This PhD project deals with the relationships of divided postwar Germany with Chile from 1945 until the end of the 1970s. Therefore, a comprehensive transnational approach will be used which, in contrast to traditional works in the field of international relations history focusing exclusively on foreign policy, considers international relations as shaped by the actions of individuals and their social organisations, of which states are only the most sophisticated actors but not monopolistic ones. So-called transnational actors – such as churches, political parties, labour unions, trade associations and civil society initiatives deeply influenced the relationship between the Federal Republic and Chile. They did so either by the initiatives of their transnational networks or by exerting pressure on the state.
Starting in the 1960s, Chile became just another battleground for the ideological and economic struggle between the two Germanies. This study also seeks to reveal the new elements introduced by the GDR into German-Chilean relations and examines its legacies.