Emergence of the GDR: People’s Congresses

Parallel to the Western powers, the Soviet Union also formed its own state from its occupation zone. It was under the domination of the SED. The military authorities call communist people’s congresses, which are supposed to give the founding of the state a democratic appearance. Emergence GDR People’s Congresses

1st German People’s Council Emergence GDR People’s Congresses

As early as December 1947, the “German People’s Congress for Unity and Just Peace” convenes on the instructions of the SED, with over 2,000 delegates from East and West. It is intended to serve as an all-German pre-parliament, but its impact remains limited to the Soviet occupation zone. A second People’s Congress meets on March 17-18, 1948, protesting against a possible West German constituent state and electing the so-called “1st German People’s Council” from its ranks. Under Otto Grotewohl, the council formed a constitutional committee that published a draft constitution in October. According to this draft, state power serves “freedom, peace and democratic progress. On March 19, 1949, the People’s Council adopted the draft constitution. Emergence GDR People’s Congresses

2nd German People’s Council Emergence GDR People’s Congresses

Finally, a 3rd People’s Congress convenes at the end of May 1949. Its 1,400 members are elected via a unified list of the “Democratic Bloc,” which secures the SED a majority. Nor is the election free of intimidation and manipulation. The delegates elect a “2nd German People’s Council” consisting of 330 members, which adopts the constitution for the German Democratic Republic on October 7, 1949.

The following FUNKTIONÄR AUSWEIS is a rare document of these times and a museum piece.

Emergence GDR People's Congresses
Funktionär Ausweis, Soviet Occupation Zone November 1948, Landessekretariat Thüringen issued to Fritz Helm,

 

Würz, Markus: Entstehung der DDR: Volkskongresse, in: Lebendiges Museum Online, Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland,
URL: http://www.hdg.de/lemo/kapitel/nachkriegsjahre/doppelte-staatsgruendung/entstehung-der-ddr-volkskongresse.html
Last access: 17.04.2021 Emergence GDR People’s Congresses

 

2 Comments

  1. “It is intended to serve as an all – German pre – parliament, but its impact remains limited to the Soviet occupation zone” you write.

    Whose intentions are you talking of here, and how do the British, US and French occupying powers prevent this intention?

    Much has been written about these years, but very little of that is any more than political propaganda reflecting either side.

    I love to see this Funktionaer Ausweis, it is a first time for me!

    Thanks very much

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *