No. 718
President Eisenhower to Chancellor Adenauer1


I have received with deep interest and sympathy your message of June 21st.2 The latest events in East Berlin and Eastern Germany have stirred the hearts and hopes of people everywhere. This inspiring show of courage has reaffirmed our belief that years of oppression and attempted indoctrination cannot extinguish the spirit of freedom behind the Iron Curtain. It seems clear that the repercussions of these events will be felt throughout the Soviet satellite empire.

The United States Government is convinced that a way can and must be found to satisfy the justified aspirations of the German people for freedom and unity, and for the restoration of fundamental human rights in all parts of Germany. It is for the attainment of these purposes that the government you head and the United States Government have been earnestly striving together. Although the Communists may be forced, as a result of these powerful demonstrations in East Germany to moderate their current policies, it seems clear that the safety and future of the people of Eastern Germany can only be assured when that region is unified with Western Germany on the basis of free elections, as we urged the Soviets to agree to in the notes of September 23, 1952 dispatched by the American, British and French Governments.3 It is still our conviction that this represents the only realistic road to German unity, and I assure you that my Government will continue to strive for this goal.

In their hours of trial and sacrifice, I trust that the people of Eastern Germany will know that their call for freedom has been heard around the world.4

[Dwight D. Eisenhower]
  1. Transmitted to Bonn in telegram 5636, June 25, and repeated to London, Paris, Berlin, and Moscow. The transmittal telegram noted that the text of the message was to be released publicly in Bonn and Washington on June 26.
  2. Document 716.
  3. For the tripartite note under reference, see Document 138.
  4. Adenauer acknowledged the receipt of President Eisenhower’s letter on June 26. The text of the acknowledgment, transmitted to Washington in telegram 5506 from Bonn, June 29, reads:

    “I thank you, dear Mr. President, very sincerely for your kind reply to my telegram of June 21. I am glad to be able to take from your message that complete unanimity exists concerning our attitudes towards this question which is so significant for the fate of Europe and the world. At the present juncture your message constitutes for us very valuable support.” (Presidential Correspondence, lot 66 D 204, “Adenauer to Eisenhower”)