Walter Ulbricht and Recognition of the GDR in International Law
The article studies the role of the East Germany party and state leader Walter Ulbricht in the development of the foreign policy strategy of 1949-1971, that aimed at recognition of the German Democratic Republic in international law by joining the United Nations. The article dwells on internal (the building of socialism, the struggle for political power in the East German leadership) and external (the Cold War, change of Soviet leaders) factors, that affected Ulbricht’s foreign policy ideas and activities in the context of relationships between the GDR and the USSR as well as between the GDR and the FRG. It disputes a common view of Russian and foreign historiographers that Ulbricht adopted confrontational posture in relation to the German Question. The consideration is given to Ulbricht’s flexibility in pursuing the goal and his aptitude for innovation. The article concludes that, notwithstanding Ulbricht’s efforts to anticipate the GDR recognition in international law, the resolution of this issue depended on the state of Soviet - West German and East - West relations, the latter experiencing the era of detente on the cusp of 1960s and 1970s.
Key words: the GDR, Walter Ulbricht, the German Question, the UNO, détente
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