A Brief Note On Willy Brandt ( 1913-1992 ) Essay

A Brief Note On Willy Brandt ( 1913-1992 ) Essay

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Willy Brandt (1913-1992), born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm, was from 1957 to 1966 the Mayor of West Berlin, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1969 to 1974, and the leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) from 1964 to 1987. As a young socialist in Nazi Germany during World War II, he had to flee to Norway. In 1949, after the war had ended and Brandt had returned to Germany, he became a member of the West German parliament (the Bundestag) and eventually became the Mayor of West Berlin. Brandt managed the city’s politics during a turbulent time, just as tensions with Soviet-occupied East Germany were growing and the Soviets were constructing the Berlin Wall. Later, as the Chancellor of West Germany, Brandt steered a new course with regard to the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc nations, opting to improve relations rather than worsen them, even in the face of strong opposition. West Germany’s foreign policy under Brandt became known as Ostpolitik (literally “Eastern Policy”). In his later years, Brandt remained the head of the Social Democratic Party until five years before his death (Center for Global Negotiations). Despite the fierce criticism of his politics, he seized the opportunity to do what he believed was right and improved the quality of millions of lives.
The cause of the split between West Germany and East Germany, like many issues during the Cold War, was rooted in the endgame of World War II. At the end of the fighting, the United States and its main opposition, the USSR, were left as the major superpowers on the global stage, with two clashing ideologies, and relations began to deteriorate. The eastern Russian-controlled portion of postwar Germany was never unified with the...


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...ation. One is backed by the first world, the other by the second. In one, free elections and economic prosperity ensure a high standard of living. In the other, quality of life is generally poor, accompanied by unfair or no elections. Though not applicable to everyday life to most Americans, lobbying for rapprochement and détente policies similar to Ostpolitik in Korea will help to ease tensions between the two neighbours and increase the standard of living in North Korea.
Willy Brandt was a highly skilled politician and chancellor of West Germany, during which time he implemented his new Ostpolitik foreign policy regarding the Soviet bloc. His policies led to improvements in quality of life for East Germans and citizens of other nations, and contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification, for which he deservedly earned the 1971 Nobel Peace Prize.

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