West Germany: Ghosts of Weimar

Angry pacifists rampage through the streets of Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich in protest against West German membership in NATO. The CIA reports that they will burn down barracks of foreign troops next day. Though West German police cannot cope, Chancellor Erhard's Cabinet decides not to call out the army. The U.S., French and British ambassadors meet, proclaim a state of emergency, dissolve the Bundestag and jail the Cabinet.

Fantastic? The situation, perhaps—but, due to a curious anachronism, the solution would be perfectly legal. Under the 1955 Bonn Convention, in which the Allies recognized West Germany's sovereignty, the three powers retained...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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