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Born Mar. 27, 1901, in Magdeburg; died Dec. 14, 1963, in Bonn. Reformist leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDPG), in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
Ollenhauer was secretary of the Socialist Youth International from 1921 to 1946 and chairman of the executive board of the German Socialist Workers’ Youth (Sozialistische Arbeiter-jugend) from 1928 to 1933. He was an émigré in Prague, Paris, and London from 1933 to 1946. Vice-chairman of the SDPG from 1946 to 1952 and chairman from 1952, Ollenhauer was deputy to the Bundestag of the FRG from 1949. He was also a vice-chairman of the Socialist International, becoming chairman in September 1963.
An anticommunist, Ollenhauer was instrumental in the adoption of the Bad Godesberg Program (1959), which signified a complete abandonment of Marxism by the SDPG. In the last years of his life he supported the policy of Bonn’s ruling circles aimed at strengthening the FRG’s positions in NATO and stepping up West Germany’s war potential.