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Social Democratic Electioneering in Berlin (January 1919)
The second Council of People’s Representatives had taken a first important step towards establishing a parliamentary democracy when it scheduled elections for a constituent National Assembly for January 19, 1919. As can be seen in this photo, which was taken in Berlin in January 1919, the SPD – like all other parties – engaged in large-scale campaigning in the run-up to the election. Only two months earlier, on November 12, 1918, a new electoral law had been passed and women had been given the vote for the first time. Accordingly, the various parties made specific appeals to women voters during the election campaign, as the posters addressing mothers and women show. In addition to members of the workers’ and soldiers’ councils, a few female party supporters can be spotted on the truck below as well. Winning 165 seats in the National Assembly, the SPD emerged as the clear winner of the elections on January 19, 1919. On February 13, 1919 the SPD formed a government coalition with the DDP and the Center Party [Zentrum], the so-called “Weimar Coalition.”