Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany


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Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany

 

(Unabhangige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands; USPD), a party founded in April 1917 out of the left-wing German Social Democrats who had broken away from the Social Democratic Party of Germany because they disagreed with the policy of “class peace.” However, opportunists with a centrist outlook, such as K. Kautsky and H. Haase, took control of the party. During the November Revolution of 1918 the right-wing USPD leaders, although they spoke radically, actually helped preserve the bourgeois order. As a consequence, dissatisfaction among the rank-and-file party members grew.

The revolutionary Spartacus group, which was part of the USPD, was reorganized as the Spartacist League in November 1918. In late 1918 the league left the USPD, becoming the nucleus for the Communist Party of Germany. At the Halle Congress of the USPD in October 1920 the delegates voted 237 to 156 to join the Comintern, and in December 1920 the USPD, whose members included such outstanding proletarian fighters as E. Thálmann, merged with the Communist Party. A small group of right-wing Independents, headed by the opportunist leaders, refused to join the Communists, and in 1922 the group returned to the Social Democratic Party.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See index, part 1, p. 418.)
Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung, vols. 2–3. Berlin, 1966.

L. I. GINTSBERG

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