Constitution of the German Democratic Republic (1968)

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Constitution of the German Democratic Republic  (1968) 
East Germany/SED

The second constitution of the country

Constitution of the German Democratic Republic of 6 April 1968

The Constitution of the German Democratic Republic enters into force in accordance with Section 10 of the law of 26 March 1968 on the implementation of a referendum on the Constitution of the German Democratic Republic (GBl. I P. 192) entered into force on 9 April 1968.

Constitution of the German Democratic Republic[edit]

Preamble[edit]

Carried by the responsibility to show the whole German Nation the way to a future of peace and socialism,

considering the historical fact that imperialism under the leadership of the USA, in agreement with circles of West German monopoly capital, has divided Germany in order to build West Germany into a base of imperialism and the struggle against socialism, which contradicts the life interests of the Nation,

the people of the German Democratic Republic ,

firmly based on the achievements of the anti-fascist Democratic and socialist revolution of the social order,

United in its working classes and strata, continuing in their spirit the work of the Constitution of October 7, 1949

and filled with the will to continue in free decision the path of peace, social justice, democracy, socialism and friendship among peoples,

this socialist constitution is given.

Section I Foundations of the socialist social and state order[edit]

Chapter 1 Political Foundations[edit]

Article 1

The German Democratic Republic is a socialist state of the German Nation. It is the political organization of the working people in town and country who realize socialism together under the leadership of the working class and its Marxist-Leninist Party. The capital of the German Democratic Republic is Berlin. The state flag of the German Democratic Republic consists of the colors Black-Red-Gold and bears on both sides in the center the state coat of arms of the German Democratic Republic. The coat of arms of the German Democratic Republic consists of Hammer and compass, surrounded by a grain wreath, which is wrapped in a black-red-gold Band in the lower part.

Article 2

(1) all political power in the German Democratic Republic is exercised by the working people. Man is at the centre of all the efforts of socialist society and its state. The social system of socialism is constantly being perfected. (2) The firm Alliance of the working class with the class of cooperative farmers, the members of the intelligentsia and the other strata of the people, the socialist property at means of production, the planning and management of social development and the most advanced findings of science form the inviolable basis of the socialist order of society. (3) the exploitation of Man by man is eliminated forever. What the hands of the people create is the people's own. The socialist principle" each according to his abilities, each according to his performance " is realized. (4) the conformity of the political, material and cultural interests of the working people and their collectives with social requirements is the most important driving force of socialist society.

Article 3

(1) the alliance of all the forces of the people finds its organizational expression in the National Front of democratic Germany. (2) in the National Front of democratic Germany, the parties and mass organizations unite all the forces of the people to act together for the development of socialist society. In this way they realize the coexistence of all citizens in the socialist community on the principle that everyone bears responsibility for the whole.

Article 4

All power serves the good of the people. It ensures his peaceful life, protects the socialist society and guarantees the planned increase of the standard of living, the free development of man, preserves his dignity and guarantees the rights guaranteed in this Constitution.

Article 5

(1) the citizens of the German Democratic Republic exercise their political power through democratically elected representatives of the people. (2) The Representation of the people is the basis of the system of state organs. Their activities are based on the active participation of citizens in the preparation, implementation and control of their decisions. (3) at no time and under no circumstances can other than the constitutionally provided organs exercise state power.

Article 6

(1) the German Democratic Republic, faithful to the interests of the German people and to the international commitment of all Germans in its field, has exterminated German militarism and Nazism and pursues a foreign policy serving peace and socialism, international understanding and security. (2) in accordance with the principles of socialist internationalism, the German Democratic Republic maintains and develops all-round cooperation and friendship with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the other socialist states. (3) The German democratic Republic supported the aspirations of the peoples for freedom and independence, and maintains, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, the cooperation with all States. (4) the German Democratic Republic seeks a system of collective security in Europe and a stable peace order in the world. It is committed to general disarmament. (5) militaristic and revanchist Propaganda in all forms, incitement to war and expression of hatred of faith, race and people will be punished as crimes.

Article 7

(1) The institutions of the state, the inviolability of the state territory of the German Democratic Republic, including the airspace and territorial waters, as well as the protection and exploitation of the continental shelf guarantee. (2) the German Democratic Republic organises National Defence and the protection of the socialist order and the peaceful life of its citizens. The National People's army and the other organs of National Defense protect the socialist achievements of the people against all attacks from outside. The National People's army maintains close brotherhood with the armies of the Soviet Union and other socialist states in the interests of maintaining peace and securing the socialist state.

Article 8

(1) the generally recognized rules of international law serving the peace and peaceful cooperation of peoples shall be binding on state power and on every citizen. The German Democratic Republic will never wage a war of conquest or use its armed forces against the freedom of another people. (2) the establishment and maintenance of normal relations and cooperation between the two German states on the basis of equality are national concerns of the German Democratic Republic. Moreover, the German Democratic Republic and its citizens seek to overcome the division of Germany imposed by the imperialism of the German Nation, the gradual rapprochement of the two German states until their unification on the basis of democracy and socialism.

