Ph.D. (History), Senior Research Fellow
State Institution “Institute of World History of NAS of Ukraine”, Kyiv, Ukraine
Abstract. The article examines US policy towards West Germany after World War II, covering a historical span from the second half of the 1940s to the 1980s. It was US policy in Europe, and in West Germany in particular, that determined the dynamics and nature of US-German relations that arose on a long-term basis after the formation of Germany in September 1949.
One of the peculiarities of US-German relations was the fact that both partners found themselves embroiled in a rapidly escalating international situation after 1945. The Cold War, which broke out after the seemingly inviolable Potsdam Accords, forced the United States and Germany to be on one side of the conflict. Despite the fact that both states were yesterday’s opponents and came out of the war with completely different, at that time, incomparable, statuses.
A characteristic feature of US policy on the German question in the postwar years was its controversial evolution. The American leadership had neither a conceptual plan for development, nor a clear idea of Germany’s place in the world, nor an idea of how to plan the country’s future. However, the deterioration of relations between the USA and the USSR and the birth of the two blocs forced the US government to resort to economic revival (the Marshall Plan) and military-political consolidation of Western Europe and Germany (NATO creation).
US policy toward Germany has been at the heart of its wider European policy. The United States favored a strong and united Western Europe over American hegemony, trying to prevent the spread of Soviet influence.
Joint participation in the suppression of communism, however, could not prevent the periodic exacerbation of relations between the United States and Germany, and at the same time did not lead to an unconditional follow-up of the West Germans in the fairway of American foreign policy.
Keywords: USA, USSR, FRG, German question, Berlin crisis, cold war.
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