Thatcher Urged Gorbachev to Block German Reunification

British leader warned Soviets that the change would endanger security
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2009 2:06 AM CDT
Soviet leaders considering tearing down the Berlin Wall themselves as protests spread in 1989, according to Kremlin documents.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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(Newser) – Margaret Thatcher called on Mikhail Gorbachev to halt German reunification months before the Berlin Wall came down, newly unearthed Kremlin documents reveal. Thatcher—telling the Soviet leader he should disregard NATO pronouncements on the issue—said the breakdown of the Warsaw Pact wasn't in the interests of the West, the Times of London reports.

"We do not want a united Germany,” Thatcher said. “This would lead to a change to postwar borders, and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the stability of the whole international situation and could endanger our security." Declassified British records show that French leader Francois Mitterand was also firmly opposed to reunification. He told Thatcher he feared a united Germany could "make even more ground than had Hitler."