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Basic Law we 75: Historian on the feelings of the constitution

Basic Law we 75: Historian on the feelings of the constitution

Ute Frevert, expert on emotions and history, explains in star-Interview the relationship of the Germans to their constitution – and the new dimension of political violence.

Professor Frevert, the Basic Law celebrates its birthday on May 23rd. How does this make you feel?
The Basic Law is five years older than I am. We were given it at school. I still have the copy today. At the time I thought it was unimportant. Today I am happy that this constitution with its basic rights has endured and has even been improved in some places. Pride is a difficult concept for my generation in connection with national symbols. But I am actually proud of the Basic Law.

Formally, it is just a dry, legal text.
It may not be as literary as the French Constitution of 1830. The writer Stendhal was said to read it every morning to adopt its style for his novels. But the Basic Law is already a crisp text. It breathes the time in which it was created, but it also points to the future.

You travel abroad a lot, even to less democratic countries. Do you sometimes think about how lucky you are, for example with the freedom of science, research and teaching?
I am grateful that I can live with this constitution. But to be honest, what impresses me more in other countries, such as the USA, is their ability to celebrate their historical achievements with enthusiasm. I would like to see the same here.

Source: Stern

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