Emergence of Detente


Non-Aggression Pact (August 1970) and agreements up to 1972 – paved the way for détente

On 7th December 1970, a treaty was signed with Poland which recognised the post war order-neisser border. These steps towards establishing a ostpolitik and eventual recognition of two germanies in May 1971. In December 1972 two germanies signed an agreement which formally recognised each other. Hallstein doctrine dead.

The hallstein doctrine was dead. Kissinger revealed the USA must develop an American détente with SU in order to prevent a west German driven détente from marginalising US influence in Europe and possibly splitting the western alliance. 

Berlin agreement, September 1971

An agreement on Berlin would greatly advance the prospects of american-soviet detente and both sides were keen to reach a consensus on Berlin's future and status within east-west relations. When Brant took over as chancellor, te soviets expressed an interest in holding talks to discuss Berlin. By early 1971 kissinger and president Nixon were keen to use the soviet interest in Berlin as a means of advancing SALT. Honecker's appearance on the diplomatic scene in 1971, replacing the ageing Ulbricht, also facilitated an agreement on Berlin. The quadripartite agreement on Berlin was signed on 3rd september 1971.

The soviets guaranteed Western access and the West German presence in Berlin was reduced, although cultural and economic ties between West Germany and West Berlin were recognised. The west recognised that East Berlin was now an integral part of East Germany and not merely the osviet occupation zone. Equally, it was agreed that West Berlin would remain seperate from West Germany, and Berlin as a whole would retain the four power presence established in 1945. The Berlin agreement effectivley neutralised a continuing source of conflict between East and West and in doing so it opened the way for further progress to be made for ostopolitik. It created a positive climate for wider american-soviet detente. 

The Basic Treaty, December 1972

This treaty was another important moment in the development of Ostpolitik and the relations between east and west Germany. The label 'basic treaty' was a contraction of 'treaty concerning the basis of relations between the federal republic of germany and the german democratic republic'. The treaty was an attempt to normalise relations between two germanies.

Both sides faced some serious resistance from hardliners opposed to any sort of thawing in relations, but in the end the treaty was signed on 21 december in east berlin. Embedded in the treaty was the commitment to potential economic relations, the recognition of sovreignty of the FRG and GDR and their territorial 'inviolability'. Further articles promised to seek peaceful methods of conflict resolution.

The basic treaty was a critical moment in european detente. It not only settled relations, comparitvley at leats, between east and west germany, but it also provided the route by which other european nations could establish relations with the GDR. Following the signing certain nations established diplomatic relations with the GDR: Austrailia (december 1972), UK (february 1973) France (february…


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