Tobias Kühne: Conspiracy as self-deception and externally imposed deception: the “New Beginning” network before and after 1945

Abstract

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2016. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 149–162.

In 1929, the communist Walter Loewenheim founded the conspiratorial group ’Neu Beginnen’ (New Beginning). The groups aim was to reunite the German labour movement, especially the SPD (Social-Democratic Party) and the KPD (Communist Party) in the face of the rise of the Nazis. After the Nazi takeover in 1933 Neu Beginnen was one of several small socialist resistance groups that operated in Germany. They had a foreign bureau in Prague, and subsequently in London and New York. Neu Beginnen regrouped in 1945 and successfully fought against the forced unification of the SPD and the KPD in East Berlin. In the following years members of the group became right-wing officials in the SPD in West-Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany. During that time, members of Neu Beginnen tried to neutralize left-wing activists within and outside of the SPD. The activities of Neu Beginnen after the mid-1940s remains has, until recently, been largely unknown, largely because members of the group could influence the historiography.

Über den Autor

Tobias Kühne, Dr. phil., geb. 1974 in Neustadt am Rübenberge. 2000 bis 2005 Studium der Geschichtswissenschaft und Politikwissenschaft an der Universität Hannover, 2014 Promotion an der Technischen Universität Berlin. Veröffentlichungen u. a.: »Politischer Widerstand und Anpassung in Großsiedlung Britz zwischen 1933 und 1945«, in: Udo Gößwald/Barbara Hoffmann (Hg.): Das Ende der Idylle? Hufeisen- und Krugpfuhlsiedlung in Britz vor und nach 1933, Berlin 2013, S. 221–240.