Law Against the Publicly Dangerous Endeavors of Social Democracy from October 21, 1878*
§ 1. Societies [Vereine] which aim at the overthrow of the existing political or social order through social-democratic, socialistic, or communistic endeavors are to be prohibited.
This applies also to societies in which social-democratic, socialistic, or communistic endeavors aiming at the overthrow of the existing political or social order are manifested in a manner dangerous to the public peace, and, particularly to the harmony among the classes of the population.
Associations of every kind are the same as societies.
§ 2. In the event that a registered cooperative comes under the provisions of § 1, par. 2, then § 35 of the Law of July 4, 1868, concerning the legal status of cooperative associations for business and [other] economic purposes [Erwerbs- und Wirtschaftsgenossenschaften] (Bundesgesetzblatt pp. 415ff.) is to be applied.
In an analogous event, § 29 of the Law concerning registered Assistance Funds [Hilfskassen] of April 7, 1876 (Reichsgesetzblatt pp. 125ff.) is to be applied to Registered Assistance Funds.
§ 3. In the event foreseen by § 1, par. 2, Independent Fund Societies (not registered) [Unabhaengige Kassenvereine (nicht eingeschrieben)], which have the statutory purpose of mutual support for their members, are not to be immediately prohibited, but are to be put under extraordinary state control.
Where several independent societies of this kind form a union [Verband], and in the event that in one of these societies the endeavors described in § 1, par. 2 are manifested, this society can be ordered excluded from the union and put under control.
Likewise, if the described endeavors manifest themselves in one branch of a society, control is to be confined to that branch.
§ 4. The authority invested with the control is empowered:
1. To attend all sessions and meetings of the society [Verein].
2. To call and conduct membership assemblies.
3. To inspect the books, papers and cash assets, as well as to demand information about the affairs of the society.
4. To forbid the carrying out of resolutions which are apt to further the endeavors described in § 1, par. 2.
5. To transfer to qualified persons the duties of the officers or other leading organs of the society.
6. To take charge of and manage the funds.
* The law was first passed on Oct. 19, 1878. It was effective until March 31, 1881. Following that it was renewed four times: In May 1880, effective until Sept. 30, 1884; in May 1884, effective until Sept. 30, 1886; in April 1886, effective until Sept. 30, 1888, and in Feb. 1888, effective until Sept. 30, 1890. German text in SB, IV, i (1878), vol. 1, No. 47, pp. 132–35. (Footnote taken from Vernon L. Lidtke, The Outlawed Party: Social Democracy in Germany, 1878-1890, Appendix C, pp. 339-45.)