Horst Teltschik diary

Cold War: Horst Teltschik diary (Charles Powell explains MT’s point of view on German unification) [translation]

Document type: Declassified documents
Source: Horst Teltschik, 329 Tage: Innenansichten der Einigung [329 Days: Inside Views of the Unification] , Siedler Publishing 1991
Editorial comments: Translated specially for Dr Teltschik was Helmut Kohl’s closest foreign policy adviser.
Importance ranking: Key
Word count: 212
Themes: Defence (general), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU)

Friday, 9 February 1990

Even Margaret Thatcher described the unification of Germany as â€oeprobableâ€? before the House of Commons yesterday. Charles Powell, my counterpart in No.10 Downing Street, completely explains to me Thatcher’s attitude to Germany in a three-hour conversation. She belongs to a different generation from himself and is still marked by the time when there was a â€oecultural gapâ€? between Great Britain and Germany. She feels uneasy at the thought of a big strong Germany.

For her, the consequences of the unification of Germany are therefore decisive. She wants the Soviet Union to be included. Powell describes the relations between Thatcher and Gorbachev as being of such a special sort. Therefore she desires a conference of the Four Powers with the participation of both German states. With this four-plus-two-dialogue, German unity should be embedded in the new European order.

Especially important for her are the effects on NATO, which would no longer have significance without Germany. The financial consequences for the EC also cause her concern. She advocates a CSCE summit, though it should not become a substitute peace conference. Semi-officially, Powell reports, the Soviet leadership has sounded her out about the neutralisation of a united Germany, but she decidedly rejects this. A conversation with the Federal Chancellor is desirable. She hates telephone conversations.