16 January: The West German Federal Constitutional Court adjudges inter-zonal trade between West Germany and GDR to be "domestic trade of a special kind based on Allied laws". The border between West Germany and the GDR, it says, can therefore not be considered a customs border.
25 January: The SPD party executive publishes a memorandum by Willy Brandt about the possibilities of a new Ostpolitik. It proposes "integrating the Eastern European states into as many forms of communication as possible." What is meant is an extension of trade, technological and cultural ties.
The memorandum also says that Western policies should aim to "force concessions for people affected by the division and for the population in the Zone" from the Ulbricht regime.
7 March: In the early hours of morning, an East Berliner climbs down on a rope from his fourth-floor apartment, swings over the Wall when he reaches the first floor and jumps into West Berlin territory.
31 March: At the 13th CDU Federal Party Conference, West German Chancellor Ludwig Erhard presents his concept of a "formierte Gesellschaft" ("well-ordered society"). According to Erhard, a "formierte Gesellschaft" denotes a "society that no longer consists of classes and groups with mutually exclusive objectives, but, dispensing with all hierarchies, is cooperative by nature: i.e., is based on all groups and interests working together."
7 April: Low-flying Soviet aircraft disrupt a session of the German Bundestag in Berlin. The GDR bans Bundestag members from travelling to Berlin and blocks all transit traffic because of alleged troop manoeuvres. The Western Allies tell the West German government they object to holding further Bundestag sessions in West Berlin.
15 June: On a fine summer's day, while taking a trip in a motor boat, the West Berlin businessman Hermann Döbler and the waitress Elke Märtens enter the territory of the Soviet zone on the Teltow Canal, to the east of the Dreilinden checkpoint. After firing several warning shots, the border guards fire at them: Hermann Döbler is killed, while Elke Märtens receives a nearly fatal shot in the head.
28/29 July: A married couple from Leipzig, the Holzapfels, cross the Berlin Wall from the East Berlin House of the Ministries together with their nine-year-old son using a homemade "flying fox". Soviet soldiers from the airspace surveillance unit who see the escape do not intervene, thinking that the State Security is smuggling agents into West Berlin.
15 September: The Rolling Stones perform at the open-air venue "Waldbühne" in West Berlin. The concert is sold out. Fans provoke severe clashes with the police and destroy the theatre.
8 October: The International Olympic Committee approves the view of the East German Olympic Committee that there can no longer be a joint German team at future Olympic Games. At the Winter Olympics in Grenoble and the Summer Olympics in Mexico City in 1968, two German teams will compete for the first time.
25 November: In Berlin, Heinz Sokolowski tries to get past the border security system in the area between the Brandenburg Gate and Clara Zetkin Strasse. When he continues his escape despite a warning shot, he is killed by deliberately aimed shots.
25 November: The third Border Pass Agreement is signed. In the period between 18 December 1965 to 2 January 1966, some 820,000 West Berliners visit relatives in the eastern sector of the city.
3 December: The chairman of the GDR State Planning Commission and deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers, Dr. Erich Apel, commits suicide in his office on 3 December. According to contemporary Western sources, Apel had opposed signing a new trade agreement between the GDR and the Soviet Union, saying this would negatively affect the GDR’s economic possibilities on the global market. Apel's successor is Gerhard Schürer.
15-18 December: The 11th conference of the SED Central Committee decides on a reform of the GDR's economic system (NÖSPL - Neues ökonomisches System der Planung und Leitung [New Economic System of Planning and Management]). At the same time, dissident cultural figures in the GDR such as Heiner Müller, Stefan Heym and Wolf Biermann are denounced for emphasising the errors, deficits and weaknesses of the system "to awaken doubts about the political system of the GDR and to spread the ideology of scepticism." In the wake of the ZK meeting, the SED party newspaper "Neues Deutschland" launches a mudslinging campaign against the songwriter Wolf Biermann; numerous artists, filmmakers and authors are sidelined.
20 December: An interview with Robert Havemann in the Hamburg news magazine "Der Spiegel" leads to his dismissal from the Academy of SCIENCES.
26 December: While trying to break through the border at the Heinrich Heine Strasse crossing point in a car, the 27-year-old Heinz Schöneberger is killed by shots fired by GDR border guards; three people accompanying him are arrested.