Relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Peoples’ Republic of Poland in View of the Political Changes at the End of the 1980s
This article investigates the political relations between Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany at the end of the 1980s branded by the tumultuous events which took place in Poland at that time. These events included, among other things, amnesty for political prisoners, the Round Table talks between Solidarity and the authorities as well as the establishment of democratic government – a novelty in Poland and in the countries of the Eastern Bloc since World War II. New archive documents shine a fresh light on the negotiations between the two countries concerning a series of economic, political, ethnical and cultural topics, and depict the changes of underlying political conditions in Poland. This paper seeks to analyze the intentions and the bilateral engagement of the negotiating parties, in particular, Helmut Kohl and Tadeusz Mazowiecki, on the background of the radical changes of 1989.
In the beginning of the 1980s, despite the American sanction policy and the “cold times” in relations between global superpowers, Polish relations with the Federal Republic of Germany were kept safe from severe damage. Bonn proved to have been far from ready to subordinate its trade interest and relaxing policy to a tightly construed alliance solidarity with the US. The relation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Peoples’ Republic of Poland differed in several aspects from Warsaw’s relations with other Western countries. Contrary to the US and Great Britain, Bonn restrained itself from criticism against the introduction of martial law in Poland on 13 December, 1981 and rejected both trade and industry sanctions towards this economically wounded land between the Oder and Bug rivers, considering it a punitive and controversial instrument regarding its actual effectiveness. With three quarters of Poland’s debt, the Federal Republic could count itself as by far the greatest creditor in the “West” among the countries of the “Paris Club.”1 The requirement of genuine economic reforms enabling Poland to repay its debts in the medium term was one of the constant postulates in the Eastern policy of Helmut Kohl’s government.
The relations, as measured by the expectations of both parties, reached a period of stagnation after the repealing of martial law in the summer of 1983. Warsaw hoped for close economic cooperation mostly through granting high unbound loans. Bonn was basically prepared to support Poland, yet – after the experience of the rampant loan policy of the 70s – demanded improved economic framework conditions, which in practice meant the implementation of economic reforms and real prospects for the repayment of open credits.2
Apart from the economic fixation of Poland on the Federal Republic of Germany, the variety of bilateral contacts constituted yet another unique characteristic of their relations – Poland was visited by both the parties represented in the German Bundestag and the representatives of federal states. They had often specific contact persons to turn to and adjusted their own Polish policy agendas accordingly. The special character of those relations originated also from the past events of World War II – not only from the approach to the formerly Eastern German territories, now belonging to Poland, but also from the German specificity as a two-state country and the question of its reunification. Although the Federal Republic had no common border with Poland, as opposed to the GDR, the question of the border on the Oder and Neisse rivers became an unexpectedly current issue in the relations between Eastern Germany and Poland in the late 1980s.
According to many Christian Democrats, complete peace rested not only on external peace, but was also based on a “stable blueprint for long-lasting peace in Europe, which would return personal, unionistic and political human rights to our Eastern neighbours.”3 This standpoint expressed by Alois Mertes, the parliament’s Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was an essential prerequisite to link the German and Polish questions and to seek communication with Solidarity representatives. On 30 June 1983, Artur Hajnicz, a journalist and Mazowiecki’s confidant, came to Bonn to have a long conversation with Mertes and to meet the Federal Chancellor. Apart from Poland’s internal political situation, the host was particularly interested in the opinion of the opposition on the German question. The message provided by Hajnicz was short and precise: Solidarity supports the reunification in the first place, but also the unconditional recognition of the Oder-Neisse border. The major part of the Polish opposition advocated for the aim of German unity within the borders of both German states.4
Soon after Mikhail Gorbachev appeared on the political stage, these issues gained unsuspected momentum. According to Dieter Bingen, the Jaruzelski Team soon realized “that Gorbachev’s European offensive threatens the status quo, which means that the communist German policy could reach an impasse in no time. Gorbachev’s idea of a common home could hardly be harmonized with the Polish defensive status quo orientation. What by now seemed to be a closed German chapter for the communist regime remained an open issue for the oppositional groups in Poland which, from the perspective of Polish national interest, still had to be solved. The leaders of the Polish opposition represented a combination of bold and realistic reasoning, thus supporting the German federal considerations on the European and German unification process, beholding no threat for the Polish state.”5
The policy towards Poland presented by the Christian-liberal federal government under Helmut Kohl’s leadership was characterized in the 1980s by the actual continuation of Willy Brandt’s Eastern policy and, on the other hand, by the emphasis on the legal position concerning the former German territories across the Oder-Neisse border. Under international law, these areas still belonged to Germany as long as there were no regulations provided in a peace treaty with the Big Four. This split was supposed to politically bind the right wing of the Union parties including the expelled Germans. Helmut Kohl felt obliged not only by the content of the Treaty of Warsaw 1970. Also Genscher, backed by Kohl during his meetings with Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marian Orzechowski, President of the State Council, Wojciech Jaruzelski and the assistant Marshall of the Polish Sejm, Mieczysław Rakowski, solicited for trust and encouraged the Polish government to pursue economic reforms and take pragmatic approach towards the German minority. The simultaneous attention dedicated to the group of actively operating expelled Germans was politically transparent and troublesome in terms of the atmosphere of bilateral relations, yet, at no moment did it change the operative foreign policy. Contrary to social democrats, right-wing politicians gave more attention to the Polish opposition and some of their mentors were unanimous with the Solidarity standpoint that there is a need to strive for German unity within a European peace order. That aim, together with the linkage with the Western Europe democracies, would help Poland to free itself from the strategic predicament between Germany and the Soviet Union.6
Eventually, the liberal and Christian democrats were even more unsuccessful in their policy towards Poland than the social-democratic governments a decade previously. This situation was caused not only by the stiff attitude of Jaruzelski’s team. The Polish demand for new loans was opposed to the federal German wish to open consular offices in Cracow and Wrocław (Breslau), and to establish a German Cultural Institute in Warsaw. Poland objected to the proposal of Breslau as regards the name and place for the consular office. Finally, the establishment of a German Cultural Institute failed due to the objection of the GDR, which maintained its own Cultural Institute in Warsaw and sought to avoid a more attractive competition. The recognition of the German minority in Upper-Silesia and the compensations for Nazi forced labourers were considered a particularly tender spot in bilateral relations.7
After his triumph in the elections to the German Bundestag in 1987, the reelected Chancellor Kohl assured that he would revive relations with Poland and make it a priority of his third term. This declaration was insofar interesting as the relations between Western Germany and Poland had remained in stagnation since the beginning of 1980s, even though the Federal Republic had adopted a softer approach towards Jaruzelski’s team than towards the US and Great Britain. The Christian-liberal government exercised a pragmatic attitude towards bilateral problem solving. The Polish side, however, interpreted the diplomatic standstill as a lack of goodwill. Several delays of the long planned visit of Hans-Dietrich Genscher had repeatedly given the Polish government a reason for such an assumption.8
The amnesty for Polish prisoners announced in autumn 1986 and the removal of economic sanctions by the Reagan administration in 1987 opened new options to the federal German parties for the design of Eastern policy. Social democrats still maintained regular contacts with the Polish opposition, which could also be accounted for by the fact that Willy Brandt was replaced by Hans-Jochen Vogel in the chairmanship of the party.9 Henceforth, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Genscher, wanted to combine his official visit in Poland with a meeting with the representatives of Solidarity, yet the Polish regime declined.
