Back to the video list: German History


In 1949 two states emerged on German soil. The democratic Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) aimed from the start on to reunify the country and never acknowledged the socialistic German Democratic Republic. The FRG claimed sole international representation of Germany and the Germans until 1969.






  • Date: 1949 – 1969
  • Location: Germany
  • Start: Public announcement of the claim to sole representation
  • End: Eastern Policy of Chancellor Brandt (Ostpolitik)


Parties & Persons Involved

  • Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)
  • Auswärtiges Amt der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
  • (Foreign office of Germany)
  • German Democratic Republic (GDR)
  • Diplomatic relations of the FRG & GDR
  • Walter Hallstein (1901 – 1982), 1951 – 1958: Undersecretary in the foreign office
  • Wilhelm Grewe (1911 – 2000), Head of the Political Department / author



  • East-West conflict & Cold War
  • De facto two German states:
    • (1) Western occupation zones & Soviet-occupied zone (1945)
    • (2) Foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) & the GDR (1949)
  • Main objective of the FRG is to establish a free, unified & sovereign Germany
  • Main Policy of the GDR is a German two-state solution



  • 1949: Foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • 21 Oct 1949: Adenauer proclaims the sole representation by the Federal Republic in Parliament because only the government of West Germany is legitimised by free elections
  • 03 Oct & 23 Oct 1954: Nine-Power Conference & Treaties of Paris – the western allies accept the German claim to sole representation
  • 08 – 13 Sep 1955: After negotiations in Moscow Adenauer establishes diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union
  • 23 Sep 1955: Formulation of the Hallstein Doctrine by W. Grewe: Diplomatic relation to the GDR are perceived as an unfriendly act & result in the termination of the FRG relations
  • Dec 1955: Proclamation of the Hallstein Doctrine during a conference of Ambassadors
  • 1957: Termination of the diplomatic relation to Yugoslavia
  • 1965: Termination of the development aid for Egypt, after Nasser receives Ulbricht like a guest of state
  • 1963: Termination of the diplomatic relation to Cuba
  • 1967: Geburtsfehlertheorie (birth defect theory) states that Soviet satellite states could not oppose the recognition of the GDR
  • 1967: Diplomatic relations to Romania
  • 1968: Resumption of diplomatic relations to Yugoslavia
  • 1969: Brandt’s “Neue Ostpolitik“ (“change through rapprochement“) replaces the claim to sole representation & the Hallstein Doctrine (formalised in the Grundlagenvertrag (basic treaty), 1972)


Consequences & Impact

  • The “Neue Ostpolitik” (eastern policy, 1969 – 1973) replaces the claim to sole representation & the Hallstein Doctrine
  • In comparison to the GDR the Federal republic of Germany gains much larger international influence
  • Small base for a inter-German dialogue & a German dialogue with the eastern bloc
  • Emphasis on the will to reunify Germany as a free country