Let’s Celebrate

Having democracy shoved down our throats!

Constitution

You’ve come a long way, Germany. In those few short years (70) you have now become the Lehrmeister (schoolmaster) in all things democratic. Or at least you sure do come over that way. We couldn’t have done it without you. Or vice versa. Or whatever.

This month, a united democratic Germany marks the 70th anniversary of its constitution: the Grundgesetz, or Basic Law. The lengthy document—one version of the English text runs 135 printed pages—was composed under Allied supervision in 1948 and 1949. The final text was completed May 8, 1949; approved by the British, French, and U.S. occupying authorities on May 12, 1949; and entered into effect May 23, 1949. Its first article begins, “Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority.”

“Why don’t you sing Deutschland uber alles?”

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