German Party (1947)

The German Party (Deutsche Partei, DP) was a national-conservative political party in West Germany during the post-war years.


In 1945 the Lower Saxony National Party (Niedersächsische Landespartei, acronym: NLP) was founded as a re-creation of the regionalist German-Hanoverian Party (or German Party) that had been active in the period between the creation of the German Empire in 1871 and the Nazi Party's seizure of power in 1933. Two groups of people initiated the process: one around Ludwig Alpers and Heinrich Hellwege in Stade, the other around Georg Ludewig, Karl Biester, Wolfgang Kwiecinski, and Arthur Menge in Hanover.[1] On May 23, 1946 Heinrich Hellwege, Landrat in Stade, was formally elected to serve as chairman of the NLP.[2] The NLP aimed principally at the establishment of a Lower Saxon state within a federal Germany as well as representing Christian conservatism.[3]

In 1947, a year after the establishment of Lower Saxony as a state, the party reverted to its former name of the German Party. It soon expanded into neighbouring states under the chairmanship of Heinrich Hellwege and gained 27 seats (18.1 per cent of the total) in the first Lower Saxon Landtag election in 1947[4] It sent two delegates to Bonn to serve in the constitutional convention (Parlamentarischer Rat) of 1948/49. The German Party was among the parties that supported a market economy in the Bizonal Economic Council, thus laying the groundwork for the "bourgeois coalition" in power in Bonn between 1949 and 1956.


In the 1949 federal election the party received 4% of the national vote and won 18 seats. As a result, it became a coalition partner of the Christian Democrats (CDU), the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Free Democrats (FDP) in the government of Konrad Adenauer. The DP vote fell to 3.3% with 15 seats in the 1953 election, although it retained its place in the governing coalition and again in 1957 when the DP went back up to 17 seats with 3.4% of the vote. A short-lived Free People's Party (FVP) had been formed in 1956 by Franz Blücher, Fritz Neumayer and others who had left the Free Democrats (FDP), but the following year the FVP merged into the German Party,[5] possibly contributing to a slight increase in the DP vote in 1957. German Party ministers in these governments were Heinrich Hellwege (1949–1955), Hans-Joachim von Merkatz (1955–1960) and Hans-Christoph Seebohm (1949–1960). In 1955 Hellwege resigned his federal office to become Premier/ Prime Minister of Lower Saxony.

The party opposed a planned economy, land reform and co-determination and sought to represent those who had served in the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS. The German Party of the 1950s has been characterized as a "party of indigenous Lower Saxonian middle class", that featured extremely "states' rights, monarchist and partially also nationalist (völkisch) positions".[6]


The German Party had been instrumental in setting an electoral threshold (either five per cent of the national vote or alternatively three constituency seats) for all parties contesting a federal election and this led to problems when the CDU refused to allow German Party candidates a free run for a reasonable number of constituency seats as it had done in 1957.[7] With the DP facing elimination from the Bundestag, nine of its 17 parliamentary incumbents left the party to join the CDU. As a result, the German Party quit the government in 1960, a year before the next federal election, and merged with the refugees' party (All-German Bloc/League of Expellees and Deprived of Rights) to form the All-German Party (Gesamtdeutsche Partei, GDP).

However, 2.8 per cent of the vote in the 1961 federal election did not win the GDP representation in the national parliament (Bundestag).[8] A merger of two parties, which represented opposing voter clienteles (indigenous peasants of Lower Saxony and German expellees and refugees from the eastern territories), had turned into a political disaster unforeseen by the national party elites.[9] The last time the DP entered a State parliament was when they won four deputies in the Bremen state election of 1963. A year later, however, these deputies were involved in the founding of the far right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).


  1. ^ Nathusius, Ingo: Am rechten rand der Union. Der Weg der Deutschen Partei bis 1953. Mainz: Ph.D.dissertation, 1992, pp. 22-24.
  2. ^ For details see Rode, Norbert (1981). "Zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Niedersächsischen Landespartei/Deutsche Partei (NLP/DP)". Niedersächsisches Jahrbuch für Landesgeschichte. 53: 292. ISSN 0078-0561.
  3. ^ Klein, Michael (2005). Westdeutscher Protestantismus und politische Parteien. Anti-Parteien-Mentalität und parteipollitisches Engagement von 1945 bis 1963. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. pp. 292–297.
  4. ^ Gerhard A. Ritter and Merith Niehuss, Wahlen in Deutschland 1946-1991. Ein Handbuch. Munich: C. H. Beck, 1991, p. 147.
  5. ^ Frank Wende: Lexikon zur Geschichte der Parteien in Europa. Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner Verlag, 1981, pp. 104-5.
  6. ^ Horst W. Schmollinger: Die Deutsche Partei, in: Richard Stöss (ed.): Parteien-Handbuch. Die Parteien in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 1945-1980, 2nd ed., Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1986), vol. 2, pp. 1071–1073, quotes on p. 1073.
  7. ^ Fritz Sänger and Klaus Liepelt: Wahlhandbuch 1965, Frankfurt: Europäische Verlagsanstalt, 1965, section 2.22, pp. 13-14.
  8. ^ Peter Schindler: Datenhandbuch zur Geschichte des Deutschen Bundestages 1949 bis 1982, Bonn: Deutscher Bundestag, 1983, p. 36.
  9. ^ Karl-Heinz Nassmacher et al.: Parteien im Abstieg. Wiederbegründung und Niedergang der Bauern- und Bürgerparteien in Niedersachsen. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1989, pp. 142, 145, 147, 229-30.


