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Born Nov. 2. 1874; died Aug. 24, 1944. One of the leaders of German social democracy.
Breitscheid was minister of the interior in Prussia in late 1918 and early 1919. In the early 1930’s he headed the Social Democratic faction in the Reichstag and spoke out against unifying with the Communists. After the establishment of the fascist dictatorship (1933), he was an émigré in France. Reexamining much in his own views, Breitscheid became a partisan of the creation of a united workers’ front in Germany. In 1941 the Pétain government turned him over to fascist Germany, and in 1944 the Hitlerites killed him in the Buchenwald concentration camp.