German Reconciliation

January 14, 1970

Report Outline
New Initiatives for European Detente
Rise of East Germany as Separate Power
Prospects of Ending German Deadlock

New Initiatives for European Detente

After almost a quarter-century of living apart, East Germans and West Germans are beginning to talk to each other officially about the possibility of formally recognizing this fact of life. The prospect of a reconciliation between the two Germanys—though not reunification—appeared brighter as the new decade began than perhaps at any time since the land was divided at the close of World War II by victorious Western and Russian armies.

A “regulated neighborliness” with East Germany is one aim of the new West German government of Chancellor Willy Brandt in its desire to establish normal relations with the Communist countries of Eastern Europe. Bonn's “eastern policy” seems to coincide with Moscow's apparent desire for stability in Europe while there is anxiety along Russia's border with China and in the Middle East.

Brandt's Overtures and East German Reaction

But many obstacles remain in the quest for German reconciliation, as observers noted in the wording of Brandt's overtures to East Germany and the response of its head of state, Walter Ulbricht, Only a week after he became chancellor, Brandt said on Oct. 28, 1969, in a speech to the Bundestag, the West German lower house of parliament: “Twenty years after the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany [West Germany] and the German Democratic Republic [East Germany], we must prevent a further growing apart of the German nation, so that we can come together in regulated neighborliness.”

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