Saarland is a state of Germany. Saarland is located in western Germany covering an area of 2,570 km2 and a population of 995,600, the smallest German state in both area and population apart from the city-states of Berlin and Hamburg. Saarbrücken is the state capital and largest city, while other major cities include Neunkirchen and Saarlouis. Saarland is surrounded by France to the west and south and the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate to the north and east. Saarland was established in 1920 after World War I as the Territory of the Saar Basin, formed from land of Prussia and Bavaria occupied and governed by France and the United Kingdom under a League of Nations mandate; the industrialized region was economically valuable due to the wealth of its coal deposits and location on the border between France and Germany. Saarland was returned to Nazi Germany in the 1935 Saar status referendum, becoming de jure part of Bavaria and de facto part of Gau Westmark. Following World War II, the French military administration in Allied-occupied Germany organized the territory as the Saar Protectorate from 1947, becoming a protectorate of France, between 1950 and 1956 was a member of the Council of Europe.
Saarland rejected the 1955 Saar Statute referendum, joined the Federal Republic of Germany as a state on 1 January 1957. Saarland used its own currency, the Saar franc, postage stamps issued specially for the territory until 1959; the region of the Saarland was settled by the Celtic tribes of Mediomatrici. The most impressive relic of their time is the remains of a fortress of refuge at Otzenhausen in the north of the Saarland. In the 1st century BC, the Roman Empire made the region part of its province of Belgica; the Celtic population mixed with the Roman immigrants. The region gained wealth, which can still be seen in the remains of Roman villages. Roman rule ended in the 5th century. For the next 1,300 years the region shared the history of the Kingdom of the Franks, the Carolingian Empire and of the Holy Roman Empire; the region of the Saarland was divided into several small territories, some of which were ruled by sovereigns of adjoining regions. Most important of the local rulers were the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken.
Within the Holy Roman Empire these territories gained a wide range of independence, however, by the French kings, who sought, from the 17th century onwards, to incorporate all the territories on the western side of the river Rhine and invaded the area in 1635, in 1676, in 1679 and in 1734, extending their realm to the Saar River and establishing the city and stronghold of Saarlouis in 1680. It was not the king of France but the armies of the French Revolution who terminated the independence of the states in the region of the Saarland. After 1792 they made it part of the French Republic. While a strip in the west belonged to the Département Moselle, the centre in 1798 became part of the Département de Sarre, the east became part of the Département du Mont-Tonnerre. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the region was divided again. Most of it became part of the Prussian Rhine Province. Another part in the east, corresponding to the present Saarpfalz district, was allocated to the Kingdom of Bavaria.
A small part in the northeast was ruled by the Duke of Oldenburg. On 31 July 1870, the French Emperor Napoleon III ordered an invasion across the River Saar to seize Saarbrücken; the first shots of the Franco-Prussian War 1870/71 were fired on the heights of Spichern, south of Saarbrücken. The Saar region became part of the German Empire which came into existence on 18 January 1871, during the course of this war. In 1920 the Saargebiet was occupied by Britain and France under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles; the occupied area included portions of the Prussian Rhine Province and the Bavarian Rhenish Palatinate. In practice the region was administered by France. In 1920 this was formalized by a 15-year League of Nations mandate. In 1933, a considerable number of communists and other political opponents of National Socialism fled to the Saar, as it was the only part of Germany that remained outside national administration following the First World War; as a result, anti-Nazi groups agitated for the Saarland to remain under French administration.
However, with most of the population being ethnically German, such views were considered suspect or treasonous, therefore found little support. When the original 15-year term was over, a plebiscite was held in the territory on 13 January 1935: 90.8% of those voting favoured rejoining Germany. Following the referendum Josef Bürckel was appointed on 1 March 1935 as the German Reich's commissioner for reintegration; when the reincorporation was considered accomplished, his title was changed to Reichskommissar für das Saarland. In September 1939, in response to the German Invasion of Poland, French forces invaded the Saarland in a half-hearted offensive, occupying some villages and meeting little resistance, before withdrawing. A further change was made after 8 April 1940 to Reichskommissar für die Saarpfalz, he died on 28 September 1944 and was succeeded by Willi Stöhr, who remained in office until the region fell to advancing American forces in March 1945. After World War II, the Saarland came under French occupation and administration again, as the Saar Protectorate.
