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
- King Tut had overbite, club foot because his parents were brother and sister
- Prehistoric humans were far smarter than previously assumed
- Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq
- Where Mud Is Archaeological Gold, Russian History Grew on Trees
- Conflict Uncovers a Ukrainian Identity Crisis Over Deep Russian Roots
- Highlights of the recent Oral History Association Meeting
- Rick Perlstein response to Sam Tanenhaus's complaint that he's an aggregator
- Thai historian faces charges for daring to challenge a story about a royal king
- It's Rick Perlstein vs. Judith Stein in a Three Round Fight
- Park Honan, a Biographer of Authors, Is Dead at 86