What happened on November 5th, 1955

lemoLiving Museum Online
  • Photo for the signing of the "Treaty on Relations between the GDR and the USSR"

    Photo credits: German Historical Museum; Inventory no. F 56/541

  • The first center for adult education in Germany opens in Marl.

  • Offer of the Soviet government to agree to free all-German elections if the ratification of the Paris Treaties is renounced.

  • The world's first nuclear-powered submarine, the American "Nautilus", sets sail.

  • The Soviet Union declares the state of war with Germany over.

  • Opposition politicians, trade union members and theologians reject the "Paris Treaties" of 1954 in the "German Manifesto" in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt.

  • The French Prime Minister Pierre Mendès-France (1907-1982) resigns after a declaration of no confidence by the parliament. He is succeeded by Edgar Faure.

  • The education ministers of the federal states, with the exception of Bavaria, agree on an agreement to standardize the school system in the Federal Republic. The school year should start uniformly at Easter, the various federal states recognize each other's degrees. The school qualifications and the teaching materials will be aligned.

  • Premiere of the film "Des Teufels General" based on the play of the same name by Carl Zuckmayer.

  • The Bundestag ratifies the "Paris Treaties" despite major parliamentary and extra-parliamentary opposition.

  • After the Federal Republic of Germany has obtained air sovereignty, Deutsche Lufthansa AG takes up scheduled air traffic.

  • "Proclamation to the German people" by the GDR Volkskammer against the ratification of the "Paris Treaties" by the Bundestag.

  • The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra elects Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) as its new permanent conductor.

  • Completion of the German Household Goods and Hardware Fair in Cologne. A dishwasher is one of the most popular exhibits.

  • Art exhibition with works by Hans Baluschek in the German Academy of the Arts in East Berlin.

  • The Sudeten German Council, which is supposed to represent the foreign policy interests of the approximately 2.5 million Sudeten Germans living in the Federal Republic, is set up in Munich.

  • Premiere of the American film "Beyond Eden" with James Dean in the leading role.

  • German premiere of the play "Life of Galileo Galilei" by Bertolt Brecht in Cologne.

  • First public appearance of armed groups of the fighting groups of the GDR factories ("fighting groups of the working class") at the May demonstrations in East Berlin.

  • The "Paris Treaties" come into force. Apart from a few allied special rights such as troop stationing, Berlin status, reunification and peace treaty issues, the occupation statute expires and the Federal Republic becomes conditionally sovereign.

  • Introduction of the European Cup competition for soccer club teams.

  • Accession of the Federal Republic to NATO.

  • Government representatives of the GDR, Albania, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union sign the "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance" in Warsaw. The Warsaw Pact is intended as a counterweight to NATO, secures the Soviet Union the right to station its troops in Eastern and Central Europe and unites the communist states under Soviet leadership more closely.

  • The four victorious powers and Austria sign the State Treaty with which Austria regains full sovereignty.

  • The Central Committee of the SED passes a "ten-point program" for reunification.

  • The foreign ministers of the coal and steel union decide in Messina to form a common market and a European atomic community.

  • The "Dienststelle Blank" is converted into the Federal Ministry of Defense. Theodor Blank becomes Minister of Defense.

  • Heinrich von Brentano (1904-1964) becomes Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic.

  • Admission of the "National Olympic Committee" (NOK) of the GDR as a provisional member of the "International Olympic Committee" (IOC).

  • In Washington, representatives of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany sign an agreement on US aid in building up the German armed forces.

  • German premiere of the film "Jenseits von Eden" by Elia Kazan (1909-2003) with James Dean in the leading role.

  • The Bundestag passes the "Agriculture Act", which in future obliges the Federal Government to submit an annual report on the agricultural situation. On the basis of the so-called Green Plans, subsidies are to be granted for the modernization of farms and for increasing agricultural yields.

  • Seven members of the Bundestag, including Federal Ministers Waldemar Kraft and Theodor Oberländer, are stepping down from the governing party "All-German Bloc / Federation of Expellees and Disenfranchised" (GB / BHE). The group around Kraft and Oberländer continues to support the CDU and joins it in 1956. The GB / BHE went into opposition on July 23rd. The governing coalition thus loses its two-thirds majority.

  • The first "documenta", an exhibition of contemporary art, opens in the Fridericianum in Kassel. The great success of the event means that the "documenta" is becoming a permanent institution within the art world and takes place every four to five years in Kassel.

  • Unsuccessful Germany conference of the heads of government of the four powers in Geneva (summit conference).

  • Opening of "Disneylands", the largest amusement park in the world, in Los Angeles / USA.