Under the Monnet Plan France attempted to gain economic control of the German industrial areas with large c
The National Socialist German Workers' Party referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany, active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of National Socialism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920; the Nazi Party emerged from the German nationalist and populist Freikorps paramilitary culture, which fought against the communist uprisings in post-World War I Germany. The party was created to draw workers away into völkisch nationalism. Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, anti-capitalist rhetoric, although this was downplayed to gain the support of business leaders, in the 1930s the party's main focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes. Pseudo-scientific racist theories were central to Nazism, expressed in the idea of a "people's community"; the party aimed to unite "racially desirable" Germans as national comrades, while excluding those deemed either to be political dissidents, physically or intellectually inferior, or of a foreign race.
The Nazis sought to strengthen the Germanic people, the "Aryan master race", through racial purity and eugenics, broad social welfare programs, a collective subordination of individual rights, which could be sacrificed for the good of the state on behalf of the people. To protect the supposed purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to exterminate Jews, Romani and most other Slavs, along with the physically and mentally handicapped, they disenfranchised and segregated homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and political opponents. The persecution reached its climax when the party-controlled German state set in motion the Final Solution–an industrial system of genocide which achieved the murder of an estimated 5.5 to 6 million Jews and millions of other targeted victims, in what has become known as the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler, the party's leader since 1921, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. Hitler established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich.
Following the defeat of the Third Reich at the conclusion of World War II in Europe, the party was "declared to be illegal" by the Allied powers, who carried out denazification in the years after the war. Nazi, the informal and derogatory term for a party member, abbreviates the party's name, was coined in analogy with Sozi, an abbreviation of Sozialdemokrat. Members of the party referred to themselves as Nationalsozialisten as Nazis; the term Parteigenosse was used among Nazis, with its corresponding feminine form Parteigenossin. The term was in use before the rise of the party as a colloquial and derogatory word for a backward peasant, an awkward and clumsy person, it derived from Ignaz, a shortened version of Ignatius, a common name in the Nazis' home region of Bavaria. Opponents seized on this, the long-existing Sozi, to attach a dismissive nickname to the National Socialists. In 1933, when Adolf Hitler assumed power in the German government, the usage of "Nazi" diminished in Germany, although Austrian anti-Nazis continued to use the term, the use of "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi regime" was popularised by anti-Nazis and German exiles abroad.
Thereafter, the term spread into other languages and was brought back to Germany after World War II. In English, the term is not considered slang, has such derivatives as Nazism and denazification; the party grew out of smaller political groups with a nationalist orientation that formed in the last years of World War I. In 1918, a league called the Freier Arbeiterausschuss für einen guten Frieden was created in Bremen, Germany. On 7 March 1918, Anton Drexler, an avid German nationalist, formed a branch of this league in Munich. Drexler was a local locksmith, a member of the militarist Fatherland Party during World War I and was bitterly opposed to the armistice of November 1918 and the revolutionary upheavals that followed. Drexler followed the views of militant nationalists of the day, such as opposing the Treaty of Versailles, having antisemitic, anti-monarchist and anti-Marxist views, as well as believing in the superiority of Germans whom they claimed to be part of the Aryan "master race".
