224. Telegram From the Mission in Berlin to the Embassy in Germany 1

400. Heidelberg for USAREUR. General Dasher called on General Dibrova, Soviet Commandant, this afternoon at 1600 hours to protest regarding incident involving Congressman and Mrs. Ostertag and Congressman Boland in Soviet sector 27 November. Besides United States and Soviet Commandants and United States interpreters, only other participant in meeting was Colonel Kotsiuba, Soviet Deputy Commandant. Meeting lasted approximately 1½ hours and Soviet Commandant’s demeanor was courteous and affable at all times.

General Dasher opened by reading from text of note which, we understand, has already been transmitted to Department by Embassy Bonn.2 Although General Dibrova stated that he rejected protest General Dasher nevertheless handed note to him and it was not returned.

Dibrova stated that Vopos had monitored staff car’s radio prior to incident and had established that frequent transmissions in German and English had been made. He stated that transcripts of transmissions had been accomplished. When General Dasher asked for transcripts Dibrova stated that it would take a few days. General Dasher denied that transmissions had taken place as alleged by Vopos.

Dibrova then charged that occupants of vehicle had been hostile. General Dasher also denied this.

Dibrova stated that a law of GDR required registration of radio transmitters. This law, he said, applied to vehicle in question. (He added, however, that it was unlikely that we would run into trouble in future if transmitters were not actually used in Soviet sector.)

General Dasher stated that he looked to Soviet Commandant for authority in such matters and not to GDR. Dibrova replied that East Berlin was capital of GDR, that it was part of GDR, and that GDR was sovereign authority in that area; Soviet Commandant’s function in such occurrences was limited to liaison between GDR and other affected parties.

Text of note has been released to press here in coordination with Embassy press officers. General Dasher proceeded immediately upon return to headquarters to hold brief press conference. [Page 548] Fuller report will be transmitted after General Dasher and United States interpreter have written up report of interview.3

Obviously, categorical statement that East Berlin was a part of GDR most significant development from meeting. Mission’s further observations on this point will be transmitted after opportunity for fuller development here.

Gufler
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/11–2955. Confidential; Niact. Repeated to Moscow, Heidelberg, and Washington. The source text is the Department of State copy.
  2. The text of the note was transmitted in telegram 1747 from Bonn, November 28. (Ibid., 762.0221/11–2855) It is printed in Department of State Bulletin, December 19, 1955, pp. 1012–1013.
  3. This report was transmitted in telegram 468 from Berlin, November 30. (Department of State, Central Files, 762.0221/11–3055)