“A historical stroke of fortune”
Baden-Württemberg is the only Federal State created as the result of a referendum. In 1952, the States of Württemberg-Baden, Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern merged to form a single cohesive State in Germany’s southwest. A historical stroke of fortune – as former German President Theodor Heuss emphasized. But the eventful history of the individual states in the Southwest stretches back much further.
Creation of the State in the Southwest
The Baden-Württemberg success story was born essentially out of a process of sober reasoning. The State has its special historical constellation after the end of the Second World War to thank for its formation. The territory in Germany’s Southwest was divided into three after Germany’s unconditional surrender, without any consideration to geographical, social or economic circumstances.
However, a merger of the three states was already envisaged in the constitution of the State of Württemberg-Baden drawn up in 1946. Germany’s Basic Law also contains an article dedicated to the question of a Southwest state. At the end of 1951, the population itself voted in favour of the formation of a joint Federal State.
The change came on April 25, 1952, when the State of Baden-Württemberg was formed. The new Federal State in the Southwest united Baden, Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern in a single entity, marking the start of an unprecedented success story.
Haus der Geschichte (History Museum)
History hands-on: A permanent exhibition in the Haus der Geschichte (History Museum) in Stuttgart tells the story of the State of Baden-Württemberg’s eventful history – about its parent states of Württemberg, Baden und Hohenzollern, about its people, events and structures from 1790 to the present day. 220 years of Southwest Germany’s history come to life through a varied collection of exhibits. The Haus der Geschichte brings the historic circumstances of a young Federal State into focus and sets the scene for a hands-on encounter with the history of our State.