Alternative History
German Reichsrat
Deutscher Reichsrat
File:Reichsrat Logo.svg
Type States representation
President of the Reichsrat Hans Böhrnsen, NLP
since November 1, 2009
Members 90
Political groups National Liberal Party
Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union
Social Democratic Party
Free Democratic Party
Free Conservative Party
Free Democratic Party
Ecological-Democratic Party.
Meeting place
File:Reichsrat Chamber.jpg
Preußisches Herrenhaus, Berlin

The German Reichsrat (literally "Imperial Council"; pronounced [ʀaɪ̯çsʁaːt]) is a legislative body that represents the thirty-seven Länder (federal states) of Germany at the federal level. It has its seat at the former Prussian House of Lords in Berlin.

The Reichsrat co-decides about federal laws that affect Länder competences, and has the responsibility for passing treaties negotiated by the Emperor. Foreign commentators tend to compare it to upper houses such as the U.S. Senate or the House of Lords in the United Kingdom.


The German Reichsrat was first founded, together with the German Empire, in 1871, replacing a body of the same name and with the same functions in the North German Confederation.

The delegates to the original Bundesrat as those to the Reichsrat, while appointed by the state governments just as today, usually were high-ranking civil servants, not cabinet members. The original Reichsrat was very powerful: Every bill needed its consent, making it equal to the popularly elected Reichstag.

The Reichsrat today has slightly more influence than before the Second World War, given expanded duties regarding foreign affairs. However, overruling the Reichsrat needed a majority of two-thirds in the Reichstag splintered into many parties. So in most cases a bill vetoed by the Reichsrat effectively died because there were not enough votes in the Reichstag to overrule the veto.