France and Germany today celebrate 50 years since the signing of the Elysee Treaty in Paris by French President Charles de Gaulle and German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The treaty marked a dramatic move away from hostility towards an era of unprecedented cooperation. The two nations soon came together as founding members of the European Union and to forge a partnership that would usher in an era of peace and prosperity in Europe.

We have worked with the German-Franco Institute, German-Franco University and The Office for French-German Youth to put together a series of online exhibitions which tell the stories behind this Franco-German friendship. Videos, photos, documents and expert commentary tell the human impact of the accord and chart the exchanges, academic cooperation and friendships launched by the treaty.

From cultural institute

A particular highlight is a digital copy of the original Elysee Treaty supplied by the German Foreign Office. Visitors may zoom in to read the details of the agreement. Videos from the Memory of the Nation project explain what the postwar political relationship has meant to ordinary citizens. Testimony from people present in the crowd during De Gaulle’s speech to the German Youth calling Germany a ‘great nation’ and photos from the 300,000 exchanges between French and German youths help to capture the spirit of the new partnership. Around 170 multimedia items chart the history of how the Treaty led to the formation of the European Union and the evolution of the French-German relationship to the present day.

As well as being available online, our exhibitions and other information about the Franco-German partnership are being displayed in the German Foreign Office in Berlin and were unveiled by Deputy Minister of the German Foreign Office, Georg Michael Link, and the French Minister for European Affairs, Bernard Cazeneuve. The displays are open to the public until mid-March, additional information can be found here.

The five decades of Franco-German partnership represent the latest chapter in the work of the Google Cultural Institute, which aims to promote and preserve culture online. You can explore all its exhibitions on and follow us on our Google+ page .