Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

Schneider Eberhard, The GDR: The History, Politics, Economy, and Society of East Gemany ( London, 1978).

Gysi Klaus ( 1912-). Gysi, the son of a Jewish physician in Berlin, joined the German Communist party in 1931. He studied at several European universities and worked for a time as an editor in a private publishing house. After Adolf Hitler came to power, Gysi worked in the underground Communist party and eventually escaped to France. In 1946, he returned to the Soviet zone of occupation and was immediately co-opted into the Politburo of the German Communist party. Between 1948 and 1950, Gysi was secretary general of the Communist party. In that year, however, he was removed and appointed to head the East German state publishing house (see Aufbau Verlag). After 1956, he was rehabilitated and served as minister of culture in Walter Ulbricht's government until 1966, when he was appointed East German ambassador to Italy. In 1980, he was recalled and appointed state secretary for religious affairs and he remained in that post until the collapse of the communist system and the reunification of Germany.


Bibliography

Krisch Henry, The German, Democratic Republic: The Search for Identity ( Boulder, CO, 1985).

Hallstein Doctrine. In 1955, the Soviet Union recognized the Federal Republic of (West) Germany as a sovereign state. However, the West German government was not required to recognize East Germany as an equal. On September 22, 1955, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer made a statement in the West German parliament according to which the Federal Republic of Germany ( West Germany) would break off diplomatic relations with any country that recognized the East German government, and would not enter into diplomatic relations with any communist state except the Soviet Union. This decision was known as the Hallstein doctrine, named after Dr. Walter Hallstein, who was foreign secretary of West Germany at that time.

This doctrine was observed by West Germany on three occasions. When Syria agreed in 1956 to the opening of an East German consulate in Damascus, West Germany recalled its ambassador from that country. When Yugoslavia extended diplomatic recognition to East Germany in 1957, West Germany withdrew its diplomatic mission from Belgrade. Finally, in 1963, when Cuba agreed to the establishment of an East German embassy in Havana, West Germany broke off all relations with that country.

Another example of the application of the Hallstein doctrine was the denial of aid to the United Arab Republic in 1965 after Walter Ulbricht (see Ulbricht Walter) was received in Cairo as a head of state on official visit. When the Federal Republic of Germany decided to establish diplomatic relations with Romania in January 1967, it was the first instance of the abandonment of the Hallstein doctrine. In 1969, however, West Germany suspended diplomatic relations with Campuchea when that country

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