Minister of Intra-German Relations

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Federal Minister of Intra-German Relations
Bundesminister für innerdeutsche Beziehungen
Coat of arms of Germany.svg
Coat of arms of Germany.
Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F048636-0022, Dortmund, SPD-Parteitag, Egon Franke.jpg
Longest serving
Egon Franke

22 October 1969 – 1 October 1982
Status Abolished
Member of the Cabinet
Reports to the Chancellor
Formation 20 September 1949
First holder Jakob Kaiser
Final holder Dorothee Wilms
Abolished 9 November 1989 (effectively)
18 January 1991 (formally)
Succession Federal Minister of the Interior

The Federal Minister of Intra-German Relations (German: Bundesminister für innerdeutsche Beziehungen) was a federal cabinet minister of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). The office was created under the title of Federal Minister of All-German Affairs (Bundesminister für gesamtdeutsche Fragen) in 1949, being also in charge of the German lands east of the Oder–Neisse line which had been put under Polish or Soviet administration. In 1951, the first Minister of All-German Affairs Jakob Kaiser openly raised claim to even greater territories including Austria, parts of Switzerland, the Saar area and Alsace-Lorraine.[1]

The ministry was renamed in 1969 because "All-German" might have evoked irredentist associations. The change of the name was supported by both left- and right-wing politicians.[citation needed]

The ministry was abolished in 1991 when a new government was established after the federal election of December 1990, some months after German reunification, having supported the transition.

Since West Germany maintained an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, and the legal pretense that the authorities of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) or Soviet occupation zone (SBZ) should not be recognized, it could not handle relations with East Germany through the Federal Foreign Office, since this would acknowledge that the GDR was a separate country. Hence, a separate ministry for relations within Germany had to be created. Since this ministry had very limited competence and virtually no political power, it soon became a post used by chancellors to block rivals without publicly offending them. One of the main tasks of the ministry was the publication of information material about the situation in the East, to keep the idea of German unity alive and to inform the public about actions of the East German government.

When German reunification became a possibility after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening of the inner German border on 9 November 1989, the ministry was completely disempowered by Chancellor Helmut Kohl; all intra-German affairs were now handled by the Ministry of the Interior under Wolfgang Schäuble. Formally, the ministry continued to exist until 1991 in order to facilitate transition.


Political Party:   CDU   FDP   SPD

No. Portrait Name
Term Political Party Government
Took office Left office Time in office
Federal Minister of All-German Affairs
Jakob Kaiser
Jakob Kaiser
20 September 1949 29 October 1957 8 years, 39 days CDU Adenauer III
Ernst Lemmer [de]
Ernst Lemmer [de]
29 October 1957 13 December 1962 5 years, 45 days CDU Adenauer IIIIV
Rainer Barzel
Rainer Barzel
14 December 1962 11 October 1963 301 days CDU Adenauer V
Erich Mende
Erich Mende
17 October 1963 28 October 1966 3 years, 11 days FDP Erhard III
Johann Baptist Gradl
Johann Baptist Gradl
28 October 1966 30 November 1966 33 days CDU Erhard II
Herbert Wehner
Herbert Wehner
1 December 1966 21 October 1969 2 years, 324 days SPD Kiesinger
Federal Minister of Intra-German Relations
Egon Franke
Egon Franke
22 October 1969 1 October 1982 12 years, 344 days SPD Brandt III
Schmidt IIIIII
Rainer Barzel
Rainer Barzel
4 October 1982 29 March 1983 176 days CDU Kohl I
Heinrich Windelen
Heinrich Windelen
30 March 1983 11 March 1987 3 years, 346 days CDU Kohl II
Dorothee Wilms
Dorothee Wilms
(born 1929)
12 March 1987 18 January 1991 3 years, 312 days CDU Kohl III


  • BMgF (Hrsg.): SBZ von A-Z, Deutscher Bundes-Verlag, Bonn, 1. bis 10. Aufl., 1953 bis 1966, ca. 500 Seiten.
  • BMgF (Hrsg.): Sowjetische Auffassungen zur Deutschlandfrage 1945–1954. Dargestellt nach amtlichen Dokumenten, Deutscher Bundes-Verlag, Bonn, 1954.
  • BMgF (Hrsg.): Wer ist wer in der SBZ? Ein biographisches Handbuch, Verlag für Internationalen Kulturaustausch, Berlin, 1958.
  • BMgF (Hrsg.): Die Situation der Jugend im kommunistischen Herrschaftssystem der SBZ Deutschlands in Bonner Berichte aus Mittel- und Ostdeutschland, Bonn – Berlin, 1960.
  • BMgF (Hrsg.): Die Bemühungen der Bundesrepublik um Wiederherstellung der Einheit Deutschlands durch gesamtdeutsche Wahlen. Dokumente und Akten. I. Teil, Oktober 1949–Oktober 1953, Deutscher Bundes-Verlag, Bonn, 1958.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Speech held at the party congress of Austrian People's Party in Salzburg, 2 March 1951. Quoted in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 26 January 1952, page 5