- German Communist Party
German Communist Party
Deutsche Kommunistische Partei
Leader Bettina Jürgensen Founded 1968 Headquarters Hoffnungstraße 18, 45127 Essen Newspaper unsere Zeit Youth wing Socialist German Workers Youth Ideology Communism,
Political position Far-left International affiliation None European affiliation Party of the European Left (Observer),
European Anticapitalist Left
European Parliament Group None Official colours Red Website http://www.dkp.de/ Politics of Germany
The DKP was formed in West Germany in 1968, in order to fill the place of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which had been banned by the Federal Constitutional Court in 1956. At the end of the 1960s, the West German authorities were liberalizing the attitude towards the communist bloc and East Germany in particular.
The foundation of the DKP followed talks between two functionaries of the banned KPD with Gustav Heinemann, the West German minister of justice, who rejected the possibility of lifting the KPD's ban, but suggested that a new party be formed to enable communists to operate legally. At the time, the Eastern Bloc considered Germany to be divided into three separate entities: the two Germanies and West Berlin. Now each would have a separate communist party: the Socialist Unity Party of Germany in East Germany, the Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin in West Berlin and the DKP in West Germany.
The DKP remained on the political fringe, never winning more than 0.3% of the total votes in federal elections. It had relatively greater localized support in the 1970s; it managed to get up to 2.2% in elections in the city state of Hamburg, up to 3.1% in elections in the city state in Bremen, and up to 2.7% in elections in Saarland.
During the Cold War, the DKP received most of its funds through covert transfers from the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), the East German ruling party. Following German reunification, the DKP entered a steady decline. As of 2008, its membership has dropped to some 4,000, less than a tenth of its pre-Unification strength.
Many members of the DKP left the party after the re-unification of Germany and joined the newly formed Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), a descendant of the SED. For the 2005 federal elections, the DKP endorsed the ticket of the Left Party, successor to the PDS.
The DKP received national public attention in early 2008 when Christel Wegner, elected to the parliament of Lower Saxony on the list of the Left Party as the first DKP member of a state (Land) parliament, appeared to endorse the Berlin Wall, the Stasi and other aspects of the East German state in an interview. This caused embarrassment to the national Left Party leadership. Wegner was subsequently expelled from the party's parliamentary group and denied having made the controversial endorsements a few days later.
The party operates a weekly newspaper, unsere Zeit.
In the Baden-Württemberg state election, 2011 the DKP won 104 votes.
- ^ a b c d Björn Hengst, Philipp Wittrock (19 February 2008). "Linke zeigt Kommunisten die Rote Karte" (in German). Spiegel Online. http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,536373-2,00.html.
- ^ Helmut Bilstein u. a., Organisierter Kommunismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Opladen 1977, S. 16.
- ^ Deutsche Welle - Wahl 2005
- ^ Aktuell
- ^ http://www.statistik.baden-wuerttemberg.de/Wahlen/Landtagswahl_2011/Kreise.csv
- 30 Year history, a speech
- Documents of the foundation
- Unsere Zeit (UZ) Socialist Weekly Newspaper
- 50,000 People Attend German Communist Party Media Fair People's Weekly World, June 22, 2009
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