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Trust, but VerifyThe Politics of Uncertainty and the Transformation of the Cold War Order, 1969-1991$
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Martin Klimke, Reinhild Kreis, and Christian F. Ostermann

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804798099

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.001.0001

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Not Quite “Brothers in Arms”: East Germany and People’s Poland between Mutual Dependency and Mutual Distrust, 1975–1990

Not Quite “Brothers in Arms”: East Germany and People’s Poland between Mutual Dependency and Mutual Distrust, 1975–1990

Chapter:
(p.167) 8. Not Quite “Brothers in Arms”: East Germany and People’s Poland between Mutual Dependency and Mutual Distrust, 1975–1990
Source:
Trust, but Verify
Author(s):

Jens Boysen

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804798099.003.0009

This chapter assesses the relationship between East Germany and Poland during the last phase of the Cold War. It explains how the historical legacy of German–Polish relations infused the relationship of both countries with mistrust, despite the officially proclaimed brotherhood of a “socialist community” mandated from Moscow. Personal enmity between communist leaders Walter Ulbricht and Władysław Gomułka, conceptual differences of notions of statehood, and rivaling foreign policy goals and ideas about tolerance for domestic opposition since the end of the 1970s only exacerbated these tensions, which not even successful military cooperation under the Warsaw Pact umbrella was able to alleviate. Held together by their relationship to the Soviet hegemon, the officially required “trust” between the two countries fully disintegrated in the second half of the 1980s.

Keywords:   East Germany, Poland, German–Polish relations, socialism, Walter Ulbricht, Władysław Gomułka, Warsaw Pact, Soviet Union

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