Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

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Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
Free Hanseatic City of Bremen ( Low German )
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Great coat of arms
Basic data
Language : German , Low German
State capital : Bremen
Form of government : parliamentary republic , partially sovereign member state of a federal state
Area : 419.38 km²
ISO 3166-2 : DE-HB
Population : 681.202 (December 31, 2019)
Population density : 1624 inhabitants per km²
Unemployment rate : 11.8% (July 2020)
GDP (nominal): EUR 33.662 billion  ( 16. ) (2017)
Debt : EUR 21.424 billion
(December 31, 2016)
Head of Government : Mayor
Andreas Bovenschulte ( SPD )
President of the State Parliament : Mayor
Frank Imhoff ( CDU )
Ruling parties: SPD , Greens and Die Linke
Allocation of seats for the 20th citizens :
Distribution of seats in the state parliament : Of the 84 seats:
  • CDU 24
  • SPD 23
  • Green 16
  • Left 10
  • FDP 5
  • Magnitz, stanchion, rim carrier 3
  • Non-attached 3
    (AfD 2, BIW 1)
  • Last choice: May 26, 2019
    Next choice : probably spring 2023
    Votes in the Federal Council : 3
    Bremen, administrative divisions (towns only) - de - colored.svg
    Administrative division of
    the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen: two municipalities

    The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (  [ ˈbʁeːmən ] , abbreviation HB ) is a city-state consisting of two cities and a country in the northwest of the Federal Republic of Germany . It consists of the two large cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven , which together have more than 680,000 inhabitants, and therefore describes itself as the two-city state of Bremen . It is the smallest country in Germany and part of the Northwest metropolitan region . Please click to listen!Play


    Geographical location

    The state of Bremen is located in north-west Germany on the lower reaches and confluence of the Weser and includes the two cities of Bremen (approx. 325 km²) and Bremerhaven (since 2010 approx. 94 km²), which are 53 km apart and separated from each other by Lower Saxony . Bremerhaven also borders the North Sea to the west and encloses the Bremerhaven overseas port area . The state of Bremen is bordered by the Lower Saxony districts of Osterholz , Verden , Diepholz , Wesermarsch , Cuxhaven and the city of Delmenhorst .


    Natural spaces

    In terms of natural space , the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen can be assigned to five main natural spatial units : the Wesermarschen , the Wümmeniederung , the Wesermünder Geest , the Thedinghäuser Vorgeest and the Verden Weser Valley . Untreated surfaces are found mainly along the rivers Wümme , Lesum , Ochtum and Geeste with under nature conservation standing marshes and bayous . The marshland as well as the Geest areas are used for agriculture and serve as recreational areas for the urban population. Bremen has 20 nature reserves with a total of 3546 hectares, which make up around 8.5% of the state's area. There are also three water protection areas .


    The entire length of the Weser river, which shapes the landscape, is a federal waterway and is mostly strongly fortified on its banks within the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. The tides in the North Sea influence the water level in the Weser, partly also the local weather conditions and shape the fauna and flora in the state of Bremen. The expansion of the Lower Weser in the 19th century resulted in deep erosion in the course and above the expanded river with considerable sand discharge. A progression of bed erosion to prevent the early 20th century in Bremen- was Hastedt the Weserwehr built. As a result of the correction of the Weser and further deepening of the shipping route, the tidal range rose from around 1 m previously to 5 m today in the city of Bremen, which also increased the flow velocity. The settlement has developed in the course of history mainly along the rivers. The strongest sealing of the soil can therefore be found on the banks of the Weser and the immediately adjacent districts. With over 30 km², the ports make up a considerable part of the country's area.


    The largest inland lake is the Sportparksee Grambke with 40 ha.


    The 32.5  m above sea level NHN's highest natural elevation is in Friedehorstpark in Bremen-Burglesum . This means that Bremen has the lowest highest natural elevation of all federal states . The summit of the garbage dump in the Hohweg district of the Walle district of Bremen , which according to various statements is between 42  m above sea level. It is 49  m high above sea ​​level , but towers above the park elevation.

    See also: further surveys in the municipalities of Bremen and Bremerhaven


    The largest closed forest area in the overall poorly forested country is located in the Bremen districts of Farge and Lüssum-Bockhorn . It is the Bremen part of the Neuenkirchener Heide . Most of this is taken by the Farge tank farm , which is not open to the public.

    Rails and roads

    The landscape is cut through in many places by main traffic routes, including the federal motorway A 27 , which runs from Hanover via Bremen and Bremerhaven to Cuxhaven , and by several railway lines.


    Ethnic composition

    The population originally consisted of Chauken and immigrating Frisians .

    Around 250 BC BC Saxons invaded what is now the Bremen area and mingled with the ethnic groups that were already resident. From 100 BC The term North Sea Germans is used for these settlers , to which the fishing , Chauken, Friesen, Sachsen and Warnen belong. From the 3rd century AD the name Saxony can be traced.

