Four power agreement over Berlin

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Chronological overview of the Eastern Treaties, 1963–1973

In the Four Power Agreement on Berlin or Berlin Four Power Agreement , shortly Berlin agreement (also: Berlin Agreement ), in the GDR as a four-sided agreement referred, were among the four occupying powers , the French Republic , the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America , in the context of the beginning détente in the East-West conflict, the basics of the legal status of the divided city, The ratio of the always in the text western sectors of Berlin called West Berlin to the Federal Republic of Germany there set and the connections.

The agreement was signed on September 3, 1971 in the American sector of Berlin in the building of the Allied Control Council by the foreign ministers of the four occupying powers: Maurice Schumann for France, Andrej Gromyko for the Soviet Union, Alec Douglas-Home for the United Kingdom and William Rogers for the United States. It came into force with the signing of the Four Power Final Protocol on June 3, 1972 and was valid up to and including October 2, 1990.


The negotiations between France, the USA, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, which began on March 26, 1970, were intended to clarify the following Berlin issues :



The Four Power Agreement on Berlin of September 3, 1971 ( BAnz No. 174/72 - attachment), the first governmental agreement of the Allies since the beginning of the Cold War , is divided into two parts: In the first (general) part, only “ the area in question ”, whereas the second (special) part expressly relates only to the western sectors of Berlin . However, “the area in question” in the first part was also West Berlin for the USSR ; for the Western Allies only the provisions of Part II for Berlin (West) and the first part for the whole of Berlin applied . It was clear from the outset that this fact was interpreted differently, which is also evident from the preamble (quote: “without prejudice to your legal position”).

The agreement states that the western sectors of Berlin are still not governed by the Federal Republic of Germany and are, as before, not part of the Federal Republic (constitutive part). This regulation ensured regular disputes between the Federal Republic and the GDR until 1989/90 when, for example, federal authorities were established in West Berlin or the Federal Republic was represented in official delegations by people with permanent residence in the western sectors of Berlin .


  • Responsibilities and rights of the four powers in Berlin,
  • Changes to the status of Berlin are only possible by all four powers,
  • Commitment of the USSR for the transit routes,
  • Confirmation of the special ties between West Berlin and the Federal Republic, but not as a full component of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Arrival of the Foreign Ministers of the Four Powers at the Control Council building in Kleistpark in Berlin-Schöneberg for the signing of the final protocol on June 3, 1972

In the agreement, the responsibility of the four powers over the four- sector city was initially laid down. The actually accepted three-stage plan proposed by the Western powers (four-power agreement, German-German implementation agreement and the final protocol) was intended to regulate any discrepancies and ambiguities that arose over time, but due to the continuing differences of opinion between the victorious powers and The self-interpretations of the articles repeatedly led to problems.

Specifically, the Soviet Union undertook to facilitate civil transit traffic from the Federal Republic of Germany to West Berlin. Furthermore, the treaty guaranteed the maintenance or further development of the relations between the Federal Republic and West Berlin, whereby West Berlin was still not part of the meaning of a “ constitutive part” of the Federal Republic and could not be governed by the federal government. In addition, the contracting parties undertook to improve communication and travel options between West and East Berlin and between West Berlin and the GDR. And finally, the four contractual partners agreed on minor area corrections ( see: Berlin-Steinstücke ), allowed international conferences in West Berlin and the representation of West Berlin abroad by the Federal Republic.

The four-power agreement was the prerequisite for the transit agreement signed on December 17 and 20, 1971, as well as the basic treaty signed on December 21, 1972 . With the Berlin Agreement, the Soviet Union had achieved de facto recognition of the GDR by the Western powers and the Federal Republic and, for its part, recognized the close ties between West Berlin and the Federal Republic.

