On 22 January 1963, in Paris, the German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, and General de Gaulle sign the Elysée Treaty which strengthens Franco-German cooperation in the fields of defence, economic affairs and the arts.
On 22 January 1963, in Paris, French President General de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, sign the Élysée Treaty, which provides for consultation between the two partners and closer cooperation in the areas of international relations, defence and education. By embracing Chancellor Adenauer in front of the cameras, President de Gaulle is making a strong statement that signals the beginning of a new era between the two countries and emphasises the friendship between the two men.
On 22 January 1963, French President de Gaulle and Federal Chancellor Adenauer sign the treaty known as the Élysée Treaty on Franco-German cooperation, which enshrines the reconciliation between the two countries and under which they agree to cooperate in the fields of foreign policy, defence, education and culture.
‘The hug’. On 22 January 1963, the day the Élysée Treaty is signed, French cartoonist Kamb offers an ironic depiction of the hug between French President Charles de Gaulle and Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, a highly symbolic gesture of reconciliation between the two countries. But the two leaders’ arms have been replaced by atomic missiles (‘A’-bombs), and the German arm is adorned with a cufflink in the form of the Iron Cross, a German military decoration. The treaty’s detractors particularly condemn the close political and military cooperation of France and West Germany, as well as the ‘nuclear cronyism’ that could bring the FRG under France’s nuclear umbrella.
‘But dear Charles, have you thought about a ménage à trois? The French are rather used to that, aren’t they?’ On 22 January 1963, as the Élysée Treaty is signed by France and Germany, British cartoonist Michael Cummings takes an ironic look at the Franco-German duo and the ménage à trois proposed by Federal Chancellor Adenauer (depicted as Gretchen) to French President Charles de Gaulle. For the Federal Chancellor, rapprochement with the United Kingdom seems at least as important as with his French partner. But this does not seem to please General de Gaulle, who is very unhappy about the situation. On his uniform we see a lapel badge which sums up his attitude towards the United Kingdom: ‘beware of perfidious Albion’. On the right, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan seems rather wary of France’s potential reaction. On 14 January 1963, Charles de Gaulle vetoed the United Kingdom’s entry into the European Common Market. To General de Gaulle’s great regret, the scope of the Franco-German Treaty will be limited by the adoption in the German Bundestag of an explanatory preamble emphasising, among other points, the need to allow the United Kingdom to accede to the European Communities.
‘Mein Inkondizionnel. Danke schön for coming, Mein Konrad. In the name of Holy Gallo-German Europe, I name you honorary Zuénère.’ On 23 January 1963, French cartoonist Roland Moisan paints an ironic picture of the signing of the Élysée Treaty by General de Gaulle, President of the French Republic, and Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. This treaty seals the friendship between France and the FRG and provides for consultations between the two partners and closer relations in the areas of external relations, defence and education. Surrounded by his royal court, Charles de Gaulle, sat on his throne and resembling Emperor Charlemagne, performs the homage ceremony. The Chancellor thereby becomes his vassal, under the protection and in the service of his powerful lord. ‘Zuénère’ is a play on words with ‘UNR’, the Union for the New Republic party founded in October 1958 to support the action of General de Gaulle. At the feet of the President, a lion skin rug, whose head resembles that of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, highlights the dispute between France and Britain. The tapestry on the wall depicts numerous conquests and battles, finishing with the crowning of Charles de Gaulle.
‘The Chancellor’s visit, or the art of not sitting between three chairs.’ On 23 January 1963, the day after the signing of the Élysée Treaty between France and the Federal Republic of Germany, German cartoonist Hanns Erich Köhler takes an ironic view of the difficult feat of contortionism that Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer is having to perform in the area of foreign policy. Adenauer knows that he cannot sacrifice his country’s alliance with the United States or its relationship with the United Kingdom on the altar of Franco-German friendship and that he must make sure he maintains good relations with all his partners.
‘That’s that done! I’ve appointed him General Inspector of Administration on Extraordinary Mission to our Pacified Provinces of Germany.’ On 23 January 1963, despite the recent signing of the Élysée Treaty, French cartoonist Jacques Faizant paints an ironic picture of the very Gaullist conception of international relations and the fate of the pact made with Germany. General de Gaulle wants to restore France’s place in the world by pursuing a policy of independence and grandeur based on a readjustment of France’s relations with the United States and a rejection of any idea of a supranational Europe. Federal Chancellor Adenauer seems irritated by the rather thankless role which falls to him. From left to right: Prime Minister Georges Pompidou and Marianne, the allegorical figure of the French Republic, are informed of the follow-up to the Élysée Treaty by President de Gaulle, while Chancellor Adenauer leaves the presidential palace to go back to the FRG.