Chapter 2 Economic foundations, Science, Education and culture[edit]

Article 9

(1) the economy of the German Democratic Republic is based on socialist ownership of the means of production. It develops according to the Economic Laws of socialism on the basis of the socialist relations of production. The socialist relations of production arose as a result of the struggle against the monopoly capitalist economic system, whose aggressive and adventurous policy has so far brought only misfortune to the German Nation. By the disempowerment of monopolies and large landowners, by the abolition of the capitalist profit economy, the source of the war policy and the exploitation of Man by man was eliminated. Socialist property has proved its worth. (2) the national economy of the German Democratic Republic serves to strengthen the socialist order , to constantly improve the pacification of the material and cultural needs of the citizens, to develop the personality and its socialist social relations. (3) in the German Democratic Republic, the principle of planning and managing the national economy and all other areas of society applies. The economy of the German Democratic Republic is a planned socialist economy. The economic system of socialism combines the central state planning and direction of the fundamental questions of social development with the personal responsibility of the socialist commodity producers and the local state organs. (4) the definition of the monetary and financial system is a matter for the socialist state. Duties and taxes are levied on the basis of laws. (5) the foreign economy, including foreign trade and the value economy, is a state monopoly.

Article 10

(1) socialist property exists as a collective public property, as co-operative common property of working collectives and as property of social organizations of citizens. (2) it is the duty of the socialist state and its citizens to protect and increase socialist property.

Article 11

(1) the personal property of the citizens and the right of inheritance are guaranteed. Personal property serves to satisfy the material and cultural needs of citizens. (2) the rights of authors and inventors enjoy the protection of the socialist state. (3) the use of property as well as copyright and inventor rights must not be contrary to the interests of the company.

Article 12

(1) Mineral Resources, Mines, power stations, reservoirs and large bodies of water, natural resources of the continental shelf, large industrial enterprises, banks and insurance institutions, national goods, transport routes, means of transport by Rail, Maritime and aviation, postal and telecommunications facilities are national property. Private ownership of it is inadmissible. (2) the socialist state guarantees the use of public property with the aim of achieving the highest result for society. This is served by the socialist planned economy and socialist economic law. The use and management of the national property is basically carried out by the national enterprises and state institutions. The state may transfer its use and management through contracts to cooperative or social organizations and associations. Such a Transfer has to serve the interests of the General public and the increase of social wealth.

Article 13

The equipment, machinery, installations, buildings of the agricultural, artisanal and other socialist cooperatives as well as the livestock of the agricultural production cooperatives and the result obtained from cooperative use of the land and means of production are co-operative property.

Article 14

(1) the use and operation of private commercial enterprises and institutions for commercial purposes must satisfy social needs, serve to increase the national welfare and increase the social wealth. (2) the close cooperation of socialist enterprises and private commercial institutions is promoted by the state. In accordance with the requirements of society, private companies may, upon request, take up state participation. (3) private sector associations for the purpose of establishing economic power are not permitted.

Article 15

(1) the soil of the German Democratic Republic is one of its most precious natural resources. It must be protected and used rationally. Land used for agriculture and forestry may only be withdrawn from its intended purpose with the consent of the responsible bodies. (2) in the interest of the well-being of citizens, the state and society ensure the protection of nature. The purifying of the waters and the air as well as the protection of the flora and fauna and the scenic beauty of the homeland are to be ensured by the competent bodies and beyond that also a matter for every citizen.

Article 16

Expropriations are only permitted for charitable purposes on a legal basis and against appropriate compensation. They may only take place if the intended charitable purpose cannot be achieved in any other way.

Article 17

(1) science and research as well as the application of their findings are essential foundations of socialist society and are promoted by the state on all sides. (2) with the Unified Socialist education system, the German Democratic Republic ensures a high level of education for all citizens in line with the ever-increasing social requirements. It enables citizens to shape socialist society and to participate creatively in the development of socialist democracy. (3) the German Democratic Republic shall promote science and education with the aim of protecting and enriching society and the lives of its citizens, mastering the scientific and technical Revolution and ensuring the continuous progress of socialist society. (4) any abuse of Science directed against peace, international understanding, human life and dignity is prohibited.

Article 18

(1) The socialist national culture is one of the foundations of socialist society. The German Democratic Republic promotes and protects socialist culture, which serves the peace, humanism and development of the socialist human community. It fights the imperialist Unculture, which serves the psychological warfare and the degradation of man. Socialist society promotes the cultural life of the working people, cultivates all humanistic values of national cultural heritage and World Culture, and develops socialist national culture as a matter of the whole people. (2) the promotion of the arts, the artistic interests and abilities of all working people and the dissemination of artistic works and achievements are obligations of the state and all social forces. Artistic creation is based on a close connection between cultural workers and the life of the people. (3) Physical Culture, Sport and tourism as elements of socialist culture serve the all-round physical and mental development of the citizens.

