Both East and West German Ambassadors to the United Nations addressed the General Assembly on Wednesday (24 September) on the controversial issue of possible German unification.
GV PAN ACROSS Delegates seated (SILENT) (2 shots)
GV Herr Genscher speaking (GERMAN SOUND)
TV & SV Delegates seated (SILENT) (2 shots)
GV East German UN representative, Herr Fischer addressing council (GERMAN SOUND, FOLLOWED BY APPLAUSE)
Initials BB/0210 EW/JB/BB/0150
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Both East and West German Ambassadors to the United Nations addressed the General Assembly on Wednesday (24 September) on the controversial issue of possible German unification.
Giving the West German view, Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher told delegates that his country had not abandoned their hopes for a unified German nation. Speaking in German, he said it was West Germany's aim "to work for a state of peace in Europe in which the German nation will regain its unit through free self-determination".
Herr Genscher's comments came as he outlined West German policies on peace and detente. The barometer of detente, Herr Genscher said, was Berlin--Germany's divided city.
In reply, the East German delegate, Herr Oscar Fischer--also speaking in German-said that the people of East Germany had "irrevocably decided in favour of Socialism" but have a profound interest in mutually beneficial international relations for the maintenance of peace and security. He pledged his country's support to the United Nations in all matters relating to peace and co-operation.
Relations between East and West Germany have only eased in the last five years since the historic Erfurt summit in 1970--when East and West German leaders met for the first time. The summit came after almost 25 years of hostility, marked by the bitter refusal of each state to recognise officially the existence of the other. Recognition came in December, 1972, after two-and-a-half uncertain years of negotiation, with the "Good Neighbour" treaty acknowledging the post-war division of Germany into two states. That paved the way for both countries to join the United Nations.
This film includes excerpts of both Herr Genscher and Herr Fischer speaking in German. An alternative commentary is provided overleaf.