However, he accused international capitalism of being a Jewish-dominated movement and denounced capitalists for war profiteering in World War I. Drexler saw the political violence and instability in Germany as the result of the Weimar Republic being out-of-touch with the masses the lower classes. Drexler emphasised the need for a synthesis of völkisch nationalism with a form of economic socialism, in order to create a popular nationalist-oriented workers' movement that could challenge the rise of Communism and internationalist politics; these were all well-known themes popular with various Weimar paramilitary groups such as the Freikorps. Drexler's movement received support from some influential figures. Supporter Dietrich Eckart, a well-to-do journalist, brought military figure Felix Graf von Bothmer, a prominent supporter of the concept of "national socialism", to address the movement. In 1918, Karl Harrer convinced Drexler and several others to form the Politischer Arbeiterzirkel; the members met perio
Autonome Nationalisten are German, Dutch and to a lesser degree Flemish neo-Nazis, who have adopted some of the far left and Antifa's organizational concepts, demonstration tactics and elements of clothing, including Che Guevara T-shirts and keffiyehs. Similar groups have appeared in some central and eastern European countries, beginning with Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Greece and others; the phenomenon of the Autonome Nationalisten can be traced to "Freie Nationaliste", "Freie Kräfte" and "Freie Kameradschaften" movements, which developed in the shadow of the Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands since the late-1980s. The police crackdown on the far-right after re-unification and the wave of banning in the early 1990s forced most of the local extreme far-right militant groups to split into "autonomous nationalist cells" of 5-20 members without a formal membership. Instead of conducting regular meetings, they started to use phones and Internet for communication and organizing.
Local cells formed loose umbrella networks in the regions to coordinate actions. In 2008, Germany's Autonomous Nationalists were estimated to number 400 people, 1% of the country's neo-Nazis; the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which provides domestic intelligence for the government, estimated the number of active participants of the far right movement in 2008 around 40,000. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, in 2001 there were 75 extreme-right organizations in Germany with 50,000 members; the emergence of the Autonome Nationalisten was controversial within the German far right milieu, both because some older activists of the German extreme right objected to their "leftist" image and because the NPD feared they would complicate its efforts to take part in mainstream politics. Controversial was that Autonome Nationalisten had expressed sympathy for Islamic extremism, as well as Hezbollah and Hamas for their opposition to Zionism and what is deemed "American imperialism".
The same controversies arose among the far right in Poland. The Autonomous Nationalists in Europe made themselves visible starting from 2003–2004 and are now considered more violent than other members of the European far right. However, as of 2010, according to Miroslav Mareš, their impact in these countries has been limited so far. Researchers view the syncretic political movement of the Autonomous Nationalists in Europe as a "strategic concept and subculture – all three terms are possible for the designation of this phenomenon." They emphasize that, autonomous nationalism as a political tendency punches above its weight. It has influenced and sparked debates within the German far right, as well as within fascist youth movements in other European countries; as such it opens up questions over the future of fascist organisation in Europe, at a time when network politics appears to exert stronger mobilising factors than traditional organisational structures. The Autonomous Nationalists were ideologically inspired by Strasserism.
The message of AN shifted to anti-globalist, anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist ideas. It promotes complete organizational autonomy inside the movement; the adoption of codes and symbols of the far left "Autonome Antifa" by the "Autonome Nationalisten" coincided with the persistence of vibrant alternative subcultures of the radical left and rejection of traditional skinhead cultural-political templates of behavior of the extreme right. The AN thus see themselves as'autonomous' from established neo-Nazi programs and structures, developing their own ideological discourse, street message, action repertoire, music scenes and fashion codes; these are meant to display anti-capitalist and anti-systemic rebellion and opposition to globalization and'American cultural imperialism'. The AN raised some social and economic issues, including poverty. At present time, they are entrenched in the neo‐Nazi movement. Black Front National-Anarchism National Bolshevik Party Third Position Rechtsextremismus in Berlin, Senatsverwaltung für Inneres und Sport.
