German Communist Party

For the former party, see Communist Party of Germany.
German Communist Party
Deutsche Kommunistische Partei
Leader Patrik Köbele
Founded 1968
Headquarters Hoffnungstraße 18, 45127 Essen
Newspaper Unsere Zeit
Youth wing Socialist German Workers Youth
Membership  (2013) 3,500
Ideology Communism,
Political position Far-left
International affiliation International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties
European Parliament group No MEPs
Colours Red
Local seats 25

The German Communist Party (German: Deutsche Kommunistische Partei, DKP) is a minor communist party in Germany.[1] The DKP supports far-left positions and was an observer member of the European Left. At the end of February 2016 it left the European party.[2][3]

Since the end of the German Democratic Republic in 1990 the party reduced its activities. From 2008 to 2013 one member of the DKP was a member of a state parliament.


The DKP considered itself a reconstitution of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which had been banned by the Federal Constitutional Court in 1956 for its aggressively militant opposition to the West German constitution. The new party was formed in 1968 by former KPD functionaries in close cooperation with East Germany's ruling party, the Socialist Unity Party (SED), from which the DKP received both political directives and - through covert transfers - most of its funds.[1]

The foundation was preceded by talks between former KPD functionaries and Gustav Heinemann, the West German minister of justice, who explained to them that while a refounding of a banned party was not legally possible, Communists were free to form an entirely new party.[4] Even though the close links to the banned KPD made the new party liable to be declared illegal, no such declaration was requested by the German government as West German authorities were liberalizing the attitude towards the communist bloc and East Germany in particular.

The DKP remained on the political fringe, never winning more than 0.3% of the total votes in federal elections.[5] It had relatively greater local support in the 1970s: it achieved up to 2.2% of the vote in Hamburg, 3.1% in Bremen and 2.7% in the Saarland. Following German reunification, the DKP entered a steady decline,[1] with many members leaving the party to join the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), the renamed SED. For the 2005 federal elections, the DKP endorsed the ticket of the Left Party, successor to the PDS. As of 2008, its membership has dropped to some 4,000, less than a tenth of its pre-unification strength.

The DKP received national public attention in early 2008 when Christel Wegner, elected to the state parliament of Lower Saxony on the list of the Left Party as the first DKP member of a state parliament, allegedly endorsed the Berlin Wall, the Stasi and other aspects of the East German state in an interview. This caused embarrassment to the national Left Party leadership.[1] Despite denying that she made the controversial statements (at least in the form that was reported) she was expelled from the Left Party faction a few days later.[6]


The party operates a weekly newspaper, unsere Zeit.

Election results


Election year # of total votes % of overall vote # of seats
1972 113,891 0.3% 0
1976 118,581 0.3% 0
1980 71,600 0.2% 0
1983 64,986 0.2% 0
1987 - - -
1990 - - -
1994 - - -
1998 - - -
2002 - - -
2005 - - -
2009 1,894 0.0% 0
2013 - - -

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election year # of total votes % of overall vote # of seats
1979 112,055 0.4% 0
1984 - - -
1989 57,704 0.2% 0
1994 - - -
1999 - - -
2004 37,160 0.1% 0
2009 25,615 0.1% 0
2014 25,204 0.1% 0

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Björn Hengst, Philipp Wittrock (19 February 2008). "Linke zeigt Kommunisten die Rote Karte" (in German). Spiegel Online.
  2. "Für die EU, ohne die DKP". Junge Welt. 29 February 2016. Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  3. "DKP leaves the European Left". 1 March 2016.
  4. Helmut Bilstein u. a., Organisierter Kommunismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Opladen 1977, S. 16.
  5. Deutsche Welle - Wahl 2005
  6. Aktuell
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