Berlin (dpa) – At a state ceremony in Berlin, leaders of state and society are celebrating the entry into force of Germany’s Basic Law 75 years ago. 23 May 1949 also marks the founding date of the Federal Republic of Germany. “This Basic Law is the basis for the fact that freedom and democracy and law determine coexistence in our state,” declared Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. 

Following the state ceremony, citizens will also have an opportunity to celebrate their constitution. A Festival of Democracy will take place in Berlin’s government district from Friday until Sunday. During the festivities, the Peaceful Revolution in the GDR will be commemorated, which this year will see its 35th anniversary. Ultimately, this led to the Basic Law, which had originally applied only in West Germany, becoming the constitution for all of Germany. 

From 1 September 1948 on, the Parliamentary Council in Bonn drew up the Basic Law, which was adopted on 8 May 1949 and proclaimed on 23 May by Konrad Adenauer, the president of the Parliamentary Council. At the heart of the Basic Law is its catalogue of basic rights in Articles 1 to 19, the flagship of which can be found in Article 1: “Human dignity shall be inviolable.” 

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