740.00119 Control (Germany)/8–346: Telegram
The United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 3—5:04 p.m.]
1858. Ref my airgram number A–638 of July 2075 describing difficulties encountered by Social Democratic Party in Soviet sector of Berlin.
Jakob Kaiser, chairman of Christian Democratic Union in Soviet zone, was summoned to Karlshorst alone yesterday by Colonel Tulpanoff,76 Soviet Political Liaison Officer. Tulpanoff charged CDU with having become shelter for reactionaries and instrument of clerical influence. In face of this frontal attack of which Kaiser has little warning, Kaiser countercharged that Soviet military administration is putting such obstacles in party’s path that if situation remains unchanged party will refuse to participate in October elections in Soviet zone. Kaiser states Tulpanoff was apparently taken aback by this bold maneuver and gave impression that Russians are not desirous [Page 730]of causing open break with non-Communist parties at this time. Tulpanoff arranged for joint meeting on Aug 5 with Kaiser, Kuelz77 of LDP, and Ackermann78 and possibly Pieck79 of SED. Kuelz was seen separately by Tulpanoff yesterday but results are not known to Kaiser or this office.
It is anticipated that Tulpanoff’s reply will not be clear yes or no to Kaiser’s demand for reasonable democratic freedom to campaign and organize for elections. If Russians should be rigidly unyielding, Kaiser is prepared to carry through threat and withdraw CDU from active political scene in Soviet zone. If, as expected, Russians stall for further time with compromise plan, CDU is uncertain what attitude to adopt. Present situation, however, creates strong possibility that party will eventually refuse to participate in Soviet zone elections and will do so in manner calculated strongly to attract public attention particularly in US and Britain.
Kaiser and other CDU leaders have been reporting for some time increasing obstacles placed in party’s path by Soviet military administration throughout Soviet zone and they are now nearly convinced that these obstacles are so serious as to preclude any possibility of successful or free campaign. Foregoing facts together with position of SPD outlined in airgram under reference and recent reported Russian demand for appointment of entire new LDP executive committee in greater Berlin, makes it obvious that strong campaign is under way to ensure overwhelming zonal victory for Communists (Socialist Unity Party).
Repeated to Moscow as 209.
- Not printed; it enumerated many instances of interference with the functioning of the SPD in the Soviet sector in Berlin, in contrast with the freedom allowed the SED in the other Allied sectors. The airgram also posed the possibility of informal contracts by American Military Government authorities with Soviet officials to attempt to determine the limitations on SPD activities. (740.00119 Control (Germany) /7–2046.↩
- Col. Serge Tulpanov, Head of the Political Department, Soviet Military Administration in Germany.↩
- Wilhelm Kuelz, Head of the LDP, Berlin.↩
- Anton Ackermann, member of the Executive Committee, SED.↩
- Wilhelm Pieck, Joint Chairman, SED.↩