No Love Lost?

The Crisis of German-American Relations Under Helmut Schmidt and Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter host arrival ceremony for German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Mrs. Helmut Schmidt.
No Love Lost? : The Crisis of German-American Relations Under Helmut Schmidt and Jimmy Carter - Christoph Erber


In the mid-1970s, the transatlantic ties between the United States and West Germany stood at a peak. However, according to most scholars, German-American relations subsequently reached a nadir under the Schmidt/Carter administrations in the second half of the decade. Why was this the case? While the common narrative typically stresses severe personal dislike between the two transatlantic leaders, this paper will emphasize their conflicts of interest and specifically those related to Germany’s foreign policy objectives. It will show how these growing disruptions across various policy areas gradually undermined the German-American transatlantic alliance by 1980. In this context, the 1977-1980 crisis of relations was driven by the emancipation of West German foreign policy from American dominance – overall exemplified by (West) Germany’s growing commitment to European integration in the following decades. Consequently, the Schmidt/Carter rift constitutes an important crossroads in postwar German- American relations, which preluded Germany’s growing international role since the 1970s into present times.


In the summer of 1976, the relations between the United States of America and the Federal Republic of Germany stood at a peak. In Bonn, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt lauded the unprecedented trust between the two allies.1 Likewise, future U.S. President Jimmy Carter underscored his staunch commitment to preserve the German-American friendship in an election campaign interview with Der Spiegel.2 Yet, German-American relations reached a nadir under the Schmidt/Carter administrations in the subsequent 1977-1980 period. Illustrating this in the most pronounced way was the harsher tone adopted by the two protagonists who referred to each other as incompetent, unreliable, stubborn, naïve or brazen.3 Thus, it is an open secret that there was no love lost between the German Chancellor and the American President. 

While there certainly was personal dislike between the two transatlantic leaders, these differences were exacerbated increasingly by conflicting foreign policy interests. Accordingly, the 1977- 1980 crisis was a crucial period in the continued emancipation of German foreign policy from Washington’s yoke and Berlin’s growing support for European integration. This was a direct consequence of the German disappointment over wavering American leadership and frustration with the imbalances in the transatlantic partnership. The rift provides crucial insight into the prominent role which (West) Germany would play in European integration from the 1970s into present times. 

A number of factors contributed to this severe deterioration of German-American relations in the scope of the Schmidt/Carter administrations. While a complex mix of miscalculations, conflicts of interests, personal dislike and external circumstances drove a wedge between the transatlantic partners, this paper will emphasize the conflict of interests and specifically those related to Germany’s foreign policy objectives. These divisions encompassed various policy areas and are therefore best understood by highlighting key political events of the period that exemplify the growing crisis. However, since relations did not break down overnight, it is important to differentiate chronologically between four phases: a rough start, continued disruptions, a brief rapprochement and the eventual crisis. 

Therefore, this paper will initially outline the peak of the German-American relations in the mid-1970s. Subsequently the rough start after the (re)election of Schmidt and Carter will be discussed. The next section will focus on the growing disruptions mainly due to economic and security policy disagreements. By contrast, the following section will consider a brief period of rapprochement focused around the NATO dual-track decision. The subsequent section will highlight the recurrence of economic and security policy disagreements, eventually leading to the eventual crisis of the German-American relations. Finally, a conclusion will summarize the story and discuss implications.

The German-American Transatlantic Relationship in the Mid-1970s

The mid-1970s were a period of “striking transatlantic cooperation” between the United States and Germany.4 On the one hand, this was due to the desire of Chancellor Schmidt, who had succeeded Willy Brandt in May 1974, to be a dependable ally to the United States.5 On the other hand, Washington regarded Bonn as its strongest ally, leading President Ford to restore the trust in the alliance, which had been undermined previously by President Nixon.6 For the United States, Germany’s emerging economic strength as well as its intermediary role between America and France made it an increasingly important partner.7 Close personal ties between the transatlantic leaders certainly facilitated this development. The fact that Schmidt designated the relevant chapter in his memoirs as “friendship with Gerald Ford” is quite telling in this respect.8 Likewise, Ford’s biography reveals reciprocal feelings of friendship for the German chancellor.9 

However, this close cooperation with the United States also boosted the self-assertion of German foreign policy as Schmidt stated that Germany was no longer a political dwarf.10 Assuming to retain its influential international role, the Federal Republic did not anticipate a fundamental change of relations after Jimmy Carter was elected in November 1976. Nevertheless, the election of the internationally unexperienced former peanut farmer from Georgia did constitute a puzzle for leading foreign policy experts in Bonn – Egon Bahr, the architect of Brandt’s Ostpolitik, considered Carter a “dark horse,” but not a threat to the transatlantic alliance.11 Yet, German-American relations soon would take a turn for the worse.

