German Communist Party
|German Communist Party
Deutsche Kommunistische Partei
|Headquarters||Hoffnungstraße 18, 45127 Essen|
|Youth wing||Socialist German Workers Youth|
|International affiliation||International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties|
|European Parliament group||None|
|Seats in the Regional Parliaments|
The DKP considered itself a reconstitution of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which had been banned by the Federal Constitutional Court in 1956 for its aggressively militant opposition to the West German constitution. The new party was formed in 1968 by former KPD functionaries in close cooperation with the East Germany's ruling party, the Socialist Unity Party (SED), from which the DKP received both political directives and - through covert transfers - most of its funds.
The foundation was preceded by talks between former KPD functionaries and Gustav Heinemann, the West German minister of justice, who explained to them that while a refounding of a banned party was not legally possible, Communists were free to form an entirely new party. Even though the close links to the banned KPD made the new party liable to be declared illegal, no such declaration was requested by the German government as West German authorities were liberalizing the attitude towards the communist bloc and East Germany in particular.
The DKP remained on the political fringe, never winning more than 0.3% of the total votes in federal elections. It had relatively greater local support in the 1970s: it achieved up to 2.2% of the vote in Hamburg, 3.1% in Bremen and 2.7% in the Saarland. Following German reunification, the DKP entered a steady decline, with many members leaving the party to join the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the renamed SED. For the 2005 federal elections, the DKP endorsed the ticket of the Left Party, successor to the PDS. As of 2008, its membership has dropped to some 4,000, less than a tenth of its pre-unification strength.
The DKP received national public attention in early 2008 when Christel Wegner, elected to the state parliament of Lower Saxony on the list of the Left Party as the first DKP member of a state parliament, allegedly endorsed the Berlin Wall, the Stasi and other aspects of the East German state in an interview. This caused embarrassment to the national Left Party leadership. Despite denying that she made the controversial statements (at least in the form that was reported) she was expelled from the Left Party faction a few days later.
The party operates a weekly newspaper, unsere Zeit.
- 2009: 1.894 0,0%
- Björn Hengst, Philipp Wittrock (19 February 2008). "Linke zeigt Kommunisten die Rote Karte" (in German). Spiegel Online.
- Helmut Bilstein u. a., Organisierter Kommunismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Opladen 1977, S. 16.
- Deutsche Welle - Wahl 2005
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: German Communist Party|
- 30 Year history, a speech
- Documents of the foundation
- Unsere Zeit (UZ) Socialist Weekly Newspaper
- 50,000 People Attend German Communist Party Media Fair People's Weekly World, June 22, 2009