Public Diplomacy and Personal Encounter: the Triangular Relations between East Germany, Scandinavia and the Soviet Union at the Baltic Sea Week (1958—1975)
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Public Diplomacy and Personal Encounter: the Triangular Relations between East Germany, Scandinavia and the Soviet Union at the Baltic Sea Week (1958—1975)
Annotation
PII
S207987840006557-1-1
DOI
10.18254/S207987840006557-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Antons Jan-Hinnerk 
Affiliation:
Helmut Schmidt Universität
Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg
Address: Germanу, Hamburg
Abstract

The Baltic Sea Week in the German Democratic Republic was a tool of public diplomacy that principally sought to target Scandinavian tourists and opinion leaders. Backed by Soviet delegations, the East German government promoted its international recognition. While the response of the Nordic guests to the political program of the festival varied from affirmation to challenging (inter alia) the sincerity of the peace message, many of them brought along a genuine interest in socialist societies and what they were building. Moreover, they took the omnipresent friendship rhetoric literally and were eager for a genuine interpersonal encounter across the barrier of the “Iron Curtain”. Although the GDR finally gained international recognition by other means, the Baltic Sea Week appears to have contributed to a transnational Baltic Sea identity among segments of the civil society along its coasts.

Keywords
Cultural diplomacy; Public diplomacy; tourism; East-West relations; GDR; Baltic Sea; friendship; international understanding; transnational relations
Received
01.08.2019
Publication date
16.09.2019
Number of characters
41823
Number of purchasers
4
Views
21
Readers community rating
0.0 (0 votes)
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