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History of German-American Relations >
1956-1988 - The Maturing Partnership

German-American Relations Timeline - 1956-1988
1683-1900 1901-1939 1939-1945 1945-1955 1956-1988 1989-1994 1994-2000 2001-
Germans in America | The German Language in the United States | German-American Relations 1683-1900 1901-1939 1939-1945 1945-1955 1956-1988 1989-1994 1994-2000 2001

What kind of information materials are available?
CD: Texts available on CD version.Texts available in multiple languages.
Daniel Hamilton: Germans and Americans Together, from: A Vision Fulfilled | Deutsch CD
•  Das war RIAS BERLIN
Das deutsch-amerikanische Verhältnis aus heutiger Sicht. Von Staatssekretar Lawrence S. Eagleburger, 7. April 1982  CD
Deutsch-amerikanische Beziehungen
 European Perspectives on the War in Vietnam  (PDF)
Foreign Relations of the United States 1964-1968 ,Volume XV, Germany and Berlin
German-American Day, a Short History
German-American Day, German-American National Congress
USAREUR Military History Office
Martin Hillenbrandt: The Berlin Crisis, 1958-1962, from: A Vision Fulfilled | Deutsch CD
Quadripartite Agreement/Ostpolitik, 1971 CD
Voices from the U.S. Mission - Albert Hemsing, from: A Vision Fulfilled | Deutsch CD
Voices from the U.S. Mission - Arthur C. Borg, from: A Vision Fulfilled | Deutsch CD

Teacher Resources
Berlin and the Two Germanies, 1945-1989 | Student Exercises
Lehrerinformationen - Ein Rundgang durch die Dauerausstellung im Alliertenmuseum
Kennedy, Adenauer in Berlin
Kennedy and Adenauer in Berlin, 1963

The politics of containment and strategies of deterrence that characterized the postwar period were called into question in the decades that followed. German and U.S. military-strategic, political, economic, and monetary interests were sometimes divergent, although never conflictive.

In the 1950s and 1960s, many Germans felt that the partition of Germany was seen both in the West and in the East as an element of stability in Europe. It was believed that the non-confrontational response of the U.S. to the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 showed that the United States was not truly interested in German unification. John F. Kennedy's visit to Berlin highlighted his tour of several European countries in June 1963. In his speech from the Schoeneberger Rathaus on June 26, Kennedy declared his special commitment to West Berlin, concluding his remarks with these words: "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words " Ich bin ein Berliner.'"

Politics of detente in the 1970s both fulfilled some aspects of American and Russian security policy and Bonn's desires to develop more extensive opportunities for personal contacts between the Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic. At the same time, beginning in the 1960s and continuing into the 1980s, a wide range of security issues revolved around the buildup of ballistic and nuclear missiles and the extent of the U.S. nuclear commitment to Western Europe.

The Vietnam War, also strained relations. Some German students had the same concerns as many young Americans who also opposed the war. Anti-war demonstrations -- sometimes drawing 100,00 protesters -- made the headlines. Discussions of other aspects of American foreign and domestic policy, with special emphasis on the civil rights movement, also signaled the beginning of a more complex relationship.

In the mid-1960s, West Germany was in the midst of its "economic miracle." Chronic frictions arose over monetary policy in the 1960s, partly stemming from opposing views on what constituted responsible monetary policy. The D-Mark became the "counterpart currency" of the dollar. The currencies rarely rose or fell together -- a strong dollar matched a weak German Mark, and vice versa. Issues relating to trade only became problematic in the last 1980s when disputes arose between the European Community and the United States during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

See also:
About the USA > History of the United States - Decades of Change (1960 to 1980)

Original Documents
Address by Ambassador Rush Discussing the Quadripartite Agreement, September 27, 1971 CD
Ambassador Arthur F. Burns Statement before the House Foreign Relations Committee on German-American Relations, April 5, 1982 | Deutsch CD
The Berlin Wall (Current Intelligence Weekly Summary, CIA, August 17, 1961)  (PDF)
The German-American Relationship: The Importance of Vision. Speech by U.S. Ambassador Richard R. Burt, September 6, 1986 | Deutsch  CD
The Human Side of German-American Relations. Speech by Ambassador Arthur F. Burns in Hamburg, March 14, 1983 | Deutsch CD
John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy. Speeches at the Free University (PDF)
President John F. Kennedy's Speech "Ich bin ein Berliner", 1963 | Deutsch CD
President Richard M. Nixon's Address to the German Parliament, 1969 CD
President Ronald W. Reagan's Speech at the Bundestag, 1982 CD
President Ronald W. Reagan's Speech at Schloss Augustusburg, 1985 | Deutsch CD
President Ronald W. Reagan's Speech at the Brandenburg Gate "Tear Down this Wall", 1987 CD
Presidential Proclamation on Tricentennial Anniversary of German Settlement in America, 1983 CD
Special Meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers (The "Double-Track" Decision on Theatre Nuclear Forces), December 12, 1979 |  Deutsch CD
Speech by Ambassador Walter J. Stoessel, "Club zu Bremen", Bremer Rathaus, December 4, 1980 | Deutsch CD

  Original Documents (cont.)
Speech by President Carter. Bonn, July 14, 1978 CD
Assistant Secretary of State Eagleburger on the Importance of the Federal Republic of Germany in United States Foreign Policy, June 2, 1981 CD
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance at the NATO Ministers Meeting, December 12, 1979  CD
U.S.-GDR Diplomatic Relations, 1974
U.S.-German Relations in a Changing World. Ambassador H. E. Richard R. Burt. Nov. 12, 1985 | Deutsch CD
U.S. Relations with Germany. Address by Ambassador Walter J. Stoessel. Munich, December 6, 1977 |  Deutsch   CD
Viermächte-Abkommen über Berlin. Beitrag des Deutschen Historischen Museums
VP Bush's Speech at Tricentennial Ceremony of German Immigration in Krefeld, 1983 CD

James Earle Carter, U.S. President (1977-1981)
Gerald Ford, U.S. President (1974-1977)
John F. Kennedy, U.S. President (1961-1963) |   Deutsch
Lyndon Baines Johnson, U.S. President (1963-1969)
Henry A. Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State (1973-1977)
Richard M. Nixon, U.S. President (1969-1974)
Ronald W. Reagan, U.S. President (1981-1989)
Cyrus Vance, U.S. Secretary of State (1977-1980)
Vernon Walters, U.S. Ambassador to Germany (1989-1991)
Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
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Updated: June 2008