If one can say – in a reasonable first approximation – that the world between 1945 and 1991 was the result of the Second World War, the Cold War and the race of the superpowers, the changes which occurred in the 1990s were not possible without the end of the East-West dichotomy, the end of what was called the “East Bloc” or, as some had it, the “Evil Empire”.

Francis Fukuyama hailed it:

“… What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”

We know better by now, in a world in which some measures of states which were once described as monsters have become the normal means of statecraft – surveillance of every citizen. I forego here an analysis of how the champion of democracy and freedom of thought, the USA, have changed beyond recognition and everybody else in its wake.

Nonetheless, the new German “Ostpolitik” or ‘Eastern Policy’ of the 1960s has indeed paved the way for the end of the Cold War – which is perhaps its greatest accomplishment (that in many countries recently old-fashion-minded leaders have come to prominence and leadership will be a matter, perhaps, for another post).

Here is an outline of the New German Ostpolitik:

Links to the English version and the German original (which includes the appendices, bibliography etc., for those inclined to check).

© John Vincent Palatine 2019

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