Dealing with the Devil: East Germany, Detente, and Ostpolitik, 1969-1973

By M. E. Sarotte | Go to book overview

six
Sealing the Bargain in 1972–1973:
The Basic Treaty in the Context
of the International Cold War

The Quadripartite Agreement, the Transit Accord, and the Trafic Treaty were now signed. Brandt had survived the vote of no conidence. Bonn, East Berlin, and their allies could inally turn to long-sought goals: achieving ratiication of both the Moscow and Warsaw Treaties and agreeing on a treaty of basic relations between the two halves of divided Germany. Meanwhile, the SED sought international recognition in the form of UN membership for the GDR, if necessary as part of an East/West German dual entry. By the end of 1973, all these goals had been achieved. Explaining why involves exploring the motives of the Soviets and the SED.

The Soviets saw the Moscow Treaty as both a vindication and a guarantee of their sphere of influence. In Moscow's eyes, the accord was a kind of de facto peace treaty to World War II. 1 Moscow also viewed it as a useful hedge against the prospect of German reuniication, or against overly close GermanAmerican cooperation, which could turn nuclear. All of these implications were extremely important to Moscow at a time when China maintained its threatening stance.

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