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Le haut-commissariat français et la nouvelle Allemagne (1949-1955)

Abstract : With the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany, on May 23rd, 1949, the military occupation by the governors of the allied powers ended. It was replaced by a civilian occupation, coordinated at the allied level by an Allied High Com-mission and managed, for each zone of occupation, by a high commissioner. For France, it was André François-Poncet, appointed in August 1949, who carried out this mission until the official end of the occupation and the re-establishment of the French Embassy in Germany in May 1955.This transitional period, by its statute, is unique in history. It was especially tricky for the French representatives who unceasingly had to negotiate compro-mises with the Germans and the allies while defending the very intransigent German policy of the French government. However, a first step was taken in July 1948 when Robert Schuman joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He had, of course, prejudices against Germany, but as a long-time Europeanist, he also wanted to reach a compromise that would secure both the control of Germany and the European construction for peace. He chose François-Poncet because he was totally in the same perspective, and because he was particularly well ac-quainted with the German situation and Berlin, where he had been ambassador from 1931 to 1938.In addition to the presentation of the setting up of the French High Commis-sion and the complexity of its functioning, it is important to question the leeway that the High Commissioner and his main collaborator, Armand Bérard, enjoyed in relation to the Government and the Allied governments. Did their personality and their personal positioning influence the policies that were put into motion on the scene?In this period of transition, many in France still believed in a German dan-ger. This was no longer the case with François-Poncet, who feared the Soviet danger much more, and felt close to Konrad Adenauer, who shared the same concerns. This did not, however, prevent him from being very critical towards Adenauer and his government, who were constantly seeking new concessions, using the growing tension of the Cold War to try to manipulate the American ally in their favor. The High Commissioner and his deputy seemed to hesitate on the method better to be applied with the German Government. Nevertheless, dur-ing the six years of the High Allied Commission and the French High Commis-sion, both of them took this mission seriously and made it possible to achieve a certain degree of success in establishing fair and lasting Franco-German rela-tions. Despite their reciprocal criticism, André François-Poncet and Konrad Adenauer, in hindsight, looked back to this period to consider it in a very posi-tive way.
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Françoise Berger. Le haut-commissariat français et la nouvelle Allemagne (1949-1955). Marion Aballea; Matthieu Osmont. Une diplomatie au cœur de l’histoire européenne / Diplomatie im Herzen der europäischen GeschichteLa France en Allemagne depuis 1871 / Frankreich in Deutschland seit 1871, Franz Steiner Verlag, pp.75-98, 2017, 978-3-515-11865-1. ⟨halshs-01598939⟩

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