    However, the ethnic composition has changed significantly due to immigration, with the immigration of Poles in the 19th century being a special feature . Bremerhaven was then one of the emigration ports . The Poles were emigrants who wanted to emigrate to North America, most of them embarking without a visa . Anyone who was turned away on Ellis Island had to take the next ship back to Europe and then came back to one of the emigration ports. From there, however, many were often unable to return to their hometown and were stranded.

    After the Second World War, many displaced persons came , mainly from East Prussia , Poznan and Pomerania , and to a lesser extent from Czechoslovakia . In the 1960s and 1970s, guest workers from the Mediterranean region and West Africans came to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.


    High German and the Bremen dialect are predominantly spoken in Bremen . Missingsch , a high German with influences from Low German , which is called Bremer Schnack here , is widespread . The Low German language itself, the Plattdüütsch , is still at home in Bremen, but has been in decline for several decades - only a few speak Low German in everyday life. The Institute for Low German is committed to preserving Low German . In families with a migration background, the respective native languages ​​are also common (especially Russian , Polish , Turkish and Arabic ).

    Population development

    Population development of the city of Bremen, Bremerhaven and the state of Bremen 1945–2016

    As of December 31, 2019, the municipalities of Bremen and Bremerhaven have 567,559 and 113,643 inhabitants, respectively. The Free Hanseatic City has 681,202 inhabitants at the same rate.

    After the Second World War, the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and equally both municipalities had a population increase of around 47% from 1946 to 1960 with an additional 222,886 inhabitants. The highest number of inhabitants was reached in Bremen in 1971 with 594,591 inhabitants and in Bremerhaven in 1973 with 144,578 inhabitants. Thereafter the number of inhabitants decreased continuously until 2000; in Bremen still moderate by around 8%, in Bremerhaven, which is affected by economic crises, very strong by 21.5%. However, the number of inhabitants in the city of Bremen has been increasing again since 2001.

    Table of population development in the two-city state
    year City of
    City of
    Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
    1946 377.696 097,000 474,696
    1950 441.025 113.176 554.201
    1960 557.461 140.121 697,582
    1970 592,533 142,919 735.452
    1980 555.118 138,728 693,846
    1990 551.219 130,446 681.665
    2000 539.403 120,822 660.225
    2010 547.340 113,366 660.706
    2012 546.451 108,323 654.774
    2014 551,767 110.121 661,888
    2016 565.719 113.034 678.753
    2017 568.006 113.026 681.032
    2018 569.352 113,634 682.986

    Proportion of foreigners

    In 1961 the proportion of foreigners in the population in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and in the two municipalities was 1%, in 1970 it was 3.3%, in 1980 it was 6.9% and in 1990 it was 10%, with the proportion in the municipalities of Bremen and Bremerhaven was 10.4% and 8.4% respectively. By 2006 the proportion of foreigners at state level had risen to 12.4%, with the proportion in Bremen at 12.9% and in Bremerhaven at 10%.

    Life expectancy

    The average life expectancy in the period 2015/17 was 77.2 years for men and 82.6 years for women. The men are ranked 14th among the German federal states, while women rank 15th. Both values ​​are thus below the national average. In Bremen the life expectancy of the total population in 2013/15 was 80.29 years and in Bremerhaven 77.70 years. Bremerhaven is thus one of the cities with the lowest values ​​nationwide.

    Surrounding development

    The population growth in the communities in the immediate vicinity of the two cities is remarkable and disproportionate.

    • Bordering Bremen:
      • Delmenhorst : 1960 with 57,312 and 2014 with 74,804 inhabitants (+ 30%)
      • Stuhr : 2014 with 32,729 inhabitants
      • Weyhe : 1974 around 21,556 and 2014 with 30,291 inhabitants (+ 41%)
      • Syke : 1961 with 16,203 and 2014 with 24,847 inhabitants (+ 51%)
      • Achim : 2014 with 30,594 inhabitants
      • Oyten : 2014 with 15,425 inhabitants
      • Lilienthal : 1970 with 8,841 and 2014 with 18,528 inhabitants (+ 110%)
      • Osterholz-Scharmbeck : 1970 with 15,175 and 2014 with 30,032 inhabitants (+ 98%)
      • Ritterhude : 1970 with 7,422 and 2010 with 14,521 inhabitants (+ 98%)
      • Schwanewede (district only): 1970 with 8,310 and 2010 with 9,646 inhabitants (+ 16%)
      • Berne : 1980 with 6,176 and 2014 with 6,837 inhabitants (+ 11%)
      • Lemwerder : 2014 with 6,859 inhabitants
    • Bordering Bremerhaven:
      • Langen : 1974 with approx.15,000 and 2013 with 18,330 inhabitants (+ 22%)
      • Spaden : 1970 with 2,935 and 2010 with 4,400 inhabitants (+ 50%).


    Urbis Bremae Territory, 1603
    Land areas of the imperial city of Bremen (red lettering) in the 14th to 18th centuries, plus the Weser delta

    In contrast to the city-state of Hamburg , to which the Neuwerk district also includes a group of islands in the North Sea , Bremerhaven developed into an independent city, so that the name two-city state for Bremen was created.


