The Basic Treaty of 1972 improved opportunities for travel and visitation across the inner-German border. Residents of regions on both sides of the border were given the right to apply for entry without any particular reason to visit persons on the other side. The map shows the areas in both German states to which this agreement applied. Aside from Eisenach, almost all of the large border cities (Magdeburg, Weimar, Erfurt) on the GDR side were excluded from the purview of this visitation agreement. Likewise, cities on the Federal Republic side were also excluded. They included Kiel, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Würzburg, and Hanover, the latter of which constituted an exclave within this border zone. Thus, large parts of urban populations could not take advantage of the extended visiting privileges. Moreover, there was no legally binding guarantee that citizens of the Federal Republic could enter the GDR. Visitor applications from citizens of the GDR, as a rule, were only approved for women over 60 and men over 65 years of age.

Traffic Near the Inner-German Border (1973–1989)


Source: Original cartography by IEG-MAPS, Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz, A. Kunz, 2004. Revised cartography (WCAG-compliant) by Gabriel Moss, 2021.