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Noch immer gelten die Tiere, deren Unschuld doch unvergleichlich ist, der Liebesreligion als Opfer- und Schlachtobjekte. Der Sprecher der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz nannte sie soeben, ohne Quellenangabe, seelenlos. Auch gegen diese Spielart der Himmelsselektion melde ich schwerste Bedenken an. Im Gegenteil. Andere Religionen und Weltanschauungen sind den Christen voraus. Der definitorische Verlust an kirchlicher, gesellschaftlicher, staatlicher Ehre geht Hand in Hand mit einem schrecklichen Zugewinn an Folter. Folter lebt von einem Feindbild.

Kirche und Folter? Christen als Folterknechte? Ihr Gott half dabei wacker mit. Definition bleibt eine Frage der Definitionsmacht. Wer kann behaupten, diese seien gesellschaftlich, staatlich, kirchlich opportune Werte? Solche Opfer sind die als abweichend definierten Mitmenschen — und die Tiere und Pflanzen sowieso. Andere Religionen sind wieder einmal stark abweichender Ansicht. Es handelt sich hier, unschwer zu erkennen, um die in bestimmten Kreisen beliebte Sinnfrage, die jene gern stellen, die umgehend mit ihrer Antwort zur Hand sind. Was bleibt da noch viel anderes als das Tier — und, nicht weniger inhuman, jene Menschen, die schon im Neuen Testament69 mit Tieren verglichen werden?

Ich schlage vor, mit nicht weniger Recht, den Menschen als das folternde Lebewesen zu definieren. Freilich geht die Vokabel im ersteren Fall leichter von der Zunge als im letzteren; so zugerichtet ist die Sprache von Menschen. Diese Religion wirkt unwiderstehlich grausam. Heilsam soll er sein, in ein Gesamtkunstwerk ist er verpackt. Der November wird zum Tag der Wahrheit.

Die Schlagzeile geht um die Welt. Sie regt sich nicht. Das macht es mir leichter. Diese Nachrichten blieben nicht verborgen. Das Eingesparte ging wahrscheinlich zu Weihnachten weg, auch Scheinheiligkeit hat ihre Feste. Ich doch nicht! Unverantwortlich, mich verantwortlich zu machen!

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Ich habe nichts damit zu tun! Ich erlaube mir anstelle einer Antwort ein paar Perspektiven auf die Menschen von heute. Er bleibt geschichtslos, nimmt nur selektiv wahr, was war und was ist. Die gesicherte Basis schirmt sie ab gegen jenes Unheimliche, das aus Erlebnissen entsteht, die keine Worte haben, aus dem versteckten, verborgen gehaltenen Grauen. Und eine der Gleichzeitigkeit: Das Schreckliche hat neben dem Banalen seinen angestammten Platz, und Verbrechen nisten inmitten der Idyllen.

Unbeteiligte mischen sich nicht ein. Sie wissen genug, denn sie wissen soviel, wie sie wissen wollen. Auch der interessierte, neugierige Zuschauer mischt sich nicht ein. Doch er zieht die Gardinen nicht ganz zu, bleibt am Ort der Gewalt. Nie galt ihre Sympathie den Opfern. Diese Spezies Zuschauer verbirgt sich in der Masse, denn unter anderen bleibt der einzelne unbemerkt. Nur ein kleiner Schritt ist es von diesen Beobachtern hin zu den begeisterten Zuschauern.

Das Publikum der Gewalt bleibt nicht mittelalterlich. Es tritt aus den alten Holzschnitten heraus mitten in unsere Gegenwart. Wie passiert es? Wem passiert es? Ecouteure, das Ohr ans Geschehen gelegt, beanspruchen gleich daneben ihren Stammplatz. Wer sich nicht einbeziehen kann und will, wird die Schrecknisse in diesem Buch nicht anders verfolgen als ein Voyeur. Selbst wenn sie christlichen Glaubens sind und hin und wieder feierliche Gottesdienste besuchen?

Wann schlugen wir zuletzt? Wen traf es? Und wir? Beneideten wir den Nachbarn, der mit einem Ausflug nach Asien renommierte? Doch wann guckten wir das letzte Mal weg, als ein Tier geschlagen wurde? In welcher Form lieben wir die Tiere? Auf den Tellern unserer Feinschmeckerei? Viele weitere werden verfolgt, bedroht, verschleppt, inhaftiert, gefoltert. Das Gebaren des Gastgebers war freilich etwas eigenartig: 38 Nackt und gefesselt baumelte er von der Decke. Was unter anderem herauskam: Frauen holen auch in dieser Szene auf, kontaktsuchende Damen kommen auf ihre Kosten und erhalten auf ihre Annoncen Hunderte von Zuschriften.

SM und wirkliches Leben werden meist scharf getrennt. Beliebt sind ferner theatralische Rollenspiele: Schulstunden mit einem strengen Lehrer, Sklavenversteigerungen, die Passion Jesu. Eine Sonderwelt? Rituale eines fremdartigen Volksstamms? Oder Vergewaltigungsphantasien mitinszenieren? Diese Art von gleichzeitiger Gewalt und Liebe erproben? Er scheint von dem Wunsch bestimmt, um jeden Preis zu schockieren und jedes Tabu zu brechen.

Sahen wir nie solche Filme - und empfahlen ihre Spannungsfolter weiter? Selbstschutz der Illusionen Weshalb sind es stets die anderen? Wie dieser sich in konkreter Folter ausnimmt? Ihre Hirten gar? Ob wenigstens sie eine Ausnahme machen? Eine solche Situation schafft den Geist des Aberglaubens, wegen seiner andauernden Grimasse und Heuchelei. Ich denunziere nicht, doch bitte ich, den Satz des Laotse viertes oder drittes Jahrhundert v.

Wie konnte dies geschehen? Die Antworten fallen unterschiedlich aus. Die Zahlen und Fakten bezeugen unangefochten das Gegenteil. Heuchelei, das angebliche Wiederaufleben nur bei den jeweils anderen auszumachen. Gerade Patriarchen, und nur Patriarchen, brauchen ihn. Doch seine Argumentation fiel zeitlos aus. Wer, wenn nicht Regierung, Moral und Religion, sollte je von der Folter profitiert haben?

Der Film spielt in der Zukunft, doch glaubt er nicht an sie. Es handelt sich, bei einem so entsetzlichen Thema wie dem der Folter, nicht darum, einen simplifiziert Schwarzen Peter an die Kirchen weiterzureichen. Dabei steckte ich selbst nicht in den Folterkammern, sondern las und schrieb nur nach, was andere erlitten. Wer erinnert, wenn nicht der Schriftsteller? Dies ist sein Beruf, seine soziale Leistung. Der Erinnernde erlaubt sich nicht den Gestus des Voyeurs.

