🚩 name, dates, actions
🚩 Otto Wels
🚩 * 15. September. 1873 | † 16. September. 1939
🚩 German politician during the Nazi regime
Otto Wels came from a working-class family. In 1891 he joined the SPD ( Social Democratic Party of Germany). Since 1906 he was involved in politics a lot. His political work was successful, so that he was elected in the Reichstag (German Parliament) in 1912 and changed a year later in the SPD party executive committee. From 1919 Wels was party chairman of the SPD and received a seat first in the National Assembly, then in the new Reichstag. Shortly after the seizure of power by the NSDAP (January 30, 1933) and the first wave of arrests, Wels took over responsibility for the SPD to justify the rejection of the "Law for the Relief of the People and the Reich" (Enabling Act), which established the National Socialist dictatorship.
He did this despite the presence of SA men in the hall on March 23, 1933. In this last free speech in the German Reichstag he said: "Freedom and life can be taken from us, not honor." All 94 SPD members voted against the law. The remaining deputies of the Reichstag voted for the Enabling Act. Adolf Hitler responded to the speech by Otto Wels: "I also do not want you to vote for it. Germany should be free, but not by you. " In August 1933 his German citizenship became
Otto Wels fled to Prague and Paris, where he dies at the age of 66.
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