The Brandt Doctrine of the Two States in Germany and the Erfurt Meeting March 19, 1970

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  • 1. The Brandt Doctrine of The Two States in Germany and The Erfurt Meeting March 19, 1970 _____________________________________ A Case Study in The Failure of West German Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik ________________________________________ A Report By Michael E. Dobe Prepared For The History Research Seminar, St. Anselm College Submitted April 25, 1987
  • 2. From Adenauer to Brandt: The Significance of Brandt’s Election as Federal Chancellor On October 21, 1969, the West German Lower House of parliament elected the first Social Democratic Federal Chancellor in Post-WWII German history. Coming to this post with extensive experience in German foreign policy, and especially in the realm of German relations with the East, Willy Brandt was perhaps the most ideally suited West German politician- -indeed, it could be asserted, the best equipped Western politician- -to embark upon a new Ostpolitik. Having served as Mayor of Berlin during the 1961 Berlin Crisis, and then as Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister under a coalition between German Socialists and Christian Democrats (referred to as the Grand Coalition), Brandt had first hand experience of the difficulties, even intractabilities, of Western relations with nations of the Soviet Bloc. It is because of this that Brandt should himself have realized the futility of any attempt to further détente between East and West Germany, and it is despite this that Brandt's new Ostpolitik failed to effect significant changes in East- West German relations during the year 1970. That Brandt could become Chancellor with the backing of a coalition consisting of Christian Democrats and Free Democrats, that constituted a parliamentary plurality of only three votes, hardly signified an overwhelming popular mandate for change in Bonn's Ostpolitik. But during the first year of the Brandt government, the Western and Eastern worlds looked on as efforts were made to further West German détente with Poland, the Soviet Union and East Germany (officially called the German Democratic Republic, GDR). So significant was Brandt’s Eastern initiative that Time magazine chose Brandt as "Man of the Year" in January 1971. Time's editor, in citing reasons for Brandt’s selection, hailed Brandt as the first West German politician to fully accept the consequences of World War Two.1 Brandt was certainly the first West German politician to recognize the permanence of territorial alterations, which had resulted from the devastation of WWII. He also went far rhetorically toward abandoning the traditional West German hope of destroying, or even minimally democratizing, the Communist governments that had been erected in Eastern Europe by the Soviet Union after WWII. Brandt viewed such irrevocable results of WWII as the wages of Hitlerite Germany's sins, and he was therefore
  • 3. compelled by the very force of his own logic to abandon such prognostications of the inevitable roll back of Communism in the East as had been proffered by previous West German governments. Thus Brandt was viewed by many in the West as a realist. It is the goal of this paper to demonstrate that, contrary to this perception, Brandt was actually quite naïve. Putting a thaw on the Cold War posed significant difficulties for both East and West, especially if that thaw was to come in East-West German relations. In pursuing "little steps" toward a "regulated juxtaposition" with East Germany, Brandt's Ostpolitik involved not only the interests of the two Germanies, but also the interests of the two power blocks to which they belonged.2 Historically, the most difficult aspect of post-WWII Ostpolitik had been West German relations with East Germany. It is upon this particular aspect of Brandt's Eastern initiative during the year 1970, a year which was to be highly overrated as "The German Year," that this report will focus. Brandt inherited, as West German Federal Chancellor, a rough schema for his Ostpolitik. It was upon the policies of Adenauer, Erhardt and Keisinger which Brandt built. Since Brandt shared with these three the ultimate goal of the reunification and the preservation of the German nation, it was asserted after Chancellor Brandt's election that his Ostpolitik was more a change in style than in substance.3 This would prove to be a correct assessment. Post-World War Two West German Ostpolitik began with the policy of the reconstituted West German government's first Federal Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, a pragmatic but conservative Christian Democratic politician. With regard to the East German question, Chancellor Adenauer adhered to roughly the same ideological stance as U. S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, a fellow anti-Communist fighter.4 As will be shown, Brandt’s Ostpolitik was certainly no radical departure from that of Chancellor Adenauer. With the goal of "liberating the Soviet zone" and asserting Western ideas of democracy in Eastern Germany, Adenauer's policy toward the other Germany was strict non-recognition of its socialist régime, which the West generally asserted was "neither German, nor democratic, nor a republic." Further, Adenauer held that only the West German government could speak for the German people on the international scene.5 To enforce this policy, Adenauer threatened to sever relations with any nation which recognized the legitimacy of the East German government. This sanction was embodied in the Hallstein
  • 4. Doctrine, a West German policy directive issued in 1955, which would ire East German politicians for many years. Walter Ulbricht, the chief party man of the ruling East German Socialist Unity Party at the time of Brandt’s election as Federal Chancellor, was perhaps chief among those ired. Although one notes that at the time of Brandt’s election as West German Federal Chancellor, the policy of Chancellor Adenauer had already undergone minor revisions by Chancellors Erhardt and Kiessinger, it must be remembered that these were Christian Democratic politicians. Brandt was the representative of a party coalition with a more liberal angle on foreign policy. Chancellor Adenauer and his Christian Democratic successors all insisted upon strict non-recognition of the East German régime and linked any talk of all-European security measures to progress toward German national reunification. For several years as West German Foreign Minister, Brandt had sought to create a legal fiction by arguing from the position that there were two states in Germany, but only one German nation. This was essence of "The Brandt Doctrine of the Two States in Germany." This doctrine, along with the fact that Brandt had consistently supported an all-European security conference without preconditions, certainly worried the Christian Democratic opposition.6 Even though it has been argued quite successfully that Brandt's policy was the natural outgrowth of Adenauer's, given the post-WWII reality of two firmly entrenched power blocs, Brandt struck some in the West as willing to grant unilateral concessions at the expense of NATO and the West.7 This was to be the case, as it will be shown. The West German opposition parties, as well as many in the NATO countries and in the United States, feared Brandt would sell West Germany down the river in its negotiations with the East, especially with East Germany. To an extent, they were correct in this assessment. As did many of the more conservative Republicans in the USA, the Christian Social Union's party chief, Franz Joseph Strauß, argued during the 1969 federal elections that Brandt's Ostpolitik would lead to a betrayal of the NATO alliance.8 The leaders of the two superpowers were, on the other hand, more optimistic over the prospects for Brandt's new Ostpolitik. Publicly, at least, President Nixon expressed support for the new Brandt government and its Ostpolitik.9 Also, the Soviet régime, as well as the those of East Germany and all of the other Warsaw Pact nations, hoped it would now face a less intransigent negotiating partner.
