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 German Embassy in Damascus reported that on 15 September 1989, a Syrian national made a donation of 2000 Syrian pounds to help refugees from the former GDR. moreSyrian donates money for German refugees in 1989
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. moreThe birth of European unification: the Schuman Plan
For many years, it was a symbol of the division of Germany: The Brandenburg Gate. Even after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the gate did not have an official crossing point - that changed on 22 December 1989.
more22 December 1989 – Brandenburg Gate re-opens
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. more9 November 1989 – News of the fall of the Wall goes around the world
The “Führer’s Order” of 8 September 1939 shows how deeply the Foreign Office was implicated in the crimes of the Third Reich. moreForeign propaganda and warfare: the “Führer’s Order”
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. more19 August 1989 – A picnic for freedom
Austria-Hungary issued a tough ultimatum to Serbia in July 1914. The unexpected response was not enough to prevent the outbreak of war. moreThe July Crisis: an ultimatum and an unexpected response
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. moreThe “border pass agreement” of 1963
How did German diplomacy work 100 years ago – and how did it fail? The Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office has digitised 900 documents on the outbreak of the First World War and published them online. Enjoy browsing through them! moreOnline archive on the July 1914 crisis
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. more1 May 2004: the EU’s eastern enlargement
Following the assassination of the heir to the throne, Austria-Hungary considered taking military action against Serbia. Thereupon Kaiser Wilhelm II declared that Germany would support the Danube monarchy as required by alliance obligations. moreThe “blank cheque” of 1914
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. moreThe Sarajevo assassination