Millionen Menschen verlangen nach Gerechtigkeit. Da waren Juristen am Werk, die sich um jede Feinheit der Definition stritten, bevor alle Tatbestandsmerkmale eingefangen waren. An grausamen Beispielen aus Politik und Justiz fehlt es bestimmt nicht. Die Lust an verfeinerter Grausamkeit und der Wille, sich vor seinem Gott auszuzeichnen, korrespondieren.

Diese Bestimmungen stammen aus unserer Gegenwart. Sie sind zeitgleich mit dem aktuell Erreichten offiziellen Folterfrieden. Verantwortung darf nicht an andere weitergereicht, auf andere abgeschoben werden. Wo blieb der Heilige Geist? Verschlug ihm der kriminelle Unsinn die Sprache?

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Offensichtlich zog er es vor, sich ausgerechnet im Vatikan, beim unfehlbaren Papst, nicht zu erkennen zu geben. Noch heute ist sie mit dem automatisch eintretenden Kirchenbann belegt. Kann das alles gewesen sein? Die Fragen treffen christliche Predigt und Praxis ins Mark. Welche Aufgaben haben eigentlich die christlichen Kirchen?

Sie folgen keiner selektiven Wahrnehmung. Ist aber schon die Grundlage des christlichen Glaubens verderbt, kann die historische Konsequenz nicht anders aussehen. Und die sich nicht abwenden? Die flugs mit dem Argument bei der Hand sind, hier werde verzerrt? Wer sich nicht desorientieren lassen will, braucht sich nur in die Fakten zu vertiefen, und ihn wird grausen. Das Richtige sehen lernen? Richtig sehen lernen? Doch weder Geschichte noch Gegenwart der Christenheit decken dieses Verfahren. Christen sind dem Anspruch nach hoffende, in Wirklichkeit in Angst gehaltene Menschen.

Sie konnten, um ihre Seele zu retten, meist nicht anders, als vom vermeintlich sicheren Pferch aus um sich zu schlagen. Doch welcher Mensch griffe zur Gewalt, um naturwissenschaftliche Wahrheiten, mathematische Gesetze zu beweisen? Seit wann hat die Barmherzigkeit einen Stachel? Helfershelfer gestellt wird. Zum Pogrom ist es von der Gewissensfolter aus nicht mehr weit. Doch auch die sogenannte feminine Seite der Religion ist nicht einfach unpolitisch, schon gar nicht unblutig, unkriegerisch. Zuletzt haben sie auch noch die Inquisition erfunden.

Ihr sollt eure Feinde niederknallen! Keine Christin lebt, wie allein sie will. Auch keine Schande, sondern Religion. Er wurde von Johannes Paul II. Verdarb ihre Kriegsmoral kein einziges Mal die Jugend? Sie sind in keinem Fall zu billigen. Erreichen sie nicht den Kenntnisstand einer Bibel? Gewissen also hin oder her?

Die Folter? Das ewige Leid? Hilfreich, sich dieser Erfahrungen mit dem Christentum zu erinnern. Und dies seit zweitausend Jahren, unter Millionen von Menschen. Das asketische Versagen des Christenmenschen ist im System selbst angelegt. Schuld, Scham, Schwermut sind unausbleiblich. Entweder sexuell unbefriedigt zu bleiben oder sexueller Schuld ausgeliefert zu sein macht nicht gerade friedfertig. Sadistisch und sexualpathologisch zugleich ist nicht nur die Phantasie. Sie projizieren nicht allein diesseitige Schuld auf ein abgelegenes Jenseits. Was sie nicht sehen will: Wahre Christen hatten heilsnotwendigerweise Angst zu haben.

Ihr Gott wollte diese Angst. Sie lebt von Absichten, nicht von Einsichten. Das verlangte nach der Strafe der Patriarchen: Weg damit, und unsere Welt ist wieder besser, wieder rein! Schon hier verweise ich auf Bilder, die nicht selten den Malern und Zeichnern ebensoviel Lust verschafft haben mochten wie den Betrachtern jener Zeit. Der Besitzanspruch auf eine Gefangene wird in Form des sexuellen Angriffs geltend gemacht, eines Angriffs, der nicht nur Folter, sondern sexuelle Folter ist.

Beatrice Cenci, des Vatermords angeklagt, wurde an ihrem langen Haar bestraft. Vielmehr sind sie als solche schmutzig, geil und im Unrecht. Grausiges Leiden wird mit sexueller Erregung in Verbindung gebracht. Folterer der Gegenwart schieben ihren Opfern Revolver in den Mund, um den pervers-sexuellen Charakter ihrer Macht zu demonstrieren. Nicht ohne Grund. In Pakistan kann vorehelicher Geschlechtsverkehr durch Steinigung oder Auspeitschung der Frau bestraft werden. Er wird sie zu nutzen wissen. Aber wenn man den Nagel einmal fest gepackt hat, braucht man nur zu ziehen.

Das Fleisch darunter ist rosa wie ein Babypopo. Ist sie friedfertig? Die Theorie besticht den Mann. Seine Angst vor den Frauen ist eine Urvorgabe des Patriarchats. Christen bewiesen wenig Schwierigkeiten, beide Mysterien in eins zu setzen. Sie waren anderen Glaubens, Mohammedanerinnen. Das Christentum hat seinen Stammplatz in diesem Gespinst; Theologie und Feminismus sind nicht zu vereinbaren. Der Mann denkt sich ohne Frau.

Sie denkt sich nicht ohne den Mann. Dieses hat zur Zeit ein gewisses Endziel erreicht: Jetzt gibt es Plastikfrauen, die alles mitmachen, nur das eine nicht. Sie geben keine Liebe, treten ihren Besitzern und Benutzern nie zu nahe. Wo anders findet sich die Frau, die, ohne selbst zu lieben, der Mann-Liebe dient, still und unter-legen? Wehe der Frau, die wie Eva ungehorsam ist! Schmerzen, Schwangerschaft, Brunst sind ihr Los. In patriarchalen Gesellschaften und in ihren Religionen sind Sex und Gewalt eins.

