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Adenauer-Bulganin Prisoner Exchange Agreement

In the talks leading up to diplomatic negotiations with the Soviet ambassador in Paris, Vinogradov made it clear that reunification was not an option. If Adenauer received offers from the Soviet Union for diplomatic, scientific and cultural relations, he could not wait any longer. Everything else was not realistic. Adenauer maintained three main points: the undisputed question of Western agreements, the mention of reunification and the establishment of diplomatic relations without the agreement of prisoners of war. For him, it was clear that only a determined and determined approach would be the only way to succeed. That is why he personally led the negotiations. The invitation to the conference of the four powers, however, came at the wrong time for Adenauer. The indication that the consolidation of diplomatic relations must be the solution for the national unity of the German people, the restoration and reconstruction of the unity of a German democratic state, placed the federal government in a dilemma. No one could say whether an exchange of diplomatic representatives would lead to the start of bilateral negotiations or whether Moscow would regard the beginning of diplomatic relations as the conclusion of two German states.

There would be no question of not accepting such an invitation. This is due to the disagreement of the coalition within the government and the FDP, but also by the public expectation of a conduct of the negotiations. Peace in Europe was considered possible only by ending Germany`s divided status. At the invitation of the Soviet leaders, Adenauer went to Moscow from 8 to 14 September 1955. The negotiations resulted in the establishment of diplomatic relations in exchange for the release of the remaining 10,000 German prisoners of war, taking into account the sovereignty and diplomatic status of the federal government. It is not the insistence on an unrealistic demand for progress on the issue of a united Germany, but strong nerves and politically intelligent reactions that have been successful. The visit to Moscow left permanent impressions of Adenauer`s image in German public opinion and in his judgment on Soviet policy. The participation of the International Committee of the Red Cross aims to ensure compliance with fundamental humanitarian principles and procedures that facilitate the release, transfer or repatriation of any person deprived of their liberty during events in Yemen. Therefore, the safety of international Committee of the Red Cross staff must be ensured during this process and all necessary facilities will be made available so that the International Committee of the Red Cross can play its intermediate and neutral role in facilitating the implementation of the agreement. After four days of trial, hopes of success on the issue of prisoners of war seemed to fade. Adenauer`s only hope was to interrupt the negotiations and return earlier, if that impressed the Soviets, is not known.

Adenauer could hardly take the risk of abandoning the negotiations and thus risking a breakdown of the East-West de-escalation policy. Apart from that, the Soviets were ready to release the prisoners of war, which they had already hinted to the SED leaders, the only question was when. For Bulganin and Khruschev, this point had already been reached at least for the following days. Finally, they were impressed by Adenauer`s firmness and principles, as well as by discussions on the causes of the war.