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Debate of the Bill by Deputy August Schwingenstein (CSU) and Others in the Bavarian Landtag [State Parliament] Concerning the Protection of Youth against Immoral Influences (1948)

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Frau Dr. Probst, agreeing with the comments by the presenter, described the problem of the decay of the families as the fundamental problem. It poses a threat to the entire state. This decay, however, is not only the fault of the housing problem and the misery that is the legacy of the Hitler period. Some of the legal regulations are inadequate, especially with respect to the status of single mothers. The speaker went into detail and referenced her earlier, relevant comments in the Landtag. She then addressed the conditions in the Eastern Zone and pointed to the decree whereby the “girlfriend,” the “female comrade” is put on a par with the wife with respect to social security. Theater plays are terminated there on the grounds that the family was being glorified too much in them. Vigilance is called for, lest the family experience further decay.

[ . . . ]

After the comments by deputy Dr. Rief, the speaker expounded in detail about the housing conditions in Munich and his experiences and efforts as the mayor of that city. Among other things, he mentioned that there are 15,000 single-room dwellings in Munich in which six persons or more have been shacked up together, day and night, for a long time. One can’t call this living anymore. The state, for all its efforts, cannot help a person who, in a destroyed city, knows no self-discipline and possesses no sense of responsibility because of the prevailing conditions. The speaker doubted whether he would live to see these terrible conditions undergo a decisive change. He does not want to condemn a youth that has become rootless but is not so completely spoiled that it is no longer capable of improvement. All that is necessary is to create the institutions that offer youth the possibility of finding a small replacement for their homeland and a family home. The conditions at school are terrible, likewise those in the hospitals and all the rest.

[ . . . ]

Source: Stenografische Berichte des Landtages. 1. Wahlperiode 1946-1950. Drucksachen. 54. Sitzung des Ausschusses für den Staatshaushalt am 11. März 1948: TOP 8 (Beilage 639) [Stenographic Report of the Landtag. 1st Election Period 1946-1950. Printed Matter. 54. Meeting of the Budget Committee on March 11, 1948, TOP 8 (Addendum 639), pp. 50-62; reprinted in Udo Wengst and Hans Günther Hockerts, Geschichte der Sozialpolitik in Deutschland, Bd. 2/2: 1945-1949: Die Zeit der Besatzungszonen. Sozialpolitik zwischen Kriegsende und der Gründung zweier deutscher Staaten. Dokumente [The History of Social Policy in Germany, Vol. 2/2: 1945-1949. The Era of the Occupation Zones. Social Policy between the End of the War and the Founding of Two German States. Documents]. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2001, pp. 448-49.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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