740.00119 Control (Germany)/8–1947: Telegram

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


2000. With the approach of the CFM meetings70 speculation again becomes rife concerning possible changes in Soviet policy respecting Germany and as usual there is considerable conflicting evidence. Reliable German sources and the tacit acknowledgement of a Soviet official indicate however there may have been a shift of influence within the Soviet military administration on the side of the Foreign Office.

OMGUS officials report that the Soviets have shown a new cooperative spirit in fields of communications and transport. Soviets have recently facilitated and participated in reopening of interzonal and international telecommunications circuits. They have also reversed [Page 885] themselves in agreeing in transport directorate to discussion by the German rail administration of direct allied train paths between Berlin and Hamburg and Bremen and additional line to point north of Helmstedt. OMGUS Finance Division officers likewise report Soviet readiness to compromise on the points of previous disagreement on calculation of occupation costs and on amendment of Control Council Law No. 12.71 In other fields of ACA activity however, little change has been noted in Soviet attitude which remains obstructive and dilatory.

Leading German official in Soviet zone central administration has just given me interesting analysis of personalities in Soviet military headquarters. He is a German who claims he talks frankly to both Soviet and US representatives in the interest of trying to prevent a split of Germany and significantly enough he gave his views in presence of Schumacher of SPD with whom he has formed a cordial relationship. According to this German official the Soviet military administration has always been more inclined than the doctrinaire Moscow party group toward western cooperation at least in the sense of trying to hold Germany together. He claims Zhukov was definitely of this inclination and that Sokolovsky has an open mind on German questions. Source also gave Soviet Foreign Office delegation here credit for reasonableness. Koval, former Stakhanovite leader and old Communist fighter who is now Soviet economics Chief charged with reparations, is more unyielding. Koval rejected German official’s suggestion for preparing proposals for next CFM, saying latter could better employ his time working out Soviet zone economic plan for 1948 since allied divergencies in interpretation of Potsdam agreement were matter of record. Source connected Beria visits here with personnel questions recently openly discussed in well-informed US overt Neue Zeitung which wrote that Ivanov72 is now Moscow policy plenipotentiary in Berlin. Before proceeding to Moscow last week on consultation, Sokolovsky requested long interview with above mentioned German source who states he has repeatedly advised a Soviet policy in Germany which would make possible a compromise with the West.

At a recent social occasion at US official’s house Ivanov delivered a bitter and unprovoked outburst against US calling American press public enemy No. 1 and asking why “US is making war on USSR.” He accused US of forming separate German Government at Frankfurt and of building up Germany on new level of industry plan at the expense of legitimate reparations requirements of the USSR, intimating [Page 886] that Clay’s decision to suspend dismantling last year resulted from considerations deeper than lack of economic unity in Germany. Ivanov also expressed suspicion concerning series of separate conferences between US, British and French. He stated that “for first time the Russian people are beginning to hate the US.” Appropriate temperate reply was made to Ivanov and in later private conversation he confessed himself “terribly worried about current developments” and said he wished he were out of Germany. At the same time he declared “I am the one man here now who can discuss such matters.”

Conclusion may perhaps be drawn that within Soviet military administration there has been a group favoring compromise for the purpose of avoiding split of Germany or at least maintaining framework of quadripartite government for tactical purposes. Opposed to this may be the motivation that prompted rejection of the “Marshall Plan” and the belief that concessions in Germany are unnecessary on the theory that US aid cannot prevent economic deterioration rendering communization of Europe inevitable. Historically the German Communist Party has been the jewel in Moscow’s crown and its position and needs are furthermore likely to receive closest attention.

Jacob Kaiser of CDU still hopes that Germany can be held together, as against the views of Roger, astute editor of US licensed Tagesspiegel, who maintains the country is irretrievably divided. Kaiser nevertheless is haunted by the obsession that if the London CFM fails the allies will quit Berlin. Kaiser has stated privately that in latter event he will not emigrate to the west but will remain in Soviet zone as protagonist of democracy as long as he can. Kaiser may be influenced by his present loss of prestige in the west resulting from recent alliance between Josef Mueller and Adenauer. He has stated he has more in common with Schumacher than with Adenauer and it is not impossible he may engage in talks with former which may have a bearing on politics in bizonal area.

Sent Department as 2000, repeated London as 295, Paris as 354.

Department please relay to Moscow as our 456.

  1. The reference here is to the Fifth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, London, November 25–December 12, 1947; for documentation on this session, see pp. 676 ff.
  2. Amendment to Income Tax, Corporation Tax and Excess Profits Tax Law, February 11, 1946.
  3. Reference here presumably to V. S. Ivanov, Political Adviser to the Soviet Military Administration for Germany.