Diatom assemblages from ODP Leg 177 sites 1093, 1094 and core PS2089-2, from the present Antarctic sea ice free zone and close to the Polar Front, were analysed in order to reconstruct the climate development around the Mid-Brunhes Event (MBE) 400,000 years ago, as reflected by summer sea surface temperature (SSST) and sea ice distribution. Dense sample spacing allows a mean temporal resolution during Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 (423 - 362 ka) of 300-400 years. SSST values were estimated from diatom assemblages using a transfer function technique. The distribution pattern of sea ice diatoms indicates that the present-day ice free Antarctic Zone was seasonally covered by sea ice during the cold MIS 12 and MIS 10. These glacial periods are characterised by sea ice fluctuations with a periodicity of 3 and 1.85 kyr, suggesting the occurrence of Dansgaard-Oeschger-style millennial-scale oscillations in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean during the glacial stages MIS 12 and MIS 10. Termination V (MIS 12/11) is characterized by a distinct temperature increase of 4-6°C, intersected especially at the southern site 1094 and core PS2089-2 by two distinct cooling events reminiscent of the Younger Dryas, which are associated with a northward shift of the winter sea ice edge in the Antarctic Zone. The SSST record is characterized by distinct temperature intervals bounded by stepwise, rapid changes. Maximum temperatures were reached during Termination V and the early MIS 11, exceeding modern values by 2°C over a period of 8 kyr. This pattern indicates a very early response of the Southern Ocean to global climate on Milankovitch-driven climate variability. The SSST optimum is marked by millennial-scale temperature oscillations with an amplitude of ca. 1°C and periodicities of ca. 1.85 and 1.47 kyr, probably reflecting changes in the ocean circulation system. The SSSTŽs during the MIS 11 temperature optimum do not exceed values obtained from other interglacial optima such as the early periods of MIS 5 or MIS 1 from the Antarctic Zone. However, the total duration of the warmest period was distinctly longer than observed from other interglacials. The comparison of the South Atlantic climate record with a high-resolution record from ODP Leg 162, site 980 from the North Atlantic shows a strong conformity in the climate development during the studied time interval.