Section II Citizens and communities in socialist society[edit]

Chapter 1 Fundamental rights and obligations of citizens[edit]

Article 19

(1) the German Democratic Republic guarantees all citizens the exercise of their rights and their participation in the management of Social Development. It guarantees socialist legality and legal certainty. (2) respect for and protection of the dignity and freedom of personality are a requirement for all state bodies, all social forces and every individual citizen. (3) free from exploitation, oppression and economic dependence, every citizen has equal rights and many opportunities to develop his abilities to the full extent and to develop his powers freely for the benefit of society and for his own benefit in the socialist community. Thus he realizes the freedom and dignity of his personality. The relations of the citizens are marked by mutual respect and help, by the principles of socialist morality. (4) the conditions for the acquisition and loss of citizenship of the German Democratic Republic shall be determined by law.

Article 20

(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic, irrespective of his nationality, race, ideological or religious creed, social origin and position, shall have the same rights and obligations. Freedom of conscience and belief are guaranteed. All citizens are equal before the law. (2) man and woman have equal rights and equal legal status in all areas of social, state and personal life. The promotion of women, especially in vocational training, is a social and governmental task. (3) young people are particularly encouraged in their social and professional development. It has every opportunity to participate responsibly in the development of the socialist social order.

Article 21

(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to participate fully in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the socialist community and the socialist state. The principle "work with, plan with, govern with!" (2) the right to co-determination and co-shaping is guaranteed by the fact that the citizens

democratically elect all organs of power, participate in their activities and in the planning, management and organization of social life; Can demand accountability from the representatives of the people, their deputies, the heads of state and economic bodies about their activities; using the authority of their social organizations to express their wishes and demands; to address their concerns and proposals to the social, state and economic bodies and institutions; express their will in referendums. (3) the realization of this right of co-determination and co-shaping is at the same time a high moral obligation for every citizen. The exercise of social or state functions is recognized and supported by society and the state.

Article 22

(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic who has reached the age of 18 on Election Day shall be entitled to vote. (2) every citizen may be elected to the local representatives of the people if he has reached the age of 18 on Election Day. He can be elected to the Volkskammer if he has reached the age of 21 on Election Day. (3) the conduct of elections by democratically constituted electoral commissions, the popular debate on the fundamental questions of politics and the establishment and examination of candidates by voters are indispensable socialist electoral principles.

Article 23

(1) the protection of peace and the socialist fatherland and its achievements is the right and duty of honour of the citizens of the German Democratic Republic. Every citizen is obliged to serve and perform services for the defense of the German Democratic Republic in accordance with the laws. (2) No citizen shall participate in acts of war and their preparation which serve to oppress a people. 3.the German Democratic Republic may grant asylum to citizens of other states or stateless persons who are persecuted for political, scientific or cultural activities in defence of peace, democracy, the interests of the working people or for their participation in the social and national liberation struggle.

Article 24

(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to work. He has the right to a job and its free choice according to social requirements and personal qualifications. He has the right to pay according to quality and quantity of work. Men and women, adults and young people have the right to equal pay with equal work performance. (2) socially useful activity is an honorable duty for every citizen capable of work. The right to work and the duty to work form one unit. (3) the right to work is guaranteed

through socialist ownership of the means of production; the socialist planning and management of the social reproduction process; through the steady and planned growth of the socialist productive forces and labour productivity; through the consistent implementation of the scientific-technical Revolution; through continuous education and training of citizens and through the uniform socialist Labour Law. Article 25

(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the same right to education. The educational institutions are open to everyone. The Unified Socialist education system guarantees every citizen a continuous socialist education, education and further training. (2) the German Democratic Republic ensures the progress of the people towards the socialist community of all-round educated and harmoniously developed people, who are imbued with the spirit of socialist patriotism and internationalism and have a high general and special education. (3) all citizens have the right to participate in cultural life. It is becoming increasingly important under the conditions of the scientific-technical Revolution and the increase of intellectual requirements. For the full expression of the socialist personality and for the growing satisfaction of cultural interests and needs, the participation of citizens in cultural life, physical culture and Sport is promoted by the state and society. (4) in the German Democratic Republic there is a general ten-year compulsory secondary education, which must be completed by attending the ten-Class general Polytechnic secondary school. in certain cases, secondary education can be completed in the institutions of vocational training or the training and further education of the working people. All young people have the right and the duty to learn a profession. (5) special education and training facilities exist for children and adults with psychological and physical impairments. (6) the solution of these tasks is ensured by the state and all social forces in joint educational and educational work.

Article 26

(1) the state shall ensure the transition to the next higher level of education up to the highest educational institutions, universities and colleges, in accordance with the principle of achievement, the social requirements and taking into account the social structure of the population. (2) there is no tuition fee. Training allowances and freedom from learning aids are granted according to social considerations. (3) direct students at universities, colleges and technical schools are exempt from tuition fees. Scholarships and study grants are granted according to social aspects and performance.

Article 27

(1) Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to Express the principles of this Constitution in accordance with his opinion freely and publicly. This right is not limited by any employment or employment relationship. No one may be disadvantaged if he makes use of this right. (2) freedom of the press, broadcasting and television is guaranteed.

