396.1 BE/2–254: Telegram

No. 399
The United States Delegation at the Berlin Conference to the Department of State 1


Secto 66. Department for OSD. Following is summary second part of meeting February 1:2

After brief recess Molotov made lengthy prepared statement.3 He opened by recalling losses suffered by USSR in the war at hands of Germany which were greater than those of any other country. Soviet Government feels grave responsibility for prevention rebirth German militarism and prevention new war. In approach to German problem Soviet Government feels that allies should be guided by basic principles of agreements they have already reached which were designed to maintain peace and prevent new aggression by Germany. Four powers should jointly prevent re-emergence of German militarism and thus avoid threat new world war. If they did not do so and allowed German militarism to revive, no international agreements could be adequate guarantee to prevent new world slaughter which would be terrible in its consequences and would involve fratricidal war among Germans themselves.

Molotov remarked that conference was in awkward situation, in that it was discussing German problem without presence of Germans. This resulted from refusal of three Western Ministers, basing themselves on Adenauer’s views, to hear GDR. Federal Republic’s opposition to sitting at same table with GDR was, he said, politically shortsighted. Mistake could still be rectified, however, and Ministers could hear views of East and West authorities on important specific issues.

Molotov said German problem was primarily one for solution by Germans themselves. World war had required allies to assume certain responsibilities but this will only be so until peace treaty, [Page 914] when Germany will become full-fledged member of European community. Pending conclusion of peace treaty, four governments should jointly restore German unity and create conditions which would ensure that Germany would not again become source of aggression.

Molotov said that EDC constituted effort by three powers and West German regime to form military bloc directed against Soviet Union. Plan permits West Germany to provide German militarism. In his January 25 speech,4 Bidault said there were only two alternatives dealing with Germany: Either indefinite compulsory control or process of association. Process of association was a peculiar one. Under this vague formula Bidault seeks West German army which would recreate Wehrmacht. In plain terms it was military association of certain European states directed against other states. Its authors are not preparing for peace but for a new and most dangerous war in Europe.

Molotov said that it was strange some French representatives believed that France did not need an alliance with USSR, but military bloc with part of Germany directed against USSR and certain European countries. These countries formed most trustworthy support of peace and European security and would like to be allies of France. He pointed out France and USSR had both been occupied by Germany and stressed their mutual interests. If they acted together, no one in present condition would dare break peace of Europe and European security would be safeguarded. Difference in social systems need not serve as barrier between them. They should strengthen their relations and cooperation with Germany. This policy would be opposed by German militarists. Although Bidault supported Bonn and Paris agreements, opposition to agreements in France was constantly growing.

Molotov ridiculed statement of previous session by Secretary that EDC would contribute to European health and prosperity. Bonn and Paris agreements are a part of larger American military plan in which France and Italy were being used as implements of American policy. These agreements would make Germany into base of preparation for new war supplementing network of American bases spread around world. He also mentioned network of British bases. In addition to these bases and agreements directed at USSR and Eastern Europe, US and UK were taking other measures against people’s democracies. He cited appropriation of $1 million under MSA act of 1951 for subversive purposes in Soviet orbit and suggested that additional amounts had been devoted to this purpose since 1951.

[Page 915]

Molotov drew parallel between Versailles Treaty and Bonn and Paris agreements. Versailles was one of main causes of Second World War because it was instrument of oppression. Same was true of Bonn and Paris agreements, which would maintain Germany in state of semi-occupation for 50 years. He said that even West Germans would not accept these arrangements under which three Western powers could at any time interfere in German internal affairs, declare emergencies, and in general dominate German life. If some West German officials had agreed to this, Molotov intimated they had no real intention of carrying out agreements. Agreements would recreate German militarist machine. First 12 divisions would be set up. No one [who?] was not naive would have difficulty imagining what would follow and German militarists would soon speak in their own aggressive language. We all know that the German militarists know no half-way measures.

Molotov said that GDR would never enter into this pattern. Implementation of agreements would place insurmountable barrier to unification of Germany and make it impossible for country to be unified for some time to come. He said that Bonn and Paris agreements had another feature in common with Treaty of Versailles, that they were directed against Soviet Union. Their fate would be no better than that of Versailles. Either they would not be implemented, or if they entered into force, from the very beginning the system of international relations upon which they were based would disintegrate. He intimated that those who embarked on this course could expect no sympathy from the Soviet Union. The treaties did not correspond to the realities of the present state of affairs and their only real significance is to permit remilitarization of Germany.

Following several earlier allusions to need for immediate beginning of work on peace treaty, Molotov pointed out Soviet Government had submitted draft principles of draft peace treaty two years ago.5 Western powers had not commented upon them nor submitted proposals of their own. Soviet delegation wished to make three additions to its previous proposals as follows (exact text of proposals not yet circulated in English):

Add following provision to section on political clauses: “No obligations of a political or military character arising out of treaties or agreements concluded by Governments of Federal Republic or GDR prior to signing of peace treaty and reunification of Germany shall be imposed on Germany.” Molotov said this should not meet with any objections as Eden’s views stated at last meeting met with those of all three Western Governments.
Add following to clause on economic matters: “Germany shall be fully exempt from payment to USA, UK, France, and USSR of post-war state debts with the exception of those arising out of trade obligations.”
Clarify provision in Soviet draft that Germany will have forces necessary for defense. Add following section on military clauses: “These armed forces shall be limited to those required to meet the needs of internal security, local border defense and antiaircraft defense.” Molotov said this would be in accord with provisions in previous peace treaties.

Molotov proposed that drafting of German peace treaty be taken up immediately. He pointed out that four powers had drafted previous treaties and at London CFM 6 Western powers had urged that preparation of treaty proceed simultaneously with organization and holding of elections. Final considerations and adoption of treaty could only take place with the participation of all-German Government formed on basis of elections, would be subject to ratification of all-German Parliament. However, Germans should participate in all stages of development of treaty. Pending formation of all-German Government, representatives of East and West regimes should participate in work. Beginning treaty drafting would show new and important stage of work on Germany had been undertaken, in the course of which allied difficulties would be overcome. This would also contribute bringing two parts of Germany together and expedite solution of questions such as formation of all-German Government and elections.

Molotov said he was submitting amended draft proposals for peace treaty in light of foregoing and draft on preparation of treaty and convening of peace conference.7 He indicated he would submit draft proposals on other German problems.

  1. Repeated to London, Paris, Bonn, Vienna, and Moscow.
  2. For a report on the first part of the sixth plenary meeting, see Secto 65, supra.
  3. For Molotov’s statement, see Cmd. 9080, pp. 52–62.
  4. For a summary of Bidault’s speech on Jan. 25, see Secto 17, Document 355.
  5. For this Soviet draft, see the Soviet note of Mar. 10, 1952, Document 65.
  6. Reference to the fifth session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, held at London, Nov. 25–Dec. 15, 1947.
  7. For text of these Soviet proposals, see FPM(54)24 and 25, Documents 512 and 513.