stressed that the sense of Germany's future must be preserved and that an accommodation between the two German states must be found. Important steps were taken to improve mail service and telecommunications between the two Germanys. West Germany obligated itself to pay $30 million West German marks a year to facilitate better service retroactively to 1967 and until 1973. The number of telephone lines was doubled. Steps were taken to reduce a huge West German surplus in trade with East Germany.
Finally, in August 1970, West Germany and the Soviet Union concluded a treaty on the renunciation of force in settling international disputes. The treaty contained five major provisions. These included the declaration that the relaxation of tensions in Europe was a major objective of the foreign policies of the two states; that relations between the Soviet Union and West Germany will be based on the United Nations' Charter; that the existing frontiers were inviolable; that the treaty does not affect the bilateral relations of each country with its partners; and that the ratification of the treaty accomplishes its enactment. Following this treaty, West Germany concluded another treaty, this time with Poland, on November 29, 1979. The most important provision of this treaty was the West German recognition of the Oder-Neisse line as the boundary between the two countries. In the following year, an agreement on the status of West Berlin was concluded by the four victorious powers, regulating access by mutual consent. Thus, Chancellor Brandt Ostpolitik fundamentally altered relations in Europe, and it opened the doors to further relaxation of tensions between the two blocs.
Brandt Willy, A Peace Policy for Europe ( New York, 1969); The German-Polish Dialogue ( Bonn, 1966); Griffith William E., The Ostpolitik of the Federal Republic of Germany( Cambridge, MA, 1978); Keesing's Research Report, Germany and Eastern Europe Since 1945: From the Potsdam Agreement to Chancellor Brandt's Ostpolitik ( New York, 1973); Kaiser Karl , German Foreign Policy in Transition: Bonn Between East and West ( New York, 1968).
People's Chamber (Volkskammer) of East Germany. Elections for this body, the lower house of the East German parliament, were held in the Soviet zone on October 15,1950. A single list was presented to the voters who "overwhelmingly approved" it. On September 8, the West German government issued a White Paper, which pointed out the fraudulent nature of the vote. It stated that voters had no choice, since their single alternative to voting for the official fist was not to drop the ballot into the voting box, which would have been observed. It also mentioned other questionable practices used in the elections.
The newly elected People's Chamber met for the first time in November and elected as its president Johann Dieckmann. Four vice presidents were also elected. It empowered Otto Grotewohl (see Grotewohl, Otto), one of the leaders of the Socialist Unity party, to form a government. In March 1949, the People's Chamber enacted a constitution for East Germany, changing the Soviet zone of occupation into a quasi-