862.00/5–1649: Telegram

The Acting United States Political Adviser for Germany (Riddleberger) to the Secretary of State


738. [Re]Deptel 564, May 13, repeated Moscow 336, Paris 1601.1 Excerpts of Grotewohl speech given mytel 686, May 1 [11] (repeated Moscow 71, Paris 2322) were taken from SED central organ Neues Deutschland of May 10. ND gave speech four column center spread on front page under banner “National Front for Unity of Germany” sub-headed “Otto Grotewohl: One Cannot Make the Scope Wide Enough.”

[Page 516]

American-overt Neue Zeitung May 12 stated Grotewohl had denied having said that concept of “anti-Fascist democratic order” might have to be abandoned.

Oar press telegram 704 May 12 (repeated Paris for Jessup 2403) quoted subsequent Grotewohl statement at press conference as quoted in SMA Taegliche Rundschau: “Concepts of anti-Fascism and democracy must be two basic foundations of new Germany …4 but in present time of national emergency, viewpoint must be broadened … and united stand in question of unity Germany and of realization of just peace treaty must be achieved.” This is apparently watered down version of this statement originally carried in Neues Deutschland.

Grotewohl statements are most forthright in present campaign supported by every device in Communist hands to create “national front” of all Germans regardless of class or position.

We discussed this speech with local intelligence analysts who follow SED policy closely. They agree with us and Department that Grotewohl could not have acted independently in this matter. Whether or not he actually made statements attributed to him by main newspaper of party of which he is co-chairman is not as important as fact that these remarks appeared prominently in that paper. All such statements in Neues Deutschland have to be okayed by SED Hdqs, and in instances of policy such as this by SMA, usually Col. Tulpanov.

Sent Department 738, repeated Moscow as Berlin’s 80, Paris 260.

  1. Not printed; it reported the Department of State’s skepticism that Grotewohl’s speech (excerpts transmitted in telegram 686, supra, indicated any independent initiative. Riddleberger was asked if Grotewohl’s line could be confirmed from other sources and if he was satisfied with the authenticity of the new line. (740.00119 Control (Germany)/5–1149)
  2. Supra.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Omissions in the source text.