220. Telegram From the Embassy in Germany to the Department of State 1

1170. Reference Department telegram 999.2 Following is text “Summary and Conclusions” section of Embassy draft analysis September 20 DDR–USSR documents, with which EAD in general agreement and which submitted as interim reply reference telegram pending discussion entire paper with EAD and British and French Embassies.

Begin verbatim text.

The Soviet-DDR Treaty of September 20, 1955, and accompanying documents in many respects follow the pattern of the Paris Treaties and incorporate an effort to “legalize” in the treaty form exercise of sovereignty by the DDR. They also formalize and in some respects refine the Soviet proclamation of DDR sovereignty in March 1954.3

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The facade of DDR sovereignty and in fact the whole Soviet position on Germany are basically unchanged but are now presented in ways which are or could be negotiable against the Paris Treaties.

The Soviet Union has clearly not relinquished control over the ultimate solution of the German problem, but the documents provide a framework for further complicating and shifting bases of discussion of the problem. The framework is strong enough to support both efforts to transfer discussion to an East German-West German forum, as well as efforts to bring the DDR into any four-power discussions of it. The documents do not reflect Soviet intention to facilitate solution of the German problem but rather an intention to crystallize the status quo while keeping alive sources of discord between East and West Germans, among West Germans, and between the latter and the Western Allies, using clever appeals to German national sentiment in support of these efforts.

The documents appear to confirm that the Soviets have no immediate interest in German reunification; and the pretense of accepting the principle of free elections as the basis therefor is omitted. While the lure of German-to-German negotiations is held out as a road to reunification, it is evident that the results of any such negotiation must be satisfactory to the Soviet Union, and it is apparent from accompanying propaganda that in the Communist view this is most likely to transpire if the West German negotiators are “peace-loving democrats” not now represented in the Federal Government.

The documents and accompanying propaganda also include provision for entrenching and securing the Communist position in the Soviet Zone and its government.

An effort appears to be made to preserve unimpaired Soviet commitments to the US, UK and France regarding Berlin and Germany as a whole, although as regards access to Berlin, the formulation in the Bolz–Zorin letters4 suggests that Allied rights may be considered as limited to their forces actually stationed in Berlin. It seems unlikely, however, that the Soviets will in the near future consider it advantageous to restrict existing official Allied access to Berlin, lest in doing so they weaken their ability to rebut Allied intervention in behalf of other matters, including non-Allied access, which the Soviets wish to throw into the German-to-German forum.

In total context, the manner in which access to Berlin is dealt with in the documents suggests this matter is considered by the Soviets to be ancillary to achievement of other major objectives. It appears the exercise of control over, and harassments of, non-Allied access to Berlin may in the future be designed to supplement Communist efforts to force German-to-German negotiations as well as to [Page 542] force cessation of West German and West Berlin activities which the Communists consider threaten the security of the Soviet Zone. Since, however, any or all of these Soviet objectives can also be advanced by other means than harassment of access to Berlin, and since the latter would be patently inconsistent with professed dedication to the “spirit of Geneva”, it seems likely that large-scale harassment will be resorted to, if at all, only when progress toward Soviet objectives in a larger framework has been arrested and/or the “spirit of Geneva” ended.

Gradually increasing exercise by the DDR of control over surface access will, however, entail for the Federal Republic and the three Western Powers the alternatives of accepting the situation or reacting in ways which could place on the West the onus for interference with “normal” communication with Berlin.

A key factor in Soviet calculations and in application of the whole range of matters covered in the documents will be the attitude and conduct of the Government of the Federal Republic. This is the subject of a separate analysis.5

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  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 661.62B/10–1255. Secret. Repeated to Paris, Moscow, London, and Berlin.
  2. Telegram 999 requested an analysis of the Soviet-GDR agreements of September 20. (Ibid., 661.62B/10–755)
  3. For text of this proclamation, dated March 25, 1954, see Otnosheniia, pp. 377–378.
  4. See Document 218.
  5. Not further identified.