862.00/10–749: Telegram

The United States Commander, Berlin (Taylor) to the Acting Secretary of State


1417. Unprecedented haste with which Soviets and their helpers are whipping up an “all German Government” has compounded confusion even in those circles which are to set up this government. Presumably some of this confusion will be dispelled when decisions of October 7 Volksrat meeting are announced. However, on basis of most [Page 528]plausible of many reports and rumors here, it seems that following preliminary conclusions may be drawn at present:

There will be no elections for parliamentary body;
SED has demanded and will probably get at least Chancellor, Interior, Economics, Education and Information posts (Gerhart Eisler appears favorite candidate for latter);
Government program will be carried forward under guise of national front which all “national-minded” elements will be invited to join;
Every effort will be made to increase industrial capacity of East zone and while emphasis will be on trade with East, trade with West will not be abandoned.

Re elections, Otto Nuschke, chairman of Soviet Zone CDU, revealed in a Berlin speech to East CDU October 5 that his party had given up its demand for the long overdue elections because of “the pressing task of setting up as soon as possible free democratic all-German republic”. For months now Nuschke has reportedly based his standing in the party on new elections, even threatening to resign if they were postponed again. British licensed Der Tag October 6 reported Nuschke’s announcement was received in “icy silence” by CDU members because they realized that to accept this bitter pill meant end of their last faint chance of getting rid of SED hegemony. Soviet Zone LDP leaders will of course have to fall in line as Nuschke did and abandon election issue.

Jockeying for positions in new government is still going on, according to reports, but SED will control most important positions with Grotewohl apparently slated as Chancellor.

SED executive committee has prepared long statement on national front which included 23-point “platform of national front of democratic Germany” (see separate telegram1).

General aims of future government’s trade policy were outlined in Soviet licensed Berliner Zeitung October 6. This trade policy will include best possible relations with Soviet Union, Poland, and other peoples democracies:—“no one thinks of breaking off traditional relations with our Dutch, Danish and other business friends in West. Nevertheless in over-all picture of German foreign trade, Western Europe and US will have only relatively insignificant role.” Article said that raw materials must be imported and finished products exported in “exact antithesis to JEIA practices.” Foreign currency policy is to be based on slogan “freedom from dollar, freedom from deadly dollar clause of JEIA”. When present Soviet Zone two-year [Page 529]plan is successfully concluded, Berliner Zeitung added, new five year “all Germany” plan must be adopted.

First indication of concrete benefit which new regime might offer weary Soviet Zone population was recent Nuschke statement that one of most important tasks of new government was abolition of food rationing.

Nuschke also said it will be task of East Berlin to convince West Berlin of “madness of Reuter policy” since all Berlin belongs to “East area” (Ostraum).

Sent Frankfort 154, repeated Department 1417, London 457, Paris 507. Department pass Moscow 137.

  1. Not printed. For the text of the SED manifesto, October 4, on the national front, see Dokumente der SED , pp. 351–381 or Obrazovaniye GDR , pp. 120–159.