No. 727
Chancellor Adenauer to President Eisenhower 1

212–10 II 9438/53

My Dear Mr. President: During recent months, we discussed repeatedly the position of the population in the soviet-occupied Zone. You are therefore aware that the Federal Government does not only watch with serious apprehension the steadily increasing political pressure to which the Germans living there are subjected, but that the steadily deteriorating food supply in the Soviet-occupied Zone fills the Federal Government with growing anxiety. It is true that the events of 17 June 1953 have prompted the rulers of the Soviet Zone to announce, in this particular field, certain relaxations, but according to information received by us it is extremely doubtful whether the Communist rulers are actually willing—or able—to fulfill these promises. Therefore, the food supply of the Soviet Zone must continue to be regarded as definitely endangered.

As it is, the Federal Government is, unfortunately, unable to remove the political pressure weighing upon the people in the Soviet Zone. However, it feels itself under an obligation to do everything in its power to at least protect the population from hunger as far as this will be possible.

The Bundestag, too, dealt with this question during the last few days, and requested the Federal Government on 1 July by a resolution to take all possible measures to ensure as speedily as possible an adequate supply of food for the distressed Soviet Zone and East Berlin.

The Federal Government therefore intends to make available funds on a large scale for food supplies to be sent to the Soviet-occupied Zone. The churches and charitable organizations will be entrusted with the implementation of this action so as to ensure that these food supplies are used for the intended purpose.

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I should much appreciate it if the U.S. Government, too, were prepared to participate in this aid action which is in the interest of the entire Western world. May I, therefore, pose the question whether you would be willing to contact the competent U.S. agencies in this connection.

With kindest regards, I remain,

Yours very truly,

  1. On July 4, Adenauer had addressed a letter, apparently unsolicited and, except for two minor stylistic changes in the first paragraph, the same as the one presented here, to Conant. Conant received the letter the evening of July 6 and transmitted its text to Washington in telegram 119 from Bonn, July 7. (862B.49/7–753) Having received and complied with the instruction contained in paragraph a of the memorandum, supra , the evening of July 8, Conant received from Hallstein the same evening the authorization to change the addressee to President Eisenhower. (Telegram 145 from Bonn, midnight, July 8, 862B.49/7–853) The source text was transmitted to Washington in despatch 208 from Bonn, July 16, 1953.