Article 28

(1) All citizens have the right to gather in the framework of the principles and objectives of the Constitution in a peaceful manner. (2) the use of the material conditions for the unhindered exercise of this right, of the assembly buildings, streets and rally places, Printing Works and news media shall be guaranteed.

Article 29

The citizens of the German Democratic Republic have the right to unification in order to realize their interests through joint action in political parties, social organizations, associations and collectives in accordance with the principles and objectives of the Constitution.

Article 30

(1) the personality and freedom of every citizen of the German Democratic Republic are inviolable. (2) restrictions are only permitted in connection with criminal acts or medical treatment and must be justified by law. The rights of such citizens may only be limited to the extent that this is legally permissible and unavoidable. (3) in order to protect his freedom and the inviolability of his personality, every citizen is entitled to the assistance of state and social bodies.

Article 31

(1) postal and telecommunications secrecy shall be inviolable. (2) they may only be restricted on a legal basis if the security of the socialist state or criminal prosecution so requires.

Article 32

Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to freedom of movement within the territory of the German Democratic Republic within the framework of the laws.

Article 33

(1) any citizen of the German Democratic Republic shall be entitled to legal protection by the organs of the German Democratic Republic when residing outside the German Democratic Republic. (2) No citizen of the German Democratic Republic may be extradited to a foreign power.

Article 34


(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to leisure and Recreation. (2) the right to leisure and Recreation is guaranteed by the legal limitation of daily and weekly working hours, with a fully paid annual leave and through the planned expansion of the network of national and other social recreation and holiday centres. Article 35

(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic shall have the right to the protection of his health and his Labour. (2) this right shall be guaranteed by the planned improvement of working and living conditions, the maintenance of Public Health, a comprehensive social policy, the promotion of Physical Culture, School and national sports and tourism. (3) on the basis of a social insurance system, material security, free medical assistance, medicines and other medical benefits in kind shall be provided in the event of illness or accident.

Article 36

(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic shall have the right to the care of society in old age and disability. (2) this right is guaranteed by increasing material, social and cultural provision and care for old and incapacitated citizens.

Article 37

(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to housing for himself and his family according to economic possibilities and local conditions. The state is obliged to realize this right through the promotion of housing construction, the preservation of the value of existing housing and public control over the fair distribution of housing. (2) there is legal protection in the event of termination. (3) every citizen has the right to inviolability of his home.

Article 38

(1) marriage, family and motherhood are under the special protection of the state. Every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to respect, protect and promote marriage and the family. (2) this right is guaranteed by the equality of men and women in marriage and the family, by the social and state support of citizens in the consolidation and development of their marriage and family. The welfare and support of the socialist state through special measures applies to large families, single mothers and fathers. (3) mother and child enjoy the special protection of the socialist state. Maternity leave, special medical care, material and financial support for births and Child Benefit are provided. (4) it is the right and the most noble duty of parents to educate their children to become healthy and cheerful, capable and universally educated people, citizens who are conscious of the state. Parents are entitled to a close and trusting cooperation with the social and state educational institutions.

Article 39

(1) every citizen of the German Democratic Republic has the right to profess a religious faith and to perform religious acts. (2) churches and other religious communities shall organise their affairs and carry out their activities in accordance with the Constitution and legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic. Further details can be regulated by agreements.

Article 40

Citizens of the German Democratic Republic of Sorbian nationality have the right to cultivate their mother tongue and culture. The exercise of this right is encouraged by the state.

Chapter 2 Enterprises, cities and municipalities in the socialist society[edit]

Article 41

Within the framework of central state management and planning, the socialist enterprises, cities, municipalities and community associations are autonomous communities in which the citizens work and shape their social relations. They ensure the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens, the effective connection of the personal with the social interests as well as a diverse social-political and cultural-spiritual life. They are under the protection of the Constitution. Interference in your rights can only take place on the basis of laws.

Article 42

(1) in the enterprise, the activity of which is the basis for the creation and increase of social wealth, the working people participate directly in the management of the enterprise with the help of their elected organs. More detailed rules laws or statutes. (2) in order to increase social productivity, associations and societies may be formed by state bodies, enterprises and Cooperatives, and other forms of cooperative cooperation may be developed.

Article 43

(1) the cities, municipalities and associations of municipalities of the German Democratic Republic shall create the necessary conditions for a constantly better satisfaction of the material, social, cultural and other common needs of the citizens. To solve these tasks, they work together with the companies and cooperatives in their area. All citizens participate by exercising their political rights. (2) the responsibility for carrying out the social function of the cities and municipalities rests with the representatives of the people elected by the citizens. They decide their own affairs on the basis of the laws. They are responsible for the rational use of all the values of national wealth that they possess.

