Improving Germany’s relations with its Central and Eastern European neighbors was one of the top priorities of the Federal Government after 1989. In 1990, the foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, and the foreign minister of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, Jiří Dienstbier, founded a joint committee of German and Czech historians. The committee was supposed to help the two states come to terms with the difficult aspects of their shared past. The historians focused their attention on the tense relations between Germans, Slovaks, and Czechs from 1815 to 1989, with the Nazi dictatorship and the expulsion and resettlement of the Sudeten Germans after 1945 being the main topics of discussion.
This photograph shows: Minster President of Saxony Kurt Biedenkopf (3rd from left), Czech President Václav Havel (3rd from right), and German Federal President Roman Herzog. In 1995, the three travelled to Dresden to participate in one of the discussions of the German-Czech Committee of Historians. They called for reconciliation and a broad dialogue between Germans and Czechs. Photo: Engelbert Reineke.