Both parties had great expectations towards the official visit of the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, in Poland, which took place on 10–13 January 1988. Warsaw hoped for economic support whereas Bonn was planning to open a new chapter of bilateral relations. The two neighbouring countries established three working teams: for Disarmament and Policy, for Economy and for the remaining bilateral issues, which was deemed a true achievement.10
However, the conversation between Genscher and Jaruzelski was not really calculated to open a new phase in the relations between Western Germany and Poland – the dissensions were too significant. Jaruzelski was interpreting the tense relations in his own manner. He reproached the Federal Republic for its participation in the NATO sanctions against Poland in January 1982. He claimed that it was the reason why the Polish national economy suffered a 14-billion-dollar loss and urged that it was time for the federal government to draw on the good relations from the 1970s as if it was the Federal Republic’s obligation towards Poland. Finally, Jaruzelski took exception to the coverage of the Polish visit on the German World Service (Deutschlandfunk) radio calling it biased and criticized the meeting between Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Lech Wałęsa. For years, Polish authorities had been trying to present Lech Wałęsa as an externally manipulated or politically insignificant private person and isolate him. Genscher dismissed the accusations explaining the cause and effect as well as the reference to the freedom of press, and did not let anyone dissuade him from the meeting with the former chairman of the Solidarity trade union.
Although the leaders of the Polish United Workers’ Party still disapproved of this kind of meeting, they were unable to prevent them. An internal paper issued by the Party in February 1988 concerning the meeting of Western politicians with Polish oppositionists measured out the pros and cons of the meeting practice. The expansion of contacts with the West strengthened Poland’s international position: it could present itself as a tolerant country which, owing to its stability, was even able to afford a legal opposition. On the other hand, the opposition was “strengthened and stimulated in its destructive, anti-constitutional actions”. Hence the official policy became “preposterous”, “exposing the internal strife” of numerous Poles. The authors of the paper came to the conclusion that the advantages of the meeting practice of that time prevailed.11
The talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marian Orzechowski, proceeded in a more positive manner. According to Genscher, the Treaty of Warsaw from 1970 expressed what the governments and people in both countries strived for: a new start into a better future. Genscher left no doubt about the validity of the Treaty as a core element of the social-liberal Eastern policy. The answer of Orzechowski, who as a historian occupied himself intensely with the history of Silesia in the 1970s,12 was at that moment remarkable. He seized on Genscher’s words about the “historical and moral dimension” and indirectly acknowledged the fate of Germans, who lost their homeland. Therefore, the Polish side recognized for the first time the expulsions and the historical and political problem of Poland, however, not attaching it to the right of domicile.13
The issue of the German minority traditionally remained for Polish authorities a trouble area they wanted to avoid and the existence of which they bluntly denied for a long time. If nothing else, this approach was rooted in Bonn’s ambiguous statements on the unchanged validity of the 1937 borders – the way Friedrich Zimmermann, the Minister of Internal Affairs from the Christian Social Union14, expressed it in 1983.15 This immediately triggered Warsaw’s open statements of fears concerning possible alterations of the Oder-Neisse border. In the opinion of the Polish negotiators, Polish concession concerning the German minority would undermine the ethnical integrity and thus the territorial sovereignty of the country, indirectly strengthening revisionist requests in the environment of the expelled associations.16
During his visit to Poland, Hans-Dietrich Genscher met in the German embassy with 12 members of the DFK (Deutscher Freundschaftskreis), established in the middle of the 1980s. The Germans, residing mostly in Upper Silesia, handed the Minister a petition in which they expanded on the discrimination of that group in Poland.170 The Polish party reacted to the meeting with dismay; the free development of cultural and linguistic traditions Bonn had hoped for was still unthinkable at the beginning of 1988.18
Genscher’s encounter with Lech Wałęsa, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Bronisław Geremek and Janusz Onyszkiewicz during the first official visit of the German Minister of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw after the imposition of martial law was more than just of symbolic importance. In that conversation, Wałęsa requested economic support for Poland, which was supposed to depend on progress in respecting human rights in Poland. On the one hand, Genscher’s aim was to oppose the impression of relying one-sidedly on the readiness of the authorities to introduce reforms. On the other hand, Genscher could “unvarnishedly” gather information regarding the internal political situation of the neighbouring country and the opposition’s foreign policy ideas. Moreover, the federal government ostentatiously set an example for the support of a consistent democratization process in Poland.
or federal politicians the meetings were at times both enlightening and disconcerting. The abovementioned four politicians of the opposition brought forward the issue of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and breathed a wish for the Federal Republic to withdraw it together with the additional secret protocol in a purely moral gesture towards Poland. Genscher was listening, bewildered, and did not comment. Later his side claimed that “he didn’t want to enrage Poles against the Soviet Union.”19 Yet bringing up this subject was not accidental. The debate on historical and political taboos was far more advanced in Poland than it was in its neighbouring countries, although the subjects of the fourth partition of Poland 1939 and the murder of Polish officers in Katyń were two of the most frequently discussed matters. These historical and political as well as moral issues, not acknowledged in bilateral relations thus far, entered official policy through the Polish opposition and media.
