West Germany: Demolishing a Shibboleth

Despite disagreements on other is sues, West Germany's major parties have religiously respected the Federal Republic's No. 1 political taboo — that Bonn should never consider or discuss recognition of the East German regime of Communist Boss Walter Ulbricht. Now that shibboleth of two decades has been demolished. In search of a campaign issue in next September's national elections, the Free Democratic Party—which has shucked its old conservative image for a daring almost New Left look —has already declared that it favors recognition of East Germany. Last week, in a slightly hedged manner, Willy Brandt's Social Democrats also came...

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