The absence of diplomatic relations between Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany after 1949 resulted from complicated East-West relations and the Hallstein doctrine, which forbade Bonn to accept post-Potsdam changes of frontiers. After the initiation of suitable diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and West Germany (1955), and in view of the transformations occurring in Poland in 1956, consideration was given to assorted possibilities of an agreement between Warsaw and Bonn. One of them was the Trade Mission, whose idea was exploited in both countries either in association with an actual intention to normalise mutual relations, or more instrumentally. In 1957 active implementation of this project was abandoned due to the Rapacki Plan and ensuing complications. The notion was reconsidered during a new phase of talks about East-West relations, held at the Geneva conference (1959). The realisation of the plans failed chiefly as a result of ill will on the part of the officiating Chancellor of the Federal Republic. The Trade Mission, conceived as a substitute of diplomatic relations, finally assumed shape in 1963 when Gerhardt Schroeder, the newly appointed West German Minister of Foreign Affairs, initiated a new eastern policy.
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