The conquest of political power by the working class is the basic prerequisite for the creation of a socialist order in society. To this end the working class allies itself with the other working men and women.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany fights for this new state on the basis of the democratic republic.
The present special situation in Germany, which has arisen as a result of the breaking up of the reactionary state power apparatus and the creation of a democratic state on a new economic foundation, includes the possibility of preventing reactionary forces from blocking the final liberation of the working class by the use of force and of civil war. The Socialist Unity Party of Germany aims at the achievement of socialism by democratic means; but it will resort to revolutionary means if the capitalist class departs from the basis of democracy.
III. THE NATURE OF THE SOCIALIST UNITY PARTY OF GERMANY
It is the historic task of the united workers' movement to shape the fight of the working class and the working people consciously and uniformly. The Socialist Unity Party of Germany must direct the present endeavors of the working class in the direction of a fight for socialism and must lead the working class and all working people towards the fulfillment of this, their historic mission.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany can only conduct its struggle successfully if it unites the best and most advanced forces of the working people and becomes, by representing their interests, the party of the working people.
This fighting organization is based on the democratic right of decision of its members, the democratic election of all Party leaders, and the fact that all members, delegates, deputies, and leaders of the Party are bound by its decisions which are democratically arrived at.
The interests of the working people are the same in all countries with a capitalist system of production. Therefore the Socialist Unity Party of Germany declares its solidarity with the class-conscious workers of all countries. It feels at one with the peace-loving and democratic peoples of the whole world.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany fights, as an independent party in its own country, for the true national interests of its own people. As a German socialist party it is the most progressive and the best national force which fights with all its strength and all its energy against particularist tendencies and for the economic, cultural, and political unity of Germany.
The Socialist Unity Party of Germany will adopt a program based on these principles and postulates; it will be submitted to the members by the party executive and will be made the subject of a resolution by the next ordinary party congress.
The unity of the socialist movement is the best guarantee of the unity of Germany! It will secure the victory of socialism! Socialism is the banner of the future! Under its banner we shall triumph!
Source: Principles and Aims of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (April 21, 1946), in Dokumente der Sozialistischen Einheitspartei Deutschlands [Documents of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany], I. 5; reprinted in Beata Ruhm von Oppen, ed., Documents on Germany under Occupation, 1945-1954. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1955, pp. 121-25.