In this summary note, the Economic Affairs Department of the French Foreign Ministry outlines the solution put forward by the French Government concerning international control over and separation of the industrial regions of defeated Germany.
On 3 May 1946, one year after the end of the Second World War, the French trade union journal Reconstruction looks at the question of Germany’s future and reflects on the notion of German national identity.
Already in 1946, future Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Konrad Adenauer, had declared himself in favour of integrating Western economies: this being in his opinion the firmest foundation for lasting peace in Europe.
In June 1948, following the London Conference attended by representatives from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the French Communist Party (PCF) criticises the Allies’ decision to promote the reconstruction of West Germany and accuses the French Government of supporting this recovery policy which, in the long term, threatens to result in Germany regaining its military and industrial strength.
From 23 May to 11 June 1949, at the Paris Conference, the Foreign Ministers of the United States, the Soviet Union, France and the United Kingdom address the difficult question of the future of Germany. From left to right, the US Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, the Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrey Vyshinsky, the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, and the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin.
On 7 November 1949, Herbert Blankenhorn, Director-General at the German Foreign Ministry, comments on reactions in France to the interview on Franco-German relations conducted by the weekly newspaper Die Zeit with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
On 30 October 1949, US Secretary of State Dean Acheson writes to Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, to assure him of his interest in seeking a concerted solution regarding the international status of Germany.
On 30 October 1949, Dean Acheson, US Secretary of State, sends a letter to Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, in which he refers to the settlement of the German question and proposes that France take the initiative to establish the main lines of a common policy for the Western Allies with the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), so that the FRG can be integrated into Western Europe as soon as possible.
On 8 December 1949, the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit analyses the difficult relations between France and Germany and emphasises that the future of Europe depends on reconciliation and entente between these two countries.
On 22 December 1949, in an interview given to the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit, the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, sets out his position on the proposal of the Federal Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, concerning Franco–German rapprochement.
Conversation between French President, Vincent Auriol, and High Commissioner of the French Republic in Germany, André François-Poncet, on the future status of the Federal Republic of Germany and its relations with the Allies.
On 7 January 1950, the French daily newspaper Le Monde speculates on the various forms of economic cooperation between France and the Federal Republic of Germany and reports the views on this subject that are current in German political and economic circles.
On 10 March 1950, commenting on the proposal of the Federal Chancellor to create an economic and political union between France and the Federal Republic of Germany, the French daily newspaper Le Monde reports on the scepticism with which Konrad Adenauer's plan has been received.
On 10 March 1950, the French Socialist daily newspaper Le Populaire criticises Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s plan for a Franco-German union and particularly deplores Bonn’s attitude in the management of the Saar question.
‘In response to Adenauer’s proposal, Marianne turns a beautiful but cold shoulder.’ On 6 March 1950, Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer grants an interview to American journalist Joseph Kingsbury-Smith in which he raises the idea of a Franco-German union. On 13 March 1950, German cartoonist Fritz Meinhard illustrates the lack of interest from the French authorities in this German proposal. France, depicted as a young Marianne wearing a Phrygian cap, remains indifferent to the advances of Federal Chancellor Adenauer, who is holding a bouquet of flowers, preferring to devote itself entirely to another suitor, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin.
On 16 March 1950, at a press conference held at the Quai d'Orsay, General de Gaulle recognises the need for Franco-German cooperation and welcomes Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's proposal for a union between France and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
Conradin von Adenau: One day, my dear, you will hear me!’ On 17 March 1950, the German daily newspaper Der Mittag illustrates the flat refusal of the French government authorities to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s plan for a union between France and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG).
On 21 March 1950, Konrad Adenauer refers to the interview that he gave to US journalist Kingsbury-Smith on 7 March in which he proposed a union between France and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The German Chancellor considers Franco-German reconciliation to be an essential element for the reconstruction of Western Europe.
On 23 March 1950, commenting on the interview granted by Konrad Adenauer to the American journalist Joseph Kingsbury-Smith, the leader writer of the German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung speculates on the underlying reasons that led the Chancellor to propose a union between the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and France.
