Foreign Policy Becomes Contemporary History

Documents on the Foreign Policy of the Federal Republic of Germany (AAPD)

Since 1990, the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) has been editing the series Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (“Documents on the Foreign Policy of the Federal Republic of Germany” – AAPD) on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office. After having been directly responsible for the first two editions on German foreign politics:  Die Große Politik der Europäischen Kabinette 1871-1914 (“The Great Politics of the European Cabinets, 1871-1914”) and Akten zur deutschen auswärtigen Politik 1918-1945 (“Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945”), the Federal Foreign Office decided to have the post World War II documents prepared by an independent research institute.

Since 1993, the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History has thus presented an annual selection of documents from the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office, many of which previously classified. By maintaining a steady annual publication schedule in accordance with the thirty-year rule, the AAPD has set international standards. For nearly three decades, this edition has been of utmost importance for historians, students, and all those interested in studying the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The AAPD documents the development of the Federal Republic of Germany, bringing out a clearer view of Bonn’s relations with Washington, London and Paris, the European integration process, the Federal Republic’s policy towards Eastern Europe, in addition to relations with Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Project coordination

The Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History has established its own department within the Federal Foreign Office to carry out its extensive work on the AAPD. By special arrangement with the Federal Foreign Office, the editors have unrestricted access to all classified records. The overall academic responsibility for the project lies with a board of scholars, headed by the Director of the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History. In consultation with the board, the editors select the documents for the respective annual volumes and present them together with well-founded commentary, document summaries, and indexes for persons and subjects.

The AAPD documents the development of the Federal Republic of Germany, bringing out a clearer view of Bonn’s relations with Washington, London and Paris, the European integration process, the Federal Republic’s policy towards Eastern Europe, in addition to relations with Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Volumes

Volumes have appeared covering the years 1949 through 1953 and 1961 through 1989.

Link to the volumes 

 

Volumes

Beyond the AAPD volumes, the IfZ department at the Federal Foreign Office also published a special edition on German unification with Die Einheit: Das Auswärtige Amt, das DDR-Außenministerium und der Zwei-plus-Vier-Prozess (“Unity: The Foreign Office, the GDR Foreign Ministry and the Two Plus Four Process”). This volume includes 170 documents from the Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the GDR, dating from summer 1989 to autumn 1990. These documents, covering the first opening of Eastern Bloc borders, the subsequent fall of the Berlin Wall, and reunification, have been prepared for a broad readership and supplemented with commentaries, photographs and facsimiles. Additional documents on German unification which are not included in the edition can be accessed online.

 

Open Access

The AAPD volumes are provided as open-access documents via the internet four years after their first publication or placement online. The 1949-1953 and 1962-1984 volumes can already be read and researched free of charge.

Direct access to the open access editions can be found here.

Die Einheit – documents on the Two Plus Four Agreement

Beyond the AAPD volumes, the IfZ department at the Federal Foreign Office also published a special edition on German unification with Die Einheit: Das Auswärtige Amt, das DDR-Außenministerium und der Zwei-plus-Vier-Prozess (“Unity: The Foreign Office, the GDR Foreign Ministry and the Two Plus Four Process”). This volume includes 170 documents from the Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the GDR, dating from summer 1989 to autumn 1990. These documents, covering the first opening of Eastern Bloc borders, the subsequent fall of the Berlin Wall, and reunification, have been prepared for a broad readership and supplemented with commentaries, photographs and facsimiles. Additional documents on German unification which are not included in the edition can be accessed online.

 

Research with the AAPD

The Akten zur Auswärtigen Politik are an excellent resource for advancing research on the entire spectrum of German foreign policy. The edition staff have also used the documents as the basis for particular aspects of their own studies.

Publications list

Location and contacts

The AAPD Department of the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History is located at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin.

Contacts and directions

 



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