Exhibition at Bonns House of History documents unrequited love of all things British
The strategy that Germanys diplomatic corps proposed to keep Britain in the European community was unconventional and bold.
In November 1974, the then German chancellor Helmut Schmidt was desperately searching for the right words to convince British Eurosceptics to vote to remain a member of the European Economic Community.
Schmidt had been offered a generous slot of 10 to 15 minutes at the Labour party conference, but a number of leftwing MPs had already announced they would walk out on his speech if he tried to lecture them.
Katharina Focke, the German federal minister for youth, family and health, had some ingenious advice to offer after an informative meeting with her British counterpart Barbara Castle: The only way to keep Britain in the European Community, she wrote to Schmidt, is not to remind it that it is already in.
Fockes diplomatic cable is on display in the first room of a new exhibition at Bonns House of History, entitled Very British: A German Point of View right next to a digital watch counting down the seconds until Britain is due to depart from the bloc of nations on 31 October.