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The GDR and the Federal Republic Join the United Nations (September 18, 1973)
Since 1952, the Federal Republic had been represented in the United Nations with an official observer; it also belonged to special U.N. organizations. Regarding itself as the sole representative of the German nation, the Federal Republic renounced any claim to full membership in the U.N., as this would have required the GDR to be admitted as well – and this, in turn, would have been tantamount to international recognition. It was only after inter-German relations were normalized in the wake of the Basic Treaty of 1972 that a path was opened for both German states to join the U.N. In an exchange that supplemented the Basic Treaty, the Federal Republic and the GDR agreed that each would inform the other of the submission of their respective applications for U.N. membership. At the 28th United National General Assembly on September 18, 1973, the GDR was admitted as the 133rd U.N. member and the Federal Republic as the 134th. In this photograph, members of the new delegations from the GDR and the Federal Republic congratulate each other on their admission.