In the constitution of 1949 the claim to sole representation settled that the Federal republic was the only legitimate representation of the German people. According to this the German foreign office, lead by Walter HallsteinWalter Hallstein was the leading civil servant at the German Foreign Office, where he gave his name to the Hallstein Doctrine, West Germany's policy of isolating East Germany diplomatically, determined that the GRD could not be considered a state according to international law in 1955. Those countries which ignored this doctrine were threatened with the termination of diplomatic relations. The doctrine remained in force until 1969, when the social-liberal coalition under Willy BrandtWilly Brandt was chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1969 to 1974 came to power.
When the two German states were founded in 1949 the question arose who was to assume the representation of the German people. The division of the FRG and the GDR into two separate blocks of power made reconciliation impossible. In 1952 Josef Stalin made a proposal to the Federal Republic, offering the reunion, providing that the German state did not take part in any defence alliances or power bloc. However the west powers refused this offer as they feared the reshaping of the FRG into a socialistic state1.
National uprising in the GDR
The GDR did not manage to stabilise their economy as quickly as the West, therefore the socialistic government passed a five-year plan in 1951 in order to double the national production. When the Soviet Union realised that this plan did not fulfil expectations wages were cut and labour standards raised. In response to this general strikes took place all over the country, leading to a national uprising on the 17th of June 1953. The demonstrators stormed party offices, town halls and courts and claimed the resignation of the government, which in turn mobilised Soviet troops, brutally defeated the uprisings and imprisoned several thousands.
NATO and Warsaw Pact
Eventually the confrontations in the East-West conflict led to a military change. Germany, its military previously rendered powerless due to the resolutions made at the Potsdam conferenceGoals of the Potsdam Conference 1945 included the establishment of post-war order, peace treaty issues, and countering the effects of the war, only possessed an operational military ever since the foundation of the two separate state in 1955. West Germany regained sole sovereignty when entering the defence alliance of the West powers (NATO) in 1955. A similar alliance, including the German Democratic Republic was formed in the East by the Soviet Union, called Warsaw PactThe Warsaw Pact was a collective defense treaty among eight communist states of Central and Eastern Europe in existence during the Cold War2.
Building of the Berlin wall
Despite the flow of refugees into the West, general secretary UlbrichtWalter Ulbricht was first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party, and as such the actual leader of East Germany, from 1950 to 1971 promised in June 1961 that no wall would be constructed on the border. Ever since 1958 socialism had been introduced in the GDR prompting many people to escape to the West. They had realised that the living conditions in the West were obviously better due to the economic boom. This wave of refugees eventually prompted the government of the GDR to block all ways to the West by constructing a wall on the 13th of August 1961. Thereafter the people in the East had no choice but to accept the socialistic system of a single-party state3.