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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

Reimann, Max
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

Page 64

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)
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
(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
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.
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.
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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