Berlin city council

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The Berlin City Council (StVV) was the local parliament of the city of Berlin that existed from 1809 . Her successor in the western part of the city has been the Berlin House of Representatives as the state parliament of the city-state of (West) Berlin on the one hand and the district council meetings on the district level on the other. In East Berlin, the city council continued from 1957 to 1990.


The Prussian town order of 1808 regulated the introduction of a representative body at the municipal level for the first time. However, the elections for the newly established Berlin City Council were not very democratic by today's standards. The census suffrage tied eligibility to income and property. The prerequisite for the right to vote was a minimum income (150–200 thalers), the so-called census. The stand for election was for 2 / 3 tied the seats to land. Only men were eligible to vote. The women's suffrage was introduced in the Weimar Republic.

The first meeting of the Berlin StVV took place on July 6, 1809 in the Nikolaikirche . On January 6, 1870, the Berlin StVV met for the first time in the new Red Town Hall , the symbol of the bourgeois city administration and its emerging bourgeois communal self-confidence - also towards the Prussian state authorities.

The heads of the Berlin city council from 1809 to 1918

Commemorative plaque for the heads of the Berlin city council from 1908 in the side entrance area of ​​the Red City Hall in Berlin

In the Red City Hall, memorial plaques still commemorate the first meeting of the StVV in the new building (in the inner courtyard) and - barely legible - all the city councilors from 1809 to 1908 (on the left in the passage area from the eastern side entrance, Jüdenstrasse 1, to the inner courtyard).

Weimar Republic

Free elections to the StVV were held for the first time in the Weimar Republic. In 1920, Berlin was significantly expanded to include Greater Berlin with the “Law on the Formation of a New City Council in Berlin” .

The heads of the Berlin city council from 1918 to 1933

Elections to the Berlin city council

This list contains the results of the elections for the Berlin StVV in the Weimar Republic .

Election to the city council of Berlin in 1919

Female city councilors in Berlin in 1919: Martha Hoppe , Helene Schmitz , Martha Wygodzinski , Martha Shiroa , Liesbeth Riedger , Anna Kulicke
Political party proportion of Seats graphic
USPD 33.0% 47 Distribution of seats
SPD 31.8% 46
DDP 14.5% 21st
DNVP 10.5% 16
center 5.7% 8th
DVP 4.6% 6th

Election to the city council of Berlin in 1920

Political party proportion of Seats graphic
USPD 38.5% 48 Distribution of seats
DVP 17.8% 40
SPD 17.2% 17th
DNVP 11.4% 9
DDP 7.1% 4th

Election to the city council of Greater Berlin in 1921

Political party proportion of Seats graphic
SPD 20.5% 46 Distribution of seats
USPD 19.2% 43
DNVP 18.6% 41
DVP 15.5% 35
KPD 9.5% 21st
DDP 7.4% 17th
WP 5.1% 12
center 3.7% 8th
DSP 0.7% 1

Election to the city council of Greater Berlin in 1925

Political party proportion of Seats graphic
SPD 32.6% 73 Distribution of seats
DNVP 20.8% 47
KPD 18.8% 43
DDP 9.3% 21st
DVP 6.0% 14th
WP 4.0% 10
center 3.4% 8th
DVFP 1.5% 3
DSP 1.4% 3
EGB 0.9% 2
USPD 0.8% 1

Election to the city council of Greater Berlin in 1929

Political party proportion of Seats graphic
SPD 28.4% 64 Distribution of seats
KPD 24.6% 56
DNVP 17.6% 40
DVP 6.7% 16
DDP 6.0% 14th
NSDAP 5.8% 13
WP 4.4% 10
center 3.6% 8th
CVD 1.3% 3
DVFB 0.3% 1

Election to the city council of Greater Berlin in 1933

Political party proportion of Seats graphic
NSDAP 38.3% 86 Distribution of seats
SPD 22.0% 50
KPD 19.5% 44
DNVP 12.1% 27
center 2.7% 11
DStP 2.1% 4th
DVP 0.7% 2
CSVD 0.6% 1

time of the nationalsocialism

The last meeting of the Berlin StVV took place on June 27, 1933. On March 15 elected Berlin Council was dissolved and the city council Lippert ( NSDAP ) by the Prussian Interior Minister Goering appointed (NSDAP) State Commissioner.

post war period

1st city council meeting on November 26, 1946 in the hall of the New Town House in Parochialstrasse, Lord Mayor Otto Ostrowski (SPD) during the swearing-in ceremony; 1st from right: Ferdinand Friedensburg (CDU), 3rd from right: Louise Schroeder (SPD)

On October 20, 1946, the first and last election for an all-Berlin city council took place between 1933 and the reunification of Berlin in 1990. The election took place in Greater Berlin, i. H. in all four sectors . In this election, unlike in the Soviet occupation zone (SBZ), the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED ), which was created under Soviet pressure, also had to run against the Berlin SPD , which had successfully opposed the forced unification of the SPD and KPD to form the SED . The election ended with a victory for the SPD (48.7%; 63 of the 130 seats) and a fiasco for the SED (19.8%; 26 seats). According to Hermann Weber , the elections showed that in competition with the SPD and in free elections, the SED “had no chance of achieving the desired hegemony”.