Decker, Marliese Weißmann, Johannes Kiess, und Elmar Brähler. Die Mitte in der Krise. Rechtsextreme Einstellungen in Deutschland. Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2010. Braun, Alexander Geisler, und Martin Gerster. Strategien der extremen Rechten: Hintergründe - Analysen - Antworten. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2009. Hafeneger, und Sven Schönfelder. Politische Strategien gegen die extreme Rechte in Parlamenten: Folgen für kommunale Politik und lokale Demokratie: Eine qualitative Studie. Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2007. Peters, Jürgen. "Autonome Nationalisten" die Modernisierung neofaschistischer Jugendkultur. Münster: Unrast, 2009. Roth, Roland. Demokratie braucht Qualität!: Beispiele guter Praxis und Handlungsempfehlungen für erfolgreiches Engagement gegen Rechtsextremismus. Berlin: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2010. Schedler, Jan. Autonome Nationalisten. In: Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte, Nr. 44/2010, S. 20–26. Schedler, Jan und Alexander Häusler. Autonome Nationalisten Neonazismus in Bewegung.
Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2011. ISBN 978-3-531-17049-7 Schedler, Jan; the Devil in Disguise: Action Repertoire, Visual Performance and Collective Identity of the Autonomous Nationalists and Nationalism, V. 20
Hanover or Hannover is the capital and largest city of the German state of Lower Saxony. Its 535,061 inhabitants make it the thirteenth-largest city of Germany, as well as the third-largest city of Northern Germany after Hamburg and Bremen; the city lies at the confluence of the River Leine and its tributary Ihme, in the south of the North German Plain, is the largest city of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region. It is the fifth-largest city in the Low German dialect area after Hamburg, Dortmund and Bremen. Before it became the capital of Lower Saxony in 1946, Hanover was the capital of the Principality of Calenberg, the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the Kingdom of Hanover, the Province of Hanover of the Kingdom of Prussia, the Province of Hanover of the Free State of Prussia, of the State of Hanover. From 1714 to 1837, Hanover was by personal union the family seat of the Hanoverian Kings of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, under their title of the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
The city is a major crossing point of railway lines and highways, connecting European main lines in both the east-west and north-south directions. Hannover Airport lies north of the city, in Langenhagen, is Germany's ninth-busiest airport; the city's most notable institutions of higher education are the Hannover Medical School with its university hospital, the University of Hanover. The Hanover fairground, due to numerous extensions for the Expo 2000, is the largest in the world. Hanover hosts annual commercial trade fairs such as the Hanover Fair and up to 2018 the CeBIT; the IAA Commercial Vehicles show takes place every two years. It is the world's leading trade show for transport and mobility; every year Hanover hosts the Schützenfest Hannover, the world's largest marksmen's festival, the Oktoberfest Hannover. "Hanover" is the traditional English spelling. The German spelling is becoming more popular in English; the English pronunciation, with stress on the first syllable, is applied to both the German and English spellings, different from German pronunciation, with stress on the second syllable and a long second vowel.
The traditional English spelling is still used in historical contexts when referring to the British House of Hanover. Hanover was founded in medieval times on the east bank of the River Leine, its original name Honovere may mean "high bank". Hanover was a small village of ferrymen and fishermen that became a comparatively large town in the 13th century, receiving town privileges in 1241, due to its position at a natural crossroads; as overland travel was difficult, its position on the upper navigable reaches of the river helped it to grow by increasing trade. It was connected to the Hanseatic League city of Bremen by the Leine, was situated near the southern edge of the wide North German Plain and north-west of the Harz mountains, so that east-west traffic such as mule trains passed through it. Hanover was thus a gateway to the Rhine and Saar river valleys, their industrial areas which grew up to the southwest and the plains regions to the east and north, for overland traffic skirting the Harz between the Low Countries and Saxony or Thuringia.
In the 14th century the main churches of Hanover were built, as well as a city wall with three city gates. The beginning of industrialization in Germany led to trade in iron and silver from the northern Harz Mountains, which increased the city's importance. In 1636 George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, ruler of the Brunswick-Lüneburg principality of Calenberg, moved his residence to Hanover; the Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg was elevated by the Holy Roman Emperor to the rank of Prince-Elector in 1692, this elevation was confirmed by the Imperial Diet in 1708. Thus the principality was upgraded to the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, colloquially known as the Electorate of Hanover after Calenberg's capital, its Electors become monarchs of Great Britain. The first of these was George I Louis, who acceded to the British throne in 1714; the last British monarch who reigned in Hanover was William IV. Semi-Salic law, which required succession by the male line if possible, forbade the accession of Queen Victoria in Hanover.
