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Study Notes

Political Parties of the Weimar Republic

AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 19 Jan 2019

Encouraged by the system of proportional representation there were many political parties in Weimar Republic. They represented all aspects of German society. The main political parties are summarised below.

The Communist Party (KPD): on the extreme left of the political spectrum and drew its support mainly from the workers. They based their ideas on a communist revolution where the workers rise up against the ruling classes. This was the dream of German Communists such as Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. They wanted to achieve something similar to the Russian Revolution of 1917, when a Communist State was created. The Communist Party detested the Weimar Republic.

The Social Democrats (SPD): the party of Ebert and largely responsible for creating the Weimar Republic. They were a party on the left, but not as left wing as the Communist Party. The party drew its support from the workers mainly and the middle classes. The Social Democrats supported the Weimar Republic that they had helped to create.

The Centre Party (ZP): a moderate party which sat in the centre of the political spectrum. As with the Social Democrats, the Centre Party supported the Weimar Republic. The party was supported by conservatives and had arisen from the Catholic Church.

The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP): a party on the extreme right of German politics. Like the Communists they hated the Weimar Republic, despised those who had signed the Treaty of Versailles and wanted to avenge Germany’s defeat in the First World War. Originally called the German Workers’ Party the name was changed when Adolf Hitler took over. They were initially supported by workers, but their support grew across the middle classes too.

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