740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–2949: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kohler) to the Secretary of State

secret

774. Besides providing convenient forum current Soviet-Communist “peace” offensive, renewed attention to German People’s Congress movement and its draft constitution (Berlin’s 413 to Department March 21,1 and previous) indicates to us Kremlin completing preparations [Page 512]to deal with situation following establishment Western German Government. While now seems almost certain Soviets will produce their own stooge “government” with national pretensions, we still doubt supplementary steps predicted certain recent observers such as Lemmer (Berlin’s A–176, March 92), i.e. imminent change Oder–Neisse line, conclusion “peace treaty” with this bogus German Government and withdrawal bulk Red Army occupation forces.

As indicated mytels 2442, October 25, 1700, August 21,2 we believe Soviets likely play out eastern frontier trump card only when such move of decisive importance in winning German objectives. Present division Germany so complete and Soviet-Communist position Western zones so weak difficult to see that decisive results could be achieved at this time, particularly if, as seems likely, any such border rectification would be only minor in character. And though Communist Germany’s position vis-à-vis Poland has been considerably “rehabilitated” in recent months (Warsaw’s 251 to Department, February 17, and 156, February 23) this has been achieved on specific basis “inviolability” Oder-Neisse line, as result of which Kremlin’s position this issue even less flexible than before. March 27 Pravda Article (mytel 765, March 282) similar in effect. In order further undercut Soviets, suggest announcement Western border rectifications,4 just negotiated Paris, good occasion for Department reaffirm position Oder–Neisse line taken Secretary Marshall at Moscow CFM,5 emphasizing US views unchanged and this frontier far greater importance Germany’s future viability.

Re withdrawal occupation troops, see no reason alter estimates mytel 2363, October 18, and Berlin’s 2559 to Department October 20.6 Recent New Times reference this question (mytel 648, March 157) deserves notice, despite vague terminology used. In particular, as long as Berlin blockade continues, difficult to see how Red Army could be withdrawn, and development quasi-military Soviet zone police still appears insufficiently advanced to risk such move. Like Oder–Neisse shift, troop withdrawal constitutes “ace” which can be played only [Page 513]once, though vague propaganda references this theme may be expected continue.

Publication unpalatable Western occupation statute will, of course, serve as further temptation SMA to make appropriate countermove. But as long as Soviets continue so completely excluded from “undenazified and undermilitarized [undemilitarized?]” Western zones and German political “rehabilitation” in eyes Eastern European satellites and French CP is confined to its present terms of “peaceful” Soviet zone and German Communist forces, it is difficult to see how even “phony” peace treaty could be worked out. Would, therefore, guess most Soviets could presently accomplish this direction be in effect another occupation statute, under which present reparations shipments would quietly continue, though with attempt to portray statute as embodying less onerous terms control than those imposed Western Germany through ostensibly endowing new stooge government with more or less sovereign powers.

Sent Department 774, repeated Berlin 74, London 76, Paris 107, Warsaw 29.

Kohler
  1. Supra.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Neither printed, but regarding telegram 156, see footnote 10 to telegram 170, February 3, p. 505.
  5. Not printed.
  6. For documentation on the rectifications of Germany’s western border, see pp. 436 ff.
  7. Regarding Secretary Marshall’s statements on the Oder–Neisse line at the fourth session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, Moscow, March 10–April 24, 1947, see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. ii, pp. 139 ff.
  8. Neither printed; they concurred in the view that withdrawal of Soviet occupation forces from Germany was unlikely as long as the Berlin crisis continued, although the Russians would make whatever propaganda capital they could from the issue. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/10–1848 and 10–2048)
  9. Not printed; it stated the New Times position that United States propaganda reports concerning Soviet troop withdrawals from central Europe were fabrications. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–1549)