leadership role of the Socialist Unity party was now included in the document. It also enacted a law for state ownership of all means of production. This justified collectivization and nationalization retroactively. The right to education for all citizens, the inviolability of private dwellings, the right to health care and old-age pensions, and freedom of religion were included in the constitution. A great deal more personal human rights were also named in the document, including maternity leave, children's allowances, and financial support for expecting mothers. Prohibited were incitement to racial hatred and the promotion of war. Work was proclaimed to be a duty as well as a right. The right to strike, which was included in the 1949 constitution, was now eliminated.
The 1974 constitution was a thorough revision of the previous basic laws. The Council of State was no longer entitled to act for parliament between sessions. It could no longer issue decrees, and its right to pass judgment on the constitutionality of laws was withdrawn. Nor could it propose the person for president to parliament. It could still appoint the members of the Defense Council and organize national defense, but in all other matters its functions were reduced to those of the state president after 1949. The new document increased the authority of the Council of Ministers-at least on paper. The People's Chamber also received more authority. The examination and approval of new laws were now the task of parliament. Deputies were required to consult with their constituents. Their number was raised to 500, but their meetings continued at infrequent intervals. Deputies were not paid for their work as legislators. They were simply part-timers who received their regular salaries from the work they performed elsewhere.
Croan Melvin, "Germany and Eastern Europe," in Joseph Held, ed. The Columbia History of Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century ( New York, 1992), pp. 345-393; Keesing Research Report. Germany and Eastern Europe since 1945: From the Potsdam Agreement to Chancellor Brandt's Ostpolitik ( New York, 1973); Schneider Eberhard, The GDR: The History, Politics, Economy, and Society of East Germany ( London, 1978); Stahl Walter, The Politics of Postwar Germany ( New York, 1963).
Council of Ministers. Consisting of the prime minister and his cabinet this was the government of the East German state. In reality, the first secretary (later, general secretary) of the Socialist Unity party and the members of the Presidium (formerly Politburo) ruled over the Council of Ministers. There was a closely intertwined relationship between the government and the party leadership; sometimes the two were interchangeable as had been the case with other East European countries. The state organs simply did what the party leadership told them to do. Werner Krolokowsky, a little- known apparatchik, was chairman of the Council of Ministers, and he was considered to be a confidante of the secretary general. When Erich Honecker (see Honecker, Erich) replaced Walter Ulbricht (see Ulbricht, Walter) in 1971, Honecker's wife was made a member of the Council of Ministers, strengthening her husband's hold on the