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Britain, Ost- and Deutschlandpolitik, and the CSCE (1955-1975)

Luca Ratti

Based on new and existing archival documentation, this book provides a detailed analysis of the British attitude to Bonn’s Eastern and inner-German policies during the period of détente and the CSCE. Each chapter analyses the evolution of British policy on a particular issue area, making detailed comparisons of British and West German archival sources and outlining the main aspects of the British view of West Germany’s relations with the Soviet bloc states and the German Democratic Republic. Drawing upon the archives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and of the West German foreign ministry, this book sheds new light on some of the more occult aspects of the British attitude to the German question and reveals the problems faced by British decision-makers in seeking to maintain Britain’s close ties with Bonn, while being hardly enthusiastic about the long-term prospect of German reunification. This volume addresses issues of East-West and Anglo-German relations, the role of NATO, and the debate among the Western allies on relations between the two German states during the period of détente.


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Acknowledgements 9


9Acknowledgements During the course of researching and writing this book a large number of people offered their valuable help and support. It is also a result of their precious assistance and steady encouragement that I have been able to publish my work. More specifically, I would like to express my gratitude to the staff of the various archives which I have visited and, particularly, of the National Archives in Kew, where the documentation of the Public Record Office is held, for their resilient and patient support. I am also very much indebted to Prof. Gottfried Niedhart for allowing me to access and consult the archival documentation from the Federal German Foreign Ministry held at the ‘Détente and Ostpolitik’ project, which he co-ordinates at the University of Mannheim, and to Dr. Oliver Bange for his sound council, warm encouragement, and valued friend- ship, and for commenting so astutely on various parts of the manuscript. I am also very grateful to Prof. Alfredo Breccia, at the University of Rome III and Prof. James Walston, at the American University of Rome, for providing additional documentation and commenting on early drafts of the book. Thanks also to Katja Schuster and Stephan Kieninger for their kind and priceless help with my research at Mannheim. I also wish to thank Ursula Rettinghaus at Peter Lang for her patient assistance during the final stages of the preparation of this book. Finally, last but not least, I would like to thank my friend Caroline for her patient...

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