662A.00/4–2152: Telegram

No. 144
The United States High Commissioner for Germany (McCloy) to the Department of State


2456. PA and public appraisal of psychological conditions in Ger suggests certain modification of approach.1

Our suggestions are founded on fol considerations:

We expect contractuals and EDC treaty to be completed and signed before end of May and without delay from further Soviet action. We are, however, concerned with possible effect of Soviet maneuvers on ratification and, even more, on implementation of agreements. So far, neither Ger political leaders nor Ger public are impressed with Soviet proposals. Distrust of Soviet intentions is deep-seated and general. Our problem results from questioning of West sincerity and West determination to achieve reunification of Ger rather than from gullible acceptance of Soviet blandishments. Reluctance to proceed with West integration, which appears to be caused by popular resentment, dislike of sacrifice and, in case of SPD, pure opposition tactics, does not result in popular support for Soviet advances but rather in demands that no steps be taken by which prospects of unification may be jeopardized irrevocably. Neutralism in Ger, though still widespread as sentimental attitude, is not considered realistic alternative by preponderant majority, according to public opinion surveys. However, many Gers, somewhat inconsistently, feel that they are being pressured into action which they genuinely dislike, and believe they are being used for accomplishments of American policies which they consider alien to their interest and contrary to their preference.

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Based on these considerations, we recommend building up our argument for period of several months rather than propaganda pitch concentrated on next few weeks. Equally, we feel it most imperative that we avoid impression of trying to push, persuade or make up Gers minds for them. We should be careful not to over state our case and not to elicit adverse psychological reaction by using too many words and arguments on points which after more than a year of public discussion, must appear obvious to Ger public. For instance, establishment of Soviet insincerity should, at this time, be treated not as target reprise but subordinated to overriding dual purpose of gaining support for our own actions and decisions, and keeping neutralist tendencies from again becoming political force in Ger. It is felt best to present our case as opportunity offered to Gers for their own decision, frankly and explicitly explaining motivations, implications and goals of our policy including our appraisal of Soviet methods and intentions. It should be clear from language of our pronouncements that it is Ger choice whether to avail themselves of this opportunity.

We, also, feel that prophylactic treatment should be given to possible resort to last minute scare tactics on part of Soviets. It would appear in line with Soviet tactics and with threats implied in number of Soviet communications re West defense effort for attempt to be made by Moscow to deter West Eur nations by fear of imminent Soviet attack from consummating their agreements. Such contingency of sabre rattling could create situation politically more dangerous to achievement of West policy aims in Ger than we experience under impact of present not too effective lures of Soviet unity offers. We feel that thought should be given this possibility and that our media should provide immunization treatment by occasionally mentioning prospects of another violent Soviet bluff.

In particular, we agree with line set forth in para 2 (A) casting doubt on kind of “democratic” state envisaged by Sovs. We shall assemble data exposing Commie interpretation of democracy, for instance, as exemplified by announced codification in new penal law of oppressive punitive legislation introduced in Sov Zone. We wish to point out, furthermore, that maintenance of such institutions as Sov-owned corporations, economic integration in satellite orbit, control of workers thru state-dominated union and applicable Commie laws, which it is Sov intention to maintain according to their own pronouncements, wld make mockery of unification or else spell future of satellite servitude for entire country. Our argument on investigation of conditions for free elections may be expected to effect that no Sov proposal so far contains indication that Sovs have changed their other repeated tactics of involving West in [Page 338]lengthy and inconclusive procedures to prevent it from taking decisive action, which is exactly what West and Ger in interest of their security and Eur progress must prevent.

2–B provides sound background for our analysis which, however, should be left brief and factual, explained above. Arguments should be trained on concrete picture of isolated Ger placed at mercy of Red Army poised behind Oder-Neisse line rather than on theoretical concept of neutrality which by now is largely discounted in realistic Ger thought.

Suggestion contained in 2–C to link Sov proposal of Ger natl army to Sov concept of “democratic peace-loving state” and to parallel of existing satellite armies may not sound altogether convincing to Gers inclined to view estab of natl forces as potent factor of natl independence. We wld prefer to point to oppressive burden and ineffective protection which are likely to result from isolated natl army in light of existing constellation of powers and technological developments.

We should fully explain advantages offered by integration West Eur within greater community of Atlantic nations not only for immed security of Ger people, but for future peace and prosperity of all Eur nations. To us a positive decision appears imperative, but it must be Ger choice. Language which may indicate persuasion or pleading, such as our stating what should be aim of every patriotic Ger or object of responsible Ger leadership, should be carefully avoided. Suggestion that Ger has everything to gain from such policy or may acquire posit of leadership seems to us to fall in same category and therefore fraught with danger from Ger as well as Fr point of view. We propose, however, to expand your argument to include statement that basic choice for Eur integration has been made by Ger people and its reps, they have complete freedom to make this final decision on Gers relationship to other nations, and no future govt can be granted less freedom of action than is enjoyed by FedRep under occupation statute.

We fully agree with straightforward line of para 4 [3], projecting attainment of Ger unity as result of growing West strength. Sov attempts to estab false choice between integration and unity, try to gloss over one basic fact. Problem of permanent peace settlement, of which question of Ger unity is integral part, will remain and acquire addit urgency for Sovs as prospects of gaining advantage from threats and aggression will diminish in face of determined and united West. Ger opinion trends suggest advisability of emphasizing strongly that every lasting peace settlement must include elimination of cold war frontier, and, therefore a solution of problem of Ger unity; and by this token, aim of reunification of Ger is as much part of fundamental US policy devoted to attainment of [Page 339]peace as part of Ger policy devoted to attainment of Ger freedom. Ger skepticism of our genuine interest in achieving Ger unity may develop into dangerous morale factor and adversely affect value of Ger partnership if not counteracted.

  1. Apparently this telegram, transmitted in two sections, was a reply to the points raised in telegram 2544 to Bonn, Document 84, as well as an indication of points to be stressed in general relations with the Federal Republic in the coming months. The references below to numbered paragraphs refer to the points outlined in telegram 2544.