Conscious of its responsibility before God and Men, animated by the resolve to preserve its national and political unity and to serve the peace of the World as an equal partner in a united Europe, the German people, in the Länder Baden, Bavaria, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Württemberg-Baden, and Württemberg-Hohenzollern, has enacted, by virtue of its constituent power, this Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany to give a new order to political life for a transitional period.
It has also acted on behalf of those Germans to whom participation was denied.
The entire German people is called on to achieve by free self-determination the unity and freedom of Germany.
I. Basic Rights
(1) The dignity of man is inviolable. To respect and protect it is the duty of all state authority.
(2) The German people therefore acknowledge inviolable and inalienable human rights to be the basis of every community, of peace and of justice in the world.
(3) The following basic rights bind the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary as immediately enforceable law.
(1) Everyone has the right to free development of his personality insofar as he does not violate the rights of others or offend against the constitutional order or the moral code.
(2) Everyone has the right to life and to inviolability of his person. The freedom of the individual is inviolable. These rights may be encroached upon only pursuant to a law.
(1) All persons are equal before the law.
(2) Men and women have equal rights.
(3) No one may be prejudiced or favored because of his sex, his parentage, his race, his language, his homeland and origin, his faith or his religious and political opinions.
(1) Freedom of faith and of conscience, and freedom of creed, religious and secular (weltanschaulich) are inviolable.
(2) The undisturbed practice of religion is guaranteed.
(3) No one may be compelled against his conscience to render military service as an armed combatant. Details will be regulated by a federal law.