Off to a Rough Start – The Brazil Nuclear Deal and Global Economic Distress

From the onset, three fundamental differences between Schmidt and Carter foreshadowed a deterioration of relations. Firstly, the American president was convinced of his ability to induce foreign politicians to act according to what he thought was right and reasonable, whereas the internationally experienced Schmidt understood successful diplomacy essentially as an exercise in arduous and repeated discussions.12 Secondly, while the German chancellor shared Carter’s notion of universal human rights, he was less uncompromising and preferred to promote them more subtly.13 In this context, Bahr recalls that Carter’s mace-like rhetoric concerning human rights violations towards Moscow raised many eyebrows in Bonn, as West Germany was concerned that this American persistence would burden German-Soviet relations.14 Retaining good standing with the U.S.S.R. was of fundamental importance for the Federal Republic to ensure the continuance of German-German rapprochement.15 Thirdly, the recent decline of American hegemony exemplified by the Vietnam disaster and the Watergate scandal required an adjustment in the United States’ leadership role. Even though Schmidt conceded the U.S. a leading position in the Western alliance, he also called on America to take the particular concerns of its Western partners more into account.16 From Bonn’s perspective, the Carter administration violated this new unwritten principle on two occasions already at its outset: the Brazil nuclear deal and economic policy. 

The first conflict erupted around the 1975 German nuclear technology deal with Brazil. While President Ford previously had approved the deal, the White House’s new resident emphasized the importance of nuclear non-proliferation, fearing that German technology might enable Brazil’s military regime to develop nuclear arms.17 Thus, Carter’s firm commitment to contain the possible spread of nuclear weapons clashed with West German economic interests. Bonn feared that a possible cancelation of the deal would jeopardize Germany’s international reputation as a reliable trade partner – after all, the U.S. had previously forced West Germany to renege a large pipe deal with the Soviet Union in 1962-63, which had consequently inhibited German exports to the Eastern Bloc for almost a decade.18 Moreover, the Brazil deal was of crucial importance to ensure a sufficient utilization of the German nuclear industry, which had been developed just recently at considerable expenses.19 Finally, Carter’s demand to cancel the deal also contradicted German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher’s objective to strengthen Germany’s presence in Latin America.20 After more than a half year of bickering, the dispute was settled in July 1977 when Bonn grudgingly agreed to refrain from future exports of sensitive nuclear technology.21 

A second clash between West Germany and the United States evolved around differing economic policy conceptions. The key term in this issue was the so-called “locomotive theory,” advocated by the American president, which essentially called on Germany and Japan to function as an engine of growth to reflate the global economy.22 Arguing from a Keynesian point of view, these countries were supposed to strengthen their domestic demand by means of increased public spending, consequently translating into an international stimulus of growth.23 However, Carter’s approach significantly contrasted with Schmidt’s economic policy understanding. Cautious to keep inflation in check after the price-driving impact of the 1973 oil shock, the Federal Republic prioritized budgetary consolidation and consequently was reluctant to deviate from this course.24 In particular, Washington’s repeated public criticism annoyed Schmidt, as he indicated to Carter’s vice president Walter Mondale in January 1977 that he did not appreciate this kind of official encouragement.25 The May 1977 London economic summit further strained the German-American partnership. While Schmidt’s attempts to lecture the American president on basic macroeconomic theory failed, Carter successfully pressed Germany into proclaiming an (unrealistic) five percent growth target for the German economy.26 This was a great success for the American president, who admitted in his diary to have been “at somewhat of a disadvantage in discussing the finance matters” with the other leaders.27 

