On 29 August 1950, the German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, sends a memorandum to the Allied High Commission in which he refers to the rearmament of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the resulting lack of security for West Germany.
On 19 September 1950, in New York, Dean Acheson, Ernest Bevin and Robert Schuman, the Foreign Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom and France respectively, decide to simplify the occupation statute in Germany and envisage German participation in a European army.
In a secret aide-mémoire sent on 16 November 1950 to the allied high commisioners in Germany, the German chancellor Konrad Adenauer argues for a change in the occupation statute so that the German population might be ready to participate in the defence of Europe.
From 21 to 23 September 1951, the members of the European Movement met in Hamburg. At the end of this meeting they published a declaration on the relations between Germany and the other western European countries in the framework of a supranational Europe.
European defence (Sub-section Germany): ‘Well, gentlemen, thanks to my invention you can now sleep soundly in your beds: special rifles for German battalions!’ In November 1950, the German satirical magazine Der Tintenfisch portrays the European countries’ mistrust of German rearmament.
‘Konrad Greenfingers.’ In the 1950s, Ernst Maria Lang, German cartoonist, emphasises the efforts of Konrad Adenauer, German Chancellor, to secure the rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
On 22 January 1952, the Bulletin of the Press and Information Office of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) speculates on the country’s rearmament and considers the numerous implications of the establishment of a future German army.
‘France wants the German army to be … stronger than the Soviet army … weaker than the French army.’ Published on 27 September 1954 in the German daily newspaper Die Welt, this cartoon by Fritz Behrendt shows France’s unease about German rearmament and the country’s desire to retain its superiority over the forces from across the Rhine.
In 1955, the Communist Party of Germany for the Land of Hesse publishes a poster that condemns any idea of rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and calls for free, democratic elections to be held.
On 1 September 1957, the 18th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, German antimilitary activists demonstrate in Frankfurt against the rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
In this interview, Egon Bahr, a journalist working in Berlin and Bonn from 1945 to 1960, talks about the Berlin Blockade that followed the Second World War as well as the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in 1949. He makes special mention of the difficulties of anchoring, politically and militarily, the FRG in the Western bloc without hazarding any prospects of reunification with the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
In this draft memorandum to French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, Jean Monnet establishes the framework within which he believes West German rearmament should take place and the country should be incorporated in the European defence system.
In December 1950, in the journal Notre Europe, Paul Reynaud, former President of the French Council and delegate to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe, calls for the rearmament of Germany in the context of a European army.
En janvier 1951, André Philip, délégué général du mouvement européen et président du mouvement pour les États-Unis socialistes d'Europe décrit dans la revue Notre Europe les enjeux d'un réarmement de l'Allemagne.
On 14 February 1952, in reaction to the post-war debates on German rearmament, the French daily newspaper Le Monde speculates on the precise shape of a future German army integrated into a European army.
‘… We have already finished eating and drinking!’ On 19 September 1950, in New York, Dean Acheson, Ernest Bevin and Robert Schuman — respectively US Secretary of State, British Foreign Secretary and French Foreign Minister — consider the German question. On this occasion, the Dutch cartoonist, Opland, illustrates the turmoil stirred up by the implications of German rearmament for the French Foreign Minister and the British Foreign Secretary.
Note from Louis Scheyven, Director-General of Policy in the Belgian Foreign Ministry, to Paul van Zeeland, Belgian Foreign Minister, on the stance to be taken by Belgium if the Federal Republic of Germany should join NATO.
Given the threat represented by the numerical superiority of the military forces of the Soviet Union and its Allies on the European continent, the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera emphasises the importance of rearming and integrating West Germany into the defence system of Western Europe.
‘How did you manage to get this far? Thanks to agreements ...’ On 10 May 1953, the satirical Soviet magazine Krokodil deplores the dangers which would face France in the event of rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
In August 1950, a few weeks after the start of the Korean War and in the light of the military threat of the Soviet bloc, the British cartoonist, David Low, takes an ironic look at the diplomatic discussions between Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, and his British and US counterparts, Ernest Bevin and Dean Acheson, on the rearmament of West Germany.
In August 1950, a few weeks after the start of the Korean War and in the light of the military power of the Soviet bloc, British cartoonist Leslie Gilbert Illingworth portrays a Communist threat that is more present than ever for West Germany, thus raising the question of the country’s rearmament.
On 22 August 1952, the British cartoonist, David Low, takes an ironic look at the military weaknesses of West Germany and the resulting lack of security for Western European defence in the light of the Soviet threat.