The negotiations of financial and economic issues, so important for Polish authorities and their existence in view of the dramatic indebtedness and lacking innovation in Polish industry, were symptomatic of the stagnating relations between Bonn and Warsaw. Warsaw was desperately dependent on new unbound loans from the federal German banks, state loans and investments as well as on contractual regulation of old debts. In return, Bonn demanded an agreement on investment protection, environmental issues as well as scientific and technical cooperation.20
The difficulties in negotiations were based on different expectations: Poland was gradually solving political questions depending on the extent of German concessions in the economic area, but most of all on loan extensions. For the Federal Republic the situation was exactly the opposite. Moreover, Western German bankers and industrialists were sceptical concerning new loans for Poland, notwithstanding the fact that the country could barely redeem the loans from the 1970s. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Orzechowski, had already visited Bonn between 6 and 8 April 1986, and the German party made it clear that the new financial support was conditional upon exact indications and calculations regarding the purpose of loans and the form of debt redemption in order not to repeat the mistakes committed in the 1970s. The information provided by the Polish party was less than insufficient, resembling economic platitudes mixed with wishful thinking about future economic relations. Jaruzelski engaged himself personally and urged the Prime Minister, Zbigniew Messner, to have a demand profile and exact calculations prepared by particular ministries and the directors of combine enterprises. The result was disillusioning: it revealed the system-determined planning inability within the Polish national economy.21
The three newly established working groups helped to rectify and prevent the paucity of information concerning Polish economic data, yet a breakthrough in negotiations did not come. There were also no players in the political environment who could create trust despite the complicated circumstances. Diplomatic relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and Poland were fostered by the annual German-Polish forum. Poland was represented mostly by the PUWP scientists and journalists. On the German side, the talks were attended also mostly by scientists such as the history professor, Hans-Adolf Jacobsen. More importantly, politicians such as Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Volker Rühe, deputy Chairman of the Bundestag fraction of the CDU/CSU, used the forum to communicate their concerns, rightly assuming that they would reach Jaruzelski and the Polish authorities. In this way, Mieczysław Rakowski, a publicist and Deputy Marshall of the Polish Sejm, Władysław Markiewicz, a sociology professor and chairman of the German-Polish commission for school books, and Ryszard Wojna, a journalist and member of the Polish parliament, as the Polish chairmen of the forum could make an effort to work towards closer relations with the Federal Republic, which obviously displeased Wiesław Górnicki, a journalist and consultant to Jaruzelski, an influential personality, traditionally critical towards Germans.22
The impact of the efforts taken by Rakowski, Markiewicz and Wojna was limited also because the generals, including the Minister of Internal Affairs, Czesław Kiszczak, and the Minister of Defence, Florian Siwicki, perceived the Federal Republic through the German Federal Armed Forces. They considered it to be an expression of American interests in Europe and a direct adversary of the Polish army. A policy deprived of old stereotypes, avoiding even occasional conjuring of German revanchist ideology, thus building the psychological foundations for a reconciliation, had too few advocates among the members of Polish authorities and the leading party.23
As far as the German party was concerned, such personalities as Berthold Beitz, for decades a chief representative of the Krupp company, or Karl Dedecius, translator and founder of the German Poles Institute, campaigned for an improvement and assisted Genscher, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his official visit to Poland. The German political and parliamentary sphere was almost devoid of people who knew Poland well, let alone those who mastered the Polish language, which hindered permanent work on the improvement of bilateral relations. The officials from expellee associations and the CDU/CSU Bundestag deputies, such as Herbert Hupka and Herbert Czaja, were suspicious about the meetings with Polish government representatives as long as the situation of the German minority did not improve. On the one hand, the Federal Chancellor, Kohl, devoted much attention to Germans in Poland, also taking into consideration the conservative milieu in the Christian Democratic Union of Germany. On the other hand, he proved to be open to expert opinions. Therefore, at the end of February 1989, he assigned Hans Koschnick, the mayor of Bremen from the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), known for his good contacts with Poland since the 1970s, to sound out the situation before his planned journey to Poland and to invest in trust for the dialogue partners from Warsaw.24
Additionally, since the establishment of Solidarity, Polish negotiators could hardly speak for all of Polish society, which aggravated the situation even more. They had no credentials. After the official visit of Hans-Dietrich Genscher to Poland, the meetings with the Polish opposition became a common practice for federal German politicians during their visits in the neighbouring country, especially since the Polish opposition was represented by such great intellectuals as Stanisław Stomma and Tadeusz Mazowiecki, who had been involved in a dialogue and a Christian-based reconciliation with the Eastern and Western Germans for decades.
Despite the efforts of the three working groups, bilateral talks advanced with difficulty. It was due to the negotiations concerning the investment protection agreement, since the parties were unable to decide on a common wording with respect to German citizenship. On the basis of political considerations regarding the past, Poland refused to accept the broad definition of blood-related “Germans” (ius sanguinis) present as a legal requirement in federal German nationality law until 1999. Cooperation in science and technology faltered due to the fact that Polish negotiating partners were unwilling to integrate with West Berlin institutions. The establishment of a general consulate remained impossible because the German party wanted to use German names of the now Polish territories in the definition of the jurisdiction included in the documentation. Above all, the names of former German cities on Polish territory were not accepted by the Polish party who additionally suspected Germans of a “revisionist” attitude.25
Until the end of 1988 negotiations in the three working groups brought no expected results. The Polish party complained about the allegedly absent will to cooperate on the German side and about destructive behaviour when the German press reported on the ongoing talks. There was some progress in other areas: the youth exchange and the cultural cooperation of both countries had apparently experienced a revival. The ongoing exodus of numerous Poles (in part with German ancestry) to the Federal Republic was allowed, of course, without conceding that there was a German minority in Poland. Polish negotiators cautiously opened to the subject of German resistance, in case of irrefutable evidence, such as the one regarding Krzyżowa/Kreisau.
