Neue Ostpolitik (German for "new eastern policy"), or Ostpolitik for short, was the normalization of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, or West Germany) and Eastern Europe, particularly the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany) beginning in 1969. Influenced by Egon Bahr, who proposed "change through rapprochement" in a 1963 speech at the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing, the policies were implemented beginning with Willy Brandt, fourth Chancellor of the FRG from 1969 to 1974.

Ostpolitik was an effort to break with the policies of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which was the elected government of West Germany from 1949 until 1969. The Christian Democrats under Konrad Adenauer and his successors tried to combat the Communist regime of East Germany, while Brandt's Social Democrats tried to achieve a certain degree of cooperation with East Germany.

The term Ostpolitik has since been applied to Pope Paul VI's efforts to engage Eastern European countries during the same period. The term Nordpolitik was also coined to describe similar rapprochement policies between North and South Korea beginning in the 1980s.

Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F031406-0017, Erfurt, Treffen Willy Brandt mit Willi Stoph
Willy Brandt (left) and Willi Stoph in Erfurt 1970, the first encounter of a Federal Chancellor with his East German counterpart. This was an early step in the de-escalation of the Cold War.


Following the end of World War II in 1945, Allied-occupied Germany was split into two states: the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, or West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR, or East Germany). Initially, both governments claimed that they represented the entire German nation. However, the Federal Republic saw itself as the only German government with democratic legitimacy. Later, at the end of the 1960s, the communist government of the GDR claimed that there was no longer a common German nation as the GDR had established a "socialist" nation.

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) political party dominated West German governments from 1949 to 1969. These governments refused to have any contact with the GDR government due to its undemocratic character, and the Hallstein Doctrine stipulated that the FRG would withdraw diplomatic contact from any country that established diplomatic relations with the GDR. The first application of the Hallstein Doctrine was in 1957, when the FRG withdrew recognition of Yugoslavia after it accepted a GDR ambassador. In the 1960s it became obvious that this policy would not work forever. When the Federal Republic established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1965, the Arab states countered by breaking off relations with the Federal Republic and establishing relations with the GDR.

Even before his election as Chancellor, Willy Brandt, the Social Democratic mayor of West Berlin, argued for and pursued policies that would ease tensions between the two German states, generally in the interest of cross-border commerce. His proposed new Ostpolitik held that the Hallstein Doctrine did not help to undermine the communist regime or even lighten the situation of the Germans in the GDR. Brandt believed that collaboration with the communists would foster German-German encounters and trade that would undermine the communist government over the long term.

Nonetheless, he stressed that his new Ostpolitik did not neglect the close ties of the Federal Republic with Western Europe and the United States or its membership in NATO. Indeed, by the late 1960s, the unwavering stance of the Hallstein Doctrine was actually considered detrimental to US interests; numerous American advisors and policymakers, most notably Henry Kissinger, urged Bonn to be more flexible. At the same time, other West European countries entered a period of more daring policy directed to the East.[1] When the Brandt government became Chancellor in 1969, the same politicians now feared a more independent German Ostpolitik, a new "Rapallo". France feared that West Germany would become more powerful after détente; Brandt ultimately resorted to pressuring the French government into endorsing his policy by holding out German financial contributions to the European Common Agricultural Policy.[2]


The easing of tensions with the East envisioned by Ostpolitik necessarily began with the Soviet Union, the only Eastern Bloc state with which the Federal Republic had formal diplomatic ties (despite the aforementioned Hallstein Doctrine). In 1970 Brandt signed the Treaty of Moscow, renouncing the use of force and recognizing the current European borders. Later that year, Brandt signed the Treaty of Warsaw, in the process formally recognizing the People's Republic of Poland. The Treaty of Warsaw essentially repeated the Moscow treaty, and in particular reiterated the Federal Republic's recognition of the Oder–Neisse line. Treaties with other Eastern European countries followed.

The most controversial agreement was the Basic Treaty of 1972 with East Germany, establishing formal relations between the two German states for the first time since partition. The situation was complicated by the Federal Republic's longstanding claim to represent the entire German nation; Chancellor Brandt sought to smooth over this point by repeating his 1969 statement that although two states exist in Germany, they cannot regard one another as foreign countries.

