West Germany wanted to buy the East from USSR
The American files show that chancellor Ludwig Erhard, despite being credited as one of the men behind West Germany's post-war economic miracle, was prepared to hand over a huge sum of money to Moscow for the prize of reunification.
A document seen by the German news magazine Der Spiegel records a conversation between a German government official and George McGhee, the US ambassador to Bonn, in October 1963. The American was told Germany was prepared to pay over $2 billion a year for a decade to Moscow in return for East Germany: a sum which then amounted to about a quarter of West Germany's GDP.
The conversation ties in with a CIA report from the same year, which said Mr Erhard had "suggested he was willing to offer 'substantial' sacrifices by West Germany perhaps in the form of economic aid in return for Soviet concessions on reunification".
Under the so-called "Erhard plan", in return for the money Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader, would agree to a phased withdraw from East Germany, leading to self-determination and eventual reunification....
comments powered by Disqus
- 115-Year-Old Shipwreck Finally Located Along Lake Superior's 'Shipwreck Coast'
- There’s no surge in immigrant children across the border
- A Chinese boy has made the discovery of a lifetime by stumbling across a 3,000-year-old bronze sword
- President Nixon Overrode Near Consensus of Senior U.S. Officials on Threat Posed by Israeli Nuclear Program in 1969
- Are Biblical Epics Epically Racist?
- Eric Hobsbawm is remembered as a polyglot of a kind that's vanished
- Once again Ken Burns turns to Geoffrey Ward to write his script, this time about the Roosevelts
- Historian warns that countries go into decline when they become rigid, oppress minorities, and become weak militarily
- NYT praises Kissinger’s new book as right for the times
- Critics question accuracy of new conservative-leaning social studies textbooks up for adoption in Texas