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Party of Democratic Socialism 1990-2005 (Germany)

partei des demokratischen sozialismus (pds), currently linkspartei

Last modified: 2012-12-29 by pete loeser
Keywords: party of democratic socialism | partei des demokratischen sozialismus | pds | letters: 3 (white) | dove (white) |
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[Party of Democratic Socialism (Germany)] Image by Marcus Schmöger

On this page: See also:

Introduction

    The PDS is the successor party of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands or SED), the ruling party of the former German Democratic Republic. The SED was founded 1946 by a forced unification of the KPD and SPD in the Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany. In 1989 after the fall of the Mauer [the Berlin Wall] it renamed itself SED-PDS, and since February 1990 only PDS.
    The PDS has now about 94,000 members, many of them former SED members. It contains a mixture of many different left positions. There are many that can be called 'left social democrats', but also a decidedly communist group, the Kommunistische Plattform (Communist Platform); furthermore the party attracts left autonomous, pacifist and environmentalist people. However the main basis of the party and its voters is a sort of a nostalgic attitude to the former German Democratic Republic.
    The PDS is mainly a regional party of the eastern Länder, the former German Democratic Republic. There it is found in the parliaments of all LänderMecklenburg-Hither Pomerania, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Thuringia and Berlin— as the third-largest or even second-largest party. The PDS is in the coalition government with the SPD in Mecklenburg-Hither Pomerania and is tolerating the SPD minority government in Saxony-Anhalt. It never gained a seat in one of the parliaments of the western Länder. Since 1990 the PDS is also in the federal parliament, the Bundestag, and since 1998 in the European Parliament.
Marcus Schmöger, 14 August 2000

One of the big winners of the German elections on 18 September 2005 was the Linkspartei (Left Party), basically the former PDS. They changed their name in July 2005 to accomplish a unification of the party with the new West German left movement WASG (Arbeit & soziale Gerechtigkeit — Die Wahlalternative, Labour and Social Justice — the Electoral Alternative), that also includes former SPD chairman Oskar Lafontaine.
Marcus Schmöger, 22 September 2005


Description

The former SED used a red flag with two clasped hands, the party symbol. The PDS dropped the use of the SED symbols in January 1990. The PDS uses as a logo just the letters PDS in italics. This logo can be found on flags, most often as a red flag with white letters in the center. However, there are also flags having the letters in the canton or as red letters on a white parallelogramm in the canton. The flags can be seen quite often during demonstrations. Sources: Günther 1999 sequel in Der Flaggenkurier, no. 11, p. 18-35; e-mail from the PDS, dated 6th July 2000; and PDS website.
Marcus Schmöger, 14 August 2000


Vertical variants

[Party of Democratic Socialism 1993-2005, vertical variant no. 1 (Germany)]      [Party of Democratic Socialism 1993-2005, vertical variant no. 2 (Germany)]
Images by Marcus Schmöger, 22 September 2005

The PDS online shop showed several photos (now gone) of vertical flag variants, especially for flagging during party conventions. One variant shows the inscription at the bottom, the other one at the top of the flag.
Marcus Schmöger, 22 September 2005


Pennant line
Wimpelkette

[Party of Democratic Socialism 1993-2005, pennant line (Germany)] Image by Marcus Schmöger, 22 September 2005

Like other parties, the PDS has little paper or plastic flags on a line making up a Wimpelkette or "pennant line" for decorative purposes, see the PDS online shop.
Marcus Schmöger, 22 September 2005


Blue flag with peace dove 2003

[Blue flag with peace dove 2003 (Germany)] from the PDS online shop, 22 September 2005

In 2003, during the protests against the Iraq war, the PDS also introduced a blue flag with a peace dove and the party logo, see the PDS online shop.
Marcus Schmöger, 22 September 2005


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