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Weimar ThoughtA Contested Legacy$
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Peter E. Gordon and John P. McCormick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135106.001.0001

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The Weimar Left

The Weimar Left

Theory and Practice

Chapter:
(p.377) 18 The Weimar Left
Source:
Weimar Thought
Author(s):

Martin Jay

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691135106.003.0019

This chapter challenges long-perpetuated and exaggerated narratives concerning the mistakes and missed opportunities of the German Left during the Republic: neither the brutal repression of radical socialists at the Republic's birth nor recurrent fissures between the Social Democrats and Communists throughout its history guaranteed either the collapse of the Republic or a diminishing influence of the Social Democrats (SPD) within it. Ultimately, however uninevitable were the disastrous outcomes that befell the Republic and especially members of the Left. The chapter argues that a fresh engagement with Weimar political history might serve as lessons for future socialist movements within liberal and social democracies.

Keywords:   German Left, Social Democrats, political history, social movements, democracy, Weimar Republic

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