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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 50 (July 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. 5-[17] PDF (7.8 MB)


Page 5


Fourteen months after V-E Day, conti-
nental Europe is in the throes of constitution
making, constitutional problems and con-
stituonal crises. From Poland on the east
to Greece and Italy on the south to France
on the west, the same questions are being
asked, the same problems wrestled with.
Germany is no exception. Here the difficul-
ties are no less acute, the forces operating
no less deep-seated.
Throughout the past six months, a sched-
ule of elections has been in operation in the
US Zone, and steady progress has been made
in restoring representative councils and self-
government in Gemeinden, Landkreise and
Stadtkreise. Local foundations have thus been
laid for the establishment of Land govern-
ments on a democratic basis.
TASK OF CONVENTIONS
On Sunday, 30 June, constitutional assem-
blies or constitutional conventions (ver-
fassunggebendeVersammlungen) were elected
in the Lander of the US Zone - Bavaria,
Greater Hesse and Wirttemberg-Baden. The
task of these constituent bodies will be to
graft new Land constitutions which, after
MG approval, will be submitted to the voters
for ratification. In these constitutional con-
ventions, the Germans will be faced with
constitutional issues very sinmilar to those
confronting the other European constitution-
makers of 1946.
In the elections of 30 June, 5,554,407
registered German citizens voted in the first
election to be held at Land level and the first
which called the entire electorate to the polls.
As shown in Table 1 (page 6) almost the
same number of people participated in the
Land constitutional assembly elections as in
the combined Landkreis elections (April) and
Stadtkreis elections (May).  However, it
should be noted that some 400,000 more
persons were registered in this election than
in the two previous ones which accounts for
the percentages shown in Table 2 (page 7).
INCREASE EXPLAINED
The increase in registration is primarily
due to the fact that, since the April and
May elections, many refugees and expellees
have been able to satisfy the minimum re-
sidence requirements (six months in Greater
Hesse, one year in Bavaria and Wuirttem-
berg-Baden).  Within  another year, the
electorate will be greatly enlarged by the
addition of refugees and expellees.
Suffrage qualifications were basically the
same as in the three previous elections under
which Nazis were excluded from voting, ex-
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