Additionally, the negotiating range in Warsaw was internally elicited. This included cooperation with relevant organizations like “Volksbund deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge” on the historically fragile question of German war graves. “German minority” remained an unchangedly delicate subject. Due to the fact that this issue was frequently bespoken during the talks and that it was personally important for the Federal Chancellor, Kohl, the Polish side contemplated a sign of goodwill for further negotiations. In a conversation with Dieter Kastrup, a political director in the Federal Foreign Office and Genscher’s negotiator for difficult diplomatic missions, the facilitation of German language classes in the Opole-Silesia was conceded as a possible sign of benevolence – the classes had been practically prohibited to the German minority in this area for more than 40 years. According to the negotiating directive, further steps on the subject of the German minority had to be coordinated with the “highest authority“, which meant with Wojciech Jaruzelski personally, and what is more, they were tied with a notable complaisance in financial issues on the German side.26
During the preparations for the meeting of Tadeusz Olechowski.27, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, with Hans-Dietrich Genscher on the margins of the UNO plenary assembly in New York on 26 September 1988, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs came to the conclusion that the negotiations in the working groups had failed. The lack of perspective for Polish financial and economic policy was dramatic. The economic situation of the country was increasingly worsening, which was reflected in galloping inflation, so painfully perceptible by each and every Pole. At the end of 1988 it reached 60 per cent.28 Additionally, new strikes emerged in Poland in April and May as well as in August 1988. The strikes of early spring were violently suppressed, which was broadly and negatively commented on by the German media. Federal diplomacy restrained from critical comments. Social democrats were openly worried about the violence used recently against the strikers, as were the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) and the governor of Rhineland-Palatinate, Bernhard Vogel. His friend from the same party and CDU’s Secretary General, Heiner Geissler, made it clear that the actions were a violation of basic human rights.29
In October 1988, given the economically and politically chaotic situation, Prime Minister Zbigniew Messner was replaced by the eager to act and politically skilful Mieczysław Rakowski. A year before, the latter wrote a 60-page‑long analysis of the situation where he addressed, in an unusually obvious way, not only the economic and technological but also political weaknesses of the country.30 He did this also being convinced that he was able to find solutions to the crisis. From the perspective of foreign policy he hoped that the good contacts with the Federal Republic he had built up when he was chief editor of the magazine “Polityka” would prove to be useful for economic support. From 20 to 23 of January 1989, Rakowski visited the Federal Republic of Germany on the occasion of the 75th birthday of Willy Brandt, for which Richard von Weizsäcker invited a small number of Brandt’s friends to Villa Hammerschmidt. In a long conversation with Helmut Kohl, both politicians expressed the wish to open a new chapter in bilateral relations and reach swift results. Rakowski made a few substantial concessions in political issues which were important for Bonn (youth exchange; the establishment of the Goethe Institute, German minority associations and consular offices in Hamburg and Cracow, etc.) in order to settle the repayment of the so-called jumbo-loan amounting to billions in form of a “zlotysation”, which meant the assignment of monies in Poland, e.g. to “joint ventures”. Moreover, the conversation resulted in the dissolution of the three working groups assigned a year earlier and in the appointment of the Head of the Foreign Policy Division in the Office of the Federal Chancellor, Horst Teltschik, as the Personal Commissioner for the Development of the German-Polish Agreements. Rakowski assigned the same function to the Head of the Foreign Affairs Division of the Central Committee of the PUWP, Ernest Krucza, a native-born Upper Silesian and a specialist in German issues. Hence the Federal Foreign Office got left out.31
The negotiations between Personal Commissioners overlapped the Round Table talks between Solidarity and the government taking place from 6 February until 5 April, 1989. Contrary to what the Polish side apprehended, the talks which altered the political foundations of the country had no direct impact on the bilateral negotiations, yet they created an unusual atmosphere, especially for Rakowski’s government. At the beginning of the negotiations, at the end of January 1989, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs suspected that the German negotiating partners were delaying the solution of the economic problems waiting for a Solidarity government with which they could make arrangements.32
Horst Teltschik stressed Kohl’s personal interest in the German minority. A solution to this problem would speed up the resolution of the remaining open issues. According to Teltschik, the Federal Chancellor would have been confronted with little understanding for his possible engagement in the “Polish” issues in his own party and government, if, after his visit to Poland, he had been unable to show a presentable achievement in negotiations concerning the cultivation of German culture and language in Poland – in accordance with the regulations of the Vienna Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Despite all the concessions on the cultivation of German culture and language in Poland, the term “German minority” remained unacceptable for Ernest Krucza and the Polish government.33
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejoiced that, in consequence of the new political situation in Poland defined by the admission of Solidarity and the (semi)free elections planned for 4 June, 1989, Western countries changed their approach towards Poland and indicated their readiness for economic support. Henceforth, the Federal Republic of Germany lost its leading role in the normalization of relations with Poland. Warsaw erroneously inferred from these circumstances that from now on Bonn would be put under pressure by other Western capitals to reach certain outcomes in negotiations with Warsaw. Polish diplomacy perceived itself, particularly before the upcoming 50th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, as morally strengthened to achieve economic concessions from the Federal Republic, yet together with other Western countries.34
The outcome of the Round Table talks, being an unprecedented example of peaceful transformation from dictatorship to democracy, left a lasting positive impression in the West. Teltschik revealed to his Polish pendant that standby-loans were to be expected from the US and France. The “Paris Club” also wanted to participate in the restructuring of the liabilities due in 1989. According to Teltschik, 520 million German marks from the jumboloan were to be frozen, the rest was to undergo “zlotysation” for bilateral projects possibly agreed on in the future, also in the area of culture and environmental protection. For Helmut Kohl a three billion Hermes guarantee expected by Mieczysław Rakowski was unrealistic. It could only be a smaller, tightly outlined loan for machines, jointly coordinated investment projects and “joint ventures.” For Poland, taking into consideration its enormous financial problems, the proposal was far below expectations. The trust that was lacking in the Polish economy after the bad experiences of the 1970s and the uncertainty about the results of the election of June 4, made the federal government cautiously wait. The hope cherished by Warsaw that Bonn’s political concessions made at the beginning of the negotiations would imply economic compromise dissipated leaving only discontent. It was symptomatic that Kohl’s official visit in Poland, initially planned for May, then for July, was finally delayed until late Autumn 1989.35
