The Political Archive

The Political Archive is the 'memory' of the foreign service. It has preserved the files on German foreign policy since 1867, as well as the international treaties signed by the Federal Republic of Germany and its predecessors in title. The records are preserved, processed and made available to academics.

Click here to find out more about the tasks of the Political Archive and how to research its holdings:



The birth of European unification: the Schuman Plan

Schuman and Adenauer (centre) after signing the Schuman Declaration

On 7 May 1950, French Foreign Minister Schuman sent this note to Federal Chancellor Adenauer proposing that coal and steel production in Europe be merged. more

9 November 1989 – News of the fall of the Wall goes around the world

Young people with hammers and chisels helping to bring down the Berlin Wall. Berlin, 9 November 1989

There was a huge reaction to the fall of the Wall around the world. So in our “Document of the month” series we look at the response in the US. more

19 August 1989 – A picnic for freedom

Jubilant GDR refugees: They crossed the border between Hungary and Austria on 19 August 1989 

On 19 August 1989, Hungary opened the border to Austria for the 1st time for a few hours: at the "Pan‑European Picnic", several hundred GDR citizens seized this opportunity to flee to Austria. more

The “border pass agreement” of 1963

The protocol of 17 December 1963

After the Berlin Wall went up, the border pass agreement of 1963 provided for a regulation which enabled the population of West Berlin to visit their relatives in the eastern part of the city. more

1 May 2004: the EU’s eastern enlargement

Public celebration in Słubice in the night from 30 April to 1 May 2004

The Treaty of Accession allowed 10 eastern and southern European countries to become members of the EU on 1 May 2004. In many places this was marked by public celebrations. more

The Sarajevo assassination

Document from the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office

On 28 June 1914, the heir to the Austro Hungarian throne was assassinated in Sarajevo. This assassination triggered the July Crisis which ultimately led to the outbreak of the First World War.A report on the assassination by the German Ambassador in Vienna with handwritten comments by Kaiser Wilhelm II in the margins is kept in the Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office. more

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