United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany / Germany's parliament in action; the September 1949 debate on the government's statement of policy
Comment on the statement of policy of the German federal government delivered in the Bundestag on 22 September 1949 by Max Reimann of the German Communist Party, pp. 64-72
Comment on the Statement of Policy of the German Federal Government delivered in the Bundestag on 22 September 1949 by Max Reimann of the German Communist Party (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands - KPD) HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT Ladies and Gentlemen: The Federal Chancellor described the development of the West German State at the outset of his Governmental Statement of Policy. While listening to this description I let my mind roam over the historical development of this State and thought back to those forces abroad that gave the orders to establish it. At the same time I also remembered those Germans who carried out these orders be- cause they feared that Germany as a whole might be developed along democratic lines. May I go back to the very source? I remember that an American paper, the "New York Herald- Tribune", described the purpose of the Govern- ment, which was already planned at that time, in these terms in its issue of 16 March 1949: "The projected West German Government is reduced to the status of a colonial administra- tion operating not under one viceroy but three the French, British and U. S. Military Gov- ernors, or their civilian successors."*) I cannot outline the character of this state more clearly than was done by this newspaper. Thus it is obvious that this Government or, if I may repeat the words of the "New York Herald-Tri- bune", this "colonial agency" with Dr. Adenauer at its head, meets the wishes of the gentlemen in Washington. (Interruptions from the Center: "Shame! We won't let him get away with it!" - Constant exclamations - Persistent unrest - The Pres- iden!t raps his gavel - Dr. KOhler, Speaker of the House: "Represen- tative Reimann, will you yield? We constituted the first Bundestag (parliament) of the Federal Republic of Germany on 7 Sep- tember 1949. On 12 September we elected the chief of state, the Federal President, and on 20 September we were informed of the con- stitution of the German Federal Government. With the exception of yourself, Representative Reimann, I believe there is nobody in this chamber who could, by any chance, ascribe to this procedure the characteristics of a colonial agency. I protest and point out that I will take the necessary measures if you should repeat your description of the German Federal Re- public as a colony or a colonial country." Applause from the Center and Right - Inter- jection from the Right: "Herr Reimann, you may tell that to the Russians or in the Russian Zone! Have you seen the returnees from Russia?") Reimann resumes: Mr. Speaker, I want to make it clear that this term did not originate with me, but that I quoted the term used by an American *) Actually, this is a quote from a column by Joseph Alsop asserting that the French have brought about the state of affairs described. 64 paper. For that very reason it is not fortuitous that this Government represents a collection of representatives of German heavy industry and financial tycoons. For both, German and Amer- ican, are closely intertwined. OCCUPATION STATUTE The Chancellor of the Federal Government swore an oath to uphold the Basic Law. He intends to convey the impression to the German people that the Basic Law of the Parliamentary Council, pro- mulgated on 23 May, represents the true Constitu- tion of this West German State. In actual fact, however, things are different. It did not happen accidentally that, on the day after the formation of the Government, the Occu- pation Statute was put into effect by the three High Commissioners. In that way the High Com- missioners once again made crystal clear what the real Constitution of this West German State is. When political measures are taken in future, this state of affairs will have the opposite effect, to all intents and purposes, from that which the Federal Chancellor was pleased to present to us in his Statement of Policy. (Observation from the Center: "Is that so? Then we'll emigrate to the Soviet Zone!") The Federal Chancellor declared that, as a result of the Occupation Statute, the Ruhr Statute, the Marshall Plan, etc., Germany is more closely inte- grated with foreign countries than ever before. So that you will not interrupt me again, Mr. Speaker, I draw your attention to the fact that I am quoting the Federal Chancellor. In his Govern- mental Statement of Policy, the Federal Chancellor now describes as "integration" what he earlier termed the "dictatorship of foreign powers" and a "colonial statute". At the same time the Chancel- lor tried to make us believe that the High Commis- sioners will consult the Federal Government before taking any important decisions. Exactly the con- trary will be the case. I should like once again to draw your attention to the fact that the Occupation Statute, in the hands of the three High Commissioners, constitutes the real political basis of the Western German State, precludes a Peacy Treaty and draws a veil of uncertainty over the length of the Occupation. The formation of this Government is accompanied by the clanking of rolling tanks in the Ruhr Valley, by the blows of sledgehammers destroying our peacetime industry so that German competition can be eliminated from world trade. (Violent disagreement in the Center and on the Right - Many shouts from the Center: "Soviet Zone!") Even though you will shout a good deal while I address you, I intend to tell you what you need to hear!
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