Ledeböur, Georg

(1850-1947)
   politician; prominent figure in the Spar-tacist Uprising.* Born in Hanover, he lost his parents at an early age. Despite a crippling bone disease, he served in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. He joined the Progressive Party after a prolonged sojourn in England (1876-1882) and from 1884 worked as a journalist for the Party's Demokratische Blatter. But frustrated by the Party's inability to embrace social reform, he began writing for the socialists. In 1891 he switched to the SPD and became an editor for Vorwarts.* A fiery speaker and a sharp critic of German society, he held a Reichstag* mandate during 1900-1918 and 1920-1924. Despite his forceful voice on both foreign and domestic issues, he entered his faction's ruling com-mittee only in 1913.
   Ledebour, who championed disarmament and international reconciliation, op-posed the SPD's 1914 vote for war credits. He was the leader of the Sozialde-mokratische Arbeitsgemeinschaft (Social Democratic Alliance) from March 1916 and helped found the USPD in April 1917. Among the dissident socialists at Bern's Zimmerwald Conference in September 1915 and the Stockholm Con-ference of September 1917, he identified with the Revolutionary Shop Stewards* during the war's final year.
   Because he preserved deep animosity toward the Majority Socialists, Lede-bour resented their effort to "smuggle themselves into the revolution" and re-jected Friedrich Ebert's* offer to join the Council of People's Representatives.* He sat, however, on the executive of Berlin's Workers' and Soldiers' Councils.* He chose not to join the KPD, but was nonetheless named to a revolutionary committee of three presidents during the Spartacist Uprising. Captured by the military—he barely escaped the fate of Rosa Luxemburg* and Karl Lieb-knecht*—he turned his treason trial into an impassioned defense of the right of revolution. Acquitted in June 1919, he remained with the USPD and became Party chairman in 1920. But while he opposed alliance with the KPD, he was equally unable to reenter the SPD. He was among a cluster of diehard Inde-pendents after 1922 and lost his Reichstag seat in May 1924. Thereafter he worked with various splinter groups, including the Socialist League and the Socialist Workers' Party. In 1933 he fled to Switzerland.
   REFERENCES:Josephson, Biographical Dictionary ofModern Peace Leaders; Morgan, Socialist Left; NDB, vol. 14; Ratz, Georg Ledebour; Ryder, German Revolution of 1918.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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