Willy Brandt's Speech
Brandt was born in Lubeck in 1913. He joined the
Social Democratic Party in
1930 and was active in the campaign against
In 1933 he fled to
Norway and after studying at Oslo University he worked as a journalist. With
the invasion of the
in 1940 Brandt was forced to move to
Sweden. For the
rest of the Second World
War Brandt gave support to the German resistance movement.
returned to Germany
after the war and in 1949 was elected to the Bundestag. In 1957 Brandt became a
mayor of West Berlin and campaigned in favour of the removal of the Berlin Wall.
socialist, Brandt became chairman of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands
(SPD) in 1964. Two years later he joined the coalition government led by Kurt
Kiesinger. Brandt, as Foreign Minister, developed the policy of Ostpolitik (reconciliation
between eastern and western Europe).
1969 Brandt became Chancellor of West Germany. He continued with his policy of
Ostpolitik and in 1970 negotiated an agreement with the Soviet Union accepting
the frontiers of Berlin. Later that year he signed a non-aggression pact with
Poland. This was followed by the Basic Treaty with East Germany. These acts led
to him winning the
Nobel Peace Prize in 1971.
was forced to resign as Chancellor in April 1974 after it was discovered that
his close political aide, Gunther Guillaume, was an East German spy.
continued to be active in politics and between 1977 and 1983 was chairman of the
Brandt Commission on economic development. Its report,
North-South: A Programme for Survival, argued that the rich north
should help countries in the poor southern hemisphere.
Willy Brandt died