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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Germany –

Source: Federal Agency for Civic EducationThe Road to the Western State At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union decided to divide Germany’s occupation zones. Later, France was included in the circle of occupation powers. (© picture-alliance) Shortly after the Potsdam Conference there was still a great deal of unity among the Allies: the four victorious powers wanted to form a German post-war state together. But in the concrete embodiment, more and more differences arose between the capitalist West and the socialist East. After talks with the Soviet Union failed at the end of 1947, the United States and Great Britain pushed for the establishment of an independent state in the territory of the three western occupation zones. On July 1, 1948, the three Western military governors handed over the Frankfurt documents to the prime ministers of the West German states. There had been – as before in the Soviet occupation zone – 1946/47 first state elections. The prime ministers were instructed by the Allies to convene a meeting to draft a democratic constitution. The principles of the Occupation Statute were also outlined here: The military governors presented the German authorities with powers of legislation, administration and jurisdiction. However, the external relations of the West German state to be founded were expressly excluded. With the founding of the state the occupation should not end, but only be loosened. The political parties of the three Western zones reacted largely favorably to the Allied proposals. However, they urged to fix the provisional character of the founding of the state so that the Soviet occupation zone could one day join. The young Federal Republic was not yet a sovereign state. The final version of the occupation statute was decided by the Foreign Ministers’ Conference of the Western Powers in April 1949 Basic Law proclaimed, on August 14, the first general election took place. The statute was finally put into effect on 21 September 1949 – one day after the new federal government had formed under Konrad Adenauer. The three Western military governors were replaced by the civilian Allied High Commission. The three newly appointed High Commissioners resided on the Petersberg high above Bonn – and thus also symbolically above the Federal Government. The occupation authorities kept all questions and powers of military and foreign affairs, the approval of new and amended laws, the control of the administration, the Economy and foreign trade relations. Added to this was a general clause: the occupying powers were able to withdraw all rights granted and exercise them themselves, if they considered it necessary to maintain democracy. Thus, the young Federal Republic was not a sovereign state. However, the statute provided that its provisions should be reviewed at the latest after 18 months – with the aim of expanding the responsibilities of the German authorities. Revision of the Statute The Federal Chancellor Adenauer wanted to achieve more freedom of action for the Federal Republic of Germany as soon as possible. The Occupation Statute was modified for the first time by the Petersberg Agreement of November 22, 1949. The Federal Government was thus allowed to enter international organizations and establish consular relations with Western states. In addition, the Western powers largely ended the dismantling of West German industrial plants. In return, Adenauer accepts the controversial international control of the Ruhr area in the Federal Republic. Opposition leader Kurt Schumacher (SPD) described him as the “Chancellor of the Allies.” In March 1951, a second revision of the Occupation Statute was passed, de facto assigning political responsibility to the Federal Government: The Allied High Commission no longer oversaw federal and state legislation , widely accepted the Federal German currency sovereignty and allowed the establishment of a Foreign Office. In return, the Federal Republic recognized the German foreign debt and agreed its raw materials policy with the Western Allies. In May 1952, the German treaty negotiated between the Federal Republic and the three Western Powers was signed in Bonn. He should replace the Occupation Statute with the Treaty on European Defense Community (EDC). However, France’s National Assembly rejected the ratification of the TOE agreement in August 1954. Special international status until 1990 Under these circumstances, the German agreement was renegotiated in parts. At four Paris conferences in October 1954 relations between the states of the “Western Community” were reorganized. The main results of the Paris Agreements: The Federal Republic was sovereign, but with reservations. The Allies were still allowed to take full control of state power in a state of emergency. For this they could continue to station troops in the country. On May 5, 1955, the Paris Agreements came into force. This extinguished the Occupation Statute and the Allied High Commission dissolved. The occupying powers became protective powers and allies. A few days later, the Federal Republic joined the Western European Union and became a member of NATO. De facto, the Federal Republic was politically recognized as an equal state in the Western Alliance. De jure their sovereignty remained limited. The special international status of the Federal Republic of Germany was only terminated with the two plus four treaty, which came into force on March 15, 1991. In it, all remaining rights and responsibilities of the Allies are terminated and the full sovereignty of – after the accession of the GDR to the scope of the Basic Law on October 3, 1990 – reunified Germany found.


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure need be perfect.

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