As a male-line descendant of George I, Queen Victoria was herself a member of the House of Hanover. Her descendants, bore her husband's titular name of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Three kings of Great Britain, or the United Kingdom, were concurrently Electoral Princes of Hanover. During the time of the personal union of the crowns of the United Kingdom and Hanover, the monarchs visited the city. In fact, during the reigns of the final three joint rulers, there was only one short visit, by George IV in 1821. From 1816 to 1837 Viceroy Adolphus represented the monarch in Hanover. During the Seven Years' War, the Battle of Hastenbeck was fought near the city on 26 July 1757; the French army defeated the Hanoverian Army of Observation, leading to the city's occupation as part of the Invasion of Hanover. It was recaptured by Anglo-German forces led by Ferdinand of Brunswick the following year. After Napoleon imposed the Conv
The Aryan Guard is a neo-Nazi group based in Alberta, whose members are located in the city of Calgary. It was founded in late 2006, was reported to have disbanded in 2009 as a result of internal conflict including pipe bombing attacks. However, late in 2009 the group claimed it was still operating; the Aryan Guard did not gain any media attention until 2007 when members began a flyering campaign targeting immigrants. Some of these flyers had been surreptitiously placed in the free Calgary arts and culture newspaper Fast Forward Weekly by Aryan Guard members; the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies suspect that the individual responsible for the flyers may be Bill Noble, a neo-Nazi well known to law enforcement for his online racist activism and, in the past charged under Section 319 of the Canadian Criminal Code for "wilful promotion of hatred". The Aryan Guard's website is registered in Noble's name. At a human rights panel discussion at the Glenbow Museum on August 14, 2007, the topic of the Aryan Guard was discussed.
Although the flyers were deemed "racially charged" and "disturbing", Inspector Bob Couture of the Calgary Police Service, a speaker on the panel, stated that "there was not enough basis to take action against the group". In response to the Aryan Guard's activities in the city, Calgary anti-racist activists held a rally in support of Calgary's multiculturalism and opposition to racism and racist movements; some members of the Aryan Guard organized a counter-protest in response to the anti-racist rally. On October 14, 2007 15 Aryan Guard members protested at Calgary City Hall, they were drastically outnumbered by anti-racism protesters. Police were forced to step in as a safety precaution. On March 21, "a date recognized as both a white pride world wide day and as a celebration for the elimination of racism", in 2008, the Aryan Guard staged a demonstration in downtown Calgary. More than 40 supporters of the Aryan Guard faced a crowd of over 200 anti-racist protesters who prevented the Guard from reaching their planned meeting place at the Mewata Armouries.
Police formed a human barrier between the two groups and blocked the movement of the counter-protesters while escorting the Aryan Guard down Stephen Avenue and up the steps of City Hall, where they waved flags proclaiming "White Pride Worldwide". Members of the Aryan Guard taunted Jason Devine and Bonnie Collins, local anti-racism activists whose home was firebombed on February 12, 2008, while they and their four children were inside; as the demonstration wound down, members of the Aryan Guard were escorted to a waiting school bus by police and evacuated from the scene. An unknown number of anti-racism protesters, under video surveillance during the demonstration, were detained as they left and forced to have their identification recorded by police. On March 21, 2009, the Aryan Guard held another white pride rally in downtown Calgary where they confronted anti-racist, counter-protestors which led to a brawl between the two parties that brought traffic to a standstill. Several people had to be treated for injuries.
