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Documents on the Adoption of the Bavarian Constitution 1946

Universität München (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Fotoarchiv Hoffmann) University of Munich 1946 (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, photographic archive Hoffmann)

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After the end of the national socialist dictatorship and of the Second World War a democratic system was gradually restored in Bavaria from 1946 onward. In the course of the year 1946 several bodies worked on the Bavarian constitution that entered into force in December 1946.

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Bayerischer Beratender Landesausschuss - Bavarian State Advisory Committee 1946

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During the first months following the end of the war there was no elected state representation. By way of replacement the Minister President Wilhelm Hoegner (SPD, 1887-1980), who had been appointed by the American occupying forces, convened a "Bayerischer Beratender Landesausschuss" (Bavarian State Advisory Committee). This committee met three times, namely on 26 - 28 February, 9 April and 12/ 13 June 1946 in Munich. Numerous members of the state committee later became members of the state constituent assembly and the Landtag (state parliament).

Vorbereitender Verfassungsausschuss - Preparatory Constitutional Committee 1946

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The American military government commissioned Wilhelm Hoegner on 8 February 1946 to draw up a draft constitution. Hoegner set up a preparatory constitutional committee with nine members. The committee met from 8 March to 24 June 1946 and drew up a draft constitution that was submitted to the state constituent assembly together with a report on controversial issues.

In addition to the minutes the edition also contains the draft constitution drawn up by the committee.

 

Verfassunggebende Landesversammlung - State Constituent Assembly 1946

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The election for the state constituent assembly took place on 30 June 1946. Its constitutive meeting took place in the auditorium of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich on 15 July 1946. The assembly convened for ten sessions altogether, during which they discussed the new constitution of the Free State of Bavaria. On the occasion of the last meeting on 26 October 1946 the constitution was passed.

 

Verfassungsausschuss - Constitutional Committee 1946

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Stenographic reports about the sessions of the constitutional committee of the Bavarian state constituent assembly

On the occasion of its constitutive session on 15 July 1946 the State Assembly established a Constitutional Committee. The committee took up work already on 16 July and convened for a total of 37 meetings, thus met far more frequently than the State Assembly itself. The committee shouldered the main work of drawing up the constitution. The minutes of its sessions are consequently much more voluminous than those of the State Constituent Assembly. After the committee had concluded its work on the constitution on 22 October 1946 it convened for two further meetings on 12 and 13 November 1946, in which the then current denazification efforts in Bavaria were discussed.

 

Repertorium zur bayerischen Verfassung - Repertory on the Bavarian constitution, 1948

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The constitution adopted by the Land constituent assembly on 26 October 1946 was approved by a majority of 70.6 % in a popular vote on 1 December 1946. Since the wording of the constitution was imprecise in this regard, it was unclear whether the constitution had entered into force at the time of signing by Minister President Hoegner on 2 December or at the time of publication in the Law and Ordinance Gazette on 8 December 1946.

On behalf of the office of the State Parliament the former Regierungsrat (senior officer) at the Bavarian Main Public Archives and archivist of the State Parliament Heinrich Huber (1882-1969) edited a repertory on the constitution. This repertory contains the wording of the constitution. Huber not only pointed out numerous errors and inconsistencies, but also added cross-references to each article, linking up the wording with the draft constitution and the negotiations. The repertory, which is furthermore complemented by registers, therefore enables the reader to quickly obtain information about the genesis of the individual articles of the constitution.

 

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