Chapter 3 The trade unions and their rights[edit]

Article 44


(1) the Free Trade Unions, United in the free German trade union confederation, are the Comprehensive class organization of the working class. They take care of the interests of the workers, employees and members of the intelligentsia through comprehensive co-determination in the state, economy and society. (2) The trade unions are independent. No one may restrict or impede them in their activities. (3) The trade unions through the activities of its organizations and institutions, through their representatives in the elected state bodies of power and by their proposals to the state and economic organs, decisive part

the shaping of the socialist society, planning and managing the economy, the realization of the scientific-technical Revolution, the development of working and living conditions, health and safety at work, working culture, cultural and Sporting Life of working people. The trade unions participate in the preparation of plans in the enterprises and institutions and are represented in the social councils of the associations of national enterprises and in the production committees of the enterprises and associations. They organize the permanent production consultations.

Article 45

1. trade unions shall have the right to enter into agreements with state bodies, management bodies and other economic bodies on all matters relating to the working and living conditions of workers. (2) the trade unions take an active part in shaping the socialist legal order. They have the right of legislative initiative as well as social control over the protection of the legally guaranteed rights of the working people. (3) the trade unions manage the social security of the workers and employees on the basis of the self-administration of the insured. They take part in the comprehensive material and financial care and care of citizens in the event of illness, accident at work, disability and old age. (4) all state organs and business leaders are obliged to ensure close and trusting cooperation with the trade unions.

Chapter 4 The socialist production cooperatives and their rights[edit]

Article 46

(1) the agricultural production cooperatives are the voluntary associations of the peasants for the common socialist production, for the ever better satisfaction of their material and cultural needs and for the supply of the people and the national economy. They shape their working and living conditions independently on the basis of the laws. (2) through their organizations and their representatives in the state organs, agricultural production cooperatives actively participate in the state planning and management of Social Development. (3) the state helps agricultural production cooperatives to develop large-scale socialist production on the basis of Advanced Science and technology. (4) the same principles apply to the socialist production Cooperatives of fishermen, gardeners and craftsmen.

Section III Structure and System of state management[edit]

Article 47

1.the structure and activity of state bodies shall be determined by the objectives and tasks of state power as defined in this Constitution. (2) The sovereignty of the working people, built on the basis of democratic centralism is the fundamental principle of state building.

Chapter 1 The Volkskammer[edit]

Article 48

(1) the Volkskammer is the Supreme state power organ of the German Democratic Republic. It decides in its plenary sessions on the basic questions of state policy. (2) the Volkskammer is the only constitutional and legislative body in the German Democratic Republic. No one can restrict your rights. In its activities, the Volkskammer implements the principle of unity of decision-making and implementation.

Article 49

(1) the Volkskammer shall determine by laws and decisions the final and binding objectives of the development of the German Democratic Republic. 2.the Volkskammer shall lay down the main rules for the cooperation of citizens, communities and state bodies and their tasks in the implementation of state plans for Social Development. (3) the Volkskammer ensures the implementation of its laws and decisions. It determines the principles of the activities of the Council of state, the Council of ministers, the National Defence Council, the Supreme Court and the Attorney General.

Article 50

The people's chamber elects the chairman and members of the Council of state, the chairman and members of the Council of ministers, the chairman of the National Defense Council, the president and judges of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General. They can be recalled by the Volkskammer at any time.

Article 51

The Volkskammer confirms state Treaties of the German Democratic Republic and other international treaties to the extent that they amend laws of the Volkskammer. It decides on the termination of these contracts.

Article 52

The Volkskammer decides on the state of defense of the German Democratic Republic. In the event of an emergency, the State Council is entitled to fire at the state of Defence. The chairman of the Council of State announces the state of Defense.

Article 53

The Volkskammer may decide to hold referendums.

Article 54

The people's chamber consists of 500 deputies, who are elected by the people for a period of 4 years in free, general, equal and secret elections.

Article 55

(1) the Volkskammer shall elect a presidium for the duration of the electoral period. The presidium consists of the president of the Volkskammer, a deputy of the president and other members. (2) the presidium shall be responsible for the management of the plenary meetings. Further tasks are regulated by the rules of procedure of the Volkskammer.

Article 56

(1) the deputies of the Volkskammer carry out their responsible tasks in the interest and for the good of the entire people. (2) The members of the participation of the citizens in the preparation and implementation of laws to promote, in cooperation with the committees of the National Front of democratic Germany, the social organizations and the institutions of the state. (3) members of Parliament maintain close ties with their constituents. You are obliged to heed their suggestions, hints and criticisms and to take care of a conscientious treatment. (4) the deputies explain to the citizens the policy of the socialist state.

Article 57

(1) Members of the Volkskammer are obliged to hold regular office hours and debates and to report to the voters on their activities. (2) a member of Parliament who seriously violates his duties may be dismissed by the voters in accordance with the statutory procedure.

Article 58

The deputies of the people's chamber have the right to participate in the meetings of the local representatives of the people with an advisory voice.

Article 59

Every member of the Volkskammer has the right to address questions to the Council of ministers and to each of its members.

