740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–146: Telegram

Mr. Donald Heath, Chargé in the Office of the United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy), to the Secretary of State


647. See my 619, February 26. At its twenty-first meeting, February 28, Control Council achieved in harmony under diplomatic French chairmanship solution of problems posed by arrest of three judges and one court official in various sectors of Berlin and which had given rise to dispute at Fortieth Coordinating Committee meeting February 25. Marshal Zhukov was conciliatory and General Robertson did not obstruct attainment of satisfactory compromise agreement.

At outset Marshal Zhukov declared he opposed illegal arrests of Germans, and should they take place exceptionally in Soviet Zone or sector, the offending parties would be punished. He said he had made thorough investigation and had authority to state that Soviet organs had neither ordered nor made arrests of two judges and court official, and he desired to learn who had made them. He would investigate [Page 708]thoroughly and personally case of third judge, Brass, and would report results and explanation as soon as possible to his colleagues. Furthermore, he desired thorough and broad investigation of all cases, and expressed belief Kommandatura should carry it out for Greater Berlin area and IA&C Directorate in cases of illegal arrests in zones.

General Clay reiterated stand taken in Coordinating Committee that all arrests of questionable character must be investigated and that any priority would be satisfactory. He spoke of necessity that quadripartite powers not give Germans any inducement to commit provocative acts. He asked that Investigating Committee also be instructed to establish reasonable set of rules to govern all future cases of alleged illegal arrests.

General Robertson emphasized importance of placing all necessary and adequate facilities at disposal of investigating bodies. He asked that zonal commanders to be given chance to explain any complaints affecting their zones, before investigation be made.

Finally meeting unanimously agreed proposal by French chairman that: (1) Kommandatura, to which if desired Control Council could delegate quadripartite group, be charged with full investigation of all alleged illegal arrests in Greater Berlin area, and priority be given to cases of three judges except that no action would be taken concerning Brass case pending receipt of Marshal Zhukov’s explanation.

(2) IA&C Directorate make investigations of alleged illegal arrests in zones, accepting collaboration of all useful technical personnel from other directorates that Control Council members might designate.

(3) All facilities be accorded two investigating bodies which are to submit their first reports within 6 weeks.45

(4) IA&C Directorate draw up set of rules for avoidance and disposal of future alleged illegal arrests, and submit them to Coordinating Committee and Legal Directorate for approval and final drafting respectively.

British proposal to include this agreement in communiqué on meeting was withdrawn after encountering Soviet and US opposition based on belief that to inform public that such investigations were being undertaken very likely would result in more mischief than good.

  1. Concerning this quadripartite investigation, General Clay subsequently stated that it was neither provided with nor able to secure any worthwhile information; see Lucius D. Clay, Decision in Germany (Garden City, Doubleday and Company, 1950), p. 134.