The recognition of the German Democratic Republic would mean international recognition of the partition of Germany into two states. Reunification would then no longer present itself as the elimination of a temporary disturbance in the organism of our all-German state: instead it would become the infinitely more difficult task of uniting two separate states. The history of the unification of Germany in the nineteenth century illustrates what that can mean. Were the Federal Republic to take the lead in recognition, it would itself contribute to a state of affairs in which Europe and the world would no longer realize the anomaly of the present situation and become resigned to it. It would relieve the Four Powers of their responsibility for the re-establishment of the national unity of Germany, a responsibility which they—including the Soviet Union—have so far always recognized. Instead, it would accord to Pieck, Grotewohl and Ulbricht the right to veto any reunification. Furthermore, recognition of the “German Democratic Republic” would mean that the Federal Republic would relinquish its claim to speak for the entire German people, a claim established in our constitution and which no Federal Government can ignore.
The Federal Government cannot refrain from making it clear once again that it will feel compelled in future to regard the establishing of diplomatic relations with the so-called German Democratic Republic by third states with which the Federal Republic maintains diplomatic relations as an unfriendly act calculated to intensify and aggravate the partition of Germany. The Federal Government would in such a case have to re-consider its relations to the state in question.
The question has been variously discussed in recent times as to whether or not it is useful and possible to establish relations with Germany’s eastern neighbors. The Federal Government has examined this problem in all its detail and has come to the conclusion that, under present circumstances, diplomatic relations cannot be established with those countries. That does not mean that the Federal Government is not interested in the establishment of normal relations with the countries in question. […]
Source of original German text: Heinrich von Siegler, Wiedervereinigung und Sicherheit Deutschlands. 3. Aufl., Bonn/Wien/Zürich: Verlag für Zeitarchive, 1958, p. 194.
Source of English translation: Carl-Christoph Schweitzer et al., eds., Politics and Government in Germany, 1944–1994. Providence-Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1995, p. 127.