Nuclear Illusions and Protectorate Reality | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Nuclear Illusions and Protectorate Reality

Nuclear Illusions and Protectorate Reality

A Reappraisal of West German Nuclear Security Policy (1956-1963)

Some contend that West Germany made a committed attempt to acquire national control of nuclear weapons during the Konrad Adenauer chancellorship. This presentation will provide a reappraisal of West German nuclear security policy between 1956 and 1963. Contrary to the prevailing narrative, Andreas Lutsch will argue that this period was instead a history of nuclear illusions and protectorate reality. Lutsch will Analyze Bonn's nuclear ambitions and how these ambitions were translated into defense policy. This reappraisal is based on declassified records and personal papers from more than twenty archives in the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Germany.

Andreas Lutsch is a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University, and Assistant Professor at the Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Germany. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany. He studied history, political science and law at the Universities of Mainz, Germany, and Glasgow, Scotland.


  • Andreas Lutsch

    Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University; Assistant Professor, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Germany
  • Christian F. Ostermann

    Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
    Woodrow Wilson Center