862.00/4–2347: Telegram

The Acting Political Adviser for Germany (Heath) to the Secretary of State

confidential

974. Crisis Berlin city government sharpened by resignation Lord Mayor Ostrowski April 17 and Soviet refusal accept it in Kommandatura April 22. Remytel 871, April 14.41 Uninterrupted attacks by SED press on SPD and CDU for forcing resignation presaged strong Soviet effort to prevent non-Communist majority from having its way, although city assembly has refrained from electing new Lord Mayor. Ostrowski has taken leave after appointing Luise Schroeder (SPD) his alternate. In Kommandatura April 22 Americans, British and French favored immediate acceptance Ostrowski’s resignation but Soviet proposed that local government committee investigate reasons behind it. When other Allies remained firm, General Kotikov read long statement accusing city assembly of playing politics instead of doing constructive administrative work, charging that SPD forced Ostrowski out because he was too friendly to Soviets, and complaining [Page 865]of alleged American support to SPD intrigues. General Keating replied that political issue behind resignation was of no interest but that real issue was whether Allies were willing to let Germans govern themselves. After three hour debate, issue was postponed to special Kommandatura meeting April 28.42

Sent Dept, repeated Moscow for American Delegation CFM as 290; Paris as 171; London as 158.

Heath
  1. Ante, p. 861.
  2. At an extraordinary Kommandatura meeting on April 28, no agreement was reached regarding the acceptance of Ostrowski’s resignation, and the matter was referred to the Allied Control Council.