History: “I owe them a lot” – celebration of the beginnings of the Basic Law

History: “I owe them a lot” – celebration of the beginnings of the Basic Law

The Parliamentary Council began drafting the Basic Law 75 years ago. A “success story”, says Bärbel Bas. And at the same time warns: But there is no reason to be self-righteous.

Representatives of the German constitutional bodies recalled the opening of the Parliamentary Council 75 years ago and the beginnings of the Basic Law. “We owe a lot to the men and women of the Parliamentary Council,” said former Federal President Joachim Gauck during the speech at the Koenig Natural History Museum, where the council met for the first time on September 1, 1948.

At the same time, he emphasized that the constitution is a secure basis. “But how far it is used in the interests of freedom, democracy, human rights and peace depends on the citizens.”

Gauck: “The state, democracy – that’s us”

“It’s up to us,” Gauck said. Democracy needs citizens who don’t just see the state as a welfare institution, but also want to help shape it. “The state, democracy – that’s us.”

Bundestag President Bärbel Bas (SPD) said: “The provisional Basic Law has become a success story.” But there is no reason to be self-righteous. Liberal democracy cannot be taken for granted. Parties and parliaments should try new ways of involving people. And: We must stand together against those “who want a country in which human dignity is not inviolable.”

Scholz: Must defend democracy

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said on the fringes of the ceremony that it was important to understand “that this best democracy that we have ever had in Germany is also one that we have to defend.”

The 61 men and four women of the Council drafted the Basic Law for a West German state. The Museum Koenig was one of the few buildings that remained undamaged during the war. The venue for the actual deliberations was the Pedagogical Academy, 500 meters away. The Basic Law was finally signed in Bonn on May 23, 1949 – and adopted in 1990 with the reunification of West and East Germany.

Source: Stern

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