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Hallstein Doctrine

The Hallstein Doctrine, named after Walter Hallstein, was a key doctrine in the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) between 1955 and 1969.

According to the doctrine, the Federal Republic of Germany had the exclusive right to represent the entire German nation, and with the exception of the Soviet Union, West Germany would not establish or maintain diplomatic relations with any state that recognized East Germany. The doctrine was first applied to Yugoslavia in 1957, and is directly comparable to the One China Policy of the People's Republic of China.

East Germany attempted to undermine this doctrine by forming diplomatic relationships with the newly decolonized nations of the Third World.

The doctrine was never popular, even with West Germany's western allies, as it effectively tried to impose retroactive conditions on the unconditional surrender of 1945, and it was abandoned with the adoption of Ostpolitik by Chancellor Willy Brandt, which resulted in mutual recognition between East and West Germany.