The negotiations and, even more so, the development of the situation in Poland were closely observed by the relevant German parties and the media. The Round Table talks in Warsaw closed successfully on 5 April, 1989 giving the country a completely new perspective. Consequently, the Greens sent a telegram with best regards to Lech Wałęsa, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Bronisław Geremek, Adam Michnik and Jacek Kuroń – the protagonists of Solidarity. The assistant CDU/CSU leader, Volker Rühe, spoke of a historical breakthrough for both parties. The West had to encourage Poland to further transformations through economic and cultural cooperation.36 On the request of the Green party, a debate on matters of topical interest in terms of German-Polish relations took place in the German Bundestag on 19 April 1989.37 In this way, the Greens wanted to explicitly appreciate Solidarity’s achievements in the Round Table talks. The entire party acclaimed the “Round Table” talks and their results. According to Otto Graf Lambsdorff, the Federal Chairman of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), they were necessary to enable effective economic and financial support. In particular, Poland needed relief in the servicing of its foreign loans.38
Irrespectively of the verbal expressions of affection, there were still reservations in the CDU, and even more distinctly in the CSU, against further loans for Poland. The German-Polish talks were suspended for four months due to the contradictions in some aspects between the negotiating commissaries, but also because of the Polish demands, deemed excessive, and the rightist anti-Polish resentments, additionally piqued by the inflow of Polish emigrants and German repatriates from Poland.39
The German government was interested in starting prompt negotiations with the new Polish government and its Prime Minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, in order not to lose control over the refugee issues and the federal reactions, as well as in sending a signal of political support to Warsaw. On August 31, Helmut Kohl had an extensive telephone call with Mazowiecki during which they agreed to continue the talks between the commissioners mid-September. In the very same conversation, 50 years after the outbreak of World War II, Kohl expressed the wish to come to a “lasting reconciliation”.40
In his statement during the budgetary debate on 5 September 1989, Kohl referred to the Polish transformation and its possible consequences for German-Polish relations. He claimed, among other things, the following: “Twelve months ago, the news that has reached us right now from Warsaw was still unthinkable. With the election of a Prime Minister from the representatives of the opposition, the parliament made clear that it wants to pursue the way towards democracy. What we have to do in our negotiations with Poland includes two components that should be addressed equally: on the one hand, we aim at making the long overdue step towards lasting reconciliation between Germans and Poles; on the other hand – and this goes way beyond our bilateral relations – Poland is an example of a giant attempt to form a liberal democracy out of a communist regime. (...) Poles do not need a good word, but plain tangible support.”41 Kohl‘s words were also directed to Wałęsa, who was visiting Germany from 5 to 8 September 1989. Solidarity was already emancipating in terms of foreign policy, although, as an organization, it was officially re-admitted on 5 April 1989. It was reflected by the meetings of foreign visitors with Solidarity protagonists, mostly in Warsaw and Gdańsk, but was also observed in the growing number of political foreign visits of Lech Wałęsa, Bronisław Geremek and Tadeusz Mazowiecki. The monopoly of the PUWP in foreign policy issues42 was thus irretrievably broken.43
Even before Tadeusz Mazowiecki established his cabinet, he delegated Mieczysław Pszon, an expert on German issues and chief editor of the Catholic newspaper “Tygodnik Powszechny”, to continue the negotiations with Teltschik. In September, Pszon and Teltschik were already able to work out a breakthrough in negotiations about the package of previously contentious issues and a notified Common Declaration of both governments.44
In his first negotiation round with Teltschik, Pszon pointed out the historic dimension of the proceeding system transformation, which spread beyond Polish borders, but also demanded Germany’s support in order for the democratic transition to succeed. In particular, the new democratic Polish government counted on the financial support of the Federal Republic and other Western countries.45 These words had an effect inasmuch as Teltschik – unlike in his conversations with Krucza – did not question the substance of Polish requests. At the same time, once more, he corroborated the need to recognize the rights of Germans in Poland on the basis of the regulations of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, without bestowing a privilege on Germans in comparison to other minorities. Pszon accepted this regulation without further ado, causing discontent in the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which assisted the negotiations. Knowing that the “re-emergence” of Germans in Poland would probably evoke irritation between the Oder and Bug rivers, he asked to mention this issue only marginally in the common statement that was to be signed by Kohl and Mazowiecki, or to include it only in an additional protocol. Both parties sought to solve open issues as soon as possible. Newly emerging problems, such as GDR refugees in the federal German embassy in Warsaw, were ignored for the moment and negotiated separately involving the GDR.46 The issue of compensations for Polish forced workers in the period of national socialism was left aside, as the Federal Republic did not show any signs of willingness to concede. Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Helmut Kohl wanted to initialize all subjects on the occasion of the German official visit and thus welcome the political breakthrough in Poland with a new phase of bilateral relations.47
After only the second hour of talks which took place on 14–16 September 1989 in Bonn, Mieczysław Pszon and Horst Teltschik arranged for the Federal Chancellor to set out on his long-awaited visit to Poland on November 9. However, the preparations proceeded with discrepancies provoked by one item of the agenda on which the Federal Chancellor had insisted. It referred to the proper place for the reconciliation gesture between Germany and Poland. Based on the well-intended invitation of the Opole-Bishop, Alfons Nossol, Kohl suggested a reconciliation mass to be celebrated on St. Anne’s Hill (Góra Św. Anny).48
Annaberg was a symbol of bloody conflicts between Germans and Poles in the national fights for Upper-Silesia in the early 1920s.49 The Federal Chancellor favoured this place also due to the special attention he gave during the negotiations to the German demographic group in Poland. In the light of mutual tabooing and creation of historical myths and the aftermath of the communist and national education policy, neither was the place suitable for the reconciliation gesture, nor would the majority of Poles understand its choice. Both the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Skubiszewski, and the Prime Minister, Mazowiecki, let the Federal Chancellor know that a visit to the Annaberg Mount was not welcome, even more so as there was a significant pressure of “public opinion” imposed by the media influenced by the PUWP. After several telephone calls with Tadeusz Mazowiecki and the more or less forced withdrawal of the invitation by Bischop Nossol, Kohl gave up the visit.50
As an alternative location, Pszon and Mazowiecki suggested the former Moltke Manor in Lower-Silesian Kreisau. This was the place of execution of those Hitler opponents who dared to resist, and it entered history as the “Kreisau Circle”. The “initiation” for Kreisau could be traced back to a session entitled “Christ in the Society” from 2–4 June 1989, organized by the Catholic Intelligence Club (KIK) in Wrocław and the Aktion Sühnezeichen/ GDR. At the end of the session, its participants signed an appeal, addressed to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Government. They requested including the plan to establish a meeting centre in Kreisau in the German-Polish negotiations. Therefore, the Foreign Office was informed about the engagement aimed at supporting the choice of this place of remembrance. Tadeusz Mazowiecki had known about this initiative run by his friends from the Catholic Intelligence Club and the Aktion Sühnezeichen at the latest since August 1989.51 Helmut Kohl accepted the suggestion of Kreisau after several telephone calls with Mazowiecki, especially as Bishop Alfons Nossol was supposed to celebrate mass with the consent of Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz residing in Wrocław.52
