The Effect of Early Political Opinion and the Political Positions on Willy Brandt's Policy towards America

Judith Michel


Based on two case studies and using the hermeneutic interpretation of sources, this paper analyzes how Willy BRANDT's early political and cultural orientation and his respective political offices influenced his policy towards the United States of America. The example of the Vietnam war illustrates that his early biographical conditioning, as well as his government office, caused him to restrain from public criticism of American involvement in Southeast Asia. As an elder statesman, after leaving the office of Federal Chancellor, some of the orientations which he had developed during the early phase of the Cold War faded into the background while other early conditionings gained new strength in a modified form. He now took a much more critical line on the American policy towards Latin America which was consistent with his aims as Chairman of the "North-South-Commission" and President of the Socialist International.


political and cultural conditioning; political office; Willy Brandt; policy towards the United States of America; Vietnam war; North-American policy towards Latin America; hermeneutic interpretation of sources; historic biographical research


Copyright (c) 2011 Judith Michel

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