• Short Summary

    WEST GERMAN CHANCELLOR, WILLY BRANDT, WILL ON THURSDAY (19 MARCH) CROSS THE BARBED WIRE AND MINEFIELDS THAT SEPARATE THE TWO GERMANIES FOR TOP-LEVEL TALKS WITH EAST GERMAN PRIME MINISTER, WILLI STOPH.

  • Description

    WEST GERMAN CHANCELLOR, WILLY BRANDT, WILL ON THURSDAY (19 MARCH) CROSS THE BARBED WIRE AND MINEFIELDS THAT SEPARATE THE TWO GERMANIES FOR TOP-LEVEL TALKS WITH EAST GERMAN PRIME MINISTER, WILLI STOPH. THE SITE FOR THE TALKS, THE FIRST BETWEEN LEADERS OF THE TWO STATES SINCE THEY WERE BOTH CREATED IN 1949, IS THE EAST GERMAN CITY OF ERFURT.

    ERFURT WAS APPARENTLY CHOSEN AS A COMPROMISE BECAUSE IT'S ALMOST EQUIDISTANT BETWEEN BONN AND BERLIN.

    AGREEMENT TO TOLD THE TALKS WAS REACHED AFTER AN ALMOST UNPRECEDENTED EAST GERMAN CONCESSION. ORIGINALLY THE EAST GERMANS HAD INSISTED THE MEETING TAKE PLACE IN EAST BERLIN AND THAT ON HIS WAY TO AND FROM THE CITY, HERR BRANDT MUST NOT SET FOOT IN WEST BERLIN.

    ONLY THREE DAYS BEFORE THE MEETING EAST GERMANY POINTEDLY RECALLED KEY CLAUSES OF ITS DRAFT TREATY FOR EQUAL RELATIONS WITH WEST GERMANY AS THE BEST TOPIC FOR DISCUSSION AT THURSDAY'S SUMMIT.

    THE EAST GERMAN COMMUNIST PARTY NEWSPAPER, NEUES DEUTSCHLAND, HAS CONTINUED ITS PRESSURE ON BONN TO ACCEPT, OR AT LEAST DISCUSS, THE DRAFT TREATY.

    THE NINE-POINT DRAFT WAS PRESENTED TO BONN LAST DECEMBER BY EAST GERMAN LEADER, HERR WALTER ULBRICHT. BONN FOUND IT UNACCEPTABLE AND CALLED INSTEAD FOR AN OPEN-ENDED AGENDA. BUT THE EAST GERMANS HAVE SINCE STRESSED THEY CONSIDER THE TREATY THE ONLY USEFUL BASIS FOR NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.

    KEY ARTICLES OF THE TREATY INCLUDE THE PRINCIPLE OF SOVEREIGN EQUALITY, THE REJECTION OF ANY CLAIMS TO NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND THE RECOGNITION OF PRESENT BORDERS IN EUROPE.

    IF THE FIRST ENCOUNTER, WHICH MAY LAST ONLY ONE DAY, TAKES PLACE WITHOUT MISHAP, IT'S HOPED HERR STOPH WILL LATER MEET HERR BRANDT IN BONN.

    SYNOPSIS: WEST GERMAN CHANCELLOR, HERR WILLY BRANDT, MADE HIS FIRST MAJOR POLICY SPEECH TO THE WEST GERMAN PARLIAMENT LAST OCTOBER AND STRESSED THE NEED FOR IMPROVED RELATIONS WITH EAST GERMANY. ON THURSDAY (MARCH 19) HERR BRANDT WILL CROSS THE BARBED WIRE AND MINEFIELDS THAT SEPARATE THE TWO GERMANIES FOR WHAT IS HOPED WILL BE THE FIRST IN A SERIES OF TALKS WITH EAST GERMAN PRIME MINISTER, HERR WILLI STOPH.

    THE TOPIC WAS ALSO THE MAJOR TALKING POINT AT A RECEPTION IN EAST BERLIN IN FEBRUARY FOR SOVIET FOREIGN MINISTER, ANDREI GROMYKO. DURING HIS VISIT THE SOVIET FOREIGN MINISTER HAD TALKS WITH EAST GERMAN LEADER, HERR WALTER ULBRICHT AND OTHER TOP OFFICIALS -- INCLUDING HERR STOPH. THE TALKS CENTRED ON THE BONN-MOSCOW NON- AGGRESSION PACT DISCUSSIONS AND THE FORTHCOMING BONN-EAST GERMAN TALKS IN THE EAST GERMAN TOWN OF ERFURT.

    BERLIN IN 1945. WORLD WAR TWO WAS OVER AND DEFEATED GERMANY LAY IN RUINS. THE VICTORIOUS ALLIES PARTITIONED THE COUNTRY INTO TWO MAIN SECTORS WHICH HAVE SINCE BECOME KNOWN AS EAST AND WEST.

