• George C. Marshall, foreign secretary of the United StatesGeorge C. Marshall, foreign secretary of the United States
  • Konrad Adenauer, first Chancellor of West GermanyKonrad Adenauer, first Chancellor of West Germany
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Integration with the West

Marshall Plan

The American Marshall plan of 1947 aimed to stabilise Europe and Germany economically so the USA could expand their foreign trade all over the world. Due to the success of this reconstruction programme the German economy recovered and achieved an economic boom in the 1950s. Initially the USA had offered their plan to all Eastern European states including the Soviet Union. As was to be expected however the Soviets refused the plan as their economical system was not compatible with the conditions of the Marshall plan. Thereupon the USA declared their cooperation with the Soviet Union as officially terminated1.

Containment policy

As the Soviet Union had extended its domain over East Europe by installing several satellite countriescustomA satellite state is a state under heavy political, economic and military influence or control of another country the USA altered their policies in 1947, led by President Harry TrumancustomHarry S. Truman was the American president from 1945 to 1953, and pursued the containment policy. This policy was designed to restrict the political and economical influence the Soviet Union possessed over Europe. The spreading of the communistic ideology over Europe would have influenced the American foreign trade and thus their national economy. In order to prohibit this development President Truman passed the so called Truman-doctrinecustomThe Truman doctrine was to support any nation with both military and economic aid if its stability was threatened by communism or the Soviet Union2.

Prohibition of the Communist Party of Germany

The Federal Government had ascertained the unconstitutionality of the Communist PartycustomThe Communist Party of Germany was a political party in Germany between 1918 and 1933 and from 1945 to 1956, when it was banned of Germany in 1951, however the official ban was only declared by the Federal Constitutional Court in 1961. The Communist Party of Germany was classified as a radical party that followed the Marxist-Leninist principles similarly to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. AdenauercustomKonrad Adenauer was the first post-war Chancellor of West Germany from 1949 to 1963, the Federal Chancellor at the time aimed to protect to free and democratic fundamental order and hoped to avert political influence of the Soviet Union in West Germany.

Magnet theory

Konrad Adenauer was the first Chancellor West Germany had that made an effort to integrate Germany economically and politically within the western nations, leading for example, to Germany joining the NATO in 1954 and to the foundation of the European Economic CommunitycustomThe European Economic Community (EEC) was founded in 1957. Its aim was to bring about economic integration, including a common market in West Europe in 1957. Adenauer hoped to convince the GDR to a reunification by presenting the western economy as reinvigorated. However this so called Magnet theory led to an even graver estrangement between East and West and thus to an intensification of the conflict.

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