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German Social Democratic Party (SPD): Call to Rebuild the Party Organization (June 15, 1945)

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The most basic requirement of this new state is the complete elimination of all remnants of fascist tyranny. Likewise, militarism must be banished from the hearts and minds of the people. Our youth, spiritually uprooted by fascism, must again be raised as free and discerning individuals.

The new state must make amends for the sins committed against the victims of fascism. It must make amends for the crimes that fascist rapacity committed against the nations of Europe. Above all, this state must give the German people the economic and moral strength necessary to accomplish this superhuman task.

This is why the Social Democratic Party of Germany calls for:

1. Complete elimination of all traces of the Hitler regime in legislation, jurisprudence, and state administration. An untarnished state based on justice and fairness. Public liability for members of the NSDAP and its organizations for the damage caused by the Nazi regime.

2. Securing of the food supply. The provision of labor and cooperative consolidation in agriculture. The import of commodities, feed, and livestock to increase fat supplies. The promotion of consumer cooperatives and the reorganization of the retail trade.

3. Fulfillment of the broad masses’ basic need for housing, clothing, and heating with help from local self-government.

4. Reconstruction of the economy with participation from local self-government and unions. Accelerated restoration of the means of transportation. Procurement of raw materials. Elimination of all impediments to private-sector entrepreneurial initiative, provided that public interests are protected. Elimination of Nazi over-organization of the economy. Clear and simple rebuilding of economic associations managed by volunteers. Rebuilding of the monetary system. Stabilization of the currency. Communal loans for industry, the skilled trades, and commerce. Revival of non-cash payment transactions. Simplification of the tax system through the strictest consolidation of different types of taxes. Greater consideration for the taxpayer’s social situation in the assessment of taxes.

5. Building up of a national culture. Education of the youth in a democratic, socialist spirit. Promotion of the arts and sciences.

6. Re-drafting of social legislation. Liberal and democratic shaping of labor law. Integration of works councils into the economy. Participation of unions and consumer cooperatives in the organization of the economy. Expansion of social security to provide for the sick, pregnant women and mothers, invalids and accident victims, widows, orphans, war invalids, and the unemployed. Inclusion of all working people in the social welfare system.

7. Promotion of housing provisioning and development, communal oversight of housing. Adjustment of rents and mortgages to the economic situation caused by the war. Division of large landholdings to create land for urban dwellers willing to relocate. Relocation of small and medium-sized industrial enterprises to rural districts with favorable economic conditions.

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