Die neue Ostpolitik der sozialliberalen Koalition gilt gemeinhin als Erfolgs-geschichte, so dass der Widerstand, auf den sie einst stieß, leicht in Vergessenheit gerät. Den gab es damals durchaus, vor allem von Seiten der CDU/CSU. Die meisten Unionspolitiker lehnten auch die deutsch polnischen Vereinbarungen vom Oktober 1975 ab. In Kraft gesetzt aber wurden diese Vereinbarungen erst durch die Zustim¬mung des Bundesrat, in dem die CDU/CSU die Mehrheit besaß. Wie war das mög¬lich? Warum votierten die beiden Parteien für eine Politik, die doch die meisten ihrer führenden Köpfe ablehnten?
The German-Polish Agreements of 9 October 1975 closed a gap left behind by the Warsaw Treaty of 1970: A protocol binding under international law regulated the permanent departure of 100 000 persons of German descent from Poland to the Federal Republic. In their agreement about pension and accident insurance, the contractual partners committed to mutually recognise periods of insurance accrued in the other country for persons living inside their own country. The accompanying arrangements, an agreement about a flat-rate compensation payment for pension entitlements as well as an agreement about the granting of a financial loan, were described as hidden reparations by the opposition. This was true inasmuch as the genesis of the bilateral agreements shows that the Polish side demanded compensation payments and the Federal Government, albeit indirectly, responded. However the CDU/CSU opposition was not able to sustain a collision course with the Schmidt/Genscher Government. A small, prominent group within the CDU/CSU voted for the agreements on humanitarian grounds, which resulted in severe tensions within the party. The Bundesrat became the focus of the dispute; ultimately it surprisingly delivered a unanimously positive vote. First and foremost it was the CDU Party Chairman Kohl and the Prime Minister of Lower Saxony Albrecht who moved the CDU onto a course of agreement for political and tactical reasons (related to future coalition building) - but only after pushing through important and (in this form) unique adjustments to the agreements in conjunction with Foreign Minister Genscher.
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