Erich Ollenhauer

Last updated
Erich Ollenhauer
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-21272-0001, Erich Ollenhauer.jpg
Leader of the Social Democratic Party
In office
1952–1963
Preceded by Kurt Schumacher
Succeeded by Willy Brandt
President of the Socialist International
In office
1963–1963
Preceded by Alsing Andersen
Succeeded by Bruno Pittermann
Personal details
Born27 March 1901
Magdeburg
Died14 December 1963(1963-12-14) (aged 62)
Bonn
Political party Social Democratic Party of Germany

Erich Ollenhauer (27 March 1901 – 14 December 1963) was the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1952 until 1963.

Contents

Early political career and exile

Ollenhauer was born in Magdeburg and joined the SPD in 1920. When the Nazis took power in 1933 he fled Germany for Prague. After the outbreak of WW2 Ollenhauer travelled across Europe in order to avoid Nazi persecution, first going to Denmark, then France, Spain, Portugal, and eventually London, where he remained until the end of the war. In London, he kept close ties to the Labour Party, which financially supported the expatriate SPD (called SoPaDe ), of which Ollenhauer was a member. He also worked with the Union of German Socialist Organisations in Great Britain. [1]

In February 1946, Ollenhauer returned to Germany. In May the same year, he was voted deputy leader of the SPD, behind Kurt Schumacher. Ollenhauer entered the Bundestag after the 1949 German federal elections.

Leadership of the SPD

After Schumacher's unexpected death in 1952, the SPD elected Ollenhauer as its leader. He ran as the SPD's candidate for Chancellor of Germany in the 1953 and 1957 German elections, both of which were lost to Konrad Adenauer's CDU.

In 1957, Ollenhauer called for a trans-European security alliance (in place of NATO and the Warsaw Pact), in which a reunified Germany would serve as an equal partner. The plan was then denounced as radical, but it helped pave the way for Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik and indirectly influencing some developments within the European Union, such as a European common security policy, and the eventual reunification of Germany. Ollenhauer's proposal is also known as the Ollenhauer Plan.

In 1961, Ollenhauer declined to run for Chancellor a third time and instead supported the candidacy of Berlin mayor Willy Brandt.

Ollenhauer died in Bonn on 14 December 1963 from pulmonary embolism.

Related Research Articles

Free Democratic Party (Germany) Political party in Germany

The Free Democratic Party is a liberal and classical liberal political party in Germany. The FDP is led by Christian Lindner.

Konrad Adenauer German statesman, Federal Chancellor of Germany, politician (CDU)

Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a German statesman who served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1963. He was co-founder and first leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), a Christian Democratic party that under his leadership became one of the most influential parties in the country.

Kurt Georg Kiesinger Chancellor of West Germany (1966–1969), CDU

Kurt Georg Kiesinger was a German politician who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1 December 1966 to 21 October 1969. Before he became Chancellor he served as Minister President of Baden-Württemberg from 1958 to 1966 and as President of the Federal Council from 1962 to 1963. He was Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union from 1967 to 1971.

Willy Brandt Chancellor of West Germany (1969–1974), SPD

Willy Brandt was a German politician and statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC and to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe. He was the first Social Democrat chancellor since 1930.

Christian Democratic Union of Germany political party in Germany

The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian democratic and liberal conservative political party in Germany. It is the major catch-all party of the centre-right in German politics.

Social Democratic Party of Germany centre-left political party in Germany

The Social Democratic Party of Germany is a social-democratic, political party in Germany. It is one of the two major contemporary political parties in Germany along with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

<i>Ostpolitik</i>

Neue Ostpolitik, or Ostpolitik for short, was the normalization of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Eastern Europe, particularly the German Democratic Republic beginning in 1969. Influenced by Egon Bahr, who proposed "change through rapprochement" in a 1963 speech at the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing, the policies were implemented beginning with Willy Brandt, fourth Chancellor of the FRG from 1969 to 1974.

Kurt Schumacher German politician

Kurt Ernst Carl Schumacher was a German social democratic politician, who served as chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany from 1946 and was the first Leader of the Opposition in the West German Bundestag from 1949 until his death in 1952. An opponent of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's government, but an even stronger opponent of the East German Socialist Unity Party and communism in general, he was one of the founding fathers of post-war German democracy. He was also a noted opponent of the far-right and the far-left, i.e. the Nazi Party and the Communist Party of Germany, during the Weimar Republic, and is famous for his description of the communists as "red-painted Nazis.".

Herbert Wehner German politician (KPD, SPD)

Herbert Richard Wehner was a German politician. A former member of the Communist Party, he joined the Social Democrats (SPD) after World War II. He served as Federal Minister of Intra-German Relations from 1966 to 1969 and thereafter as chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag until 1983.

1972 West German federal election election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 19 November 1972 to elect the members of the 7th Bundestag. In the first snap elections since 1949, the Social Democratic Party for the first time in the history of the second German republic became the largest party in the Bundestag, winning 242 of the 518 seats. The coalition with the Free Democratic Party was resumed.

1969 West German federal election election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 28 September 1969 to elect the members of the 6th Bundestag. The CDU/CSU remained the largest faction and the Social Democratic Party remained the largest single party in the Bundestag, winning 237 of the 518 seats. After the election, the SPD formed a coalition with the Free Democratic Party and SPD leader Willy Brandt became Chancellor.

1961 West German federal election election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 17 September 1961 to elect the members of the fourth Bundestag. CDU/CSU remained the largest faction, while the Social Democratic Party narrowly became the largest individual party in the Bundestag, winning 203 of the 521 seats.

1957 West German federal election election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 15 September 1957 to elect the third Bundestag. The Christian Democratic Union and its longtime ally, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, won a sweeping victory, taking 277 seats in the Bundestag to win the first — and to date, only — absolute majority for a single German parliamentary group in a free election.

1953 West German federal election Election

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 6 September 1953 to elect the second Bundestag. The Christian Democratic Union emerged as the largest party.

1949 West German federal election Federal elections held in West Germany on 14 August 1949

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 14 August 1949 to elect the first Bundestag, with a further eight seats elected in West Berlin between 1949 and January 1952 and another eleven between February 1952 and 1953. They were the first free elections in West Germany since 1933 and the first after the division of the country.

Fritz Bauer was a German Jewish judge and prosecutor. He was instrumental in the post-war capture of former Holocaust planner Adolf Eichmann and also played an essential role in starting the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials.

Annemarie Renger German politician

Annemarie Renger, , was a German politician for the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

Gerhard Jahn German politician

Gerhard Jahn was a German politician and a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). He was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1967 to 1969, and Federal Minister of Justice from 1969 to 1974.

Fritz Heine German publisher

Fritz Heine was a German politician (SPD). He also involved himself in political journalism and newspaper publishing.

Willi Birkelbach German politician

Willi Birkelbach was a West German politician (SPD). He was a member of the West German Bundestag between 1949 and 1964. Between 1952 and 1964 he also served as an increasingly prominent Member of the European Parliament.

References

  1. Erich Ollenhauer, "Möglichkeiten und Aufgaben" Friedrich Ebert Foundation, official website. Presentation at the Union membership meeting, London. (December 6, 1942) Retrieved July 20, 2010 (in German)
Party political offices
Preceded by
Kurt Schumacher
Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany
19521963
Succeeded by
Willy Brandt
Preceded by
Alsing Andersen
President of the Socialist International
1963
Succeeded by
Bruno Pittermann