Skip to content

Austria and German Unification

Documents on Austria’s role in the dissolution of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the country’s position toward German Unification. Originally published with a Working Paper by Michael Gehler and Maximilian Graf. See also the collections on German Reunification, the Berlin Wall, and the End of the Cold War. Image: Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky meets with the new Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the GDR, Hans Modrow, on 24 November 1989. Source

Popular Documents

December 7, 1989

Johann Plattner, Austrian Foreign Ministry, 'Program of Chancellor Kohl on German unification; Reaction of the Western states'

The document outlines other countries' reactions to the prospect of German Reunification. The fears of France, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg are cataloged. In addition, Western allies such as the United States, United Kingdom, and France are marked as being hopeful for the upcoming reunion of the two states.

July 19, 1990

Sucharipa, Austrian Foreign Ministry, 'German Unification, Soviet Position'

The document discusses the Soviet position on German unification in six separate parts. The first deals with confusion over Gorbachev's better than expected consent to unification. Second are the potential domestic and foreign policy reasons the USSR consented so readily to unification, followed by the third part which outlines potential Soviet benefits from the process. The fourth section discusses the autonomy of the new German government, which is backed up with the fifth section discussing public sentiment. The final portion discusses the fine line for both the Soviet Union and the West between being overbearing on Germany's new independence and not helping enough.

October 12, 1989

Assessment Paper by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, '[Excerpt] Eastern Europe; General Assessment'

The Assessment Paper outlines new change is Eastern Europe, mostly surrounding political and economic diversification, following Gorabachev's leadership in the USSR. The report then evaluates the GDR's economy, emigration, and anticipated political changes in light of the new geopolitical climate.

November 10, 1989

Johann Plattner, Austrian Foreign Ministry, 'Debate on German Reunification; Information and Language Regime'

In light of Kohl & Gorbachev's joint statement (June 13, 1989), the Head of the Department for Western and Northern Europe of the Political Section of the Austrian Foreign Ministry discusses German reunification, the Berlin Question, and Detente. The report discusses the resistant attitudes of the West, with the exception of the US, towards German reunification.

July 18, 1990

Johann Plattner, Austrian Foreign Ministry, 'German Unity; State of Affairs in mid-July 1990'

The report assesses German unity in three parts. The first regards internal factors of integration such as integrating monetary systems and elections. The next portion regards external factors, focusing mainly on the USSR's parameters for reunification regarding NATO and Poland's western border. Finally, the report assesses German reunification and predicts the process will be complete by the end of the year (1990). In addition, it discusses the positive prospects for European Unity and emphasizes Austria's role in binding a newly united Germany to Western Europe.