1
Unified, but not United

What belongs together is growing together. ( ( Willy Brandt, 10 November 1989)

THREE hundred and twenty-nine days after the opening of the Berlin Wall, on 3 October 1990, the two German states of the post-war world merged. For most Germans this event was a re-unification (Wiedervereinigung), the restoration of a normal and natural state of affairs that had been arbitrarily interrupted for the previous four decades. The instrument that sealed the merger used more cautious language. It was the Unification Treaty (Einigungsvertrag). In this way it passed no judgement on the process at work; it made a statement about the present and the future, not about the past.

At one level the process of unification was straightforward. The German Democratic Republic ( GDR), founded in 1949 under Soviet aegis, acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany ( FRG) in accordance with Article 23 of the FRG's Basic Law. This state, too, had been founded in 1949, under the aegis of the Western Allies. Both states thought of themselves as provisional. Their constitutions proclaimed German national unity as the ultimate aim; their dominant political leaders assumed that unification would take place on their terms. Hence the provision in the Basic Law that 'other parts of Germany' might in future apply for accession; hence the parallel provision in the GDR's constitution that Germany was an 'indivisible democratic republic'. For reasons that will emerge in the course of this book, the prospect of unity receded further and further in the forty years that followed until few believed that it would happen in their lifetimes. Yet when it did happen, it went through as the Founding Fathers of the FRG had prescribed. The first democratically elected government of the GDR, which emerged from the elections of 18 March 1990, formally applied to join the FRG.

Political union had been preceded on 1 July 1990 by economic,

-3-

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German Politics, 1945-1995
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgements vi
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • Chronology xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Unified, but not United 3
  • 3 - The Adenauer Era 51
  • 4 - The Second Foundation of the Federal Republic 71
  • 5 - The Other Germany 90
  • 6 - Ostpolitik 108
  • 7 - Modell Deutschland 129
  • 8 - A New Germany 155
  • Conclusion 183
  • Appendix I. Tables of Election Results 187
  • Appendix II. Figure of Economic Performance 189
  • Suggestions for Further Reading 190
  • Index 193
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