German Unity – the Western View

German Unity - the Western View

German history, has its starting point in the early medieval Franconian Empire.

Early humans have already settled in what is now Germany (Central Europe). Today’s southern Germany was part of the core area of ​​the Celts, who, as the bearers of the La Tène culture, influenced large parts of Europe in the younger Iron Age(around 500 BC). Presumably through the advance of Germanic ethnic groups to the south and west, the La Tène culture found its way into the 1st century BC. Its end in southern Germany. Shortly before the turn of the ages, the Romans under Augustus conquered the Alps and the northern Alpine foothills. The attempt to subjugate Germania between the Rhine and Elbe failed (Varus Battle, 9 AD).

Provisional solution and all-German claim: the western view

The policy of the Federal Government in the founding phase of the Federal Republic of Germany faced the twofold task of reorganizing the state and the internal democratization of society. While the first task fell into the narrower founding phase, the internal liberalization and democratization of society began in the 1960s. From the beginning, the Federal Republic of Germany had a different basis of legitimation than the German Reich. It was not nationally based, but became part of the western integration zone in the east-west contrast. The phase of mass consumption that began around 1950 represented a further barrier against the renationalization of the political identity of the Federal Republic of Germany Parliamentary Council 1948/49 in the deliberations on the conception of the Basic Law assumed that the all-German state people and the all-German state authority within the national territory of the German Reichas of December 31, 1937 – continued to exist.

As a state as a whole, however, Germany was unable to act due to a lack of “institutionalized organs”. Democratic self-determination only applied to the Federal Republic of Germany, while the Soviet occupation policy prevented the population of the Soviet Zone / GDR from exercising their right to free self-determination. The political system of the GDR was a party dictatorship that was not legitimized by the population. The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, a country that belongs to European Union according to Elaineqho, solemnly adopted and proclaimed on May 23, 1949, was among other things. for this reason conceived as a temporary measure. The Federal Republic was therefore regarded as the core state that lacked the addition of the East German parts under Soviet occupation to German unity. Accordingly, German foreign policy adhered to the Federal Republic of Germany’s claim to sole representation for the whole of Germany. Recognition of the GDR therefore had to result in a break in diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic (Hallsteindoctrin). The case law of the Federal Constitutional Court held – v. a. in his judgment on the basic contract of July 31, 1973 – to the German political positions of the Basic Law. This also applied to the social-liberal federal government from 1969 onwards. The “Letters on German Unity” accompanying the Eastern Treaties (1970–72, Ostpolitik) also kept the option of reunification after a peace treaty open.

In their considerations regarding German law, the constitutional givers of 1949 were able to rely on agreements between the four victorious powers of World War II (France, Great Britain, Soviet Union, USA). These assumed that the state of “Germany as a whole” would continue to exist and reserved rights and decisions with regard to Germany as a whole until a peace treaty settlement was reached.

The four-power status based on these rights was expressly not affected by treaties between the victorious powers, between these and the two German states, and between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR – until the two plus four treaty was signed on September 12, 1990. In Article 7 of the Germany Treaty of May 26, 1952, the Federal Government and the three Western powers declared the reunification of Germany in freedom and a “peace treaty settlement freely agreed between Germany and its former opponents for all of Germany” as their common goal and affirmed that “the final Determination of the borders of Germany until this regulation has to be postponed «.

Since 1947 the German question became part of the East-West antagonism. After the failure of various allied plans for German reunification at the Geneva Conferences in 1955 and 1959 (Edenplan, Herterplan), the Western powers accepted the status quo in Germany and Europe. The global political antagonism between the nuclear powers formed the main perspective on the question of German unity. The Western powers did not intervene either in the popular uprising in the GDR on June 17, 1953 (June seventeenth) or in the building of the Wall on August 13, 1961 (Berlin Wall). Their goal was a “final and stable settlement in Europe” that also included German unity (Harmel report from 1967). In the Cold War era, the “solution to the German question” was therefore only possible within the framework of an international and European solution.

German Unity - the Western View