Continued Disruptions – The Neutron Bomb and Loss of Trust

Strained by disagreements over human rights promotion, economic policy and energy issues, a major clash in terms of security policy further deteriorated the German-American relationship. Starting in 1976, the Soviet Union had initiated the deployment of superior medium-range SS-20 missiles, which could exclusively strike European targets.28 Naturally, this alteration of the eurostrategic military balance troubled the West German leadership. Calling on the United States to restore the nuclear balance, Helmut Schmidt expressed his concerns that the U.S.S.R. might otherwise use its new military advantage to exercise political pressure on the Federal Republic.29 As Hanrieder argues, this was in fact an indirect criticism of “incompetent American diplomacy,” as the United States did not consider the SS-20s a threat at first, thus neglecting the vital interests of their European partners.30 Indeed, Willy Brandt mentions in his memoirs that Schmidt was “troubled and wounded” when his fears about the growing Soviet threat were not taken seriously by the Carter administration.31 Initially, driven by Carter’s aversion for an expansion of the American nuclear arsenal, the U.S. called on its NATO partners to increase their defense spending to develop a limited non-nuclear response in case of an attack.32 To Germany, this suggestion appeared as if America was shirking its responsibility to assist its European allies in the case of an attack – a contradiction to NATO’s fundamental principle of “mutually ensured destruction.”33 By contrast, championed by Schmidt and British Prime Minister James Callaghan, the Europeans championed nuclear rearmament in order to credibly deter Moscow.34 At the same time, the German chancellor stressed the need to demonstrate that NATO was not acting aggressively either by suggesting to accompany nuclear rearmament with further arms reductions negotiations.35 

Eventually, the Americans agreed to Schmidt’s proposal but considerations over how to restore the eurostrategic nuclear balance consequently put the German-American relations to a serious test. The prospective deployment of the so-called neutron bomb, lauded “America’s wonder weapon for Europe” on the cover of Der Spiegel in July 1977, was, however, highly controversial.36 The German chancellor was at first cautious, emphasizing the need to assess whether the neutron bomb would serve as an “additional element of the deterrence strategy, as a means of preventing war.”37 Pushed by his security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski to advance the production of the new weapon, Carter demanded European support.38 Reluctantly, Schmidt agreed to back the president’s proposal, investing a large amount of political capital in fending off fierce party internal opposition against the neutron bomb’s possible deployment.39 In particular, Egon Bahr had referred to this new weapon as “the perversion of thinking” in an article which struck a chord with many of his Social Democratic party fellows.40 However, in April 1978, moral scruples led Carter to withdraw his initial offer to advance production of the neutron bomb without previously consulting his European partners.41 This created a “political tempest” throughout Western Europe – Schmidt in particular felt left high and dry by the American about-face.42 

In a similar fashion, economic policy continued to strain the relations between the two transatlantic leaders. Specifically, Carter’s repeated emphasis of the “locomotive theory” disturbed German-American relations: Germany’s excessively cautious economic policies, the American president argued, limited the United States’ ability to export, thus being responsible for the pronounced U.S. trade deficit.43 Increasingly annoyed by these accusations, the German chancellor referred to Carter’s theory as a “monster of the Loch Ness type,” which resurfaced time and again when the American economy was in trouble.44 By contrast, the falling value of the dollar – from DM 4.00 in the late 1960s to DM 1.76 in late 1978 – led Bonn, in turn, to accuse the United States of intentionally devaluing their currency, which hurt German export competitiveness.45As Gilbert argues, Schmidt perceived a strong contradiction between the United States’ reluctance to make the “economic sacrifices its hegemonic role demanded of it” and its claims to lead the transatlantic alliance.46 Indeed, Schmidt criticized this American policy as irresponsible, arguing “the world economy was without leadership, without coordination”.47 

As a result, these continuous disappointments over American leadership caused German foreign policy to shift its focus gradually towards European integration. Arguably, Schmidt’s turn towards Europe was more motivated by the international economic problems than by the neutron bomb disaster – the establishment of the European Monetary System (EMS) in March 1979, aiming to reduce the vulnerability of the Common Market to external shocks, attested to this.48 Championed by Schmidt and French Prime Minister Valery Giscard d’Estaing, the EMS was a clear sign of European – and, for that matter, West German – emancipation in the transatlantic alliance. According to Schwammel, the Federal Republic’s growing commitment to European integration starting in Schmidt’s Chancellorship was primarily used as a means to boost its international prestige as a “great power”.49 On the contrary, Schulz suggests that Schmidt’s gradual prioritization of European integration over the transatlantic alliance resulted from his realization that Germany’s economic and political fate increasingly depended on the Common Market.50 While the exact reasons are disputable, both cases, however, share the assessment of West Germany realizing that the present transatlantic framework “did not always provide the most effective instrument for defending West German […] interests”.51 Realizing that these interests aligned more frequently with its European partners, European integration appeared to be an increasingly more beneficial way to conduct German foreign policy. Nevertheless, as West Germany continued to be targeted by the U.S.S.R.’s SS-20s, a strong alliance with the United States was still indispensable from a security perspective. 

