German municipal code

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The German municipal code of January 30, 1935, published in the Reichsgesetzblatt on the same day.

The German Municipal Code ( DGO ) of January 30, 1935 largely standardized the previously fragmented municipal law in Germany. With the introduction of this centralized regulation , more than 30 municipal constitutions under state law , such as the Bavarian Municipal Code, the Hessian Municipal Code or the Prussian Municipal Constitution Act , were dissolved. The local self-government was indeed as a construct in law obtained, but in fact it was abolished. The authority and position of the community leader were determined in accordance with the leader principle . From then on, the leaders of the communities used the designation “ mayor ” throughout the German Reich or “ lord mayor ” in district towns . These leaders were not elected , but called.

Although this set of rules was enacted during National Socialism and, when viewed as a whole, aims at the organizational classification of the communities in the Führer state, it is recognized that the central content of the rules is free from specific National Socialist ideas. According to general research, the German municipal code of 1935 is to be seen as a fixation and further development of the municipal economic framework developed up to then in legislation and case law.

Accordingly, in accordance with the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany of May 23, 1949, significant components of the DGO from 1935 continued to apply as state law in various federal states, in some cases until the end of the 1990s. In particular, the regulations of the municipal economic law still form the substantive basis for the municipal ordinances of the individual federal states.


The German municipal code was largely created with the collaboration of Carl Friedrich Goerdeler and Karl Fiehler . It was enacted as a fundamental reform of local constitutional law. The new law eliminated the direct or indirect participation of the population in the formation of internal will and transferred large parts of the urban tasks to the state or to the party. The remaining tasks of the community were passed on to the mayor according to the “ leader principle ”.

Although Goerdeler had always called for a similar expansion of power, he rejected the law as a whole. He did not want to forego the participation of the population, and he also complained about the end of self-administration: "Time will teach us whether we can manage in the long run to renounce every act of questioning the competent citizens of a community." He himself was looking for the middle ground between “exaggerated democratic lines of thought” and “ fascist ones that are alien to us ”. For him, however, the DGO meant “killing the idea of ​​self-administration”.

The content of the supervisory regulations, however, was historically open and controversial to an extent that could hardly be imagined for a dictatorship . The deliberations lasted from the summer of 1933 to January 1935. The institutionalized influence of the NSDAP on local community decisions remained narrow. With the DGO uniform were municipal task structures created and fix the responsibility for all matters of the community own sphere of activity, such as territorial sovereignty , self-government , personal sovereignty , financial sovereignty , territorial jurisdiction . The historian Martin Broszat described the legal norm in this context as a "reform of rank".

Church types

The German Municipal Code replaced the up to then in Prussia valid municipal constitution law of 15 December 1933 and all other constitutions municipality ( city orders and land municipality orders ) in the German states. The only deviations from this uniform legal system for all urban and rural communities of the German Reich were the temporary exceptions for the capital Berlin and the Hanseatic cities of Hamburg , Bremen and Lübeck .

cities and communes

The law stipulated that all communal units at the local level should be called "municipality" (no longer: rural municipality). The communities that previously used the designation "city" kept this designation. This also applied to the so-called titular cities , that is to say to smaller municipalities that were previously administered according to a state municipality order, but were called city .

Parishes with other names

In addition, the municipalities could be given a limited number of additional designations based on the historical past, the individual character or the importance of the municipality in Nazi terms, such as:

  • Berlin: Reich capital
  • Munich: capital of movement
  • Nuremberg: city of the Nazi party rallies
  • Leipzig: Imperial trade fair city
  • Stuttgart: City of Germans Abroad
  • Cologne: Hanseatic city

"Leader principle"

Church leader

The leaders of the municipalities used the designation "mayor" and "lord mayor" in one district. These leaders were no longer elected , but called.

The positions of full-time mayors and councilors were to be advertised publicly. In the interests of unity between the party and the state, the district leader, as the NSDAP's representative, led the proceedings when the mayor was appointed and recalled . After consulting the local councils, he proposed three applicants to the competent authority. Responsible was:

The position was filled full-time for twelve years in municipalities with more than 10,000 inhabitants and - apart from justified exceptional cases - should be filled voluntarily for six years in the other municipalities . Appointed aldermen also stood by to represent the mayor.

"Community Representation"

There was no longer an elected council . Rather, local councils had to "ensure constant contact between the administration of the community and all layers of the citizenry". The mayor was obliged to discuss important community matters with the local councils. Each advisory board was entitled to submit its opinion for writing. A record was to be made of the content of the consultation, in which the deviating statements of the municipal councils were to be recorded. Votes did not take place.

