Francois Mitterrand im Prozess der Wiedervereinigung Deutschlands (German Edition)

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In addition, the parts of the letter reproduced are not presented literally. It should also be kept in mind, he observed, with regard to the request of Austria to become a member of the European Economic Community. The innocent reader is made to believe that it is Attali that he or she is reading. Of this paragraph there is no trace in Verbatim. Still, Thatcher clung also to the prerogatives of the four Allied Powers and thus communicated to Gorbachev, with the final part of her letter, the readiness of the British government to use those prerogatives.

The content of the note can be found in Verbatim , but — as in the examples given here already — not in a faithful manner.


Their subjects had been a number of security matters, especially the question of a continued American military presence in Europe, the attitude of the Germans towards it, and the upcoming NATO summit in Paris. Alterations were made in particular to adapt the note to its principal transformation from being a report of Admiral Lanxade to appearing in Verbatim as a report of Jacques Attali.

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It may serve, besides, as a road map for prospective research. Nevertheless, the persistent problematic state of historiography on our topic that we just described still requires many clarifications. It exists only through me. The principal actors in Bonn, Paris, Washington, London, Moscow — Presidents, Heads of government, Ministers, their closest advisers — knew each other well, had built up among one another or were doing so , in varying degrees, productive professional relationships that often had a personal touch; they viewed each other through the modes of collegial curiosity, intelligence sharing, professional creativity, and, quite importantly, trust.

Excellent examples could be drawn from the meetings between Mitterrand and Bush, or from their telephone conversations. A case in point is the telephone conversation they had on January 27,, with those passages:. The President [George Bush]:. President Mitterrand: No, I am also working. The President: Yes, of course. I share your concern on that. Tell me, do you worry more about the neutralization of Germany now than you did when we last talked? The President:. President Mitterrand: Yes, it makes sense. I have mentioned my concerns. The President: It might be good for you, if you have the opportunity, to express these concerns directly to Kohl.

You know her better than I do. Without this group of people accustomed to working with one another, the unification process would surely not have happened as it did: there would have been far more difficulties, or even blunders, in the process. Together they formed a political axis, reinforced by friendship, along which matters that, in the political process between Paris and Bonn, had been impaired or misunderstood, could be — and were indeed — taken up productively and steered towards a resolution. The French side used the axis, among other things, for putting Chancellor Kohl in a politically desirable context.

The French were expecting exacting negociations with the German Chancellor at the summit. Do you wish that the Ministers of Foreign Affairs be present? The principal advantage is that M. Along the Dumas-Genscher axis travelled news from Bonn also about a sharp dissonance in the fall of between Chancellor and Foreign Minister. The contact is cut since then. Studying the archival sources on our topic is not least of all an hermeneutical undertaking.

During the conversations with each other the governmental actors, more accidentally than intentionally, displayed traits of their character and pondered and assessed together the characters of absent actors, something they obviously did shrewdly and purposely. They produced a political characterology of themselves, and one of others. Mitterrand — the person who, given our topic, interests us here most — appears in a variety of character roles.

The irresistible Madame Thatcher had to capitulate, at Fontainebleau, tears in her eyes,. From early on — to switch to the characterological exercices of the actors — a certain image of Margaret Thatcher — another person who interests us here particularly — took hold in the Mitterrand government. After he had observed Thatcher at a meeting in Brussels, Claude Cheysson, the first Foreign Minister in French governments under President Mitterrand, put down his assessment on a sheet of paper and handed it over to the President.

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When she encounters a wall, she retreats, as soon as an opening is produced, she believes that it is large and limitless, and she regains all her massiveness of attack. To find a compromise with her, it is necessary to refuse permanently to shift, which is contradictory. For instance, at their meeting on May 21, in Kennebunkport, President Bush and President Mitterrand, while talking about Germany, promptly expressed their worrries about the British Prime Minister.

They had been publicly and repeatedly laid down already by Charles de Gaulle, and had been upheld by French governments ever since. In the years afterwards he specified two of those conditions, requesting a definitive recognition of the Order-Neisse line as well as a renunciation of nuclear weapons by Germany. Mitterrand and his government fully adopted, modified, and actualized the objectives of the preceding French governments.