    The name Bremen (Latin Brema ) could mean something like lying on the edge (Old Saxon Bremo means edge or enclosure ) and possibly refers to the edge of the Bremen dune .

    The city or state name changed. In the Middle Ages, the city referred to itself as civitas Bremensis , i.e. the city of Bremen, even after 1646. If the constitutional position of Bremen was to be emphasized, after receiving the imperial town charter ( Linz diploma ) from 1646 it bore the title Imperial and the Holy Roman Reichs Freye City (and Ansestadt) Bremen . After the imperial era, Bremen became from 1806 and then 1815 as a sovereign state in the German Confederation to the Freyen Hanseatic City of Bremen and from 1871 as a federal state in the German Empire to the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen . Between 1810 and 1813, Bremen was known as the Bonne ville de l'Empire français of the French Empire . The State of Bremen has been the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1949 .

    Middle Ages and Early Modern Times

    After the founding of the Diocese of Bremen , today's city of Bremen emerged next to the bishopric, the Domburg , first as a market town , then as a city under the sovereignty of the bishops.

    With the Gelnhaus privilege of 1186, Emperor Friedrich I Barbarossa made the city subject to iustitia imperialis , “imperial justice”. Since then, Bremen as an urban community was no longer subordinate to the Archbishop in secular matters. This course in the direction of the Free Imperial City happened at a time when the position of the citizens towards the Archbishop was still weak and another conflict was in the foreground; Henry the Lion went into exile in England in 1181 after his duchy over the tribal duchy of Saxony (and Bavaria ) had been withdrawn because of his opposition to Emperor Friedrich I. The ducal dignity for its western part up to the Weser had been transferred to the Archbishop of Cologne , that for the east to the Ascani . Significantly, only the archbishop and the bailiff from Bremen were among the witnesses mentioned in the document , but no representative of the citizens.

    From then on, the relationship between the city on the one hand and the archbishop and cathedral chapter on the other continually fluctuated between equal rights and tutelage, between cooperation and competition.

    The Bremen Archbishop Gerhard II. Zur Lippe tried to control the Lower Weser with the Witteborg , and suffered a military defeat by the city in 1222, which conquered and destroyed this castle.

    A threat to the emancipation of the city was the Constitution of Ravenna, Emperor Frederick II of 1232, in which he wanted to ban the self-determination of the episcopal cities and even the guilds, probably mainly because of his conflicts with Italian cities.

    Archbishop Gerhard II initially sought the support of the citizens for his Stedinger War . In return he granted them tax and legal relief in 1233 and assured the city not to build any more castles on the Weser against their will. The contract was even confirmed by Frederick's son and co-regent Henry VII . It was only after the victory over the Stedinger in 1246 that the archbishop set about putting the city on a short leash with his Gerhard reversals . Among other things, “the mayors and the community of all citizens” were forced to revoke the city's first independent statutes called wilcore . His order to remove the archbishop's servants from the city's jurisdiction probably contributed to the fact that half a century later, as a result of a single dispute, the archbishop's palace was stormed by citizens and went up in flames.

    With the Bremen city law codified since 1303/09, the city created its own permanent legal system.

    But the paternalism was far from over. The privilege of Charles V of 1541 allowed the city officials to disregard the archbishop's bailiff in jurisdiction, but his office was still in place.

    The Hanseatic joined Bremen at relatively slowly. Membership was also endangered several times. Sometimes Bremen did not act forcefully enough against pirates in order not to spoil it completely with the Frisians . Sometimes the mayors of other Hanseatic cities had negative reactions when they were deposed of known Bremen mayors.

    Most of the land acquired by the city today belongs to the municipality of Bremen , unless they were lost again in the 17th century. Some, such as the Vieland , were initially ruled jointly by the city and cathedral chapter. Attempts by the city to expand its power along the Lower Weser suffered serious setbacks such as the loss of the Vredeborg . It was not until the 17th and 19th centuries that Vegesack and Bremerhaven were established as outer ports - both were urgently needed because the Lower Weser silted up and was increasingly difficult to navigate by seagoing vessels.

    The archbishopric, on the other hand, acquired secular territorial property at a greater distance from the city. After all, it dominated large parts of the Elbe-Weser triangle. This area is not one of the forerunners of today's Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. The archbishops increasingly no longer resided in Bremen, but in Bremervörde . As a result of the Reformation, this archbishopric of Bremen was secularized and became the Duchy of Bremen at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 . Together with the Duchy of Verden , it finally came to the Electorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg , later the Kingdom of Hanover, via Swedish and Danish sovereignty . Within the Bremen city fortifications , the archbishopric and later duchy of Bremen owned the cathedral freedom .

    19th century

    At the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of 1803, three years before the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire , Bremen was one of the six imperial cities that were not mediatized , but retained their independence. It also regained the freedom of the cathedral, which had been under the sovereignty of Hanover until then with the Duchy of Bremen.

