The Two-Plus-Four Negotiations and German Unity

Abgeschlossenes Projekt

Employees (IfZ):  Dr. Heike Amos,  Dr. Tim Geiger

The unification of Germany in 1989/90 changed the world, marking the end of the Cold War like no other event. The Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History (IfZ) commemorated the 25th anniversary of reunification with an edited collection including 170 mostly unpublished documents from the Federal Foreign Office and the GDR Ministry for Foreign Affairs, released ahead of schedule. In addition, 68 documents from the Two-Plus-Four Process leading to the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany were made available on the IfZ website: The edition provides a deeper look into the “engine room of diplomacy” and allows the dramatic upheavals of the time to come alive, from the East German refugees at the FRG embassies in summer 1989 to full reunification of the state in autumn 1990.


Together with the Federal Chancellery, the Foreign Office was the institution most intensively involved with securing unity on the stage of foreign policy. It not only implemented the decisions made by politicians, but also introduced its own ideas, particularly regarding relations with Poland and NATO membership. The project also focused on documents from the GDR Ministry for Foreign Affairs, illustrating what were, in part, clearly divergent ideas. Documents were added from the Federal Archives in Berlin (from the Hans Modrow and Lothar de Mazière collections), the Archive of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives, the Archive of the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship, and the Archive of Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl in Ludwigshafen-Oggersheim. Interviews with eyewitnesses (Genscher, Ney, Jansen, Kastrup, Sudhoff, Meckel, Lambach, von Fritsch) provided the project members, Heike Amos and Tim Geiger, with background information. 170 documents from July 1989 through November 1990 were published with annotations and an index of persons and topics for the first time. The documents consisted mostly of notes on diplomatic conversations and negotiations, telegrams from foreign missions to the Federal Foreign Office in Bonn and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in East Berlin, as well as directives from both foreign offices to their missions abroad. Further documents included letters, personal notes, diaries, etc.

The edition is also available at the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (Schriftenreihe, Bd. 1639):


Publications within the project

Horst Möller / Ilse Dorothee Pautsch / Gregor Schöllgen / Hermann Wentker / Andreas Wirsching (Hrsg.) Bearbeitet von Heike Amos und Tim Geiger

Die Einheit.

Göttingen 2015


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