Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Ronald Ebel

Second Advisor

Dr. George Klein

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



In 1957, Adam Rapacki, Foreign Minister of Poland, proposed that a zone be created in Central Europe in which nuclear weapons of all kinds would be prohibited. The zone was to include the countries of West Germany, East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. This paper seeks to study that proposal in the light of its background and consequences. The purpose of such a study, beyond the hopeful accretion of knowledge, is to form conclusions based on the analysis of the proposal as the beginning of a solution to the political and military impasse in Central Europe.

The proposal will be studied in seven chapters which are topically arranged. Chapter One considers the background to the proposal in terms of the security of Central Europe. Chapter Two considers the background with regard to Central European disarmament. Chapter Three deals with the Repacki proposal itself. Chapter Four discusses the pivotal role played by West Germany in regard to the Rapacki Plan; Chapter Five considers the Western rejection of the Plan; Chapter Six reflects the continuing influence of the Plan; and Chapter Seven summarizes briefly and formulates conclusions. These conclusions will attempt to show that the Rapacki proposals did not receive a fair hearing in 1957-1958, and that present day circumstances might indicate a reappraisal of the proposal's possibilities by the West.