Volkskammer

From Academic Kids

The Volkskammer was the Parliament of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). From its founding in 1949 until the first free elections on March 19, 1990, all members of the Parliament were elected on a slate controlled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), called the National Front. On paper, the Volkskammer had great power, appointing the Councils of State and Ministers, and the Chairman of the National Defence Council. However, the Parliament had little real power, and the most dissent ever shown by Parliament to the SED was the nays of fourteen and abstensions of eight CDU representatives in a vote on liberalising abortion law.

A typical slate was as follows:

Party/GroupAcronymMembers
Socialist Unity Party of GermanySED127
Free German Trade Union FederationFDGB68
Christian Democratic UnionCDU52
Liberal Democratic Party of GermanyLPDP52
Democratic Farmers' Party of GermanyDBD52
National Democratic Party of GermanyNDPD52
Free German YouthFDJ50
Democratic Women's League of GermanyDFD35
Cultural Association of the DDRKB22

In 1976, the Volkskammer moved into a specially-constructed building on Marx-Engels-Platz (now Schlossplatz again), the Palast der Republik (Palace of the Republic).

After the 1990 elections, the disposition of the parties was as follows

Party/Group Acronym Members
Alliance for GermanyCDU, DA, DSU192
Social Democratic Party of GermanySPD88
Party of Democratic SocialismPDS, former SED66
Alliance 90B9012

Chairmen of the People's Chamber

Johannes Dieckmann LDPD 1949-1969
Gerald Goetting CDU 1969-1976
Horst Sindermann SED 1976-1989
GŁnther Maleuda DBD 1989-1990
Sabine Bergmann-Pohl CDU 1990

de:Volkskammer nl:Volkskammer

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