Foreign Policy and the End of Adenauer's Chancellorship

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  • Adenauer adopted 'Westpolitik' as he recognised the best way of reaccomodating Germany was to win the support of the Western world and reconcilliate with France. America supported this reintergration who saw a strengthened West Germany as a useful tool against Soviet expansionism.
  • Petersburg Agreements 1949 - FRG join the council of Europe.
  • Brussels Pact - Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg join the EDO to prevent any German resurgance, however, it is believed its true aim was to protect against the advances of communism.
  • US believed that Europe was vulnerable to the ideological expansionism of the Soviet Union, that the EDO was too small to protect Europe & that they would have little input into European policy. It was believed that an Atlantic Alliance would permit them real influence and provide greater certainty for European defence, aswell as sending a message to the USSR of non-tolerance of expansionism.
  • April 1949 - NATO established as a political defence system. Once the Soviets tested their first nuclear bomb, NATO transformed their stance into a military one.
  • FRG in an ambigious position, was it a 'vanquished nation' that needed to be kept in check, or a tool at the front line of communist expansionism?
  • 1950 - Adenauer argues for the creation of the Bundeswehr to combat internal attempts at revolution and for contribution to European defence. Korean War made the suggestion seem reasonable and urgent, plus the GDR was armed.
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  • Stalin was anxious to prevent a remiliterised US backed Germany, and so followed a series of proposals for reunification from 1950. 10 March 1952, Stalin offered the prospect of a united, neutral Germany with free elections and suggested that whatever form of government was chosen would be accepted, Germany would be free and permitted a small army. Serious propsal vs Propoganda excersize. Adenauer feared the creation of a united SPD dominated state.
  • France's Pleven Plan - allow West Germany limited troops but as part of a Western European Army within a defence community. General Treaty signed in Bonn 1952 created the EDC.
  • The General Treaty abolished occupation statute and recognised the FRG as sovereign. All restrictions on economy and research lifted and Germany allowed to set up the bundeswehr.
  • EDC colllapsed in 1954, so Adenauer desperate to keep Germany involved in Western affairs, agreed to renounce nuclear weapons and limit the army in size.
  • Four power summit to discuss reunification had been delayed by Cold War, Stalin's death and GDR riots, so French accepted West German membership of NATO 1955
  • In retaliation, USSR recognised the GDR as sovereign and created the Warsaw Pact 1955.
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  • Schuman (French Foreign Secretary) proposes a merger of Western coal and steel under supranational control in 1950.
  • Adenauer - Wanted to pursue to reduce rivalry with France. Schumacher - 'selling out' to the Western powers.
  • Treaty of Paris 1951 established a single authority, merging the coal, iron and steel industries of FRG, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg. ECSC began in 1952.
  • FRG joins the IMF in 1952.
  • Adenauer behind negotiations that led to the Treaty of Rome 1957 which set up the EEC which started functioning in 1958. ECSC was merged into this and established common policies on agriculture, transport, capital & labour and exernal tariffs.
  • America began to adopt a more flexible approach to the USSR which alarmed Adenauer, who then began to pull Germany closer to France, despite differences on opinions of Europe.
  • Jan 1963 - Germany approve French Veto of British application to join EEC. A Franco-German friendship treaty was signed the same month.
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Hallstein Doctrine

  • GDR regarded as an illegitimate Soviet puppet state, and the FRG was recognised by nearly all UN members while only Soviet bloc countries recognised the GDR.
  • 1955 - GDR begin to describe itself as a 'second German state' which should be recognised alongside the FRG.
  • 1955 - FRG accidently appear to support this when they established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union which recognised the GDR around German PoW. Adenauer was anxious to to make it clear his position had not changed because it would harden German division and raise doubts over Adenauer's claims that closer relations from the West had not harmed the cause of German unity.
  • Dec 1955 - Hallstein doctrine. FRG would break off any relations with any country who had relations with the GDR with the exception of the USSR. Effective deterrent as seen by Yugoslavia 1957 and Cuba in 1963. However, this meant that the FRG was restricted from establishing relationships with China and countries in the Warsaw Pact. 
  • Made the GDR more dependant on the USSR - hardened division, ended in 1972 by Brandt.
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Berlin Crisis 1958 - 1961

  • 1958 - GDR at crisis point as skilled workers left for the West - weakening the economy severely. Ulbricht was desperate for Soviets to drive the West from Berlin or a wall to seal the border. 'Embarrassing island of capitalism'.
  • Kruschev was not keen to disturb the status quo, but Soviet relations with China deteriorated , the Hallstein doctrine and FRG membership of NATO encouraged Kruschev to persuade the West to withdraw from Berlin.
  • Nov 1958 - Berlin Ultimatium. West had six months to recognise GDR and accept Berlin as an independant 'free city' or the Soviets would hand East Berlin to the GDR. This would give the GDR control over access from the FRG to West Berlin. This would force the Americans to recognise the GDR and accept post-war division.
  • Rejected by the Western powers, but agreed to hold a talk in Geneva in 1959. This alarmed Adenauer.
  • Globke plan - FRG and GDR recognise each other and turn Berlin into a free city, but a referendum on reunification should take place and, if supported, would lead to elections for a united German parliment.
  • Never seriously discussed due to American spy plane over USSR shot down - walked out of meeting.
  • 1960 - Kennedy becomes US president. Kruschev thought he would be young and politically vulnerable, but proved him wrong and refused to comprimise. 1961 - Kennedy calls for a build-up of NATO forces. Kruschev gave Ulbricht support for a wall.
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Berlin Wall 1961

  • 13 August 1961 - Soviet troops and East German police began sealing off East from West Berlin.
  • Western powers saw as embarassing sign of weakness. East and Soviets saw it as a demonstration of strength.
  • Adenauer waited 9 days before visiting Berlin.
  • Aug 1961 - Kennedy sends 1,500 troops to reinforce Berlin.
  • America demand the right of Western powers to remain in West Berlin and demanded free access by land and air and Self-determnation for West Berliners.
  • Four powers agreements broken down.
  • By tolerating the wall, America acknowledged the GDR's right to exist which forced the FRG to recognise this also.
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Adenauers resignation

  • Elected with 50.2% of vote and had a formidable reputation.
  • 1956 - FDP broke away which had supported the CDU. Disagreed with Adenauers rigid attitude towards the GDR and began to work alongside the SPD.
  • SPD had changed approach after defeat of 1957. 1959 - Godesberg programme (declared support for Western intergration, dropped opposition to membership of NATO and accepted Social Market Economy. Abandoned 'overthrow of capitalist society' and so was far more electable.) Willi Brandt was charasmatic and dynamic.
  • 1959 - Adenauer puts himself forward for Presidency of the FRG. He then withdrew because the constitution would not allow it and he had no replacement. Arrogant behaviour weakened his authority within his own party.
  • Delaying visit to Berlin - accused of indifference. in 1961 elections vote fell to 46% and managed to negotiate another coalition with the FDP but he had to resign after two years with Erhard as replacement.
  • Der Spiegal affair.
  • 'Ohne Mich' politics dies
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