  • 5. It is a commonplace to state that the Soviet Union had always asserted great influence upon the political moves made by the East German government, but at this point Moscow and Washington were in the process of warming up to each other. Sino-American Talks were to resume in January of 1970, and this, in combination with the Ussuri Border War of 1969 (between the USSR and China), convinced the Soviets that détente with West Germany would be an excellent means of securing its western flank.10* In 1969-70, it is highly probable that the impetus for negotiations between the two Germanies came from the Soviets, not simply from Brandt's coalition government.11 This must not be taken to mean that the Soviets hoped for German reunification, for this was (and continues to be) decidedly not in their best interests. Besides the fact that Moscow regards Eastern Germany as a military outpost and a trading partner which it can not afford to lose, a resurgent German nation- -whether anti- or pro-Communist- -would threaten the Soviet Union on its western flank, as does China on its eastern flank. To assert that the Soviet Union moved East Germany toward negotiations with West Germany during the late 1960s, or at least gave the go ahead for negotiations, is not to say that the USSR exerted complete and total control over East Germany's policy towards the West. Ulbricht proved to be a much more obstinate negotiating partner in his dealings with the West German government than one would believe the Soviets would have liked. There is even evidence that the Warsaw Pact nations pressured Ulbricht to open up negotiations with the West Germans against his better judgement.12 As it held dearly to the rhetoric of the early Cold War period of the 1940s, 50s and 60s, during "The German Year" East Germany showed itself to be the most obstinate of the Communist states in its dealings with the détente- minded West. Facing off against Brandt, Ulbricht proved himself capable of driving a very hard bargain. In an article entitled "Twenty fruitful years of building socialism," which appeared in the October 1969 issue of World Marxist Review, Ulbricht showed himself to be one who clung to the hard line Cold War Communist stance. Ulbricht, as had the pre-détente Soviet propagandists, vehemently and repeatedly leveled the accusation that the West German government was one of the chief Capitalist-Imperialist offenders. To Ulbricht, West Germany was still dominated by revanchist Christian Democrats in collusion with monopoly capital, and thus it had not yet expunged the stain of Hitler-fascism.13
  • 6. It is significant that this came at a time when Soviet rhetoric toward West Germany was becoming somewhat less harsh. In this same article, he stated that, in pursuing a policy toward the West, "the task is to compel the West German Federal Republic to accept coexistence with the socialist German state and to expose Bonn’s revenge-seeking dogmas."14 Translated into Western parlance, this meant that Ulbricht would insist upon West German recognition of the existing post-WWII inter-State boundaries, and that he would also insist upon West German recognition of the East German government under international law. This latter demand was to prove to be an insurmountable barrier to Brandt’s inter-German initiative for 1970. Because of obvious constraints placed upon him by the domestic opposition and even more obvious international constraints placed upon him by NATO and the USA, Chancellor Brandt simply could not meet this demand and thus proved to be a far more conservative politician than one might have expected. During the parliamentary elections of 1969, and the subsequent elections for the Federal Chancellorship, the East German press sounded the warning against the threat of increasing ultraright West German Nationalist Party strength. With regard to the prospects of a new coalition exhibiting a less hostile attitude toward East Germany, Neues Deutschland (the unofficial press organ of the East German government) was skeptical, and with good reason. Writing in Isvestia in May of 1969, Günter Kartzer of Neues Deutschland called the West German Socialist Party a Trojan horse. 15 The Cold War was still alive in 1969, and especially so in the two Germanies. As if to accentuate this fact, at an East Berlin press conference on September 17, 1969, a representative of the East German government made the ludicrous claim that the East Germans had uncovered a planned coup to install Strauß, the ultraconservative Bavarian politician, as a dictator in West Germany.16 Mutual trust was lacking between the two German states in 1969, and there was to be no decrease in this mutual suspicion by the end of 1970, despite the Eastern initiative of Brandt. Fearing a resurgence of ultranationalist German sentiment, or at least claiming to fear this "rising tide of neo-Nazism," the Soviet Press largely ignored the increasingly favorable prospects of the West German Socialists early in 1969. Not until the possibility of a German Socialist victory in Western Germany became rather clear immediately before the federal elections did Pravda and Isvestia choose to expound upon their views of what was soon to be a nascent coalition government. Once this eventuality
  • 7. was recognized by Pravda and Isvestia, there emerged a rift in the way these two Soviet news organs portrayed the West German Socialists in particular. Pravda (the official press organ of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) largely took the stance that this new government, as a socialist government would be progressive and would, therefore, pose new opportunities for a rapprochement between the Warsaw Pact nations and West Germany. Isvestia (the official press organ of the Soviet government) took the opposing and rather realistic view that Brandt’s new Ostpolitik would only bring more of the same, essentially the Christian Democrats’policy by new less openly aggressive means.17 Undoubtedly, that there was a split within the Soviet news media shows the existence of a split between the hard liners in Moscow and the advocates of détente, but it also demonstrates that East Berlin was being allowed a modicum of leeway by Moscow to remain as intransigent, or as détente- oriented, as it wished. Roots of The Brandt Doctrine: Foreign Minister Brandt’s Contradictory Views on Ostpolitik In considering the preparations for history’s first meeting of the heads of state of the two German governments, it is perhaps best to examine Brandt's position on Ostpolitik during his stint as West German Foreign Minister under the Grand Coalition. In his pronouncements on Ostpolitik while holding this post, Brandt articulated his views quite clearly. Typical of the multitude of interviews, which Brandt granted during his years as West German, Foreign Minister is an interview that he granted to François Schlosser of Réalités magazine in February of 1968. In this interview Brandt characterized a thaw in West German relations with the East, and specifically with East Germany, as the most significant world event of the contemporary era.18 There is no reason to doubt the sincerity of this statement, but Brandt failed to recognize the internal contradictions within his own formula for Ostpolitik. Expressing his strong support for the NATO alliance, during this interview Brandt asserted that in Ostpolitik "the difficulty is to strike a balance between the need for security and the wish to encourage the thaw in relations between East and West."19 Further, to dispel the fears of all those who thought him soft on
  • 8. defense, Brandt succinctly summed up the realities of the position of divided Germany at the heart of the Cold War: The demarcation line between East and West passes through German territory; two alliances are drawn up along it face to face with their troops and materiel. As long as this situation lasts, and as long as no new system of European security is worked out, we believe that the presence of American troops on German soil is necessary.20 It was in this spirit that Brandt, as West German Foreign Minister, continuously defended the need to link West German security to the NATO alliance and, more significantly, defended the importance of a substantial United States military commitment in Western Germany. With respect to West Germany’s need to remain beneath the protective umbrella of NATO, Brandt was no radical leftist. In this respect, he was hardly even a liberal. In defining four areas of détente policy, Brandt placed West Germany's position with respect to the West first and foremost. Of secondary importance were its relations with Moscow, as with the Eastern nations and East Germany.21 This ordering of priorities is completely in line with the consistent post-WWII West German foreign policy position of Chancellors Adenauer, Erhardt and Keisinger. A more complete enunciation of Foreign Minister Brandt's views on Ostpolitik with respect to East Germany can be found in an article that he wrote for Foreign Affairs, and which appeared in the April 1969 issue. He again declared his government's support for the NATO alliance and the American military commitment in West Germany. Foreign Minister Brandt argued that German national reunification was no longer the primary foreign policy consideration for Bonn, but that progress in that direction would certainly bear upon détente between the East and West. Thus for Brandt, preconditions for an all-European security conference did exist. In this article, Brandt declared the West German government's willingness, in the interest of détente policy, to recognize East Germany as a state (but not a sovereign nation under international law), recognize the Oder-Neisse line as the border between East Germany and Poland, renounce all ambitions to obtain nuclear weapons, acknowledge the independence of West Berlin, and enter into mutual renunciation of force agreements with all of the East Bloc nations.22 In the future, Federal Chancellor Brandt's dealings with East Germany were to be guided by these same ideas, which became the Ostpolitik formula of his coalition government in 1970.
  • 9. Much like Chancellor Adenauer, Foreign Minister Brandt asserted in Foreign Affairs that the subject of relations between East and West Germany "does not involve foreign policy in the exact sense of the word, for neither part of Germany is a foreign country to the other."23 Brandt went on to explain his "Doctrine of the Two States in Germany." He argued that there continued to be a bond of kinship between Germans in the East and in the West, which was the product of a long cultural heritage, a common history, a shared language and a general sense that Germans "belong together." This bond, which seems for Brandt to have assumed an almost mystical quality, prevents there from being two separate German nations. Brandt would grant, however, that as an irrevocable result of WWII there existed two states in Germany. Brandt argued that the Grand Coalition had "made it clear that international legal recognition of that part of Germany, in which one-quarter of the German nation lives, is impossible precisely because of this special relationship," and that West Germany’s governing coalition refused "to take the path of least resistance by granting to the East German régime a democratic legitimacy which it does not have."24 This, again, is a very conservative position in the broad spectrum of German politics. The Grand Coalition's policy sounded much like straight Christian Democratic policy of the last 20 some odd years. But a minor difference in tone must be noted in that Brandt, in his Foreign Affairs article, blames East Germany for its own isolation. Brandt saw the East German government as clinging to an "outdated Cold War rhetoric." In Brandt's own words, "it is not we who are isolating East Germany, but East Germany which is isolating itself."25 Because Brandt was able to create a legal fiction of two states existing upon the soil of one nation, he skirted the issue of reunification, which had not yielded any real progress for inter-German relations up to that point, and provided a pretext for détente between the two German states. This certainly stuck the Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, as a dangerous policy. As the meetings at Erfurt and Kassel were to reveal, Brandt's was also an unworkable doctrine. Brandt was to show himself to be far less of a pragmatist, at least during the year 1970, than he claimed himself to be. However, by going half way toward a more liberal foreign policy that inevitably extended de jure recognition to the East German régime, Brandt allowed himself to fall victim to a unified East German assault.
