Foreign News: Benevolent Concession

West Germany's Chancellor Konrad Adenauer came home a shaken man from Moscow in the fall of 1955. Under strong political pressure from his own people to reach agreement with the Kremlin, Adenauer bowed to Russia's demand for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bonn and Moscow without waiting for German reunification. In exchange, he won release of 9,626 of the estimated 100.000 German prisoners then still held in Russia. Adenauer became chary of negotiating, even of trading, with the Soviets.

But with a foot in the door, the Russians next asked for a trade pact and consular agreement. Again under political pressure...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!