German Ostpolitik before and after unification: continuity and change
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In this study one of the most important aspects of German foreign policy, "Ostpolitik", is examined. The aim is to explain and discuss the changes in the nature of the Ostpolitik before and after the unification in terms of its general political and economic objectives, motives, and consequences. A review of the Westpolitik oriented Christian Democrat era (1950-1969) and a brief history of OsLhandel are given in order to investigate the origins of the radical Ostpolitik of the early 1970s. Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik became the hottest political topic in the 1970s and achieved, since the end of the Second World War, a "modus vivendi" with the Eastern European countries, which was a big step toward unification. A new era began for the Germans. Unification on October 3, 1990 was achieved with Kohl’s Ostpolitik, that is with timely and well applied policies paralleling the changing Cold War structure. In ox'der to illustrate the changes in the nature of Ostpolitik, Germany’s new relationships with the former Soviet Union, Poland, and Czechoslovakia (until div'ision) are analysed. Finally, in the concluding chapter Bonn’s new understanding of Ostpolitik is evaluated and discussed.