Allied right of reservation

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The allied right of reservation (also: allied right of control ) regulated the relations of the allied occupying powers towards the Federal Republic of Germany founded in 1949 (23 May 1949 proclamation of the Basic Law ; 14 August 1949 elections to the first German Bundestag ) and has been in effect since the occupation statute came into force (21 September 1949 ) 1949) in various forms up to the reunification of Germany in 1990 and the conclusion of the two-plus-four treaty .

Exercise of civil control rights in West Germany in accordance with the Occupation Statute

The formation of the Federal Republic made an occupation body necessary, whose competencies had to be adapted to the changed situation. The occupation statute replaced the military governments of the western occupying powers in each of the three zones by civil administrations, each headed by a high commissioner . The Allied control rights over West Germany were thus transferred to the Allied High Commission as a joint organ of the Western powers after the Allied Control Council became incapable of acting on March 20, 1948. That day the Soviet representative had left the meeting and refused to attend any further meetings. As representatives of their governments, the three High Commissioners represented the supreme power and exercised control over the German federal government as well as over the governments of the federal states . The Federal Republic of Germany and its states are granted "full legislative, executive and judicial power according to the Basic Law" (Article I; quotations from the version of April 10, 1949), but the Three Powers ( USA , Great Britain , France ) took one Claim a number of special powers, for example:

In addition, Article III states:

“However, the occupation authorities reserve the right, on instructions from their governments, to resume the exercise of full governmental power in whole or in part if they are of the opinion that this is for security reasons or to maintain the democratic form of government in Germany or in pursuit of their international obligations Governments is inevitable. Before you do this, you will officially inform the responsible German authorities of your decision and its reasons. "

In this way, the occupying powers secured emergency rights in the event of civil unrest and crisis situations. The statute should be reviewed over the course of 12 to 18 months.

Reduction of control rights during the Adenauer government until 1954

The aim of the Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was subsequently, in addition to the integration of the Federal Republic into the West, successively reducing the Allied rights of reservation and gradually becoming an equal, sovereign partner:

  • Petersberg Agreement (November 22, 1949): Right to establish consular relations and economic facilities as a concession for accession to the Ruhr Agreement ( Ruhr Statute );
  • From March 1951 the Allied High Commissioners renounced the supervision of federal and state laws, transfer of foreign currency sovereignty, permission to enter into foreign relations (conversion of the Foreign Affairs Office into a Foreign Ministry , whose management was taken over by Adenauer himself on March 15, 1951) in return for the recognition of the German foreign debt by the federal government;
  • Striving for a German rearmament within the framework of a European Defense Community (EVG), which, however, failed.

Remnants of the reservation rights in the second Germany Treaty (1954) and the road to sovereignty

With the ratification of the Paris Treaties (October 23, 1954) on May 5, 1955 - ten years after the end of the war - the occupation statute was replaced and repealed by the second German Treaty . It read in Article 1:

"(1) With the entry into force of this agreement will be [the three occupying powers] the occupation regime in the Federal Republic end, pick up the occupation statute and the Allied High Commission [...] dissolve. (2) The Federal Republic will accordingly have the full power of a sovereign state over its internal and external affairs. "

In Article 5, however, it becomes clear that in addition to the right to station armed forces, other reservations existed. For example, the Allies are allowed to relocate troops to German territory “in the event of an attack or an imminent attack without the consent of the Federal Republic”.

Allied rights, which are necessary for the security of the stationed armed forces, should also expire “as soon as the competent German authorities have received the relevant powers through German legislation […], including the ability to counter a serious disturbance of public security and order . ”Thus, in theory, emergency rights of the western victorious powers continued to exist and, in the event of an emergency, could have resulted in the three ambassadors of the USA, Great Britain and France taking over parts of the executive power in the interests of the former High Commissioners. However, it only required a (constitutional) regulation on the part of the government and parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany to end this reservation. In Article V of the version of the first German Treaty of 1952, the Western powers had claimed the right to be able to impose a formal state of emergency in the Federal Republic.