On the very first day, the visit of the Federal Chancellor to Warsaw was put in a surprisingly epoch-making context by the spectacular opening of the Berlin Wall. With the slightly hesitant consent of the hosts, the Federal Chancellor took a break in his visit in Poland and on November 12 came back to a changed Germany. On the same day, both government heads took part in a bilingual mass in Kreisau. Kohl and Mazowiecki embraced in a gesture of liturgical greeting of peace, which expressed the will of reconciliation between the two countries. This gesture was for both men connected with a certain liability. Ingested by the symbolism of the place, the Federal Chancellor may have forgotten that Tadeusz Mazowiecki seemed almost like a coerced guest on foreign territory, where hundreds of Germans from the land of Opole Voivodship welcomed Kohl with conspicuous German banners as “our Federal Chancellor”.53
Originally, the common statement was supposed to be signed on November 10. The ceremony had to be postponed, not only because of the fall of the Berlin Wall, but mostly because of the discrepancies in the Oder-Neisse border issue. On 8 November, one day before the official visit to Poland, the German Bundestag adopted a resolution backed by the SPD; the Greens abstained. The resolution provided that “The German Bundestag affirms the Treaty of Warsaw of 7 December, 1970 as a strong foundation of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Peoples’ Republic of Poland. The German Bundestag stands by the known constitutional and international-law-based foundations of our internal and Eastern policy – this obviously includes as well that the Federal Republic will abide by the wording and the spirit of the Treaty of Warsaw in all its parts. We cannot and we do not want to change our legal position. [...] At the same time, both parties declare that the aforementioned Treaty does not violate the agreements concluded earlier by the parties or the international bilateral or multilateral agreements relating to the parties. It also includes, that we still have not concluded a peace treaty. [...] The course of history cannot be turned back. We want to cooperate with Poland for a better Europe of the future. The inviolableness of the borders is the basis for peaceful coexistence in Europe.”54
The resolution was preceded by an intense debate in the German Bundestag, after which 26 delegates from the right wing of the CDU/CSU parties, politically engaged in the expellees issues, refused to follow Kohl’s direction and voted against the resolution. In a parliamentary debate, Hans-Jochen Vogel, the SPD parliamentary leader said: “You, Federal Chancellor – and I say it as a request in consideration of the sensitivity and the importance of the subject – should internalize this phrasing without reservation. The motion is an opportunity to do it. Should you repeat in Warsaw what you have said lately on this subject in front of the Association of the Expellees and what you unfortunately, only indistinctively modified, just said, then your visit, to which also we, social democrats, wish full success in the interest of German-Polish understanding, will be severely tarnished. Poland rightfully expects no constitutional deductions, but a binding political statement, that the Germans consider the Polish western border as final once and for all.”55
The resolution resonated as far as Warsaw. Tadeusz Mazowiecki requested from Helmut Kohl that the border description from the resolution of the German parliament be included in the common statement. Kohl refused, indicating, among other things, the unfavourable preparation of the resolution for his government. Moreover, he pointed to the fact that he was “put under pressure by both extreme left and extreme right”. It would be wrong to expect from him a final regulation of the border. According to Kohl, the Oder-Neisse border could be recognized by the German government only in the name of all Germans, yet it was still too early for that.56 Mazowiecki received this unambiguous attitude with disappointment. Due to his long‑lasting contacts with both German states and his engagement in Solidarity’s activity, he was convinced that political transformation in Poland and the beginning of a non-communist government would, or even should, enable the recognition of the border. Such recognition as the one Mazowiecki kept accentuating in the months that followed would significantly facilitate his already complicated governmental task in reference to the wary postcommunists and their supporters. As he had a great deal of difficult issues to solve, he expected from Helmut Kohl a concession on the border question.57
Kohl eschewed, for his priority was German unification and by his account it was the reunified, sovereign Germany that could decide the Polish Western border, just the way it happened a year later in the German-Polish border treaty. Artur Hajnicz, a thorough political observer and journalist connected to Solidarity, got to the heart of the dilemma: both heads of governments stuck to their negotiating positions, even worse, they were unable to tell each other what the other party so badly expected to hear.58
Even if the meeting between Mazowiecki and Kohl in Kreisau and in Warsaw in November 1989 should not be overrated, it marked the end of a decade of Western German and Polish relations characterized by fears, prejudice and mistrust – a legacy of World War II. The recognition of common values and the implementation of rules of conduct acceptable to both parties was an important step in the establishment of mutual trust. Furthermore, together they established the premise for democratic Poland and united Germany to define and pursue common interests in the 1990s. It was remarkable that the understanding with Poland and the fall of the Berlin Wall happened simultaneously. The “German Democratic Revolutionaries” between the Oder and Werra rivers liberated themselves not only from dictatorship, but they also freed themselves and others from the burden of forced division as a legacy of World War II. In this respect, the understanding with Poland and reunification were not events of a merely national dimension: they were a symbol of post-war epoch closure and the end of the continent’s division.59
Burkhard Olschowsky. Born 1969; graduated from the Faculty of History and Eastern Europe Studies; received his PhD in 2002 at the Humboldt University in Berlin; since 2005 working as a scientific employee in the Federal Institute for Culture and the History of Germans in Eastern Europe; also working for the European Network Remembrance and Solidarity. Range of subjects: comparative social history, contemporary history of Eastern and Central Europe, politics of memory and remembrance.
1 Paweł Kowal, Koniec systemu władzy (Warszawa 2012), p. 329.
2 HIA (Hoover Institution Archives), Marian Orzechowski, Przegrana Partia (manuscript), p. 268.
3 Texte zur Deutschlandpolitik, 3. Series, Vol.1, 13.10.1982–30.12.1983, Bonn 1985, p. 95.
4 Artur Hajnicz, Polens Wende und Deutschlands Vereinigung. Die Öffnung zur Normalität 1989–1992 (Paderborn 1995), p. 33.
5 BStU (Archivs der Bundesbeauftragten für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen DDR), ZAIG (Zentrale Auswertungs – und Informationsgruppe) 13024, Pläne und Aktivitäten der Grünen in der VRP, 20.6.1988, p. 6 f; Elisabeth Weber, Zwei Berichte über Reisen nach Polen im April 1986 und März 1988, manuscript; Dieter Bingen, Die Polenpolitik der Bonner Republik von Adenauer bis Kohl 1949–1991, p. 236 ff.
6 Artur Hajnicz, Ze sobą czy przeciw sobie. Polska – Niemcy 1989–1992 (Warszawa 1996), p. 31 ff.; Krystyna Rogaczewska, Niemcy w myśli politycznej polskiej opozycji w latach 1976–1989 (Wrocław 1998), p. 125 ff., 141; BStU, ZAIG 13024, Pläne und Aktivitäten der Grünen in der VRP, 20.6.1988, p. 6 f; Elisabeth Weber, Zwei Berichte über Reisen nach Polen im April 1986 und März 1988, manuscript.
7 Archiwum MSZ (Archive of Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs), RFN 023–220, 1/92, 1988, VII, Notatka informacyjna o pierwszym posiedzeniu polsko-RFN-owskiej grupy roboczej ds. politycznych, Bonn, 25–26 February 1988, pp. 1–11.
8 Patryk Pleskot, Kłopotliwa panna „S”. Postawy polityczne Zachodu wobec”Solidarności” na tle stosunków z PRL (1980–1989) (Warszawa 2013), p. 698.
9 Dieter Korger, Die Polenpolitik der deutschen Bundesregierung 1982–1991 (Bonn 1993), p. 21.
10 Archiwum MSZ, RFN, 1/92, W 7, 220–1–1988, Rozmowa przewodniczącego Rady Państwa W. Jaruzelskiego z H.-D. Genscherem, pp. 5–16.
11 HIA, Poland SB, Box 14, Model wizyt zachodnich polityków w Polsce /doświadczenia, reperkusje, przeciwdziałanie/ (Warszawa 17.2.1988).
12 Cf. Marian Orzechowski, Wojciech Korfanty: biografia polityczna (Wrocław 1975).
13 Przemówienie Mariana Orzechowskiego, in: Rzeczpospolita, 12.1.1988; Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Erinnerungen (Berlin 1995), p. 277.
