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Ostpolitik


Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Extract

German term for “eastern policy.” In the era of nazism , it came to denote hitler's plans for seizure of Slavic territories, including those of the Soviet Union (see also lebensraum ; new order ). Later, the context shifted so that its meaning now related principally to the policies pursued by the federal republic of germany in regard to the german democratic republic . With the rising influence of the Social Democratic politician brandt (foreign minister 1966–9, and chancellor 1969–74), Ostpolitik became associated most specifically with the FRG's moves towards abandoning previous efforts to secure the complete political, economic, and cultural isolation of its East German neighbour. The early benefits of this shift (to which from 1971 onward the GDR's new honecker administration itself became opportunistically responsive) included mutual de facto recognition of existing borders and of Berlin's status. Brandt's initiatives also opened the way for the basic treaty agreed between the two Germanys in December 1972, and for the admittance of each to the united nations in 1973. The FRG's more conciliatory approach continued during the chan-cellorship of his party colleague schmidt (1974–82), and indeed even after the 1982 election victory of kohl's Christian Democrats (see christian democracy ) who had earlier opposed it. Over the longer run, the development of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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