Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany
At the end of World War II, Germany was divided into four zones of occupation, with each being overseen by one of the Allied powers: the U.S., Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. With the beginning of the Cold War shortly thereafter, this divide became permanent, with the Soviet zone in East Germany becoming a separate country (the German Democratic Republic), and the other three becoming one country in West Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany). There was, however, no peace treaty between "Germany" and the four other powers. This changed in the fall of 1990, when the two Germanys and the four powers settled terms and signed the following treaty, sometimes called the "Two-Plus Four" Treaty in recognition of its signers, which was the final peace agreement of World War II. In the following excerpt from the Treaty, the Two-Plus-Four powers recognize both the sweeping political changes in Eastern Europe as well as legally allowing the Reunification of the two Germanys into one single country.
"Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany," September 12, 1990, U.S. Embassy in Germany, German Embassy (accessed June 11, 2007).
The Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, the French Republic, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America,
Conscious of the fact that their peoples have been living together in peace since 1945;
Mindful of the recent historic changes in Europe which make it possible to overcome the division of the continent;...
Resolved, in accordance with their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;...
Welcoming the fact that the German people, freely exercising their right of self-determination, have expressed their will to bring about the unity of Germany as a state so that they will be able to serve the peace of the world as an equal and sovereign partner in a united Europe;
Convinced that the unification of Germany as a state with definitive borders is a significant contribution to peace and stability in Europe;
Intending to conclude the final settlement with respect to Germany;
Recognizing that thereby, and with the unification of Germany as a democratic and peaceful state, the rights and responsibilities of the Four Powers relating to Berlin and to Germany as a whole lose their function;