West Germany wanted to buy reunification

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West Germany was prepared to pay the Soviet Union billions of marks in the 1960s to buy reunification, according to the weekly Der Spiegel, which went on sale Saturday.

The then chancellor Christian-Democrat Ludwig Erhard (1963-1966) hoped to obtain Germany's reunification in return for "two billion dollars a year for 10 years", or 100 billion Deutsche marks, a member of the chancellery at the time told the magazine.

The "Erhard plan" was to have been put to the USSR, then led by Nikita Krushchev (1953-1964), by the United States, according to declassified CIA documents, the weekly said.

Deemed "immature and unrealistic" by US diplomats at the time, who gave it little chance of success, the plan was never adopted.

Germany, divided into four occupation zones at the end of World War II, became two states, the Federal Republic of Germany (West) and the German Democratic Republic (East) in 1949.

It recovered its political and territorial unity on October 3 1990, exactly 21 years ago on Monday.

German reunification was brought about by the peaceful revolution in the East which culminated with the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.

© 2011 AFP

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