Text of the agreement

The agreement was drawn up in the three equally binding languages English , French and Russian , so there was no legally binding German text. In accordance with the different legal positions and goals, the translations used by the two German states did not agree with some formulations, such as:

  • Quadripartite (en) / quadripartite (fr) / Четырехстороннее (ru) → Viermächte- (BR Dtld.) / Four-sided (DDR)
  • ties (en) / liens (fr) / связи (ru) → Bindungen (BR Dtld.) / connections (GDR) (between Berlin (West) and the Federal Republic)


As a result of the new Ostpolitik of the social-liberal coalition under Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt (abandoning the Hallstein Doctrine , signing the Moscow and Warsaw Treaties in 1970), the Berlin Agreement brought significant progress for the Berlin population and was at the same time an important step on the way to reorganizing the German-German relations , as manifested in the basic treaty concluded in 1972 between the Federal Republic and the GDR .

As a result, there was an easing of tension around West Berlin, even if the basic conflict over Berlin's four-power status persisted.

There were still many conflicts over the federal presence in West Berlin. B. in the establishment of the Federal Environment Agency . Herbert Wehner's proposal for dealing with the agreement was: “Strictly adhere to it, apply it fully and don't mess with it, and don't mess with it.” The Soviet attitude was caricatured with the words “stop strictly, object fully”.

See also


  • Heinrich Kipp : Some Aspects of the Four Power Agreement on Berlin of September 3, 1971 . In: Hans Hablitzel , Michael Wollenschläger (Ed.): Law and State. Festschrift for Günther Küchenhoff on his 65th birthday on August 21, 1972 . Half volume 2. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1972, ISBN 3-428-02769-8 , pp. 817-825.
  • Ernst R. Zivier: The legal status of the state of Berlin. An investigation under the Four Power Agreement of September 3, 1971 . 3. Edition. Berlin Verlag, Berlin 1977, ISBN 3-87061-173-1 .
  • William Durie: The United States Garrison Berlin 1945-1994. Mission Accomplished. Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-1-63068-540-9 (English).
  • Andreas Wilkens: The unsteady neighbor. France, the German Ostpolitik and the Berlin Four Power Negotiations 1969–1974 (=  series of the quarterly journals for contemporary history . Volume 60). Oldenbourg, Munich 1990.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Klaus Schubert, Martina Klein: Das Politiklexikon. 5th, updated Ed., Dietz, Bonn 2011; Article at the Federal Agency for Civic Education .
  2. See memorandum on the two-plus-four contract , BT-Drs. 11/8024 of October 1, 1990, p. 24; on this, see Dieter Blumenwitz , Die Souveränität der Bundes Republik Deutschland , in: Festschrift für Peter Lerche , 1993, p. 385 ff.
  3. ^ Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin (Berlin, September 3, 1971). (PDF; 93 kB) CVCE, accessed on February 19, 2013 (English, binding text).
  4. ^ Accord quadripartite sur Berlin (Berlin, September 3, 1971). (PDF; 96 kB) CVCE, accessed on February 19, 2013 (French, binding text).
  5. Четырехстороннее соглашение между Правительством Союза Советских Социалистических Республик, Соединенным Королевством Великобритании и Северной Ирландии, Соединенными Штатами Америки и Французской Республикой, Берлин, 3 сентября 1971 г. Юридическая Россия. Федеральный правовой портал, accessed on February 19, 2013 (Russian, binding text).
  6. a b Swjasi, liens, ties . In: Der Spiegel . No. 42 , 1973 ( online ).
  7. ^ Four Power Agreement of September 3, 1971 (as well as the authentic Allied texts in English, French and Russian) . In: Hans Heinrich Mahnke (ed.): Documents on the Berlin question 1967–1986 (=  writings of the research institute of the German Society for Foreign Policy eV, Bonn, series: Internationale Politik und Wirtschaft . Volume 52 / II ). Oldenbourg, Munich 1987, ISBN 3-486-54311-3 , pp. 190–211 , Doc. 118 ( limited preview in Google Book Search - different translation of the GDR in Fn 1 and 3: “Four-sided agreement” or “four-sided rights and responsibilities”).