The advisory councils were appointed for a period of six years by the NSDAP commissioner in consultation with the mayor . Attention was paid to "national reliability", suitability and reputation . Personalities should be taken into account, whose sphere of activity gave the community its special character or meaning or who had a significant influence on community life.

Supervisory authority

The supervision of the state led (for example for Prussia):


  • Carl Goerdeler: Die Deutsche Gemeindeordnung, in: Deutsche Verwaltungsblätter 83 (1935), pp. 73-78.
  • Friedrich Kiefer and Carl Schmid: The German municipal code of January 30, 1935. Law with justification, first, second and third implementing regulation. Kohlhammer 1937.
  • Steffen Gronemeyer: The community-free areas. O. Schwartz Verlag 1971.
  • Hans Klüber : The municipal law in the states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Springer-Verlag 1972.
  • Hans-Georg Wehling : Local politics. Hoffmann and Campe 1975.
  • Peter Löw, Local legislation in the Nazi state: using the example of the German municipal code of 1935. Verlag Löw & Vorderwülbecke 1992.
  • Daniela Münkel : National Socialist Agricultural Policy and Everyday Farmers' Life. Campus Verlag 1996.
  • Wolfgang Kahl : The state supervision: emergence, change and redefinition with special consideration of the supervision of the communities. Mohr Siebeck 2000.
  • Jessica von Seggern: Old and new democrats in Schleswig-Holstein: Democratization and the formation of a new political elite at district and state level 1945 to 1950. Franz Steiner Verlag 2005.
  • Bernhard Gotto: National Socialist local politics: administrative normality and system stabilization by the Augsburg city administration 1933–1945. Oldenbourg Verlag 2006.
  • Thomas Mann and Günter Püttner: Handbook of municipal science and practice: Volume 1: Fundamentals and municipal constitution. Springer-Verlag 2007.
  • Hans-Georg Wehling: History of Baden-Württemberg, Beck'sche Reihe 2012.
  • Springer Fachmedien : The German municipal code: For the British controlled area. Springer-Verlag 2013.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. DGO §1 sentence 2
  2. ^ Daniela Münkel, National Socialist Agricultural Policy and Everyday Farmers' Life. Campus Verlag 1996; P. 155
  3. Julia Brehme: Privatization and regulation of the public water supply. Mohr Siebeck 2010; Pages 129-130; also A. Gern, German municipal law and W. Kahl: Die Staatsaufsicht. Bonn 2000; Pages 234 ff
  4. ibid.
  5. Original version of the DGO with an introduction marked in red about continued validity as state law in accordance with Article 123 of the Basic Law of May 23, 1949
  6. Tobias Faber, Corporate Law Binding for Supervisory Board Members of Local Own Companies in the Tension Area of ​​Hessian Local Constitutional Law. Lang Verlag 2010; Page 30
  7. ^ Adelheid von Saldern: Karl Fiehler: Staged Stolz: City Representations in Three German Societies (1935–1975). Franz Steiner Verlag 2005, p. 124.
  8. ^ Horst R. Sassin: Carl Goerdeler. Hitler's adversary in Solingen local politics 1911 to 1920 . V&R unipress, Göttingen 2013, p. 131.
  9. ^ Reich: Carl Friedrich Goerdeler. 1997, p. 218.
  10. ^ Carl Friedrich Goerdeler: The state supervision. P. 296.
  11. ^ Reich: Carl Friedrich Goerdeler. 1997, p. 209.
  12. Wolfgang Kahl, Die Staatsaufsicht: Origin, change and redefinition with special consideration of the supervision of the communities. Mohr Siebeck 2000; P. 236
  13. ^ Peter Löw, Local legislation in the Nazi state: using the example of the German municipal code 1935. Löw & Vorderwülbecke publishing house 1992; P. 51 ff
  14. ^ Bernhard Gotto, National Socialist Local Politics: Administrative Normality and System Stabilization by the Augsburg City Administration 1933–1945. Oldenbourg Verlag 2006; P. 78 ff
  15. ^ Martin Broszat, Reichszentralismus und Partyartikularismus: Bavaria after the reconstruction law of January 30, 1934, in Ursula Büttner, Das Unrechtsregime. Cristians Verlag 1986; P. 193
  16. With the exception of the city of Munich, the NSDAP commissioners were appointed by the Gauleiter, see ordinance on the implementation of Section 118 of the German Municipal Code of March 26, 1935 (RGBl. 1935 I, p. 470).
  17. cf. § 55