NATO celebrates 60 years of German membership

  • 03 Jun. 2015 -
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  • Last updated: 03 Jun. 2015 18:39

NATO is celebrating Germany’s 60th anniversary as a member of the Alliance. Ambassador Martin Erdmann, Germany’s Permanent Representative to NATO, and Wayne Bush, Assistant Secretary General for Executive Management, opened an exhibition of archival photos and documents marking the occasion at NATO headquarters on Wednesday (3 June 2015). Calling Germany’s accession “an unparalleled historic event,” Ambassador Erdmann said the move “completed the irreversible anchoring of Germany in the Western community of values”. He added, “we chart a common course, one that is guided by the compasses of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.”

Germany became NATO’s fifteenth member on 6 May 1955, when the German instrument of accession to the Washington Treaty was officially deposited with the Government of the United States. Three days later, Germany participated in its first session of the North Atlantic Council at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.

The NATO Archives have compiled a series of historic documents and photographs marking Germany’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic family. Photos taken during the invitation and accession ceremonies in October 1954 and May 1955, respectively, show how Allies came together to welcome Germany as a new member. See the photo gallery at right.

Historical documents related to Germany’s accession are also available on the NATO Archives Online website here.