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The Foreign Office ( ) is the foreign ministry of Germanymarker, and is responsible for both its foreign politics and its relationship with the European Union. From 1871 to 1919, it was led by the Foreign Secretary, and since 1919, it has been led by the Foreign Minister of Germany. Since 2009, Guido Westerwelle has served as Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor, and Werner Hoyer and Cornelia Pieper as Ministers of State.
The seat of the ministry is at the Werderscher Markt square in the Mittemarker district, the historic centre of Berlinmarker.


Foreign Office on Wilhelmstraße 76, about 1880
Guido Westerwelle
The Auswärtiges Amt was established in 1870 to form the foreign policy of the North German Confederationmarker, and from 1871 of the German Empiremarker. The Foreign Office was originally led by a secretary of state (therefore not called a ministry), while the Chancellor remained in charge of foreign affairs. In the first years of the German nation-state under Otto von Bismarck, the Foreign Office on Wilhelmstrassemarker No. 76 next to the Reich Chancellerymarker had two departments, a political and an economic, legal and consular. After Bismarck's dismissal in 1890 another department for colonial policy was established, spun off as the separate Reichskolonialamt in 1907. In the forefront of World War I the Auswärtiges Amt had to deal with the own foreign policy of Emperor Wilhelm II.

In 1919, the Foreign Office was reorganized and a modern structure was established. It was now under the authority of a foreign minister, though still called Amt for traditional reasons. The most notable head of the Foreign Office during the Weimar Republicmarker was Gustav Stresemann, foreign minister from 1923 to 1929, who strived for a reconciliation with the French Third Republic, which earned him - together with Aristide Briand - the 1926 Nobel Peace Prize. In 1932 Konstantin von Neurath was appointed foreign minister, he also held the office after Hitler became chancellor, finding himself exposed to increasing competition from Nazi politicians like Alfred Rosenberg and Joachim von Ribbentrop, who followed him in 1938.
Foreign Office building in Bonn
While Georg Dertinger had been appointed the first minister of foreign affairs of East Germanymarker already in 1949, the Auswärtiges Amt of West Germanymarker, due to the Allied occupation statute was not reestablished until March 15, 1951. Chancellor Konrad Adenauer took the office of the first Foreign Minister in Bonnmarker until the inauguration of Heinrich von Brentano in 1955. Since Willy Brandt served as Foreign Minister of the grand coalition under Kurt Georg Kiesinger from 1966, the office usually was connected with the position of the Vice-Chancellor. From 1974 until 1992 - with a short pause in 1982 - Hans-Dietrich Genscher served as Foreign Minister continuing Brandt's Ostpolitik and playing a vital role in the preparation of German reunification. In 2000 the Foreign Office was relocated back to Berlin, where it moved into the former Reichsbank building, the former seat of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, and a newly built annex. The former ministry in Bonn remained a second seat. The Foreign Office has always stressed its continuity and traditions since 1870.

German representation overseas

In addition to the ministry's headquarters in Berlin, Germany has established embassies and consulate around the world.

List of Foreign Secretaries and Foreign Ministers since 1871

See Foreign Minister of Germany

See also

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