14 CSU – Christian Social Union.
15 Hans Dietrich Genscher, Erinnerungen, Berlin 1995, p. 270 ff; Bingen, Die Polenpolitik der Bonner Republik, p. 224 ff.
16 Archiwum MSZ, RFN 2210–24121, 1/92, 1988, VIII, Notatka informacjyna. Problematyka tzw. mniejszości niemieckiej w Polsce w aktualnej fazie stosunków PRL-RFN, Warszawa 20.5.1988, pp. 1–6.
17 Bingen, Polenpolitik, p. 240.
18 Archiwum MSZ, RFN, 1/92, 023–220, 1988, Wizyta H. D. Genschera w Polsce, Najważniejsze aspekty polityki zagranicznej FRN, p. 4.
19 Genscher, Erinnerungen, p. 280 f; Hoover Instition Archives (HIA), Orzechowski, Przegrana Partia, p. 274.
20 Archiwum MSZ, RFN 023–220, 1/92, 1988, VII, Notatka informacyjna o pierwszym posiedzeniu polsko-RFN-owskiej grupy roboczej ds. politycznych, Bonn 25–26.2.1988; Bingen, Polenpolitik, p. 239 f.
21 HIA, Orzechowski, Przegrana Partia, p. 268.
22 Pleskot, Kłopotliwa panna „S”, p. 70 ff., 708; Kowal, Koniec system władzy, p. 327 ff.
23 HIA, Orzechowski, Przegrana Partia, pp. 260 f, 275.
24 Pleskot, Kłopotliwa panna „S”, p. 743.
25 Archiwum MSZ, 023–220, RFN 1988, VII, Spotkanie grupy roboczej do spraw politycznych, Bonn 25–26.2.1988.
26 Archiwum MSZ, 023–220, RFN 1988, VII, Polskie Tezy do rozmów grupy roboczej do spraw politycznych, 30–31.5.1988.
27 Tadeusz Olechowski replaced Marian Orzechowski as the Minister of Foreign Affairs in June 1988.
28 Archiwum MSZ, 023–220, RFN 1988, VII, Pilna notatka dot. założen rozmowy ministra T. Olechowskiego z ministrem spraw zagranicznych RFN H. D. Genscherem w Nowym Yorku, 26 września 1988.
29 Pleskot, Kłopotliwa panna „S”, p. 710.
30 Mieczysław Rakowski, Uwagi dotyczące niektórych aspektów politycznej i gospodarczej sytuacji PRL w drugiej połowie lat osiemdziesiątych, Wydawnictwo Myśl 1987, (published illegally), pp. 1–11.
31 Mieczysław F. Rakowski, Dzienniki polityczne 1987–1990, p. 348 ff.; Bingen, Polenpolitik, p. 242.
32 Archiwum MSZ, RFN 023–220, 1/92, 1988, VII, Wytyczne dla Towarzysza E. Kuczy, pełnomocnika Tow. Premiera M. F. Rakowskiego do rozmów z. H. Teltschikiem, pełnomocnikiem Kanclerza Kohla, Warszawa 30.1.1989, Appendix p. 3.
33 Archiwum MSZ, RFN 023–22, 1/92, 1988, X, Sprawozdanie z I. rundy rozmów pełnomocników ws. przygotowań do wizyty Kanclerza H. Kohla w Polsce, Bonn, 1.-2.2.1989.
34 Archiwum MSZ, RFN 023–220, 1/92, 1988, X, Uwagi i propozycje w związku z piątą rundą rozmów pełnomocników szefów rządów PRL i RFN, E. Kuczy i H. Teltschika, 18 maja 1989, p. 1–2.
35 Archiwum MSZ, RFN 023–220, 1/92, 1988, X, Sprawozdanie z VI. rundy rozmów pełnomocników ws. przygotowań do wizyty Kanclerza H. Kohla w Polsce, Bonn, 6.-7.6.1989, S. 1–7; RFN 023–220, 1/92, 1988, X, Uwagi i propozycje w związku z piątą rundą rozmów pełnomocników szefów rządów PRL i RFN, E. Kuczy i H. Teltschika, 18 maja 1989, p. 4.
36 Pleskot, Kłopotliwa panna „S”, p. 745.
37 Deutscher Bundestag, Stenographic Report, 136. session, 19 April 1989, available online at: http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btp/11/11136.pdf
39 Ibidem, compare the utterances of Klaus-Peter Kittelmann, Herbert Czaja and Heinrich Lummer from the CDU in the parliamentary debate.
40 Bingen, Polenpolitik, p. 252 ff.
41 Deutscher Bundestag, 156. session, 5 September, 1989, available online at: http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btp/11/11156.pdf
42 PVAP – Polish United Workers‘Party (PUWP).
43 Archiwum MSZ, RFN – 210, 31/92, 1989, II. In a letter from 13 September 1989 of Polish Ambassador in Bonn, Ryszard Karski, to Bolesław Kurski, Under-Secretary of State in Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he reports on Lech Wałęsa’s visit in Germany, confessing that the information about the absence of the embassy itself during the meetings of Wałęsa with his German conversation partners came from the German media.
44 Wojciech Pięciak ed., Polacy i Niemcy pół wieku później. Księga pamiątkowa dla Mieczysława Pszona, Kraków 1996, p. 542 ff.
45 Archiwum MSZ, RFN 023–220, 1/92, 1988, X, Ósma runda rozmów pełnomocników w nowej sytuacji politycznej obu stron, 14–16.9.1989, pp. 1–4.
46 Burkhard Olschowsky, Einvernehmen und Konflikt. Das Verhältnis zwischen der DDR und der Volksrepublik Polen 1980–1989, p. 601ff.
47Archiwum MSZ, RFN 023–220, 1/92, 1988, X, Ósma runda rozmów pełnomocników w nowej sytuacji politycznej obu stron, 14–16.9.1989, pp. 3–10.
48 Bingen, Polenpolitik, p. 253.
49 Juliane Haubold-Stolle, Der Sankt Annaberg in der polnischen und deutschen politischen Tradition, in: Juliane Haubold-Stolle, Bernard Linek eds, Górny Śląsk wyobrażony: wokół mitów, symboli i bohaterów dyskursów narodowych (Imaginiertes Oberschlesien: Mythen, Symbole und Helden in den nationalen Diskursen), (Opole, Marburg 2005), pp. 191–207.
50 Helmut Kohl, “Ich wollte Deutschlands Einheit”. By Kai Dieckmann and Ralf Georg Reuth, 3. edition, Berlin 1996, p. 121 ff; Wojciech Pięciak ed., Polacy i Niemcy pół wieku później, p. 542 ff.