The Aryan Guard had received media attention earlier that year on January 10, 2009 when they appeared at a protest against Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip, despite being asked to leave by the protest organizers. According to Const. Lynn MacDonald, the hate crimes coordinator for the Calgary Police Service, the Aryan Guard is considered a "criminal activity group". On August 28, 2008, four members of the Aryan Guard were arrested for vandalism that occurred on the Siksika First Nations Reserve near the community of Gleichen, Alberta. On July 27, 2008, a 17-year-old member of the Aryan Guard assaulted a Japanese woman leaving a Calgary bar; the Aryan Guard member was convicted of the assault on March 13, 2009. On the morning of November 21, 2009, two homemade bombs were left on the doorstep of WEB member Tyler Sturrup; the devices were removed to a nearby parking lot moments before detonating. Hours after Aryan Guard member John Marleau was questioned by police in connection to the bombing, warrants for attempted murder and other charges were issued for Aryan Guard founder Kyle McKee and a 17-year-old accomplice who cannot be named under provisions of Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act.
The accomplice was found not guilty and released after serving seven months in jail. After the bomb attempt, the Aryan Guard's web site indicated. List of white nationalist organizations Food Not Bombs targeted: Non-profit group faces neo-Nazi intimidation
Socialist Reich Party
The Socialist Reich Party was a West German Strasserist political party founded in the aftermath of World War II in 1949 as an neo-Nazi oriented split-off from the national conservative German Right Party. The SRP was the first party to be banned by the Federal Constitutional Court in 1952, it was established on 2 October 1949 in Hameln by Otto Ernst Remer, a former Wehrmacht major general who had played a vital role in defeating the 20 July plot, Fritz Dorls, a former editor of the CDU newsletter in Lower Saxony, Gerhard Krüger, leader of the German Student Union under the Third Reich, after they had been excluded from the DKP-DRP. The SRP saw itself as a legitimate heir of the Nazi Party, its foundation was backed by former Luftwaffe Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel. The party claimed Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was a United States puppet and that Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz was the last legitimate President of the German Reich appointed by Adolf Hitler, it denied the existence of the Holocaust, claimed that the United States built the gas ovens of the Dachau concentration camp after the War and that films of concentration camps were faked.
The SRP advocated Europe, led by a reunited German Reich, as a "third force" against both capitalism and communism. It demanded the re-annexation of the former eastern territories of Germany and a "solution of the Jewish question". According to Karl Dietrich Bracher, "SRP propaganda concentrated on a vague'popular socialism' in which the old National Socialists rediscovered well-worn slogans, on a nationalism whose championship of Reich and war was but a thinly disguised continuation of the Lebensraum ideology". According to Martin A. Lee, the SRP never criticised the Soviet Union because the Soviet Union funded the SRP as it held anti-American and pro-Soviet views; the Communist Party of Germany, on the other hand, did not receive Soviet funds because it was viewed as "ineffectual". Remer said that if the USSR did invade Germany, he would "show the Russians the way to the Rhine" and that SRP members would "post themselves as traffic policemen, spreading their arms so that the Russians can find their way through Germany as as possible".
Dorls had been elected as a DKP-DRP deputy to the Bundestag parliament in the 1949 election. The SRP gained a second seat in parliament, when MP Fritz Rössler joined the party in 1950. In May 1951 it won 16 seats in the Lower Saxony state assembly election, receiving 11.0% of the votes with strongholds in the Stade region. In October 1951 it gained 7.7% of the votes in Bremen and won 8 seats in the city's Bürgerschaft parliament. The SRP had about ten thousand members. Affiliated associations were the Reichsfront paramilitary organisation and the Reichsjugend youth wing, which were banned by decision of the Federal Minister of the Interior on 4 May 1951. On the same day, the West German cabinet decided to file an application to the Federal Constitutional Court to find the SRP anti-constitutional and to impose a ban. On 23 October 1952 the court according to Article 21 Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law adjudicated the party unconstitutional and dissolved, prohibited the founding of any successor organisations, withdraw all Bundestag and Landtag mandates and seized the party's assets.