  • 10. The fullest enunciation of the Brandt’s thought on Ostpolitik during the period of 1969-70 can be found in his own two autobiographical works, A Peace Policy For Europe (published in 1969) and his later work People and Politics: The Years 1960-1975 (published in 1978). In the former, Brandt enlarged upon the February 1969 Foreign Affairs article. A Peace Policy For Europe is a call for a cold and dispassionate analysis of the existing tensions in Europe. It contained some suggestions for reducing these tensions. These suggestions include recommendations to work toward mutual renunciation of force agreements and an all-European security conference. Written while he was still German Foreign Minister, this book reads as if it were written by someone aspiring to the Federal Chancellorship. Rather idealistically, Foreign Minister Brandt asserts that "in Europe we are no longer in a Cold War that might turn into a hot one at any moment."26 Reading his narrative, one is almost convinced that Brandt believed that the Cold War was truly dead in the late 1960s. That is until one reads that he though himself compelled to "reject a German policy that would weaken the cohesion of the NATO Treaty Organization or reduce the decisive participation of the United States in safeguarding the freedom of Europe." 27 Freedom from what, one might ask? Were the Cold War dead, there would have been no need for the NATO alliance. Minimally, if the Cold War were then dying, there would have been a decreasing need for the NATO alliance. Foreign Minister Brandt would not grant that either of these two logical outcomes was the case. As Foreign Mister, he was caught in a contradiction, as it will be shown he was to be time and again in his negotiations at Erfurt, and then at Kassel, as Federal Chancellor. Nevertheless, Foreign Minister Brandt gave a parting shot at East Germany’s "particularly rigid leadership" and implored them to leave behind the Cold War which he, perhaps even unbeknownst to himself, could not leave behind,. Written years after his stint as the Federal Republic’s foreign minister and election as Federal Chancellor, People and Politics: The Years 1960-1975 contained the same basic contradiction. No longer Federal Chancellor, but retaining his post as Chairman of the West German Socialist Party, Brandt found himself admitting in this latter work that he had already realized upon becoming Federal Chancellor that East Germany’s "progress toward full international recognition could not, in any case, be delayed indefinitely" and even arguing further that it had by that time become his "patriotic duty" to recognize this
  • 11. fact.28 Thus Brandt became West German Federal Chancellor with what he thought to be a fully developed formula for détente between West and East Germany. What he did not recognize fully were the contradictions inherent in his own agenda for Ostpolitik, particularly toward the other Germany. Anticipation of the First Meeting Between Heads of State of the Two German Governments On October 28, 1969, only a week after his election as Federal Chancellor, Brandt made the first statement on his new government's policies. In this initial policy statement, although he claimed that his government was to be a "government of domestic reforms," he concerned himself almost entirely with Ostpolitik to the virtual neglect of West German domestic politics.29 One is inclined to believe that his heavy emphasis upon foreign policy issues was a bid to keep his coalition, and thereby his narrow parliamentary majority, intact. The domestic opposition was all too eager to pick up on this. In this speech, Brandt stressed the importance of self-determination for all Germans as well as his unwillingness to compromise upon the preservation of the German nation, as he stated again that recognition of the East German régime under international law was "out of the question." In terms of concrete proposals, he offered talks to the USSR and to East Germany on mutual renunciation of force treaties.30 The worst fears of the opposition seemed to be coming true as he moved to extend de facto recognition to the East German government by referring, as West Germany's Federal Chancellor, to the existence of two states in Germany.31 Although Isvestia adopted a wait and see attitude toward this initial policy statement, twelve days after this speech was delivered, Neues Deutschland praised the Brandt government for distinguishing itself from the Kiessinger government in recognizing the post-World War Two realities by stating that there were two states in Germany.32 But Neues Deutschland then posed an ominous question to the Brandt government (italics added): Why does the new Brandt government lack the courage to recognize the whole truth? Why does the Brandt/Scheel government categorically refuse, like all of its predecessors, to recognize the German Democratic Republic according to the principles of international law ?33
  • 12. Two days after this editorial appeared, the East German parliament agreed to move toward normalization of relations with the West German government upon the basis of international law, and empowered Willi Stoph, Chairman of the East German Ministerial Council, with the authority to approach the West German government with a draft treaty proposal. In an exchange of correspondence between Federal Chancellor Brandt and Chairman Stoph, it was agreed upon that they should meet to discuss normalization of relations.34 What was not clearly agreed upon by the two governments was that this should be in accordance with the principles of international law, even though this was clearly enunciated in the draft treaty proposal from Stoph to Brandt delivered to Bonn on December 18, 1969. The following is the text of that draft treaty proposal (italics added):35 Draft of a "Treaty on the Establishment of Relations between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany on the Basis of Equality" dated December 17, 1969. Article 1 The parties concluding the Treaty agree on the establishment of normal relations, on terms of equality and free from any discrimination, between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany on the basis of the universally recognized principles and norms of international law. In particular, their interrelationship is based on the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity and the inviolability of the national frontiers, non-interference in internal affairs, and mutual advantage. Article 2 The parties concluding the Treaty mutually recognize their present territorial standing within the existing frontiers and the inviolability of these. They recognize the frontiers in Europe that have come into being as a result of the Second World War, in particular the frontier between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany and the frontier along the Oder and Neisse between the German Democratic Republic and the People’s Republic of Poland. Article 3
  • 13. The parties concluding the Treaty undertake in their mutual relations to renounce the threat and the use of force and between themselves to settle all points of controversy through peaceful channels and by peaceful means. Both parties undertake to abstain from all measures conflicting with the stipulations in Article 1 and from discriminating against the other party, to rescind laws and other normative acts conflicting with this Treaty without delay and to arrange for the revision of corresponding judicial rulings. In the future they will also refrain from any discrimination against the other party. Article 4 The German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany renounce the acquisition of nuclear weapons or the disposal of these in any form. They undertake to advocate that negotiations on disarmament be carried out. Neither chemical nor biological weapons must be produced, stationed or stored on the soil of either of the German States. Article 5 The German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany establish diplomatic relations with one another. They allow reciprocal representation by ambassadors in the capitals Berlin and Bonn. The ambassadors enjoy all immunities and privileges in conformity with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961. Article 6 The relations concerning partial spheres of activity will be contractually agreed upon separately. Article 7 The German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany undertake to respect the status of West Berlin as an independent political entity and to adjust their relations with West Berlin as an independent political entity and to adjust their relations with West Berlin in the light of this status. Article 8 In line with the principles of the universality of the United Nations Organization, the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany apply without delay for their admission to the United Nations Organization as fully-qualified members. They will publicly recommend that other States support the admission of both German States to the United Nations Organization. Article 9 The Treaty will be concluded for a period of ten years. It is subject to ratification and enters into force one month after the exchange of documents of ratification. In accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, this Treaty will be handed over to the Secretariat of the United Nations Organization for registration. For the German Democratic Republic
  • 14. For the Federal Republic of Germany Articles 1 and 5 of this draft treaty proposal were particularly problematical, as has already been noted. But it should also be pointed out that in this draft treaty proposal, in addition to the insistence upon recognition of the government of East Germany under international law, there is no mention made of any attempt to improve the living conditions of people located in the Western sector of Berlin in terms of freedom of movement outside the city, access from West Berlin to East or West Germany, nor of the reuniting of families separated by the Berlin Wall. It was to be expected that the draft proposal would not mention the free self-determination for all Germans or the unity of the German nation, but in its insistence upon recognition of the East German government according to the principles of international law, so argued Brandt in his People and Politics, the draft proposal was totally unacceptable. Brandt also argues that Ulbricht, the power behind the throne in East Germany, knew this.36 The Warsaw Pact, however, was not now supporting Ulbricht in this stance and it was not until a communiqué issued by the member nations in December 1970 called for recognition of the East German government under international law that Ulbricht finally won his fellow East Bloc nations over to his intransigent position.37 By that time, negotiations between the two Germanies were to have stalled. At this point, even the Soviet line toward Bonn's "militarism" had softened, since Brandt had signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty in December 1969.38 Feeling himself isolated within the Communist Bloc, Ulbricht had become even more intransigent in his dealings with the West. The next major policy announcement of the Brandt government came on January 14, 1970, when Chancellor Brandt reported to the upper house of the West German parliament on the state of the nation. In this speech, Brandt concentrated once again almost exclusively upon Ostpolitik, to the virtual exclusion of domestic issues. After having received the draft proposal from Stoph, Brandt sounded a much more sober tone toward the East German régime. This policy statement was not greeted so warmly in the East. New Times criticized the Brandt government for reasserting the linkage between European security talks and progress on the inter-German question, a linkage which Brandt hadn't mentioned on October 28 of the preceding year.39 Especially critical of Brandt's refusal to recognize the East German government in
