Editorial Note

Following the establishment of the Volkskammer, delegates for the Laenderkammer were elected by the five eastern zone Landtage on October 10. The Laenderkammer met the next day in Berlin and [Page 532]elected Dr. Reinhold Lobedanz as its president. The Laenderkammer and the Volkskammer then met in joint session and unanimously elected Wilhelm Pieck, who had been proposed by Otto Nuschke, as president of the “German Democratic Republic”. The final step in the organization of the government occurred on October 12 when Otto Grotewohl presented his Cabinet to the Volkskammer and delivered the policy statement of his government. Both the Cabinet and the policy statement obtained unanimous votes of confidence.

In the same period General Chuikov announced that the Soviet Union welcomed the advent of the “German Democratic Republic”, which alone represented the path to German unity, and stated that the Soviet Military Administration was transferring all administrative duties to the newly formed government.

In response to these events in East Germany, the Allied High Commission declared on October 10 that “… the so-called Government of the German Democratic Republic is an artificial creation … which is devoid of any legal basis and has determined to evade an appeal to the electorate, has no title to represent Eastern Germany. It has an even smaller claim to speak in the name of Germany as a whole.” The High Commission then stated that it would continue to support the Federal Republic. Two days later Secretary Acheson made a similar statement on the illegality of the “German Democratic Republic” and reiterated that the United States would give full support to the German Federal Republic.

For the text of Grotewohl’s policy statement, see Grotewohl, Im Kampf um DDR , pages 509–532, or Obrazovaniye GDR , pages 78–103 (complete with stenographic interpolations). An extract from the statement is printed in Ruhm von Oppen, Documents on Germany, pages 425–430. For the text of Chuikov’s announcement, see ibid., pages 422–423; Obrazovaniye GDR , pages 160–162; Documents on International Affairs, pages 380–382; or Documents on German Unity, page 119. For the text of the Allied High Commission declaration, see ibid., page 121. For the text of Secretary Acheson’s statement, see Ruhm von Oppen, Documents on Germany, page 424; Documents on International Affairs, pages 382–383, or Department of State Bulletin, October 24, 1949, pages 634–635.