The DGAP's History

The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) has had a long history, beginning with the founding of a politics journal in 1945:


  • 1945 to 1949


    • On July 6 in 1945 Wilhelm Cornides receives a "certificate of registration" for his editorial company "Europa-Archiv", the first step in his application for a license to establish a foreign policy journal in Frankfurt. Upon receiving approval from the occupation authority, the first edition appears in July 1946 with a circulation of 10,000. Later named IP - INTERNATIONALE POLITIK, the journal bears the name Europa-Archiv until 1995.


    • The establishment of an archives section and the publication of the first volumes on international politics and economics in Germany form the foundation of the DGAP's future library and document center.


    • Hermann Volle becomes editor of the journal and Wilhelm Cornides remains publisher.
  • 1950 to 1959


    • Wilhelm Cornides and Theodor Steltzer, Head of the Institute of European Politics and Economics in Frankfurt, visit the US and make the first contacts with American institutes, such as the Council on Foreign Relations.


    • Cornides and Steltzer hold preliminary talks on the establishment of a German Institute with experts from Chatham House in London and representatives of German business and politics, including: Prof. Arnold Toynbee (Chatham House), Dr. Heinrich von Brentano (Foreign Minister of West Germany from 1955 to 1963), Dr. Günter Henle (Managing Director of Klöckner & Co.), Hermann J. Abs (CEO of Deutsche Bank), Wilhelm Beutler (Chief Executive of the Voice of German Industry), State Secretary Walter Hallstein, Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Grewe (Head of the Political Department at the Foreign Office), Otto Wolff von Amerongen, Erich Ollenhauer (SPD), Dr. Gerhart Lütkens (SPD), and Federal President Theodor Heuss (FDP).


    • The DGAP is founded on March 29, 1955 at the University of Bonn. Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Dr. Günter Henle, and Prof. Dr. Hans Rothfels all deliver speeches.
    • Dr. Günter Henle is elected as the DGAP’s first president.  Theodor Steltzer becomes vice president.
    • The "DGAP Sponsors Association" is launched to support the DGAP financially.  53 companies join the association.
    • The DGAP Research Committee is formed, followed by the Academic Board of Directors.  Arnold Bergstraesser is elected as the first director of the Research Institute.
    • The DGAP's headquarters is initially located in Frankfurt.  An office is established in Bonn under the leadership of Dietrich Mende.


    • Ulrich Gembardt becomes director of the Research Institute.
    • The DGAP launches the first volume of the Yearbook “Internationale Politik.”
  • 1960 to 1969


    • The DGAP’s Research Institute, journal, and library move from Frankfurt to Bonn.
    • Walther Becker (former ambassador) becomes vice president.


    • Hans-Adolf Jacobsen is appointed director of the Research Institute.


    • In addition to his role as editor of Europa-Archiv, Wilhelm Cornides succeeds Hans-Adolf Jacobsen as director of the Research Institute.
    • Georg Federer (former ambassador) becomes vice president.


    • Wilhelm Cornides dies due to illness at 46 years of age.
    • Journalist Dr. Wolfgang Wagner becomes Executive Vice-President and goes on to succeed William Cornides in 1967 as director of the Research Institute and editor of Europa-Archiv.


    • Gebhardt von Walter (former ambassador) becomes vice president.
  • 1970 to 1979


    • The Research Committee is replaced by the smaller Scientific Board.
    • Karl Carstens is appointed director of the Research Institute.


    • Kurt Birrenbach (Thyssen AG) is elected president of the DGAP.
    • Prof. Dr. Karl Kaiser succeeds Karl Carstens as director of the Research Institute.


    • Herbert Trebesch (former admiral) becomes Executive Vice-President.
  • 1980 to 1989


    • At the DGAP’s 25th anniversary ceremony in Bonn, Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher speaks about “German foreign policy for the 1980s.”


    • Günter Diehl (former ambassador) succeeds Kurt Birrenbach as president of the DGAP.


    • Erich Straetling (former ambassador) becomes Executive Vice-President.


    • After 40 years as editor of Europa-Archiv, Hermann Volle is replaced by Dr. Jochen Thies.


    • C. Peter Henle (Klöckner & Co.) is elected president of the DGAP.
    • The DGAP’s library and document center join the “European Information Network on International Relations and Area Studies.”


    • Günter van Well (former ambassador) becomes Executive Vice-President.
  • 1990 to 1999


    • Nelson Mandela speaks about South Africa’s future at the DGAP.


    • The post of Director of the Research Institute is renamed “Otto Wolff-Director” at a ceremony attended by Otto Wolff von Amerongen, a long-time DGAP sponsor, and former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.


    • Werner Lamby (VIAG AG) and Reinhard Schlagintweit (former ambassador) are elected president and Executive Vice-President of the DGAP.
    • Dr. Angelika Volle assumes the editorship of Europa-Archiv.


    • Federal President Roman Herzog delivers his first foreign policy speech at a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the DGAP in Bonn.
    • Europa-Archiv is renamed IP – INTERNATIONALE POLITIK with Werner Weidenfeld as its publisher.
    • The DGAP acquires the former Royal Yugoslavian embassy building in the Tiergarten district of Berlin. Its original staff consists of five employees preparing research and presentations.


    • Federal President Rita Süssmuth and Otto Wolff von Amerongen speak at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of IP – INTERNATIONALE POLITIK magazine in Bonn.
    • Dieter von Würzen becomes Executive Vice-President.
    • The DGAP, with the support of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, launches the “Forum on European Foreign Policy,” featuring summer schools, conferences, and meetings concerned with Europe’s emerging foreign policy.


