chapter  3
53 Pages

Challenge from the Left: APO, the Buergerinitiativen, and the Greens

WithDiane L. Parness

This chapter examines the relationship between each of the movements and the Social Democratic Party (SPD), and the way the SPD responded to each movement as a political challenger. It shows that the SPD has demonstrated certain continuity in approaching each of the political challenges, first in ignoring the movement as a passing political fad, and then trying to eradicate the movement by absorbing its membership and offering to represent some of its interests. APO, the Burgerinitiativen, and the Greens have each posed major challenges to the SPD's primacy as the established representative of the West German left. More than any other single party leader, Willy Brandt has been responsible for the SPD's approach to APO, the Buergerinitiativen, and the Greens. The Sozialistische Deutsche Studentenbund was founded by the SPD in 1946 as an important element of the SPD's post-war efforts to rebuild its membership.