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Announcement of the Impending Establishment of the German Democratic Republic (October 7, 1949)

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Under Article 92 of the Constitution the Minister President will be nominated by the strongest group (Fraktion) in the People's Parliament. He will form the government. Under this Article all parliamentary groups are to be represented in the government by Ministers or Under Secretaries of State in proportion to their strength.

Under Article 101 the President of the Republic will be elected by the People's Parliament and by the Länder Chamber in joint session. Article 93 lays it down that he will swear in the members of the government when they take up their offices.

The Länder Chamber is the representative body of the German Länder. Under Article 71 every Land will send to the Länder Chamber one delegate for every 500,000 inhabitants. These delegates will be elected by the Landtage in proportion to the strength of the group, according to Article 72.

The order of events in the process of the formation of government and state during this week and next will therefore be: formation of the People's Parliament and the Länder Chamber, election of the President of the State by both Chambers jointly, nomination of the Minister President and formation of the Cabinet, declaration of government policy and debate, and finally the vote of confidence.

The experience of everyday life proves to us that only active self-help can deliver us from calamity. The German people, too, have experienced this. They are about to free themselves from the national emergency by national self-help; they are on the path to independence, to freedom, and to peace.

Source: “Das deutsche Volk formt selbst sein Schicksal” [“The German People Shapes its Own Fate”], Tägliche Rundschau (October 7, 1949); reprinted in Beata Ruhm von Oppen, ed., Documents on Germany under Occupation, 1945-1954. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1955, pp. 420-21.

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