List of members of the 4th Bundestag
3rd 5th
Legislative bodyBundestag
TermOctober 17, 1961 (1961-10-17) – October 17, 1965 (1965-10-17)
Election1961 West German federal election
GovernmentFourth Adenauer cabinet
First Erhard cabinet
President of the BundestagEugen Gerstenmaier

The 4th German Bundestag, the lower house of parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany, was elected on 17 September 1961 and existed between 17 October 1961 and 17 October 1965. It held a total of 198 parliamentary sessions, with the last one being held on 23 July 1965.

On 7 November 1961 the Bundestag elected Konrad Adenauer as federal chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany on the first ballot with 258 yes votes, 206 no votes and 16 abstentions. After Adenauer resigned on 15 October 1963 Ludwig Erhard (CDU) was elected as his successor on 16 October 1963.

Presidium of the Bundestag

Main article: President of the Bundestag

Robert Pferdmenges of the CDU served as Alterspräsident (Father of the House), after Konrad Adneuauer (CDU) who should have had this role, had rejected it, because he considered it inappropriate for the incumbent federal chancellor to serve as Alterspräsident. He presided over the Konstituierende Sitzung [de] of the Bundestag, the first session of a new legislative Term, until Eugen Gerstenmeier was elected as President of the Bundestag.[1]

The Members of the Bundestag Carlo Schmid, Erwin Schoettle (both from the SPD), Richard Jeager (CSU) and Thomas Dehler (FDP) were nominated to serve as vice-presidents of the Bundestag. All of the candidates except for Schoettle had held this office during the previous legislative term, the 3rd German Bundestag. Before the election arose a short discussion over the fact that the SPD parliamentary caucaus demanded to vice-presidents. All of the candidates were elected with a large majority in a non-secret ballot. All of the candidates participated in the election.[1]

Eugen Gerstenmaier was again elected president of the Bundestag with 463 yes votes, 36 abstensions and 5 invald votes. He was elected by a larger vote share than in 1957.[1]

Composition of the Bundestag

Although the CDU/CSU lost their absolute majority, they still remained the largest party. They won a total of 242 seats as well as 9 non-voting delegates from West Berlin. The SPD increased their seats winning 190 and 13 non-voting delegates from West Berlin. It was the first time that the SPD did not nominate their chairman as Chancellor candidate. Instead they chose Willy Brandt who was Governing Mayor of Berlin at that time and who would later become the first SPD Chancellor in the Federla Republic of Germany. With 67 seats the FDP had also won more seats than they had won in the previous election.[2][3][4][5][6]


This summary includes changes in the numbers of the three caucuses (CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP):

Time Reason of change CDU/CSU SPD FDP Others Total number
1961 First meeting 242 190 67 499
20 September 1962 Wilhelm Gontrum leaves the CDU/CSU caucus and becomes unaffiliated 241 1
3 June 1964 Wolfgang Stammberger leaves the FDP caucus and become members of the SPD caucus 191 66

























See also


  1. ^ a b c "Transcript of the 1st Session of the Bundestag" (PDF). 2023-07-05.
  2. ^ "Bundestagswahl 17.09.1961". 2012-05-06. Archived from the original on 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  3. ^ Deutschland, Stiftung Deutsches Historisches Museum, Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik. "Gerade auf LeMO gesehen: LeMO Kapitel: Bundestagswahl 1961". (in German). Retrieved 2023-07-05.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "". (in German). Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  5. ^ "Bundestagswahl 1961 - Die Bundeswahlleiterin". Retrieved 2023-07-05.
  6. ^ "Bundestagswahl 15.09.1957". 2012-05-06. Archived from the original on 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2023-07-05.