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Society of Saint Charles Borromeo (1900)

Here we see the bylaws of an association dedicated to promoting “good reading” among German Catholics. In the Wilhelmine era, associations such as this one were the basis of German civil society. These types of organizations proliferated throughout the period and were often concerned with the improvement of German society.

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Bylaws of 1900

Since 1844 there has existed in Bonn, under the name “Society of Saint Charles Borromeo,” an organization dedicated to the dissemination of good books. In place of its existing bylaws of March 20, 1844, it has adopted the following bylaws as its basic constitution.

§ 1. The purpose of the association that was formed under the name “Society of Saint Charles Borromeo,” headquartered in Bonn, is the promotion and dissemination of edifying, instructive, and entertaining literature.

The Society is to be entered into the Register of Associations.

§ 2. The association is made up of:

A. members,

B. participants,

C. honorary members.

All members have the right to use the facilities that serve to fulfill the association’s purpose in accordance with the regulations of the bylaws.

Termination of membership can take place at any time through a notice of withdrawal. The members’ meeting can also expel a member at the request of the governing board.

Anyone who refuses to pay dues is considered to have withdrawn. The terminated member loses all rights and claims upon the Society. Dues already paid remain with the Society and no repayment can be demanded.

§ 3. Only members and honorary members (§2 A and C) are considered members in the sense of § 32 of the Civil Code.

§ 4. Only adult, Roman Catholic persons of the male gender can be members (§ 2). They pay either a one-time fee of 200 marks or annual dues of 6 marks, which can be increased to 10 marks by a decision of the members’ meeting. The admission of a new member can occur only on the basis of a decision by the members’ meeting. The number of members, not counting honorary members, shall be at least 30.

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