Full Citation

  • Title Reds Lose Berlin Vote, Win Zone
  • Author Elliott, John From the Herald Tribune Bureau
  • Publication Title New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection New York Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Tuesday,  Oct. 22, 1946
  • Issue Number 19822
  • Page Number [1]
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
î?<M!r-ï;08e Berlin V ote, Win Zone Social Democrats Take 48.2% of City Poll, Socialist Unity 19.3% Socialists’ Victory Biggest in History Soviet-Backed Party Is Victor in Diet Election By John Elliott From the Herald Tribune Bureau BERLIN, Oct. 21.—The over¬ whelming victory of the Social Democratic party over the Soviet- sponsored Socialist Unity party in the Berlin municipal election yes¬ terday is interpreted in political circles here as indicating that the Germans, at least in the former Reich capital, want no more dictatorships, be they brown or red. “Totalitarianism has been whip¬ ped,” declared the independent American-licensed “Berliner Tages- spieg-el" today, while “Der Sozial Demokrat” asserted: “An impor¬ tant section of the German people has administered a crushing rejec¬ tion of a new totalitarianism and a second dictatorship.” In this sense the Berlin munici¬ pal election was certainly a victory for democracy as that much-abused word is understood in the Western world. This triumph is confirmed by the provisional election figures issued this evening showing that 1.983,288, or 83.9 per cent of the 2,300,000 Berliners eligible to vote, went to the polls in yesterday’s municipal election. Late Returns These figures give the Social Democratic party 948,851, Christian Democratic Union 432,016, Socialist Unity party 383,269, Liberal Demo¬ cratic party 181,875, Invalid votes 37,277. Expressed in percentages the Social Democrats got 48.2 per cent of the total votes cast, the Christian Democrats 21.7 per cent, the Socialist Unity party 19.3 per cent and the Liberal Democrats 9.1 per cent. The Socialists led in every one of Berlin’s twenty dis¬ tricts and their triumph was even more decisive in this city than.it was in the first elections held Im¬ mediately after the downfall of the Kaiser ip 1918—heretofore their high-water mark.' ■ As a result of their convincing victory the Social Democrats will have almost a majority in the Ber¬ lin city assembly. According to provisional estimates they will hold sixty-three seats in the municipal parliament, the Christian Demo¬ crats twenty-nine, the Socialist Unity party twenty-six and the Liberal Democrats twelve. The Socialist Unity party may derive what profit it can from Sunday’s election to the state Diet in the Russian Zone. Here the Soviet-favored party repeated its triumph in September’s communal electirns. Provisional figures for the entire zone give: Socialist Unity party 1,932.000. Liberal Democratic party 1,100.000. Christ¬ ian Democratic Ünion 832,000, Far¬ mers League 94,000. The Socialist Unity party Will be the biggest party in the state parliament of Saxony, Mecklen¬ burg and Thuringia and in the provincial assemblies of Saxony and the Mark Brandenburg. The So¬ cial Democrats, who administered so bad a trouncing to the Socialist Unity party in Berlin yesterday, are not permitted by the Soviet au¬ thorities to operate in the Russian Zone. Greatest Socialist Poll Two things stand out in yester¬ day’s Berlin election. The first is the size of the Socialist poll—the greatest in the history of that party —which, by reaching almost 50 per cent of the votes cast exceeded the most sanguine anticipations of its leathers. The second Is what the independent “Kurier” called the “catastrophical defeat” of the So¬ cialist Unity party, and this second surprise is even more significant than .the first. For it signifies that after twelve years of Hitlerism Berlin is thor¬ oughly fed up with the “single party” idea. The methods of mass hypnotism influencing public opinion by saturation propaganda, of which the late Dr. Goebbels was a past master, no longer seem to hold their old magic. This is the conclusion that may be drawn from the amazing contrast between the many posters that the Socialist Unity party affixed to all the ruins of Berlin and the pitiful numerical inferiority of that party at the polls. The second conclusion that may be drawn is the failure of the shot¬ gun marriage that the Soviet au¬ thorities arranged between the Social Democratic and Communist parties.