West Germany 3

West Germany Part III

According to CALCULATORINC.COM, the legal relations between the Allies and the Federal Republic were of great importance for the implementation of the government’s economic and political programs. These relations evolved through some fundamental stages: equality of the BRD within the OEEC and consequent participation in the aid provided for by the Marshall plan, with October 1949; its acceptance into the European Council on March 31, 1950; signature of the deed of incorporation, together with France, Italy and Benelux, of the European Coal and Steel Community (April 18, 1951). The international tension resulting from the Korean crisis of the summer of 1950 had also contributed significantly to transforming the notion of Germany as a defeated country to be controlled, into that of a partner. freely consenting politician. Finally, due to the Paris Convention of 23 October 1954, the occupation regime ceased; and consequently the allied military administrations were dissolved on 5 May of the following year, while – and this was undoubtedly the ultimate goal of the Paris treaties – the Federal Republic became part of NATO. But the sovereignty of the BRD suffered, in the very act of its granting, some contrasting limitations. Thus in the legislative field, where the Allies imposed the non-repeal of the laws and sentences in the meantime issued by the occupation authorities and concerning the punishment of Nazi war criminals; in the military one, in which conditions were established for the further stationing in German territory of allied contingents; and finally in relation to previous international commitments, the three Western powers reserving the further maintenance of their rights and responsibilities concerning Berlin and Germany, until reunification and the conclusion of a peace treaty. For the Western Allies, it was a question of not renouncing the principle of the quadripartite alliance with the USSR and, no less, of direct control of the German situation: both inextricably linked up to now with the destinies of world equilibrium and peace.

State sovereignty and German reunification have always constituted, alongside and before the problems of internal politics, the fundamental themes of governmental activity in Bonn Germany. Since the birth of the federal republic, they have also been the ultimate goal of K. Adenauer’s policy, and in the success resulting from the Paris accords of 1954, the essential reason for its quasi-plebiscitary confirmation in the 1957 elections, as well as for its progressive strengthening. of a democracy with a paternalistic direction (which is often called, by the prestigious protagonist, the Chancellor’s democracy: Kanzlerdemokratie). The guiding principle of this policy has hitherto been based on the concept that the internal and external strength of the federal republic would be the direct consequence of its loyalty to the Allies, in the struggle that pits them against the USSR. Hence, too, the victory won by the government in the biggest internal political battle in recent years, the one that took place the day after and as a consequence of the BRD’s accession to NATO for the introduction of compulsory military service, and which ended, despite the fierce Social Democratic defense of the constitutional principle that enshrined the right of conscientious objectors, with the approval of the law on conscription (July 7, 1956). Equally successful were the subsequent stages of the government rearmament policy, with the introduction of thepopular referendumon the installation of missile bases, during 1958-59. Also the crisis following the government’s decision to place ex-members of the Hitler Waffen-SS into the cadres of the new federal army up to the rank of colonel (11 September 1957) – a decision that had sparked violent protests by the opposition in parliament and in the country – was resolved once again by the authority of the Chancellor, who intervened to change the person of his own Minister of Defense (October 16, replacement of Th. Blank by F.-J. Strauss) where the weapons associations and right-wing groups collective rehabilitation was openly praised.

All consequences, moreover, of a foreign policy inspired by the country’s adhesion to military duties imposed by NATO since 1954. Another fundamental directive of the federal government in international relations (a field in which Adenauer’s influence, even after H. von Brentano’s assumption of the foreign ministry in 1955, appears predominant) is the active presence within the bodies aimed at to achieve the integration of Western Europe economically and politically, on the obvious assumption that the greater industrial potential must ensure the BDR, within such a community of states, a predominant function. Therefore, the meetings of the European Economic Community have seen the German representation engaged, from 1958 to today, in the defense of implementation of the Common Market through the reduction to the minimum level of customs tariffs and, at the same time, in a mediating action aimed at creating the free trade area between the 11 OEEC states. The disputes that arose in this regard with France, a supporter of protective duties, did not prevent the increasingly cordial collaboration between the two countries: after the successful solution of the Saar problem (which with its return to the federal republic, politically implemented with the 1st January 1957 and economically perfected on July 5, 1959, has so far represented the only concrete success of a policy of national reunification) this collaboration has taken on, through subsequent personal contacts between De Gaulle and Chancellor Adenauer, the economic and even military characteristics of a particular alliance.

West Germany 3

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