Attempted Rapprochement – The NATO Dual-Track Decision

This realization subsequently lead to a brief period of rapprochement in the German-American relations. After all, neither the German chancellor nor the American president were seriously questioning the relevance of the transatlantic alliance, thus managing to resolve some of their differences in the realm of economic and security policy. At the 1978 Bonn economic summit, Schmidt and Carter settled their previous dispute over the “locomotive theory,” agreeing to follow a joint policy of economic reflation.52 Moreover, faced with rising inflation in fall 1978, the Carter administration finally agreed to address the dollar’s falling value through a pronounced increase of the interest rate.53 Consequently, two controversial economic issues, which had previously strained the transatlantic alliance, had been settled.54 

In terms of security policy, the Guadeloupe meeting to prepare the NATO dual-track decision was an example of reconciliation between the transatlantic partners and was a rare exception to the constant quarreling. Meeting in January 1979, Callaghan, Carter, Giscard d’Estaing, and Schmidt expressed their joint support for the ongoing strategic arms limitations talks (SALT II) between the United States and the Soviet Union but also stressed the need for NATO rearmament to counter Soviet nuclear superiority in Europe.55 Uniting these two objectives would in December 1979 result in the so-called NATO dual-track decision – opening arms limitations negotiations with the U.S.S.R. over medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles combined with the threat of NATO rearmament in the case these talks failed. Enthused by the Caribbean setting, Carter noted in his diary that the Guadeloupe meeting was “helpful in understanding our mutual attitudes and concerns.”56 Schmidt, who had essentially envisioned this dual-track approach, was nevertheless feeling uneasy, as he bore the political responsibility for the first track – deployment – but was powerless with regard to the second track – U.S.-U.S.S.R. arms control negotiations.57 The Chancellor’s limited ability to facilitate negotiations between the superpowers would become a crucial factor in the subsequent crisis of the German-American relationship. Despite this crucial success for the transatlantic partnership, clouds remained on the horizon which shortly thereafter led to a storm that plunged the German-American relationship into crisis. 

When Crisis Strikes – Oil Price Shock and the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

Three main reasons were responsible for why transatlantic relations did not improve lastingly following this period of rapprochement. Firstly, the second oil shock confronted the Western partners with a conflict of distribution. Both Bonn and Washington feared supply shortages and clashed over the question whether government interventions in the (inter)national oil markets were an appropriate measure.58 This confrontation resulted from two diametrically opposed economic realities in the respective countries – while West Germany expected an economic upswing in a climate of stable prices, the opposite was the case in the United States.59 Hence, the better positioned Federal Republic had little interest in strangling its economic recovery through a short-term reduction of oil consumption, as was proposed by America.60 The 1979 Tokyo economic summit offered a possibility to pour oil on troubled water but instead revealed the large discrepancies between the German and the American position, as Carter was deeply upset with Schmidt for “strongly [protecting] German interests.”61 Although an agreement on country-specific energy reduction goals eventually was reached, the next dispute already awaited. 

The second driver for the evetnual crisis in the transatlantic relationship were the diverging perspectives on an appropriate response to the hostage taking of the American embassy in Teheran starting in November 1979. Feeling publicly humiliated by this event, the American president imposed economic sanctions on Iran shortly after and pressured his European allies to follow his lead.62 West Germany, however, seriously questioned the effectiveness of the American sanctions as they lacked the backing of the United Nations and would have severely hurt the German economy due to its close trade relations with Iran.63 Moreover, Carter’s “amateurish, erratic and incompetent” handling of the hostage crisis rendered a sacrifice of West German commercial interests on behalf of America even more difficult.64 Fearing to be drawn into a possible military conflict, West German politicians increasingly challenged Carter’s tough stance on Iran – Willy Brandt’s statement that the German government served first of all the German people was a case in point.65 The failed American attempt to rescue the hostages in April 1980 was “a wake-up call for Europe,” as the angered Schmidt realized that the Federal Republic had to become more involved and stand by America’s side – if only to mitigate the growing unpredictability of Carter’s foreign policy.66 

