862.00/10–1549: Telegram

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

secret

2592. IBD.NY. Embtel 2588, October 14.1 Stalin’s letter to Pieck and Grotewohl and especially statement that German and Soviet peoples possess “greatest potential in Europe for accomplishment great acts of world significance” may strike uninitiated opinion as surprising gesture towards Moscow’s wartime enemy.

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However Stalin’s letter represents logical development basic Soviet attitude towards Germany, interrupted only by: (1) 1941 criminal attack Hitlerite forces; (2) subsequent war of defense; (3) justified postwar Soviet demands re repatriations, denazification, demilitarization and democratization. At same time, both fact and content of letter effectively spotlight Kremlin’s undeviating view that Germany is key to control and Bolshevization of Europe. National Liberation Movement represented by German National Front (Embtel 2575, October 132) aims at appealing [to] elements ranging from Communists (National Bolshevism) to extreme rightists holding Rapalle-Auroggen [Rapallo-Tauroggen] views, with implied promise that Russo-German alliance will effectively dominate all Europe.

While western powers can be sure few Germans will at present be impressed by Pieck’s October 11 speech3 emphasizing “joy and satisfaction” over formation “free and independent Germany” and gratitude for “great and invaluable assistance” (including “supplies of valuable provisions, machines and factory equipment”) rendered by Soviet Union following war’s end, Stalin’s reference to formation new government as “turning point in Europe’s history” clearly implies swing in Soviet policy in direction much stronger bid for German popular support, presumably along lines suggested Embtel 2575.

Suggest US information activities should make every effort point out to peoples of Poland, Czechoslovakia, France and other victims of Nazi aggression clear implication of European domination by combination Communist Germany and Soviet Union contained Stalin’s letter.

Department pass Frankfort 51, Berlin 229, London 283, Paris 367 for Ambassador Kirk.

Barbour
  1. Not printed, but see editorial note, p. 532.
  2. Not printed.
  3. For the text of Pieck’s speech to a session of the Volks- and Laenderskammern, October 11, see Pieck, Reden und Aufsaetze, pp. 295–303.