In view of the verdict, the SRP leaders had declared the Party dissolved on 12 September. Black Front Germany's New Nazis 1951 pamphlet about the SRP and other neo-nazi groups by the Anglo-Jewish Association
The Bundestag is the German federal parliament. It can be compared to the chamber of deputies along the lines of the United States House of Representatives or the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. Through the Bundesrat, a separate institution, the individual states of Germany participate in legislation similar to a second house in a bicameral parliament; the Bundestag was established by article III of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 as one of the legislative bodies of Germany and thus the historical successor to the earlier Reichstag. Since 1999 it has met in the Reichstag Building in Berlin. Wolfgang Schäuble is the current President of the Bundestag. Members of the Bundestag are elected every four years by all adult German citizens in a mixed system of constituency voting and list voting; the constitutional minimum number of seats is 598. The Election Day can be called earlier than four years after the last if the Federal Chancellor loses a vote of confidence and asks the Federal President to dissolve the Bundestag in order to hold new general elections.
In the 19th century, the name Bundestag was the unofficial designation for the assembly of the sovereigns and mayors of the Monarchies and Free Cities which formed the German Confederation. Its seat was in the Free City of Frankfurt on the Main. With the dissolution of the German Confederation in 1866 and the founding of the German Empire in 1871, the Reichstag was established as the German parliament in Berlin, the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia. Two decades the current parliament building was erected; the Reichstag delegates were elected by equal male suffrage. The Reichstag did not participate in the appointment of the Chancellor until the parliamentary reforms of October 1918. After the Revolution of November 1918 and the establishment of the Weimar Constitution, women were given the right to vote for the Reichstag, the parliament could use the no-confidence vote to force the chancellor or any cabinet member to resign. In March 1933, one month after the Reichstag fire, the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, a retired war hero, gave Adolf Hitler ultimate power through the Decree for the Protection of People and State and the Enabling Act of 1933, although Hitler remained at the post of Federal Government Chancellor.
After this, the Reichstag met only usually at the Krolloper to unanimously rubber-stamp the decisions of the government. It last convened on 26 April 1942. With the new Constitution of 1949, the Bundestag was established as the new West German parliament; because West Berlin was not under the jurisdiction of the Constitution, a legacy of the Cold War, the Bundestag met in Bonn in several different buildings, including a former waterworks facility. In addition, owing to the city's legal status, citizens of West Berlin were unable to vote in elections to the Bundestag, were instead represented by 22 non-voting delegates chosen by the House of Representatives, the city's legislature; the Bundeshaus in Bonn is the former parliament building of Germany. The sessions of the German Bundestag were held there from 1949 until its move to Berlin in 1999. Today it houses the International Congress Centre Bundeshaus Bonn and in the northern areas the branch office of the Bundesrat, which represents the Länder – the federated states).
The southern areas became part of German offices for the United Nations in 2008. The former Reichstag building housed a history exhibition and served as a conference center; the Reichstag building was occasionally used as a venue for sittings of the Bundestag and its committees and the Bundesversammlung, the body which elects the German Federal President. However, the Soviets harshly protested against the use of the Reichstag building by institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany and tried to disturb the sittings by flying supersonic jets close to the building. Since April 19, 1999, the German parliament has again assembled in Berlin in its original Reichstag building, built in 1888 based on the plans of German architect Paul Wallot and underwent a significant renovation under the lead of British architect Lord Norman Foster. Parliamentary committees and subcommittees, public hearings and parliamentary group meetings take place in three auxiliary buildings, which surround the Reichstag building: the Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, Paul-Löbe-Haus and Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus.
In 2005, a small aircraft crashed close to the German Parliament. It was decided to ban private air traffic over Central Berlin. Together with the Bundesrat, the Bundestag is the legislative branch of the German political system. Although most legislation is initiated by the executive branch, the Bundestag considers the legislative function its most important responsibility, concentrating much of its energy on assessing and amending the government's legislative program; the committees play a prominent role in this process. Plenary sessions provide a forum for members to engage in public debate on legislative issues before them, but they tend to be well attended only when significant legislation is being considered; the Bundestag members are the only federal officials directly elected by the public.