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Conference of West German Minister Presidents in Koblenz (July 8, 1948)

At their meeting in Koblenz (July 8-10, 1948), the western zone minister presidents did not overtly reject the Western powers' London Documents (also known as the Frankfurt Documents), but they did express serious reservations about the founding of a West German constituent state, which they feared might lead to a final division of Germany. Instead of convoking a national constituent assembly to write a constitution for the new "state," the minister presidents recommended that a "parliamentary council" (consisting of representatives of the state parliaments) deliberate on a "basic law" for an "administrative region." Since Military Governors Lucius D. Clay and Brian H. Robertson had made it clear that the Western powers would not change their position on the desired founding of a West German state, the minister presidents formulated a compromise at another conference in Rüdesheim (July 21-22, 1948): the terms "parliamentary council" and "basic law" would be retained, but they would ask for no fundamental concessions with regard to the London Documents.

In the picture we see, from left to right behind the table: State Secretary Hermann Brill, Minister President Christian Stock, Privy Councilor Apel (all from Hesse), Minister Carl Spiecker, Minister President Karl Arnold, Privy Councilor Katzenberger (all from North Rhine-Westphalia) and (front left) Minister of Justice Rudolf Katz (Schleswig-Holstein). Photographer unknown.

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Conference of West German Minister Presidents in Koblenz (July 8, 1948)

© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz