396.1 WA/7–653: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Office of the United States High Commissioner for Germany, at Bonn 1

top secret

80. Limited distribution. For Conant. For your information, we shall probably submit following draft tripartite declaration for consideration British and French Foreign Ministers this weekend, with view to publication in course of or at conclusion conference if tripartite agreement and Adenauer’s approval can be obtained. We believe draft embodies substance views urtel 89,2 but would appreciate soonest any comments you may care to make. Draft declaration should not be discussed with Adenauer pending further notice from Department.

“The Foreign Ministers of Great Britain, France and the United States have considered the problem of German unity, with particular reference to the recent demonstrations in Eastern Germany and their harsh repression by the Soviet authorities. They have consulted with Chancellor Adenauer regarding this matter which is of such vital importance, not only to the people of all Germany, but to the future peace and security of all Europe and the North Atlantic community.

They hereby protest, in the name of their Governments, against the oppression which has been imposed by force in Eastern Germany and East Berlin, and which led to the powerful demonstrations of June 17 and 18. This spontaneous rising of the German people gives living proof of their courage and determination, and of the fact that totalitarian communism cannot extinguish man’s basic desire for freedom and liberty. These demonstrations should once and for all give the lie to communist pretensions regarding the degree of popular support which lies behind the regime headed by Wilhelm Pieck, Otto Grotewohl and the SED.

When in 1945, with the defeat of Hitler’s armies, Germany was divided into four occupation zones, the Soviet Government, like those of Great Britain, France and the United States, assumed the obligation of developing free democratic processes and restoring those basic human rights and liberties which had been suppressed by the years of Nazi tyranny. Instead, the Soviets have set up a dictatorial regime, the political bankruptcy and popular hatred of which were fully revealed by the events which began on June 17. In the name of the oppressed Germans and the entire free world, the British, French and American Governments call for the immediate termination of the present intolerable conditions and for performance by the Soviet Government, of the obligations it unquestionably incurred as one of the four occupation powers.

The three Western Governments consider it essential to proceed as promptly as possible with the unification of Germany in the only practical way this may be achieved on a representative basis. In this connection they strongly endorse the five-point program adopted by the [Page 1602]Bundestag of the Federal Republic on June 10, with the unanimous vote of all political parties represented except the handful of communist deputies. The first and most fundamental of the Bundestag points is that calling for genuinely free elections. It is clear, however, that the unification of Germany cannot be seriously undertaken or free elections be held throughout the country so long as the authorities of Eastern Germany seek to intimidate the workers by police action and Soviet tanks and other existing repressions.

The British, French, and American Governments accordingly invite the Government of the Soviet Union to take the following steps forthwith:

The opening of all zonal border crossing points and restoration of free circulation for persons in and throughout Berlin and all of Germany;
The elimination of the present ‘dead zones’ along the borders of the Soviet occupation zone;
The establishment of complete freedom of the press, assembly and activity by all political parties; and
The restoration and effective application of laws for the protection of human beings against arbitrary acts and terror.

The three Western Governments earnestly hope that these four steps be taken without further delay and stand ready to direct their High Commissioners, as soon as this has been accomplished, to meet with their Soviet counterpart in order to plan for all-German elections. In this manner they are convinced that the goal of a unified democratic Germany, which both they and the German people so ardently desire, may be achieved.”3

  1. This telegram, which was drafted by Kidd and cleared in draft by MacArthur, was repeated niact to Berlin.
  2. Dated July 6, p. 1591.
  3. On July 9, Conant replied that this draft seemed excellent and he believed it would “have enormously good effect in Germany and particularly in Berlin” (telegram 146 from Bonn; 396.1 WA/7–953).