Secretary General's 60th anniversary gifts to Germany

  • 30 Jun. 2015 -
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  • Last updated: 02 Jul. 2015 15:42

On 30 June 2015, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg traveled to Berlin to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Germany’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty. During his official speech, the Secretary General presented German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier with two extraordinary gifts in honor of the occasion. Both gifts were specially produced by the NATO Archives in collaboration with the NATO Printing and Graphics Design Section.

Speech by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the international ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the accession of Germany to NATO. The NATO Secretary General shows a sketch of Konrad Adenauer by the American artist, Manuel Bromberg

The first gift was a custom-made hardcover edition of the book that accompanied the NATO Archives exhibition “60th Anniversary of the Accession of Germany to NATO”. This book, which is also available in a digital format on this page in the pdf library, contains facsimiles of the official signed protocols and instruments of accession for Germany to NATO, alongside a curated set of photos that visually document the formal ceremonies of invitation and welcome that took place at NATO HQ in the Palais de Chaillot in 1954 and 1955, respectively.    

The second gift, which the Secretary General highlighted several times during his speech, was a portfolio set of sketches drawn by the American artist Manuel Bromberg, who served as an official war artist in the European theatre of operations from 1943 to 1945. For the occasion of the Ministerial Meetings associated with the accession of Germany, the NATO Information Service (the historic predecessor to the NATO Public Diplomacy Division) commissioned Mr. Bromberg to make a series of informal sketches about what he observed at the ceremonies.  Outside of the journalistic press, Bromberg was apparently the only civilian allowed in the HQ during the ceremonies of 23 October 1954 and 9 May 1955. At the time, Bromberg’s sketches were offered by the NATO Information Service to select national newspapers on an exclusive basis (a sample letter to the New York Times is included in the pdf library). The Bromberg sketches have been out of circulation for many years and the 60th anniversary of Germany in NATO offered the perfect pretext for the NATO Archives to bring them back in circulation.

To respect the unique quality of Bromberg’s sketches, only 250 copies of the portfolio set were produced. The sets that were presented to the German Federal Office were signed and numbered by Secretary General Stoltenberg himself. While the paper copies of the portfolio set are scarce, a digital version of the set  is available for browsing in the pdf library on this page. Each sketch is shown in a magnified perspective on its front page, with a full facsimile of the sketch on its back face, accompanied by its respective referent photo and the original 1955 caption.  

For more information about Manuel Bromberg, who is still practicing his art at the age of 98, please visit his website: