The Balance of Empires
United States' Rejection of German Reunification and Stalin's March Note of 1952
On March 10, 1952, almost a decade before the Berlin Wall existed, the U.S.S.R. controversially proposed the creation of a reunified, rearmed and neutral Germany. A year before Stalin's death, this was the last overture he tendered on "the German Question." However, the bid failed and Germany remained divided for another 38 years. Why?
One can understand neither the Cold War nor the eventual reunification of Germany in 1990 without understanding this 1952 incident. The world in which we live now was created in no small part by the backroom decisions during a few months of 1952. This book on the March Note should appeal to both the armchair historian and the social scientist. Besides being a fascinating tale of diplomatic intrigue, it provides a valuable case study for International Relations scholars. Scholarly arguments of Realism vs. Idealism, levels of analysis, open vs. closed door diplomacy, the selection of which tier of authority to address an issue (from chief of state to low functionary), institutionalism and path-dependence, and the ever-present issue of spin control are all in evidence here. As such, this book could make a useful classroom assignment in International Relations, Diplomatic History, American or European Studies, Journalism or Media Studies. Yet, the theoretically-disinclined can also leave these arguments in the background and simply enjoy this little-known tale of empires which still shapes our lives today.