Haase, Hugo

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HAASE, HUGO (1863–1919), German socialist leader. Born in Allenstein, East Prussia, and a lawyer by profession, Haase became a socialist with a deeply humanitarian approach. He was first elected to the Reichstag as a Social Democrat in 1897 and after August Bebel's death in 1912 led the socialist faction. As a lawyer and attorney he defended the Social Democrats Karl Liebknecht and Otto Braun. At the second Socialist International, Haase worked for Franco-German friendship and the prevention of a European war. On the outbreak of World War i in August 1914 he was persuaded by the majority of the party that this was a war of self-defense and supported the German government, saying: "In the hour of danger we will not leave the Fatherland in the lurch." In 1915, however, he joined Karl Kautski and Eduard *Bernstein in a plea to stop the war, and left the Social Democrats to form the Independent Social Democrat Party which fought against the government's annexationist policies. In 1918, on the defeat of Germany and the outbreak of revolution, Haase became one of six members of the provisional government and for a time shared the presidency of the Council of the People's Deputies. He soon resigned, on the ground that the majority Socialist Party had deviated from the strict socialist line toward the bourgeois democratic establishment, and he formed his own left-wing opposition group in the Weimar National Assembly. After the foundation of the Communist Party he supported the reunion of the left-wing opposition with the Social Democratic Party. Haase was attacked by a German nationalist in October 1919 and died later as a result of his injuries.


E. Haase (ed.), Hugo Haase, sein Leben und Wirken (1929). add. bibliography: L Heid, "'…das ich mit vielen Banden an Königsberg fest und gern hänge' – Hugo Haase eine Skizze," in: M. Brocke (ed.), Zur Geschichte und Kultur der Juden in Ost- und Westpreussen (2000), 485–509; K.R. Calkins, Hugo HaaseDemocrat and Revolutionary (1979); D. Engelmann, Hugo HaaseLebensweg und politisches Vermächtnis eines streitbaren Sozialisten (1999).