2016 | 4(361) | 153-180
Article title

Granica polsko-niemiecka w stosunkach Polski ze Stanami Zjednoczonymi w latach 1956-1970

Title variants
The Polish-German frontier in Poland’s relations with the United States from 1956 to 1970
Languages of publication
The purpose of this article is to present the role of the Polish-German frontier in relations between Poland and the United States from 1956 to 1970. Due to Poland's dependence upon the Soviet Union the issue of the Oder- Neisse Line was a subject of East-West relations with the primary role of the German question. In the Cold War conditions that obliged the U.S. to maintain allied loyalty to the FRG, Washington refused to accept the Polish-German border officially, since it was perceived more like the western boundary of Soviet influence than like Poland's western frontier. However the U.S. support for the Oder-Neisse Line would contribute to the American objective of weakening Soviet control over Central-Eastern Europe. For that reason since 1956 Polish diplomacy tried to convince the United States not only to confirm the border but also to recognize the legality of the GDR, a measure that would be equivalent to the security of the Oder-Neisse Line. The Polish demands corresponded with the U.S. efforts to improve relations with the Communist Bloc states since early 1960s which also prevented the West German-Soviet alliance. The beginning of détente in East-West relationships allowed the U.S. to come to terms with a division of Europe along the river Elbe while the German question lost its priority in favour of the dialogue of the U.S. with Central-Eastern European states. Despite a continued U.S. refusal to accept the Oder-Neisse Line, Poland was able to conclude a treaty with West Germany in 1970 recognizing the Polish western frontier with the result that it was no longer a subject of the Cold War dispute.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.