Charles de Gaulle and the grand coalition’s 'Ostpolitik', 1966-1969

Carine Germond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The West German Grand Coalition, headed by Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger from the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and Foreign Minister Willy Brandt from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) took office in November 1966 in the changing international context of de´tente. After the 1962 Cuba Crisis, the two superpowers entered into a dialogue designed to reduce East-West tensions, although it did not prevent the outbreak of serious regional crises such as the Vietnam War. From a Franco-German view point, relations had reached a low ebb at the end of Ludwig Erhard’s chancellorship. Disagreements on de´tente and its implications had contributed to the constant degradation of the climate between Paris and Bonn. Erhard’s and his Foreign Minister Gerhard Schröder’s reluctance to engage in political dialogue with Eastern Europe – despite the initiation of the policy of movement – convinced the French President to move forward alone with his eastern policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-258
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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