'We are not Seeking Strength for its Own Sake': The British Labour Party, West Germany and the Cold War, 1951-64

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Abstract

Despite its vocal left wing, the Labour Party was committed to the Western alliance from its inception in 1949. By the 1950s, this seemed imperilled by the newly rearmed Adenauer government's hard line towards the Soviet bloc. Antagonism towards the new Federal Republic was strengthened by the anti-militarism and anti-capitalism inherent in British socialism. In order to forestall internal party attacks on NATO, the leadership of the Labour Party sought to push West Germany towards a less intransigent anti-Communist position, more commensurate with facilitating East-West negotiation. Using Labour Party archives, this article seeks to demonstrate that Labour's anti-Adenauer policy was designed to marginalize the pro-GDR and anti-NATO factions within the Labour movement and strengthen support for a non-revisionist West Germany within NATO.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-94
Number of pages28
JournalCold War History
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

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