On 23 March 1950, after the interview with Konrad Adenauer conducted by US journalist Joseph Kingsbury-Smith of the International News Service (INS), German cartoonist Ernst Maria Lang illustrates the idea put forward by the Federal Chancellor for the creation of an economic union between the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and France.
On 23 March 1950, German cartoonist Peter Leger illustrates the plan of Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who proposed an economic union between France and the Federal Republic of Germany in an interview on 20 March 1950 with the US press agency International News Service.
On 25 March 1950, the German weekly publication Rheinischer Merkur speculates on the question of the European integration of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and comments on Chancellor Konrad Adenauer’s proposal for a Franco-German union.
‘Children, how quickly time passes.’ On 8 April 1950, German cartoonist Beuth illustrates the slow progress of the negotiations on the question of Germany’s future and fears that the solution to the German problem will be postponed indefinitely. From left to right: Dean Acheson, US Secretary of State, Ernest Bevin, British Foreign Secretary, and Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister. In the background, the aged ‘German Michel’ personifies the German nation.
On 10 and 11 May 1970, in an interview given to journalist Georges Suffert, Jean Monnet, former Commissioner-General of the French National Planning Board, discusses the state of Franco-German relations in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Pierre Gerbet, Emeritus University Professor at the Paris Institute of Political Science, outlines the political and economic objectives of the Schuman Plan against the background of the restoration of Franco-German relations and the nascent European integration process.
Robert Mischlich, a close collaborator of Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, looks at the evolution of relations between France and Germany and particularly focuses on Schuman's relationship with Konrad Adenauer.
Le 10 janvier 1950, en vue de la visite officielle de Robert Schuman en République fédérale d'Allemagne, la direction d'Europe du Quai d'Orsay remet au ministre des Affaires étrangères, une note sur la question sarroise qui souligne l'attention particulière portée par l'opinion publique allemande à cette problématique.
Du 13 au 16 janvier 1950, Robert Schuman, ministre français des Affaires étrangères, se rend en visite officielle en République fédérale d'Allemagne (RFA). Sur la photo, de gauche à droite: André François-Poncet, Haut-Commissaire de la République française en Allemagne et Robert Schuman.
On 14 January 1950, the French daily newspaper Le Monde outlines the many implications of the visit of French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to the Federal Republic of Germany and paints a mixed picture of current Franco-German relations.
On 15 January 1950, during the official visit of the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), the German magazine Die Gegenwart emphasises the importance of Franco-German rapprochement and outlines the divisions between the two countries.
On 17 January 1950, the German daily newspaper Badische Neueste Nachrichten summarises the remarks of Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer during his press conference concerning the meetings with the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman.
‘A slightly out-of-tune piano'. From 13 to 15 January 1950, Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, visits the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to meet Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. Despite the differing views of the two men on the settlement of the Saar question, German cartoonist Wand emphasises both the historic nature of this meeting and the commitment of the two men to European unity.
On 17 January 1950, the German daily newspaper Trierischer Volksfreund analyses the press conference held by the Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer concerning Robert Schuman’s official visit to the Federal Republic of Germany and outlines the Chancellor’s position on the settlement of the Saar question.
On 15 January 1950, the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman (right), and the German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer (left), meet in Bonn. On 18 January 1950, cartoonist Fritz Meinhard illustrates how the thorny question of the political and economic autonomy of the Saar leads to a ‘minor breakdown during the coffee break’.
‘Saar coal. Exchange. Up for offer: Saar. In return: Friendly smile.’ On 18 January 1950, shortly after the visit of French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to the Federal Republic of Germany, German cartoonist Ekö (Egon Körbi) harshly criticises the French proposals on the political and economic future of the Saar territory. The unacceptable trading conditions concerning the Saar imposed by Robert Schuman, standing behind the counter of the coal exchange, come as a shock to Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer.
On 24 January 1950, following Robert Schuman’s visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, the French daily newspaper Le Monde expresses concern at the tensions between France and Germany over the settlement of the Saar question and speculates on the risks of a revival of German nationalism.