POTSDAM, GERMANY – THE ALLIED OCCUPATION OF GERMANY BEGAN 58 YEARS AGO this month and in the eyes of many Germans has not yet ended. Foreign armies are still based on German soil and Europe’s largest and most prosperous “democracy” still lacks a constitution and a peace treaty putting a formal end to the Second World War.
The reunified German nation, considered a modern European democracy, has no constitution other than the temporary Basic Law (Grundgesetz) originally written in 1948, under the guidance of the U.S. military occupation forces and originally meant only to apply to the western parts of Germany under U.S. control.
The Basic Law was removed at the request of former Secretary of State James Baker at a Paris conference of the Allied powers and the two former German states on July 17, 1990. The two German states were legally abolished at this conference. As a result of these changes, the Basic Law does not legally apply to the reunified German state, according to some legal experts.
In any case, the Basic Law is incomplete and contradictory and article 139 states that the numerous Allied occupation laws and proclamations remain in effect. The Basic Law has never been ratified by a vote of the people.