The Quadripartite Agreement concluded on 3 September 1971 stipulated the terms of policy with regard to Berlin. Berlin retained its special status, under which the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union shared joint responsibility for Berlin.
The Soviet Union also undertook not to impede transit traffic between West Berlin and the Federal Republic of Germany. In addition, travel between West and East Berlin was to be improved, so that contact between families would not be severed; this was arranged for in the transit agreement that was signed shortly thereafter. In the Quadripartite Agreement, the Soviet Union acknowledged for the first time that West Berlin had legal ties to the Federal Republic of Germany.
This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the agreement. The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, has decided to mark this anniversary with a special event at the historical site of the signing of the agreement, the plenary chamber of the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal was the former seat of the Allied Control Council, and the Quadripartite Agreement was signed here in the plenary chamber in 1971 by the ambassadors of the four Allied Powers.
Sebastian Groth, director of policy planning at the German Foreign Office, will give a keynote speech, and Professor Claudia Weber of the Europa-Universität Viadrina and Professor Dominik Geppert of the Universität Potsdam will engage in a discussion with students on the subject of “A Theater of the Cold War: Berlin and the Quadripartite Agreement of 1971.” Nana Brink will moderate the discussion.
A short documentary film produced especially for this occasion, “Change through Rapprochement – 50th Anniversary of the Quadripartite Agreement,” by Georg Berger (writer and director) and Jürgen Büsch (producer), will be shown.