  • 15. international law, D. Melinkov of New Times remarked that "what chiefly strikes one about the speech is its many contradictions. Every step in the direction of realism is accompanied by such reservations that its value is in effect nullified."40 The speech actually contained little new material, for Brandt had asserted all of the content of this speech at one time or another as West German Foreign Minister under the Grand Coalition. What was new was his renewed emphasis upon non-negotiables in talks on normalization between Bonn and East Berlin. Chancellor Brandt said he agreed with Chairman Stoph that "there can be no intermingling no foul compromise between our own system and what has become a set one on the other side."41 Urging the nation to give up all illusions and face reality, Brandt stressed that the West German government was not "wandering between two worlds." According to Brandt, neither the Paris Treaties, which established the rights of the Four Powers over Germany and Berlin, nor the Atlantic Alliance were matters for discussion.42 Brandt also reaffirmed his government’s determination to follow through on West Germany’s traditional commitment that "those parts of Germany which today live in freedom must be kept free."43 Brandt clarified the points upon which his government was not willing to compromise (italics added):44 Firstly, the right of self-determination; Secondly, the striving for national unity and freedom within the framework of a European peace arrangement; Thirdly, the ties with West Berlin without imparing the Four Powers’Responsibility for the whole of Berlin; Fourthly, the Federal Government respects and will continue to respect the rights and responsibilities of the Four Powers as regards Germany as a whole and in Berlin. We have no thought of tampering nor of letting any one tamper with these rights and responsibilities. These include the commitments both for the Federal Government and for the Governments of the Three Powers. I have worked in Berlin long enough to know that there are things for which our shoulders are too weak and regarding which the Federal Republic has no interest in claiming unrestricted sovereignty for itself. The last two non-negotiables should not have taken the Eastern world aback, for the East Germans would certainly have affirmed that East German membership in the Warsaw Pact and adherence to the Soviet-East German Treaty of Friendship and Alliance were not matters for discussion. Even now,
  • 16. Chancellor Brandt was already striking a less conciliatory tone towards East Germany. To be sure, his assertion that "the Federal Republic remains a Western state by its ties and conviction" seemed to contradict, at least in the eyes of the Eastern world, his desire to seek a "European Peace Order." Regardless, Brandt renewed his commitment to the "Doctrine of Two States in Germany" and also to a constructive détente policy for Europe, stating that "there must, there can and finally there will be negotiations between Bonn and East Berlin."45 Brandt also laid out in rough form his own "guiding principles" for negotiations with East Germany, principles which were to reappear exactly in his speech at Erfurt and then again in expanded form as the 20 points of Kassel. These principles were as follows:46 1. Both states have the obligation to preserve the German nation. They are not foreign countries for one another. 2. Furthermore, the generally recognized principles of international law must apply, especially exclusion of any discrimination, respect of the territorial integrity, obligation to settle all disputes peacefully, and respect of each other’s borders. 3. This also includes the undertaking not to seek to change the social structure existing on the territory of the other contracting party by force. 4. The two Governments and their plenipotentiaries should aim at neighborly co-operation, especially in the technical field; understandings to facilitate such co-operation could become the object of governmental arrangements. 5. The Four Powers’existing rights and responsibilities regarding Germany as a whole and of Berlin shall be respected. 6. The Four Powers’ endeavors to bring about arrangements for an improvement of the situation in and around Berlin shall be supported. Although he failed to see the internal contradictions in his "Doctrine of the Two States in Germany,” Brandt himself harbored no illusions that his attempts to negotiate with the East German government would be easy. He foresaw them as fraught with extreme difficulties, and he realized that in any attempt to further détente with East Germany, the West German government could not "exclude the possibility of failure, although it certainly does not wish negotiations to fail."47 D. Melinkov of New Times argued that this "get tough speech" was the result of Brandt’s need to appease the West German parliamentary opposition.48 There is certainly something to this assertion. Oskar
  • 17. Fehrenbach in the Stuttgarter Zeitung commented on January 17, 1970, on the amazing consensus that was reached after the State of the Nation Address. Despite the opposition of Strauß, a consensus was arrived at between the coalition government and the Christian Democrats' parliamentary chairman. The opposition pledged support for Brandt's efforts to open negotiations with the East German régime.49 Drawing a parallel between what he saw as the realism of Chancellor Adenauer, given the situation in the 40s and 50s, and the realism of Brandt in the late 60s and early 70s, Fehrenbach asserted: At present it is the Brandt/Scheel administration and the SPD/FDP government that soberly assesses the post-war situation and the Christian Democrats who seem unable to free themselves from the anti-Communist illusion that something history long left behind can still be restored.50 It was with the begrudging consent of the opposition parliamentary bloc, however, that Chancellor Brandt wrote Chairman Stoph on January 22, 1970 asking for a meeting to exchange declarations on the mutual renunciation of force. Then on February 12, 1970, Stoph responded with an offer to meet in Eastern Germany. After a series of telegraph exchanges, it was finally agreed upon by the two governments that the heads of state of the two Germanies would meet for the first time in Erfurt, East Germany, on March 19, 1970. 51 One can be sure that Chancellor Brandt realized that the opposition at home and Ulbricht in the East would both be watching very closely over these negotiations, ensuring that none too many concessions were to be granted on either side. 52 The Historic Meeting at Erfurt At 9:30 AM when Brandt stepped off the special train which had brought him to Erfurt, East Germany, he was met by between 2,000 and 2,500 enthusiastic East German youths chanting "Willy, Willy, Willy . . . Willy Brandt." Despite the attempts of the East German police to control them, these demonstrators had turned out to show their support for the West German Federal Chancellor. In his People and Politics, Brandt recalled that to get a glimpse of him "thousands of people risked life and limb bursting through the flimsy barriers."53 Chancellor Brandt was, however, rushed quickly to the Erfurterhof where he
  • 18. went immediately to his room. Hearing cries of "Willy Brandt to the Window" from outside, he appeared in the open window. "Afraid of kindling hopes that could not be fulfilled," he "adopted a low key manner" and signaled them to silence in the manner of a symphonic conductor motioning for a pianissimo .54 Various interpretations have been offered about the significance of this reception afforded Chancellor Brandt at Erfurt. David Binder of the New York Times, a close associate of Brandt who covered the Erfurt meeting for the paper, suggested that it was a spontaneous outpouring of support for the socialist Brandt, who was for the demonstrators the foremost representative of the free part of Germany. Binder also presents the hypothesis, quite popular in West Germany at the time, that the ultraconservative members of the East German government might well have staged this demonstration to show how dangerously attractive Brandt was to the impressionable youth of East Germany.55 Whether that was the case or not, East German television excluded all coverage of the enthusiastic reception given Federal Chancellor Brandt, choosing instead to show footage of another sparsely attended anti-Brandt counter- demonstration which was rather obviously staged by the East German Government.56 In their statements at Erfurt, Brandt and Stoph merely expounded upon already-stated positions. Brandt’s statement was a recapitulation of what he had already stated numerous times as West German Foreign Minister under the Grand Coalition, and Stoph’s statement was merely an expansion upon his draft treaty proposal of December 17, 1969 (see pp. 14-15 for text of Stoph’s draft treaty proposal). However well known the contents of these statements were to the other party, the emphases placed by the two upon various aspects of these agendas deserve further attention. Being the host, Stoph spoke first. He began by stressing the joint responsibility of the two German governments to insure that war never again originate from German soil and by rebuffing the West Germans for their intransigence in the face of twenty years of repeated East German "peace proposals."57 But Stoph was predetermined by the oversight of the hard line East German leadership to destroy any chance of constructive negotiations toward normalizing relations between the two states. With East German Foreign Minister Otto Winzer in his delegation to serve as Ulbricht’s watchdog, he therefore insisted that "this settlement can only consist of the establishment of relations under international law on the basis of full
  • 19. equality."58 Throughout his speech, Stoph harped upon this perceived need for recognition of the East German government by West Germany according to the principles of international law. Engaging in further polemics, he could not resist the temptation to accuse the West German government of hatching aggressive military plots against the "peace-loving East German socialist state."59 As Ulbricht had enunciated in numerous policy statements, Stoph held that the West Germans, in collusion with the Western powers, were responsible for the divided state of Germany.60 Recalling the enormous capital flight which occurred from East to West Germany in the late 1950s, Stoph called the erection of the Berlin Wall a "humanitarian measure" which served to protect the livelihood of the citizens of East Germany. Charging that the West Germans now owed the East Germans some 100,000 million marks dating from this period, Stoph was obviously not attempting to make concessions upon which serious negotiations could take place.61 Acknowledging that the Brandt government had made the claim that it no longer sought to discriminate against the East German government, Stoph pointed to the continued use by the West German government of the Hallstein Doctrine and the discriminatory principle of sole representation. Stoph accused the Brandt government of duplicitous behavior.62 He argued that the West Germans continued to prevail upon third nations, especially upon third world nations, not to recognize the East German régime. Further, asserted Stoph, the West German government had blocked East German participation in such international organizations as the United Nations, and its subsidiary the World Health Organization. 63 In concluding his diatribe over West German discrimination against East Germany, Stoph stressed that the recognition of the East German government under international law would be a precondition for any mutual renunciation of force agreement. It is interesting to note that he referred to this demand more that twenty times in the course of his speech. He also emphasized that the draft treaty proposal contained in his December 17, 1969 letter remained the basis for East Germany's negotiating position (see pp. 14-15 for the text of this draft treaty proposal).64 Opening his response to Stoph, Brandt addressed what he perceived as the reality of the continued existence of the German nation. Brandt expounded upon his "Doctrine of Two States in Germany" thus:
  • 20. The strong bonds of mutually experienced history for which we are mutually responsible, bonds that nobody can escape - bonds of family, of language, of culture, and of all those imponderables that cause us to feel a sense of belonging together; these things are reality. A policy that would seek to destroy or to ignore this foundation in a national existence would, I am convinced, be doomed to failure.65 Stating that there exist between the Germans "relations of a special nature, of a kind that do not exist between the residents of other states, even when friendly to each other or allied," Brandt essentially stated again that recognition of East Germany under international law, a precondition for negotiations upon which the East Germans continuously insisted, would be out of the question. 66 This, for Brandt, was the reality of the post-WWII situation. Examining the contents of Brandt’s reply, one gets the impression that these two heads of state, as well as the governments which they represented, were not even functioning in the same world- -indeed, that each had its own conception of "reality." Brandt disavowed the accusation that his government still adhered to the sole representation theory, or that his government harbored aggressive designs against the "peaceful East German socialist state." But he also thought it necessary to reassert his government’s commitment to the principle of self-determination for all Germans.67 It is rather obvious that this would be perceived by the East German delegation as just another way of stating "the desire to assert a Western tutelage over East Germany." Be that as it may, Brandt continued to speak of relieving human suffering, improving business relations and increasing the exchange of high technology between East and West Germany. He managed to point to concrete ways in which the two governments could work out a modus vivendi by arriving at agreements to facilitate transportation between the two states on highways and waterways, as well as the exchange of information through improved telecommunications networks. He restated the six points, which he had included in his 1970 State of the Nation Address before the upper house of West German parliament, on the basis of which the West German government would seek to move toward normalizing relations between the two Germanies (see p. 18 for the relevant portion of Brandt’s 1970 State of the Nation Address before the upper house of West German parliament).68
  • 21. Brandt was obviously concerned that his negotiations not jeopardize West Germany’s standing in NATO, thus the last two provisions. Still, he reasserted his desire for West and East Germany to participate in an all-European peace arrangement, without the precondition of the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the two.69 Brandt and Stoph disagreed here over one essential point, and it was over this point that the negotiations would stall. Since his government thought that formal recognition by the West German government of East Germany was the only way to insure West German compliance with the stipulations of any agreement between the two governments, Stoph saw the recognition under international law of East Germany by the West German government as a precondition to negotiations on all other matters touching upon relations between the two states. Given the basic anti-Communist stance of the great majority of West German citizens, not to mention the ardent anti-Communism to be found within the government, one senses that this precondition was not insisted upon without good reason. Denying the very feasibility of meeting this demand, Brandt argued that "the goal of this exchange of views should be to determine whether we can begin negotiations at the end of which would be contractual regulations of the relationship between the FRG and the GDR (italics added)."70 Brandt might well have seen the eventual recognition of the East German government by the West Germans under international law as the outcome of a long series of negotiations, as he seems to state in his memoirs, but Stoph clearly wished to see immediate and formal recognition extended. Because of domestic constraints, Chancellor Brandt would have to proceed slowly and cautiously; because of Chairman Stoph’s comrades’intransigence, a lack of speed on Brandt’s part would doom the negotiations to failure. Given the very logic of the situation, no progress could be made on East-West German relations at Erfurt. The only concrete outcome of the talks at Erfurt was an agreement to continue the talks in West Germany at Kassel on May 21, 1970. Somewhat disheartened, Brandt summed up his impressions of the Erfurt meeting while riding back to West Germany after the meeting had ended: "It had been a day of overwhelming display of sympathy by East German citizens, a day of subdued hope, of satisfaction at a venture and an initiative that could not have been left untried."72 Although the New York Times could report that these talks seemed to open the path for a long series of high-level negotiations between the two German States, these high-level talks were to end at Kassel on a very sour note.73
  • 22. Cementing the Division Between East and West Germany Amidst The Fallout Over Erfurt and Kassel Looking back eight years later, Brandt said of the Erfurt meeting: My primary concern was to weaken East Berlin’s unfavorable influence upon Moscow and simultaneously demonstrate that there were important areas in which, pursuant to our policy, we wanted to reach accommodation with individual members of the Warsaw Pact.74 Brandt himself obviously saw the meeting within a multinational context and it is therefore necessary that one look upon the fallout over the Erfurt meeting, as well as over the Kassel meeting two months later, with an eye toward West Germany’s position within the NATO alliance, and East Germany’s position within the Warsaw Pact. This should be done in addition to viewing the domestic reaction to the Erfurt and Kassel meetings in the two Germanies. Many would allege, Brandt among them, that Moscow had to lean upon Ulbricht rather hard to get him to agree to sending Stoph to negotiate with West Germany.75 However, Ulbricht clearly insisted that the Erfurt meeting would be an attempt by East Germany to extract unilateral concessions from the West German government.76 To strengthen his position in dealing with Moscow, all that Stoph was to seek for his government was de facto recognition from West Germany. Sending Otto Winzer to look on, Ulbricht insured that the East German delegation would remain intransigent, and this is essentially what happened at the meeting at Erfurt.77 The West Germans, by simply meeting with the representatives of the East German government, had to a large extent legitimized the repressive and undemocratic East Berlin régime. The Christian Democratic parliamentary opposition was up in arms. By simply agreeing to the meeting between heads of state of the two Germanies, Brandt had extended de facto recognition to the East German régime. The position of the East German government on the international scene had been strengthened, that of West Germany's government had been weakened. There had been no quid pro quo.
  • 23. Moscow saw this clearly. One notes that Pravda and Isvestia both praised Chancellor Brandt for his agreement to meet at Erfurt with Chairman Stoph, and both condemned the West German Christian Democrats as revenge-seeking neo-Nazis.78 After the Erfurt meeting, the Soviet press continued to praise the Brandt government as having a progressive international policy, while condemning its policies at home as dominated by monopoly capital in league with reactionary Christian Democratic politicians.79 As if to save face with the West in the wake of Erfurt, Chancellor Brandt went to the USA to meet President Nixon on April 10, 1970 and reaffirm his support for the NATO alliance before meeting with Stoph again at Kassel on May 21, 1970.80 President Nixon expressed his full support of Brandt, but failed to mention Brandt’s Eastern initiative. Despite the fact that in other policy statements President Nixon continued to support Brandt’s Ostpolitik, other top foreign policy officials and experts in the USA began to publicly question the efficacy of Brandt’s new Ostpolitik. Given the movement on the Moscow and Warsaw talks, Henry Kissinger, then National Security Advisor to President Nixon, began to sense that Brandt’s government was not walking closely enough with the NATO alliance. Dean Acheson, a former US Secretary of State and noted foreign policy expert, argued that Brandt needed to be "reined in" to stop the "mad rush to Moscow."81 Brandt’s refusal to open diplomatic relations on the ambassadorial level between the two German governments at the Erfurt meeting, and later at Kassel, obviously afforded many in the West little comfort. At home in West Germany, the parliamentary debate following the Erfurt meeting was heated. Dr. Rainer Barzel, one of Brandt’s chief opponents and chairman of the opposition parliamentary group, expressed his support for a policy effort to begin talks at the highest levels with East Germany in the interest of a more secure world peace, but stressed that "a policy of peace must have as its aim free movement of ideas, information, opinions and persons."82 Dr. Barzel noted that these issues, polemical though they were, were hardly discussed at Erfurt. He also reminded Chancellor Brandt directly, one thinks rather unnecessarily, of "the dead of the wall of the barbed wire, the dead of Ulbricht."83 It is to be expected that Dr. Barzel would criticize Chancellor Brandt for failing to stress the free self-determination of all Germans as a necessary precondition for the normalization of relations between East and West Germany, but it is significant that Dr. Barzel attacks the Brandt Doctrine, although not calling it by that name, as a groundless
  • 24. legal fiction.84 This is an argument for which Chancellor Brandt, just as Foreign Minister Brandt, had no credible retort. Indeed, one must agree with Dr. Barzel that, at Erfurt, "of counter-concessions, of European beginnings, of protection for minorities, of open European borders and of free traffic in people, information and opinion - of these things we see nothing."85 Dr. Barzel concludes his condemnation of the Erfurt meeting by quoting from the U. S. Declaration of Independence. The opposition, says Dr. Barzel, interprets "the applause at Erfurt this way: It was a call to the Chancellor of free Germany from those who themselves want to be free."86 Chancellor Brandt was also vilified in the East German parliament by Chairman Stoph. Here Brandt was attacked for being too conservative. Stoph related to his comrades that he had directly asked Brandt whether he was not a wolf in sheep’s clothing: Is something like the old course, we had to ask the Federal Republic’s Chancellor, the policy that for two decades was pursued under concepts like ’liberating’ to be continued today under another guise . . . I left no doubts that such constructions (such as special inter-German relations) could only serve the purpose of championing in altered form, the old assertion of the right of sole representation; and of continuing discrimination against the GDR.87 Thus the East Germans rejected the "Brandt Doctrine of Two States in Germany," just as did the West German opposition parties, although for different reasons. Each had an insight into the faults of the Brandt Doctrine, and a consideration of these objections certainly reveals much about the failure of Brandt’s Ostpolitik at Erfurt. At Kassel, so argued Chairman Stoph before the East German parliament, Chancellor Brandt would have to go beyond words to actual deeds, to prove the absence of discrimination by West Germany against East Germany.88 Between Erfurt and Kassel, the Brandt government managed to secure agreements with the East German government over postal payments and telecommunications, measures to help rectify the inter-German trade imbalance and revocation of a "safe-conduct" law which the East Germans had long resented.89 The meeting at Kassel, however, proved to be even less productive than had Erfurt, despite this modest progress.