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-Z1212-049, Döllnsee, Erich Honecker und Helmut Schmidt
Brandt's successor Helmut Schmidt with East German party leader Erich Honecker, Döllnsee 1981

The conservative CDU opposition party in the Bundestag refused the Basic Treaty because they thought that the government gave away some Federal positions too easily. They also criticized flaws like the unintentional publishing of the Bahr-Papier, a paper in which Brandt's right hand Egon Bahr had agreed with Soviet diplomat Valentin Falin on essential issues.[3]

The Brandt government, a coalition of Social Democrats and Free Democrats, lost a number of MPs to the CDU opposition in protest over the Basic Treaty. In April 1972 it even seemed that opposition leader Rainer Barzel had enough support to become the new Chancellor, but in the parliamentary decision he came two votes short. Later emerged that the GDR had paid those two CDU deputies to vote against Barzel.[4] New general elections in November 1972 gave the Brandt government a victory, and on May 11, 1973 the Federal Parliament approved the Basic Treaty.

According to the Basic Treaty the Federal Republic and GDR accepted each other's de facto ambassadors, termed "permanent representatives" for political reasons. The mutual recognition opened the door for both states to join the United Nations, as the Federal Republic's claim to representing the entire German nation was essentially dropped by the act of recognizing its Eastern counterpart.

The CDU/CSU persuaded the FDP to defect from its coalition with the SPD in 1982, and thus CDU leader Helmut Kohl became Chancellor of West Germany. However, he did not change West German policy towards the GDR. Such was the consensus that Ostpolitik had been vindicated that Bavarian Minister-President Franz Josef Strauß, who had fiercely fought against the Basic Treaty and was Kohl's main opponent within the CDU/CSU bloc, secured the passage of a Kohl-initiated loan of 3 billion marks to the GDR in 1983.

Vatican diplomacy

Ostpolitik is also the name given to Pope Paul VI's policies towards the Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellite states. Trying to improve the condition of Christians in general and Catholics in particular behind the Iron Curtain, he engaged in dialogue with Communist authorities at several levels, receiving Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and USSR head of state Nikolai Podgorny in 1966 and 1967 in the Vatican. The situation of the Church in Poland, Hungary and Romania improved somewhat during his pontificate.[5]

South Korea

South Korea's 1980s policy of Nordpolitik was named in allusion to Ostpolitik.

A similar concept is Sunshine Policy, which is the main North Korea policies of the Democratic Party of Korea.

Taiwan (Republic of China)

Taiwan's China policy of Mainlandpolitik is named in allusion to Ostpolitik.

List of treaties

These are West German treaties that have Ostpolitik as a primary or secondary policy goal.

Later agreements in the period of Christian Democrat Helmut Kohl (from 1982 through German reunification in 1990), although dealing with similar issues and having similar goals, are not considered to be "Ostpolitik".

See also


  1. ^ Helga Haftendorn: Deutsche Außenpolitik zwischen Selbstbeschränkung und Selbstbehauptung 1945–2000. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt: Stuttgart / München 2001, p. 173–174.
  2. ^ Helga Haftendorn: Deutsche Außenpolitik zwischen Selbstbeschränkung und Selbstbehauptung 1945–2000. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt: Stuttgart / München 2001, p. 181.
  3. ^ Helga Haftendorn: Deutsche Außenpolitik zwischen Selbstbeschränkung und Selbstbehauptung 1945–2000. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt: Stuttgart / München 2001, p. 183–184.
  4. ^ Helga Haftendorn: Deutsche Außenpolitik zwischen Selbstbeschränkung und Selbstbehauptung 1945–2000. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt: Stuttgart / München 2001, p. 193.
  5. ^ Franzen 427

Further reading

  • Carol Fink, Bernd Schaefer: Ostpolitik, 1969–1974, European and Global Responses, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge [et al.] 2009, ISBN 978-0-521-89970-3.

External links

Basic Treaty, 1972

The Basic Treaty (German: Grundlagenvertrag) is the shorthand name for the Treaty concerning the basis of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (German: Vertrag über die Grundlagen der Beziehungen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik). The Federal Republic of Germany and German Democratic Republic (GDR) recognized each other as sovereign states for the first time, an abandonment of West Germany's Hallstein Doctrine in favor of Ostpolitik.

