• Germany's news in English

Erhard sought to pay billions for East German freedom

The Local · 4 Oct 2011, 07:17

Published: 04 Oct 2011 07:17 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Der Spiegel reported that Erhard wanted the plan to be facilitated by the US government, which would help shuttle $2.5 billion a year for ten years to Moscow. The magazine cited CIA documents that it has seen.

Erhard, who is widely considered the father of Germany’s post-war recovery for his work as the country's first economy minister under Konrad Adenauer, assumed the Kremlin would appreciate financial assistance because its economy was struggling.

As chancellor between 1963 and 1966, Erhard hoped the USSR would gradually withdraw from its satellite state, the German Democratic Republic, and eventually allow the East Germans to vote for reunification.

But US diplomats called the plan “ill-conceived and unrealistic” and granted Erhard an “almost zero chance of success,” saying the chancellor was demonstrating “considerable political naivety,” Der Spiegel wrote at the weekend.

Erhard finally dropped the idea after US President Lyndon B. Johnson declined to broach the concept with the Soviets.

Story continues below…

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

17:52 October 4, 2011 by neunElf
His lack of political guile is what I find endearing about Ludwig Erhard!

THat is what allowed him to make the unilateral decision to do away with currency controls against the wishes of his American overlords, ending the black markets after WW2 and heralding the wirtschaftswunder.

After all no right thinking politician would naively do the right thing just because it was good for the country!

Seems to me we could use a little more naivete of this caliber!
20:06 October 4, 2011 by Englishted

Well said.
00:22 October 5, 2011 by wxman
Yeah, get someone else to buy the other half of your country back from the victors following an aweful costly war both monetarily and in millions of innocent lives that your people allowed. Sounds about right.
Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd