740.00119 Control (Germany)/3–1549: Telegram

The Consul General at Bremen (Altaffer) to the Secretary of State


56. Re my A–51 and 57, February 4 and 7.1

On March 13 group leading Germans had 6 hour conference with Rudolph Nadolny, referred to in press as “confidential man of Soviet military administration”, at home Dr. Andreas Hermes former German Foreign Minister and former chairman CDU Soviet zone at Bad Godesberg. Participating were: Herman Puender, chairman executive committee of Bizonal economic administration; Professor Erhard, director economic administration Frankfurt; Herman Abs, director Bank German Laender; Rudolph Miller former German Bizonal administrator; director Spenrath General Electric Company Berlin East Zone; Dr. von Twardowsky former German Councilor of Legation Moscow; Schreiber, secretary CDU North Rhine Westphalia; Franz Bluecher former Minister of Finance North Rhine Westphalia; former Ambassador Prittwitz-Gaffron; former Minister President Steltzer, Schleswig Holstein; Gertrude Baeumer and others. Strictest secrecy concerning subjects discussed being observed by participants meeting, however it is conceded that possibilities realization political unity Germany chief point discussed, main immediate issue being problems maintenance economic unity.

Schreiber reported in detail on German refugee problem and Prittwitz-Gaffron on his impressions Switzerland, whence he returned few days ago. Am reliably informed agenda comprised nine points of which little information available up to now.

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Invitation to meeting sent out by Hermes revealed purpose of discussions, which among others stated “four occupation powers agree with German people that political unity should be maintained or if such already doubtful should be reconstituted”. It continues, “in view grave situation firmness German people should be so emphatically stressed that recognition necessity German political unity should become decisive basis of all efforts for a European peace.”

In his conversation with West German political leaders recently, Nadolny reportedly stated that Germany and Russia must come to an agreement. He has emphasized necessity of united Germany and is using all arguments possible against establishment West German “Bundesregierung”. It is believed that meeting March 13 was of preparatory character which aims at a more representative conference German personalities who will be expected throw their authority on the side of “German political unity”. Original meeting of Nadolny to which 100 German representatives were invited to attend at Koenigstein was on February 15. The public reception of proposed meeting was so adverse it was found necessary for him cancel it and issue denial (my A–38, January 282).

Am reliably informed political pressure being exerted on Senate President Kaisen invite Nadolny to Bremen discuss his project.

Participation in Godesbag conference of active members present West German administrations such as Puender, Erhard and Abs shows spirit of opportunism among West German political leaders, large degree of which prompted by fear that Russia likely overrun Western Germany at any time. Confidentially I might state Adenauer approached me recently in regard question his personal safety in event Russian invasion. Although Adenauer did not participate meeting directly Schreiber was present indicating tacit approval his chief.

Recent statement Military Governors to Constituent Assembly indicating more outspokenly federalistic character desirable in draft German constitution has undoubtedly contributed to present crisis. SPD leaders held conference Cologne last weekend at which question withdrawal SPD faction from Constitutent Assembly or at least abstention in voting, considered as protest if wishes not considered in question finances. Decision deferred until March 26. Minister President Arnold North Rhine Westphalia has shown extreme pessimism about outlook and lack consideration British for present German problems. Senate President Kaisen also complained recently in same vein about our Military Government and its steps to force laws of an unsuitable character on Germans.

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Sent Department; repeated Berlin 11, Paris 8, London 10; pouched Frankfurt.

  1. Neither printed; they reported earlier activities of Nadolny and speculated that he was a Soviet emissary to the western zones of Germany. (711.61/249 and 740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–1749)
  2. Not printed.