Germany and the Balance of Power

June 15, 1955

Report Outline
New East-West Maneuvering in Europe
Changes in Germany's International Status
Conditions for a German Peace Settlement

New East-West Maneuvering in Europe

Germany and Moves for European Settlement

Preparations for the Big Four heads-of-government parley to open at Geneva on July 18 were momentarily jolted, June 7, when Russia unexpectedly invited West German Chancellor Adenauer to Moscow to discuss establishment of diplomatic, trade, and cultural relations, The Kremlin's bid for “normalization of relations between the Soviet Union and the German Federal Republic” emphasized the key position of Germany in present maneuvering for a new European settlement. It tended also to support the assumption, current since Moscow made up its mind to break the long stalemate over an Austrian treaty, that Russia was seeking to fashion a buffer belt of neutral states across Europe from north to south. A neutral Germany would close a big gap in such a line and constitute its most important segment.

Chancellor Adenauer, though withholding a final decision, agreed in principle to accept the Soviet invitation. At the same time, officials of the Bonn government made it clear that West Germany would adhere firmly to its alliance with the West. In Washington, June 14, Adenauer joined President Eisenhower in declaring that “the concept of neutrality is in no way applicable to Germany” and that “only in collective security arrangements can Germany assure its independence.” They agreed that the Big Four should strive “to pave the way for early German reunification.”

Russia's sudden wooing of West Germany reinforced the disposition of the United States, Great Britain, and France to approach the coming meeting at the summit with all wariness. Prime Minister Eden already had warned that the western allies must be prepared for tough dealings with Russia over Germany's future status, not merely in the opening round of talks among the government heads but also in subsequent negotiations at a lower level.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Dec. 22, 1989  A Primer on German Reunification
Apr. 19, 1985  German Reconciliation
Feb. 25, 1983  West Germany's ‘Missile’ Election
Jan. 14, 1970  German Reconciliation
Jan. 29, 1969  West German Prosperity
Mar. 30, 1966  German Border Question and Reunification
Aug. 18, 1965  West German Election, 1965
Feb. 24, 1965  War Guilt Expiation
Jul. 01, 1964  German Question
Sep. 01, 1961  Captive East Germany
Aug. 23, 1961  West German Election, 1961
May 04, 1960  Berlin Question
Dec. 24, 1958  Berlin Crisis and German Reunification
Aug. 21, 1957  German Election, 1957
Oct. 19, 1955  European Security
Jun. 15, 1955  Germany and the Balance of Power
Oct. 19, 1954  German Rearmament
Jan. 19, 1954  West German Recovery
Mar. 12, 1953  Harassed Berlin
Apr. 26, 1950  German Problem
Feb. 18, 1948  Rehabilitation of the Ruhr
Oct. 23, 1946  Future of Germany
Nov. 25, 1944  Transfers of Populations
Nov. 01, 1940  Economic Controls in Nazi Germany
Mar. 09, 1939  Foreign Trade in German Economy
Apr. 02, 1936  Germany's Post-War European Relations
Nov. 02, 1934  The Coming Saab Plebiscite
Apr. 23, 1931  The Austro-German Customs Union Project
Feb. 05, 1929  The Rhineland Problem
Nov. 07, 1924  German National Elections December, 1924
Apr. 30, 1924  The German National Elections
Regional Political Affairs: Europe