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Information bulletin
No. 145 (October 5, 1948)

Elliott, John
Constitution-making at Bonn,   pp. 7-10 PDF (2.6 MB)


Page 7


As 65 German delegates met at Bonn to draw up a constitution for :he government
of western Germany.
Cnstfutiona4ktng at A NN
O VERSHADOWED by the more
dramatic developments that are
taking place in Berlin, a conclave of
65 German political leaders is sitting
these days at Bonn on the Rhine -
a meeting that may rank in the per-
spective of history as a much more
significant event. This "Parliamentary
Council," as it is officially called, is
engaged in the task of drawing up a
cOnstitution for the government of
Western Germany.
These 65 men are the represent-
atives of the 46,000,000 Germans who
live in the states of the western zones
of Germany. Assembled     in  this
gathering are the delegates from
Bavaria, Wuerttemberg-Baden, Hesse,
4ad the city of Bremen in the US
Zone, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower
Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein and the
cIty of Hamburg in the British Zone,
and  the   Rhine-Palatinate,  South
Bader, and Wuerttemberg-Hohenzol-
lern in the French Zone. Furthermore,
OCTOBER 5, 1948
By John Elliott
Chief, Political Activities Branch
Civil Administration Divison, OMGUS
Berlin, the former German capital, is
represented by a delegation of five
which may take part in the dis-
cussions but may not vote.
This constitutional convention was
solemnly opened in the presence of
leading Allied Military Government
officials and the German ministers
president in the western zones on
Sept. 1, and is expected to sit at
least until the end of October. Its
debates are being held in the quar-
ters of the "Pedagogical Academy,"
a teachers' training college. It is an
ultra-modem building located on the
banks of the Rhine, so that the dele-
gates, looking through the window of
the main hall, can see the ships
Photography by The Stars and Stripes
passing up and down on this storied
river.
The significance of the assembly
lies in the fact that it represents the
first attempt to reconstruct Germany
politically since Count Schwerin-
Krosig announced the capitulation of
Nazi Germany at Flensburg on May 7,
1945. It is a coincidence that this
gathering should be held exactly 100
years after the Frankfurt Parliament
in 1848 had finally attempted to bestow
a democratic constitution  on  the
people of Germany. And almost 30
years had elapsed since the Weimar
convention drafted the constitution of
the first German republic.
While both Frankfurt-am-Main and
Weimar are closely associated with
the name of Goethe, the present
constitution-makers of Germany are
meeting in the pleasant Rhine
town  that is known    throughout
the world as the birthplace of Beet-
INFORMATION BULLETIN
7


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