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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the differences between the two parties which constituted the political Left for most of the Weimar period, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). The leaders of the SPD firmly believed that they should take no major reforming steps until a constituent assembly had been elected on a democratic vote; they considered themselves to be a caretaker government. Once the first elections had taken place the way was open for a coalition government, which the SPD set up in February 1919 alongside the Centre Party and the German Democratic Party. The KPD was born out of the November Revolution and the associated Council movement of 1918-19, and it was committed to achieving a socialist revolution in Germany on Marxist lines, following the example set by the Bolsheviks in Russia in 1917.

Keywords: Bolsheviks; Communist Party of Germany (KPD); Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)

10.1163/9789004271081_002
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