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Austria and German Unification

Documents on Austria’s role in the dissolution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the country’s position toward German Unification. Originally published with a Working Paper by Michael Gehler and Maximilian Graf. See also the collections on German Reunification, the Berlin Wall, and the End of the Cold War. Image: Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky meets with the new Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the GDR, Hans Modrow, on 24 November 1989. Source

Popular Documents

February 21, 1990

Assessment by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, 'Question of German Unity (State of affairs, February 1990)'

The assessment by the Austrian Foreign Ministry of German Unity is broken into five subject areas. The first part concerns the responsibility of the Four Powers to a new unified Germany. Next, West Germany's commitment to German unity dating as far back as 1970. The third portion outlines the border and security concerns of East and West Germany, as well as the Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain, and France. The next part is focused on economic recovery, specifically the lack of certain goods in East Germany (ie cars and houses). Finally, the report addresses the future developments of a unified Germany with an emphasis on the security of nearby states.

September 20, 1990

Final Report by Ambassador Bauer, '4 ½ Years in Bonn; Attempt on Prospects'

The document discesses the coalition between Austria and newly united Germany. It highlights the similar political views the countries shares and stresses its economic conflicts. The document continues weighing how to best unite Germany economically and its possible effects on the European Union. It ends with a commitment to ensuring Germany enters the European Union as an equal member.

October 12, 1989

Assessment Paper by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, '[Excerpt] Eastern Europe; General Assessment'

The Assessment Paper outlines new change is Eastern Europe, mostly surrounding political and economic diversification, following Gorabachev's leadership in the USSR. The report then evaluates the GDR's economy, emigration, and anticipated political changes in light of the new geopolitical climate.

September 19, 1989

Analysis by Envoy Thomas Nowotny, 'The Specter of German Reunification'

The report discusses the conflicting views from countries such as the US and USSR surrounding German Reunification. It later explains predicted demographics, economics, and military prowess of a unified Germany.

July 18, 1990

Johann Plattner, Austrian Foreign Ministry, 'German Unity; State of Affairs in mid-July 1990'

The report assesses German unity in three parts. The first regards internal factors of integration such as integrating monetary systems and elections. The next portion regards external factors, focusing mainly on the USSR's parameters for reunification regarding NATO and Poland's western border. Finally, the report assesses German reunification and predicts the process will be complete by the end of the year (1990). In addition, it discusses the positive prospects for European Unity and emphasizes Austria's role in binding a newly united Germany to Western Europe.