  • Rudolph Holzgräber: 'Die Deutsche Partei. Partei eines neuen Konservativismus', in: Max Gustav Lange et al., Parteien in der Bundesrepublik. Studien zur Entwicklung der deutschen Parteien bis zur Bundestagswahl 1953. Stuttgart: Ring-Verlag, 1955, pp. 407–449.
  • Hermann Meyn: Die Deutsche Partei. Entwicklung und Problematik einer national-konservativen Rechtspartei nach 1945. Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1965.
  • Hermann Meyn: 'Die Deutsche Partei. Ursachen des Scheitern einer national-konservativen Rechtspartei im Nachkriegsdeutschland', in: Politische Vierteljahresschrift, vol. 6, 1965, pp. 42–57.
  • Horst W. Schmollinger, 'Die Deutsche Partei', in: Richard Stöss (ed.), Parteien-Handbuch. 2nd ed., Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1986, vol. 2, pp. 1025–1111, ISBN 3-531-11838-2.
  • Karl-Heinz Nassmacher et al.: Parteien im Abstieg. Wiederbegründung und Niedergang der Bauern- und Bürgerparteien in Niedersachsen. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1989, ISBN 3-531-12084-0.
  • Ingo Nathusius: Am rechten Rand der Union. Der Weg der Deutschen Partei bis 1953, phil. Diss., Mainz 1992 (no ISBN available).
  • Michael Kle[in: Westdeutscher Protestantismus und politische Parteien. Anti-Parteien-Mentalität und parteipollitisches Engagement von 1945 bis 1963, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005, ISBN 3-16-148493-2.

Alerheim is a municipality in the district of Donau-Ries in Bavaria in Germany.

Arthur Menge

Arthur Mengeh (Known as Arthur Menge in German) (Born April 2, 1884 - died May 16, 1965) was a German politician who was the mayor of Hanover from 1925 to 1937.

Carl-Alfred Schumacher

Generalmajor Carl-Alfred (August) Schumacher (19 February 1896, Rheine – 22 May 1967, Bad Godesberg) was a German military officer and politician. During World War II, Schumacher served in the German Luftwaffe, commanding the Jagdgeschwader 1 (JG 1) fighter wing. After World War II, Schumacher was an active politician and elected member of the Landtag in Lower Saxony (1951–1963).

Franz Blücher

Franz Blücher (24 March 1896 – 26 March 1959) was a German politician and member of the German Parliament (Bundestag).

Blücher was born in Essen, Rhine Province, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire.

After the end of World War II, Blücher was one of the founders of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and served as chairman in the British occupation zone (1946-1949) and as Federal Chairman (1949-1954).

From 1949 to 1957, he was a member of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's cabinet. As representative of the second-largest government party, he was the first Vice-Chancellor of Germany (West Germany) and also held the Ministry for Matters of the Marshall Plan, which in 1953 was renamed Ministry for Economic Cooperation.

In 1956, he - along with other fifteen ministers and parliamentarians - sided with Chancellor Adenauer against his party and formed the Free People's Party (FVP), which early in 1957 merged with the German Party (DP).

Franz Blücher died on 26 March 1959 in Bad Godesberg, Bonn, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany.

German Party

The German Party may refer to:

The German-Hanoverian Party - A regionalist party based in the old Kingdom of Hanover

The German Party (1947) - A regionalist and conservative political party and governing coalition party

The German Party (1961) - A minor defunct German conservative party

The German Party (1993) - A small right wing party active in Germany

The German Party (Romania)

The German Party (Slovakia)

The German Party (Yugoslavia)

The German Party of the Zips

German nationalism

German nationalism is the nationalist idea that Germans are a nation, promotes the unity of Germans and German-speakers into a nation state, and emphasizes and takes pride in the national identity of Germans. The earliest origins of German nationalism began with the birth of romantic nationalism during the Napoleonic Wars when Pan-Germanism started to rise. Advocacy of a German nation-state began to become an important political force in response to the invasion of German territories by France under Napoleon.

In the 19th century Germans debated the German Question over whether the German nation state should comprise a "Lesser Germany" that excluded Austria or a "Greater Germany" that included Austria. The faction led by Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck succeeded in forging a Lesser Germany.Aggressive German nationalism and territorial expansion was a key factor leading to both World Wars. Prior to World War I, Germany had established a colonial empire in hopes of rivaling Britain and France. In the 1930s, the Nazis came to power and sought to create a Greater Germanic Reich, emphasizing ethnic German identity and German greatness to the exclusion of all others, eventually leading to the extermination of Jews, Poles, Romani, and other people deemed Untermenschen (subhumans) in the Holocaust during World War II.

