28. April 1950: Schreiben des Bundeskanzlers Adenauer an den Geschäftsführenden Vorsitzenden der Alliierten Hohen Kommission für Deutschland, Robertson, zur Frage der Aufstellung einer Bundespolizei

Sir,

I have the honour to bring the following to your notice: -

In the short period that has passed since the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany it has proved a noticeable disadvantage that the Republic does not command its own police force. The Federal Government is not able to take any executive police measures on its own authority.

This disability has an even more disadvantageous effect because the Land Police Forces are very much decentralised and are neither organised nor equipped successfully to carry out major operations in the case of an emergency. Apart from the exceptional case of national emergency under Article 91 of the Basic Law, the Federation has no authority to issue orders to the Land Police Forces in any of the three Western Zones of Occupation. This situation gives rise to grave anxiety expecially at present when centres of unrest may at any time appear as a result of very lively subversive activities from the Eastern Zone.

In the long run a Federal State can only maintain itself if it commands an instrument for the execution of its will. Other Federal States have armies, the main purpose of which, it is true, is to resist foreign aggression, but which can also be employed to ensure the maintenance of internal security. At present Germany has no army and does not wish for one. The Allied Occupation Forces provide the necessary means of defence against an attack. It is, however, not compatible with the prestige of the Federal Government to be dependent upon Allied forces for the execution of its will; moreover, circumstances might arise in which intervention might cause embarrassment to the Allied forces. The Federal Government therefore considers the establishment of a Federal Police Force to be an absolute necessity.

It would be the task of the Federal Police to protect the constitutional structure of the Federation and to act in the case of a major threat to public order beyond the control of the Land Police Forces. The unrest in Central Germany which spread rapidly from an insignificant beginning in 1921 shows the speed with which such disturbances can spread over a considerable area. At that time the police were suddenly faced by well-organised and armed insurgents. Although the police were at that time better equipped with arms than is the case today, they were not successful in their struggle against an even better-equipped opponent and they could not re-establish public order; this was possible only with the support of the Reichswehr.

Beyond this the Federal Police would also have to undertake the protection of the Federal institutions and the constitutional Federal agencies in Bonn. At present no more than 110 policemen are on duty at any time in the Federal capital. They are not subject to instructions from the Federal Government and they are not able successfully to oppose any major disturbance.

In order to be equal to these tasks the Federal Police would have to be so organised that police reserves in the form of units in barracks are set up for the purpose of carrying out other than local operations. They would have to be sufficiently strong in number and adequately equipped. With regard to numerical strength, one unit may be calculated per 200000 inhabitants. On the basis of a population figure of 45 million, this would mean approximately 220 units. If the strenght of each unit is reckoned at 120, the Federal Police Force would amount to a total of approximately 25000. The Federal Minister of the Interior would be the supreme administrative head of the Federal Police.

I am particularly anxious to stress that the establishment of a Federal Police Force is not intended in any way to affect the authority of either the State or the Communal Police Forces in the Länder. The delimitation of the special powers of the Federal Police vis-à-vis the current functions of the Land Police Forces would have to be clearly set out. The problem whether and in what circumstances the Federal Police should have the power of arrest would for instance have to be examined.

I should be grateful to you if you could inform me soon whether there are any objections on the part of the Allied High Commission to the intended establishment of a Federal Police Force within the framework outlined above. If this is not the case detailed arrangements should be reserved to further talks in accordance with No. 3 of the letter of the Military Governors of 12th May, 1949, and No. 5 of their letter of 14th April, 1949.

Please accept, Sir, the expression of my highest esteem.

(Signed) ADENAUER

Quelle: PRO, FO 371/124928 (The London Conferences, May 1950. Vol. I, 141f.). FRUS 1950 IV, 684f.