Minister of Intra-German Relations

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Federal Ministry of Intra-German Relations
Bundesministerium für innerdeutsche Beziehungen
Agency overview
Formed20 September 1949
Dissolved 9 November 1989 (effectively)
18 January 1991 (formally)
Jurisdiction Government of Germany
Minister responsible

The Federal Minister of Intra-German Relations (German : Bundesminister für innerdeutsche Beziehungen) was a federal cabinet minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). The office was created under the title of Federal Minister of All-German Affairs (Bundesminister für gesamtdeutsche Fragen) in 1949, being also in charge of the German lands east of the Oder–Neisse line which had been put under Polish or Soviet administration. In 1951, the first Minister of All-German Affairs Jakob Kaiser openly raised claim to even greater territories including Austria, parts of Switzerland, the Saar area and Alsace-Lorraine. [1]

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

West Germany Federal Republic of Germany in the years 1949–1990

West Germany was the informal name for what was officially the Federal Republic of Germany, a country in Central Europe, in the period between its formation on 23 May 1949 and German reunification on 3 October 1990. During this Cold War period, the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc. The Federal Republic was created during the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Its (provisional) capital was the city of Bonn. The Cold War era West Germany is sometimes retrospectively historically designated the "Bonn Republic".


The ministry was renamed in 1969 because "All-German" might have evoked irredentist associations. The change of the name was supported by both left- and right-wing politicians.[ citation needed ]

The ministry was abolished in 1991 when a new government was established after the federal election of December 1990, some months after German reunification, having supported the transition.

1990 German federal election

Federal elections were held in Germany on 2 December 1990 to elect the members of the 12th Bundestag. This was the first all-German election since the Nazi show election in April 1938, the first multi-party all-German election since that of March 1933, which was held after the Nazi seizure of power and was subject to widespread suppression, and the first free and fair all-German election since November 1932. The result was a comprehensive victory for the governing coalition of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union and the Free Democratic Party, which was reelected to a third term.

German reunification Process in 1990 in which East and West Germany once again became one country

The German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic became part of the Federal Republic of Germany to form the reunited nation of Germany, and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz (constitution) Article 23. The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity, celebrated on 3 October. Following German reunification, Berlin was once again designated as the capital of united Germany.

Since West Germany maintained an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, and the legal pretense that the authorities of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) or Soviet occupation zone (SBZ) should not be recognized, it could not handle relations with East Germany through the Federal Foreign Office, since this would acknowledge that the GDR was a separate country. Hence, a separate ministry for relations within Germany had to be created. Since this ministry had very limited competence and virtually no political power, it soon became a post used by chancellors to block rivals without publicly offending them. One of the main tasks of the ministry was the publication of information material about the situation in the East, to keep the idea of German unity alive and to inform the public about actions of the East German government.

An exclusive mandate is a government's assertion of its legitimate authority over a certain territory, part of which another government controls with stable, de facto sovereignty. It is also known as a claim to sole representation or an exclusive authority claim. The concept was particularly important during the Cold War period when a number of states were divided on ideological grounds.

East Germany Former communist country, 1949-1990

East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War. It described itself as a socialist "workers' and peasants' state", and the territory was administered and occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II — the Soviet occupation zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.

Soviet occupation zone one of the four Allied occupation zones of Germany created at the end of World War II

The Soviet Occupation Zone was the area of Germany occupied by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II in 1945. On 7 October 1949 the German Democratic Republic (GDR), commonly referred to in English as East Germany, was established in the Soviet Occupation Zone.

When German reunification became a possibility after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the inner German border on 9 November 1989, the ministry was completely disempowered by Chancellor Helmut Kohl; all intra-German affairs were now handled by the Ministry of the Interior under Wolfgang Schäuble. Formally, the ministry continued to exist until 1991 in order to facilitate transition.

<i lang="de" title="German language text">Die Wende</i>

Die Wende is a German term that has come to signify the complete process of change from the rule of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and a centrally planned economy to the revival of parliamentary democracy and a market economy in the German Democratic Republic around 1989 and 1990. It encompasses several processes and events which later have become synonymous with the overall process. These processes and events are:

Berlin Wall barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic, enclosing West Berlin

The Berlin Wall was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Constructed by the German Democratic Republic, starting on 13 August 1961, the Wall cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany, including East Berlin, until East German officials ordered it opened in November 1989. Its demolition officially began on 13 June 1990 and finished in 1992. The barrier included guard towers placed along large concrete walls, accompanied by a wide area that contained anti-vehicle trenches, "fakir beds" and other defenses. The Eastern Bloc portrayed the Wall as protecting its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany.

Inner German border border which separated the territories of the FRG and the GDR

The Inner German border was the border between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1990. Not including the similar and physically separate Berlin Wall, the border was 1,393 kilometres (866 mi) long and ran from the Baltic Sea to Czechoslovakia.


Political Party:   CDU    FDP    SPD

ImagePartyTerm of Office Chancellor
Federal Minister of All-German Affairs
Jakob Kaiser
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-P001516, Jakob Kaiser.jpg CDU 20 September 194929 October 1957 Adenauer
(I • II)
Ernst Lemmer
Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2007-0100, Ernst Lemmer.jpg CDU29 October 195713 December 1962 Adenauer
(III • IV)
Rainer Barzel
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F029561-0005, Essen, CDU-Bundestagswahlkongress, Barzel.jpg CDU14 December 196211 October 1963 Adenauer
Erich Mende
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-87989-0060, Erich Mende.jpg FDP 17 October 196328 October 1966 Erhard
Johann Baptist Gradl
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F023374-0014, Bonn, Plenarsitzung Bundesrat, Gradl.jpg CDU28 October 196630 November 1966 Erhard
Herbert Wehner
Bundesarchiv Bild 175-Z02-00866, Herbert Wehner.jpg SPD 1 December 196621 October 1969 Kiesinger (I)
Federal Minister of Intra-German Relations
Egon Franke
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F048636-0022, Dortmund, SPD-Parteitag, Egon Franke.jpg SPD22 October 19691 October 1982 Brandt (III)
Schmidt (III • III)
Rainer Barzel
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F029561-0005, Essen, CDU-Bundestagswahlkongress, Barzel.jpg CDU4 October 198229 March 1983 Kohl
Heinrich Windelen
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F042655-0004, Bonn, Tagung CDU-CSU Bundesvorstand, Windelen (cropped).jpg CDU30 March 198311 March 1987 Kohl
Dorothee Wilms
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F074179-0011, Bonn, Ministerin Wilms.jpg CDU12 March 198718 January 1991 Kohl


See also

The Central Registry of State Judicial Administrations in Salzgitter, West Germany, was established on 24 November 1961 in the aftermath of the construction of the Berlin Wall. Its function was to verify human rights violations by the government of East Germany like homicide at the Inner German border, political persecution, torture and maltreatment, etc. Intended for deterrence, in the long run the information should have led to the initiation of criminal proceedings in the case of a reunification. The organization was financed by all western German States. It was dissolved in 1992 after the German reunification.

Ministry of Unification ministry of South Korea

The Ministry of Unification is an executive department of the South Korean government aimed at promoting Korean reunification. It was first established in 1969 as the National Unification Board, under the rule of Park Chung-hee. It gained its current status in 1998 and has played a major role in promoting inter-Korean dialogues, exchanges and cooperation.

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  1. Speech held at the party congress of Austrian People's Party in Salzburg, 2 March 1951. Quoted in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 26 January 1952, page 5