The constitutional regulation in the Federal Republic only succeeded after thirteen years. The debate about this was sometimes very heated (rejection of a restriction of fundamental rights ), but the grand coalition made it possible to pass the emergency laws (1968). The inner sovereignty , which had basically already been established in 1955, was finally realized.

Article 2 of the revised Germany Treaty was still in force and the Western Allied reservations that remained anchored until 1990. In this it said:

“In view of the international situation which has hitherto prevented the reunification of Germany and the conclusion of a peace treaty , the Three Powers retain the rights and responsibilities they have previously exercised or held with regard to Berlin and Germany as a whole, including the reunification of Germany and one peace treaty regulation. "

On the part of the Federal Republic of Germany, this reservation was confirmed again in the basic treaty with the German Democratic Republic (1972). Both the special status of Berlin (occupation status of Berlin ( West) as part of Greater Berlin ) and the remnants of the Allied rights of reservation with regard to Germany as a whole did not end until October 3, 1990, the day when the GDR's accession took effect . With the two-plus-four treaty , which sealed the international legal requirements for the national unity of Germany , the united Germany was granted full sovereignty over its internal and external affairs by the four main victorious powers, which it granted when the treaty came into force on 15 March 1991 finally received.

According to the historian Josef Foschepoth , on the other hand, certain Allied rights of reservation still exist. With the consent of Chancellor Adenauer, these were regulated in a secret supplementary agreement that was concluded during the negotiations on the Germany Treaty in the spring of 1952 and essentially secured two reservations for the Three Powers: “First, the surveillance reservation, the law, domestic and foreign mail - to continue to monitor telecommunications traffic in the Federal Republic; secondly, the secret of title, the right to Allied intelligence, supported by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution to provide outside of German law when it required the intelligence interests. "Adenauer did not sign these secret treaties, but they are in a correspondence legitimized been and are considered to Foschepoths view still because they were "long ago permanently secured in the supplementary treaty to the NATO troop statute of 1959".

Foschepoth's interpretation of the legal situation is controversial. Peter Schaar noted, for example, that the agreements on Article 10 law had "apparently been forgotten by all those involved", and that their discovery had "caused astonishment" among the responsible authorities. Both the US government and the federal government stated on request that no use had been made of the powers contained therein since 1990. In 2013, the federal government officially revoked the administrative agreements in agreement with the USA, Great Britain and France.


  • Klaus Behling : Spies in Uniform - The Allied Military Missions in Germany. Hohenheim Verlag, Stuttgart 2004.
  • Josef Foschepoth : Monitored Germany. Post and telephone surveillance in the old Federal Republic . 4th, through Edition. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-525-30041-1 .
  • Dominik Geppert: The Adenauer era . Darmstadt 2002 (Scientific Book Society).
  • Jürgen Weber (ed.): History of the Federal Republic of Germany. Volume III: Establishment of the New State in 1949 . Munich ³1991 ( Bavarian State Center for Political Education ).
  • Jürgen Weber (ed.): History of the Federal Republic of Germany. Volume IV: The Federal Republic becomes sovereign 1950–1955 . Munich ²1991 (Bavarian State Center for Political Education).
  • Werner Weidenfeld, Hartmut Zimmermann (ed.): Germany handbook. A double balance from 1949–1989 . Bonn 1989 ( Federal Agency for Political Education ).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Agreement on tri-power control of West Germany (control agreement ) of April 8, 1949
  2. ^ Two-plus-four contract 1990 , Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V. (website for the scientific analysis of the Kohl era).
  3. Thomas Wolf: The emergence of the BND. Construction, financing, control . Ch.links, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-96289-022-3 , p. 291-301 .
  4. Josef Foschepoth: Monitored Germany. Post and telephone surveillance in the old Federal Republic , 4th edition, Göttingen 2014, p. 36, 161 ff.
  5. Historian Foschepoth in an interview: "The USA may monitor Merkel" , Zeit Online , October 25, 2013.
  6. Peter Schaar: Total surveillance: How we will protect our data in the future . Structure Verlag, Berlin 2014, pp. 95 ff.
  7. Administrative agreements on the G10 law with the USA and Great Britain no longer in force , press release of the Federal Foreign Office of August 2, 2013.