This element of unpredictability was also present in the third event which finally led the German-American relationship into crisis – the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. To the German chancellor, Carter’s call to punish the U.S.S.R. appeared restless and driven by panic, lacking any recognizable strategic concept or consideration for possible ramifications on Western Europe.67 From Bonn’s perspective, “pique rather than prudence dictated Carter’s response.”68 In particular, the American president’s decision to suspend diplomatic relations with the U.S.S.R. troubled Schmidt, who had previously warned Carter that the current tensions with Moscow could be only kept under control through continued communication.69 For West Germany, maintaining an open dialogue with the Soviet Union was of fundamental importance for the continuance of German-German rapprochement.70 Moreover, Schmidt was upset deeply by Washington’s withdrawal from the SALT II treaty in retaliation for the Afghanistan invasion, which essentially jeopardized the second track of the NATO dual-track decision – arms limitation negotiations. Attempting to break the ice of the frozen negotiations between the two superpowers, Schmidt suggested a temporary moratorium to freeze the deployment of additional missiles in Western Europe by either side. While this suggestion was motivated predominantly by German interest of reducing the nuclear threat in Western Europe, Carter scolded Schmidt’s single-handed advance in a strongly worded letter.71 Responding to this letter in a personal meeting with Carter at the June 1980 Venice economic summit, Schmidt vociferously expressed his anger over the United States’ patronizing attitude towards West Germany – famously clarifying that the Federal Republic was indeed not America’s fifty-first state.72 With the American president referring to this event as the “most unpleasant personal exchange” of his political career, this final episode exemplifies the desolate state of the German-American relationship by the end of Carter’s presidential term.73 


Without question, there was not much love lost between the pragmatic realist Schmidt and the moralistic idealist Carter. After all, Carter admitted in his memoirs that he was “glad to deliver Schmidt […] to Reagan” when he left office.74 Likewise, Schmidt concluded that Carter, lacking adequate experience in international affairs, was never “big enough for the game.”75 However, as this paper demonstrated, the deterioration in the transatlantic partnership was not solely due to the personal quarrels between the two leaders. Rather, a number of conflicting interests between the two allies drove the growing estrangement and triggered frequent clashes in the 1977-1980 period. The short period of rapprochement around the 1979 NATO dual-track decision was the exception which proved the rule. Faced with repeated disputes over economic, energy and security policies, German-American relations ultimately plunged into crisis. 

This crisis of the German-American relationship reflected a distinct change in German foreign policy. Irritated by the asymmetries in the transatlantic alliance and disenchanted in American leadership, the Federal Republic increasingly turned its attention to the European integration process. Whether this was intended to boost its great-power status or to mitigate skepticism regarding its international rise by embedding it in a firm multilateral structure are questions for further debate. There is, however, no doubt that the late 1970s witnessed a shift in priorities of West German foreign policy. The previously dominating precedence of the transatlantic security alliance yielded to an increasing focus on European integration. In this context, Schmidt’s advocacy for the establishment of the EMS was a resolute move to protect West German (economic) interests when they were threatened by questionable U.S. policies. The repeated failure of bilateral diplomacy led West Germany to the conclusion that a European multilateral institution would prove more effective to protect its national interests. 

Therefore, this re-orientation of West German foreign policy must be understood as a consequence of the deep divide between Schmidt and Carter. The changing economic and political circumstances of the late 1970s required that the transatlantic partners renewed the framework, within which they could coordinate their policies more effectively. Therefore, advancing European integration was necessary to bridge the discrepancy between Europe’s economic power and its relative lack of political influence. This aim to strengthen Europe was the legacy of the countless confrontations between Schmidt and Carter, and in this light, an important impetus for the decisive expansion of European integration in the subsequent decades. 


Bahr, Egon. 1996. Zu meiner Zeit. München: Karl Blessing Verlag. 

Bark, Dennis, and David Gress. 1993. A history of West Germany: Democracy and its discontents 1963-1991. 2nd. Vol. 2. Oxford: Blackwell. 

Brandt, Willy. 1993. My life in politics. London: Penguin Books. 

Carter, Jimmy. 2010. White House diary. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 

Ford, Gerald R. 1979. A time to heal: The autobiography of Gerlad R. Ford. New York: Harper & Row. 

Gilbert, Mark. 2012. European Integration: A concise history. Plymouth: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Glees, Anthony. 1996. Reinventing Germany: German political development since 1945. Oxford: Berg. 

