Adenauer is believed to have proposed a secret deal with the Soviet Union to US President John F. Kennedy during a crisis over West Berlin in 1961-2, according to a report in Der Spiegel news magazine.
The chancellor described the proposed deal as an "advantageous exchange" for West Germany, said the report.
In exchange for giving up the western section of Berlin, Adenauer wanted the state of Thuringia, as well as parts of Saxony and the northern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
These were areas that had been occupied by British and American soldiers at the end of World War II but handed over to the Soviet Union in order to gain control of parts of the capital city. Adenauer apparently planned to reverse this deal.
The chancellor believed that West Germany, which he governed from 1949 to 1963, would gain prosperous new industrial areas in the deal.