Karl Liebknecht, Willy Brandt, and German Socialism
The Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) has a history that is as turbulent as that of the country itself. From persecution during the rule of the Kaiser and the Fuhrer to its current status as one of the two premier parties in the Reichstag, its story is wrapped up in the conflict between seeking change through reform and through revolution. In order to study this tension, I examined the lives of Karl Liebknecht and Willy Brandt. The lives of Liebknecht, the disillusioned Social Democrat who helped found the German Communist Party following World War I, and Brandt, the first SPD chancellor following World War II, illustrate the challenges, failures, and successes of the SPD and help explain how and why the SPD was radically transformed during the early Cold War.
Germany - politics and government