    • Reinhard Schlagintweit (former ambassador) undertakes a second term as Executive Vice-President.


    • The DGAP is relocated from Bonn to Berlin.  Chancellor Gerhard Schröder speaks at the restored building’s inauguration on Rauchstraße 17/18. With the support of a number of DGAP members and partners such as the “Haus der Geschichte,” the DGAP is able to continue their meetings and operations in Bonn even after the move.
    • Under the leadership of President Dr. Ulrich Cartellieri (Deutsche Bank) and his deputy Dr. Immo Stabreit (former ambassador), a new constitution is adopted and a new chairperson is elected at the general assembly on November 24, 1999. The Executive Committee replaces the Managerial Presidium. Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer speaks at the general assembly.
    • With the launch of the Berliner Forum Zukunft (Berlin Forum on the Future), the DGAP concentrates on issues related to European and transatlantic security, including civil and military aviation and space flight.
  • 2000 to 2009


    • “IP – Transatlantic Edition” (later re-named IP – Global Edition), the English edition of IP magazine, is published for the first time under editor Elizabeth Pond.
    • The DGAP establishes “Arbeitsstelle Europa” to pursue discussions on European politics and to issue publications.


    • Hans-Dietrich Genscher (former Foreign Minister) becomes president of the DGAP.
    • The DGAP introduces a new comprehensive website at (later
    • The DGAP establishes the “Arbeitsstelle USA/Transatlantische Beziehungen” (USA/Transatlantic Relations Program) for continuous analysis of American foreign policy and developments in transatlantic relations.


    • Leopold Bill von Bredow (former ambassador) becomes Executive Vice-President.


    • Alfred Freiherr von Oppenheim succeeds Hans-Dietrich Genscher as president of the DGAP.
    • Prof. Dr. Eberhard Sandschneider (Free University of Berlin) is appointed Otto-Wolff-Director of the Research Institute.
    • Sabine Rosenbladt becomes editor-in-chief of IP – INTERNATIONALE POLITIK.


    • Fritjof von Nordenskjöld (former ambassador) becomes Executive Vice-President.


    • Dr. Arend Oetker becomes president of the DGAP.  He succeeds Alfred Freiherr von Oppenheim, who died unexpectedly at the age of 71.
    • The DGAP’s 50th anniversary is celebrated at a large ceremony at the Berlin Philharmonic. Federal President Horst Köhler gives a speech paying tribute to the DGAP’s role in formulating German foreign policy.
    • Prof. Dr. Werner Weidenfeld resigns from his post as publisher of IP – INTERNATIONALE POLITIK.  The DGAP begins publishing IP magazine in-house.
    • IP – INTERNATIONALE POLITIK appears in a new design and is now available both via subscription and at newsstands.


    • The DGAP establishes the “Alfred von Oppenheim-Zentrum für Europäishe Zukunftsfragen” (Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Studies) to further the debate on European policy.
    • Inauguration of the DGAP’s Munich Forum with a lecture from Georg A. Boomgaarden, State Secretary at the Foreign Office.
    • Chancellor Angela Merkel holds her first foreign policy speech at the DGAP on the “Role of the European Union on the International Stage.”


    • A third DGAP forum is launched in Hamburg. The opening speech is delivered by Dr. Christoph Heusgen, the foreign and security policy advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel.


    • The DGAP Saxony Forum is founded at Wackerbarth Castle in Radebeul.


    • Dr. Sylke Tempel becomes editor-in-chief of IP. The magazine changes the frequency of publication. Subscriptions to IP now include the English-language “Global Edition” as a supplement.
    • The Bonn chapter of the DGAP and the cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf are included in the newly established DGAP North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW) Forum. The forum is launched with presentations by Secretary of State Silberberg and by Head of the Chancellery Thomas de Maiziere.
  • 2010 to Today


    • Paul Freiherr von Maltzahn (former ambassador) is elected Executive Vice-President of the DGAP.
    • The DGAP Foundation for Foreign Relations is established to assure the long-term financial viability of the DGAP. As a benefactor of the foundation and founding member of the DGAP, Berthold Beitz organizes a ceremony at the Villa Hügel in Essen.
    • The DGAP Frankfurt Forum is founded in partnership with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper and Vontobel Bank. Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxemburg, speaks at the opening ceremony on the future of the European Monetary Union.


    • DGAP Consulting is founded as a subsidiary of the Sponsors Association of the DGAP e.V.  DGAP Consulting offers companies, organizations, and associations individual consulting services on all foreign policy issues. It also uses its profits to fund the charitable work of the DGAP e.V.


    • Managing Director of the IMF Christine Lagarde delivers a significant keynote speech at the DGAP in which she calls for an increase of funds for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which increased pressure on the German government.
    • Homage to Ivo Andrić: A reading of “The Bridge Over the Drina,” the Nobel Laureate’s most well-known work, was how the DGAP chose to remember the author and diplomat. From 1940 to 1941, Andrić was ambassador at the Yugoslavian Embassy in Rauchstraße in Berlin-Tiergarten, which is where the DGAP’s offices are today.
    • Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière spoke on the realignment of the Bundeswehr at the DGAP. Defense no longer means only national defense – it increasingly refers to the defense of alliances and international crisis prevention.


    • Dr. Harald Kindermann (former ambassador) is elected Secretary General of the DGAP.


    • The DGAP celebrates its 60th anniversary.