Das Motto bleibt gegen Frauen und Kinder gesellschaftlich akzeptiert, und dies nicht nur bei der praktizierenden sadomasochistischen Minderheit. Die meisten Menschen — und alle Christinnen und Christen! Die alten Herrschaftsregeln gelten noch so lange, wie die alten Rollen funktionieren. Ich warne freilich diejenigen, die sich als zart besaitet verstehen, vor den Fakten dieses Buches. Sie sind voller Grauen. Diese Kirche hat keinerlei Schrittmacherfunktion. Eine schreckliche Konsequenz: Gutsein auf christlich lohnt sich nur, wenn es auch eine dunkle Alternative gibt, von der man sich absetzen und vor der man sich retten lassen kann.

Das ist kein Sondergut einer fanatischen Minderheit. Was sonst, wenn nicht diese Aussicht auf Rache, sollte Kleinchristen anspornen? Er fordert den Gehorsam gegen diesen. Keine Religion kam aus dem Nichts. Sie verlangen sein Ja. Wir werden noch sehen. Das bedeutet: Sadistisch erschafft er sie, masochistisch will er sie miterleiden.

Doch sind diese Christinnen nicht entschuldigt. Sie kann sich tarnen, gerade mit den Zeichen der Hoffnung. Vor allem erfahrene Christinnen wissen, was ich meine. Christenmenschliche Sicherheit forderte stets ihre Opfer. Der rechte Christ will es recht machen; ob dies gelingt, beurteilen andere. Etwas verbrochen zu haben wird unter Christenmenschen zu einem fast allgemeinen Zustand. Oberste Sicherheitsinstanz bleibt im Jenseits der entsprechende Gott.

Dann erleben Christen Heimat, sprechen von der Lust, katholisch zu sein. Sie bleiben nicht folgenlos. Wann nahm er seine Zuflucht zu Folter und Tortur, um 89 Wahrheit durchzusetzen? Gewalt deckt sich unter den Mantel der Liebe. Liebe existiert nicht frei. Sie bleibt sozial wie individuell gewaltdefiniert, gewaltgeordnet, gewaltgerichtet. Alles ist heute definiert, gerade auch die Liebe, die zur Ideologie ihrer eigenen Abwesenheit gemacht wurde.

Gerade die christlichen Kirchen und ihre wesentlichen Lehren sind aufs engste mit diesen Vorgaben verbunden. Diese Machtgruppe Klerus gleicht mittlerweile einer Summe der lebenslangen Inhaber von Herrschaftspositionen. Klappt es von Fall zu Fall nicht mehr so recht mit dem Gehorsam, werden neue Herrschafts-Reize ausgesandt. Hilfreich, sich im Zusammenhang mit der christlichen Folterbereitschaft an diese Merkmale der Zurichtung zu erinnern. Folterer werden nicht geboren, sondern gemacht.

Er hatte die ganze Nacht an dem Kugelschreiber gerieben. Dann aber geht alles seinen normalen Weg. Der Oberhirte J. Meisner beschuldigte am Denn sie tun die Drecksarbeit — Pontius Pilatus machte es vor! Die Passion der Grausamkeit findet hier ihre Zielgruppen. Die christliche Religion war nicht zimperlich, dieses Prinzip umzusetzen und zu konkretisieren. Doch das einzige, was niemandem zusteht, ist, ein Sieger zu sein. War Gott je wert, Kinder zu haben? Oder kennt das Neue Testament den Dialog mit den Gegnern? Wer, wenn nicht das System Religion und Kirche, bezeugte dies?

Legte christlicher Biedersinn nie Feuer? Die Ketzergeschichte ist randvoll mit solchen Untaten der einen Menschen gegen die anderen. Bertrand Russell Eine Liebesgeschichte zuvor. Da er nichts mehr zu essen hatte, suchte und fand er Arbeit. Ich sterbe hier vor Hunger. So machte er sich auf. Und der Sohn sagte, was er sich vorgenommen hatte. Doch der Vater redete ihm gut zu. Das half nicht viel. Jetzt aber, nachdem mein Bruder sein Hurerleben aufgegeben hat, feierst du ihn! Alles, was mein ist, ist dein. Dein Bruder war tot und ist wieder lebendig. Er war verloren - und ist wieder da.

Dementsprechend wird es gefeiert. Die evangelische Theologin Jutta Voss1 weist auf bestimmte Sachverhalte hin. Im Gleichnis werden Schweine2 genannt. Sie sind, zumindest in der damaligen Empfindung, Inbegriff des Verachtenswerten. Dann verstummt er. Nach Meinung des Evangeliums ist alles Wichtige gesagt. Ob er die angesagte Festfreude gar nicht teilen kann? Braucht auch sie Gewalt? Mir erscheint sie typisch patriarchal, von Vaterwerten bestimmt. Was will der Heiland mehr?

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Und das Nachforschen, In-den-Text-Hineinkriechen. Da herrschen Wohlstand, Ordnung, Friede. Nun muckt aber ein Sohn auf. Vielleicht war ihm sein Vaterhaus einfach zu gut und zu langweilig. Er will sich aus der gewohnten Vaterherrlichkeit befreien. Und das Erbe nimmt er gleich mit. Der junge Mann lernt nur, was alle erfuhren, die sich mit der Welt einlassen. Er wendet sich von Frauen und Schweinen zugleich ab. Er tut alles, um akzeptiert zu werden. Einen autonomen Weg zu gehen, riskiert er nicht mehr.

Im Gleichnis setzt bald das sogenannte christliche Wunder ein. Sie wissen, warum. Sie denken, so werde es bestimmt auch ihnen ergehen, wenn sie sich reuig zeigen. Kein Grund zur Freude? Das Wunder ist gar keines. Patriarchen handeln immer so; ihr Gott macht keine Ausnahme.

Ohne Vorleistungen des Sohnesgehorsams kennen sie kein Erbarmen. Er versucht nicht einmal, die Motive des in die Fremde Gegangenen zu verstehen, geschweige denn anzuerkennen. Er sitzt einfach da, lebt sein Vaterleben, wartet ab. Er strengt sich noch immer nicht an. Nun hat er ihn wieder, seinen legitimen Sohn. Du wirst sogar allen, die weglaufen wollen, deine Urerfahrung predigen: Fremde ist Elend.

Zu Hause aber, wo die Gehorsamen sitzen, feiert es sich leicht. Da wird das Mastkalb geschlachtet, da herrschen eitel Wonne und Sonnenschein. Alles in allem ein schreckliches Gleichnis. Sich gegen Fremde nicht nur abschotten, sondern aggressiv zur Wehr setzen? Mit Freuden foltern? Dieser Effekt ist beabsichtigt. Die hohe Theologie? Das kann auf einem simplen Denkfehler beruhen. Denn es ist falsch, Gottes-Reden nur individualistisch verstehen zu wollen. Welches Bild von Gott auch immer ein Land, ein Volk, einen Staat mitbestimmt, es hat gesellschaftliche, politische, finanzielle Konsequenzen.

