United Nations, N.Y.
The next session of the UN General Assembly, which opens this September, will in all likelihood be presided over by Baron Rudiger von Wechmar, West Germany's permanent representative to the United Nations.
For the Federal Republic of Germany, this symbolizes its moral reinstatement among the peace-loving nations, and a spectacular political comeback 35 years after the end of World War II.
According to analysts here, the fact that West Germany will be called on to chair the annual meeting of the world community, indicates that:
* West Germany, which has long since gained acceptance among the leading powers, is now being reinstated officially to its former place in the world.
* Its policy of reconciliation has earned back its good name.
* Given the present balance of forces in Western Europe, and its close partnership with France, West Germany now plays a leading role in the region.
* West Germany will be beating East Germany to the punch in their battle for prestige, and will be the first of the two to accede to this much coveted function.
"For West Germany," says one Western ambassador, "it means that the dark chapter of World War II is symbolically closed and West Germany's new face is recognized by the world community. It also represents a personal victory for Chancellor Schmidt in as much as his policies have contributed to reinforce the new image that his country is projecting."
Spain has not withdrawn its own candidacy for the post as yet, but well-placed sources are convinced that members of the European Community will close ranks behind one of their own and that Western Europe will, by consensus, designate Baron von Wechmar to occupy the post.
West Germany's permanent representative to the UN is a highly respected and very popular figure at UN headquarters.