My Life in Politics

My Life in Politics

by Willy Brandt
     
 

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Born in 1913 to working-class parents, Willy Brandt got an early start in politics. By 1933 he was an active anti-Nazi and was forced to flee Germany for Denmark and Norway. He remained outside Germany for thirteen years, actively involved in the Resistance and as a radical journalist. For these actions he was stripped of his German nationality by the Nazis in 1938;… See more details below

Overview

Born in 1913 to working-class parents, Willy Brandt got an early start in politics. By 1933 he was an active anti-Nazi and was forced to flee Germany for Denmark and Norway. He remained outside Germany for thirteen years, actively involved in the Resistance and as a radical journalist. For these actions he was stripped of his German nationality by the Nazis in 1938; it was returned to him only in 1948. A year later he was elected a deputy for Berlin in the first German Bundestag. A rapid rise followed. In 1957 he was elected Mayor of West Berlin - a pivotal position in Germany - and in 1964 he was elected Chairman of the Social Democratic Party - the main opposition. Brandt was on the front line when the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961, and welcomed John F. Kennedy to the city when he made his famous "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech. In 1966 Brandt was appointed Foreign Minister and three years later Chancellor. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971. Countless doctorates and awards followed. But all this came crashing down in 1974 over the East German spy affair (about which he has much to say in this book). Brandt was, however, re-elected to the Bundestag and became President of the Socialist International. One of the first statesmen in Europe to fight for internationalism, Willy Brandt remains passionately committed to a single Europe and a unified Germany. His book North-South: A Programme for Survival was and continues to be a guideline for third world development and cooperation. The historic events of 1989 were the fulfillment of an extraordinarily exciting and distinguished political career, one dedicated to the emergence of a new Germany whose social and humanitarian impulses would derive from a melding of East and West.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
West German statesman Brandt came to prominence after WW II as mayor of Berlin. He was elected chairman of the German Social Democratic Party in 1964, was appointed foreign minister in Kurt Kiesinger's coalition government in '66 and became chancellor of the Federal Republic in '69. Brandt initiated a policy of conciliation with Eastern European countries, signing the Warsaw-Moscow Treaties in 1970, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize the following year. (``To have helped in causing the German name to be linked with the concept of peace and the prospect of European freedom is the true satisfaction of my life.'') He resigned as chancellor in '74 after the revelation that his personal staff included an East German spy; Brandt gives his version of the spy affair here for the first time. For nonspecialist readers the most satisfying section of this political memoir is that dealing with Brandt's wartime exile in Norway and Sweden, when he supported himself as a correspondent for Scandinavian journals and was active in the anti-Nazi resistance. But otherwise, his memoir is so modestly told as to render the account bland, generalized and colorless. (Nov.)
Gilbert Taylor
Opening his reflections on 60 years of political activity, the former German chancellor, ne Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm, congenially begins with the events that first put him in the world spotlight: the Soviet pressure on West Berlin in the early 1960s. As the socialist mayor at the time, he was, or tried to be, in constant communication with the great powers colliding there, a characteristic strategy of favoring negotiation that he later exhibited as the proponent and executor of Germany's "Ostpolitik" in the early 1970s. He was no neutral, though. A fervent anti-Nazi, he spent the war in Scandinavian exile as a journalist and ad hoc intelligence agent (in the course of which he adopted the alias Brandt). After the war, he became a rising star in the Social Democratic Party; he is duly grateful to his colleagues, and writes warmly of his conservative opponent, the wily Konrad Adenauer. The tenor of this memoir is a realistic, not idealistic, optimism, which Brandt has pursued as a global advocate for various causes since his fall in a 1974 spy scandal (here he is elusively defensive). An important figure of postwar Europe, Brandt merits inclusion in comprehensive collections

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780241130735
Publisher:
Penguin Books, Limited
Publication date:
01/01/1992
Pages:
544
Product dimensions:
1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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