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60 years of Franco-German friendship – DW – 01/22/2023


German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was 87 years old, French President Charles de Gaulle 72. And yet it fell to these two elderly men, with memories of two catastrophic wars fresh in their minds, to inaugurate a new beginning in relations between Germany and France.

On January 22, 1963, in the Elysee Palace in Paris, the official residence of the French president, the two men shook hands, exchanged a brotherly kiss, and signed a treaty declaring the age-old enemies were now friends.

It had not been 18 years since the end of World War II, and millions of veterans on both sides had many memories to overcome; even before the rise of Adolf Hitler, German propaganda had drummed into schoolchildren that France was Germany’s oldest enemy.

Konrad Adenauer and Charles de Gaulle hugging as others look on
On January 22, 1963, in the Elysee Palace in Paris,…



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