January 19, 2022

In 1972, the power structure between the blocs in the Cold War shifted: the People's Republic of China, which had been admitted to the UN the previous year, drew closer to the USA as a result of Richard Nixon's visit to China. Meanwhile, the relations between the Federal Republic and the GDR normalize through the transit agreement and the basic treaty. The summer Olympics in Munich are overshadowed by the kidnapping of Israeli athletes. The year 1972 was the longest year on the Gregorian calendar. As a leap year, it was one day and two leap seconds longer than usual.


Politics and World Events

International Relations

Richard Nixon pays an official visit to the PRC against the background of the Sino-Soviet rift. The ABM treaty between the USA and the USSR is the first SALT treaty to curb the nuclear arms race.

United States

The Watergate affair and protests against the Vietnam War determine American domestic politics.

Federal Republic of Germany and GDR

The Federal Republic and the GDR conclude two crucial agreements to normalize their relations: the transit agreement and the basic treaty. They are the two most important treaties of the new Ostpolitik under Chancellor Willy Brandt. Schwerin exceeds the 100,000-inhabitant mark and thus becomes a big city.

Northern Ireland

On January 30, 13 unarmed civilians were shot dead and 13 others shot (one died of complications) by British paratroopers during a demonstration in support of civil rights and against the British government's internment policy in the northern Irish city of Derry. This day, later known as Bloody Sunday, led to the escalation of the Northern Ireland conflict. Japan On May 15, the United States returned control of the Ryukyu and Daito Islands (Okinawa Prefecture) to Japan.


January 1: Nello Celio becomes President of Switzerland. January 1: Indonesian President Hadji Mohamed Suharto issues a partial amnesty for the 1965 coup plotters. January 1: Poland and the GDR introduce passport and visa-free border traffic. January 1: Kurt Waldheim becomes Secretary General of the United Nations. January 10: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman announces in Dhaka that Bangladesh, which is already formally independent, will secede from West Pakistan and takes over the task of forming a government. January 15: Margrethe II becomes Queen of Denmark. January 17 Bangladesh receives its final state flag. January 18: Bahrain becomes a member of UNESCO. January 27: Qatar becomes a member of UNESCO. January 28: The heads of government of the federal and state governments pass the so-called Radical Decree January 30: Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland January 30 Pakistan withdraws from the Commonwealth.


February 10: Oman becomes a member of UNESCO. February 11: Ra's al-Khaimah joins the United Arab Emirates, created in December 1971, as the seventh and last emirate of the former Trucial States. February 11: German television broadcasting is renamed East German television. February 15: In the Oslo Convention, twelve European countries bordering the Atlantic agree on measures to prevent further pollution of the sea. February 19: Double taxation agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Singapore February 22: Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani assumes state and government power in Qatar. February 23: A Lufthansa plane is hijacked to Aden; Arab terrorists are demanding a ransom equivalent to 16 million Deutschmarks. February 25: The German government ends the hijacking of a jumbo jet by Arab terrorists bound for Aden (South Yemen) by paying a ransom of five million US dollars. February 27: The government of Sudan and South Sudanese rebels

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