West Germany And The Cold War- 1960S Essay, Research Paper

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Cold War

October 11, 2000

The Cold War and West Germany 1960-1970

During the formative old ages of the Cold War, Germany had become both the possible balancer and ideological battlefield between the East and the West. After Stalin & # 8217 ; s decease in 1953 tensenesss between the United States and the Soviet Union seemed to be bettering. However, by the late fiftiess when Khruschev took over power, ill will was on the rise due to his attempts to strong-arm the United States into & # 8220 ; d? tente through intimidation. & # 8221 ; Khruschev wished for, among other things, a reunited Germany under Soviet footings and conditions. The Soviet Union & # 8217 ; s attempts to intimidate the United States led to several planetary crises. & # 8220 ; Ironically, two of these crises, the building of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis, likely set the phase for a subsequent betterment of world power dealingss in the late 1960s. & # 8221 ; ( Patton, Page 62. ) In visible radiation of the more hushed degree of the Cold War, the sixtiess were important to West Germany & # 8217 ; s place in the Cold War. Passage and disagreement marked the 2nd decennary of the Cold War.

Due to the turning West German economic system and the impairment of the economic system in East Germany, during the late fiftiess and early 1960s many in-between category East Germans crossed the boundary line dividing East and West Berlin and from at that place traveled freely to West Germany. These work forces and adult females were typically immature, skilled workers- physicians, attorneies, business communities, and the similar. They were merrily welcomed by the West and helped to do the economic system that much better. & # 8220 ; Before the Wall was erected in 1961 the wage degrees of craftsmen and professionals were broadcast from FRG wireless Stationss ( accessible in the GDR ) , particularly if a deficit occurred in a peculiar field. & # 8221 ; ( Perkins, Page 494. ) In add-on to greater incomes, West Germany offered a better exchange rate, more profitable currency, and the freedoms of Western Europe and North America.

Throughout 1960, East Germany & # 8217 ; s Walter Ulbricht had been pleading to the Soviet Union to make something to halt this inflow of the rational category into West Germany but Khruschev was wary of doing a unequivocal move. It wasn & # 8217 ; t until Ulbricht asked Khruschev for more economic assistance that the Soviet leader realized how bad the state of affairs was in East Germany and how deeply it depended on the West. & # 8220 ; Ulbricht undercut his ain statement with Khruschev, nevertheless, when he asked Moscow for more economic support and particularly when he asked Khruschev to supply eventuality assistance in instance West Germany used economic countenances to revenge against East German moves against West Berlin. & # 8221 ; ( Smyser, Page 146. )

When Kennedy became president in 1961, he was eager to come to a more solid understanding between the Soviet Union and the United States in respects to Berlin for he feared that a confrontation would ensue in a atomic war. Khruschev thought Kennedy weak and tested endangering him during their meeting in Vienna but in the hebdomads that followed the United States showed that they would non give in to the Soviets footings of fusion. The United States made it clear that it would support their rights to & # 8220 ; the freedom of West Berlin, Allied rights in West Berlin, and Western entree to West Berlin & # 8221 ; but it made no move to battle for East Berlin. ( Smyser, Page 156. ) Therefore, on August 13, 1961, barbed wire was rolled along the sector boundary line between East and West Berlin ; the wall itself was to follow. The Berlin Wall was a landmark juncture between East and West Germany. The Soviets had shown that they were willing to travel to great lengths to protect the Soviet axis, even if this meant palisading in East Germany. In making so, the hopes of reuniting East and West Germany faded.

The 2nd & # 8220 ; crises & # 8221 ; faced in the 1960s was the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The tense confrontation that followed left the universe on the threshold of atomic war and finally ended in Khrushchev endorsing down and retreating their missiles from Cuba. & # 8220 ; After the crisis, Khrushchev eventually gave up his hopes of intimidating the West into seeking vitamin D? tente. Improved dealingss followed between the two world powers, and by 1963 they had negotiated a atomic test-ban treaty. & # 8221 ; ( Patton, Page 63. ) During the balance of the 1960s dealingss between the two world powers bit by bit improved. The Americans were eager for improved communicating between West Germany ( FRG ) and the Soviet axis because & # 8220 ; West German intransigency jeopardized their ain vitamin D? tente efforts. & # 8221 ; ( Patton, Page 63. ) However, the attempts of the United States and Western Europe to better dealingss between West Germany and the East undercut Bonn & # 8217 ; s attempts to go on its & # 8220 ; hardline & # 8221 ; attitude towards it. & # 8220 ; In short, Bonn & # 8217 ; s Ostpolitik was premised on a nonrecognition of the East. This did non show a job at the tallness of the Cold War when the West had few diplomatic, economic, and political ties to the Soviet bloc. & # 8221 ; ( Patton, Page 62. ) West German Chancellor of the Exchequer Konrad Adenauer and his replacement Ludwig Erhard had refused to admit East Germany as a province along with the Oder-Neisse Line. As the decennary progressed, the common desires of the United States and the Soviet Union to neutralize dealingss sing the territorial position quo of Europe made the Soviet Union lupus erythematosus of a menace to West Germany and ensured that its position as a province apart from its eastern opposite number would be around for some clip to come.