Hanrieder, Wolfram F., ed. 1982. Helmut Schmidt: Perspectives on politics. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. 

Hanrieder, Wolfram F. 1992. “The German-American connection in the 1970s and 1980s: The maturing of a relationship.” In Shepherd of Democracy? - America and Germany in the twentieth century, edited by Carl C. Hodge and Cathal J. Nolan, 105-120. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. 

Kaufman, Burton. 1993. The Presidency of James Earl Carter, Jr. Lawrence, Kansas: Kansas University Press. 

Ludlow, Piers. 2013. “The Real Years of Europe? - U.S.–West European relations during the Ford administration.” Journal of Cold War Studies 15 (3): 136–161. 

Renouard, Joe, and Nathan Vigil. 2010. “The quest for leadership in a time of peace: Jimmy Carter and Western Europe, 1977-1981.” In The strained alliance: U.S.-European relations from Nixon to Carter, edited by Matthias Schulz and Thomas A. Schwartz, 309-332. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Schmidt, Helmut. 2011. Menschen und Mächte. München: Pantheon Verlag. 

—. 1976. “Plenarprotokoll 8/5.” Deutscher Bundestag. December 16. Accessed December 14, 2015. 

Schulz, Matthias. 2010. “The reluctant European: Helmut Schmidt, the European Community, and transatlantic relations.” In The strained alliance: U.S.-European relations from Nixon to Carter, edited by Matthias Schulz and Thomas A. Schwartz, 279-307. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Schwammel, Inge. 1997. Deutschlands Aufstieg zur Grossmacht. Die Instrumentalisierung der europäischen Integration 1974-1994 . Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. 

Soell, Hartmut. 2008. Helmut Schmidt: Macht und Verantwortung - 1969 bis heute. München: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt. 

Weber, Jürgen. 2001. Deutsche Geschichte 1945-1990. München: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit. 

Wiegrefe, Klaus. 2005. Das Zerwürfnis: Helmut Schmidt, Jimmy Carter und die Krise der deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen. Berlin: Propyläen Verlag. 


1 Helmut Schmidt, “Plenarprotokoll 8/5,“ Deutscher Bundestag, 16.12.1976 retrieved on 14.12.2015, http://dipbt. 

2 Der Spiegel, “ SPIEGEL Gespräch – „Viel härter gegen die Sowjets auftreten“,” 21.06.1976, retrieved on 28.11.2015, spiegel/print/d-41213242.html 

3 Klaus Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis: Helmut Schmidt, Jimmy Carter und die Krise der deutsch-amerikanischen Beziehungen (Berlin: Propyläen Verlag, 2005), 13. 

4 Piers Ludlow, “The real years of Europe? - U.S.–West European relations during the Ford administration,” Journal of Cold War Studies, 15(3), 136. 

5 Anthony Glees, Reinventing Germany: German political development since 1945, (Oxford: Berg, 1996), 200. 

6 Ludlow, “Real years of Europe,” 143. 

7 Ibid., 144. 

8 Helmut Schmidt, Menschen und Mächte, (München: Pantheon Verlag, 2011), 204-223. Translation ist he author‘s 

9 Gerald R. Ford, A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford (New York: Harper & Row, 1979), 220–221. 

10 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 47. 

11 Egon Bahr, Zu meiner Zeit (München: Karl Blessing Verlag, 1996), 474. Translation is the author’s. 

12 Hartmut Soell, Helmut Schmidt: Macht und Verantwortung - 1969 bis heute (München: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 2008), 634-639. 

13 Ibid., 636. 

14 Bahr, Zu meiner Zeit, 474. 

15 Jürgen Weber, Deutsche Geschichte 1945-1990, (München: Bayerische Landeszentrale für politische Bildungsarbeit, 2001), 173. 

16 Soell, Schmidt: Macht und Verantwortung, 636-637. 

17 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 80-82. 

18 Der Spiegel, “Bombengeschäft - Geschäft mit der Bombe?,” 31.01.1977, retrieved on 17.12.2015, http://www. 

19 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 76-77. 

20 Der Spiegel, “Bombengeschäft - Geschäft mit der Bombe?,” 31.01.1977, retrieved on 17.12.2015, http://www. 

21 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 75. 