  • 25. At Kassel, Chairman Stoph was rude, moralizing and intransigent. After interrupting Chancellor Brandt’s opening statement to denounce the West German government’s inability to prevent "neo-Nazi" demonstrations against his delegation and death threats against his person, Stoph’s morning and afternoon statements both proved to be exceedingly polemical.90 Brandt managed to remain almost stoic in the face of Stoph's denunciations. In addition to his denunciations of the West German government, Stoph stuck to the contents of his draft treaty proposal, as he had at Erfurt (see pp. 14-15 for the text of this draft treaty proposal). Once again, this in and of itself obviated all possibility for constructive negotiation. At the morning session in particular, Chancellor Brandt avoided polemics and attempted, futile though the attempt, to move toward a constructive exchange of viewpoints between the representatives of the two German governments. It was at the morning session that Brandt offered his 20 points for negotiations on the normalization of relations between the two German states. The 20 points were essentially an expansion upon, and further definition of, the six points he had offered for negotiation in his 1970 State of the Nation Address before the upper house of the West German parliament on January 14, 1970 (see p. 18 for these six proposals). The 20 points of Kassel were as follows:91 Principles and Elements of the Treaty for the Adjustment of Relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic on a Basis of Equality from the Statement of Federal Chancellor at the Morning Session in Kassel on May 21, 1970. 1. In the interest of peace as well as the future and coexistence of the nation, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, which in their Constitutions are oriented towards the unity of the nation, agree upon a treaty which regularizes the relations between the two States in Germany, reinforces the links between the population and the two States and helps to remove existing handicaps. 2. The treaty is to be forwarded for assent to the legislative bodies of the two States in the proposed forms conforming with the Constitution. 3. The two States shall proclaim their will to adjust their relations on the basis of human rights, equality of status, peaceful coexistence and non-discrimination as universal rules of international law. 4. Both sides abstain from any threat or use of force and undertake to deal with all problems pending between them with peaceful means. This includes respect for territorial integrity and frontiers.
  • 26. 5. Both States respect the independence and autonomy of each of the two States in affairs affecting their internal sovereign authority. 6. Neither of the two states can act on behalf of, or represent, the other. 7. The parties concluding the treaty declare that never again must a war originate on German soil. 8. They undertake to abstain from all acts suited to disturb the peaceful coexistence of nations. 9. Both sides confirm their will to support all efforts directed toward disarmament and armaments control which can help to enhance the security of Europe. 10. The starting-point of the treaty must be the consequences of the Second World War and the extraordinary situation of Germany and the Germans, who live in two States and yet are members of one nation. 11. The respective obligations towards the French Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which are based upon the special rights and agreement of these States over Berlin and Germany as a whole, remain undisturbed. 12. The quadripartite agreements on Berlin and Germany are respected. The same holds true for the ties which have developed between West Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany. Both sides undertake to support the efforts of the Four Powers to normalize the situation in and around Berlin. 13. Both sides will examine in which spheres clashes exist between the legislation of the two States: they will endeavour to remove clashes in order to avoid disadvantages to citizens of both States. In this connection they will start from the principle that on each side the sovereign authority if restricted to its national territory. 14. The treaty shall provide for measures which extend mutual tourist traffic, with great efforts made to reach the goal of freedom of movement. 15. A solution shall be found to the problems resulting from family separation. 16. The districts and communities along the common border should be enabled to solve their local problems in neighbourly fashion. 17. In the interest of mutual advantage, both sides should confirm their readiness to intensify and extend cooperation in the spheres of, among other things, transportation and traffic, posts and telecommunications, information exchange, science, education, culture, environmental problems and sport and to initiate themselves discussions concerning the details. 18. For trade between the two sides, the existing arrangements, representations and agreements remain in force. The commercial relations shall be further cultivated. 19. The two Governments appoint plenipotentiaries of ministerial rank and set up offices for the permanent representatives of the plenipotentiaries. The function of the plenipotentiaries and their
  • 27. representatives are to be laid down in detail. At the headquarters of the specific Government they are accorded working possibilities and granted the necessary facilities and privileges. 20. On the basis of the treaty to be agreed upon by them, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic will make the necessary arrangements to regularize their membership and cooperation in international organizations. As the Kassel meeting ended, even less had been accomplished than had at the Erfurt meeting. At Erfurt, a date for another meeting was agreed upon; at Kassel, the two delegations only agreed to meet again at some unspecified time in the future. Looking back on the year that witnessed the Erfurt and Kassel meetings, Chancellor Brandt addressed the upper house of the West German parliament in his 1971 State of the Nation Address, once again limiting the subject matter almost exclusively to the subject of his Ostpolitik initiative. Admitting that not much was accomplished at Erfurt, much less at Kassel, Brandt defended these meetings as "important steps towards a modus vivendi between the two polities existing on German soil, even if they were only a beginning of the dialogue."92 He felt obliged to defend his Ostpolitik by giving examples of European support for his initiatives.93 This did not, however, convince the parliamentary opposition of the merits of Brandt’s Ostpolitik. After his 1971 State of the Nation Address, Chancellor Brandt was queried further by the opposition on this same point. He was asked whether or not the other Western nations supported his initiatives toward East Germany, or even the treaties that he had signed with Moscow and Poland during that year. He answered that the NATO ministers on December 4, 1970 had "welcomed the beginning of an exchange of views between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR."94 He also claimed that the U. S. Department of State had acknowledged the complimentarity of West Germany's détente policy with that of the Nixon Administration.95 When asked specifically about the results of his Ostpolitik, Brandt admitted that "we regret that so far the effects of this policy are to be seen least in the relationship with the GDR."96 Indeed, by the end of 1970, West German Ostpolitik had shifted away from attempts toward improving relations with East Germany, with the Brandt government tacitly recognizing defeat by concentrating its
  • 28. efforts upon the more fruitful soil of negotiations with Poland, the USSR and especially with the Four Powers over the status of Berlin.97 It was for his thought on Ostpolitik and his efforts to further détente in Europe that Brandt received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971. Speaking at Oslo upon receiving the prize, Brandt spoke of a "transition from classical power politics to the business-like policy" which his government had pursued.98 Brandt argued that the meaning of progress in international relations is to "speak more of interests than of ideology."99 This pronouncement on Realpolitik makes his claim to have "never been of a mind to negotiate on the principles of human rights and self- determination" seem rather hollow.100 In recognizing what he termed the realities of the post-WWII situation, Brandt denounced "that unimaginative principle that nations with different social and economic systems cannot live side by side without being in grave conflict."101 One must then ask, along with Neues Deutschland, why Chancellor Brandt lacked the courage to recognize the entire truth of the post-war realities. Why would Brandt not recognize the East German régime under international law as a sovereign nation? The logic of his own "Doctrine of Two States in Germany," a logic which reveals itself upon close scrutiny to belong rather to the realm of unlogic, would lead one to ask such a question. Indeed, by entering into negotiations with the head of state of East Germany, Chancellor Brandt moved one step further towards extending de jure recognition to the East German régime and thereby brought the German nation one step closer to the grave. Brandt's defense of his own Ostpolitik, while still West German Foreign Minister in the Grand Coalition, was that it "made it much more difficult for communist propaganda to make out that we (in West Germany) have revanchist tendencies."102 But questions remain as to the purpose of that propaganda tool which Brandt wished to pluck from the hands of the East Germany propagandist. As is clearly revealed by East German Foreign Minister Otto Winzer in an article which appeared in the August 1971 edition of the World Marxist Review, the propaganda used by the Communist régime against the liberal-democratic government of West Germany was aimed at gaining an improvement in the international status of East Germany- -and this at the expense of West Germany.103 This is exactly the outcome of Brandt's Ostpolitik toward East Germany during the year 1970. Because it led to the opening of negotiations with the East German government at Erfurt, and to the subjecting of his own government to the verbal lashings it received
  • 29. at Kassel, Brandt’s Ostpolitik took several steps backwards for the cause of freedom and democracy in exchange for one step forward in what had by the end of 1970 proven to be an elusive pursuit of détente with East Germany.
