The Fall of the Wall
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Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (German Social Democratic Party) founded in 1890. The SPD evolved from the workers parties which had been shaped by the ideas of Ferdinand Lasalle, August Bebel, Wilhelm Liebknecht and by Marxist ideas. Originally, the SPD had the objective of re-organising the economic, social and political conditions with democratic means. By not advocating revolutionary methods, it clearly disassociated itself from the KPD. In 1946, the SPD unfolded in the SED in the Soviet zone of occupation under pressure form the Soviet Union. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the SPD under the chairmanship of Erich Ollenhauer moved away from Marxism in 1959 in the Godesberger programme. In 1966, the SPD formed the Large Coalition with the CDU and thereby for the first time had a hand in the running of the Federal Government. From 1969 to 1982, it governed within the framework of the Small Coalition with the FDP. Willy Brandt was party chairman between 1964 and 1987 and Federal Chancellor from 1969 until 1974: Helmut Schmidt was Federal Chancellor from 1974 until 1982.

At the time of the changeover Hans-Jochen Vogel was chairman of the SPD. At the unification party congress on 26th-27th September 1990, the SPD-East united with the SPD-West. Since 1998, the SPD is back in Government in coalition with the party Bündnis 90/Die Grünen under Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

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