Protective custody (Kingdom of Prussia)

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The so-called protective custody goes back to the German Revolution in Prussia in 1848 and was first introduced in the Prussian state by Friedrich Wilhelm IV through the “Law for the Protection of Personal Freedom” of February 12, 1850 . This law is based on the law of the same name of September 24, 1848, passed by the Prussian National Assembly and adopted by the King, in which the term protective custody was not yet included but was in fact already used.

Meaning and text of the law of 1850

By protective custody the Prussian authorities were empowered to detain even people who no crime had been committed. It was enough to point out the threat to public security and order. This practice was justified in such a way that it was done “to protect the personal freedom” of those affected.

Section 6 on protective custody, newly added to the Act of 1850, reads:

“The authorities, civil servants and security guards named in Section 3 are authorized to take persons into police custody if the protection of these persons or the maintenance of public morality, security and tranquility urgently require this measure. The persons taken into custody by the police must, however, be released in the course of the following day at the latest, or the necessary steps must be taken during this time to refer them to the competent authority. "

The Prussian National Assembly had laid down rules on personal freedom with the law, stipulating that arrested persons were to be brought before the competent judge immediately and that the apartment was inviolable.

After the "Prussian Law on the State of Siege" was passed on June 4, 1851, such preventive detention could also be indefinite. In addition, she was beyond judicial control. This law remained in effect until the Weimar Constitution in 1919.

Application in World War I and the Weimar Republic

The "Prussian law on the state of siege" and the protective custody regulated therein were applied by Kaiser Wilhelm II during the First World War through extensive coercive measures imposed by German authorities without a civil court review - the consequences of which in the "law concerning arrest and residence restrictions based on the state of war and the State of siege of December 4, 1916 ”were only slightly moderated. A known victim between 1916 and 1918 was Rosa Luxemburg .

After the November Revolution of 1918, under the SPD, "People's Commissioner for Army and Navy" and later Reichswehr Minister Gustav Noske came into force on February 10, 1919 with the law on provisional imperial power § 5, which is based on the "Prussian law on the state of siege", Protective custody was used en masse, mostly against communists after the Spartacus uprising .

The term protective custody was also used after the Weimar Constitution , which was in effect in Germany on August 14, 1919 , and the prisoner was granted more rights - in some cases with restrictions. Art. 48 WRV Paragraph 2 replaced the 68 year old Prussian law. The "freedom of the person", which could be restricted for a while under certain circumstances, was regulated by Art. 114 of the Weimar Constitution. Here, too, protective custody meant imprisonment without conviction or urgent suspicion.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb): “The term protective custody ”. In: Prussia - Chronicle of a German State. Retrieved March 26, 2014 .
  2. ^ Act on Provisional Reich Power of February 10, 1919 . Reichs-Gesetzblatt 1919, pp. 169–171. Quoted from: Ernst Rudolf Huber : Documents on German Constitutional History , Volume 4: German Constitutional Documents 1919-1933 . Kohlhammer-Verlag, Stuttgart, 3rd edition, 1992, ISBN 3-17-011718-1 , pp. 77f. on, accessed on September 28, 2016.
  3. Justus H. Ulbricht (Ed.): Weimar 1919: Chances of a Republic . Böhlau Verlag, Cologne, ISBN 978-3-412-20359-7 , p. 93: “69. Session of the National Assembly ”.
  4. Calendar sheet: 5.1.1919: Uprising of the Spartakus Bund in Berlin . Deutsche Welle broadcast “Calendar Sheet”, one day on Spiegel Online , January 3, 2008, accessed on September 28, 2016.
  5. ^ Speech by Reichswehr Minister Gustav Noske; speaks of 22 prisoners in protective custody in Berlin . 94th session of the National Assembly on October 9, 1919, at, accessed on September 28, 2016.
  6. ^ Speech by Reichswehr Minister Gustav Noske on the restriction of the rights of prisoners in protective custody . 112th session of the National Assembly on October 29, 1919, at, accessed on September 28, 2016.