How far did relations between the GDR and the FRG improve in the years 1961-1985?

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How far did relations between the GDR and the FRG improve in the years 1961-1985?

Advantages

  • Brandt visited the GDR in 1970, people greeted him enthusiastically
  • Agreements were made that meant West German citizens could visit the GDR
  • Ostpolitik brought significant economic and diplomatic advantages for the GDR
  • The GDR received over DM 15 billion in loans from the FRG
  • 1970 - The Treaty of Moscow: the FRG and the USSR agreed to no territorial claims against each other
  • 1970 - The Treaty of Warsaw: the FRG accepted the border between the GDR and Poland
  • 1971 - Four Powers' Agreement: this allowed West Berliners to visit East Berlin and secured Soviet acceptance of this provision
  • 1972 - Basic Treaty: saw the FRG and GDR both acknowledge the existence of each other as states and agree to settle disputes without threatening or using force
  • West Berliners could visit the GDR for up to 30 days a year
  • In 1971 communication became easier as telephone lines between East and West Berlin resumed

Disadvantages

  • Ostpolitik - Brandt believed that closer links, especially with trade, stood more chance of undermining the GDR in the long run
  • The SED was concerned that increased relations with the FRG would undermine the GDR
  • The SED made it difficult for East Germans to visit the West
  • Apart from business and sports competitors it was exceptionally hard to get a permit
  • In 1973 the amount of currency that Westerners needed to get a visa to visit the GDR was doubled, this led to falling numbers of visitors in 1974
  • A further increase in the amount of money that had to be exchanged into GDR currency was made in 1983, in response to the FRG allowing NATO to deploy nuclear weapons within its territory

Evaluation

Largely a success. 

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