Hallstein Doctrine


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Hallstein Doctrine

 

a foreign policy doctrine of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), adopted in December 1955 at a conference of ambassadors of the FRG in Bonn.

The doctrine, which encroached on the sovereign rights of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), sought to establish a diplomatic blockade of the German socialist state; it was named after the FRG’s foreign minister, W. Hallstein. The doctrine stated that the FRG would break off diplomatic relations with any country that recognized the GDR; recognition would be construed as an unfriendly act and grounds for political and economic sanctions. Despite the FRG’s policy, the GDR’S ties with other countries became stronger and more extensive.

The Hallstein Doctrine, which was incompatible with international legal norms, met with increasing condemnation by other countries. In 1967 the government of the FRG was forced to modify the doctrine and waived its application to socialist countries. In the late 1960’s numerous countries recognized the GDR; this increase in recognition was an indication of the GDR’s strengthening international position. In February 1970 the Foreign Ministry of the FRG declared the Hallstein Doctrine null and void. The collapse of the doctrine received final confirmation with the signing in 1972 of a treaty on the bases of relations between the FRG and GDR (seeFEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY (FRG)-GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (GDR) TREATY OF 1972).

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The Icelandic ambassador to Bonn presented his credentials in East Berlin, becoming the first NATO ambassador, probably the first diplomat of any stripe, and probably the last as well, to be concurrently accredited to two German capitals from Bonn, in an ironic reversal of the Hallstein Doctrine that had been in force in a long-ago world.