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Party of Democratic Socialism (Germany)

Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus / PDS

Last modified: 2002-06-14 by santiago dotor
Keywords: germany | politics | party of democratic socialism | partei des demokratischen sozialismus | pds | letters: 3 (white) | panel (white) | letters: 3 (red) |
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[Party of Democratic Socialism (Germany)] 3:5
by Marcus Schmöger

See also:


The PDS is the successor party of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands or SED), the ruling party of the former German Democratic Republic. The SED was founded 1946 by a forced unification of the KPD and SPD in the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany. In 1989 after the fall of the Mauer [the Berlin Wall] it renamed itself SED-PDS, and since February 1990 only PDS.

The PDS has now about 94,000 members, many of them former SED members. It contains a mixture of many different left positions. There are many that can be called 'left social democrats', but also a decidedly communist group, the Kommunistische Plattform (Communist Platform); furthermore the party attracts left autonomous, pacifist and environmentalist people. However the main basis of the party and its voters is a sort of a nostalgic attitude to the former German Democratic Republic.

The PDS is mainly a regional party of the eastern Länder, the former German Democratic Republic. There it is found in the parliaments of all LänderMecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Thuringia and Berlin— as the third-largest or even second-largest party. The PDS is in the coalition government with the SPD in Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania and is tolerating the SPD minority government in Saxony-Anhalt. It never gained a seat in one of the parliaments of the western Länder. Since 1990 the PDS is also in the federal parliament, the Bundestag, and since 1998 in the European Parliament.

Marcus Schmöger, 14 August 2000


The former SED used a red flag with two clasped hands, the party symbol. The PDS dropped the use of the SED symbols in January 1990. The PDS uses as a logo just the letters PDS in italics. This logo can be found on flags, most often as a red flag with white letters in the center. However, there are also flags having the letters in the canton or as red letters on a white parallelogramm in the canton. The flags can be seen quite often during demonstrations. Sources:

Marcus Schmöger, 14 August 2000

Flag 1990-1993

[Party of Democratic Socialism 1990-1993 (Germany)] 3:5
by Marcus Schmöger

In November 1989, the peaceful revolution took place in East Germany. On the 17th December 1989 the name of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany was altered to Socialist Unity Party of Germany-Party of Democratic Socialism (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands-Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus or SED-PDS). As early as 4th February 1990 the name was changed again to simply Party of Democratic Socialism (Partei des Demokratischen Sozialismus or PDS). The party used a red flag with a white canton, in the canton the red initials PDS. Since 1993, the white initials are used alone on the red field.

Jens Pattke, 21 March 2001

Flag Variant

[Party of Democratic Socialism (Germany), variant] 3:5
by Marcus Schmöger

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