There is no doubt that the period since 1971 has witnessed a greater degree of stability in East German-Soviet relations than was the case certainly in the last few years of Ulbricht’s leadership. The period of crisis resulting in the transfer of power to Honecker in 1971 was a pivotal part of this process. Both sides point to this new relationship as a model of socialist fraternal relations, and clearly the interests of the two regimes can be expected to and do coincide on fundamental issues. Yet this is only part of the picture. Elements of continuity in the transition from Ulbricht to Honecker are equally as striking as the manifestations of change.