August Bebel (February 22, 1840 - March 18, 1913) was a German social democrat and one of the founders of the SPD.
Bebel was born on February 22, 1840 in Deutz, near Cologne; he founded the Sächsische Volkspartei ("Saxon People's Party") in 1867 together with Wilhelm Liebknecht, and the SDAP (Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei, "Social Democratic Worker's Party") in 1869, which merged with the ADAV (Allgemeiner Deutscher Arbeiterverein, "General German Worker's Association") in 1875 to form the SAPD (Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei Deutschlands, "Socialist Worker's Party of Germany"), which renamed itself SPD in 1890.
In 1872, Bebel was convicted in a political lawsuit, the so-called Leipziger Hochverratsprozess, and sentenced to two years in Festungshaft ("imprisonment in a fortress", a variant of a jail sentence that was not considered dishonouring), which he spent at the famous Königstein Fortress. Later in his life, he acted as chairman of the SPD and also was a member of the Reichstag.
After living in Berlin-Schöneberg for many years, where a commemorative plaque commemorates him at Hauptstraße 97; he died on March 18, 1913 during a visit to a sanatorium in Switzerland and was buried in Zürich.
“The masses demand that something be done…today.”