    After the annexation of north-west Germany by Napoleonic France , Bremen was the capital of the French department of the Weser estuary from 1811 to 1814 ( Département des Bouches-du-Weser ) . From 1815 to 1866, Bremen was a sovereign state in the German Confederation . Because of the silting up of the Weser, a second outer port was founded in 1827, from which the city of Bremerhaven emerged.

    After the German Revolution of 1848/49 , Bremen adopted a liberal constitution in 1849, which was replaced in 1854 by a conservative constitution with eight-class voting rights . From 1866 to 1871 Bremen was a member state in the North German Confederation and until 1918 in the German Empire .

    Bremen Soviet Republic

    The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen since 1800

    At the end of the First World War , in the course of the November Revolution , a workers 'and soldiers' council took power in Bremen on November 15, 1918, but the highest executive body was a joint committee of council representatives and senators. The Bremen Soviet Republic , proclaimed on January 10, 1919, was ended on February 4 of the same year by a military intervention ordered by the Council of People's Representatives of the Reich.

    Weimar Republic

    After that, a provisional government of the city-state was installed. On March 9, 1919, the Bremen National Assembly was elected by general and free elections , which in 1920 passed a new, parliamentary state constitution with universal and equal suffrage . This meant that women's suffrage had also prevailed.

    Government (Senate) in Bremen from 1919 to 1933
    Period President of the Senate mayor Ruling parties
    Karl Deichmann ( MSPD ) Hermann Hildebrand ( DDP ) MSPD, DDP and DVP
    1920-1925 Martin Donandt (independent) Theodor Spitta (DDP) DDP, DVP and several, partly non-party merchants
    1925-1928 Martin Donandt (independent) Theodor Spitta (DDP) DDP, DVP and DNVP
    1928-1933 Martin Donandt (independent) Karl Deichmann ( SPD ) SPD and DDP

    National Socialism

    When the NSDAP came to power in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen on March 6, 1933, one day after the Reichstag elections, Bremen's phase of National Socialism began . The twelve-year period was marked by the oppression and persecution of democrats and minorities. Several labor camps were set up in which prisoners of war and opponents of the regime had to do forced labor under the most difficult conditions , and thousands of them lost their lives in the process. Like the other German states, the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen lost its sovereign rights through the law on the rebuilding of the Reich of January 30, 1934. As the Hanseatic City of Bremen, the land was assigned to the Weser-Ems Gau under Gauleiter Carl Röver .

    By the fourth ordinance on the rebuilding of the Reich of September 28, 1939, the Hanseatic City of Bremen had to cede the municipality of Bremerhaven, with the exception of the ports there, to the Prussian province of Hanover . Bremerhaven thus became part of Wesermünde , which was formed in 1924 from Geestemünde and Lehe . In exchange for this, the Hanseatic City of Bremen received large parts of the Blumenthal district , which gave Bremen-Nord its current size. In addition there were Hemelingen , Arbergen and Mahndorf .

    Second World War

    During the Second World War there was severe destruction in Bremen ( 173 air raids ) and Wesermünde ( 52 attacks ). In Bremen, 59% of the urban structure was finally destroyed. In Wesermünde the proportion was 56%, with Alt-Bremerhaven alone being almost completely destroyed. Around 4,000 people were killed in Bremen as a result of aerial warfare , and more than 1,100 people in Wesermünde.

    On April 10, 1945, the battle for Bremen finally began with British artillery fire. The British final offensive on April 25th led to the surrender by the last combat commander in the night of April 26th to 27th. Shortly thereafter, the Wehrmacht finally surrendered unconditionally , which ended the Second World War in Europe.

    After 1945

    In order to secure supplies for the US troops as a port of embarkation , Bremen and Bremerhaven , located in the British occupation zone , became a US exclave . Both the Hanseatic city of Bremen and the city of Wesermünde belonged to the American zone of occupation and were surrounded by the British zone , whereby Wesermünde belonged to the British zone from the turn of the year 1945/46 to March 31, 1947 and was renamed Bremerhaven on March 10, 1947. Apart from this official assignment, Bremen was at times part of both the American and British zones. The Hanseatic City of Bremen was a member of the State Council of the American Zone as long as it existed. In the first zone advisory board of the British zone (March 6, 1946 to April 30, 1947) with six country representatives and ten departmental representatives, the representative of the four smaller states was also appointed by the Hanseatic City of Bremen, in the second zone advisory board of the British zone (June 10, 1947 to June 29, 1948) from 37 state delegates, the Hanseatic City of Bremen was no longer represented.

    Since the Hanseatic City of Bremen and the City of Bremerhaven became the American exclave after the end of the war from 1939 and then became the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, the two-city state has encompassed a larger territory since its reconstitution in January / February 1947 than at the time of the German Reiches (1871: 255.25 km², 1939: 325.42 km², 1947: 404.28 km²).


    Since the Federal Republic of Germany was founded, it has been a constant in Bremen's policy to maintain its independence as a city-state. In terms of economic policy, restructuring has to be mastered since the 1970s. The decline of the shipbuilding industry ( AG Weser , Bremer Vulkan ) and an important reduction in the city Bremen ports made it necessary to find more economic pillars and a profile as economic - and scientific center with a focus on the air and - space technology and in the logistics sharpen.