West German foreign dealingss besides became an issue during the sixtiess for Bonn was torn between prosecuting plans with Washington or Paris, and neither plan to the full represented foreign involvement. & # 8220 ; Choosing for Washington meant back uping a strategic position that the German authorities no longer viewed as to the full functioning German security involvements

; and choosing for Paris meant back uping a European order that fell far short of Bonn’s penchants. Furthermore, neither Washington non Paris pursued Eastern policies that satisfied Bonn and that could hold allayed Bonn’s intuitions that its Alliess had lost involvement in deciding the issue of Germany’s division.” ( Hanrieder, Page 320. ) With the atomic weaponries spread well lessened and the United States was no longer the atomic giant, Europe worried that the United States was non every bit committed as they had antecedently thought to the protection of Europe through NATO. West Germany was particularly fearful of this sing its anchor place between the East and the West and the long old ages of contention environing it. In add-on, Washington’s policy was aimed towards continuing the position quo in Europe, something Germany did non desire. However, if West Germany were to see choosing with a Gallic foreign policy, they would be conflicting with many of import issues and inquiries of import to their state. Besides, they would be earnestly taking themselves from the security of protection from the East. “De Gaulle wanted the economic benefits of the Common Market without paying a political monetary value, whereas Adenauer was ready to pay an economic monetary value for political benefits. De Gaulle sought a European base for his planetary political aspirations ; Adenauer sought an Atlantic base for his European ambitions.” ( Hanreider, Page 321. ) In short, the policies of the United States were far to conservative and those of France were far excessively advanced. While the United States wanted things in Europe to remain how they were, France wanted to extinguish the presence of the two world powers.

The argument over foreign policy continued throughout the sixtiess as different leaders came into power. In 1963, Ludwig Erhard took over Konrad Adenauer & # 8217 ; s place as Chancellor of the Exchequer. & # 8220 ; The possibility that the United States would accede to legalizing the division of Europe and Germany- the cardinal foreign policy purpose of the Soviet Union in the 1960s- was a incubus for both Adenauer and Erhard and a go oning beginning of concern during the old ages of the & # 8220 ; Grand Coalition & # 8221 ; authorities of Kurt Georg Kiesinger and Willy Brandt? & # 8221 ; ( Hanreider, Page 324. ) Willy Brandt took the place of foreign curate in 1966 alongside Kurt Georg Kiesinger as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Brandt was considered a political mastermind and pushed Germany frontward toward new policies sing the East. & # 8220 ; Brandt however tried to stay within the wide lineations of Western foreign policy. He believed that Germany could non hold a private vitamin D? tente, but he besides believed that planetary vitamin D? tente could non win without Germany. & # 8221 ; ( Smyser, Page 217. ) Brandt and Kiesinger did non ever agree on issues and Brandt was eager to seek and win over the chancellorship in order to implement the policies that he deemed necessary for West Germany. In the 1969 election he was given his opportunity, taking West Germany into the 3rd decennary of the Cold War.

Yet another interesting turn on West German policy was its attitude towards the Westernization of German society. When & # 8220 ; stone and axial rotation & # 8221 ; music began to leak into Germany in the fiftiess along with a new manner of misss in ponytails and & # 8220 ; James Dean jackets, & # 8221 ; the state was outraged. They charged the music as interrupting a society that balanced on work forces as the suppliers and dominant figure and adult females as the housewifes and docile personalities. They saw figures such as Elvis Presley a challenge to male machismo and female gender. & # 8220 ; In the mid-1960s West German sociologists confirmed that consumer civilization was non endangering the stableness of the province. Harmonizing to Walter Jaide, striplings made usage of the offerings of consumer civilization, without rejecting & # 8216 ; timeless bourgeois conditions & # 8217 ; in political relations, faith, life style, or attitudes toward work, household, and leisure time. & # 8221 ; ( Poiger, Page 213. ) This showed an increasing acceptance to Western thoughts and a less fearful attack toward them. & # 8220 ; And by the mid-1960s the impression of a young person rebellion had all but disappeared. & # 8221 ; ( Poiger, Page 608. ) However, the young person motion was of import to West Germany for it gave females a spot more freedom in showing themselves, heightened a small-scale sexual revolution, and opened immature peoples minds to of import issues associating to both West Germany itself and the universe at big.

Therefore, as non much happened in the universe during the sixtiess after the sign language of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963, the sixtiess were of import old ages for West Germany in which it was forced to come to footings with itself as a state. Faced with of import issues sing how it would put itself in foreign policy, West Germany continued to contend for an eventual reunion of the East and the West. Its economic system was booming and people were by and large happy with the class things were taking. It wasn & # 8217 ; t until the seventiess that West Germany began to steal downward a spot. The sixtiess were a period of growing and transmutation. They were the span between the first decennary and the tierce of the Cold War.

Banchoff, Thomas, The German Problem Transformed. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor: 1999.

Hanreider, Wolfram F. , & # 8220 ; The Foreign Policies of the Federal Republic of Germany, & # 8221 ; German Studies Review. Volume XII, Number 1,1989.

Patton, David F. , Cold War Politics in Postwar Germany. St. Martin & # 8217 ; s Press, New York: 1999.

Perkins, John, & # 8220 ; Restoration and Renewal? West Germany since 1945, & # 8221 ; Contemporary European History. Volume 8, 1999.

Poiger, Uta G. , Jazz, Rock, and Rebels. University of California Press. Los Angeles: 2000.

Poiger, Uta G. , & # 8220 ; Rock & # 8216 ; n & # 8217 ; Roll, Female Sexuality, and the Cold War Battle over German Identities, & # 8221 ; Journal of Modern History. Volume 68, 1996.

Smyser, W.R. , From Yalta to Berlin. St. Martin & # 8217 ; s Press, New York: 1999.


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