Frankfurt Documents

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Members of the Frankfurt conference

Frankfurt Documents were a series of documents which were an important step on the way to the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany.

On July 1, 1948 the representatives of the Western allied occupation forces handed over a number of documents to the prime ministers and two ruling mayors from the western zones of occupation, in which the recommendations were made, including establishing a West German state. The main problem of these recommendations was that they did not provide all-German solution, but only a West German state. The Frankfurt documents formed a working basis for the work on the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany. They were created at the London 6-Power Conference in early 1948.

The handover took place in the IG Farben Building in Frankfurt am Main, and the documents took the name of this town. The military governors Lucius D. Clay (United States), Marie-Pierre Koenig (France) and Sir Brian Robertson (UK) issued an order establishing a western German state. Present were Peter Altmeier (Rhineland-Palatinate), Karl Arnold (North Rhine-Westphalia), Lawrence Bock (Württemberg-Hohenzollern), Max Brauer (Hamburg), Hans Ehard (Bavaria), Wilhelm Kaisen (Bremen), Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf (Lower Saxony), Hermann Lüdemann (Schleswig-Holstein), Reinhold Maier (Württemberg-Baden), Christian Stock (Hessen) and Leo Wohleb (Baden).

A West German state was to be established under the following conditions:

The borders of military occupied Germany.
  • There should be a constitutional convention (German: Verfassunggebende Versammlung, literally, "Constituent Assembly") before September 1, 1948, to draft a constitution shaping a federal form of government, while maintaining the rights of people and the participating states.
  • This constitution should first be approved by the military governments, then a referendum in the countries to ratify the Constitution.
  • The respective simple majority in two thirds of eleven West German states should be sufficient for ratification. Constitutional amendments must be approved by the military governors.
  • The German foreign policy should continue to be controlled by the military governors in a minimum, as Ruhr questions, repairs, industrial and rights of the Allied forces.
  • The boundaries of each state should be reviewed and it should, if necessary, taking into account of traditional forms of new countries are created, none compared to the other should be too large or too small.

The Frankfurt Documents prompted the Prime Minister to hold Rittersturz Conference in Koblenz, on the resolutions that were passed.

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