Godesberg Program

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The Godesberg Program (German: Godesberger Programm) was the party program outline of the political course of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). It was ratified on 15 November 1959, at an SPD party convention in the town of Bad Godesberg, which is today part of Bonn.

The Godesberg program was notable mainly because with it, for the first time, the SPD forswore some Marxist ideas. In adopting the Godesberg Program, the SPD dropped its Marxism and hostility to capitalism, which had long been the core of party ideology, and sought to move beyond its old working class base to the full spectrum of potential voters, with an appeal to the middle class and to professionals.[dubious ][citation needed]

Labor unions had abandoned the old demands for nationalization and instead cooperated increasingly with industry, achieving labor representation on corporate boards and increases in wages and benefits. The SPD, after losing national elections in 1953 and 1957, thus moved toward an American-style image-driven electoral strategy that stressed personalities, specifically Berlin mayor Willy Brandt.[citation needed] As it prepared for elections in 1961, it proved necessary as well in 1960 to drop opposition to rearmament and to accept NATO.[1]

The Godesberg Program was superseded in 1989 by the Berlin Program, resolved on the 20th of December 1989 at a party congress in Berlin.

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  1. ^ Henry Ashby Turner, The two Germanies since 1945 (1987) p. 80-82

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