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The “Two Germanys”

After 1945, the States founded on German territory referred to the Weimar Republic where legal relations between the Church and State were concerned. This was true for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) whose Basic Law (Grundgesetz) upholds the pertinent articles of the Weimar Constitution (see 3.2), and for the first Constitution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). In West Germany, the Lutheran, Reformed and United Churches that were organised in the Evangelical Church of Germany (EKD) and the Catholic Church, whose demographic influence was reinforced by the division of Germany, played an important role in the recognition of the new democracy and the integration of the population (Volkskirchen). Meanwhile, in East Germany, the State had adopted a secular policy, emphasised by the introduction of the Jugendweihe (1954), the elimination of religious articles in the new constitution (1969) and the control over Churches. The Churches reacted by adapting and in part, by opposing the regime.

D 19 July 2012    AMatthias Koenig

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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