Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin


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Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin

 

(Sozialistische Einheitspartei Westberlins; SEW), a party founded in November 1962 at a party conference and originally consisting primarily of the West Berlin organizations of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. The conference adopted party rules, in which several programmatic statements were made—for example, that the party’s ultimate goal is the creation of a socialist society.

The First Congress of the SEW, held in May 1966, drew up the party’s fundamental documents. A congress resolution stated that the communists of West Berlin were against the rule of the millionaires, for the right of industrial and office workers to take part in the management of the economy, and for the democratic rights of the people and its representatives. The preamble to the party rules defined the party’s tasks: to struggle for peace and to ensure that war is never again launched from German soil. In February 1969 the party developed its programmatic positions further at a special party congress, which adopted the Principles and Goals of the Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin and Its Fundamental Tenets.

The Second Congress of the SEW, held in May 1970, discussed the party’s program of action. The party’s main goal was to transform West Berlin into a force for peace and European security. The efforts of the SEW and other democratic organizations played no small role in creating the conditions in which the USSR, the USA, Great Britain, and France could sign the four-power agreement on West Berlin in September 1971.

The Third Congress of the SEW, held in October 1972, welcomed the four-power agreement, which together with other treaties and agreements contributed to detente in Europe. It committed the party to consolidation of the gains that had been made so that West Berlin would no longer play the role of a “front-line city.” The Fourth Congress of the SEW, held in November 1974, drew up an election platform and worked out the SEW’s tactics for the elections to the municipal chamber of deputies. It stressed the need for party expansion. In 1969, in Moscow, an SEW delegation took part in the international conference of Communist and workers’ parties. The SEW subsequently approved the documents of that conference.

In keeping with its rules, the SEW is based on the principles of centralism. It has local organizations in all districts of West Berlin. It has cells in major factories, educational and other institutions, and residential districts. The party’s highest organ is the Congress; between congresses, the Executive Committee carries on party work. The Bureau and the Secretariat are the party’s executive organs. Until 1968, the chairman of the SEW was G. Danelius; since then the chairman has been H. Schmitt. The party’s central press organ is the newspaper Die Wahrheit, and its theoretical organ, the journal Konsequent.

REFERENCES

Protokoll der Verhandlungen des I. Parteitages der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands-Westberlin. . . . Berlin, 1966.
Protokoll der Verhandlungen des II. Parteitages der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Westberlins. Berlin, 1970.
Protokoll der Verhandlungen des IV. Parteitages der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Westberlins. Berlin, 1975.

V. S. RYKIN

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