West Berlin

West Berlin

Forced by the behavior of the SED (primarily due to the SED-controlled occupation of the New Town Hall in the east of the city by violent demonstrators, September 1948) and the Soviet occupying power, the magistrate and the House of Representatives partially relocated their seat to the west of the city, among others. in the Schöneberg town hall. For the West Berliners, the USA, Great Britain and France had changed from occupying powers to protecting powers. In the elections of December 5, 1948, which the magistrate residing in Berlin (West) had planned for the whole of Berlin as part of its constitutional powers, the SPD won an absolute majority; the House of Representatives elected Reuter again as Lord Mayor, who could only take office in the west of the city. The economic and cultural reconstruction of Berlin (West) began – intensified after the end of the blockade; In the process, within the framework of the reservation rights of the Western powers, which now continued their activities on a three-power basis, an increasingly dense network of ties developed between the western part of Berlin and the (later) federal territory. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for acronyms about Berlin.

After the state division of Germany (September / October 1949) all of Berlin and the Berlin question remained the focus of the German question in the East-West conflict (German history). Greater Berlin in its expansion created in 1920 was a state of the Federal Republic of Germany according to the Berlin constitution of September 1, 1950 and the Basic Law, but this provision was only valid to a limited extent until 1990 – in order to preserve the four-power status: due to the reservations of the western occupying powers the approval of the Basic Law (Article 23 GG for Berlin suspended) and the Constitution of Berlin (Article 1 II, III), Berlin was not allowed to be governed by the federal government; the Western Allies held fast to the four-power responsibility for Greater Berlin. Thereafter, all of Berlin was subject to the four-power control of the occupying powers according to the London Protocol of September 12, 1944; also the Four Power Agreement (Berlin Agreement) of September 3, 1971 underlined that West Berlin is “not a constitutive part” of the Federal Republic of Germany. According to the Western Allies, the supreme power in Berlin, according to occupation law, lay solely with the Allies; sovereignty over Berlin (West) was exercised by the three Western Allies. In the context of these occupation reservations, however, ever closer relations with the Federal Republic of Germany developed; Berlin (West), as a city-state at the same time as the state and municipality, was represented in the Bundestag by 22 members elected and sent from the center of the House of Representatives and by four members in the Bundesrat. Due to the Allied reservation, the Berlin representatives had voting rights in the plenum of both bodies, which were limited to questions of the rules of procedure. but full right to speak and give advice as well as voting rights in committees and parliamentary groups. The federal laws and international treaties of the federal government did not apply directly in Berlin (West), but usually contained the Berlin clause. The Federal Constitutional Court was responsible for constitutional complaints against acts of the Berlin authorities. not responsible. The essential principles of the Basic Law and the fundamental rights, on the other hand, were also considered federal law in Berlin (West) because of a reference in the Berlin constitution. The law on the position of the State of Berlin in the federal financial system of 4.1.1952 was decisive for inclusion in the legal, economic and financial system of the Federal Republic of Germany; here also the adoption of federal laws by the Berlin state legislature was regulated. Berlin (West) was included in the EC with the consent of the Western Allies.

The city’s ties to the Federal Republic of Germany were guaranteed by the western allies even after 1971; they found their expression among other things. in the fact that numerous federal authorities and courts had their seat here. In international law, Berlin (West) was represented by the Federal Republic of Germany.

The importance of Berlin (West) lay in its direct influence on the GDR and until 1961 consisted in the possibility for residents of the GDR and Berlin (East) to reach the Federal Republic of Germany via Berlin (West). After the failure of the Berlin Conference on Germany (1954), the Western powers issued a guarantee of protection for Berlin (West) in the London Three-Power Declaration (1954), which was approved by NATO. When the Soviet leadership under N. S. Khrushchev demanded that West Berlin be converted into a demilitarized “Free City” within six months (Berlin ultimatum), there was a second major Berlin crisis triggered (11/27/1958). The Soviet threat led to renewed Western declarations of guarantees for their urban sectors, but also to efforts by the adversaries to compromise to avoid a military confrontation. After talks with Khrushchev in Vienna (June 3rd / 4th, 1961), where he confirmed his ultimatum, American President J. F. Kennedy summarized American Berlin policy in July 1961 in the announcement of the Three Essentials. The USSR then paved the way for the GDR to build the Berlin Wall, with political support from the Warsaw Pact states(from August 13, 1961) free; In doing so, the GDR prevented, above all, the flow of refugees from its territory. After lengthy negotiations, residents of Berlin (West) were able to visit relatives in Berlin (East) from 1963–66 under four permit agreements.

In close ties to the rest of Germany, Berlin (West) tried to develop its cultural and economic development further. In the course of a reform discussion at the Berlin University, especially the Free University (FU), which was characterized by anti-authoritarian, neo-Marxist approaches, a radical socialist movement developed between 1966 and 1968, which expressed itself in many, often militant demonstrations (APO).

From March 1970, there were extensive four-power negotiations, and on June 3, 1972 the Berlin Agreement of September 3, 1971 came into force. Access to Berlin (West) was regulated in a German-German transit agreement of December 17, 1971, the modalities of visits by West Berliners to Berlin (East) and the GDR in a travel and visit agreement between the government of the GDR and the Senate of Berlin (West) set. The GDR issued extremely limited permits for visits to the West (reasons for approval: retirement age, disability, death of next of kin, etc.); by increasing and expanding the mandatory exchange of money (“minimum exchange”) per day of visit since 1980, it has cut the number of people entering from the west to less than half.

Until 1975 the SPD remained the strongest party in the House of Representatives; in the elections it won an absolute majority several times and since the constitution of 1950 came into force with Reuter (until 1953), O. Suhr (1955–57), W. Brandt(1957–66), H. Albertz (1966/67), Klaus Schütz (* 1926, † 2012; 1967–77), Dietrich Stobbe (* 1938, † 2011; 1977–81) and H.-J. Vogel (1981) the Governing Mayor; 1953–55 W. Schreiber (CDU) held this office. With the elections of 1975 the CDU became the strongest party and from 1981 provided the governing mayor: 1981–84 R. von Weizsäcker and 1984–89 E. Diepgen. The coalition of the SPD and Alternative List (in the House of Representatives since 1981) formed in February 1989 under W. Momper (SPD) broke up at the end of November 1990.

West Berlin

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