Commemorative event on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the inaugural session of the Parliamentary Council at the Museum Koenig Bonn. Group photo (from left to right): Deputy Director of the Federal Council, Dr. Georg Kleemann; Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherber; Vice President of the Bundestag, Aydan Özoğuz, SPD, Member of Parliament; Minister President of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst; President of the Federal Constitutional Court, Prof. Dr. Stephan Harbarth; Former Federal President Dr. Joachim Gauck; President of the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, SPD, Member of Parliament; Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, SPD, Member of Parliament; Lord Mayor of the Federal City of Bonn, Katja Dörner; and President of the Federal Council, Dr. Peter Tschentscher; Adrian Grüter and Dr. Michael Schäfer, Director at the German Bundestag.
75 years ago, the Museum Koenig Bonn became a part of German democracy and parliamentary history. On September 1, 1948, the Parliamentary Council convened in the museum’s atrium for its inaugural session. Today, the German Bundestag celebrates this historic moment in a place where democracy and nature intertwine every day.
“We are very pleased that the democracy of our country is being honoured here at the Museum Koenig Bonn,” emphasizes Prof. Dr Bernhard Misof, Director General of the Museum Koenig Bonn, Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB). “As a research museum, we are a place where scientific insights and various interests in dealing with nature are discussed. We provide visitors and organizations a platform to negotiate conflicts of interest and reflect on different societal value systems.”
The commemoration on September 1 includes a welcome speech by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas and a keynote address by former Federal President Joachim Gauck. This event marks the beginning of a series of activities organized by the German Bundestag to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz) and the German Bundestag. Following the commemoration, students from Potsdam and Bonn presented their perspectives on “The Freedom to Be Myself! What the Basic Law Means to Me,” which they had compiled during a workshop at the House of History.
In 1948, the Parliamentary Council crafted the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany in just 265 days and made pivotal decisions for the development of democracy in Germany. As the official Chancellor’s residence lacked adequate space, Konrad Adenauer began his duties in the Museum Koenig Bonn on September 15, 1949.
He governed side by side with large and small animals, among them the so-called “Federal Giraffe.” During the opening ceremony on September 1, 1948, it stood as a silent witness behind curtains, hidden from view. The two giraffes placed in the atrium since the museum’s opening could not be pushed into the side aisles at the time, unlike the other exhibited specimens. To this day, the legend persists that the “Federal Giraffe” watched over the parliamentarians through the curtains or directly.
(only in German) Short interview with Peter Tschentscher (President of the Federal Council, First Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg):
(only in German) Short interview with Prof. Dr Christoph Scherber (stellvertretender Wissenschaftlicher Direktor des LIB)
(only in German) Recording of the ceremony: