Growing International Prestige

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  • Growing International Prestige
    • International Prestige
      • One of the benefits of Ostpolitik for the GDR was a growth ininternational relations.
      • In 1973 it was admitted to the United Nations and by 1974 it had international relations for 80 other countries including the USA.
    • The Helsinki Accords
      • The SED seemed confident now and the GDR seemed stable. But this would be its downfall. It did not see the need for reform and this put it at odds with the GDR citizens.
      • It was signed in 1975 between 35 countries including the USSR and USA. They agreed to settle disputes peacefully,agreements on economic issues, human rights and then agreements to implement them.
      • The GDR did not really have any intention of following through with them. 100,000 of people applied to emigrate because of the agreements but many faced interrogations imprisonment and loss of employment along with being denied permission.
      • They signed it for their international recognition rather than actually wanting to change!
      • The visit of Honecker in 1987 to the FRG was seen as the height of his power. It appeared it had achieved his objectives; at home the regime was stable and secure and aboard the GRD had good international relations.
      • Honecker paid official visits to Belgium in Oct. 1987 and France in1988. In each he was treated like the head of state.
      • Foreign heads of states from non communist countries made official visits to the GDR
      • The GDR over exaggerated its role as a world player in keeping peace
    • The GDR and the USSR in the 1970s
      • While Ulbricht had wanted the GDR to be independent, Honecker wanted to bring the GDR back inline with he USSR.
      • In 1975 the GDR and the USSR signed the Treaty of Friendship, which promised mutual assistance for the next 25 years.
      • It also stated that the USSR had completed its journey to Communism while the GDR was still on its way. The USSR would remain its mentor and role model.
      • It also asserted that GDR troops could be used to defend the Warsaw Pact interests. It showed that the GDR was still in the USSR camp.
    • Comecon and the Warsaw Pact
      • The GDR fulfilled its military obligations to the latter to provide troops and military equipment to defend the Soviet bloc, which led it to having a highly professionalised army and requiring all its male citizens to undertake military training.
      • The GDR supported the Warsaw Pact as it saw any liberalisation as a threat to the security of communism.
      • Due to this the GDR was involved in the Czechoslovakia crisis in 1968 and it fully supported the Brezhnev Doctrine.
    • Comecon
      • The GDR followed the Soviet lead in Comecon. It supported the idea of economic specialisation and communist countries trading with each other even though it was not always in their best interests.
      • It saw itself as one of the most sophisticated members and felt fully entwined with the international family of Communist countries.
      • In July 1976 when the SED held an international meeting of Communist parties it saw itself as a role model for other countries in its loyalty to the USSR. Due to its loyalty it felt particularly let down by Gorbachev in the 1980s’.


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