Die Immunisierungsstrategien sind erprobt. Hier besteht Nachholbedarf. Welche Transzendenz, wenn nicht Gott selbst, sollte heute in Frage stehen? Doch sind sie nicht entschlossen genug, die Christenlehre ganz abzutun. Sie schaffte es nicht. Doch wir leben in einem Land, in dem einer scheel angeschaut, wenn auch nicht mehr strafrechtlich verfolgt oder gefoltert wird, der einen Gott nicht akzeptiert, den ihm niemand bewies.

Die Eigenschaften Gottes, so es ihn gibt, sind durchweg unbekannt. Christinnen aber verbinden die Wunden, pflegen die Verletzten. Die beste aller Welten? In Peru gibt es ein einziges Kinderhospital. Unsereins sollte das Bessere nicht vom Tod und dem angeblichen Leben nach diesem erwarten, sondern von sich selbst. Sie sind die schrecklichsten. Das Gottesproblem bleibt. Dessen Verteidiger schwatzen sich immer tiefer ins Verderben hinein, je mehr sie predigen und irgendeine Auch-Philosophie treiben lassen. Damit steht sie der Deutung einer interessengelenkten Theologie offen; das be kommt ihr nicht.

Sollen wir an das glauben, was Theologen in diese Begriffe legen? Sind nicht die den an sich hohlen Worten amtlich zugelegten Inhalte wenig anderes als Folterinstrumente, Systeme von Grausamkeiten, mit deren Hilfe Priester Herren wurden, Herren blieben? Reich Christi? Heine wurde? Starker Tobak? Das ist praktisch: Die Seinen richten sich's nach Belieben, sagen nicht, worum es im konkreten Fall geht, drehen und winden sich exegetisch, dogmatisch, moralisch, wo es sich lohnt.

Ihre Rede, gerade die vermeintlich progressive, ist alles andere als ja, ja und nein, nein. Und hier beginnt mein Ekel. So tief sanken sie nie; ihr Instinkt bewahrte sie vor einer so krassen Vermenschlichung36 — genauer: vor einer Einbindung in patriarchale Technikmodelle Sie ersetzen den Begriffs-Albinos39 den Mangel neuzeitlicher Theorie. Diese Auskunft kann uns allerdings nicht veranlassen, ihren jeweiligen Unsinn zu glauben.

Angst vor konsequentem Denken? Die Religionskritik hat daher noch nicht ausgedient. Kein denkender Mensch wird von sich sagen, er allein besitze die ausschlaggebenden Argumente. Im Gegenteil: Unsere Kritik freute sich, auf aufrichtige Gegnerschaft und klare Widerlegung zu treffen. Vernunft bedurfte noch nie des Erleuchtungsmittels Scheiterhaufen.

Wiederholt unsereins nur abgelegte, widerlegte Themen des letzten Jahrhunderts? Oder richtet sich der Vorwurf gegen die, welche ihn erheben? Was anderes, was mehr soll bezweckt werden? Sollten da tiefere Schichten freigelegt werden? Die erste Bitte an ihn ist die um Erbarmen. Du mein lieber Gott! Eine monotheistische Religion ist unduldsam und aggressiv. Nicht Gott ist gefragt, nicht er ist wichtig. Und die Liebe sowieso. Es sieht — im Gegensatz zu vielen Predigtversuchen — nicht so aus, als handle es sich hier auf beiden Seiten um die lautere Liebe.

Weh dem, der zum Vater sagt: Weshalb hast du mich gezeugt? Denn wen der Herr liebt, den haut er, wie ein Vater seinen Sohn, wenn er diesen gern hat Spr 3, Strafe ist Ausdruck wahrer Liebe. Gott will es so. Sein Wille geschehe, sein Reich komme Der Vorschlag geht am Wesen des Textes vorbei. Sage mir, zu wem und wie du betest, und ich sage dir, wer du bist.

Vater, dein Wille geschehe! Auch Gott wird von den Seinen gefoltert; diese machen gerade bei ihm keine Ausnahme. Er bleibt in den Kreisen der patriarchalen Gottesdenker ein Fremder. Verbrannten Montaigne, Voltaire, Rousseau je einen Christen? Folterten Kant, Lessing, Heine ihre Kritiker? Hetzten Bayle, Hobbes, Darwin zum Pogrom? Wo aber ist die Gewalt zu Hause? Doch gingen den Christen damit Werte verloren? Weswegen vertrauen sie nicht einfach der Gerechtigkeit ihres Gottes?

Der Hohenstauferkaiser Friedrich II. Viele Christen wissen nur zu gut, was sie wollen. Die anderen wissen vergleichsweise nichts. Nur meinesgleichen soll ich lieben? Nicht die Sonne? Verdiente er, was Christen ihm antaten? Dieser mitleiderregende Gott ist selbst geschaffen als ein Wesen, das die Seinen liebt, vorausgesetzt, sie gehorchen ihm. Sich ausgerechnet von Untertanen geliebt zu wissen?

Technical Assistant, retired. Observateur civil en Palestine - Auteur. Vicepresident Peaceforum of Europe, professor. Agriculture and food economics. Mitglied der Piratenpartei Deutschland. Freier evangelischer Geistlicher. Professor for Politic and Economy. International Physicians for the prevention of Nuclear war.

PhD cand. Independent researcher - analist. Sociologist, Peace ambassador, Human rights activist. Retired teacher and peace activist.

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Actor, director y Pedagogo teatral. Alliance for peace Braunschweig. Economist, questions internationales. Vrede vzw peace organisation. Cultural and Social Anthropology. Electrical and Electronic Engineer. Ex-Stellvertretende Vorsitzende des Aachener Friedenspreis e. Ex-Vorsitzender Aachener Friedenspreis e. Information Bureau for Peace Work. General Secretary, Alternatives International.

Founder of the Syrian dialogue Project. Peace activist, Member of the Caravane to Palestine. Assistant Professor of Sociology. Anthropologist, The University of Manchester. Coordinator Edinburgh Peace and Justice Centre. Councillor Development Cooperation. Diplom-Psychologe, Psychotherapeut.


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Professor of Business Administration. Former Co-chair, World Disarmament Campaign. Professor Peace and Conflict Research. Peace Research, Kiel University. CID Consultant for integrative development. Student, audio production for film. Evangelisch-Methodistische-Kirche Asperg. Student of Middle Eastern studies. This time Brentano was less shy about issuing an ultimatum; he demanded an answer within three days. The question was whether the East Germans could be persuaded to accept a postponement gracefully. On April 8, , Brentano interrupted a session scrambling for africa. His announcement drew applause from the entire house.