  • 30. Endnotes 1 David Tinnin. "Man of the Year: Willy Brandt/ On the Road to a New Reality." Time 97 (1) (4 January 1971): 1. 2 David Binder. "Brandt Victor by 3 Votes; Takes Over as Chancellor." New York Times 22 October 1969, p. A1. 3 A. E. Albert. "The Brandt Doctrine of Two States in Germany." International Affairs 46(2) (April 1970): 293. 4 Nina Heathcote. "Brandt’s Ostpolitik and Western Institutions." The World Today 26(1) (August 1970): 334. 5 Gottfried Vetter. (correspondent of North German Radio in Berlin). "Annährung mit Hindernissen: Der Wandel der innerdeutschen Beziehungen nach dem Bonner Regierungswechsel." Europa Archiv 25 (9) (10 May 1970): 302. 6 Laszlo Görgey. "A New Ostpolitik - the limitations on foreign policy (pp.148-172)" in Bonn's Eastern Policy 1964- 1971. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1972, 152. 7 Frank Roberts. "The German-Soviet Treaty and its Effects on European and Atlantic Policies: A British View." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 9(2) (Summer 1971): 191. 8 David Binder. "Brandt Victor by 3 Votes; Takes Over as Chancellor." New York Times 22 October 1969, p. A12. 9 Nina. Heathcote. "Brandt's Ostpolitik and Western Institutions." The World Today 26(1) (August 1970): 335. 10 Laszlo Görgey. "A New Ostpolitik - the limitations on foreign policy (pp. 148-172)" in Bonn's Eastern Policy 1964-1971. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1972, p.154 11 Ibid, p.158. 12 Nina Heathcote. "Brandt's Ostpolitik and Western Institutions." The World Today 26(1) (August 1970): 339. 13 Ulbricht, Walter. "Twenty fruitful years of building socialism." World Marxist Review 12 (10) (October 1969): 9. 14 Ibid, 10. 15 Georg Zalitatsch. "Die Regierung Brandt aus der Sicht der Moskauer Presse." Osteuropa Heft 20(7) (July 1970): 467. 16 Ibid, p.470. 17 Ibid, p.472. 18 Francois Schlosser. "An Exclusive Interview With Herr Willy Brandt." Réalités (English edition) 207 (February 1968): 27. 19 Ibid, p. 28. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid.
  • 31. 22 Willy Brandt. "German Policy Toward the East." Foreign Affairs 46(3) (April 1968): 483. 23 Ibid, p. 476. 24 Ibid, p. 481. 25 Ibid, p. 483. 26 Willy Brandt. A Peace Policy For Europe. Holt, 1969, p. 143. 27 Ibid, p. 142. 28 WillyBrandt. People and Politics: The Years 1960-75. Little, Brown, 1978, p. 367. 29 Gottfried Vetter (correspondent of North German Radio in Berlin). "Annährung mit Hindernissen: Der Wandel der innerdeutschen Beziehungen nach dem Bonner Regierungswechsel." Europa Archiv 25 (9) (10 May 1970): 306. 30 "Brandt Government's Talks With East German Regime, 1969-1970(pp.229-260)" in Kessing's Research Report: Germany and Eastern Europe Since 1945. New York: Charles Scribners' Sons, 1973, p. 229-31. 31 Gottfried Vetter (correspondent of North German Radio in Berlin). "Annährung mit Hindernissen: Der Wandel der innerdeutschen Beziehungen nach dem Bonner Regierungswechsel." Europa Archiv 25 (9) (10 May 1970): 306. 32 Georg Zalitatsch. "Die Regierung Brandt aus der Sicht der Moskauer Presse." Osteuropa Heft 20(7) (July 1970): 472. 33 Gottfried Vetter (correspondent of North German Radio in Berlin). "Annährung mit Hindernissen: Der Wandel der innerdeutschen Beziehungen nach dem Bonner Regierungswechsel." Europa Archiv 25 (9) (10 May 1970): 307. 34 "Brandt Government's Talks With East German Regime, 1969-1970(pp.229-260)" in Kessing's Research Report: Germany and Eastern Europe Since 1945. New York: Charles Scribners' Sons, 1973, 231-2. 35 Kassel May 21, 1970: a documentation. Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971, pp. 81-83. 36 Willy Brandt. People and Politics: The Years 1960-75. Little, Brown, 1978, p.368. 37 Michael Tatu. "Something More Than an Interlude (article reprinted from LeMonde )." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 9(1) (Spring 1971): 53. 38 Nina Heathcote. "Brandt's Ostpolitik and Western Institutions." The World Today 26(1) (August 1970): 335. 39 D. Melnikov. "Brandt's First Hundred Days." New Times (Moscow) 4 (27 January 1970): 5. 40 Ibid, p.4. 41 Willy Brandt. Report on the State of the Nation 1970 (also contains background material which was presented to the Bundestag on the Federal Government's Report on the State of the Nation). Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1970, p. 6.
  • 32. 42 Ibid, p. 9. 43 Ibid, p. 13. 44 Ibid, 10-11. 45 Ibid, p. 10. 46 Ibid, p. 21. 47 Ibid, p. 22. 48 Melnikov, D. "Brandt’s First Hundred Days." New Times (Moscow) 4 (27 January 1970): 5. 49 Oskar Fehrenbach. "Bonn’s Eastern Initiatives Mark Time for Time Being (article reprinted from the Stuttgarter Zeitung of 17 January 1970)." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 8(1) (Spring 1970): 41. 50 Ibid, p. 40. 51 "Brandt Government’s Talks With East German Regime, 1969-1970(pp.229-260)" in Kessing’s Research Report: Germany and Eastern Europe Since 1945. New York: Charles Scribners’Sons, 1973, p. 240-1. 52 Oskar Fehrenbach. "Bonn’s Eastern Initiatives Mark Time for Time Being (article reprinted from the Stuttgarter Zeitung of 17 January 1970)." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 8(1) (Spring 1970): 42. 53 Willy Brandt. People and Politics: The Years 1960-75. Little, Brown, 1978, p.371. 54 Ibid, p. 372 55 David Binder. "Brandt and Stoph Meet For Day of ’Useful’Talks." New York Times 20 March 1970, p. A12. 56 Ibid. 57 Erfurt March 19, 1970: a documentation. Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971, p.12. 58 Ibid, p.13. 59 Ibid, p. 17. 60 Ibid, p. 22. 61 Ibid, p. 24. 62 Ibid, p. 28. 63 Ibid, p. 27.
  • 33. 64 Ibid, p. 32. 65 Ibid, p. 36. 66 Ibid, p. 38. 67 Ibid, p. 44. 68 Ibid, p. 40-41. 69 Ibid, p. 38. 70 Ibid, p. 40. 71 Willy Brandt. People and Politics: The Years 1960-75. Little, Brown, 1978, p. 367. 72 Ibid, p. 379. 73 David Binder. "Brandt and Stoph Meet For Day of ’Useful’Talks." New York Times 20 March 1970, p. A12. 74 Willy Brandt. People and Politics: The Years 1960-75. Little, Brown, 1978, p. 379. 75 "Setback at Kassel." New York Times 22 May 1970, p. A30. 76 Wolfe, James H. "Bonn's Struggle for Détente." Central Europe Journal 19(11) (November 1971): 355. 77 Laszlo Görgey. "A New Ostpolitik - the limitations on foreign policy (pp. 148-172)" in Bonn's Eastern Policy 1964-1971. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1972, p.163. 78 Georg Zalitatsch. "Die Regierung Brandt aus der Sicht der Moskauer Presse." Osteuropa Heft 20(7) (July 1970): 473. 79 Ibid, p. 477. 80 "Welcoming Ceremony for Chancellor Brandt." Common Values, Common Cause: German Statesmen in the United States/ American Statesmen in Germany/ 1953-1983 Statements and Speeches New York: Fred Weidner & Son Printers, Inc., 1983, pp. 88-90. 81 David Tinnin. "Man of the Year: Willy Brandt/ On the Road to a New Reality." Time 97 (1) (4 January 1971): 13. 82 Erfurt March 19, 1970: a documentation. Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971, p. 62. 83 Ibid, p. 63. 84 Ibid, p. 68. 85 Ibid, p. 66. 86 Ibid, p. 72.
  • 34. 87 Ibid, p. 86. 88 Ibid, p. 83. 89 "Brandt Government’s Talks With East German Regime, 1969-1970(pp.229-260)" in Kessing’s Research Report: Germany and Eastern Europe Since 1945. New York: Charles Scribners’Sons, 1973, pp. 159-9. 90 Kassel May 21, 1970: a documentation. Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971, p. 7. 91 Ibid, pp. 84-86. 92 Willy Brandt. Report on the State of the Nation 1971 (also contains the reply of the Federal Government to the major questions submitted by the SPD and FDP parliamentary groups regarding the Federal Government’s foreign policy). Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971, p. 7. 93 Ibid, p. 5. 94 Ibid, p. 36. 95 Ibid, p. 37. 96 Ibid, p. 45. 97 Ibid, p. 38. 98 Willy Brandt. Peace: Writings and Speeches of the Nobel Prize Winner. Verlag Neue Geselschaft, 1971, p. 150. 99 Ibid, p. 146. 100 Ibid, p. 150. 101 Ibid, p. 145. 102 Francois Schlosser. "An Exclusive Interview With Herr Willy Brandt." Réalités (English edition) 207 (February 1968): 28. 103 Otto Winzer. "Strengthen international position of GDR - a goal in the battle for peace and socialism." World Marxist Review 14 (8) (August 1971): 106.
  • 35. Bibliography Books and Chapters in Books Binder, David. "Erfurt, 1970 (pp.1-13)," "The Peace Chancellor (pp. 253-306)," and "The End (pp. 307-353)" in The Other German. Washington, DC: The New Republic Book Company, Inc., 1975. Brandt, Willy. A Peace Policy For Europe. Holt, 1969; Peace: Writings and Speeches of the Nobel Prize Winner. Verlag Neue Geselschaft, 1971; People and Politics: The Years 1960-75. Little, Brown, 1978. "Brandt Government’s Talks With East German Regime, 1969-1970(pp.229-260)" in Kessing’s Research Report: Germany and Eastern Europe Since 1945. New York: Charles Scribners’Sons, 1973. Common Values, Common Cause : German Statesmen in the United States/ American Statesmen in Germany/ 1953-1983 Statements and Speeches New York: Fred Weidner & Son Printers, Inc., 1983. Görgey, Laszlo. "A New Ostpolitik - the limitations on foreign policy (pp.148-172)" in Bonn's Eastern Policy 1964-1971. Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1972. Pritte, Hon. Terrence C. F. "The Evolution of an Ostpolitik (pp. 197-225)" and "Framing a Foreign Policy (pp. 226-255)" in Willy Brandt: portrait of a statesman. New York: Schocken Books, 1974. Journal Articles Albert, A. E. "The Brandt Doctrine of Two States in Germany." International Affairs 46(2) (April 1970): 293-303. Birrenbach, Kurt. "The West and German Ostpolitik - The German Opposition View (speech given during course of debate over Brandt's State of the Nation Address 1971)." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 9 (2) (Summer 1971): 196- 204. Brandt, Willy. "Aktuelle Fragen den deutschen Aussenpolitik (address before the membership of the German Society for Foreign Policy)." Europa Archiv 26(13) (10 July 1971): 437-442; "European Unity is Germany's Hope (speech before the European Parliament at Strasbourg)." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 12(1) (Spring 1974): 76-80; "German Policy Toward the East." Foreign Affairs 46(3) (April 1968): 476-486, "Germany Says 'Thank You' for the Marshall Plan." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 10(3) (Fall 1972): 351-356. Bromke, Adam and Harald von Riekhoff. "The Polish-West German Treaty." East Europe 20(1) (January 1971): 2-8. "Exchange of Telegrams (in Pravda and Isvestia, 25 October 1970, p.1, 175 wds., complete text)." Current Digest of the Soviet Press (under Foreign Affairs/Central Europe/Germany) 21(43): 22. "Communiqué on the Visit by USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs A. A. Gromyko to the German Democratic Republic(in Pravda, 28 February 1970, p. 4; Isvestia, 1 March 1970, p.2, 750 wds. condensed text) Current Digest of the Soviet Press (under Foreign Affairs/Central Europe/Germany) 21(9): 13.
  • 36. Fehrenbach, Oskar. "Bonn’s Eastern Initiatives Mark Time for Time Being (article reprinted from the Stuttgarter Zeitung of 17 January 1970)." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 8(1) (Spring 1970): 40-43. Gauthier, Hermann (spokesman for the Communist Party of West Germany). "Chances for a new Bonn policy?" World Marxist Review 13 (1) (January 1970): 45-48. Heathcote, Nina. "Brandt’s Ostpolitik and Western Institutions." The World Today 26(1) (August 1970): 334-343. Kewenig, Wilhelm. "Die deutsche Ostpolitik und das Grudgesetz." Europa Archiv 26(14)(25 January 1971): 469-480. Kuzminykh, Y. "The Erfurt Meeting." New Times (Moscow) 13 (24 March 1970): 4-5. Markowski, Paul. "The GDR and peace in Europe." World Marxist Review 15 (5) (May 1972): 102-109. Melnikov, D. "Brandt’s First Hundred Days." New Times (Moscow) 4 (27 January1970): 4-6. "Our Commentary: Confident Course (by Yu. Tomlin in Isvestia, 8 December 1970, p. 2. 500 wds. condensed text) Current Digest of the Soviet Press (under Foreign Affairs/World Politics) 22 (49): 24. "Our Commentary: Fruitful Course (by L. Stepanov in Isvestia, 28 May 1970, p. 2., 500 wds. condensed text)" Current Digest of the Soviet Press (under Foreign Affairs/Central Europe/Germany) 21(21): 15-16. Roberts, Frank. "The German-Soviet Treaty and its Effects on European and Atlantic Policies: A British View." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 9(2) (Summer 1971): 184-195. Schlosser, Francois. "An Exclusive Interview With Herr Willy Brandt." Réalités (English edition) 207 (February 1968): 27-29. Tatu, Michael. "Something More Than an Interlude (article reprinted from LeMonde)." The Atlantic Community Quarterly 9(1) (Spring 1971): 50-55. "The Treaty With West Germany (five articles in Pravda and Isvestia from 8-19 August 1970, condensed text and complete text)” Current Digest of the Soviet Press 22 (33): 1-3, 22 Ulbricht, Walter. "Twenty fruitful years of building socialism." World Marxist Review 12 (10) (October 1969): 3-11. Vetter, Gottfried (correspondent of North German Radio in Berlin). "Annährung mit Hindernissen: Der Wandel der innerdeutschen Beziehungen nach dem Bonner Regierungswechsel." Europa Archiv 25 (9) (10 May 1970): 301-310. "Walter Ulbricht (In Memoriam). World Marxist Review 16 (9) (September1973): 139-40. Weber, Eberhard. "FRG: new faces, continuity of policy (Reasons for Brandt's Resignation)." World Marxist Review 17 (7) (July 1974):102-109. "Willy Brandt: Europe Only Stands to Gain from Good Soviet-West German Relations." New Times (Moscow) 41 (October 1971): 8-9. Winzer, Otto. "Strengthen international position of GDR - a goal in the battle for peace and socialism." World Marxist Review 14 (8) (August 1971): 99-106.
  • 37. Wolfe, James H. "Bonn's Struggle for Détente." Central Europe Journal 19(11) (November 1971): 355-357. Zalitatsch, Georg. "Die Regierung Brandt aus der Sicht der Moskauer Presse." Osteuropa Heft 20(7) (July 1970): 467- 478. Government Documents Brandt, Willy. Report on the State of the Nation 1970 (also contains background material that was presented to the Bundestag on the Federal Government's Report on the State of the Nation). Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1970; Report on the State of the Nation 1971 (also contains responses of the Federal Government to the major questions submitted by the SPD and FDP parliamentary groups regarding the Federal Government's foreign policy). Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971. Erfurt March 19, 1970: a documentation. Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971. Kassel May 21, 1970: a documentation. Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1971. Texts Relating to the European Political Cooperation. Bonn: Press and Information Service of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, 1974.
  • 38. Magazine and Newspaper Articles* Binder, David. "Brandt and Stoph Hold Tense Talks and Make no Gain." New York Times 22 May 1970, p. A1, + A3; "Brandt and Stoph Meet For Day of ’Useful’Talks." New York Times 20 March 1970, p. A1, +A12.;"Brandt Urges Stoph to Ease His Stand." New York Times 23 May 1970, p. A30; "Brandt Victor by 3 Votes; Takes Over as Chancellor." New York Times 22 October 1969, p. A1, +A12; "Shirt-Sleeve Manner Marks Brandt Government." New York Times 13 August 1970, p. A2. Burns, James MacGregor. "Moscow-Bonn Pact: A Historian’s Assessment." New York Times 13 August 1970, p. A3. "East Germany Omits Live TV of Arrival." New York Times 20 March 1970, p. A12. Feron, James. "Brandt in Poland, Signs Pact Today For Normal Ties." New York Times 7 December 1970, p. A1, + A9. "Four Dialogues in Germany." New York Times 23 May 1970, p. A2. Gwertzman, Bernard. "Pact With Soviet Signed By Brandt in Kremlin." New York Times 13 August 1970, p. A1, + A2. "Poles Due to Let Germans Migrate." New York Times 7 December 1970, p. A3. "Reticent East German/ Willi Stoph." New York Times 20 March 1970, p. A12. "Setback at Kassel." New York Times 22 May 1970, p. A23. "The Two Germanies: Their Emergence and Conflicts," New York Times 20 March 1970, p. A12. Tinnin, David. "Man of the Year: Willy Brandt/ On the Road to a New Reality." Time 97 (1) (4 January 1971): 1- 20. "’Willy’to His Public." New York Times 22 October 1969, p. A 12. * For articles from the Soviet press see Current Digest of the Soviet Press in Journal Article section of bibliography.