Berufsverbot:The Resurrection of an Anti-Democratic Weapon from the Cold War Period

Since the beginning of 2004 the Ministry for Education and Culture and the Interior Ministry in the German Federal Sate of Baden-Wuerttemberg have revived the practice of the Professional Disqualification (Berufsverbot) formerly used by the German Federal Republic. It was widely supposed that Professional Disqualification had been relegated to history for over twenty years now but, in fact, the Heidelberg secondary school teacher, Michael Csaszkoczy, who is involved in anti-fascist groups and the anti-war movement, was refused employment on the basis of "not being able to give a guarantee of fully advocating the liberal and democratic Constitution." In the meantime, the Federal Sate of Hessen has also followed suit and has likewise refused Csaszkoczy employment on political grounds.

It is pertinent to note that the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has ruled that Professionals Disqualification is a breach of human rights in a judgment handed down in 1995.

Most of the materials on this website are, for obvious reasons, in German: court decisions, legal briefs, press releases and articles, historical documents. We have translated the crucial information into English and have included short English comments on links to other materials.

For a complete survey of the origins and history of the 'Berufsverbote' through the 1980's, see Gerard Braunthal, "Political Loyalty and Public Service in West Germany," University of Massachusetts Press, 1990.