Friedrich Naumann

Friedrich Naumann

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Friedrich Naumann

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Friedrich Naumann(March 25, 1860 – August 24, 1919) was a German liberal politician and Protestant parish pastor. In 1894 he founded the weekly magazine Die Hilfe ("The Help") to address the social question from a non-marxist middle class point of view. In 1896 he also founded the National-Social Association, in an attempt to provide a social liberal alternative to the Social Democrats, that could address the growing social rift between rich industrialists and the poor working class. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation of the liberal Free Democratic Party is named after him.


Naumann was born in Großpösna, near Leipzig.

His ideal was that of helping the working class, who lived in miserable circumstances (he worked at Johann Hinrich Wichern's Rauhes Haus in Hamburg). His goal was to raise interest in this issue among the middle class. However he was hindered by the German middle class fear of the proletariat, who were regarded as potential revolutionaries. In 1890 Friedrich joined to the conservative party, the Christian Social Party, but he left the party six years later in 1896, because of his liberal ideals.

Later in his life, Naumann faced major opposition from conservatives. Industrialists like Freiherr von Stumm called Naumann and his associates allies of the socialists. Naumann wanted to preserve Christian values, which he hoped would improve the fraught relations between workers and corporate businessmen. His party the National-Social......
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