After the entry into force of the Four-Power Agreement from 1971, the two German states began negotiations over a Basic Treaty. As for the Transit Agreement of 1972, the discussions were led by the Under-Secretaries of State Egon Bahr (for the Federal Republic of Germany) and Michael Kohl (for the German Democratic Republic). As part of the Ostpolitik of Chancellor Willy Brandt, the treaty was signed on 21 December 1972 in East Berlin. It was ratified the following year by West Germany, despite opposition from hardline right-wingers. It came into effect in June 1973.The signing of the treaty paved the way for the two German states to be recognised by the international community. Diplomatic relations were opened between the German Democratic Republic and:

Australia (December 1972),

the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands (February 1973),

the United States (December 1974).Both German nations were also admitted to the United Nations on 18 September 1973.

Under the terms of the 1973 Treaty, the two states established de facto embassies known as "permanent missions", headed by "permanent representatives", who served as de facto ambassadors. West Germany sent its first permanent representative in February 1974, but formal diplomatic relations were never established until German reunification (in October 1990).

Dietmar Hahlweg

Dietmar Hahlweg (born December 31, 1934 in Jagatschütz) is a German Politician (SPD). He was Erlangen's mayor from 1972 to 1996.

Egon Bahr

Egon Karl-Heinz Bahr (18 March 1922 – 19 August 2015) was a German SPD politician.The former journalist was the creator of the Ostpolitik promoted by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, for whom he served as Secretary of the Chancellor's Office from 1969 until 1972. Between 1972 and 1990 he was an MP in the Bundestag of the Federal Republic of Germany and from 1972 until 1976 was also a Minister of the Federal Government.

Bahr was a key figure in multiple negotiation sessions between not only East and West Germany, but also Germany and the Soviets. In addition to his instrumental role in Ostpolitik, Bahr was also an influential voice in negotiating the Treaty of Moscow, the Treaty of Warsaw, the Transit Treaty of 1971, and the Basic Treaty of 1972.

Four Power Agreement on Berlin

The Four Power Agreement on Berlin also known as the Berlin Agreement or the Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin was agreed on 3 September 1971 by the four wartime Allied powers, represented by their ambassadors. The four foreign ministers, Alec Douglas-Home of the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' Andrei Gromyko, France's Maurice Schumann, and the United States's William P. Rogers signed the agreement and put it into force at a ceremony in Berlin on 3 June 1972. The agreement was not a treaty and required no formal ratification.

Germany–Poland relations

Germany–Poland relations refers to the bilateral relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland. Relations has been marked by an extensive and complicated history.From the 10th century onward, the Piast Kingdom of Poland established under Duke Mieszko I had close and chequered relations with the Holy Roman Empire. However, these relations were overshadowed by the centuries-long Polish–Teutonic Wars, as a result of which the Teutonic Duchy of Prussia became a fief of the Kingdom of Poland. Prussia retained a certain level of autonomy under Polish rule. Later, the Kingdom of Prussia rose and eventually became one of the partitioners of Poland in 1772–1795.

In 1918, Poland regained its place on the map. After World War I, the Treaty of Versailles deprived Germany of its territories in West Prussia, East Upper Silesia and Danzig (Gdansk) and transferred them all to Poland. It was seen as a great injustice in the Weimar Republic, in part leading to the Nazi takeover of power in 1933. On 1 September 1939, Poland was invaded by Germany, thus initiating World War II. The Third Reich established concentration camps in German-occupied Poland, the biggest located in Auschwitz. Poland suffered many casualties and huge damages during the war. After World War II, Germany lost its former eastern territories to Poland and the Soviet Union. In 1945-1950, a series of expulsions and fleeings happened, in which up to 16 million ethnic Germans were forced to leave their homes in Poland and resettle in post-war Germany. It was the largest forced movement of any population in history.

The Cold War saw good relations between the communist states of People's Republic of Poland and the German Democratic Republic. Polish-West German relations, on the other hand, remained bad, although they improved after Chancellor Willy Brandt launched the Ostpolitik. In 1990, Germany reunified and it confirmed the Polish-German border on the Oder-Neisse line in a treaty. Both states are now European Union allies and partners, having an open border and being members of the European Single Market. The once bad relationship between Poland and Germany has now become a strategic partnership.

Hallstein Doctrine

The Hallstein Doctrine, named after Walter Hallstein, was a key principle in the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1955 to 1970. As usually presented, it prescribed that the Federal Republic would not establish or maintain diplomatic relations with any state that recognized the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). In fact it was more nuanced. There was no public official text of the "doctrine", but its main architect, Wilhelm Grewe, explained it publicly in a radio interview. Konrad Adenauer, who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1949 to 1963, explained the outlines of the policy in a statement to the German parliament on 22 September 1955. It meant that the Federal German government would regard it as an unfriendly act (acte peu amical) if third countries were to recognize the "German Democratic Republic" (East Germany) or to maintain diplomatic relations with it – with the exception of the Soviet Union (as one of the Four Powers responsible for Germany). The West German response to such could mean breaking off diplomatic relations, though this was not stated as an automatic response under the policy and in fact remained the ultima ratio (last resort).The Federal Republic abandoned important aspects of the doctrine after 1970 when it became difficult to maintain, and the Federal government changed its politics towards the German Democratic Republic. The Four Power Agreement on Berlin in 1971 and the signing of the Basic Treaty in 1972 brought an end to the doctrine, in accordance with the new strategy of Ostpolitik.

Holy See–Soviet Union relations

Holy See–Soviet Union relations were marked by a long-standing persecution of the Catholic Church by the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, criticized throughout the Cold War. After a long period of resistance to atheistic propaganda beginning with Benedict XV and reaching a peak under Pius XII, intensified after 1945, the Holy See attempted to enter in a pragmatic dialogue with Soviet leaders during the papacies of John XXIII and Paul VI. In the 1990s, Pope John Paul II's diplomatic policies were cited as one of the principal factors that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Kniefall von Warschau

The term Kniefall von Warschau, also referred to as Warschauer Kniefall, (both German for "Warsaw genuflection") refers to a gesture of humility and penance by German Chancellor Willy Brandt towards the victims of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.


Nordpolitik (German for "Northern Policy") was the signature foreign policy of South Korean president Roh Tae-woo. The policy guided South Korean efforts to reach out to the traditional allies of North Korea, with the goal of normalized relations with the closest allies to North Korea, China and the Soviet Union. By adopting Nordpolitik policy, South Korea abolished the doctrine of the enemy of my enemy is my friend and understood that the indirect approach was a more plausible way to engage with North Korea. The policy improved the South's economy while leaving the North more isolated and was a dramatic and historic turning point of South Korea’s diplomatic goals.

The policy was named after the West German policy of Ostpolitik ("Eastern Policy") towards the then communist East Germany, although the Ostpolitik was aimed directly at a normalization of the relationship between two German states. The successor of the Nordpolitik was the Sunshine Policy, which bore more tangible similarities with the German Ostpolitik.

Politics of Germany

Germany is a democratic, federal parliamentary republic, where federal legislative power is vested in the Bundestag (the parliament of Germany) and the Bundesrat (the representative body of the Länder, Germany's regional states).

The multilateral system has, since 1949, been dominated by the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The judiciary of Germany is independent of the executive and the legislature, while it is common for leading members of the executive to be member of the legislature, as well. The political system is laid out in the 1949 constitution, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law), which remained in effect with minor amendments after German reunification in 1990.

The constitution emphasizes the protection of individual liberty in an extensive catalogue of human and civil rights and divides powers both between the federal and state levels and between the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

West Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1958, which became the EU in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area, and has been a member of the eurozone since 1999. It is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20 and the OECD.

The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated Germany as a "full democracy" in 2017.

Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII (Latin: Ioannes; Italian: Giovanni; born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, Italian pronunciation: [ˈandʒelo dʒuˈzɛppe roŋˈkalli]; 25 November 1881 – 3 June 1963) was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 28 October 1958 to his death in 1963; he was canonized on 27 April 2014. Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was one of thirteen children born to a family of sharecroppers who lived in a village in Lombardy. He was ordained to the priesthood on 10 August 1904 and served in a number of posts, as nuncio in France and a delegate to Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. In a consistory on 12 January 1953 Pope Pius XII made Roncalli a cardinal as the Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca in addition to naming him as the Patriarch of Venice.

Roncalli was unexpectedly elected pope on 28 October 1958 at age 76 after 11 ballots. Pope John XXIII surprised those who expected him to be a caretaker pope by calling the historic Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), the first session opening on 11 October 1962. His passionate views on equality were summed up in his statement, "We were all made in God's image, and thus, we are all Godly alike."John XXIII made many passionate speeches during his pontificate. He made a major impact on the Catholic Church, opening it up to dramatic unexpected changes promulgated at the Vatican Council and by his own dealings with other churches and nations. In Italian politics, he prohibited bishops from interfering with local elections, and he helped the Christian Democratic Party to cooperate with the socialists. In international affairs, his "Ostpolitik" engaged in dialogue with the Communist countries of Eastern Europe. He especially reached out to the Eastern Orthodox churches. His overall goal was to modernize the Church by emphasizing its pastoral role, and its necessary involvement with affairs of state. He dropped the traditional rule of 70 cardinals, increasing the size to 85. He used the opportunity to name the first cardinals from Africa, Japan, and the Philippines. He promoted ecumenical movements in cooperation with other Christian faiths. In doctrinal matters, he was a traditionalist, but he ended the practice of automatically formulating social and political policies on the basis of old theological propositions.He did not live to see the Vatican Council to completion. His cause for canonization was opened on 18 November 1965 by his successor, Pope Paul VI, who declared him a Servant of God. On 5 July 2013, Pope Francis – bypassing the traditionally required second miracle – declared John XXIII a saint, based on his virtuous, model lifestyle, and because of the good which had come from his having opened the Second Vatican Council. He was canonised alongside Pope John Paul II on 27 April 2014. John XXIII today is affectionately known as the "Good Pope" and in Italian, "il Papa buono".

Soviet occupation zone

The Soviet Occupation Zone (German: Sowjetische Besatzungszone (SBZ) or Ostzone; Russian: Советская оккупационная зона Германии, Sovetskaya okkupatsionnaya zona Germanii, "Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany") was the area of central Germany occupied by the Soviet Union from 1945 on, at the end of World War II. On 7 October 1949 the German Democratic Republic (GDR), which became commonly referred to as East Germany, was established in the Soviet Occupation Zone.

The SBZ was one of the four Allied occupation zones of Germany created at the end of World War II. According to the Potsdam Agreement, the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (German initials: SMAD) was assigned responsibility for the (present-day) eastern portion of Germany. By the time forces of the United States and Britain began to meet Soviet forces, forming a Line of contact, significant areas of what would become the Soviet zone of Germany were outside Soviet control. After several months of occupation these gains by the British and Americans were ceded to the Soviets, by July 1945, according to the previously agreed upon occupation zone boundaries.The SMAD allowed four political parties to develop, though they were all required to work together under an alliance known as the "Democratic Bloc" (later the National Front). In April 1946, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) merged to form the Socialist Unity Party (which later became the governing party of East Germany).

The SMAD set up ten "special camps" for the detention of Germans, making use of some former Nazi concentration camps.

In 1945, the Soviet occupation zone consisted primarily of the central portions of Prussia. After Prussia was dissolved by the Allied powers in 1947, the area was divided between the German states (Länder) of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. On 7 October 1949, the Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic, usually referred to in English as East Germany. In 1952, the Länder were dissolved and realigned into 14 districts (Bezirke), plus the district of East Berlin.

In 1952, with the Cold War political confrontation well underway, Joseph Stalin sounded out the Western Powers about the prospect of a united Germany which would be non-aligned (the "Stalin Note"). The West's disinterest in this proposal helped to cement the Soviet Zone's identity as the GDR for the next four decades.

"Soviet zone" and derivatives (or also, "the so-called GDR") remained official and common names for East Germany in West Germany, which refused to acknowledge the existence of a state in East Germany until 1972, when the government of Willy Brandt extended a qualified recognition under its Ostpolitik initiative.

Treaty of Moscow (1970)

The Treaty of Moscow was signed on August 12, 1970 between the USSR and West Germany (FRG). It was signed by Willy Brandt and Walter Scheel from the FRG side and by Alexei Kosygin and Andrei Gromyko from the USSR side.

Treaty of Prague (1973)

The Treaty of Prague was a treaty signed on 11 December 1973, in Prague, by the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and Czechoslovakia, in which the two States recognized each other diplomatically and declared the 1938 Munich Agreements to be null and void – by acknowledging the inviolability of their common borders and abandoning all territorial claims.The Treaty of Prague was a strong element of the Ostpolitik put forward by the German Chancellor Willy Brandt and supported by his ruling party in the Bundestag of the Federal Republic of Germany. Also, since Germany (the FRG) and Czechoslovakia had never signed any treaty since the Second World War, this treaty functioned as a peace treaty between the two countries and it continues to do so. The western part of Czechoslovakia that had borders with Germany is now the Czech Republic, which has also ratified this treaty.

