University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 62 (October 1946)

[Highlights of policy],   pp. 4-13 PDF (5.5 MB)


Page 9

portional representation.  That means i the
voter casts hiss ballot for the list of one of the
four political 'parties. He may or may' not
be told what names are on the list -it is
unimportant. If it takes a certain number of
votes in one borough' to select a member of
the Assembly and one party. polls more than
that number, the surplus votes are thrown
into a general pool and used by the' party
for. the election of other members.
After the City Assembly is elected it will,
in turn, elect a Magistrat or governing ad-
ministrative body, and the' Magistrat,. in
turn,_ will elect an Oberbuergermeister, o'r
Lord Mayor of Berlin, and three Buerger-
meister who are' his assistants.
SIGNIFICANCE EXPLAINED
The significance is this: 'party loyalty and
party responsibility are much' more impor-
tant here than they would be in America.
In Berlin the voter cannot split his vote.. He
cannot* vote for -Schmidt, who is' a 'CDU
candidate for one office, and Weiss, who is
an LDP candidate,)for another; he~votes for
only one of the parties.
Another curious situation..in the iBerlin
election is that the. press of. Germany and -of
the whole world is avidly discubsing them.
As the election comes closer, newspapers and
periodicals all over the world-,,are devoting
a great deal of space and speculation 4sg to
the results. But the people of-Berlin still are
relatively aphathetic about politics, elections
and parties, being more preoccupied -with
food; shelter and other necessities of life.*.
The Allied Kommandantura; which is to
Berlin what the SAllied. Control Council is to
Germany, prodtcod-.-.A the provisional conx
stitution for Be. ein under -which - elections
could be held- and also produced the election
regulations. An official statement was issued
that all political parties had equal rights and
a regulation was passed putting the elections
under qudripartite control.. The ab~ility' of
these four nations, with ..divergeM  social,
cultural, and political concepts, to agree.:o.n
a constitution for Berlin, on the type and
form of the election, on . the political party;
participation, .and the, form I and. concept of
the future of Berlin, is a matter of vital
importance.
Here is. a review  of the four political
partiesr in. Berlin, today. and some; major
principles fQr which each stands..
The Social Democrats -are the inheritors
of the old 3Socialdemokratische' Partei but in
Berlin their leadership is weak and it is imp-
ossible' to.' tell. from  their  declarations
whether they-- still stand  for, the,' class
struggle or, a modifipation of Mrxiar : so-
cialism. that. would fit. into: a' modern ecot-
omic.- picture., They present socialism  in
democratic form. Their German.loader is
Schumacher- of Hanover and theit' potential
strength. is enormous. if they.convince the
German laboring' classes that they really
possess .the, mantle of the old' SPD., They
definitely comprise a party of the left;v;
The Social Unity Party (Sozialistische
Einheitspartei Deutschlands, or the SEID) is
the old German Commmunisti party., overlaid
with a'strong, Soviet. doctrine, and a dis.
cipline ,which is practically-.militry. Many
of their leaders-were trained in MoscoW for
their present posts. While Wilhelm Pieck
and Otto Grotewohl are the top men, Walter
Ulbricht, an astute political leaders is gen-
erally considered the brains of the party.
AUTHORITARIAN PARTY CONTROL
The SED stands for authoritarian party:
control and class consciousness. This -tradi-
tional, revolutionary motive -  the pass-
ionate declaration of emancipation of the
oppressed is violently real to Europeans.
When the Communist says' that laborers
must be aware of "the class difference in'
order to fight to wipe out all class differen-
ces, he is dealing with something.vital.
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is
the most conservative of the present :; day
political groups, standing for separation of.
Church and state and the preservation of
private enterprise.
The Christian Democratic -.Union -is in
many respects the' most interesting factor
in Berlin and in Germany. It is-the only one
of the four Berlin' parties which seems to


Go up to Top of Page