The Parliamentary Council was an assembly elected from eleven German state parliaments of the three western zones , which met in Bonn from September 1948 to May / June 1949 . After the suppression of the Nazi dictatorship three years earlier at the end of the Second World War , it was intended to usher in a new political beginning for Germany based on democratic principles .
On May 8, 1949, the Parliamentary Council passed the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany , a constitutional and state law basis for the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany ( West Germany ), which still depended on the approval of the state parliaments and the approval of the military governors of the western zones. In addition, with the election law for the Bundestag election and the provisions for the Federal Assembly, he created the legal requirements for the first Bundestag election on August 14, 1949 and for the first election of the Federal President , which took place on September 12, 1949.
Based on the Frankfurt documents the victorious Western powers , including the country managers in on the Knights fall conference adopted resolutions Koblenz took position should, for the new, provisional western state only a " basic law " to be created. The name “Parliamentary Council” also arose from this provisional idea, since a national assembly by name as a constitution- maker was considered too final. In addition to the task of drawing up a basic law as a constitution from the preparatory work of the Herrenchiemsee Convention , this also included the legal regulations for a free election of the future legislature and a federal assembly .
On August 13, 1948, the eleven West German Prime Ministers and Mayors (Hamburg, Bremen) decided that the Parliamentary Council in Bonn should draw up a constitution. Bonn was preferred to Karlsruhe, Frankfurt and Celle. The decision that Bonn should be the “provisional seat of the federal organs” was made by the interior ministers and interior senators on October 11, 1948 at a preparatory constitutional convention in Düsseldorf .
Election of the Parliamentary Council
On July 26, 1948, the state chiefs of the three western occupation zones reached an agreement between the prime ministers through the parliamentary council on the basis of a corresponding agreement with the three military governors on the same day . In it they undertook to submit a draft law for the election of members to the Parliamentary Council to the parliaments of their countries and to communicate the names of the elected members to the joint office they established on July 15, 1948 by August 16, 1948 at the latest. A constitutional committee then worked out a model law for the establishment of the parliamentary council , which was adopted by the state parliaments without any major changes. Only the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia renounced its own electoral law and elected its 17 council members without further ado on August 6, 1948.
The sixty-five voting members were not elected by direct general election, but by the individual state parliaments. The same applied to the five non-voting members who were elected by the Berlin City Council on September 6, 1948. Apart from that, the structure and structure of the Parliamentary Council corresponded to that of a democratic legislature with MPs , Presidium , parliamentary groups and committees .
The opening ceremony of the Parliamentary Council took place as part of a ceremony on September 1, 1948 in the Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn. Karl Arnold (CDU) gave the opening speech as the host Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia. Then the Hessian Prime Minister Christian Stock (SPD) spoke as chairman of the Prime Minister's Conference . The constituent meeting on the same day, which Konrad Adenauer (CDU) elected President and Adolph Schönfelder (SPD) and Hermann Schäfer (FDP) as Vice-Presidents of the Council, took place like all other plenary and committee meetings in the Pedagogical Academy , which later became the Federal Palace . The CDU / CSU parliamentary group found accommodation in Königswinter , the SPD parliamentary group in the Bad Honnef district of Rhöndorf and the remaining parliamentary groups in Bonn. The occupying powers maintained liaison staffs at the Parliamentary Council: France and the USA in a twin villa in Joachimstrasse and Great Britain in the Villa Spiritus .
The Parliamentary Council consisted of 65 delegates from the western zones of occupation who were entitled to vote and five delegates from West Berlin who were not entitled to vote . During the deliberations of the Parliamentary Council, six members resigned and one, Felix Walter (CDU), died on February 17, 1949. Therefore there were seven successors and a total of 77 members . The MPs formed factions and groups . The stalemate of the major parties forced an agreement on the crucial issues and prevented one party from being able to put its stamp on the Basic Law alone.
Even if the "fathers of the Basic Law" are spoken of at the time, there were also four women (6%) among the MPs, namely Friederike Nadig (SPD), Elisabeth Selbert (SPD), Helene Weber (CDU) and Helene Wessel (center), who are now referred to as the mothers of the Basic Law .
