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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Berlin Declaration by the foreign minister of the German Federal Republic and the American, British, and French ambassadors, on Germany, European security, and disarmament, July 29, 1957,   pp. 212-214 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 213

2. The reunification of Germany remains the joint responsibility of
the Four Powers who in 1945 assumed supreme authority in Germany,
a responsibility which was reaffirmed in the Directive issued by
the four Heads of Government in Geneva in July 1955. At the same
time the achievement of German reunification requires the active
cooperation of the German people as a whole under conditions en-
suring the free expression of their will.
3. The unnatural division of Germany and of its capital, Berlin,
is a continuing source of international tension. So long as Germany
remains divided there can be no German peace treaty and no assur-
ance of stability in Europe. The reunification of Germany in free-
dom is not only an elementary requirement of justice for the German
people, but is the only sound basis of a lasting settlement in Europe.
4. Only a freely elected all-German Government can undertake
on behalf of a reunified Germany obligations which will inspire con-
fidence on the part of other countries and which will be considered
just and binding in the future by the people of Germany themselves.
5. Such a Government can only be established through free elec-
tions throughout Germany for an all-German National Assembly.
6. There should be no discrimination against a reunified Germany.
Its freedom and security should not be prejudiced by an imposed
status of neutralization or demilitarization. Its Government should
be free to determine its foreign policy and to decide on its inter-
national associations. It should not be deprived of the right recog-
nized in the Charter of the United Nations for all nations to par-
ticipate in collective measures of self-defense.
7. Re-establishment of the national unity of Germany in accord-
ance with the freely expressed wishes of the German people would
not in itself constitute a threat to Germany's neighbors nor would it
prejudice their security. Nevertheless, so as to meet any preoccupa-
tion which other governments may have in this respect, appropriate
arrangements, linked with German reunification, should be made
which would take into account the legitimate security interests of all
the countries concerned. It was for this reason that, at the Geneva
Foreign Ministers' Conference, the Western Powers made proposals
for a treaty of assurance on the reunification of Germany.
8. The Western Powers have never required as a condition of
German reunification that a reunified Germany should join the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It will be for the people of
a reunified Germany themselves to determine through their freely
elected Government whether they wish to share in the benefits and
obligations of the treaty.
9. If the all-German Government, in the exercise of its free choice,
should elect to join NATO, the Western Powers after consultation
with other members of NATO are prepared to offer on a basis of
reciprocity, to the Government of the Soviet Union and the Govern-
ments of other countries of Eastern Europe which would become
parties to a European security arrangement, assurances of a significant
and far-reaching character. The Western Powers are also prepared,
as part of a mutually acceptable European security arrangement, to
give assurance that, in the event of a reunified Germany choosing
to join NATO, they would not take military advantage as a result
of the withdrawal of Soviet forces.
401091 59-15

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