Article 60

(1) all state and economic bodies shall be obliged to assist members of Parliament in the performance of their duties. (2) members of the Volkskammer have the rights of immunity. Restrictions on personal freedom, searches of houses, confiscations or prosecution are only permitted against members of the Volkskammer with the consent of the Volkskammer or in the period between their meetings with the consent of the Council of State. The decision of the Council of state requires confirmation by the Volkskammer. Members of the Volkskammer are entitled to refuse to testify about persons who entrust them with facts in their capacity as members of Parliament or to whom they have entrusted such facts in the performance of their duties as members of Parliament. (3) no professional or other personal disadvantages may arise for members of Parliament from their activities as members of Parliament. You are exempt from your professional activity insofar as the performance of your duties as a member of Parliament requires it. Salaries and wages must be paid.

Article 61

(1) the Volkskammer shall form committees in its midst. They are responsible, in close cooperation with the voters, for advising on draft laws and for the constant monitoring of the implementation of the laws. (2) the committees may require the presence of the competent ministers and heads of other state bodies in their deliberations for the purpose of providing information. All state organs are obliged to provide the committees with the necessary information. (3) the committees shall have the right to call on experts for permanent or temporary cooperation.

Article 62

(1) the Volkskammer shall meet no later than 30 days after its election. Its first meeting is convened by the Council of State. (2) the meetings of the Volkskammer are public. At the request of at least two-thirds of the members present, the Public may be excluded.

Article 63

(1) the Volkskammer shall have a quorum if more than half of the members of Parliament are present. (2) the Volkskammer takes its decisions by a majority of votes. Constitutional laws are passed if at least two thirds of the elected deputies agree.

Article 64

(1) before the end of the parliamentary term, the Volkskammer shall be dissolved only by its own decision. (2) such a decision shall require the approval of at least two thirds of the elected members of Parliament. (3) at the latest on the 60th day after the end of the electoral period or on the 45th day after the dissolution of the Volkskammer, their new election must take place.

Article 65

(1) the parties and mass organizations represented in the Volkskammer, the committees of the Volkskammer, the Council of state, the Council of ministers and the Freie Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund have the right to table bills. (2) in preparation for the meetings of the Volkskammer, the Council of State shall consider bills and examine their constitutionality. (3) the committees of the Volkskammer shall discuss the bills and present their views to the plenum of the Volkskammer. They are supported in their activities by the Council of State. (4) draft Basic Laws shall be submitted to the public for discussion before they are adopted. The results of the popular discussion are to be evaluated in the final version. (5) the laws adopted by the people's Chamber shall be promulgated by the chairman of the Council of State in the Journal of laws within one month. (6) laws shall enter into force on the 14th day after their promulgation, unless they determine otherwise.

Chapter 2 state Council[edit]

Article 66

(1) between the meetings of the Volkskammer, the Council of state, as the organ of the Volkskammer, performs all the fundamental tasks arising from the laws and decisions of the Volkskammer. He is responsible to the Volkskammer for his work. (2) the chairman of the Council of State shall represent the German Democratic Republic under international law. The Council of state decides on the conclusion of the state Treaties of the German Democratic Republic. They are ratified by the chairman of the Council of State. The Council of state cancels state contracts.

Article 67

(1) The state Council consists of the Chairman, his deputies, the members and the Secretary. (2) the chairman, the vice-chairmen, the members and the secretary of the Council of State shall be elected by the Volkskammer at its first meeting after the new election for a period of 4 years. (3) at the end of the electoral period of the Volkskammer, the Council of State shall continue its activities until the election of the new council of state by the Volkskammer.

Article 68

The chairman, the vice-chairmen, the members and the secretary of the Council of State shall take the following oath upon taking office of the Volkskammer:: "I swear that I will devote my strength to the welfare of the people of the German Democratic Republic, uphold its constitution and laws, diligently fulfil my duties, and do justice to everyone."

Article 69

The chairman directs the work of the Council of State.

Article 70

(1) the Council of State shall deal with submissions to the Volkskammer and arrange for their consultation in the committees of the Volkskammer. (2) by decision of the Volkskammer or on its own Initiative, the Council of State shall convene the meetings of the Volkskammer. (3) the Council of State is obliged to convene the Volkskammer at any time if at least one third of the deputies so require.

Article 71

(1) the Council of state regulates the fundamental tasks arising from the laws and decisions of the Volkskammer by decrees. They will be submitted to the Volkskammer for confirmation. (2) decrees and decisions of the Council of State shall be legally binding. (3) the Council of State shall interpret the Constitution and the laws in a binding manner, insofar as this is not done by the Volkskammer itself.

Article 72

The Council of State calls for elections to the Volkskammer and other representatives of the people.

Article 73

(1) the Council of State shall take decisions in principle on matters relating to the defence and security of the country. It organizes the national defense with the help of the National Defense Council. (2) The Council of state appoints the members of the National defence Council. The National Defence Council is responsible to the Volkskammer and the State Council for its activities.

Article 74

On behalf of the people's chamber, the Council of State shall exercise the competent supervision of the constitutionality and legality of the activities of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General.