‘Customs. Return journey. “Nothing to declare?” “A few jokes and tricks, made in Paris …”’ On 23 January 1963, the day after the signing of the Élysée Treaty in Paris, French cartoonist Roland Moisan illustrates the return of Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer to West Germany and paints an ironic picture of the scope and implications of the Franco-German Treaty of Friendship.
‘Entente kordiale.’ On 24 January 1963, French cartoonist Tim illustrates the historic, formal nature of the signing of the Élysée Treaty by President de Gaulle and Chancellor Adenauer two days earlier. This treaty of cooperation between France and West Germany aims to seal the reconciliation and rapprochement between the two countries, as was the case with the treaty of alliance, known as the ‘entente cordiale’, between France and the United Kingdom in April 1904. President de Gaulle, with a top hat, and Chancellor Adenauer, with a feathered hat, both wearing ceremonial dress, are seated in a carriage escorted by Republican Guard cavalry, symbolising the new ‘entente’ between the two countries.
‘Charles Bonaparte–Konrad von Bismarck: down with helmet and sword!’ On 24 January 1963, German cartoonist Wilhelm Hartung illustrates the joint declaration by French President Charles de Gaulle and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer at the signing of the Élysée Treaty: ‘Convinced that the reconciliation of the German people and the French people, ending a centuries-old rivalry, constitutes a historic event which profoundly transforms the relations between the two peoples […]’. The signing of the treaty, which strengthened Franco-German cooperation, ended with a somewhat improvised embrace between the two men, which was immortalised by the press of the time. The era of antagonism and bloody conflict between the two countries seems to have long since passed.
On 24 January 1963, French cartoonist Paul Baringou emphasises the bold, risky enterprise undertaken by Chancellor Adenauer and President de Gaulle in signing a treaty of cooperation and friendship between France and the Federal Republic of Germany two days earlier in Paris.
‘The patent solution. “This way, we shall be twice as fast …”’ On 26 January 1963, for German cartoonist Ernst Maria Lang, close cooperation between German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and French President Charles de Gaulle is a crucial requirement for the success of a friendship treaty between the two countries.
‘Historical development. “Friend!” “Good friend!” “Best friend!” “Very best friend!” “Dear very best friend!” “Only dear very best friend!” “Maybe we should get down to specifics…” “Our friendship doesn’t go that far!”’ On 9 February 1963, German cartoonist Horst Haitzinger paints an ironic picture of the good relations between French President Charles de Gaulle and Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. When the German partner tries to address specific issues, President de Gaulle digs in his heels and refuses to budge.
‘Engineering works at the Place de l’Europe. “Roads blocked, one-way streets changed, reserved parking spaces … Hey, grandad? We’ve really created havoc in there!”’ On 13 February 1963, French cartoonist Roland Moisan paints an ironic picture of the implications and consequences of Franco-German rapprochement, sealed by the Élysée Treaty of 22 January 1963 between President Charles de Gaulle (on the left) and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (on the right). The new Franco-German duo looks set to completely change the international and European set-up.
‘Naturally, it’s great, Charles — but I’ve got a bit of a hangover.’ On 23 February 1963, one month after the signing of the Élysée Treaty, German cartoonist Manfred Oesterle takes an ironic look at the new Franco-German reconciliation. From left to right: French President Charles de Gaulle and Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer as happy partygoers at a cabaret evening. Germania, depicted as a dancing girl, is flanked by two Mariannes, demonstrating the dominance of France within the Franco-German partnership and denoting the slant that General de Gaulle wanted to give the Élysée Treaty. To General de Gaulle’s great regret, the scope of the Franco-German treaty was limited by a vote in the German Bundestag for the inclusion of an accompanying preamble that emphasises Atlantic military integration, cooperation with the United States, respect for the European Communities and the importance of admitting the United Kingdom and the other candidate countries as EC Member States.
‘Two friends from little Europe.’ On 16 March 1963, on the front page of the satirical magazine Simplicissimus, German cartoonist Oesterle illustrates the uncannily close rapprochement between the France of General de Gaulle and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
‘Marabonn runner. Victory! Victory!’ On 18 May 1963, German cartoonist Ernst Maria Lang illustrates the Bundestag's ratification of the Élysée Treaty two days earlier. Chancellor Adenauer, depicted as the Greek messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens to announce victory against the Persians at the end of the Battle of Marathon, announces the good news to French President de Gaulle.