Charles de Gaulle in Germany (September 4, 1962)
Charles de Gaulles' state visit on September 4-9, 1962 – the first such visit by a French president to the Federal Republic of Germany – was an extraordinary success. De Gaulle met with an enthusiastic reception from Germans at every stop along the way. The photograph below shows him being welcomed by a crowd in Bonn on September 4, 1962. With their signs – “We want a European Federation” and “Long Live France, Long Live a United Europe” – the citizens of Bonn clearly expressed their support for France and the cause of European integration. President de Gaulles’ speeches, some of which were delivered in German, made his esteem for Germany clear and secured him lasting popularity in the country. In their joint communiqué of September 7, 1962, de Gaulle and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer announced that they wanted to take “practical measures” to strengthen the ties that already existed between the two countries. On September 19, 1962, de Gaulle sent Adenauer a draft version of a protocol calling for closer cooperation between the two countries in the areas of foreign and defense policy and youth and cultural issues. These initiatives ultimately resulted in the Elysée Treaty, which was signed on January 22, 1963.