  • The Federal Republic of Germany's "Volunteer Law" comes into force, which initially only provides for the recruitment of volunteers for the future Bundeswehr.

  • At a rally in East Berlin, the General Secretary of the CPSU, Nikita S. Khrushchev, proclaimed the Soviet two-state theory based on the division of Germany. It says that reunification is a matter for the Germans themselves and that eliminating the "social achievements" of the GDR is out of the question.

  • The members of the "Organization for European Economic Cooperation" (OEEC) sign the European Monetary Agreement, which replaces the European Payments Union.

  • The GDR Council of Ministers orders the formation of "Crafts Production Cooperatives" (PGH).

  • The NOC of the GDR and that of the Federal Republic decide to send an all-German Olympic team to the Olympic Games in Melbourne.

  • Carl Zuckmayer's play "The Cold Light" will be premiered in Hamburg.

  • Gustaf Gründgens becomes General Director at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg. The German State Opera Unter den Linden in East Berlin will reopen with a performance of Richard Wagner's (1813-1883) "Meistersinger von Nürnberg".

  • Chancellor Adenauer travels to Moscow with a government delegation. On 9/12 Soviet Prime Minister Nikolai A. Bulganin (1895-1975) and Adenauer sign an agreement on the establishment of diplomatic relations and the repatriation of the last German prisoners of war.

  • First "Culture and Documentary Film Week" in Leipzig, organized by the "Club of Filmmakers in the GDR" and the "City Council". The initially small event became the most important international film festival in the GDR from 1960 onwards.

  • After government negotiations between Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl and the Soviet government in Moscow, the "full sovereignty" of the GDR is confirmed, the office of the Soviet High Commissioner is revoked and an assistance pact is concluded.

  • The Bundestag approves the Moscow agreements on the establishment of diplomatic relations.

  • Before the Bundestag, Chancellor Adenauer proclaims the so-called Hallstein Doctrine, according to which the Federal Government cannot maintain diplomatic relations with states that recognize the GDR (with the exception of the Soviet Union).

  • American actor James Dean dies in a car accident in Paso Robles.

  • At the Düsseldorf Jazz Festival, the Hans Buchmann Quintet from Halle, a jazz band from the GDR in the Federal Republic of Germany, can be heard for the first time.

  • The first late returnees from Soviet captivity arrive at the Friedland camp in the Göttingen district.

  • Hermann Hesse receives the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade.

  • Premiere of the film "Sky Without Stars" by Helmut Käutner (1908-1980). The film depicts a love affair between a West German police officer and an East German worker right on the inner-German border.

  • In Hamburg, the State Opera is reopened with a production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's (1756-1791) opera "Die Zauberflöte".

  • The previous Federal Minister for Special Tasks, Franz Josef Strauss, is appointed Federal Minister for Nuclear Issues.

  • In a referendum with 67.71 percent of the votes, the population of the Saarland rejects the Saar Statute, which provided for political autonomy and the economic annexation of the Saarland to France. Resignation of the state government Hoffmann.

  • Austria passes the Federal Constitutional Law on "perpetual neutrality".

  • Unsuccessful conference of foreign ministers of the four victorious powers of the Second World War in Geneva.

  • The "Law on State Coats of Arms and the State Flag of the GDR" of September 26 comes into force. After that, the official flag has the colors black-red-gold; the coat of arms consists of a hammer and compass, surrounded by a wreath of ears.

  • Defense Minister Theodor Blank gave the first 101 Bundeswehr volunteers their certificate of appointment. The Bundeswehr was thus established.

  • Restructuring in the government apparatus of the GDR. Walter Ulbricht becomes 1st Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers.

  • Opening of the exhibition of the paintings returned by the USSR at the Dresden gallery in East Berlin.

  • Awarding of the Nobel Prizes. The Nobel Peace Prize will not be awarded this year.

  • The Italian Foreign Minister Gaetano Martino (1900-1967) and Federal Labor Minister Anton Storch (1892-1975) sign an agreement in Rome that initially provides for the employment of 100,000 Italian workers in the Federal Republic.

  • World premiere of the Austrian feature film "Sissi" in Munich with Romy Schneider and Karlheinz Böhm (1928-2014) in the leading roles. The second part, "Sissi, the young empress", will air the next year and the last part, "Sissi, fateful years of an empress", will be broadcast in 1957.

(iz / reh) © Foundation House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany
Status: 09/12/2014
Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0

Recommended citation:
Zündorf, Irmgard / Haunhorst, Regina: Chronicle of the year 1955, in: Lebendiges Museum Online, Foundation House of the History of the Federal Republic of Germany,
URL: http://www.hdg.de/lemo/jahreschronik/1955.html
Last visited on: 20.05.2021