As mentioned here, in 1952 Stalin proposed a reunification of Germany and free elections there, in exchange for Germany not being part of NATO.

  • Could you put the details in the question please. Makes it hard to understand if you have to watch a video and are not able to. – Joe W Apr 17 at 15:06
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    It seems more suitable to ask this on History SE. Also, there's a whole Wikipedia article about it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin_Note – Fizz Apr 17 at 16:11
  • I think it contributes to the lack of trust. – r13 Apr 17 at 16:37
  • @r13, that comment is not very clear. Was the rejection due to lack of trust, or did the rejection cause a lack of trust in your view. – o.m. Apr 17 at 16:42
  • @o.m. Yeah, I used the wrong word. The rejection might be caused by the lack of trust. – r13 Apr 17 at 16:48

In 1952 West Germany was not part of NATO. That would only happen in 1955. But West Germany was becoming part of the First World by that time, and Adenauer wanted integration with the western bloc. There were several issues with Stalin's proposal:

  • It was unclear just how sincere it was. Stalin had made promises to Poland which had been repudiated. Finnland seemed to be working out, however.
  • The western bloc insisted that a free and united Germany would have the right to freely choose any alliance or none, or it wouldn't be free.
    • Adenauer did not believe that Germany could afford the army to secure independence without allies.
    • The western bloc wanted to a future Germany army to be institutionally integrated with the forces of other countries, so it couldn't become a rogue actor like the Reichswehr.
  • There's also the fact that Western and Eastern Germany have always been very different. Just how far Adenauer's plan of Westintergration policy went had to be disguised even from the people in the West of Germany. Had German reunification happened at that point, it would have been completely stymied by votes from east of the Elbe. – GeoffAtkins Apr 18 at 6:14

For the obvious reason that the West would want a reunified Germany be part of NATO. In fact, the same demand was made at the break up the USSR and the Warsaw Pact however Poland, Hungary & the Czech Republic joined NATO, then later seven central and eastern european countries - Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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    I think you mischaracterize the NATO enlargement. The West insisted that newly independent countries were free to apply for membership and that NATO was 'free to accept* that application, if it was made. Different from demanding NATO membership for those countries. – o.m. Apr 17 at 16:25
  • @o.m.: Nevetheless, it wasn't in the interest of the USSR that those countries apply for NATO memebership. This is why the USSR wanted a guarantee that NATO wouldn't pull a unified Germany into its orbit. It's not a question of 'dema ding' but simply a question of inducing. – Mozibur Ullah Apr 17 at 21:07

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