After the defeat of Nazi Germany, the country was divided into East and West Germany in the opening acts of the Cold War, and each state retained a sense of German identity and held reunification as a goal, albeit in different contexts. The creation of the European Union was in part an effort to harness German identity to a European identity. West Germany underwent its economic miracle following the war, which led to the creation of guest worker program; many of these workers ended up settling in Germany which has led to tensions around questions of national and cultural identity, especially with regard to Turks who settled in Germany.

German reunification was achieved in 1990 following Die Wende; an event that caused some alarm both inside and outside Germany. Germany has emerged as a power inside Europe and in the world; its role in the European debt crisis and in the European migrant crisis have led to criticism of German authoritarian abuse of its power, especially with regard to the Greek debt crisis, and raised questions within and without Germany as to Germany's role in the world.

Due to post-1945 repudiation of the Nazi regime and its atrocities, German nationalism has been generally viewed in the country as taboo and people within Germany have struggled to find ways to acknowledge its past but take pride in its past and present accomplishments; the German question has never been fully resolved in this regard. A wave of national pride swept the country when it hosted the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Far-right parties that stress German national identity and pride have existed since the end of World War II but have never governed.

Hans-Christoph Seebohm

Hans-Christoph Seebohm (4 August 1903 – 17 September 1967) was a German politician of the national conservative German Party (Deutsche Partei, DP) and after 1960 the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). He was Federal Minister of Transport for 17 years and the fourth Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1966.

Hans-Joachim von Merkatz

Hans-Joachim von Merkatz (7 July 1905 – 25 February 1982) was a German politician. He was Federal Minister of Justice from 1956 to 1957. He was a member of the Bundestag from 1949 to 1961. He was a member of the German Party before joining the Christian Democrats in 1960.

Hasso von Manteuffel

Hasso von Manteuffel (14 January 1897 – 24 September 1978) was a German general during World War II who commanded the 5th Panzer Army. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds of Nazi Germany.

After the war, he was elected to the Bundestag (West German legislature) and was the spokesman for defense of the Liberal Party. A proponent of rearmament, he was responsible for coining the new name for the post-World War II German armed forces, the Bundeswehr.

Heinrich Hellwege

Heinrich Peter Hellwege (born 18 August 1908 in Neuenkirchen; died 4 October 1991 in Neuenkirchen) was a German politician (DHP, DP and CDU). Hellwege was Federal Minister for Affairs of the Federal Council (1949–1955) and Minister President of Lower Saxony (1955–1959).

When he left secondary school in 1926 he started to work as a commercial clerk in Hamburg until in 1933 he joined the family business for six years. During World War II he served with the air force. After the war he turned into a political entrepreneur who restarted a political party, the Niedersächsische Landespartei (NLP), later on to be renamed DP, and began his own political career. The first and the last position held by Hellwege was M.P. in the state legislature of Lower Saxony (1947–49 and 1959–63). Between 1947 and 1961 he was national chairman of the German Party (Deutsche Partei). When his party, the DP, started to fade away he joined the Christian Democratic Union (1961–79) without ever being a candidate for that party.

Heinrich Schild

Heinrich Schild (October 22, 1895 – February 18, 1978) was a German politician. He was a member of the German Party (DP), and later joined the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU).

Hubertus, Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg

Prince Hubertus zu Loewenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg (October 14, 1906 – November 28, 1984) was a German historian and political figure who was an early opponent of Adolf Hitler. He fled Germany and helped to promote anti-Nazism in the United States. He was a former member of Parliament, and was the author of over 40 books. He was the head of the Free German Authors Association, and was decorated by Pope John XXIII for work toward reconciliation between the Roman Catholic and the Greek Orthodox church.Prince Hubertus was instrumental in returning the island Helgoland to West-Germany from Britain which used this high-sea island for bombing trainings after World War II. He was survived by his wife, Princess Helga, and his three daughters, Princess Elisabeth, Princess Konstanza, and Margarethe von Schwarzkopf, a successful journalist in her own rights.

Margot Kalinke

Margot Kalinke (born 23 April 1909 in Barcin, Poland, died 25 November 1981 in Munich, Germany) was a German politician of the German Party and later the Christian Democratic Union.

Paul Schmidt (interpreter)

Paul-Otto Schmidt (23 June 1899 - 21 April 1970) was an interpreter in the German foreign ministry from 1923 to 1945. During his career, he served as the translator for Neville Chamberlain's negotiations with Adolf Hitler over the Munich Agreement, the British Declaration of War and the surrender of France.

Walter Ohmsen

Walter Ohmsen (7 June 1911 – 19 February 1988) was a highly decorated Oberleutnant zur See in the Kriegsmarine during World War II. On 6 June 1944 the Western Allies launched Operation Overlord, the amphibious invasion of Normandy, France. Ohmsen was the first German defender of Fortress Europe to sight the invasion force. His battery engaged in heavy fighting and subsequently Ohmsen was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes) for the defense of the Crisbecq Battery against the American 4th Infantry Division, which landed on Utah Beach. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross recognised extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership.

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