Institute of World History
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,
E-Mail: david81413 [at] 163.com
The FRG's economic policy towards the GDR 1949-1990
One of my current research project is “The FRG’s economic policy towards the GDR 1949-1990”, which is also the perfection and expansion of my PhD thesis. In China, the research on the question of the relation of two Germanys and German reunification is always within the point of view of politics, diplomacy or international relationship limits. The economic field is often ignored, especially from the point of view of the FRG’s economic policy towards GDR. In fact, to some extent, the development and change of the economic field sometimes could pose huge influence upon other fields. Owing to the process of development of economic relation between FRG and GDR in the German dividing period is closely linked with what kind of economic policy adopted by FRG towards GDR, so this research will contribute to provide a new angle of view as well as deeply study the question of the relation of two Germanys and the Germany reunification further.
Through research, I found that FRG’s economic policy towards GDR is not invariable; it experienced three phases compartmentalized by two key turning points. The first turning point happened at the end of 1960s, and the second turning point happened at between the end of 1989 and the beginning of 1990. During the first phase, although there existed certain economic relation between FRG and GDR, and even the interzonal trade grew continuously, the FRG always use embargo policy when the serious political conflict broke out between two Germanys. This phenomenon could be clearly observed during the Crisis of Berlin at the beginning of 1960s. The kind of economic policy became to change till the end of 1960s. During the second phase, with the normalization of relation between two Germanys, their economic relation got the further development and the inner-German trade grew faster and faster. The FRG’ economic policy towards GDR changed from embargo to assistance and cooperation. At this time, FRG’s economic policy played a very important role in lessening the state of opposition and isolation with GDR, enhance friendly intercourse and cooperation; stimulate the national self-identity consciousness and emotion of two German people. At the end of 1989, with the historical opportunity for German reunification coming, the FRG’s economic policy towards GDR entered into the third phase. FRG began to make use of economic policy towards GDR as means for reunification. For example, FRG only made a promise to give the economic support to the parties in GDR which clearly expressed to support the reunification of Germany. At the same time, in order to realize the reunification of Germany, FRG did not hesitate to pay any economic price. In order to make his research get further study, some key and core questions should be given reasonable answers. Such as how FRG’s economic policy was made up(inc. the decision-making mechanism), what kind of role did the FRG’s companies play in the practice of the FRG’s economic policy towards the GDR and, how the GDR responded to the FRG’s economic policy towards it in different phases; what kind of effects upon economic relation of two Germanys and German reunification produced by it and so on.