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Willy Brandt (1913-1992) was a German politician, whose leadership was vitally important for the development of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland into a world power after World War II. Brandt became a socialist in 1930. He had to flee to Norway to escape the Nazis, whom he openly criticized. On his return to Germany in 1945, he was elected into the new government for his party, the Social Democrats (SPD). He was mayor of West Berlin from 1957 to 1966. In 1969 he was elected chancellor. He played a major role in the relaxation of tension between Eastern and Western Europe (Ostpolitik). In 1971, he helped to establish the unimpeded flow of traffic between East and West Berlin. He won the Nobel Prize for his political achievements.