The Parliamentary Council was dominated by lawyers and civil servants. Including successors, twelve of the deputies were state ministers, including five ministers of justice. 47 MPs were previously or at the time of the Parliamentary Council civil servants. 51 MPs had an academic degree, including 32 a law exam and 11 an economics degree. Many MPs had already held important offices in the Weimar Republic . Eleven MPs were previously members of the Reichstag and three had already worked on the drafting of the Weimar Constitution of 1919. Hermann Höpker-Aschoff (FDP) was Prussian Finance Minister between 1925 and 1931, Paul Löbe (SPD) was President of the Reichstag for many years . There were also numerous professors, including recognized constitutional experts such as Carlo Schmid (SPD). The Secretary of the Parliamentary Council was Oberregierungsrat Hans Troßmann (CSU).
Other MPs looked back on more or less influential careers during the Nazi era or were involved in the terror of the Nazi regime after the “ seizure of power ”. This group of people included the CDU delegate Hermann von Mangoldt (professor for public law), the FDP delegate Höpker-Aschoff (chief lawyer of the main trust agency East ), the DP delegate Hans-Christoph Seebohm (co-founder of the Egerländer Bergbau AG, which as " Auffanggesellschaft "was founded to take over " aryanized " property), the aryanization expert of the Dresdner Bank Paul Binder (CDU) or the former SA senior squad leader Adolf Blomeyer (CDU).
Results of the deliberations
The main goal of the creators of the Basic Law, determined by the Allied Western Powers, was to learn from the mistakes of the Weimar Republic and the dictatorship of the National Socialists . In terms of content, the Basic Law was supposed to create a democratic order on a federal basis with constitutional guarantees and thus an alternative to the totalitarianism of the National Socialist injustice regime . In deliberate delimitation to this and to the people 's democracies of the Soviet style, most of the members of parliament supported parliamentary democracy, the idea of the substantive rule of law and the principle of the separation of powers .
To the drawn by the Parliamentary Council lessons from the failure of the Weimar Republic as the definition of material barriers were constitutional amendments in para. 3 GG . There was agreement on the primacy and normativity of the constitution, which was to bind legislation, case law and administration. Above all, fundamental rights have been strengthened and the role of the chancellor has been upgraded. For example, instead of a simple one, the so-called constructive vote of no confidence was introduced. The position of the Federal President has also been redesigned.
The mothers and fathers of the Basic Law were representatives of a militant democracy and wanted to ensure that - unlike in the Weimar Constitution - precautions were taken to make it impossible for enemies of democracy to legally undermine it again. As "guardian of the constitution" one equipped with comprehensive powers was Constitutional Court provided. It should ensure that the law is recognized as the foundation of human society and that political expediency is not made the highest principle. Law should precede power . The rule of law and the legal binding of all state power statement and its procedural safety were in para. 3 and 4 of the Basic Law. Committed.
The primary goal of the Basic Law was to restore the unity of all Germans, as expressed in the preamble and in Article 23 . In doing so, however, the interests of the (Western) Allies had to be taken into account, who demanded improvements in detail; This concerned in particular the role of Berlin, which the Parliamentary Council wanted to be a German federal state with equal rights , while the victorious powers insisted on the special status of the city, which was expressed, for example, in the fact that the Berlin deputies in the German Bundestag were not given the right to vote.
Adoption and enactment of the Basic Law
Exactly four years after the end of the Second World War, the Parliamentary Council passed the Basic Law on May 8, 1949 at 11:55 p.m. (due to the political significance of the fourth anniversary of the Liberation Day ) after 36 amendments with 53 to 12 votes. The two MPs from the KPD, the Center, the DP and six of the eight CSU MPs voted against the Basic Law.
The three western military governors gave their consent on May 12, and the federal states also voted on May 18-21. May 1949 approved the draft - only the Bavarian state parliament voted by a majority against the Basic Law, which it did not consider federalist enough, but with the stipulation that the Basic Law would be recognized if two thirds of the federal states would ratify it, which was the case ( para . 1 GG).
The Basic Law was promulgated at the last session of the Parliamentary Council on May 23, 1949 and published in the Federal Law Gazette on the same day. It came into force in West Germany (except initially in Saarland , which only became part of the Federal Republic in January 1957) at the end of that day ( GG). The Basic Law contained some special regulations for Berlin (West) .