51 Annemarie Franke, “Kreisau/Krzyżowa wieder entdeckt – was sollte in Kreisau aus polnischer und deutscher Perspektive 1989/90 entstehen?” in: Waldemar Czachur, Annemarie Franke ed., Kreisau/Krzyżowa – ein Ort des deutsch-polnischen Dialogs Herausforderungen für ein europäisches Narrativ, Krzyżowa 2013, pp. 24–29. http://www.krzyzowa.org.pl/downloads/Materialy/Publikacje/Krzyzowa_DE_FIN.pdf
52 Monika Szurlej, “Wie kam es zur Versöhnungsmesse in Kreisau?” in: Czachur, Franke eds., Kreisau/Krzyżowa, p. 33 (pp. 30–36).
53 Ibidem, p. 34; Artur Hajnicz, Ze sobą czy przeciw sobie. Polska – Niemcy 1989–1992, Warszawa 1996, p. 54; Bingen, Polenpolitik, p. 255.
54Deutscher Bundestag, 11. Wahlperiode, Drucksache 11/5589, 08.11.89, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btd/11/055/1105589.pdf.
55 Deutscher Bundestag, Stenographic Report, 173. session, 08.11.1989, http://dipbt.bundestag.de/doc/btp/11/11173.pdf.
56 Archiwum MSZ, RFN-220, 31/92, 1989, II, Zapis rozmowy “w cztery oczy” Premiera Mazowieckiego z Kanzlerzem Kohlem, 9–10.11.1989, p. 2, 7, 16.
57 Cf. Tadeusz Mazowiecki,
Rok 1989 i lata następne
, Warszawa 2012, pp. 113–122; Aleksander Hall, Osobista historia III Rzeczypospolitej
, Warszawa 2011, p. 101 f.
58Hajnicz, Ze sobą czy przeciw sobie, p. 53.
59 Klaus von Dohnanyi, Brief an die Deutschen Demokratischen Revolutionäre, Leipzig 1990; “Für Selbstbestimmung und Demokratie. Gemeinsame Erklärung von Polen und Deutschen aus der DDR, Januar 1990”, in: Więź, Polen und Deutsche, Special Edition 1994, pp. 182–186.
List of References
Books and Articles
Bingen, Dieter (1998) Die Polenpolitik der Bonner Republik von Adenauer bis Kohl 1949–1991 (Baden-Baden: Nomos-Verlagsgesellschaft).
Dohnanyi von, Klaus (1990) Brief an die Deutschen Demokratischen Revolutionäre (München: Knaur).
Franke, Annemarie (2013) Kreisau/Krzyżowa wieder entdeckt – was sollte in Kreisau aus polnischer und deutscher Perspektive 1989/90 entstehen? in: Waldemar Czachur, Annemarie Franke (eds.), Kreisau/Krzyżowa – ein Ort des deutsch-polnischen Dialogs Herausforderungen für ein europäisches Narrativ (Krzyżowa).
Genscher, Hans-Dietrich (1995) Erinnerungen (Berlin: Siedler).
Hajnicz, Artur (1995) Polens Wende und Deutschlands Vereinigung. Die Öffnung zur Normalität 1989–1992 (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh).
Hajnicz, Artur (1996) Ze sobą czy przeciw sobie. Polska – Niemcy 1989–1992 (Warszawa: Presspublica).
Hall, Aleksander (2011) Osobista historia III Rzeczypospolitej (Warszawa: Rosner & Wspólnicy).
Haubold-Stolle, Juliane (2005) Der Sankt Annaberg in der polnischen und deutschen politischen Tradition, in: Juliane Haubold-Stolle, Bernard Linek (eds) Górny Śląsk wyobrażony: wokół mitów, symboli i bohaterów dyskursów narodowych (Opole, Marburg: Verlag Herder Institut).
Kohl, Helmut (1996) ”Ich wollte Deutschlands Einheit”. Dargestellt von Kai Dieckmann und Ralf Georg Reuth, 3rd ed. (Berlin: Propyläen-Verlag).
Korger, Dieter (1993) Die Polenpolitik der deutschen Bundesregierung 1982–1991 (Bonn: Europa Union Verlag).
Kowal, Paweł (2012) Koniec systemu władzy (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Trio).
Mazowiecki, Tadeusz (2012) Rok 1989 i lata następne (Warszawa: Prószyński i S-ka).
Olschowsky, Burkhard (2005) Einvernehmen und Konflikt. Das Verhältnis zwischen der DDR und der Volksrepublik Polen 1980–1989 (Osnabrück: Fibre-Verlag).
Orzechowski, Marian (1975) Wojciech Korfanty: biografia polityczna (Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Zakład Narodowy im. Ossolinskich).
Pięciak, Wojciech (ed.) (1996) Polacy i Niemcy pół wieku później. Księga pamiątkowa dla Mieczysława Pszon (Kraków: Znak).
Pleskot, Patryk (2013) Kłopotliwa panna „S”. Postawy polityczne Zachodu wobec „Solidarności” na tle stosunków z PRL (1980–1989) (Warszawa: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej).
Rakowski, Mieczysław F. (2005) Dzienniki polityczne 1987–1990 (Warszawa: Iskry).
Rakowski, Mieczysław F. (1987) Uwagi dotyczące niektórych aspektów politycznej i gospodarczej sytuacji PRL w drugiej połowie lat osiemdziesiątych (Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Myśl).
Rogaczewska, Krystyna (1998) Niemcy w myśli politycznej polskiej opozycji w latach 1976–1989 (Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego).
Szurlej, Monika (2013) “Wie kam es zur Versöhnungsmesse in Kreisau?” in: Waldemar Czachur, Annemarie Franke (eds) Kreisau/Krzyżowa – ein Ort des deutsch-polnischen Dialogs Herausforderungen für ein europäisches Narrativ (Krzyżowa).
Documents and Protocols:
German Bundestag, Stenographic Reports, http://dipbt.bundestag.de
For Home Rule and Democracy. Common Declaration of Poles and Germans from the GDR, January 1990, in: Więź, Poles and Germans, Special Edition 1994, p. 182–186.
Texts on the Deutschlandpolitik (1985), 3. Series, Vol. 1, 13.10.1982–30.12.1983 (Bonn: Deutscher Bundes-Verlag).
The Archive of Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Archives of the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former GDR,
ZAIG (Zentrale Auswertungs – und Informationsgruppe),
HIA (Hoover Institution Archives), Marian Orzechowski, The Lost Party (manuscript).
This article has been published in the third issue of Remembrance and Solidarity Studies dedicated to the consequences and commemorations of 1989 in Central Europe .