    After the income tax reform of 1970, taxes are no longer paid to the place of work, but to the place of residence of the taxpayer. The increasing number of Bremen employees living in the Lower Saxony area and paying tax there (2006: 130,000; the balance of Bremen / Lower Saxony still 100,000 employees) leads to a financial crisis that threatens Bremen's independence. In 1986 and 1992 the Federal Constitutional Court decided that tax legislation must be implemented in such a way that the “otherness of the city-states” is taken into account. Apart from the temporary federal grants from 1994 to 2004 in the amount of 8.5 billion euros and from around 2008 to 2016 in the amount of 2.7 billion euros, there has not yet been any permanent regulation to remedy the budget emergency.

    Due to the state treaty with Lower Saxony on the Luneplate of May 5, 2009, which came into force on January 1, 2010, the area of ​​the state grew by 14.95 km² to 419.23 km².

    Government (Senate) and opposition in Bremen since 1945
    Period Mayor,
    term of office
    Ruling parties Opposition parties
    June 6 to August 1, 1945 Vagts Non-party, BDV , SPD , KPD
    1945-1946 Kaisen I. SPD, BDV, KPD, non-party
    1946-1948 Kaisen II SPD, BDV, KPD, non-party CDU , DP
    1948-1951 Kaisen III SPD, BDV, non-party CDU, DP
    1951-1955 Kaisen IV SPD, FDP, CDU DP, SRP , KPD, GB / BHE , WdF
    1955-1959 Kaisen V SPD, CDU, FDP DP, KPD
    1959-1963 Kaisen VI SPD, FDP CDU, DP
    1963-1965 Kaisen VII SPD, FDP CDU, DP / NPD
    1965-1967 Dehnkamp SPD, FDP
    1967-1971 Koschnick I. SPD, FDP CDU, NPD
    1971-1975 Koschnick II SPD CDU, FDP
    1975-1979 Koschnick III SPD CDU, FDP
    1979-1983 Koschnick IV SPD CDU, FDP, BGL
    1983-1985 Koschnick V SPD CDU, Greens
    1985-1987 Wedemeier I SPD
    1987-1991 Wedemeier II SPD CDU, Greens, FDP, DVU
    1991-1995 Wedemeier III SPD, Greens , FDP CDU, DVU
    1995-1999 Scherf I SPD, CDU Greens, AFB , FDP
    1999-2003 Scherf II SPD, CDU Greens, DVU
    2003-2005 Scherf III SPD, CDU Greens, DVU, FDP
    2005-2007 Boehrnsen I. SPD, CDU
    2007-2011 Böhrnsen II SPD, Greens CDU, FDP, Left , DVU, BIW
    2011-2015 Boehrnsen III SPD, Greens CDU, Left, BIW
    2015-2019 Sieling SPD, Greens CDU, Left, FDP, AfD, BIW
    since 2019 Bovenschulte SPD, Greens, Left CDU, AfD, FDP, BIW


    State building

    Proclamation No. 3 of 1947: Re-establishment of the state of Bremen

    According to its constitution , the state of Bremen bears the name Free Hanseatic City of Bremen and is a member of the German Republic and Europe (Art. 64 BremLV). According to Art. 65, the state of Bremen is committed to democracy , social justice , freedom , protection of the natural environment , peace and international understanding . All power in Bremen comes from the people.

    Administrative division

    The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is divided into two municipalities, each of which is subdivided into districts , districts and districts :

    • City of Bremen with 567,559 inhabitants (December 31, 2019)
    • Bremen is divided into five urban districts ( center , south , east , west and north ) and these are divided into 19 urban and four independent districts. 22 advisory boards and 17 local offices are assigned to these units. 18 districts are further subdivided into 84 districts, making a total of 88 districts. The Oberneuland district has no district.
    • City of Bremerhaven with 113,643 inhabitants (December 31, 2019)
    • Bremerhaven is divided into two districts ( north and south ) and these are divided into nine districts. The districts are further divided into 24 districts.

    Legislative - state parliament

    Structure and structure

    The legislature is formed by the Bremen citizenship . With 83 members it is the state parliament and, as city citizenship, with the 68 Bremen members it is also responsible for the municipal affairs of the city of Bremen. The members of the citizenship are elected for four years in the electoral areas of Bremen and Bremerhaven. In addition, the legislature is entitled to the people in referendums .

    The Bremerhaven city council with 48 city councilors is responsible for the municipal affairs of the city of Bremerhaven .


    Since the end of the war, Bremen has been the only federal state in which the SPD was elected the strongest party in every state election until 2019 , was always involved in the government and has always been the President of the Senate since July 1945 .

    The election results of the CDU in every election were below their national average. Between 1946 and 1967 the German Party (DP) and from 1951 to 1955 the BHE or the All-German Block / Federation of Expellees and Disenfranchised (GB / BHE) were represented in the citizenship. Both parties went into the CDU.