As Etzdorf had observed the preceding year at the conference in Addis Ababa, juridical arguments about the legitimacy of the Federal Republic and the illegitimacy of the gdr were not enough. Across the board, political elites in West Germany were relieved that their country had managed to keep its embassy in Guinea. While France, Britain, and the United States defended the interests of the West in Berlin, the Federal Republic—a country without a recent colonial history—could act as a proponent of the West in the developing world.

As the s opened, great optimism reigned in Bonn about the potential of development aid to foster genuine friendship between the West Germans and the new leaders of Africa and Asia. Each sought to draw as many visitors as possible from Asia and Africa, be they cabinet ministers, union leaders, or journalists; each doled out hundreds of stipends to skilled workers and students for advanced training and study. In those Third World capitals where East German trade missions or consulates coexisted with West German embassies, both sides splurged for public relations exercises.

When it came to spending money for more constructive purposes like development aid, the German states favored export credits and small-scale projects such as model farms or training workshops. In the autumn of , this pattern changed abruptly. They endeavored to provide aid without political strings. Within a few short years, though, West Germans began to take umbrage at the hostile anti-Western rhetoric of many Third World regimes. By proclaiming solidarity with the struggle against imperialism, the gdr won substantial support among former colonies in Asia and Africa.

Aid should be given in modest amounts, with the sole purpose of achieving foreign policy credit. West Germany also signed on to major international consortia assisting Greece, Turkey, and India. The Hermes system remained in place as a supplementary source of credit. Poverty in the Third World, combined with explosive population growth, appeared to make the entire region vulnerable to communist propaganda. As Brentano remarked to U. West German aid, as Brentano assured the Bundestag, came free of political strings.

The Federal Republic gave assistance just as readily to radical regimes Ghana, Guinea, and Mali as to moderates Tunisia and Thailand or to reactionaries Iran. This represented a marked contrast to France, which explicitly favored cooperative regimes and punished uncooperative ones. In January and February , cabinet member Hans-Joachim Merkatz replacing Brentano, who had just broken his arm toured Southeast Asia, showering Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, and Ceylon with multimillion-mark packages offering a combination of long-term loans, technical assistance, and Hermes credits. Following in the footsteps of the Soviet Union, which had assumed sole responsibility for the dam at Aswan, the Federal Republic committed itself to planning and building a dam on the Euphrates River in the Syrian portion of the uar.

These were exceptional cases, however. Both Nasser and Sukarno had aldevelopment aid. On other occasions West German diplomats avoided bringing up aid and the German Question in the same breath, lest this be interpreted as an attempt to exert undue pressure. Although the Federal Republic described itself as a foe of imperialism and a champion of national self-determination, its close alliance with all the leading colonial powers in Africa—France, Britain, Belgium, Italy, and Portugal—undermined this claim. Still, the Hallstein Doctrine could be compromised by even a small group of strongly pro-Eastern states in the developing world.

In early and mid the gdr continued its advance.

1. Introduction

Having been promised millions of marks in long-term, low-interest loans, Third World governments were annoyed to learn in subsequent months that these funds were not immediately forthcoming. The large numbers bandied about in West German aid agreements had little practical meaning; they rep Upon being offered, say, dm 20 million in aid, a receiving country had to draft a series of proposals about how these funds were to be used.

The Steering Committee in Bonn then examined each petition for feasibility and economic rationality. Given the large sums involved, though—as much as dm 3. In large part the disaster was self-generated. Farmers were joined by even development aid. At length the Soviet Union stepped in to pick up the slack, extending millions of marks in loans to bail out the sed from to In mid the Politburo actually had to beg Egypt to postpone the credits proffered in , since the gdr was in no position to make the promised deliveries.

The sed was quick to accuse the United States and by implication its West German ally of complicity in the assassination of Congolese leftist Patrice Lumumba in February So, too, did the ongoing French war in Algeria. Clear-sighted observers in East Berlin could not help but notice, however, that nonaligned states also consorted with the gdr in order to put pressure on the Federal Republic. Khrushchev renewed his earlier threat to sign a separate peace treaty with the gdr if the Western Allies did not terminate their occupation of Berlin by the end of In West Germany, Adenauer and his advisers looked on helplessly as the superpowers seemed to drift to On the morning of August 13, , the sed addressed the problem with barbed wire, cordoning off the Western sectors of Berlin and securing the border with machine guns.

Yet certain decisions by the organizers restricted the circle of invitations to a small core of nonaligned countries. First, in contrast to Bandung, the members of Western- or Eastern-led military alliances were not eligible to attend, disqualifying China and North Korea but also Turkey, Thailand, Iran, and Japan.

The American ambassador in Belgrade, historian and diplomat George F. Although the Federal Republic had no diplomatic representation in Belgrade, it, too, took a relatively sanguine view of the approaching conference. What could the West Germans say about the moral bankruptcy of the East German regime that was not already expressed by the horrible blemish of the Berlin Wall?

Among the more skillful was Paul Scholz, a deputy prime minister who visited with Nkrumah in early July. Hager reported from New Delhi that Nehru was likely to speak out in Belgrade on behalf of a compromise solution to the Berlin Crisis: the Western powers should recognize the gdr in exchange for guaranteed Allied rights in the western sectors of the city. Marshal Tito reportedly took steps behind the scenes to play down the importance of the Soviet action. Let them initiate talks in a serious endeavor to reach understanding. Let them take initial steps, however small, towards the creation and strengthening of regular forms of contact.

Worse still, the idea of peaceful coexistence with the gdr implied that it should be granted some degree of recognition. The nations of the world should therefore recognize the existence of these two States to enable them to co-exist peacefully. More explicitly On the level of principle, several considerations led Nasser to resist any formal recognition of the gdr by the nonaligned world. As an advocate of Arab unity, he wished to maintain public support of German unity as well; as a vociferous hater of Israel, he wished to avoid sanctioning the territorial status quo in Germany and elsewhere, for his government still aimed at the elimination of Israel as a state.

Rumors abounded that a group of states had pledged to take up diplomatic relations with the gdr shortly after the conference. Sukarno showed no willingness to depart from the views he had expressed in Belgrade, but he did at least promise not to take any initiative toward a de jure recognition of the gdr. Both African governments reiterated their standpoint that two German states now existed, but they indicated that relations with the Federal Republic were too important for them to risk formalizing ties with East Germany.

