University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

Section 3: April 9, 1967 - December 27, 1968

Innsbruck, April 9, 1967

The Tarnished Transatlantic Relationship

The recent whirlwind tour of the American Vice President Hubert Humphrey through the European capitals brought to a glaring light the uneasiness between America and Europe which has been smoldering for some time. At first the Europeans were annoyed that the Vice President was sent on this Goodwill Tour, and that the President did not come in person, although President Johnson had not spared the trouble of traveling to the much more distant Asia twice. The Europeans saw new proof that the United States pays more attention to Asian than Atlantic affairs. Indeed, during the past several years hardly anything has been more obvious than the changed relationship between America and Europe. While John F. Kennedy was cheered enthusiastically in Berlin, Hubert Humphrey’s reception remained cool. Furthermore, the Vice President was confronted by anti-American demonstrations in many European cities.

What has really happened that tarnished the friendly relationship between America and Europe?

In a leading article in the Weltwoche on April 7, Francois Bundy points out:

1) Most European countries feel offended, as they were not consulted during the American-Russian negotiations on the Non-Proliferation Treaty.*

2) The priority of the war in Vietnam over Atlantic problems.

3) France’s break-up with NATO as well as the new European nationalism stirred up by Gaullism.

4) The difficulties of a trade agreement between the United States and the Common Market.

In the past years, Europe has more or less fallen behind. Economically the Common Market could become an equal partner of the United States, but politically and militarily Europe is lagging. There is a lack of constructive cooperation, above all also in the areas of science and research. Europe is in danger of falling into backwardness.

*[The Non-Proliferation Treaty, which had been agreed upon in bilateral negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union, was signed in 1968 and came into effect in 1970. While Great Britain signed on to the Treaty, France did not join the agreement.]

Innsbruck, April 25, 1967

At the Graveside of Konrad Adenauer

[Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) died on April 19. He was the first Chancellor of the German Federal Republic (GFR) from 1949-63. Adenauer strongly supported the policy of the GFR joining NATO in 1955. He was also a strong advocate of the European Economic Community (EC) or Common Market.]

Lyndon B. Johnson and Charles de Gaulle stood at the graveside of Konrad Adenauer to demonstrate the unity of the West in whose formation Adenauer had played a decisive role. But the encounter of Johnson and de Gaulle during the funeral ceremony in Köln showed how much the West was divided in two camps. Between the United Sates and the Gaullists a rift of misunderstanding has opened. Gaullism has gained ground in Europe and, with the opening toward the East, is getting stronger and stronger.

Innsbruck, April 28, 1967

The Resolutions of Karlsbad of 1967

The conference of the Communist parties in Karlsbad, which at the same time is a summit meeting of the heads of the Communist parties of East and West, has again illustrated which hopes the East is nourishing. There was a clear expression of the opinion that the Atlantic Alliance should be dissolved when the NATO treaty expires in 1969. In return, they pledged also to dissolve the Warsaw Pact. After dissolving NATO, the East obviously hopes to have an easy hand in bringing the remaining Western part of Europe by peaceful infiltration on its side. The Communists would thereby achieve superiority in Europe.

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