Friedrich Naumann, Liberal Politician (undated)
Friedrich Naumann (1860-1919) was a Protestant theologian and politician who sought to reconcile Christian values with an industrial economy and liberal democracy. As a young man he translated his theological studies into applied Christianity, directing his efforts toward improving the plight of the working class in industrial society; to this end, he founded the National Social Association [National-Sozialer Verein] in 1896. He aspired to create a Volksstaat [people’s state] to combat both economic uncertainty and increasing secularization: he envisioned a state based on social justice and service, one in which individuals willingly dedicated themselves to the greater good. He was critical of divisive class-consciousness. Naumann served in the Reichstag from 1908 until 1918 and co-founded the German Democratic Party [Deutsche Demokratische Partei, DDP] in 1918.
Source: Theodor Heuß, Friedrich Naumann: Der Mann, Das Werk, Die Zeit. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt: Stuttgart and Berlin, 1937, frontispiece. Photo by Binder, Berlin.