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State Council of the German Democratic Republic

State Council of the German Democratic Republic
State Council of the German Democratic Republic

In East Germany (the German Democratic Republic, or GDR), the State Council (German: Staatsrat) was the collective head of state from 1960 to 1990.

Origins

When the German Democratic Republic was founded in 1949, its constitution in its formal structure resembled a "bourgeois", federalist democratic system in order to portray the GDR as the legitimate continuation of the prewar Weimar Republic (in opposition to the supposedly separatist Federal Republic. One of the "bourgeois" features of the constitution (in Article 66) was the office of President, which was filled by Wilhelm Pieck, formerly the leader of the eastern branch of the Communist Party of Germany and now one of the two chairmen of the Socialist Unity Party.

However, from the start the East German government was completely controlled by the SED, and over time its actual power structure grew closer to the model of the Soviet Union. When President Pieck died on 7 September 1960, the head of state was reshaped along those lines. The constitution was amended on 12 September 1960 by the Law concerning the formation of the State Council, which created a collective body in place of the presidency. The same constitutional amendment also acknowledged the role of the recently formed National Defense Council (Nationaler Verteidigungsrat) in GDR defense policy. The State Council remained virtually unchanged in the 1968 constitution and amendments of 1974.

[ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Council_of_the_German_Democratic_Republic ]

Address: Berlin
Tags: State Council of the German Democratic Republic, Staatsrat der DDR, Berlin


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