Article 75

(1) the Chairman of The state Council, shall appoint the authorised representative of the German Democratic Republic in other States and dismisses them. He accepts letters of Credence and resignation from the representatives of other states accredited to him. (2) The Council of state, the military ranks, diplomatic ranks and other special titles specifies.

Article 76

The Council of State endows state Orders, Awards and honorary titles, which are awarded by its chairman.

Article 77

The Council of state exercises the right of amnesty and pardon.

Chapter 3 Ministers[edit]

Article 78

(1) the Council of ministers, acting on behalf of the Volkskammer, organises the fulfilment of the political, economic, cultural and social as well as the defence tasks assigned to it by the socialist state. It is a collective Organ. (2) the Council of ministers draws up scientifically based forecasts, organizes the design of the economic system of socialism and directs the planned development of the national economy.

Article 79

(1) the Council of Ministers shall work on the basis of the laws and decisions of the people's chamber and the decrees and decisions of the Council of State. He issues ordinances and takes decisions within the framework of the laws and regulations. 2.the Council of Ministers shall direct, coordinate and control the activities of the ministries, other central state bodies and the councils of the districts in accordance with the findings of organizational science. (3) The Council of Ministers decides on the conclusion and termination of international treaties concluded in his name.

Article 80

(1) The Chairman of the Council of Ministers is proposed by the Chairman of the state Council of the people's chamber and with the formation of the Council of Ministers commissioned. (2) the chairman and the members of the Council of Ministers shall be elected by it for a period of four years after the new election of the Volkskammer. (3) The Chairman and the members of the Council of Ministers to be sworn in by the Chairman of the state Council on the Constitution. (4) The Council of Ministers consists of the Chairman, Vice-chairmen and the Ministers. It is headed by the chairman of the Council of ministers. (5) The Council of Ministers form the Presidium of the Council of Ministers. It is headed by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers. (6) each Minister shall be responsible for the area of responsibility assigned to him. All its members are responsible for the activities of the Council of ministers. (7) The Council of Ministers of the people's chamber is responsible and accountable. (8) at the end of the parliamentary term of the Volkskammer, the Council of Ministers shall continue its activities until the election of the new council of ministers by the Volkskammer.

Chapter 4 The local representatives and their organs[edit]

Article 81

(1) the local representatives of the people are the organs of State Power elected by the citizens entitled to vote in the districts, districts, cities, districts, municipalities and associations of municipalities. (2) local representatives shall decide on their own responsibility, on the basis of the laws, on all matters concerning their territory and its citizens. They organize the participation of citizens in the organization of political, economic, cultural and social life and cooperate with the social organizations of the working people. (3) the activities of the local representatives shall be directed towards:,

to increase and protect socialist property, to constantly improve the working and living conditions of citizens and to promote the social and cultural life of citizens and their communities, to raise the socialist consciousness of the state and the law of the citizens and to secure public order, to consolidate socialist legality and to safeguard the rights of the citizens. Article 82

(1) local representatives shall take decisions which are binding on their organs and bodies as well as on the representatives of the people, communities and citizens of their territory. These resolutions must be published. (2) local representatives have their own revenues and use them.

Article 83

(1) each local representation elects its council and commissions to carry out its responsibilities. The members of the council should be Deputies if possible. Members who are not members of Parliament may also be appointed to the commissions. (2) the council shall ensure the development of the activities of the representation of the people and shall organise the management of social development in its area of responsibility. He is responsible to the representation of the people for all his activities and accountable to the Superior Council. The Council is a collective body. (3) The commissions to organize the informed participation of the citizens in the preparation and implementation of the decisions of the representatives of the people. They supervise the implementation of the laws, decrees, ordinances and decisions of the representation of the people by the council and its specialised bodies.

Article 84

The local representatives of the people can form associations for the joint performance of their tasks.

Article 85

The tasks and powers of the local representatives, their deputies, commissions and their councils in the districts, districts, cities, districts, municipalities and associations of municipalities are determined by law.

Section IV Socialist legality and administration of Justice[edit]

Article 86

Socialist society, the political power of the working people, their state and legal system are the fundamental guarantee of the observance and realization of the Constitution in the spirit of justice, equality, fraternity and humanity.

Article 87

Society and the state ensure legality by involving citizens and their communities in the administration of justice and in social and state control over the observance of socialist law.

Article 88

The responsibility of all senior employees in government and business towards citizens is ensured by a system of accountability.

Article 89

(1) laws and other generally binding legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic shall be published in the Gesetzblatt and otherwise. (2) legislation of local representatives and their organs shall be published in an appropriate form. (3) legislation may not contradict the Constitution. The Council of state decides on doubts about the constitutionality of legislation of the Council of ministers and other state bodies.

Article 90

(1) the administration of Justice serves the implementation of socialist legality, the protection and development of the German Democratic Republic and its state and social order. It protects freedom, peaceful life, human rights and dignity. (2) the fight against and Prevention of crime and other violations of the law are common concerns of socialist society, its state and all citizens. (3) The participation of citizens in the administration of justice is guaranteed. It is determined in detail by law.