Political party SPD CDU SED LDP
proportion of 48.7% 22.2% 19.8% 9.3%

Otto Suhr (SPD) was elected head of the city council on November 26, 1946.

In the period that followed, the Soviet occupying power (SMAD) and the SED increasingly hindered the political work of the democratic parties in East Berlin . In the course of the year, the formation of the Democratic Bloc led to a split between the CDU and the LDP . On March 11, 1948, the StVV decided to protest against the obstruction of the work of the democratic parties in the eastern sector of the city.

With the end of the joint work of the Allied Command by the Soviet Union on June 16, 1948 as a result of the implementation of the currency reform and the subsequent blockade of the western sectors , the work of the Berlin StVV became increasingly difficult. On June 23, unhindered by the police force present, rioters mobilized by the SED entered the New Town Hall for the first time and prevented the StVV meeting. This was repeated several times until on September 6, 1948 the StVV moved to the British sector in Charlottenburg to meet in the student house of the Technical University . The SED city council boycotted the move.

On November 30, 1948, the unified local government in Berlin ended. The 2nd Deputy City Councilor Ottomar Geschke (SED) convened an "extraordinary city council meeting" in the Admiralspalast in the Soviet sector. The 26 city councilors of the SED, 213 representatives of the democratic bloc, including a few city councilors from the CDU and LDP from the Eastern sector, came together with 1151 "delegates" from East Berlin companies appointed on the same day and 224 members of "mass organizations". They declared the magistrate deposed and formed a "provisional democratic magistrate" under the control of the SED with Friedrich Ebert junior (SED) as mayor, whom the Soviet occupying power immediately recognized as the only legitimate Berlin magistrate. A vote that the GDR also joined when it was founded in 1949 .

The election to the city council of Greater Berlin, which was laid down by the Allies on August 13, 1946 in the preliminary constitution of Greater Berlin , could only take place on December 5, 1948 in the western sectors. The SMAD did not allow the election to take place in East Berlin. The SPD won the election with 64.5 percent of the vote.

Political party SPD CDU LDP
proportion of 64.5% 19.4% 16.1%

The StVV re-elected Otto Suhr as head of the city council. On October 1, 1950, the constitution of (West) Berlin came into force, which saw itself as a state constitution and therefore provided for a state parliament instead of the StVV, the Berlin House of Representatives . On December 3, 1950, the first house elections were held in the western sectors .


Christine Bergmann , the last president of the Berlin city council

During the time of the GDR it was not until 1953 that the “extraordinary city council meeting”, which broke up in 1948 on the day of their meeting, was replaced for the first time by a representative body for Greater Berlin . The representatives of the people had been proposed by the Democratic Bloc without an election and confirmed by the Standing Committee of the National Front . The first "election" for the Greater Berlin People's Representation took place at the same time as the Volkskammer election in the GDR on October 17, 1954 on the basis of unified lists that only included candidates from the National Front and their allocation of seats (see GDR political system ). The importance of the parliament, which from 1957 was again called the city council, was insignificant. Their decisions always followed those of the SED.

The election of May 6, 1990 was the last election of the Berlin StVV during the existence of the GDR and at the same time the only one that complied with democratic electoral principles. This StVV passed a constitution for Berlin (East) on July 11, 1990 , which came into force on July 23, 1990. This constitution also provided for a city council to represent the people. However, it was only valid for a transitional phase of 6 months. On January 11, 1991, the first House of Representatives for the whole of Berlin was constituted and thus finally replaced the city council.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ History of German parliamentarism at the German Bundestag
  2. ^ Hermann Weber: The GDR 1945–1990 . 4th edition. Oldenbourg, 2006, p. 18.
  3. ^ Speech of the Governing Mayor a. D. Klaus Schütz on October 20, 2006 ( Memento of the original from February 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. See Horst Ulrich, Uwe Prell (Wiss. Red.): Berlin Handbook. The lexicon of the federal capital . FAB-Verlag, Berlin 1993², ISBN 3-927551-27-9 , pp. 1145-1147; Soviet recognition p. 501.
  5. Election 1948 ( Memento of February 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive )