German State Party
- (Deutsche Staatspartei, DStP)the July 1930 merger of the DDP and the People's National Reich Association (Volksnationale Reichsvereinigung, VNR), the political arm of Jungdo.* Also joining the Party were several Young Liberals (Jungliberalen) from the DVP. According to the merger agreement, Erich Koch-Weser,* chairman of the DDP, would serve as the DStP's Reichstag* faction leader, while Artur Mahraun, chairman of the VNR, became national leader (Reichsfu'hrer). Arising from the depression,* the fusion aimed to reverse the shift of middle-class voters to splinter parties. But Koch had inadequately reconciled DDP colleagues to the new arrangement. The Reichstag elections of September 1930 brought the DStP only 3.8 percent of the vote and twenty parliamentary seats. The poor showing was largely the result of old-line Democrats, offended by the merger, casting their votes for the SPD. Of less significance at the polls, but crucial in evaluating Koch's grasp of his new allies, is the fact that about half of those who had once supported the Jungdo cast their ballots for the NSDAP. The merger collapsed in October 1930 when old-line Democrats blocked Koch's election as faction leader while de-manding a liberal platform unacceptable to Mahraun. The secession of the VNR reduced the faction to fourteen and compelled Koch's resignation. Combined with the September balloting, the October crisis was a psychological blow from which German liberalism failed to recover. Weakly managed for two years by Hermann Dietrich,* the DStP received but 1.0 percent of the vote and four mandates in the July 1932 Reichstag elections; it retained two seats after No-vember 1932. From September 1932 until its demise the Party was led by the triumvirate of Dietrich, Reinhold Maier, and Carl Petersen.* Although it elected five deputies in March 1933, these chose, by a faction vote of 3-2, to support Hitler's* Enabling Act.* The DStP dissolved on 28 June 1933.REFERENCES:Chanady, "Dissolution"; Frye, Liberal Democrats; Larry Jones, German Liberalism.
A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. C. Paul Vincent.
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