Since he had concluded that neither the Western Allies nor the Soviet Union wished to see a united Germany, the only argument still holding Nehru back from recognizing the gdr was his view that this would, in the near term, exacerbate the crisis over Berlin. This was a potent claim that threatened to undermine the deterrent value of the Hallstein Doctrine. However, reactions other than a break in diplomatic relations were seldom mentioned. But every fall from through , the number of states explicitly endorsing the West German standpoint in the un fell; a slight rise in hardly had an impact on the overall downward trend.

Negotiations dragged on until November, and Bonn was bereft of a working government for much of the fall. The fdp did not manage to dislodge Adenauer from his post as chancellor, which was an embarrassment for the party; it had run development aid. How could the fdp now submit to the foreign policy of Adenauer and Brentano without losing face? This point is important as a warning to states that are toying with the idea of acknowledging or signing a separate peace between the Soviet Union and the gdr.

Instead the Free Democrats focused on getting their people in the right places in the new government. Scheel was willing to serve as either minister for European affairs or minister for development aid; neither ministry existed, so one would have to be created for the occasion. On October 28 the nervous, chain-smoking bachelor tendered his resignation. From the start, the new minister sympathized with American and British efforts to resolve the crisis peacefully, even if this involved some compromise over the status of the divided city.

Walter Scheel, in his capacity as development aid minister, tried to resist this trend. He viewed dispensing aid as a unique task that could not simply be subordinated to foreign policy goals. The interministerial Steering Committee remained the central decision-making authority on development aid. In the winter of — 62, Ghana was an ambitious test case for this approach. However, the Steering Committee was reluctant to establish this as a general procedure, since it was too obvious an example of attaching political strings to aid. Since the Federal Republic itself had no diplomatic or consular relations with Cambodia, the new consulate was a noteworthy coup for the gdr.

Initially he came armed only with a threat: if Cambodia did not comply, the Federal Republic would cancel its offer of aid a paltry dm 1. He could not, after all, threaten to break diplomatic relations, since these had never been established. Cambodian negotiators in Bonn later talked the Federal Republic into an even more generous aid package, involving dm 5. In mid, when the government of Abdul Karim Qassem in Iraq opened consular relations with the gdr, Bonn found that it had almost no leverage over Baghdad. Around the same time, relations with Ceylon were also deteriorating, in no small part due to irritations stemming from the isolation campaign.

Adenauer seemed inclined to favor a tactical retreat on the question of East German consulates in order to avoid these continuing diplomatic run-ins. In November the Indonesian foreign minister deliberately omitted the nonrecognition clause when he issued an exequatur to the new East German consul in Jakarta. In the context of a more general slump in relations between West Germany and Indonesia, this move set off warning bells in Bonn, and State Secretary Carstens insisted on a public declaration by Sukarno that Indonesia did not recognize the government of East Germany. This was not how the link between aid and the Hallstein Doctrine was supposed to work.

Other Western countries were just as powerless in Iraq and Indonesia; these were rogue regimes that had alienated most of their neighbors as well as the major European powers. Grewe and Hallstein had devised their policy as a universal deterrent, making the nonrecognition of East Germany a precondition for relations with West Germany. The government did not stop experimenting, however. By the second half of , the idea of harnessing aid in the service of the Hallstein Doctrine was common currency in Bonn. Quite a number of commentators approved. The Rheinischer Merkur praised the development aid.

Quite unexpectedly, Cuba recognized the gdr on January Not only would there be no trade between the Federal Republic and Cuba, but a legal framework for such transactions would be lacking entirely. It was applauded by both the cdu and the spd, while the fdp, as a partner in government, had only limited maneuvering room in criticizing the action.

In the following years, the Foreign Ministry—along with substantial portions of the government apparatus—sought ever new means of perfecting the deterrent effect of the Hallstein Doctrine. The days of freely given development aid were past. From onward, the element of compulsion in relations with the Third World mounted continuously. By both German governments were long accustomed to a state of high tension among the major world powers. The Berlin Crisis had, it was true, reinforced the central role of the Four Powers in deciding the fate of Germany, but Ulbricht and Adenauer enjoyed a strong enough position within their respective alliances to veto any arrangements they found unacceptable.

What neither side was prepared for was a genuine warming of relations between Washington and Moscow. The strategy appeared to be succeeding, but the immense diplomatic effort was exhausting. Detractors worried that this exclusive bilateral relationship with France would wreck the larger project of building the eec; that it would alienate Britain, which had just been rejected by de Gaulle as a prospective new entrant to the eec; and that it would anger the United States, which was increasingly at odds with France.

American-sponsored plan for sharing nuclear responsibilities with nato members without actually letting West Germans have their own atomic weapons. Similar agreements followed with Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Several deputies complained that the interests of West Berlin had not been properly secured in the arrangements with Warsaw. Bonn was, of course, aware of the negotiations in Moscow, but it had expected that the treaty Adenauer, then in the lameduck phase of his chancellorship, was tempted to resign in protest; his shrill reaction was seconded by Brentano and by Franz-Josef Strauss, chairman of the Bavarian csu.

Those authorities cannot alter these facts by the act of subscribing to the test ban treaty. Kennedy, a seeming high point in German-American relations, the Kennedy administration had effected a major breakthrough in East-West relations without informing the West Germans ahead of time. If the United States had resigned itself to the status quo, might not an exclusive partnership with France offer the best remaining hope for overcoming the division of Europe? He and his cabinet began to lose perspective on the entire project.

Indeed, the spd caucus in the Bundestag backed Erhard so consistently that fdp politicians mocked it for neglecting the proper functions of an opposition party. The East German negotiators responded to this stiffer attitude by pulling out of the negotiations. For some observers, this merely proved that the Ulbricht regime was abusing the visits to achieve an indirect recognition from the West Germans. Material aid to Israel, in the form of economic support, would have to substitute for conventional diplomatic ties. Planning the Breakthrough For Ulbricht, too, the waning of tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union required a change of course.

A peace treaty stipulating the neutralization of West Berlin and the withdrawal of Allied soldiers from the city remained the ultimate goal of East German and Soviet policy. In the absence of agreement among the Four Powers, Ulbricht urged Khrushchev to sign a separate peace treaty with the gdr. Such a treaty would not be directly binding on the Western Allies, but if enough nonaligned countries could be persuaded to endorse the separate peace, the division of Germany would enjoy a more solid foundation under international law.