Article 91

The generally accepted norms of international law on the punishment of crimes against peace, against humanity and war crimes are directly applicable law. Crimes of this kind are not subject to the statute of limitations.

Article 92

In the German Democratic Republic, jurisdiction is exercised by the Supreme Court, the district courts, the district courts and the social courts within the scope of the tasks assigned to them by law. In military criminal cases, the Supreme Court, the military tribunals and the military courts exercise jurisdiction.

Article 93

(1) the Supreme Court is the highest body of jurisprudence. (2) The Supreme Court shall direct the jurisprudence of the courts on the basis of the Constitution, laws and other legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic. It ensures uniform application of the law by all courts. (3) The Supreme court is the people's chamber and, between its meetings to the Council of state is responsible.

Article 94

(1) judges can only be those who are faithfully devoted to the people and their socialist state and possess a high degree of knowledge and life experience, of human maturity and firmness of character. (2) the democratic election of all judges, judges and members of social courts ensures that justice is exercised by women and men of all classes and strata of the people.

Article 95

All judges, judges and members of the social courts are elected by the representatives of the people or directly by the citizens. They report on their work to their voters. They may be removed by their constituents if they violate the Constitution or the laws or otherwise grossly violate their duty.

Article 96

(1) the judges, judges and members of the social courts are independent in their jurisdiction. They are only bound by the Constitution, laws and other legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic. (2) the judges shall exercise the function of a judge in full and with the same voting rights as the professional judges.

Article 97

In order to safeguard the socialist social and state order and the rights of the citizens, the public prosecutor's office monitors the strict observance of socialist legality on the basis of the laws and other legal provisions of the German Democratic Republic. It protects citizens from violations of the law. The prosecution leads the fight against criminal offences and ensures that the persons who have committed crimes or misdemeanours are held accountable in court.

Article 98

(1) the public prosecutor's office shall be headed by the Attorney General. (2) district and county prosecutors and military prosecutors shall be under the authority of the Attorney General. (3) the prosecutors shall be appointed and dismissed by the attorney general, they shall be responsible to him and bound by his instructions. (4) The attorney General is the people's chamber and, between its meetings to the Council of state is responsible.

Article 99

(1) criminal liability shall be governed by the laws of the German Democratic Republic. (2) an act shall entail criminal liability only if it is legally established at the time of the commission of the act, if the offender has acted culpably and the guilt has been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Criminal laws have no retroactive effect. (3) criminal prosecution is only possible in accordance with the criminal laws. (4) the rights of the citizen may be restricted in connection with criminal proceedings only to the extent permitted and unavoidable by law.

Article 100

(1) only the judge shall decide on the admissibility of pre-trial detention. Those arrested must be presented to the judge no later than the day after their arrest. (2) the judge or the public prosecutor shall, within the scope of their responsibility, check at any time whether the conditions of pre-trial detention still exist. (3) the prosecutor shall notify the next of kin of the arrested person within 24 hours of the first judicial hearing. Exceptions are only permitted if the purpose of the investigation is endangered by the notification. In these cases, the notification is made after the reasons for the risk have disappeared.

Article 101

(1) no one may be deprived of his legal Judge. (2) exceptional courts are not permitted.

Article 102

(1) every citizen has the right to be heard in court. (2) the right to defence shall be guaranteed throughout the criminal proceedings.

Article 103

(1) any citizen may make submissions (suggestions, suggestions, concerns or complaints) to the representatives of the people, their deputies or the state and economic bodies. This right also belongs to the social organizations and the communities of citizens. You may not incur any disadvantage from the exercise of this right. (2) the bodies responsible for the decision shall be obliged to process the submissions of the citizens or communities within the period prescribed by law and to inform the applicants of the result.

Article 104

(1) the Council of Ministers shall be responsible for appeals against decisions of central bodies of the Council of ministers. (2) the Council of State shall be responsible for appeals against decisions of the Council of ministers, the Supreme Court or the Attorney General.

Article 105

(1) appeals against decisions of local state bodies shall be made by the head of the body which made the decision under appeal. If the head does not change the decision, the appellant is entitled to appeal to the appeal committee of the responsible representation of the people. (2) the tasks and rights of the Appeal Committees shall be governed by decree.

Article 106

(1) for damages caused to a citizen or his personal property by unlawful measures taken by employees of the state bodies, the state body whose employees caused the damage shall be liable. (2) conditions and procedures of state liability are regulated by law.

Section V Final clause[edit]

Article 107

The Constitution is directly applicable law.

Article 108

The Constitution can only be amended by the Volkskammer of the German Democratic Republic by law that expressly modifies or supplements the text of the Constitution.

The Constitution of the German Democratic Republic, adopted by referendum on the sixth day of April in the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight, is hereby proclaimed.


Berlin, the eighth of April, nineteen hundred and sixty-eight


The chairman of the Council of State of the German Democratic Republic W. Ulbricht


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