Born Mar. 7, 1850, in Hanover; died Mar. 31, 1947, in Bern. A prominent figure in the German working-class movement and a Social Democrat. A lawyer by profession.
Ledebour was a Reichstag deputy from 1900 to 1918 and from 1920 to 1924. During World War I he was a centrist, adhering to the right wing of the Zimmerwald movement. In 1917 he was one of the founders and leaders of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany. He opposed the predatory conditions of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty of 1918. As one of the leaders of the “revolutionary elders” in the November 1918 revolution and of the “revolutionary action committee” during the January uprising of 1919, Ledebour displayed hesitation and inconsistency. He opposed the entry of the Independent Social Democratic Party into the Comintern but at the same time resisted its reunification with the Social Democratic Party. Beginning in 1923 he headed a Social Democratic group of little importance, the Socialist League. In the 1930’s he favored a united front with the Communists against fascism. In 1933 he emigrated to Switzerland, where he remained for the rest of his life.