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German Eastern Treaties: 40 Years Later. A Discussion with Egon Bahr and Klaus Schütz

Willy Brandt’s Close Advisers Discuss the Consequences of German Unity for Europe: October 27 at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 316/2010 from Oct 22, 2010

“German Eastern Treaties: 40 Years Later. German Unity and the Consequences for Europe” is the topic of an event to be held by the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Freie Universität Berlin, on October 27. Two close advisers of Willy Brandt, Egon Bahr, a former federal minister, and Klaus Schütz, a former mayor of Berlin, will discuss the topic. The discussion will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Eberhard Sandschneider, professor of political science at Otto Suhr Institute. The event will be held in German. It is open to the public and no registration required.

Egon Karl-Heinz Bahr, born in 1922 in Thuringia, is often referred to as the “architect of the Eastern Treaties.” He is also credited with the concepts “change through rapprochement” and the “policy of small steps.” He is considered one of Willy Brandt’s closest advisers with regard to the social liberal Eastern policy. From 1960 to 1966 Bahr was the head of the Press and Information Office for the State of Berlin. In that capacity he was the spokesperson for the Senate of Berlin, which at that time was led by Mayor Willy Brandt. From 1966 to 1969 Bahr served as an ambassador. Following the West German federal election in 1969, Bahr, an SPD politician, became Secretary of State of the German Chancellery as well as an appointed representative of the Federal Cabinet of Germany in Berlin. In this capacity Bahr served as an emissary and negotiator in Moscow and East Berlin with respect to the Treaty of Moscow, the Treaty of Warsaw, the Transit Treaty of 1971, and the Basic Treaty [1972| concluded with the German Democratic Republic. From 1972 to 1974 Bahr was a German Federal Minister for Special Affairs. Brandt’s successor Helmut Schmidt appointed him to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Klaus Schütz, born in 1926 in Heidelberg, was the mayor of Berlin from 1967 to 1977. His political career began after World War II on the far left wing of the SPD. He led a Trotskyist youth group in Berlin-Zehlendorf. In 1949 Schütz went to the United States on a student exchange. After his return he became a follower of Willy Brandt. From 1962 to 1966 Schütz was Senator for Federal Affairs and an appointed representative of the Federal Cabinet of Germany in Berlin. From 1966 to 1967 he was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and from 1967 to 1968 President of the German parliament. After his retirement from federal politics, he became the German ambassador to Israel. From 1981 to 1987 he was Director General of Deutsche Welle in Cologne, and later director of the state broadcasting station in Northrhine-Westphalia.

Further Information

Time and Place:

  • Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Institute for East European Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Garystr. 55, 14 195 Berlin, Lecture Hall A, subway station: Thielplatz (U3)

For further information, please contact:

  • Prof. Dr. Eberhard Sandschneider, Freie Universität Berlin,
    Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, Email: polchina@zedat.fu-berlin.de