22 Mark Gilbert, Cold War Europe – The politics of a contested continent (London: Rowman & Littlefield 2015), 226. 

23 Joe Renouard and Nathan Vigil, “The quest for leadership in a time of peace: Jimmy Carter and Western Europe, 1977-1981,” in The strained alliance: U.S.-European relations from Nixon to Carter, eds. Matthias Schulz & Thomas A. Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 319-321. 

24 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 101-105. 

25 Matthias Schulz, “The reluctant European: Helmut Schmidt, the European Community, and transatlantic relations,” in The strained alliance: U.S.-European relations from Nixon to Carter, eds. Matthias Schulz & Thomas A. Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 298-299. Translation is the author’s. 

26 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 120-123. 

27 Jimmy Carter, White House Diary, (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010), 46. 

28 Gilbert, Cold War Europe, 224. 

29 Wolfram Hanrieder (Ed.), Helmut Schmidt: Perspectives on politics (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1982), 12-19. 

30 Wolfram Hanrieder, “The German-American connection in the 1970s and 1980s: The maturing of a relationship”. In C. C. Hodge, & C. J. Nolan (Eds.), Shepherd of Democracy? - America and Germany in the twentieth century, (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1992), 111. 

31 Willy Brandt, My life in politics, (London: Penguin Books, 1993), 322. 

32 Glees, Reinventing Germany, 201. 

33 Hanrieder, The German-American connection, 111. 

34 Glees, Reinventing Germany, 201. 

35 Hanrieder, Perspectives on Politics, 12-19. 

36 Der Spiegel, “Lichtblitz über der Elbe”, 18. 07.1977, retrieved on 19.12.2015, spiegel/print/d-40831537.html 

37 Hanrieder, Perspectives on Politics, 17. 

38 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 194-195. 

39 Ibid., 191-194. 

40 Bahr, Zu meiner Zeit, 496. Translation is the author’s. 

41 Schulz, “The reluctant European”, 300. 

42 Burton Kaufman, The presidency of James Earl Carter, Jr. (Kansas City: Kansas University Press), 95. 

43 Gilbert, Cold War Europe, 226. 

44 Helmut Schmidt, Menschen und Mächte, 266. Translation is the author’s. 

45 Schulz, “The reluctant European”, 301. 

46 Gilbert, Cold War Europe, 226. 

47 Schulz, “The reluctant European”, 302. 

48 Schulz, “The reluctant European”, 306. 

49 Inge Schwammel, Deutschlands Aufstieg zur Grossmacht, Die Instrumentalisierung der europäischen Integration 1974-1994 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1997). 

50 Matthias Schulz, “The reluctant European: Helmut Schmidt, the European Community, and transatlantic relations,” in The Strained Alliance: U.S.-European relations from Nixon to Carter, eds. Matthias Schulz & Thomas A. Schwartz (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 279–307. 

51 Schulz, “The reluctant European”, 281. 

52 Renouard and Vigil, “The quest for leadership”, 323. 

53 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 246-252. 

54 Weber, Deutsche Geschichte 1945-1990, 182. 

55 Glees, Reinventing Germany, 201.

56 Carter, White House Diary, 274. 

57 Hanrieder, The German-American connection, 111. 

58 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 286. 

59 Ibid. 

60 Ibid. 

61 Carter, White House Diary, 337. 

62 Renouard and Vigil, “The quest for leadership”, 325. 

63 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 307-311. 

64 Renouard and Vigil, “The quest for leadership”, 326. 

65 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 319. 

66 Renouard and Vigil, “The quest for leadership”, 327-328. 

67 Bark and Gress, A history of West Germany, 333. 

68 Kaufman, The Presidency of Carter, 165. 

69 Renouard and Vigil, “The quest for leadership”, 331. 

70 Weber, Deutsche Geschichte 1945-1990, 173. 

71 Wiegrefe, Das Zerwürfnis, 355-361. 

72 Bark and Gress, A history of West Germany, 319. 

73 Carter, White House Diary, 396. 

74 Ibid., 486. 

75 Glees, Reinventing Germany, 200. 

Christoph Erber is a current first-year MA candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies in Bologna with a focus on European and Eurasian Studies. He previously conducted his undergraduate studies in Economics and Social Sciences at the Free University of Bolzano, Italy, with an interest in the evolution and impact of the European Union. Before beginning his graduate studies, Christoph gathered professional experiences in Turkey, South Africa and Mexico working for international organizations and the German Foreign Ministry.