    The liberal Bremen Democratic People's Party (BDV) with Mayor Theodor Spitta was an influential bourgeois party between 1945 and 1951. It became part of the FDP in 1951 .

    The KPD was represented in the citizenry from 1947 to 1956. In 1971, the DKP achieved its best state election result in Bremen with 3.1%. In the 2007 general election in Bremen , the left came into a West German state parliament for the first time with 8.4%.

    In 1979 the Bremen Green List , the forerunner party of the Greens , entered Bremen's citizenship. Since 1987 (with the exception of 1999) the Greens have always achieved double-digit election results.

    Favored by the structure as a city-state and the right to vote, in which the two cities form separate electoral areas with a separately applicable five percent hurdle , splinter parties outside the left spectrum usually achieved good results. The right-wing extremist DVU - especially in Bremerhaven - had a higher influx, which from 1987 onwards one seat and from 1991 onwards for parliamentary groups in the citizenry. After the DVU was no longer represented in the citizenry in 1995, it was able to move in again in 1999 due to the overcoming of the five percent hurdle in Bremerhaven with one seat by 2011.

    From 1995 to 1999, the party Arbeit für Bremen and Bremerhaven , which emerged as the right-wing SPD split off, was represented with 10.7% and twelve members of the parliament. The Rule of Law Offensive party achieved an election result of 4.4% nationwide in 2003, with 4.8% in Bremerhaven just failing to become a citizen. The right-wing populist community of voters Bürger in Wut moved four years later with a 5.29% share of the vote in Bremerhaven with a mandate.

    Executive - state government

    The executive branch is the Senate of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen : It is the state government of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. The individual senate members are elected by the citizenship with a majority of the votes cast for the duration of the citizenship election period. First of all, the President of the Senate is elected in a separate ballot in a secret ballot .

    Councilors of State , the number of which may not exceed one third of the number of senators, can be elected as further members of the Senate on the proposal of the Senate (Art. 108). Compared to the other state governments, the Senate has a distinctive character as a collegial body; the President of the Senate has no formal authority to issue guidelines . The senate members cannot belong to the citizenry at the same time.

    Debt for 5,000 marks from the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen dated October 1, 1920

    Local government


    The municipal organs of the City of Bremen are largely identical in personnel to the state organs of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. The members of the Bremen citizenship elected in the Bremen electoral area are also members of the Bremen municipal parliament ( city ​​citizenship ); Shifts can result from the fact that EU foreigners can only influence the composition of the city citizenship, but not the composition of the state parliament. The state senate is also the organ of the city of Bremen.


    The state law provides in Articles 145 to 148 of the state constitution of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen a loose framework for the municipal constitution. Bremerhaven has acc. Article 144 of the state constitution by the local law of the city of Bremerhaven from November 4, 1947 given the constitution of the city of Bremerhaven . The city ​​council decides on all city affairs. The supervision of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is limited according to Article 147 “on the lawfulness of administration” ( legal supervision ).

    As the head of the administration, Bremerhaven has a magistrate with a lord mayor , the mayor as deputy and the city council. Bremerhaven has some organizational rights, for example in the school and police system , which are exercised at state level in other federal states.

    Judicial branch - judges

    The judiciary , the judicial power , is carried out by independent judges (Art. 135). The members of the courts are elected by a committee made up of three members of the Senate, five members of the citizenry and three judges (Art. 136).

    For questions that the Bremische Constitution , adopt a was State Supreme Court furnished. The Constitutional Court consists of the President of the Higher Administrative Court of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen or his deputy and six elected members, two of which are quite learned Bremen judges need to be.

    The elected members are elected by the citizenship immediately after their first meeting for the duration of their electoral term and remain in office until the next citizenship has made the new election. In the election, the strength of the parliamentary groups should be taken into account whenever possible. The elected members may not be members of the Senate or the citizenship. Re-election is permitted (Art. 139).

    National debt

    Bremen's debt level (in EUR million)
    year Debt
    Sources: The Statistics Portal and the Federal Statistical Office

    For many years, the state of Bremen has by far the highest per capita debt of all German federal states. In 2007 this was 22,000 euros per inhabitant, in 2011 it was 28,638 euros. Due to the different administrative structure, however, such information cannot be easily compared, as only the state budgets are compared with one another in this analysis. If the municipal budgets are taken into account, the picture is partly different, as Bremen consists of the two municipalities of Bremen and Bremerhaven. According to the taxpayers' association , the national debt, together with the high personnel expenditure, is a major problem: “The annual funding deficits of currently 1.2 billion euros have to be gradually reduced.” The per capita debt rose in the period 2008-2018 by 37.6% (see in comparison the indebtedness of the federal states ).

    From 2020, the municipal debts of the cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven amounting to around 10.6 billion euros, as well as the resulting interest, are to be shifted to the state of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.

    State merger and relationship with Lower Saxony

    The demarcation between Bremen and Lower Saxony was changed after the Second World War under the US military government in agreement with Bremen and the Mayor of Bremen Wilhelm Kaisen compared to the demarcation of 1938/39. The proposed expansion of the surrounding area was not taken up for political reasons.