Unfortunately, few addressees in the Third World expressed anything more than polite interest; even Tito remained wary of the endeavor. The gdr was going to have to do without a peace treaty. The gdr had made sporadic progress since the construction of the Berlin Wall and the Belgrade Conference. Two East German consulates opened in Cambodia and Iraq , and one consulate and one trade mission followed in the spring of Yemen and Algeria, respectively. The diplomatic balance between East and West Germany was positively humbling.

In mid the gdr enjoyed consular relations with seven noncommunist states: Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Burma, Cambodia, and Indonesia. On an informal level, seventeen states, mainly in Latin America and Europe, tolerated the presence of East German chambers of commerce within their borders. In addition, the gdr enjoyed full diplomatic relations with thirteen communist nations. The danger was all too clear: a West German presence in capitals such as Warsaw threatened to weaken solidarity among the socialist powers and isolate the gdr within its own camp.

The Federal Republic was obviously trying to avoid establishing anything so formal as consular or diplomatic relations with the states of Eastern Europe. This approach would allow Bonn to achieve its aims without simultaneously undermining the basic principles of the Hallstein Doctrine. If all went well, the gdr would be able to use these precedents to advance its own efforts to gain consular and diplomatic representation elsewhere in Now that the danger of war had diminished substantially, however, it was harder to argue that nonaligned governments would be striking a decisive blow for peace by recognizing the socialist regime in East Berlin.

As many as 1 million brochures outlining the Seven Point Plan were printed in East Berlin and distributed worldwide, but the contents were instantly forgotten. Negative advertising offered more potential. By September , East German propagandists had cleverly synthesized their standard allegations into a pseudodocumentary booklet charging that the revanchist, militarist, racist West German government was cooperating with Pretoria in the production of nuclear weapons.

Blanket propaganda campaigns were easily mounted but did not speak to the interests and ambitions of individual leaders. The Foreign Ministry proposed singling out two countries in each major grouping—Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Arab countries—for special attention. It was easier to place hope in previously untested waters—Uganda, Kenya, and Tanganyika, for example, which had all just received their independence from Britain and were reportedly poised to form an anti-imperialist confederation in East Africa.

The Foreign Ministry Gerhard Weiss, deputy minister of trade, cited a comment by Ulbricht to the effect that one should not exaggerate the degree of common interests among the socialist countries. The recipients would later repay the loan with whichever foodstuffs and raw materials were of greatest utility to East Germans. In the best-case scenario, these two goals would mesh harmoniously. In each case he made offers in strictest secrecy: vm 30 million to Cambodia, vm 60 million to Burma, vm million to Indonesia, vm million to India, and vm million to Ceylon.

East Berlin had an interest in dragging out the process as much as possible so as to extract a number of political concessions along the way. Given the rigidity inherent in the East German concept—the credits were, after all, tied to a narrow palate of industrial offerings from the gdr—India and Indonesia did not signal much interest. In itself, the opening of yet another East German consulate was nothing spectacular.

This was surely a comforting notion for an elite that lived and ruled by means of painstaking, centrally dictated plans. In mid-January, one month after Britain had bestowed independence on the colony, Chinese-backed revolutionaries overthrew the government of Zanzibar and established a radical republic. Authorities in East Berlin, having fewer reservations about such matters, instantly welcomed the new regime.

Their gesture was reciprocated on January 28, , when the government of Zanzibar established diplomatic relations with the gdr. Here was an island nation on such a small scale—the population numbered no more than ,—that East German aid could transform it into a showcase of socialist benevolence. In the most unlikely of places, a breakthrough had come at last. His next stop after Colombo was New Delhi; might India, too, relent and establish consular relations with the gdr? At any rate, Ceylon, unlike India, was an easy target that Bonn could strike without measurable economic risk. The Federal Government is determined not to tolerate such an unfriendly act by Ceylon, and reserves the right to respond accordingly.

In the meantime, the situation in Zanzibar went from bad to worse. On the weekend of February 6—7, a junior West German diplomat had struck a deal with the new regime in Zanzibar. The Federal Republic would ignore any earlier comments about recognizing the gdr and establish diplomatic relations with the revolutionary government forthwith.

The one prerequisite was that no East German missions be allowed on the island. True to form, the gdr exploited its window of opportunity by showering Zanzibar with aid and special deliveries, thereby earning favor with the revolutionary leaders and entrenching itself quite deeply in just a few short months. Attention focused instead on economic reprisals—the freezing of West German aid. The State Department provided similar advice based on its own recent experiences.

The reprisals against Ceylon could serve as the foundation of a new, more comprehensive Hallstein Doctrine. The amount in question was not overwhelming. Bonn was treating Ceylon differently from the other nonaligned countries entertaining consular relations with East Berlin. First, the building of the Berlin Wall had revealed the true character of the sed regime more clearly than before; thus Bonn had greater cause to be angry with governments that drew closer to the gdr after August Each case requires thorough analysis and a consideration of those measures which are specially suited and necessary.

Bonn was attempting to deny the role of precedent in the pursuit of its isolation policy. Thinking in terms of precedents came naturally to jurists like Hallstein, and indeed the doctrine itself was built around the desire to avert the creation of unwanted precedents. In resisting such a development, the Federal Republic made constant use of argument by precedent. Yet precedent had proved to be a double-edged sword, for whenever a leader most commonly Nasser had Different regions would be held to different standards. What Egypt could do, Ceylon could not. Except in the case of Cuba, which involved a full recognition of the gdr, the Federal Republic had never actually carried out economic reprisals against countries that moved closer to the gdr.

What if Bonn encouraged its citizens to boycott certain imports from the country in question? Or aided and abetted ethnic or separatist movements within that country? Under other circumstances, the news from East Africa in late April would have produced an ecstatic reaction in Bonn. Nyerere, concerned lest the very union itself founder on the problem of German representation, suggested a compromise solution: the gdr would retain a consulate on the island with authority extending throughout the united Tanzania.

From Dar-es-Salaam, a livid Ambas Military metaphors now seemed best suited to describe the situation. Appropriately enough, the schema bore a military appellation: the mobilization plan. Would the Federal Republic truly decide to break relations with a large handful of neutral states at once? An assortment of other states, including Ceylon and Algeria as well as perennial suspects Ghana, Mali, Indonesia, and Burma, constituted a pool of likely candidates for upgrading the status of the gdr in a unitary action.

Previously, the West had discouraged others from recognizing the gdr in order to keep the German Question open; now Bonn seemed to be keeping the German Question open in order to maintain the sanctity of its isolation campaign. Small wonder, then, that both France and Britain showed renewed vigor in their support of the Hallstein Doctrine in the mids. It certainly contained vastly less than the separate peace treaty Ulbricht had once clamored for.

