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SPD Party Conference in Breslau (October 6-12, 1895)
This photograph shows (from left to right) August Bebel (1840-1913), Werner Sombart (1863-1941), and Friedrich Naumann (1860-1919) in the streets of Breslau, where the Social Democratic Party held its party conference from October 6-12, 1895. Sombart, an economist and sociologist at the University of Breslau from 1890-1906, was originally a “socialist of the lectern” and follower of Karl Marx. During his early career, he published various works on socialist thought. Sombart eventually became an anti-Marxist, however, and advocated social-conservative values that anticipated National Socialist ideas. Originally active as a Protestant pastor, Naumann had been influenced for some time by Adolf Stöcker’s (1835-1909) Christian Socialist movement. In 1895, he launched the weekly journal Die Hilfe, which promoted a national liberal socialism. A year later, he founded the National Social Association, which made an unsuccessful attempt to reform German Protestantism. Around the same time, Naumann joined the left-liberals and focused his attention on combining the social and national idea and winning workers for the nation and the state. Both Naumann and Sombart participated in controversial debates on reforming the SPD at the Breslau conference. October 6-12, 1895, photo by unknown photographer.