52 Years since the Signing of the Elysée Treaty
That’s right people, that piece of paper than signified a new friendship between Germany and France was signed exactly 52 years ago today and we thought you might like to know a little bit more about it, and an event we have coming up to celebrate!
What is the Elysée Treaty?
On January 22, 1963, Germany and France sealed their friendship with the Elysée Treaty. The relationship has seen many highs and lows, but over the last 50 years it has become the engine that drives the European Union.
The Elysée Treaty was signed on a cold winter day in Paris, at the official residence of the French president, the Elysée Palace. Eighteen years after the end of World War II, the two neighboring countries were pledging to discuss all important policy matters, including those related to foreign affairs, defense, education, youth and culture.
“My heart is overflowing, and my soul is grateful,” said an emotional French President Charles de Gaulle in fluent German, shortly after he and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed the Elysée Treaty.
The heartfelt words were followed by two kisses on the cheek and a boisterous hug, leaving a flustered Adenauer to say, “I have nothing to add.”
A half century later, the Elysée Treaty is still a key document of reconciliation. And it’s not the only sign of cooperation between the two former enemies.
Since 1988, Germany and France have established a common defense and security council, a financial and economic council and councils devoted to culture and environment. With the formation of a mixed Franco-German Brigade, a joint army corps was set up and has since been further developed and incorporated into the EU-wide Eurocorps.
The political teams of former chancellors and presidents, Helmut Schmidt-Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Helmut Kohl-François Mitterrand and Gerhard Schröder-Jacques Chirac made use of the treaty and turned both countries into trailblazers of European integration.
See, that thing was instrumental in making the relationship between the countries, and Europe, what it is today!
What are we doing to celebrate?
Join the Hon. Denis Barbet, Consul General of France in Atlanta and the Hon. Christoph Sander, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Atlanta, along with the Alliance Française and Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta, as we commemorate the 52nd Anniversary of the Elysée Treaty with the showing of the film Diplomacy.
As the Allies march toward Paris in the summer of 1944, Hitler gives orders that the French capital should not fall into enemy hands, or if it does, then ‘only as a field of rubble’. The person assigned to carry out this barbaric act is Wehrmacht commander of Greater Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz, who already has mines planted on the Eiffel Tower, in the Louvre and Notre Dame and on the bridges over the Seine. Nothing should be left as a reminder of the city’s former glory. However, at dawn on 25 August, Swedish Consul General Raoul Nordling steals into German headquarters through a secret underground tunnel and there starts a tension-filled game of cat and mouse as Nordling tries to persuade Choltitz to abandon his plan.
The film will be shown in English.
When: Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Where: Alliance Française/Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta
It’s set to be a great evening so make sure you come along to celebrate with us!
We look forward to seeing you there!