    A merger of several northern German states is discussed again and again. A merger of the states of Lower Saxony and Bremen was discussed. Traditionally, and particularly in Bremen, but also in Lower Saxony, a merger tends to meet with rejection.

    There were repeated irritations between Bremen and Lower Saxony, which were often based on aspects of the spatial and economic planning of Lower Saxony's surrounding municipalities, which Bremen saw as unfavorable, in which large industrial areas were created in competition with Bremen's economy. But so-called “Bremen solo efforts” in infrastructure planning were also criticized.

    Bremen in Europe

    The European department of the representatives of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen at the federal government, for Europe and development cooperation is entrusted with the connection to European politics and administration . State Councilor for Federal and European Affairs and for Development Cooperation is Ulrike Hiller (SPD).

    Bremen is represented in the European Parliament by the two MPs Joachim Schuster (SPD) and Helga Trüpel (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen).

    The state of Bremen receives funding from the structural funds of the European Union, the European Social Fund (ESF). This is administered by the Senator for Economy, Labor and Europe . The funds are used in programs and projects in Bremen and Bremerhaven to combat poverty and to promote employment in a socio-spatial manner.

    National emblem

    Bremen has a total of four national flags. The state flag with the middle coat of arms also differs from that with the flag coat of arms in the number of stripes. The coat of arms on the national flag should not be confused with the large national coat of arms. The authorities usually use a flag with a coat of arms.

    The State Chancellery of Bremen complied with the request of private individuals, associations and companies to document their affiliation or attachment to “their country” with a specially developed coat of arms , since the national coats of arms may only be used by the authorities.

    Senate Medals

    It is not a Bremen custom to give or wear medals. In Bremen, however, there are various medals of honor.

    Economy and Transport


    Port and maritime industry

    See: Bremische Wirtschaft # Hafen- und Seewirtschaft

    Due to the Bremen / Bremerhaven port group , the state of Bremen is Germany's number two foreign trade location, right after Hamburg . The range of different goods that are imported and exported here extends from fish , meat and dairy products to traditional raw materials such as tea , cotton (see Bremen Cotton Exchange ), rice and tobacco to wine and citrus fruits . Bremen is particularly important for coffee imports and car exports . The Bremerhaven seaport is Germany's largest transshipment point for automobiles.

    Large companies

    In Bremen there is a Daimler plant , Airbus production and aerospace ( EADS , OHB Technology ) and the food industry ( Kraft Foods , Hachez , Beck & Co. Brewery , Kellogg’s , Melitta coffee ). In Bremer Schütting is Bremen Chamber of Commerce - Chamber of Commerce of Bremen and Bremerhaven settled.

    Economic performance

    Compared with the gross domestic product of the European Union , Bremen achieved an index of 161.0 in 2014 (EU-28: 100.0 Germany: 126.0).

    In 2014, economic output in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen was around 30 billion euros in terms of gross domestic product.

    Bremerhaven is an important location for offshore wind energy activities in Germany.

    power supply

    see Bremen economy # energy industry

    In the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, several power plants are operated with fossil fuels, which also supply the Lower Saxony area with electricity. In the two cities of Bremen and Bremerhaven there is a waste incineration plant in operation, the waste heat of which is used for district heating .

    The development of renewable energies began as early as the 1990s . By 2013, wind power plants with a total output of around 195 MW were connected in the state itself and in the surrounding Lower Saxony municipalities , making the region a top position in Germany in terms of output per area. According to the Federal Network Agency, 77 wind turbines with a total output of 149 MW were in operation in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen at the end of 2012, which means around 355 kW per km² of land area.


    see Bremen economy # Tourism



    Bremen and Bremerhaven together form the second largest seaport in Germany. The focus in the ports of Bremen is particularly the car handling , container terminal and fishing port in Bremerhaven as well as the Neustädter Hafen in Bremen. The port management company is called Bremenports and is 100% owned by the municipality of Bremen, even if its area of ​​responsibility extends to both cities and thus also to the ports in Bremerhaven .

    There are several ferry connections across the Weser in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. These connections exist between Bremerhaven and Nordenham , between Bremen- Farge and Berne , between Bremen-Blumenthal and Motzen , and between Bremen- Vegesack and Lemwerder .


    Bremen and Bremerhaven are connected to one another by an electrified, double-track main railway line. From Bremen main station there are also connections to Hamburg, Hanover, Uelzen , the Ruhr area , Delmenhorst - Oldenburg / - Osnabrück / -Nordenham and the Vegesack district, from where the Farge-Vegesacker Railway connects the Blumenthal district . From Bremerhaven main station there are rail connections to Cuxhaven and Bremervörde / Hamburg. Bremen Central Station is classified in the second highest German station category. The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen has a total of 27 railway stops for passenger traffic and more than ten freight and marshalling yards.

    Until 2001, Bremerhaven was also integrated into the long-distance network of Deutsche Bahn. Since then, only Bremen main station has been accessible for national and international long-distance traffic, the other connections are regional traffic. The main stations in Bremen and Bremerhaven are through stations .


