Social Democratic Party of Germany

Social Democratic Party of Germany

Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
LeaderMalu Dreyer
Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel
General SecretaryLars Klingbeil
Deputy Leaders
Founded23 May 1863 (156 years ago) (1863-05-23)
Merger ofADAV and SDAP
HeadquartersWilly-Brandt-Haus D-10911 Berlin, Germany
Student wing
Youth wingJusos
Women's wingAssociation of Social Democratic Women
Membership (July 2019)Decrease 426,000[1]
Political positionCentre-left[7]
European affiliationParty of European Socialists
International affiliationProgressive Alliance
European Parliament groupProgressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
Colours     Red
152 / 709
21 / 69
State Parliaments
475 / 1,867
European Parliament
16 / 96
Ministers-president of states
7 / 16
Party flag

The Social Democratic Party of Germany (German: Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD; [zoˈtsi̯aːldemoˌkʁaːtɪʃə paʁˌtaɪ ˈdɔʏtʃlants]), is a social-democratic[2][3][4][5] political party in Germany.

Led by Andrea Nahles from 2018 to 2019, the party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in Germany along with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). The Social Democrats have governed at the federal level in Germany as part of a grand coalition with the CDU and the Christian Social Union (CSU) since December 2013 following the results of the 2013 and 2017 federal elections. The party participates in 11 state governments and 7 of them are governed by SPD Minister-Presidents.

The SPD is a member of the Party of European Socialists and initiated the founding of the international Progressive Alliance for social-democratic parties on 22 May 2013[8][9][10] after criticising the Socialist International for its acceptance of authoritarian parties. Established in 1863, the SPD is by far the oldest existent political party represented in the German Parliament and was one of the first Marxist-influenced parties in the world.


SPD membership statistics (in thousands) since 1945

The General German Workers' Association (Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein, ADAV) founded in 1863 and the Social Democratic Workers' Party (Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, SDAP) founded in 1869 later merged in 1875 under the name Socialist Workers' Party of Germany (Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, SAPD). From 1878 to 1890 the Anti-Socialist Laws banned any grouping or meeting that aimed at spreading socialist principles, but the party still gained support in elections. In 1890, when the ban was lifted and it could again present electoral lists, the party adopted its current name. In the years leading up to World War I (1914–1918) the party remained ideologically radical in official principle, although many party officials tended to moderation in everyday politics. In the 1912 German federal election the SPD claimed not only the most votes but also the most Reichstag seats of any German party.

Despite the agreement of the Second International to oppose militarism,[11] the Social Democrats supported war in 1914. In response to this and to the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917 in Russia, members of the left-wing and of the far-left of the SPD formed alternative parties, first the Spartacus League (1914–1919), then the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD, April 1917–1931) while the more conservative faction became known as the Majority Social Democratic Party of Germany (MSPD, 1917–1922). From 1918 the SPD played an important role in the political system of the Weimar Republic, although it took part in coalition governments only in few years (1918–1921, 1923 and 1928–1930). Adolf Hitler banned the SPD in 1933 under the Enabling Act and the National Socialist régime imprisoned, killed or forced into exile SPD party officials. In exile, the party used the name Sopade. The Social Democrats had been the only party to vote against the Enabling Act, while the Communist Party was blocked from voting.

In 1945 the Allied administrations in the Western zones initially allowed the establishment of four parties, which resulted in the (re-)formation of the Christian Democratic Union, the Free Democratic Party, the Communist Party and the SPD. In the Soviet zone of occupation the Soviets forced the Social Democrats to form a common party with the Communists, resulting in the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). In the Western zones, West Germany's Federal Constitutional Court later banned the Communist Party (1956). Since 1949, the SPD has been one of the two major parties in the Federal Republic of Germany, alongside the Christian Democratic Union. From 1969 to 1982 and from 1998 to 2005, the Chancellors of Germany have been Social Democrats whereas in other years the Chancellors were Christian Democrats. Shortly before the reunification of Germany in 1990, the East German Social Democratic Party (founded in 1989) merged with the West German SPD.

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сацыял-дэмакратычная партыя Нямеччыны
Boarisch: SPD
dansk: SPD
Deitsch: SPD
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Socijaldemokratska stranka Njemačke
татарча/tatarça: Almaniä sotsial-demokratik firqäse