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Egon Bahr, architect of change

Germany
20.08.2015
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Key German Cold War peacemaker Egon Bahr dies, aged 93
Egon Bahr, a key negotiator in reducing the Cold War tensions of the last century, has died at the age of 93, the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) said Thursday.
GALLERY
Berlin (dpa) - Bahr was a principal aide to Willy Brandt, the West German SPD chancellor from 1969 to 1974, and negotiated detente deals with Moscow and the communist authorities in East Germany.
Bahr was a principal aide to Willy Brandt, the West German SPD chancellor from 1969 to 1974, and negotiated detente deals with Moscow and the communist authorities in East Germany.

Germany‘s modern anti-war attitudes are partly his legacy. Even after retirement, he wrote and spoke widely on his views about peace.

Born 1922 in Treffurt in Germany‘s Thuringia region, he became a state secretary in Brandt‘s chancellery, then a cabinet minister without portfolio and later development aid minister.

Breaking with a tradition in democratic West Germany of minimizing contacts with communists, Brandt sent Bahr to both Moscow and East Berlin to negotiate agreements on abstaining from the use of force.

Brandt‘s Ostpolitik, or new policy towards the east, was widely attributed with ratcheting down the tensions of the Cold War.

 

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