    Both parts of the country are the motorway A 27 interconnected. The A 270 runs in the north of the city of Bremen, and further expansion of the A 281 is currently planned in the city itself . Furthermore, the affected A 1 , the city of Bremen.

    The Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is the first and so far only federal state with a continuous speed limit of 120 km / h on the motorways that run through its territory.

    Air traffic

    Bremen International Airport is located in Bremen-Neuenland . Until 2016 there was a smaller airfield in Bremerhaven-Luneort, the Bremerhaven-Luneort airfield . This was closed in order to be able to develop areas for the wind power industry and to realize the planned Offshore Terminal Bremerhaven (OTB). However, the OTB has not been built until today (2020).

    Public facilities


    Education, science and research

    School system

    Universities in the state of Bremen

    Scientific institutions

    Bremen has developed into an important location for marine sciences in the last few decades. In 2005, Bremen and Bremerhaven were elected City of Science 2005 by the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft .


    Authority and bodies



    Sports facilities and sports clubs can be found in the articles on the city or districts of Bremen and Bremerhaven.

    Sport in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen is practiced in around 450 Bremen and Bremerhaven sports clubs with around 160,000 members. It is represented by the Landessportbund Bremen (LSB) as the umbrella organization, the regional sports federations Bremen, Bremen-Nord and Bremerhaven and around 50  specialist sports associations . Popular sport is a particular concern. In terms of organization, sports clubs from Bremen and Bremerhaven are often closely interlinked with those from Lower Saxony .

    The oldest, still existing association Vorwärts in Bremen was founded in 1846 as a workers' education association by cigar makers and was based in the Vorwärts house from 1853 to 1973 .

    The oldest club in Bremerhaven was founded in 1859 by the educator Justus Lion as the Gymnastics Club Bremerhaven , from which the ATS Bremerhaven (ATSB) emerged in 1919 and the OSC Bremerhaven in 1972 with around 4500 members (2013).

    The largest and most successful club in Bremen is SV Werder Bremen with around 40,000 members (2013), followed by Bremen 1860 with around 6,000 members (1995).

    Sports matter

    Selection, sorted alphabetically


    Denomination statistics

    The largest denominational communities (as of December 31, 2018) are the Protestant churches (32.7% of the population) and the Roman Catholic Church (10.1% of the population). Around 57% of the population do not profess either of these two religious communities. A year earlier, the Protestant Church with 33.5% and the Roman Catholic Church with 11.1% of the population were larger. 55.4% of the population did not confess to either of these two religious communities in 2017 (statistics from EKD, as of December 31, 2017), the vast majority of them are non-denominational .

    Protestant church

    The development of religious affiliations in Bremen follows the trend of most of the major cities in Germany that used to be predominantly inhabited by Protestant church members. At the beginning of the 20th century, the absolutely dominant and thus dominant church (with a share of over 90 percent), this share now amounts to a third. The Protestant regional church ( Bremer Evangelische Kirche in Bremen and Bremerhaven-Mitte) has both a Lutheran and a Reformed tradition and is therefore a United Church . In addition, many Christians in the remaining parts of Bremerhaven, which formerly belonged to the Kingdom of Hanover , belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover .

    Catholic Church

    The Roman Catholic Christians belong to the dean's office of Bremen of the Diocese of Osnabrück (Bremen / south of the Lesum) and to the dean's offices of Bremerhaven and Bremen-North of the Diocese of Hildesheim (Bremerhaven and Bremen-North / north of the Lesum).

    Old Catholic Church

    There is a parish of the Old Catholic Church , which belongs to the Theresiendom parish in Nordstrand . Old Catholic masses are held in the Roman Catholic Church at St. Joseph Stift Hospital .

    Free Churches

    There are also a number of free churches in Bremen , including the Apostolic Community , the New Apostolic Church and the Seventh-day Adventists .

    Jehovah's Witnesses

    Likewise, Jehovah's Witnesses are represented with communities in the city area.


    There is a synagogue in Bremen- Schwachhausen . The old Jewish cemetery is Deichbruchstrasse in Hastedt and the new Jewish cemetery was completed in November 2008 on Riensberg between H.-H.-Meier-Allee No. 80 and Beckfeldstrasse (access). In Bremerhaven there is the Jewish Community of Bremerhaven .


    The Muslims are organized in a large number of communities and associations. The largest mosque is the Fatih Mosque in Bremen - Gröpelingen . In Bremerhaven are u. a. the Merkez Camii mosque in Lehe .

    According to the 2011 figures, around 40,000 Muslims live in Bremen, which corresponds to 6% of the population.

    The Muslim associations active in Bremen include:


    After all, members of Asian religious communities live in Bremen in less firmly established organizational forms, e.g. B. Buddhists .

    See also

    Portal: Bremen  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Bremen


    Web links

    Further content in the
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    Individual evidence

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    2. According to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
    3. a b Since the entry into force of the State Treaty on Luneplate .
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    Coordinates: 53 ° 8 '  N , 8 ° 44'  E