Introduction
in Ireland, West Germany and the New Europe, 1949– 73
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book confirms that there was considerable continuity in Germany's official attitudes to independent Ireland from the interwar and wartime periods into the post-war. It analyses approximately 25 years of Irish-West German affairs, allowing a measured examination of the fluctuating relationship. The book examines the relationship against an evolving international backdrop that included war termination, continental rebuilding, regional integration and the Cold War. It explores a number of interrelated developments that intruded on the official relationship. The book draws extensively on the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin and the Auswärtiges Amt-Politisches Archiv (AA-PA), Berlin. It compiles a book-length study of Irish-West German relations from the Irish perspective, beginning with West Germany's foundation and ending with Ireland's entry into the European Economic Community (EEC).

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