    IN 1949, THE VETERAN GERMAN COMMUNIST HERR WALTER ULBRICHT WAS RECALLED FROM EXILE IN THE SOVIET UNION. TOGETHER WITH WILLIAM PIECK, AS PRESIDENT, HE SET ABOUT THE CREATION OF THE SEPARATE GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC.

    THE REBUILDING WAS NOT WITHOUT TROUBLE AND THE FIRST MAJOR CRISIS CAME IN 1953 WHEN WORKERS THROUGHOUT THE REPUBLIC ROSE IN REVOLT AGAINST FOOD SHORTAGES AND PRODUCTION TARGETS. THEY DEMANDED MORE FREEDOM. THE UPRISING WAS PUT DOWN WITH THE AID OF SOVIET TANKS.

    IN 1961 CONSTRUCTION OF THE BERLIN WALL BEGAN. IT WAS DESIGNED AS A DAM TO STOP THE STEADY TRICKLE OF SKILLED TECHNICIANS AND WORKERS INTO THE WEST. THE COUNTRY STOOD ON THE VERGE OF BANKRUPTCY. ITS CITIES STILL REFLECTED THE DEVASTATION OF WAR AND THE FEW INDUSTRIES WERE SUFFERING BADLY FROM THE MANPOWER DRAIN. THE WALL WAS BUILT, THE FLOW OF REFUGEES SLOWED AND THE GDR SET ITS MIND TO PRODUCTION.

    MAY DAY 1969 IN EAST BERLIN. HEAD OF STATE, HERR WALTER ULBRICHT, PRESIDED AT A 30 MINUTE MARCHPAST THAT INCLUDED SOVIET-BUILT TANKS, ARMOURED CARS AND THE LATEST MISSILES. THE MILITARY PARADE DREW A PROTEST FROM THE THREE WESTERN ALLIES IN BERLIN -- WHO WITH THE SOVIET UNION ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CITY -- ON THE GROUND THAT IT CONTRAVENED THE POSTWAR POTSDAM AGREEMENT BANNING MILITARY ACTIVITY FROM THE DIVIDED CITY.

    AT THE SAME TIME IN THE WESTERN SECTOR OF THE CITY, STUDENTS AND WORKERS STAGED A SERIES OF MARCHES AND DEMONSTRATIONS, ONE OF THE MAIN CALLS WAS FOR THE COMMENCEMENT OF A DIALOGUE BETWEEN EAST AND WEST GERMANY AND EVENTUAL REUNIFICATION OF THE TWO GERMANIES.

    IN OCTOBER THAT YEAR, THE WEST GERMAN BUNDESTAG VOTED IN THE ELECTIONS FOR THE COUNTRY'S NEW CHANCELLOR. IN THE CLOSEST ELECTION FOR 20 YEARS, THE VOTE WENT TO SOCIAL DEMOCRAT LEADER, AND FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER, HERR WILLY BRANDT. HIS MAJORITY WAS TWO VOTES. ONE OF HIS GOVERNMENTS KEY ISSUES WAS IMPROVED RELATIONS WITH EAST GERMANY. FEW ISSUES HAVE SPARKED AS MUCH CONTROVERSY IN RECENT YEARS.

    HERR BRANDT IS A SOCIALIST...AND IN 1968 TRAVELLED TO TRIER IN WEST GERMANY TO PAY TRIBUTE TO KARL MARX, WHO WAS BORN IN THE TOWN IN, 1818. IN 1967 HERR BRANDT'S SOCIAL DEMOCRAT PARTY SHED ITS CENTURY-OLD MARKIST ORIGINS. JOURNALISTS AND SCHOLARS FROM 20 COUNTRIES ATTENDED THE CEREMONY. BUT, EAST GERMAN HISTORIANS REFUSED AN INVITATION IN A SPEECH, HERR BRANDT SAID MARX'S REAL VALUE LAY IN THE IMPULSE HE GAVE TO ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH -- AND TO MODERN POLITICAL THEORIES.

    ON THE SECOND OF MARCH, THIS YEAR, A CONVOY OF CARS CROSSED FROM THE WEST INTO EAST BERLIN. THEY CONTAINED A NUMBER OF WEST GERMAN OFFICIALS ON THEIR WAY TO PREPARE FOR THE FIRST SUMMIT MEETING BETWEEN EAST AND WEST GERMANY. THE SUMMIT POSSIBILITY HAD BECOME REALITY AFTER HERR BRANDT ACCEPTED AN INVITATION FROM HERR STOPH. IF THE FIRST ENCOUNTER -- WHICH MAY LAST ONLY ONE DAY -- TAKES PLACE WITHOUT MISHAP, IT'S HOPED HERR STOPH WILL LATER MEET HERR BRANDT IN BONN.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA9PUF4W9L7TP5QLO0V87GDVOE3
    Media URN:
    VLVA9PUF4W9L7TP5QLO0V87GDVOE3
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    17/03/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:05:50:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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