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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

November 10, 1989

Johann Plattner, Austrian Foreign Ministry, 'Debate on German Reunification; Information and Language Regime'

In light of Kohl & Gorbachev's joint statement (June 13, 1989), the Head of the Department for Western and Northern Europe of the Political Section of the Austrian Foreign Ministry discusses German reunification, the Berlin Question, and Detente. The report discusses the resistant attitudes of the West, with the exception of the US, towards German reunification.

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.

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.

September 8, 1989

Ambassadors’ Conference at the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Vienna

Summary of discussion between Austrian Foreign Minister Erich Maximilian Schmid and ambassadors from Belgium, Finland, Yugoslavia, Luxembourg, and Sweden about the state of Eastern Europe, the decline of the arms race, and Western reactions to German Reunification.