Treaty of Warsaw (1970)

The Treaty of Warsaw (German: Warschauer Vertrag, Polish: Układ PRL-RFN) was a treaty between West Germany and the People's Republic of Poland. It was signed by Chancellor Willy Brandt and Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz at the Presidential Palace on 7 December 1970, and it was ratified by the German Bundestag on 17 May 1972.

In the treaty, both sides committed themselves to nonviolence and accepted the existing border—the Oder-Neisse line, imposed on Germany by the Allied powers at the 1945 Potsdam Conference following the end of World War II. This had been a quite sensitive topic since then, as Poland was concerned that a German government might seek to reclaim some of the former eastern territories. From the Polish perspective, the transfer of these regions was considered to be a compensation for the former Polish territory east of the Curzon Line ("Kresy"), which had been annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939.

In West Germany, Brandt was heavily criticised by the conservative CDU/CSU opposition, who marked his policy as a betrayal of national interests. At the time the treaty was signed, it was not seen as the last word on the Polish border in West Germany, because Article IV of this treaty stated that previous treaties like the Potsdam Agreement were not superseded by this latest agreement, so the provisions of this treaty could be changed by a final peace treaty between Germany and the Allies of World War II—as provided for in the Potsdam Agreement.The Treaty of Warsaw was an important element of the Ostpolitik, put forward by Chancellor Brandt and supported by his ruling Social Democratic Party of Germany. In the aftermath of the 1990 Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany, the Oder-Neisse line was reaffirmed without any reservation with the German-Polish Border Treaty, signed on 14 November 1990 by re-united Germany and Poland.

Ulbricht Doctrine

The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.

East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.

Vatican and Eastern Europe (1846–1958)

The Vatican and Eastern Europe (1846–1958) describes the relations from the pontificate of Pope Pius IX (1846–1878) through the pontificate of Pope Pius XII (1939–1958). It includes the relations of the Church State (1846–1870) and the Vatican (1870–1958)

with Russia (1846–1918), Lithuania (1922–1958) and Poland (1918–1958).

Willy Brandt

Willy Brandt (German: [ˈvɪliː ˈbʁant]; born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm; 18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992) was a German statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1969 to 1974. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971 for his efforts to strengthen cooperation in western Europe through the EEC and to achieve reconciliation between West Germany and the countries of Eastern Europe. He was the first Social Democrat chancellor since 1930.

Fleeing to Norway and then Sweden during the Nazi regime and working as a left-wing journalist, he took the name Willy Brandt as a pseudonym to avoid detection by Nazi agents, and then formally adopted the name in 1948. Brandt was originally considered one of the leaders of the right wing of the SPD, and earned initial fame as Governing Mayor of West Berlin. He served as Foreign Minister and as Vice Chancellor in Kurt Georg Kiesinger's cabinet, and became chancellor in 1969. As chancellor, he maintained West Germany's close alignment with the United States and focused on strengthening European integration in western Europe, while launching the new policy of Ostpolitik aimed at improving relations with Eastern Europe. Brandt was controversial on both the right wing, for his Ostpolitik, and on the left wing, for his support of American policies, including the Vietnam War, and right-wing authoritarian regimes. The Brandt Report became a recognised measure for describing the general North-South divide in world economics and politics between an affluent North and a poor South. Brandt was also known for his fierce anti-communist policies at the domestic level, culminating in the Radikalenerlass (Anti-Radical Decree) in 1972.

Brandt resigned as chancellor in 1974, after Günter Guillaume, one of his closest aides, was exposed as an agent of the Stasi, the East German secret service.


ZDF-Magazin was a West German television news magazine, which ran on ZDF from 1969 to 1988. It was presented by Gerhard Löwenthal. It focused on communist-ruled Eastern Europe and was particularly known for reporting on human rights abuses there. The magazine was known for its conservative and anti-socialist views which led to several controversial reactions from viewers and politicians. Löwenthal criticized communists, East Germany, leftist student movement (″red psychoterrorists″), social democrats' Ostpolitik ("communist agents"), the so-called peace movement ("Moscow's partisans") and West German writers such as Heinrich Böll ("sympathizers of leftist fascism").

Frozen conflicts
Foreign policy
See also

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