Based on research in numerous archives, this book is the first systematic overview on Austrian-East German relations in the Cold War. Starting with the diverging developments in Austria and Germany after World War II, it analyzes in the first instance contacts and relations in the period of non-recognition prior to 1972. Out of consideration for West German interests, official relations to the GDR were taboo. Nevertheless, intense unofficial diplomatic and hitherto unknown political contacts existed. Even though they did not lead to the premature recognition of the East German pariah, they at least contributed to shaping the future development of economic relations. Additionally, the fate of the some 20,000 Austrians living in the GDR is treated in the first part of the book. After diplomatic recognition, Austria became a diplomatic 'ice breaker' for the GDR and East Berlin honored this policy in several ways. In 1975, Austria became the first Western country that officially recognized East German citizenship. This caused anger in West Germany, but it helped to solve a high number of humanitarian hardship cases. Chancellor Bruno Kreisky played a vanguard role in East Berlin's relations to the West and economic relations increased significantly. Austria provided loans and received large-scale orders for its nationalized industries in return. This business-concept helped keep the ailing GDR solvent and in the end contributed to the severe crisis of Austria's nationalized industries in the mid-1980s. Nevertheless, Austria and the GDR had become economic partners and Austria's position towards German reunification was at least ambivalent. The monograph is a fundamental contribution to our knowledge on East German foreign and economic policy as well as the political culture of neutral Austria - especially with regard to the Kreisky years.