the period of the revolutionary transformation of one into the other. This also corresponds to a political transition period, the state of which cannot be anything other than the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat. "
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 201.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 200.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 202.
- See Robert F. Wheeler: USPD and Internationale. 1975, p. 279. Wheeler considers the precarious financial situation to be the main cause of the sudden unification euphoria - which "at first glance looks like political hara-kiri" - in the USPD leadership. See also Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 257.
- See Ratz, Ursula, Georg Ledebour 1850–1947. Path and work of a socialist politician, Berlin 1969, p. 213 f.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 203.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 203.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 206.
- See collective of authors: History of the German Workers' Movement. Timeline. Part 2: From 1917 to 1945. Dietz, Berlin 1966, p. 133. The information from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and unification. 1993, p. 206 (September 17-20) is obviously wrong.
- Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between division and unification. 1993, p. 33.
- See Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 258 ff.
- Quoted from Heinz Niemann u. a .: History of German Social Democracy 1917 to 1945. Dietz, Berlin 1982, p. 109.
- Quoted from Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between splitting and unification. 1993, p. 206.
- Hartfrid Krause: USPD. 1975, p. 260.
- See Hans Beyer: The Revolution in Bavaria. 1918/1919. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1982, p. 45 f.
- See Heinz Niemann u. a .: History of the German Social Democracy 1917 to 1945. Dietz, Berlin 1982, p. 109 f.
- See Robert F. Wheeler: USPD and Internationale. 1975, p. 279.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 209.
- See Dieter Engelmann, Horst Naumann: Between split and union. 1993, p. 215.
- See Hanno Drechsler : The Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (SAPD). A contribution to the history of the German labor movement at the end of the Weimar Republic (= Marburg treatises on political science. 2, ). Hain, Meisenheim am Glan 1965, p. 139.
- Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger: “Die Linke” in the Rösrath City Council , June 27, 2007.