The more Helmut Kohl hesitated, the more he persisted. As long as Moscow tightly held the reins over the Soviet empire, all talk about a reunification of Germany would be futile. In pointing this out, Mitterrand could be misunderstood; one could allege, if one wished, that he was opposed to a reunification of Germany and therefore any opposition of the Soviet Union to it would have suited him well. Things happened differently, however. Mitterrand held another objective.

It was the overriding one. Throughout his presidency he strove, and consistently in conjunction with Chancellor Kohl, for a grand design: the construction of a unified Europe. He conceived the occurrence of a reunification of Germany within the greater event of a European unification. The French President succinctly expressed his thoughts on that matter in a setting which he often chose for articulating his ideas, namely in a political conversation.

Germany can continue on her way within the [European] Community whilst exerting her pressure for making the wall disappear. This is not contradictory.

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Europe, France can help her. If Germany took her route alone, in a solitary manner, this would be something else. None of his requests was a Mitterrandian extravagance; all were shared by policy advisers and policy makers in the American and British government. We favor continued EC integration. The key is a strengthened EC. We must move on arms control, on EC integration, on European monetary union, and on US-EC cooperation all at the same time in order to create a new Europe.

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We are friends of Germany. The words, spoken by a French President to a German Chancellor, fell on incredulous ears. For Helmut Schmidt they evidently expressed a far-fetched idea. Mitterrand, however, believed in his idea. At that time, the dominated countries will be able to regain freedom, and the [East] Germans, now magnetized by the other Germany, will have a tremendous opportunity. This is a matter of some twenty years, so it is a question of patience.

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You, in any event, cannot decree that you are going to equip yourself with nuclear weapons. You cannot decree reunification, but it is necessary to start from the principle according to which everything that is not impossible is possible. What matters are not theories or opinions, but the empirical data.

I adhere to my obligation to preserve the balance balans in Europe, and to preserve peace mir. The first one solely concerned the Germans. They would have to obtain, through a popular vote, a basis of legitimacy for a movement towards unification as it was indeed secured by the elections on March 18, to the East German Parliament. The second part concerned not only the Germans but other nations as well: the Four Allies, the community of European states.

The existence of two German states in Germany, along with a special entity, Greater Berlin, constitute only a temporary situation that shall not be definitive in law or questioned until the signature of the Peace Treaty to be concluded between the four Allies and Germany or the two German states.

Germany's neighbors try to redeem their 1989 negativity

In other words, the Allies, by exercising or reserving on each occasion since their quadripartite rights and responsibilities, ensured the preservation of the principle of German unity. Against the factual reality of a divided Germany stood the juridical reality of a united Germany, and France, as one of the Allies, represented this juridical reality. The US are perceived as the most supportive of German aspirations even while laying down conditions for German unity. Indeed, Washington squarely set rules according to which a reunification of Germany was allowed to occur.

It takes time,. It takes a prudent evolution. First, self-determination must be pursued without prejudice to its outcome. Third, in the interests of general European stability, moves toward unification must be peaceful, gradual, and part of a step-by-step process. Lastly, on the question of borders, we should reiterate our support for the principles of the Helsinki Final Act. We cabled them [the four principles] to all European posts to guide our ambassadors, and a few days later, the European Community adopted them as well [our emphasis].

I am convinced that our principles calmed Moscow, London, and Paris. This process should take place peacefully and democratically, in full respect of the relevant agreements and treaties and of all the principles defined by the Helsinki Final Act, in a context of dialogue and East-West cooperation. It also has to be placed in the perspective of European integration. At his meeting on June , in Madrid, the European Council had fixed the date of July 1, for the initiation of the intergovermental conference with which the preparations for the EMU would begin.

Mitterrand and his advisers, as well as Jacques Delors, head of the European Commission, and Roland Dumas and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, expected the organizational work for the establishment of the EMU to take place in a timely manner, once it had been started. As did Helmut Kohl, naturally, with a substantive reservation, though.

Already before the summit at Madrid, he had told Mitterrand that he wished the intergovernmental conference to begin only in , and that he would never publicly announce that date. When the two men spoke again to each other the next morning, Kohl simply refused to talk about the date of the intergovernmental conference. Two days later Genscher and Dumas met in Paris too. The Chancellor had, as Dumas related, at first spoken about what was happening in East Germany. Mitterrand had not understood what Kohl actually wished to say.