Federal Chancellor Adenauer on a State Visit to Moscow (September 11, 1955)
In view of the altered situation produced by the entry of the Federal Republic into the Western alliance, the Soviet leadership sent Chancellor Konrad Adenauer a diplomatic note on July 7, 1955, inviting him to come to Moscow for talks about opening diplomatic relations. After consultations with the Western allies, Adenauer accepted this invitation to visit Moscow between September 8 and September 14. In nerve-racking talks and negotiations, during which the Soviet negotiators oscillated abruptly between jovial/friendly and offensive/accusatory tones, an agreement was finally reached: diplomatic relations would be established, and in return the Soviets gave a verbal promise that all German prisoners of war and interned civilians still held in the Soviet Union would be released. In a letter, Adenauer expressly noted West German reservations regarding the recognition of its eastern border and insisted that the Federal Republic alone was entitled to speak for all Germans. Moreover, in order to prevent international recognition of the GDR by further countries, the Hallstein Doctrine, which was developed essentially by Wilhelm Grewe, Head of the Political Department in Adenauer's foreign ministry, and named after Walter Hallstein, State Secretary in the foreign ministry, was proclaimed. It warned other states that if they were to recognize the GDR, the Federal Republic would break diplomatic relations with them.
In the picture, taken on September 11, 1955, we see standing in front of Maxim Gorki's former dacha, which the Soviet hosts made available for use by the German delegation, from left to right: Nikolai Bulganin (Chairman of the Council of Ministers), Konrad Adenauer, Nikita Khrushchev (First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Union), Mikhail Pervuchin (First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers); at left, behind Adenauer, stands Kurt-Georg Kiesinger (then chairman of the Bundestag's foreign affairs committee). Photo by Hanns Hubmann.