Wednesday, 20 May 2009

60 years of the Grundgesetz

While the Kirchentag is celebrating its 60th birthday Germany is also marking the 60th anniversary of the German basic law or Grundgesetz. This is an important date, some political scientists say it takes three generations (or sixty years) for democracy to really take hold. Of course the Grundsesetz has only been the basic law for some citizens of the Federal Republic for 20 years part of Germany. When it was first written it was not intended to be a lasting constitution, as it clearly saw itself in terms of being an interim constitution drawn up to regulate political life in one part of the country before unity of the two parts of Germany could be achieved. There were discussions in 1989-90 as to whether it could really serve as the basic law for both parts of Germany. Dr B will no doubt add more to this.
The graphic comes from the Rheinischer Merkur and looks to me very much like a take on some artwork Klaus Staeck did in 1990 called Ordnung muss sein. Anyway, despite not at all being my usual reading the RM also has a feature about the GDR, Leipzig and the road to German unity.