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date: 26 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article centers on the two German states in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1972, however, détente — the period of relaxation, openness, and communication between the two antagonistic superpowers and their allies — had reached its height. Many in the West no longer saw the border that separated the Germans into antagonistic political blocs as an insurmountable ‘Iron Curtain’. The building of the Berlin Wall in August 1961 had been a brutal act. Ironically, its existence opened new opportunities for encounters between West and East. Dialogue, openness, and transparency were values that many in the Federal Republic cherished in 1972. These, too, were values that West Germans wanted others to associate with their country. They were meant to articulate — at home and abroad — that West Germany had developed into a knowledge-based, technologically-advanced, internationally minded, and peaceful consumer society. Finally in 1989 both the Germanies were united on the basis of unanimous international agreements.

Keywords: German states, détente, superpowers, Iron Curtain, Berlin Wall

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