German Social Democrats celebrate 150 years
From illegality to workers' association
In the early days, the party gathered at clandestine meetings by candlelight. The SPD, which included August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht, aimed to provide a voice for the labor movement. Ferdinand Lassalle and others called the General German Workers' Association (ADAV) into being in Leipzig in 1863; by the following year, there were over 4,600 members, with many more to follow.