The Frankfurt documents are three powers of attorney granted by the western victorious powers to the prime ministers and mayors of the German states in the western occupation zones by the military governors on July 1, 1948. They were given the order to found a western state .
It was the first reception of the Prime Ministers in post-war history that was not about regional problems but about the future constitution of West Germany. The documents formed one of the working bases for the conferences at which the preparatory work for the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany was carried out, and were therefore an important building block on the way to the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany .
The documents were drawn up at the London Six Power Conference , at which the solution to the western state was decided. As a first step in this direction, a currency reform came into force on June 20, 1948 in the three western zones . Then had Soviet leader Stalin with the freezing of all land and water connections to Berlin answered and the command in the Soviet zone of occupation and in Greater Berlin to carry out its own currency reform.
The handover took place in the IG-Farben building in Frankfurt am Main , hence the name of the documents. The three western military governors Lucius D. Clay (USA), Marie-Pierre Kœnig (France) and Sir Brian Robertson (Great Britain) submitted the offer to establish a West German state and formulated principles for its constitution . Present were Peter Altmeier (Rhineland-Palatinate), Karl Arnold (North Rhine-Westphalia), Lorenz Bock (Württemberg-Hohenzollern), Max Brauer (Hamburg), Hans Ehard (Bavaria), Wilhelm Kaisen (Bremen), Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf (Lower Saxony) , Hermann Lüdemann (Schleswig-Holstein), Reinhold Maier (Württemberg-Baden), Christian Stock (Hesse) and Leo Wohleb (Baden).
In the first of the three documents, the Prime Ministers received the following "recommendations":
- A constituent assembly should be convened, which should meet by September 1, 1948 and work out a federal constitution based on democratic principles , which "is best suited to finally re-establish the currently divided German unity" by protecting the rights of those involved Protect countries, create an appropriate central authority and guarantee individual rights and freedoms.
- This constitution should first be approved by the military governments, then a referendum in the countries should ratify the constitution . The simple majority in two thirds of all eleven West German states should suffice for ratification.
- The constitution and constitutional amendments would have to be approved by the military governors.
Document II called on the Prime Ministers to make proposals on the territorial reorganization of the countries:
- The borders of the individual federal states should be checked and, if necessary, new states should be created, taking into account "traditional forms", whereby none should be too big or too small compared to the others.
Document III provided information on the framework of an occupation statute which, according to the will of the victorious powers , was to be put into effect for Germany at the same time as a constitution .
- German foreign trade will continue to be controlled by the military governors
- The International Ruhr Authority will be subordinate to the military governments
- The issues of reparations , the permitted level of industry, decartelization, disarmament and demilitarization, which were already mentioned in the Potsdam resolutions , remained with the Allies
- The Allies reserved the right to observe and advise the future federal government and the state governments on the democratization of political life, the regulation of social relations and education.
The Prime Ministers asked for a deadline for their answer and decided to meet for a discussion at the Rittersturz in Koblenz , for the Rittersturz conference from July 8th to 10th. This is where the Koblenz resolutions were passed.
- Documents on the future political development of Germany ("Frankfurter Documents"), July 1, 1948 . With an introduction by Rudolf Morsey . In: 1000dokumente.de
- Frankfurt documents of July 1, 1948 ( Memento of May 30, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 39 kB)
- Wording of the documents handed over to the eleven Prime Ministers in Frankfurt am Main by the military governors on July 1, 1948 ("Frankfurter Documents") ( Memento of April 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
- "Guidelines from the Military Governors of the USA, Great Britain and France to the Prime Ministers of the Western Zones of Occupation" of July 1, 1948 with the statement of the Prime Ministers of the three Western Zones of Occupation of July 7, 1948
- Manfred Görtemaker : History of the Federal Republic of Germany. From the foundation to the present , CH Beck, Munich 1999, p. 49; Heinrich August Winkler : The long way to the west , Vol. 2: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. CH Beck, Munich 2000, p. 131; Documents on the future political development of Germany ["Frankfurter Documents" , July 1, 1948: summary ] on 1000dokumente.de , accessed on June 11, 2019.
- Marie-Luise Recker : The adoption of the Basic Law , in: The Basic Law ( Bürger & Staat , Heft 1–2019, 69th year), ed. from the State Center for Civic Education Baden-Württemberg , 2019, pp. 4–12, here pp. 5, 7.
- See the later regulation in Basic Law , which did not provide for a referendum, but rather a ratification by the representative bodies of the federal states.