Egon Bahr


Egon Bahr

["Dealing with the Devil: East Germany, Detente, and Ostpolitik, 1969-1973". M.E. Sarotte, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, 2001.] Refimprove|date=October 2007

Egon Karlheinz Bahr (born March 18 1922) is a German former politician for the SPD.

Bahr was born in Treffurt, Province of Saxony.

The former journalist created the "Ostpolitik" of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, for whom he served as Secretary of the Prime Minister's Office from 1969 until 1972. Between 1972 and 1990 he was an MP in the Bundestag of the Federal Republic of Germany, and from 1972 until 1976 was also a Minister.

Bahr was a key figure in multiple negotiation sessions between not only East and West Germany, but also Germany and the Soviets. Bahr was instrumental in the Moscow Treaty, the quadripartite talks (Four-Power Agreement), German-German negotiations, the Transit Agreement (1972), the Traffic Treaty, the Basic Treaty (1972), and had a major role in Ostpolitik. He also negotiated the ratification of the Moscow and Warsaw Treaties.

As a politician, Bahr understood himself as motivated by a sense of maintaining "the national integrity" of Germany as a whole as much as possible.

With Ostpolitik, Bahr's field of work was mostly behind the curtains to prepare treaties. This secrecy was broken once, however. Bahr was in Moscow holding talks with Gromyko, and materials from these talks found their way, via an unknown leak, to the right-wing tabloid newspaper Bild, and on July 1, 1970, they appeared in two issues. This unauthorized publication became known as the "Bahr Paper".

Source: "Dealing with the Devil: East Germany, Detente, and Ostpolitik, 1969-1973". M.E. Sarotte, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London, 2001.

References


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