The electoral law for the 1st German Bundestag and the 1st Federal Assembly was promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette on June 15, 1949 ( Federal Law Gazette No. 2 ) and an amendment on August 5, 1949 ( Federal Law Gazette No. 3 ). The Parliamentary Council disbanded after these preparations. The election for the first German Bundestag took place on August 14, 1949.
The Parliamentary Council consisted of 65 members who were elected by the respective state parliaments. One MP represented around 750,000 residents at a time. In addition, there were five Berlin MPs who only had advisory status. The oldest member was the SPD deputy Adolph Schönfelder (1875–1966), who was also elected senior president; the youngest member of parliament was Kaspar Seibold (CSU) (1914–1995). The last living MP was Hannsheinz Bauer (SPD) (1909–2005).
On September 1, 1948, the first meeting for the election of the president was chaired by the senior president Adolph Schönfelder (SPD) and then handed over to the elected Konrad Adenauer.
|president||Political party||Deputy||Political party||Secretary||Political party|
|Konrad Adenauer (1876–1967)||CDU||Adolph Schönfelder (1875–1966)||SPD||Helene Weber (1881–1962)||CDU|
|Jean Stock (1893-1965)||SPD|
|Hermann Schäfer (1892–1966)||FDP||Helene Wessel (1898–1969)||DZP|
|Max Becker (1888-1960)||LDP|
Distribution of seats
The deputies came from the state parliaments of the three western zones and were divided as follows:
|Allocation of seats in the Parliamentary Council|
|Zone||Seats||state||CDU / CSU||SPD||FDP||DZP||DP||KPD||total|
|American zone of occupation||25th||Bavaria||8th||4th||1||-||-||-||13|
|British zone of occupation||32||Hamburg||1||1||-||-||-||-||2|
|French zone of occupation||8th||bathe||1||1||-||-||-||-||2|
|only advisory function||5||Berlin||1||3||1||-||-||-||5|
|CDU / CSU||Robert Lehr (1883-1956)||Heinrich Rönneburg (1887–1949)||until December 1948|
|Anton Pfeiffer (1888–1957)||
Adolf Süsterhenn (1905–1974)
|from December 1948|
|Theophil Kaufmann (1888–1961)||Heinrich von Brentano (1904–1964)||from May 1949|
|SPD||Carlo Schmid (1896–1979)||
Walter Menzel (1901–1963)
Andreas Gayk (1893–1954)
Gustav Zimmermann (1888–1949)
Paul Löbe (1875–1967)
|FDP / LDP / DVP||Theodor Heuss (1884–1963)|
|DZP||Johannes Brockmann (1888–1975)|
|DP||Hans-Christoph Seebohm (1903-1967)|
|KPD||Max Reimann (1898–1977)|
The following committees have been set up in the Parliamentary Council :
|Committee||Chairman||Political party||Deputy||Political party|
|Main committee||Carlo Schmid||SPD||Heinrich von Brentano||CDU|
|Rules of Procedure Committee||Adolph Schönfelder||SPD||Theophil Kaufmann||CDU|
|for delimitation of responsibilities||Friedrich Wilhelm Wagner||SPD||Walter Strauss||CDU|
|for the occupation statute||Carlo Schmid||SPD||Heinrich von Brentano||CDU|
|for questions of principle and fundamental rights||Hermann von Mangoldt||CDU||Georg-August Zinn||SPD|
|for suffrage issues||Max Becker||LPD||Georg Diederichs||SPD|
|for financial matters||Paul Binder||CDU||Jean Stock||SPD|
|for the organization of the federal government||Robert Lehr||CDU||Rudolf Katz||SPD|
|for the Constitutional Court and the administration of justice||Georg-August Zinn||SPD||Walter Strauss||CDU|
- List of members of the Parliamentary Council
- State Council of the American Occupation Area (October 17, 1945 to October 22, 1949)
- Zone Advisory Council of the British Occupation Area (February 15, 1946 to June 29, 1948)
- Economic Council of the United Economic Area (August 8, 1946 to August 8, 1949)
- Germany 1945 to 1949
- Chronicle of the division of Germany
- German reunification
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