The Three Governments do not recognize the East German regime nor the existence of a state in eastern Germany. Aside from circulating numerous memoranda elaborating East German views on world events—typically attacks on the Federal Republic for supporting Portuguese imperialism, South African apartheid, or the nuclear arming of the Bundeswehr—the sed regime launched an impressive number of goodwill missions to neutral countries during September As so often in the past, this involved a fresh round of bribes to those countries that were most friendly toward the gdr.

Belgrade threatened that if Bonn were not forthcoming, it would initiate a worldwide smear campaign against the Federal Republic, including a drive to encourage nonaligned governments to recognize the gdr. As was only to be expected, the Federal Republic lavished considerable attention on Nasser. Arab experts in Bonn did not anticipate any direct challenge from Nasser, who had taken a moderate line on the German Question since the Belgrade Conference in They were not of any practical use in defusing public pressure for a normalization of relations with Israel, and if discovered, they left Bonn open to Arab charges of double-dealing in its Middle Eastern diplomacy.

The Hallstein Doctrine was not, of course, responsible for the poor judgment exercised in Bonn regarding military aid to Israel. When economics rather than Cold War ideology shaped the terms of debate, the Federal Republic could easily prevail over the gdr. For one thing, the next major Third World gathering was already in the planning stages; a second Bandung Conference, sponsored primarily by Indonesia and China, was scheduled to take place in Algiers in the spring of Aid should no longer be tied to particular projects, argued Pauls, and credit terms must be loosened.

In one celebrated example from late October , the cabinet decided to provide export guarantees for the construction of a cement factory in Puttalam, Ceylon. At a mixed government and private-sector meeting in January , State Secretary Lahr warned that without a drastic increase in aid funding, the Hallstein Doctrine was in danger of collapsing.

In the aftermath of that conference, the Erhard government now addressed these other, long-neglected problems— above all, Israel. Pressure for some improvement in relations between West Germany and Israel could no longer be ignored. March thus served as a deadline; by that time, the Federal Republic would have to place its ties with Israel on a new basis so that relations did not come to a standstill. In Cairo, representatives of the Arab League were already drafting such a resolution. The original agreements with Israel dated back to the era of Adenauer and Strauss and had been sealed with only a peremptory hint of parliamentary approval.

The period from November through January appears in retrospect to mark the beginning of the end of the Hallstein Doctrine. Without intentionally letting down their guard, leaders in Bonn stopped allowing the nonrecognition campaign to dictate every detail of their policy in the Middle East. This unusual display of West German indifference toward Surprisingly, though, the end was not as nigh as many assumed.

In the Arab world, the old rules of the Hallstein Doctrine no longer applied, since Bonn could not threaten to break diplomatic relations. But did this imply an outright recognition of East Germany on the part of Egypt? Should the Federal Republic appease the Egyptian leader in the hope of achieving a postponement or cancellation of the scheduled visit?

Or should Bonn instead make an example of Nasser by applying economic and political sanctions? Given the agitated state of West German elite opinion, an abject appeasement of Nasser seemed out of the question. His main concern throughout February was to keep the crisis from spiraling out of control. If Bonn failed to reach an understanding with Nasser, the Egyptian president just might proceed with a full recognition of the gdr, leaving the Federal Republic with two uncomfortable alternatives: breaking relations with Egypt or letting the Hallstein Doctrine collapse.

The best solution was to ride out the current crisis without putting Egypt to the test. As far as Egypt was concerned, the crisis was over. It appeared, based on reports from Cairo, that Bonn had capitulated to Arab blackmail on two This was at best a half-truth, and it came back to haunt the government in early March; but it stilled the critics for the time being. Political measures might follow as well, depending on how cordially Nasser treated his guest. Instead they vented their anger against the United States for originating the tanks-to-Israel scheme and then leaving the West Germans hanging out to dry.

Its isolation campaign was being sorely tested not only in the Middle East but in Indonesia and Tanzania as well. Sukarno was still considering opening an Indonesian consulate in East Berlin and reportedly also weighing an invitation to Ulbricht. Nyerere insisted that this This was, in effect, an effort to sound out the commitment of the Allies to the Hallstein Doctrine. Soon thereafter an American envoy departed for Israel to discuss new alternatives for Israeli defense. Under these circumstances, Erhard felt that a simple termination of West German economic aid was not harsh enough. If Bonn broke with Cairo, would this lead a series of other Arab states to cut ties with Bonn?

Erhard, still insistent on taking some strong action, seized upon a different plan: an exchange of embassies with Israel. At the end of a weekend of tortuous conversations at his vacation home on the Tegernsee, Erhard and a hand For months Bonn had been reassuring Arab leaders quietly that the Federal Republic would certainly not establish diplomatic relations with Israel before the Bundestag elections in September On March 14 the member states of the Arab League vowed to break diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic if it took up diplomatic relations with Israel—a sort of reverse Hallstein Doctrine.

Hoping that Arab tempers would cool, Bonn did not rush its negotiations with Tel Aviv. In many respects Israel counted for more internationally than all the Arab states combined. For the Federal Republic in particular, reconciliation with Israel was absolutely vital for retaining the trust and support of its most important ally, the United States. Although the State Department a discredited doctrine.

Even in the Middle East, there was a glimmer of hope. The ten states that broke with Bonn did not proceed to recognize the gdr. Despite their outrage, the Arab leaders did not burn all of their bridges with the Federal Republic. Even so, the crisis of dealt a major blow to West German prestige. In effect, the Hallstein Doctrine had been rendered inoperative in this part of the world. More precisely, Bonn could still threaten to break relations, but it could not afford to make good on that threat. An abrupt departure of West German representatives from a nonaligned country in During the next year and a half, the parties of the governing coalition quarreled often about the Hallstein Doctrine, but the differences of opinion concerned tactical details rather than strategic goals.

Even where another state recognized the gdr outright, wrote one expert, severing diplomatic ties was the one countermeasure Bonn should not consider. Punish the offender in every other way, support its rivals and enemies, but keep diplomatic relations intact. Since the early s, the Federal Republic had insisted that it alone bore the right to represent the German people in international affairs. For this reason, the one situation it refused to countenance was the simultaneous presence, in any capital save Moscow, of two equally ranked German representatives, one from the East and one from the West.

Writing in March , however, State Secretary Carstens wondered whether it might be preferable to retain a West German presence even in international organizations that the East Germans had managed to join. West Germany had the upper hand, yet the gap between the rivals was narrowing. This spared the Federal Republic from facing the dilemma of either breaking diplomatic relations or allowing the credibility of its threat to evaporate.