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The Birth of the Grand Coalition (December 13, 1966)

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We want to ease tension not worsen it; we want to overcome rather than deepen rifts. That is why we want to promote human, economic, and intellectual relations with our compatriots in the other part of Germany with all our might. Where this necessitates the establishment of contacts between government agencies of the Federal Republic and their counterparts in the other part of Germany, this does not constitute the recognition of a second German state. We will handle these contacts on a case-by-case basis so as not to awaken the impression in world opinion that we might be moving away from our legal vantage point. [Applause from the government parties.]

The federal government strives to expand intra-German trade, which is not foreign trade. It will also attempt to expand credit opportunities and contemplate certain organizational measures to strengthen intra-German contacts.

The federal government will do anything to keep Berlin as a part of the Federal Republic and, together with the Senate and the Protecting Powers, will examine how the economy of Berlin and its place in our legal system can be secured. [Applause from the government parties.]

We want to do what is possible for the welfare of the people in the divided Germany and make possible whatever is necessary.

[ . . . ]

Source: Kurt Georg Kiesinger, “Regierungserklärung des Bundeskanzlers am 13. Dezember 1966 vor dem Deutschen Bundestag in Bonn” [“Policy Statement by the Federal Chancellor to the German Bundestag in Bonn on December 13, 1666”], Verhandlungen des Deutschen Bundestages: Plenarprotokolle, Stenographische Berichte [Proceedings of the German Bundestag: Plenary Records, Stenographic Reports], 1966/67, vol. 63, pp. 3656-65; reprinted in Christoph Kleßmann, ed., Zwei Staaten, eine Nation. Deutsche Geschichte 1955-1970 [Two States, One Nation. German History 1955-1970]. Göttingen, 1988, pp. 526-31.

Translation: Jeremiah Riemer

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